Community Day Services


Even during the pandemic, our Community Day Services are committed to providing adults with activities enabling them to become more independent, productive and integrated into the community. We are taking every precaution possible under the guidelines of Illinois Department of Health including, but not limited to: temperature taking, social distancing, sanitizing, mask wearing and more.

Frequently Asked Questions 

The most common questions surrounding reopening of our Community Day Services beginning Tuesday, September 8th. Our Lakeside location opened last month (soft opening).


Q: Why is reopening only at Countryside Center?
A: Based on initial numbers for return Countryside (located at 2360 Palmer Drive in Schaumburg) was selected based on the layout to meet the guideline of serving at 50% capacity, the ability to create movement patterns to reduce crossover of groups, sufficient bathrooms and the ability to create two separate entrances to accommodate gradual increase in census. We are reopening to accommodate our community-based participants first while our residential participants are still able to receive programming in home. CDS staff are managing both program environments.

Q: When will the other campus buildings reopen?
A: The main campus center will reopen as numbers increase and more capacity is needed. Until then we will offer some new classes and small group opportunities at our Center for the Arts, Horticulture and Recreation Centers that will be offered late September/early October.

Q: What are the hours of program?
A: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. Earliest drop off is 7:45 am. Building is closed by 4:00 pm. Please note – temperature screening is mandatory before entry and must be complete before driving off.

Criteria for Return

Q: Is testing required for a participant to return?
A: Not at this time. Since testing only provides a snapshot of a moment in time it is not a reliable indicator of wellness beyond that day. Please follow all individual health screening parameters before sending a participant to day services (no symptoms of cold or virus, temperature under 100.4 with no fever reducing medication, have not been in a heightened scrutiny travel area within the past 14 days, no suspected exposure to coronavirus).

Q: Who determines when a participant returns?
A: The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) requires a risk/benefit assessment be completed for each participant before return. This assessment is a combination of guardian/family, participant and provider input surrounding level of interest in return, risk associated with return as well as ways to support and reduce those risks. Some provider criteria may be delay start date (e.g. mask wearing and ability to social distance, space capacity).

Q: If my participant cannot follow social distancing or mask wearing how will he/she be able to return?
We are currently under guidance of the Restore Illinois Phase 4 where all businesses are subject to social distancing and masking requirements. There are a number of ways to achieve criteria for return based on individual mask assessments (virtual or in-person), clinical support, finding the right mask or an alternative mask that meets guidelines, or delaying return until restrictions ease or capacity allows. Please work with a member of our case management team for additional resources or to complete a mask assessment.


Q: Will masks be provided?
A: Having a clean, well-fitting mask is the responsibility of each participant. We will have a limited supply of disposable masks available for emergency need such as loss or breaking.

Q: What if my participant can’t wear a mask for the entire day? What circumstances will there be for mask removal?
A: Natural breaks will be incorporated throughout the day including lunch where participants will be asked to social distance during temporary mask removal, during scheduled masks breaks – occurring outside weather permitting so long as social distancing is in place and there will be designated ‘mask break’ zones for short periods of removal distanced at least six feet from the remainder of the group.


Q: Will hourly or piece work be available on September 8th?
A: Due to the collaborative nature of our 14c/piece rate work, we will not have those opportunities available during initial return. We are evaluating the most effective way to safely resume those activities that allows us to meet contract quantities and quality assurance criteria. Each participant must also complete Department of Labor required certification in Career Counseling and Self-Advocacy which have expired during the extended closure. We will be conducting in person and virtual Career Counseling to recertify related participants. Limited hourly opportunities will be available soon.

Employee Development Services will resume when determinations of safety are established with partnering businesses and will be communicated in advance.


Q: Why is transportation not available on September 8th?
A: Due to the current social distancing mandate (participants must be spaced at least six feet apart) we will not be providing transportation services at this time. Participants and families are encouraged to make arrangements to and from CDS. It is important to note that these requirements are subject to change pursuant to updated public health guidance and changing public health conditions.

Q: When will transportation become available?
A: Little City is evaluating the complexities and restrictions based on moving people and the limited capacity due to social distancing requirements (e.g. a route that could hold 14 now can hold 4).

Community Access

Q: What if I do not want my participant going out to volunteer or join outside activities and trips?

A: Part of the Risk/Benefit assessment was learning preferences for community participation. The selections included No Community Access, Restrict on a Case-by-Case Basis, or Unrestricted Access. For best practice, we will be advising in advance of any planned community activities.

Cleaning Protocol

Q: How will you safeguard participants upon return?
A: As part of our reopening strategy, a cleaning protocol has been established for areas in use, high contact areas and vehicles. General cleaning will be incorporated into staff rotations and additional cleaning will be contracted.

Discharge/Case Management

Q: I’m not ready for return yet, will my participant be discharged?
A: At this time, there has been no decision surrounding discharge unless a person makes the choice to leave. The Division of Developmental Disabilities guidance suggests that the Person-Centered Plan be updated to reflect temporary halt to service. Those choosing to delay return, timing for return will be based on program capacity under existing guidelines and staffing ratios. Case management will be limited to contacts on status and working with those who do not meet criteria or are pending circumstantial change – masking, social distancing, etc.

For those electing discharge, spots will not be held but all are welcome to re-enroll. Capacity and intake criteria will still apply. A wait list will be maintained.

Other Factors

Q: Will the market be open or hot food service/microwaves be available?
A: No. To reduce potential exposure for food handling, individuals will eat in their room/area and should bring in a bagged, ready to eat lunch that does not require heating. No food service or snack purchases will be available in September. Water fountains are closed at this time, please bring in beverages.

Q: What other changes should we expect?
A: Schedules for initial return will be tailored to groupings of 1 staff to 9 participants. First weeks will contain orientation information, new routine expectations of movement, getting acquainted with peers and staff, and pre-set rotation of activities. Feedback from participants in groups will expand the schedules.

Support staff will be assisting with mask adjustments or reminders, covering mask breaks, assisting as needed with personal care and providing escorts as needed for arrival/departure.

Lockers will not be available during the restriction guidelines. Participants should limit personal items as they must be kept at their table.

Alternative Services

Q: Will there be other program or service options made available for those participants not ready for return?

A: In the Risk/Benefit assessment we got an early idea of what other program types might meet the needs of our participants electing to delay return. We are focusing on roll out for hourly classes at our Center for the Arts, Horticulture and Recreation Center as well as small in community groups, virtual services and one-time events. More information will be coming for our late September/October offerings.

Key contacts for additional questions:

Wendy Mayfield
Director of Community Day Services
847-438-8799 x8002








Golden Opportunities is designed to support senior adults (50 and older) with an individually tailored array of services that address their needs. This program is held in a social and safe environment designed to uphold and improve the quality of life of each participant. Activities vary each day and include everything from community volunteerism to activities designed to sharpen and maintain mental and physical skills. Staff provides individual advocacy assistance and connections to community professionals who offer healthcare, financial, legal, and residential services.


New Horizons is designed to primarily support individuals (18 and older) who have limited work skills or profound disabilities. The program’s major focus is activities that increase personal, social and educational development such as remedial education, community integration training, prevocational skills training, creative expression and training/assistance with personal care.


The Vocational Skills program is designed to teach adults (18 and older) self-help skills, social and communication skills, and a variety of leisure and work skills through training opportunities in a safe and structured environment.

Participants are assessed for proper job preferences and capability and are paid for their completed work. Additionally, instructional support is offered to assist individuals learn new work tasks, positive workplace habits and to be as productive as possible.

The Life Skills program is designed to enhance self-advocacy, communication and independence through an array of structured classes, experiential learning opportunities and community integration. Participants are engaged in activities such as cooking, music, community planning and physical fitness as well as opportunities to learn more about rights, responsibilities and relationships.


The Employee Development Services (EDS) Program develops skilled employees (18 and older) through a diversified and accessible transitional training program. EDS assists individuals seeking employment to develop or reestablish basic interpersonal skills, attitudes, and work behaviors needed to achieve positive employment outcomes. EDS emphasizes engagement techniques designed to maximize staff and participant interaction. The ultimate goal of EDS is to prepare individuals to transition to Little City’s Employment First Program and to eventually become active job seekers in the community with competitive, paid work.


Autism Spectrum Engagement (ASE) is designed to maximize staff and participant interaction for adults (18 and older) on the autism spectrum. Through a structured environment, participants are offered support in life skill development, social skill acquisition, sensory feedback experience and behavioral modification to promote personal growth, social inclusion, community integration and overall independence.


Little City’s renowned Center for the Arts (CFA) is an award-winning program that provides new possibilities for communication and expression. The center cultivates an individual’s unique talent and creates a sense of empowerment and accomplishment.


The horticulture program at Little City helps develop numerous skills in gardening and landscaping through four main teaching aspects: general horticulture skills, the life cycle of plants, care, and maintenance of indoor plants and outdoor gardening. Participants work in a team environment to maintain a garden and engage in social interaction with volunteers. Through instructional classes, participants have full involvement in the planning, planting, and care of two fields in which they grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers.