Community Access Naperville helps foster a sense of belonging

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At Community Access Naperville (CAN), they believe that everyone has a place in our community, no matter their background or ability. They work tirelessly to ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have every chance to participate. Through the CAN Community-Based Program, participants are given the opportunity to give back by volunteering for local non-profit organizations, exploring the culinary scene with meals out, engaging in fun recreational activities, expressing their creativity in music and art therapy sessions, and fostering meaningful connections with both each other and non-disabled peers.

Community Access Naperville day programs include service and fun

CAN programs meet at First Congregational UCC Naperville and Community United Methodist Church. The vocation activities offered by the group might include things like collating, shredding, weeding, food repackaging, or creating products for CAN to sell.  CAN partners with local businesses to offer these types of services and provide their participants with meaningful work.

The organization believes in giving back to the community by volunteering for other local non-profit organizations, including but not limited to, Sharing ConnectionsWest Suburban Community Pantry, and the First Congregational Church UCC Naperville. After the designated work time, the program participants spend the remainder of the day out in the Naperville community, participating in various recreational activities such as visiting the library, walking downtown to a local restaurant, going to the movie theater, bowling, or hanging out at a park.  The unique needs each CAN participant are met by offering small group programming. A professional life-skills instructor leads each session, while volunteer peers help participants to engage fully in all of the activities. 

Every day, CAN inspires us to build a more inclusive society, where everyone has a fulfilling sense of purpose and belonging.

Spotlight welcomed Taisha Cano a Program Leader with Community Access Naperville.