The Chicago Lighthouse

Serving the Blind, Visually Impaired, Disabled, and Veteran Communities.

Chicago, IL   |  http://chicagolighthouse.org

Mission

The Chicago Lighthouse is a world-renowned social service organization serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veteran communities. Recognized as a pioneer in innovation since 1906, The Chicago Lighthouse provides vision rehabilitation services, education, employment opportunities and assistive technology for people of all ages.

Notes from the nonprofit

Thank you for supporting The Chicago Lighthouse.

Ruling year info

2021

Principal Officer

Dr. Janet Szlyk

Main address

1850 West Roosevelt Road

Chicago, IL 60608 USA

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Formerly known as

The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

EIN

36-2169139

NTEE code info

Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services (P86)

Eye Diseases, Blindness and Vision Impairments (G41)

Specialized Education Institutions/Schools for Visually or Hearing Impaired, Learning Disabled (B28)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Lighthouse services

The Chicago Lighthouse has 40 programs and services, which are all dedicated to the same mission: helping people who are blind, visually impaired, disabled, and Veterans live independent and meaningful lives. Our programs comprehensively address our clients' needs in the areas of clinical rehabilitation, education, employment, advocacy, and independent living. We generally do not charge for most of our programs, and we never turn anyone away due to an inability to pay for services.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with disabilities
Veterans

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The Chicago Lighthouse is committed to serving people who are blind, visually impaired, disabled, and Veterans.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    The Chicago Lighthouse's agency and program leadership regularly engage our clients to receive their input. For example, we are in the process of constructing an affordable, accessible apartment building next to our headquarters. We engaged our clients at every stage of the design process through roundtable discussions and focus groups. Our clients' input helped us determine what amenities were most important to include in our plans. To take another example, in September 2021, we relaunched our Adult Living Skills Program, which provides therapeutic day services for people with visual impairments and concurrent developmental or cognitive disabilities. Client input was critical to our redesign and led to our increasing the opportunities for community interaction and physical fitness.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Asking our clients for feedback empowers them to help steer the direction of the programs that matter to them and the organization as a whole. For instance, we have a Veterans' group through which U.S. Military Veterans regularly discuss their ideas to improve our services for Veterans. Group members are a critical information resource, and our Senior Vice President of Employment and Rehabilitation regularly seeks their consul.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

The Chicago Lighthouse
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Chicago Lighthouse

Board of directors
as of 5/5/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Robert Clarke

The RJ Clarke Group, LLC

Edward Jepson

Vedder Price (Retired)

Janet Szlyk

The Chicago Lighthouse

John Raske

BMO Harris Bank

Bruce Hague

CIBC

Jaclyn McNally

Perkins Coie LLP

Gary Rich

Retired

Richard Schnadig

Vedder Price (Retired)

Caroline Grossinger

Grossprops Realty and Investment

Julie Stark

The Stark Solution

Michael Meehan

Consultant

Richard Boykin

Attorney at Law

Joel Bruckman

Freeborn & Peters, LLP

Thomas Deutsch

Rush University System for Health

Sandra Forsythe

Megan Goldish

David Huber

Savant Wealth Management

Beena Joseph

James Kesteloot

The Chicago Lighthouse

Manus Kraff

Kraff Eye Institute

Marvin Lader

Datavantage Corporation (Retired)

Thomas Livingston

CSX Transportation

Ellen Martin

(Retired)

Judy McCaskey

Karin Norington-Reaves

Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership

Laurie Randolph

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Paul Rink

Attorney (Retired)

Sheree Shimmer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/05/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/05/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.