Southwest Cook County Cooperative
 Association for Special Education

Opening the World Through Education
to Children and Young Adults with Diverse Abilities for over 50 years




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CD Parent Plans to Run Boston Marathon to Raise Funds for Son

Stephanie Ebert, Parent of  CD Student, Beckham, plans to  swim, bike and run a total of 226 miles to raise awareness and funds for autism research.
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Pictured: Stephanie Ebert, CD Student, Beckham and his younger brother, Zelalem "Zee" Ebert.

CD Elementary Class Celebrates Autism Awareness, Heritage and Participates in Special Olympics 

This month Mrs. Hendrickson’s/Ms. Ford’s class was busy exploring things about “ourselves”. We began by looking for pictures to paste on our heritage flags that represented us. We also participated in our very own Special Olympics Day which included marching in the Opening Ceremony, Luge, Cross Country Skiing, Snowboarding, Slalom, and Curling.
Hands down, our favorite sport was the Luge!

Everyone wore school-made tie-dye shirts and got a gold medal. We invited some of our General Education peers to participate in our Olympics in addition to our CD friends at Kerkstra.

On April 2nd, we celebrated Autism Awareness Day. Vinnie Wirth and his mom, Gosia Wirth made a special cake to help us celebrate. The cake had blue dough and blue frosting and even blue sprinkles. We feel so lucky to celebrate each and every one of us and feel lucky to be a part of the Southwest Cooperative's Communication Program!



Please join us in celebrating some of our staff members who have demonstrated one extra degree of effort to achieve results:

Chapan and McCoy Make Special House Call

The DESTINY Program’s Plus 1 Recognition for this month goes to OFHS School Social Worker, Theresa McCoy, and School Nurse, Candy Chapan. These two amazing ladies put in the extra degree for a student needing a vision exam and some in-home support services. Not only did these two DESTINY stars make a home visit and assist the family in starting the process to complete the PUNS survey. 

They are also in the process of exploring DSCC supports for the family and arranging a community-based instructional opportunity for the student to schedule and attend her own eye doctor appointment. Thank you, ladies, for going the extra degree to make these opportunities possible for our DESTINY students and their families!

Priestman is DESTINY's Plus One

This month’s Plus One DESTINY Story is about a teacher at the DESTINY High School Program, Mrs. Julie Priestman.  Mrs. Priestman attended a Mini-conference related to working with students having moderate to severe intellectual disabilities on February 12th, which was a non-work day for her.  She chose to attend the conference anyway and brought back information to her colleagues on the DESTINY High School Team. 

We very much appreciate Mrs. Priestman’s commitment to finding the best and newest strategies, materials and assessments for the population of students that we serve in the DESTINY Program.  Thank you, Mrs. Priestman!

McDougal's "Restaurant" Teaches
Braun Students Table Manners

Gina McDougal is a social worker at Braun for the primary students.  One of the primary teachers asked Gina for help with her students during lunch time.  The teacher stated that her students needed a lesson on  appropriate table manners.  Gina decided to open a restaurant in her office “Chez Dougal”. 

In her restaurant, she had lots of foods and snacks that the students could eat while practicing appropriate table manners.  Students has reservations and proper table settings at “Chez Dougal”.  This is one of the many reasons that Gina is Braun’s +1°. 

Denise Tetter-Wimberly Helps Student Get Art Displayed at Tinley Park Library

Denise Tetter-Wimberly is an educational interpreter for the deaf in the Transition program. She has gone the extra degree with a student who is artistically gifted, as well as deaf. She and he worked tirelessly in preparing his artwork for a display in the Tinley Park Public Library Art Gallery.

This included the application process, and meeting all necessary requirements such as matting, framing and wiring each of the ten pieces of artwork, as well as accompanying the student as he met with library staff!



Click the links below to visit a program web page:

Braun Educational Center
Communication Development
Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)
Project Challenge
Transitional Employment Program
Vision and O&M Services


A Message from the Director


Southwest Cooperative provides services for eleven public school districts:

113a Lemont

117 North Palos

118 Palos

142 Forest Ridge

145 Arbor Park

146 Tinley Park

159 Matteson

160 Country Club Hills

210 Lemont High School

228 Bremen Community High School

230 Consolidated High School


Southwest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Education
6020 W. 151st Street  | Oak Forest, IL 60452
(Telephone) 708-687-0900 | (TTY) 708-687-2151
(Fax) 708-687-5695

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