evolving care with empathy, every time, everywhere

Chicago, IL   |


Envision Unlimited's mission is to provide quality services to persons with developmental disabilities and other special needs that promote choice, independence, and community integration.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Mr. Mark McHugh

Main address

8 S Michigan Ave Suite 1700

Chicago, IL 60603 USA

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Formerly known as

Chicago Association for Retarded Citizens




NTEE code info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Envision Unlimited provides quality services that promote choice, independence, and community inclusion for people with disabilities or other special needs. The agency offers innovative communities of care that support, challenge, and advocate for clients' talent, resilience, and potential. In addition to a spectrum of intellectual and developmental disabilities, more than 90% of Envision program participants live at or below the Federal Poverty Level, and many additional have physical disabilities as well. Community Day Services (employment, autism, senior services, and sports, arts, and horticulture programs) provide outlets for creative expression, job training, behavior therapy, community inclusion, life skills development, and social and technical skill enhancement. Residential programs provide fully staffed group living arrangements, host family homes, supported independent living, short-term stabilization opportunities, and family caregiver respite services.

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?

Community Living

Envision Unlimited's community living programming offer clients the opportunity to live in a home setting with other clients or with a family in the community rather than an institution.

Population(s) Served

Envision's community day and employment programming offers clients the opportunity to engage in their communities, develop supports outside of their family, and cultivate their personal interests and skills. In our day programs, clients have a myriad of activities to choose from including, fitness, art, horticulture, and culinary training. These activities not only help our clients develop critical skills for independence such as communication and behavior management, but they also offer our clients the opportunity to live a life like any other by engaging with their communities.

Population(s) Served

Envision's mental health services help clients understand what it means to live with mental illness and how to recover from it by teaching symptom management and other skills critical to independence and community integration.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Where we work


3-Year Accreditation 2015

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

When first widely implemented in the 1960s, adult day centers marked a dramatic improvement in the lives of people with I/DD – many of whom would have otherwise been institutionalized and largely forgotten about by society. Day centers, like those still operated by Envision Unlimited and other agencies across the country, offered an opportunity for people with I/DD to work and play, for socialization and social services. However, like many progressive changes made in previous decades, that model is no longer aligned with the hopes, dreams, and expectations of individuals today who want more independence and more choice in their lives. Envision Unlimited is committed to ending the segregation of individuals with I/DD and to supporting them in achieving total community inclusion. Over the last several years, Envision has laid the groundwork for broader inclusion through the development of client-led councils that participate in decisions such as facility use, vendor selection, program offerings, and even input in hiring and roles during new hire onboarding.

Envision's big picture focus is the continuing evolution of its programming for people with I/DD – a project that will see the transformation of all Community Day Service program centers from sheltered locations to a community-based model. Each newly-created Community Hub will offer social, therapeutic, skill development, job training and placement, creative, and other services, while engaging for- and non-profit community groups to utilize the spaces and interact with Envision program participants. Additionally, Envision will continue to move away from large group residential settings in its Community Living programs (defined as > 4 people per residence), instead expanding utilization of smaller groups living with greater independence.

Envision has three overarching strategic goals that guide its programming, planning, and vision for the future:

1) Maximize the independence and community integration of program participants, thus creating an improved quality of life for our clients.

2) Implement a long-term, financially-sustainable and diversified business model that decreases dependence on any one funder or revenue stream.

3) Establish a culture that engages employees in creating successful outcomes for clients, staff, and the agency as a whole.

For more than 50 years, Envision Unlimited has served people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Chicago's most economically-distressed communities (more than 90% of Envision's clients live at or below the Federal Poverty Level). Envision is the largest provider of Community Day Service programming in Illinois, offering individuals with I/DD the opportunity to engage in their community, develop support groups outside of the family, and cultivate personal interests and vocational skills. Envision's goal is to offer robust programming that builds capacity in program participants by emphasizing social impact and community inclusion, enhancing their lives and expanding their futures.

In the past two years alone, Envision can demonstrate remarkable effectiveness throughout its operations. In 2016 (the most recent year for which calculations are available), Envision's Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) homes saved Illinois taxpayers $30.1 million. Though people with I/DD experience nearly double the rate of unemployment of people without disabilities, more than 100 Envision clients have found meaningful employment. In addition, more than 80 children and families with specialized needs have found safe homes through Envision's foster care services.

Moving forward, outcomes of Envision's programming will be measured using evaluation tools based on the Council on Quality and Leadership's (CQL) Personal Outcome Measures® – a component first implemented in 2017. By establishing a clear record of individual and organizational progress, Envision will demonstrate both its capacity to create change and success in doing so.

At the start of Envision's 2018 Fiscal Year, the agency has made significant progress towards its goals with continued movement towards its short- and long-term objectives. Programs have become more personalized, with fewer people receiving services in large group settings, and more people in smaller groups. Clients also have more choice in their lives and experience community life more fully.

The success in creating inclusion at new levels for clients is the result of several factors, including training, dedication, and excitement. Yet the main driver of this change is partnerships – both within the agency among staff and with individuals and community groups outside of Envision. Engagement at multiple levels has made a dramatic impact in establishing a culture of creating successful and individual organizational outcomes.

Envision's business model has achieved a measure of consistency and positive results. Finding ways to be on solid ground financially helps prepare for inevitable lean years and mitigates the risk involved in pursuing new initiatives and investing in infrastructure. This has also helped ensure that financial decisions are not made in a vacuum but in the context of the services delivered and the client outcomes pursued. This is exemplified in Envision's new Applied Behavior Analysis program, which brings net revenue into the organization that, in the past, had gone to another organization, while also giving Envision more control over the quality of its program to maximize clients' skill development and minimize their maladaptive behaviors and aggression. Similarly, an organizational merger announced in November 2017 will strengthen Envision's market position in Chicago and create economies of scale within its budget. It will also bring together skill sets that are missing from the individual organizations to create better quality, more efficient service delivery.

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

    To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?



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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • 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.


Board of directors
as of 12/04/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Daniel Durbin

No affiliation

Dorothy O'Malley

No Affiliation

Thomas J. Canale

The McTigue Financial Group

Josephine Valentino

No Affiliation

Thomas J. Fangman

No Affiliation

Herbert Barker

Barker's Mortuary

Fernard R. Kenniel

No Affiliation

Mark Pignotti

UBS Financial Services

Brian Diedrich

Mesirow Financial

Daniel Durbin

Paul Piet

Strauch Chemical

Diane Baron

Clausen Miller

Julie Dreixler

Graham Media Group

Lawrence Kipperman

Sidley Austin LLP, Retired

Robert Lewandowski

R. Franczak & Associates

Heather Nornes

Zernul Shackelford

Brian Stutz

Sarah Rassey

John F. Lemker

Wood Burditt Group

Jonathan S. Bilton

Brown Legacy Group

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
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/29/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data