The Mission

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.

The Vision

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 Opps YELLOWMorning Opps

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.

Life Shop GREENLife Shop

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 BLUE copyAfter Opps

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

Summer 2014 Registration BrochureAfter Opps Summer Session 1 Registration Now Available

What does After Opps have in store for the first summer session? Pool Party, Fabric Fun, gardening, Ettiquette 101, Bikes and Trikes, A Bug’a Life, Backyard Games License to Grill and Photography have all made it on the schedule of activities. Download the Summer 2014 After Opps Registration Brochure or register online.

IMG_0288The Life Shop Blog

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!

DSC_0103The Weekly Warrior Blog

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.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 4.01.43 PMAnnual Report: 2012 – 2013

“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.

Facebook Feed

We're partnering with our friends from the Weichert Realtors Nickel Group for the 2nd Annual Warrior Wash this weekend! Come by the Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home Parking Lot (7319 Madison St in Forest Park) from 11am-3pm for a $10 car wash to support the Warriors! Free smoothie from The Juice Joint with each car wash! ... See MoreSee Less

9 hours ago

Life Shop was out and active again for week 2 of the Warrior-planned Nature Club program. Today we visited the nature center at Fullersburg Woods then did a nature walk to the Graue Mill, where we had lunch by the waterfall and toured the mill museum! We did some awesome exploring, played nature games, saw some wildlife, dressed up like we lived 100 years ago, took great photos, and had a lot of fun! #lifeshop #natureclub #greatoutdoors ... See MoreSee Less

1 day ago

Lorraine Sykes, Barb Tobias and 23 others like this

Janet Arey WrightWhat fun!1 day ago

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Happy Monday everyone! OK Staff have been gettin after it in boot camps every Tuesday and Thursday all summer long with some help from Doug Fischer! #bootcamp #handstands ... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

Lorraine Sykes, Anthony Tony and 18 others like this

Carolynn PowersJeni Pierce, where is our backbend bootcamp pic?! 3 days ago

Michael A. FairLooks like Mike needs a little help with his hand stand.2   ·  3 days ago

Jeni PierceBack Bend Boot Camp Carolynn!!2 days ago

Carolynn PowersYes!!! I am calling for a group backbend shot on th!! ;)2 days ago

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Life Shop Warriors and CITE Students went to Burke Elementary School in Chicago for their Community Day yesterday and presented them with our Pencil Project collections! Thanks to all our friends who donated to the cause over the past couple of months! #lifeshop #pencilproject #community ... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago

Sports fanatic Charlie O'Connor planned a day filled with athletic endeavors for his Warrior Outing on August 14th. We started the morning with Blackhawks Stanley Cup highlights and sang and danced to the team's goal anthem, "Chelsea Dagger" by the Fratellis. We also called our Director Kim Meares, who is out on maternity leave, and sang Happy Birthday to the Life Shop (we opened our doors on August 13th, 2013). Next we headed to the Forest Park softball fields and practiced for the upcoming OK Classic softball tournament then had a picnic in the grass. We spent the afternoon bowling, dancing, and hanging out at Circle Lanes in Forest Park. The day was capped off by a dance party on the bus ride back to Life Shop (with the seatbelts on of course). Excellent work planning and facilitating your Warrior Outing Charlie!
Audio- "Chelsea Dagger" by the Fratellis and "Some Nights" by Fun
... See MoreSee Less

Sports fanatic Charlie O'Connor planned a day filled with athletic endeavors for his Warrior Outing on August 14th. We started the morning with Blackhawks Stanley…

5 days ago

Clare O'Connor, Liam Sorensen and 11 others like this

Janet Arey WrightWhat fun!1   ·  5 days ago

David StevensonThere's some serious shooters there!!2   ·  5 days ago

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Got questions about the OK Life Shop? Let the Warriors, founders, and community partners break it down for you. Check out this short film directed by Mary Scherer-Emunds, which gives you a glimpse into what the one-year old day program is and features some of our community partners such as greenline wheels, Whole Foods Market River Forest, Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, OPRF CITE, and Midtown Athletic Club Oak Park! ... See MoreSee Less

After one full year of programming, the Opportunity Knocks Life Shop day program has made some great strides. Made up of 10 Warriors and 5 coaches, the Life Shop…

6 days ago

Michael M. Carmody, Elizabeth Van Lieshout and 13 others like this

Janet Arey WrightLife Shop is all this plus so so much more....thanks Opportunity Knocks....1   ·  6 days ago

Katy MccloudWe love you all here at midtown oak park!1   ·  6 days ago

Patricia A CheneyAwesome!!!!6 days ago

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"Please come to run club with me. It's a lot of fun! It's a good workout so bring a water bottle!" -Warrior Sonya Taylor. Meet us for our weekly Warrior Walk to Run Club in front of the River Forest Community Center tonight at 5:45! All are welcome to walk, run, or roll through River Forest at their own pace! #warriorwellness #walktorunclub ... See MoreSee Less

7 days ago

Jeni Pierce, Bernie Mongiardini and 23 others like this

Lorraine McKayLooks like a good group--esp. like the Huskie T-shirt!6 days ago

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Today marks the one year anniversary of our Life Shop day program! We've made some great strides and had some great times in the pilot year! Cheers to even greater ones in year 2! Here are some recent snapshots of the Life Shop Warriors and coaches in action. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago

Norma Lopez-Reyna, Michael M. Carmody and 23 others like this

Janet Arey WrightAnd what a fantastic year it has been! Thank you Life Shop for all the great learning, exploring, support you have provided this past year. Max loves it and is so happy! Love you guys!4   ·  1 week ago

Kim Meares SurprenantMy heart hurts that I can't be there tomorrow to celebrate with you. I will definitely be calling in to sing Happy Birthday to us. Miss you guys!2   ·  1 week ago

Barb TobiasHappy anniversary! Congratulations! Cant wait to see what this next brings! Go, OK Life Shop!1   ·  7 days ago

Norma Lopez-Reynacongratulations on one great year!! Wish you had room for more young adults!!3 days ago

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