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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

RAMP offers assistance to people with disabilities

Gabby Crabtree
A laptop sits with RAMP’s homepage open. RAMP is a center for independent living for people with disabilities. (Gabby Crabtree | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Individuals with disabilities are provided services to develop personal and professional skills at RAMP. 

RAMP’s DeKalb location is at 115 N. First St. 

RAMP Center for Independent Living helps individuals with disabilities find jobs, make their home lives easier and increase or maintain their independence. 

“At RAMP, we have volunteers, who are called at-home personal assistants, who go to different houses of individuals with severe disabilities and help them do housework, apply for jobs or are just there to be a friend,” said Heather Foulker, director of independent living services at RAMP.

RAMP has another service called Project SEARCH, which allows adults ages 18 to 21 with an Individual Education Plan, a personalized and legal document for each person to help them lay out their needs, in high school to be selected for internships. Young adults can work with their families and staff members to create personalized action plans for their everyday career lives. 

According to RAMP’s website, over 51% of staff are people with disabilities. 

This peer-to-peer support from RAMP staff is a key factor in the successful outcomes RAMP produces,” the RAMP website said.

The organization has an internship program for college students that students can apply to online. Fall internship applications are due by July 1. 

From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on April 25 at the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens in Rockford, there will be a Sip and Sample. Attendees will be provided samples of wine and beer along with art, music and vendors. 

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Tickets can be purchased on their website

RAMP’s locations branch across different counties including DeKalb, Boone, Stevenson and Winnebago. RAMP is the only center for independent living serving these areas. 

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