Mission and History

The year was 1957 when The Hope School opened its doors in a modest house in Springfield. Hope’s founders, Dr. and Mrs. Charles E. Jordan, had searched the world for a place to educate their daughter who had multiple disabilities. They wanted Judith Ann to have the chance to reach her full potential, but no school in the United States could serve her. So the Jordan’s created a school. They created Hope. The Jordan’s had a vision and took action. The Hope School brought hope to many families who were also searching for community services.

Hope gained the attention of President John F. Kennedy and ignited change in disability policy and services throughout the United States. President Kennedy named Dr. Jordan to the President’s Council on Disabilities and other governmental councils, where Dr. Jordan helped shape a new reality for children and adults living with disabilities. At about the same time, the Special Olympics were founded in Chicago. Illinois was the forefront of change and The Hope School was squarely at its center. The Hope School emerged as a provider of educational and residential services. It became a place where children facing extraordinary cognitive, physical and emotional challenges could learn and thrive.

Today Hope has become more than a school. It is leading the development of new methods to educate, treat and care for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities. Our programs include The Hope Learning Academy Springfield, The Hope Learning Academy Chicago, The Autism Clinic at Hope, Therapy Relief at Hope, The Illinois Crisis Prevention Network, and The Autism Program of Illinois.

Recent News

Hope’s Story

Through the Years

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1957

Hope Is Founded

Hope was founded as The Hope School by Dr. and Mrs. Jordan , who hoped to create a school that could serve their daughter, Judith Ann, and other children with multiple disabilities.

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1963

The Hope School Moves

The Hope School moved to it’s present 26-acre campus on the shore of Lake Springfield. 

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1999

Hope’s First Home

Hope purchased and opened it’s first group home in the community. 

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2003

Learning Center Opens

A new state-of-the-art Learning Center was opened on the Springfield Campus. Hope also helped create (and still serves as the lead agency for) The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP), a statewide network of autism resources and services.

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2007

Hope Pavilion Establishes

Hope create the Hope Pavilion, which helps families connect with needed services and resources for children with developmental differences and mental illness.

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2008

Capital Area Career Center Classroom

Hope opened its first community-based classroom at Capital Area Career Center.

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2009

Hope Institute of Learning Academy in Chicago Opens

Hope opened The Hope Institute of Learning Academy in Chicago.

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2010

Illinois Crisis Prevention Network Begins

In conjunction with Trinity Services, Hope started the Illinois Crisis Prevention Network (ICPN) for the Northern part of Illinois.

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2011

ICPN Expands & Hope Cafe Opens

Hope opened the Hope Café at the Hope Pavilion and expanded the ICPN program statewide.

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2012

Vocational Training Center Opens

Hope opened the Hope Vocational Training Center for full day and half day vocational students. Hope also converted all residential homes to group homes.

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2016

Hope Expands to Kirkwood, MO

Hope opened The Autism Clinic in Kirkwood, Missouri 

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2017

Hope Inclusion Cafe & Play Opens

Hope opened the Hope Inclusion Café and Play in the Ginger Creek Plaza.

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2018

Hope Expands to O’Fallon, IL

Hope opened The Autism Clinic in O’Fallon, IL 

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2019

The Vocational Academy Grows

Hope moved and expanded The Vocational Training Academy 

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2020

Hope Expands to Gallatin, TN

Hope opened The Autism Clinic in Gallatin, Tennessee

About us

To provide state of the art services in the most inclusive environment to encourage persons to fulfill their individual potential through evidence based treatment, advocacy and community education.

Contact

Hope

15 East Hazel Dell Lane
Springfield, IL 62712