Return to: U of M Home

Gold University of Minnesota M. Skip to main content.University of Minnesota. Home page.
Illinois Direct Support Professional Workforce Initiative

What's inside.



Project Spotlights

Project Partners

Employer Partners

Steering/Advisory Committee

Project Meeting Notes

Workforce Intervention Resources



  Home > Employer Partners > Employer Profile

Employer Profile


The Hope School

The Hope School, an Educational and Residential Center, is a place to grow and a place to learn. It is a place where respect for the individual leads to discovery of the untapped potential in each person. It is a place where maintaining strong connections to family and community are priorities. The Hope School has been serving children with multiple disabilities and their families since 1957. Most students reside on-campus or in group homes. Some students from nearby districts also attend as day students. Collaboration of the multi-disciplinary team is ongoing to promote coordination of goal setting, direct and consultative services, and co-treatment. A strong emphasis is placed on the development of communication skills. In addition to using pictures and sign language, language activities include the use of specially designed Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) equipment, Adapted Computer Access or other assistive technology equipment.

Specialized services are provided for children and youths with cognitive and physical disabilities including mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, neurological disorders, visual and auditory impairments, ambulation and medical problems, and psychiatric and behavior disorders. On-site occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech/language therapy services are provided. Life Skills training provides for job training at off-campus business sites in Springfield and intensive workshop skills training on-campus. Students have an opportunity for many pre-vocational and vocational experiences, at sites located both on and off campus, through the Vocational Department. Classroom activities are designed to help prepare students for these experiences.

The Hope School's Autism Project: Once seen as a rare disorder, current estimates indicate that autism occurs in 1 out of 500 people. Autism Spectrum Disorders typically affect verbal and non-verbal communication skills, social interaction, processing of sensory information and abstract thought processes. Though this complex disorder is being seen more and more, many clinicians and educators are currently unprepared to meet the growing needs of children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. The Autism Project (TAP), a pilot project with three sites statewide, targets this critical need for up-to-date information, systems development, family support and intense, hands-on training for caregivers and professionals at all levels.


This Web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC). The RTC is housed at the Institute on Community Integration, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota.

Questions/Feedback about this web site? E-mail the webmaster at:

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.