Center focuses on creative abilities

October 8, 2009 10:04:51 AM PDT
Keeping up with the demands from the growing disability population, Search, a not-for-profit organization, took a major step with a new 36,000-square-foot adult learning center.Search's Kensington Adult Learning Center in Mount Prospect focuses on the creative abilities of adults with developmental disabilities. This is a perfect fit because the organization's mission is live, learn, work, play.

Inside the Kensington Adult Learning Center you will find adults with amazing talent.

"They're often kind of hidden, overlooked and taken for granted in our society," said Greg Peterson.

Peterson is the chief administration officer who is responsible for getting this faculty set up.

"It really doesn't matter what your level of ability is, if you have an interest in expressing yourself, our staff and our team does a great job allowing you to follow your own direction or your own path and put it down on canvas or on paper," said Peterson.

Adults at the center are between the ages of 21 and 95 from all over the Chicago area.

"Some live at home and some 160 to 400 individuals live in Search-operated homes," Peterson said.

For many of these artists, it's serious business.

"It's a real world work setting," said Peterson. "It's real experience that they can take out when they're looking for jobs and put on their resume, and say, 'Hey, I've done this before, I have those skills, and I'm ready to go to work.' "

To help people with developmental disabilities explore the outside world, the organization has developed a unique travel program called Search for Adventures.

"We've been to the Grand Canyon, we've been to Disney World, the Appalachian trail, we've been on a cruise-- for some of our folks who are little bit older and who don't like hiking -- and the Bahamas," said Peterson.

At the end of this month there will be a major art show at Kensington Adult Learning Center. Works created by artists with development disabilities will be for sale.

For more information go to our www.search-inc.org.


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