The Opportunity Knocks (OK) mission is dedicated to providing opportunities and resources for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities (DD) so they may pursue their educational, occupational and social interests.
We envision a community where individuals with DD have an active and supported presence. Our socially interactive programming places consistent emphasis on the value of self-advocacy and community. The goal is to provide opportunities for self-enrichment in the life of the Warrior, in turn, giving the Warrior an Opportunity to enrich the fabric of their community.
Our Guiding Principle
Warriors have unique and exceptional abilities that diversify and strengthen their communities. OK will be guided by the interests of the individual. Our Warriors will be equal architects and their self-advocacy will serve as the foundation of all program development.
Morning Opportunities is a new Opportunity Knock’s program, launched in 2012, providing activities for the students in Oak Park River Forest High School’s TEAM (Transitional Education with Access to the Mainstream) classrooms. ‘Morning Opps,’ as we like to call it, is offered on late arrival Wednesdays throughout the school year when the OPRF faculty and staff participate in professional development training.
Presently The Life Shop is in the midst of the pilot phase and is limited to serving 10 participants. In the fall of 2014, we hope to expand the program, serving more individuals. The Life Shop strives to maximize opportunities for the older than 22 adult with developmental disabilities. The pilot is focused on the Warrior in three phases: health & wellness, improving life skills and community integration.
After Opps is an after school/after work program that offers social and recreational activities. Opportunity Knocks holds 4 After Opps program seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall) consisting of one 5-week and one following 4-week session. Opportunity Knocks aims to stimulate the interest of various leisurely activities, participation within the community, and the continued engagement of these activities outside of programs.
Featured at The Knocks
What does After Opps have in store for the next spring sessions? Fitness, bikes & trikes, health and wellness, arts and crafts, community opportunities, cooking and the popular peer led planning have made it back on the schedule of activities. New to the roster are activities such as ballet and casino night! Click here to download the Spring After Opps Registration Brochure.
Follow the progress of the Life Shop, Opportunity Knock’s new day program in its pilot phase. From Warrior-planned outings and volunteering in the community to health and wellness activities—you’ll find it here!
Warrior Spotlight: Maddy Gancer
Each session, we will put the spotlight on one of our Warriors who has best exemplified the Warrior 5-Point Code. The five point code is the set of expectations that we have for our Warriors throughout our programs. Those five points are safety, leadership, communication, teamwork, and respect. Click to learn more about what an incredible role model Maddy is!
This winter session launched the second coming of Warrior blogging. Visit The Weekly Warrior blog to learn about fun happenings at After Opps and about what the Warriors find interesting or important. While given the opportunity to flex their creative muscles, the Warriors are also able to practice planning, organization, editing, internet safety and other essential computing skills. Comments welcomed!
Letter from the Director: Health & Wellness
Health and Wellness Director, Jeni Pierce, and Executive Director, Mike Carmody, report about the different ways Opportunity Knocks participants in all three programs are working to improve their health and well being! This past year marked the addition of at least two new fitness-based events including the Warrior Dash obstacle course and the Chilly Dash run that preceded the Chili Cook Off fundraiser.
“Every year seems to move just a bit faster than the last here at The Knocks.” Click to read about the achievements from the 2012 – 2013 year including Peer-Led activities and Community Opportunities projects offered through After Opps, the progress of Morning Opps and the launch of the Life Shop. You may also find OK’s financial summary, a list of donors and partnerships as well.