A private non-profit 501©3 organization, founded in 1989, Community Service Options, Inc. (CSO) contracts with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to provide preadmission screening, eligibility determination and service coordination for people with developmental disabilities, in Chicago. CSO is part of a national system, federally mandated to be completely independent and free-standing of local direct service provision. This “independent” function enables CSO to safeguard the rights of people with disabilities, even though it receives funding from federal and state grants, contracts and private donations.
CSO promotes access, “choice of service,” options and independence of people with disabilities, who reside in the City of Chicago, through the provision of information, education, advocacy, and planning/service coordination.
CSO serves as a “clearinghouse” for persons with disabilities, and/or their family/guardian, who are seeking services. It compiles and disseminates information pertaining to disability issues, resources, services, and events; and assertively educates federal, state and local policy-makers about disability issues.
CSO works with consumers, service providers, and policymakers, throughout the State, to reform the human service system. CSO’s website, publications, and newsletters provide awareness and inspire action on issues affecting persons with disabilities.
Planning and Service Coordination
The skilled advocates at CSO assist in the development of individual, “person-centered” plans for community-based human services and supports. CSO works with each individual and/or their family/guardian to identify goals and strategies that address unique needs and maximize their potential. CSO plans and arranges services such as medical care options, employment, housing programs, accessible transportation, and recreational activities.