Programs

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The Illinois Spina Bifida Association works to improve the quality of life of individuals and families living with spina bifida.

ISBA works to accomplish its mission with a three-part program strategy:

1. Promote skills development and independence;

2. Improve family resilience and access to resources through outreach, education and advocacy; and

3. Provide targeted financial assistance.

For more information or to participate in these programs, please call us at (773) 444-0305 or get in touch with us from our contact page.

Skills & Independence

Community-Clinic Connection

Camp Independence

GoBabyGo

Outreach & Education

Information & Referral

Statewide Support Groups

Play Dates

Young Ladies Groups

Adult Groups

Holiday Parties

Conferences

Adaptive Sports

Financial Assistance

Scholarships

Equipment Fund

Emergency Assistance Fund

Professional Advisory Council Research Award

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Skills & Independence

Community-Clinic Connection

ISBA’s new Community-Clinic Connection program provides families living with spina bifida individualized support and coaching services from a social worker who can meet at their homes during the day, evening, or weekend. The ISBA social worker's job is to help families get needed information and resources, connect with other families, encourage skills development and goals, and coordinate with their SB clinic team. Through these activities, the program works to increase family resilience, health quality of life, and the independence of children and adults living with spina bifida.

ISBA is proud to be piloting the Community-Clinic Connection program in Central Illinois in partnership with OSF HealthCare.

This program has been made possible by generous donations from:

  • The Fritz and Doris S. Reuling Charitable Fund, the Fontaine Earle Fund, and the Pete and Mildred Donis Charitable Fund of the
    Community Foundation of Central Illinois
  • Illinois Prairie Community Foundation - IPCF Annual Campaign Fund
  • Central Illinois ISBA families

Community-Clinic Connection will expand to Chicagoland in fall 2017 in collaboration with Shriners Hospitals for Children - Chicago thanks to generous donations from:

  • McHenry County Community Foundation
  • Chicagoland ISBA families

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Camp Independence

Camp Independence is run by the YMCA of Metro Chicago in association with the Illinois Spina Bifida Association. It is an overnight camp designed especially for people with spina bifida, age 7 through adult. Campers are encouraged to learn self-care skills, develop new friendships, and try new adaptive sports.

As part of the Camp Independence program, the Illinois Spina Bifida Association supports independence programming and research conducted by the Chicago Healthy Adolescents Transition Study (C.H.A.T.S.). Dr. Grayson Holmbeck, a clinical psychologist and professor at Loyola University Chicago, is the principal investigator of this study. In research conducted by C.H.A.T.S. team members, parents and campers reported improvements in campers’ goal attainment, management of health-related self-care, and independence.

Watch a video about camp here: Camp Independence Video

Upcoming weekend programs at Camp Independence: December 8-10th for 7-13 year olds, February 9-11th for adults (19+ years old), and March 2-4th for 14-19 year olds.

There is a Facebook group for parents interested in Camp Independence here: Camp Independence Parents Facebook Group

For more information, call 847-546-8086.

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GoBabyGo

GoBabyGo is a program of the University of Delaware committed to all people exploring their world via independent mobility. The Illinois Spina Bifida Association is proud to provide GoBabyGo workshops with statewide Kiwanis Clubs in which children age 2-4 receive custom electric ride-on cars that empower greater mobility and independence.

ISBA has hosted two annual GoBabyGo workshops, serving 24 children, thanks to the generosity of statewide Kiwanis Clubs, led by the Kiwanis Club of River Forest and Oak Park, and volunteer engineers and clinicians from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Shriners Hospitals for Children - Chicago.

2017 GoBabyGo Workshop Video

2016 GoBabyGo Workshop News Coverage

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Outreach & Education

Information & Referral

We can provide information and referrals on topics related to spina bifida such as: healthcare, education, job training, housing, transportation, mobility, recreation and financial assistance. Call us at 773-444-0305 or email info@i-sba.org and let us know what you're looking for.

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Statewide Support Groups

Central Illinois Support Group

The Central Illinois Support Group is a group of parents, kids, and adults with spina bifida, who meet at 6:45pm on the third Thursday of every other month, except in the summertime. The group typically meets at at the OSF-College Ave meeting room, 1701 E. College Avenue, Bloomington - use the entrance at the back of the building by Convenient Care. The format varies from speakers to informal networking.

There will be no support group in November.

For more information about this group, email info@i-sba.org or call 773.444.0305.

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Peoria Support Group

Families and individuals living with spina bifida are invited to join us at the Peoria Support Group.

The support group meets on the second Monday of each month at the Children's Hospital of Illinois, 420 N.E. Glen Oak, Peoria. Join us on the first floor of the Hillcrest building, pizza lunch provided.

There will be a networking lunch on Monday, December 11th at noon.

RSVP to 773-444-0305 or info@i-sba.org.

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Rockford Support Group

If you're interested in meeting other individuals and families living with spina bifida in the Rockford area, contact us at 773-444-0305 or info@i-sba.org.

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Southern Illinois Support Group

If you're interested in meeting other individuals and families living with spina bifida in Southern Illinois, contact us at 773-444-0305 or info@i-sba.org.

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Western Illinois Support Group

If you're interested in meeting other individuals and families living with spina bifida in Western Illinois, contact us at 773-444-0305 or info@i-sba.org.

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Chicagoland Support Group

Families and individuals living with Spina Bifida are invited to join us at the Chicagoland Support Group.

For more information, contact 773.444.0305 or info@i-sba.org

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Play Dates

Play Dates combine an informational and networking session for parents with structured play activities for children with Spina Bifida, their siblings and their parents.

Children have an opportunity to play in a safe and accessible environment while allowing parents to network with other parents, share information, learn about resources, and hear speakers on relevant topics.

Save the Date: Play Date at DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville on January 28, 2018.

Save the Date: Play Date at The Children's Museum in Oak Lawn on March 11, 2018.

For more info contact us at (773) 444-0305 or info@i-sba.org.

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Young Ladies Groups

Young Ladies Groups provide young ladies with spina bifida, age 10-14, the opportunity to meet, socialize, and talk with women with SB. At the same time, their mothers have the opportunity to meet and talk with a social worker and other women with SB.

For more info contact us at 773.444.0305 or info@i-sba.org.

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Adult Groups

Chicago and Central IL Adult Groups provide social outings for all adults with spina bifida.

For more info, email aimee@i-sba.org or call 773-444-0305.

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Holiday Parties

Holiday Parties are a winter favorite for the families of ISBA, with events in Chicagoland and statewide support group locations. All adults and children with spina bifida, and their parents and siblings are invited to attend.

The 2017 Chicagoland Holiday Party will be held on Saturday, December 2nd at Conyers Learning Academy in Rolling Meadows. 

To view the details for all of our Statewide Holiday Parties, click here for our Events Page

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Conferences

Educational Conferences - ISBA offers educational conferences for parents, adults, teens, and professionals on a variety of topics related to living with spina bifida.

Thank you to our March 2016 Statewide Educational Conference presenters and participants. Our next conference will take place in 2018.

Save the Date for our 2018 Statewide Educational Conference on Saturday, July 21st at Morton College in Cicero, IL.

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Adaptive Sports

ISBA regularly partners with adaptive sports organizations to provide introductory events for a variety of sports, including basketball, rock climbing, kayaking, softball, and more.

Visit our Resources page for a listing of adaptive sports organizations.

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Financial Assistance

Scholarships

Illinois adults with spina bifida are invited to apply for ISBA's educational scholarships. Applications for 2018-2019 will be available in the spring of 2018.

The ISBA scholarship program is made possible in part by “A Helping Hand”.

The Illinois Spina Bifida Association is honored to host the Patrick Juris Scholarship, awarded to a student with spina bifida preparing for a field of service that helps others. Patrick’s legacy as a friend, leader, and advocate will be remembered for years to come.

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Equipment Fund

Families may request up to $250 toward out of pocket costs for orthotic or other mobility equipment. To qualify, the equipment must be utilized by an Illinois resident with spina bifida. The 2017 ISBA Equipment Fund is made possible by generous gifts from “A Helping Hand” and Kiwanis Clubs. We have exhausted our funds for 2017, please check back in 2018 when more funds will be available.

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Emergency Assistance Fund

Illinois residents with spina bifida can apply for emergency financial assistance up to $500. Money is paid directly to the vendor/supplier, and documentation of need is required. Call 773-444-0305 for more information.

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