CHAT - Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy

Life-Changing Speech Therapy

aka CHAT - Life Changing Speech Therapy   |   Lombard, IL   |
GuideStar Charity Check

CHAT - Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy

EIN: 36-3018276


We increase access to life-changing speech-language services, removing systemic barriers to enable more equitable services and create communication justice.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Ms Karine Fiore

Main address

310-D S Main Street

Lombard, IL 60148 USA

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Formerly known as

Center for Speech & Language Disorders



Subject area info

Speech and hearing rehabilitation

Family disability resources

Youth services

Developmental disability services


Population served info

Infants and toddlers




Young adults

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

Rehabilitative Medical Services (E50)

Public Health Program (E70)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Access to speech therapy services is not equitable. 1:12 children has a speech or language disorder, but children of color are much less likely to receive services. Children with many barriers to access services rely on schools to fulfill their needs. School-based services are often insufficient for what children need to be successful at school or in life due to under-funded schools and a shortage of needed speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen underserved children with learning disabilities fall further behind as schools have failed to make up for missed services. Whereas other clinics have quotas for Medicaid clients and regularly turn them away, CHAT opens our doors to all regardless of insurance or ability to pay and we have worked to get in network with all regional Medicaid providers. CHAT brings therapeutic services and programming into communities where they are needed at no cost to families.

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?

Speech & Language Therapy Services

Certified Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) provide 1:1 speech & language services to children throughout Chicagoland. CHAT SLPs are able to evaluate, diagnose and deliver therapeutic services based on each child's ability. Services are delivered in our clinic, in schools through contracted partnerships, and via teletherapy. To support underserved youth, CHAT brings services to youth in their communities—largely in schools on the west and south sides of Chicago. Additionally, most private speech therapy providers do not accept Medicaid, in part due to reimbursement rates that are dramatically lower than private insurance. Not only does CHAT accept Medicaid, but we also offer services regardless of ability to pay by supplementing through our scholarship fund. In all these ways, CHAT provides life-changing speech therapy to children with few—if any—other options.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with learning disabilities
People with other disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities
People with hearing impairments

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of speech therapy sessions performed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Speech & Language Therapy Services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These numbers are clinic-based outcomes. 2020 numbers reflect increase in demand for teletherapy during pandemic. Other number fluctuations reflect staffing capacity.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

CHAT provides traditional individual speech therapy services as well as group intensive therapy programs focused on literacy, executive functioning, and social communication skills. . We recognize that many children are falling through the cracks and the equity gap is widened because of a lack of access to ongoing, high-quality speech and language services. Our organization’s goal is to sustainably and accessibly bring our services directly to the communities that need them the most (those who are under-resourced, under-insured, and under-served), to do so in a culturally responsive way that affirms every client and family, as well as to raise the funds necessary so that cost is not a barrier to families and in order to complete this important work in the long term.

We also recognize the ways in which communication disorders contribute to individuals’ inequitable treatment, and the need for advocacy at the societal level for policies that support disabled individuals. For example, more than half and possibly as high as 85% of juvenile offenders have language disorders, which impact their ability to successfully interact with the legal system; Autistic individuals are more likely to have negative interactions with law enforcement; and disabled children are vastly overrepresented in terms of expulsions and suspensions from school. At CHAT, our work is communication justice—from the therapy we provide helping to instill confidence and self-advocacy skills in our students and clients, to the bigger picture societal-level advocacy work we do to make systemic changes to our education and health systems to better support the clients, students, and families we serve.

As described, all of CHAT’s work is to further communication justice and work towards the goals that we have outlined, including providing more accessible and sustainable services to under-served communities and advocating for more equitable treatment for those with communication differences and disorders. Our strategy to achieve these goals is mainly to grow CHAT’s influence and reach by partnering with values-aligned organizations (schools and nonprofit community partners) in order to deliver services within communities. We regularly do outreach to other organizations in order to establish these partnerships and have created an Associate Board of young professionals to help connect us directly to the communities that we wish to serve.

Furthermore, when onboarding new clinical and other staff we ensure value alignment, which we believe will attract employees who are more likely to stay on for longer periods of time and make our work more sustainable. In order to provide culturally responsive services, we emphasize anti-racist/anti-bias approaches and neurodiversity-affirming approaches that recognize our clients and clinicians as people. We have focused on creating a culture at CHAT that emphasizes therapeutic relationship-building and rapport over productivity, which allows us to serve our clients and students in more positive and affirming ways while creating sustainability for our clinicians as individuals. Finally, we recognize the need to attract BIPoC SLPs who are more representative of the people we serve, and the need to disrupt systemic problems that keep BIPoC individuals from becoming SLPs in the first place.

Finally, an important aspect of our strategy is raising funds in order to continue to do our work, which we do through individual fundraising as well as through grants from foundations. We are seeking to increase our grant funding from state and federal sources as well.

At this point, we have the capability to work towards our goals of increased access, culturally responsive services, and more funding to achieve this work. At this moment, we are fully staffed both clinically and administratively and have the necessary team and plan in place in order to continue to provide these services through our clinic and in the community and fund them. We have both a Director of Justice, Equity & Inclusion who oversees and manages community partnerships, as well as a Director of Development who is tasked with raising funding through individual donations as well as grants.

In terms of providing culturally responsive services, we have created a culture of learning – we emphasize the need to seek out ongoing education and engage in both learning and unlearning in order to be the best clinical providers possible. Our SLPs have a network of knowledge that allows them to provide the best services possible to our students and clients through relevant, culturally responsive, informed practices. In furtherance of this, CHAT has provided ongoing training in this area for our staff via continuing education, outside speakers, and mentorship. While we continue to have difficult hiring a more representative staff due to the overall demographics of the SLP profession, we have created our Hallie Quinn Brown internship program to create a paid internship opportunity for aspiring SLPs of color (who we hope, ultimately, will choose to work at CHAT and help us to creative the more representative staff that we envision).

As previously noted, we have fully staffed our team to allow us the capacity to work on our goals. We have overhauled many systems and created a more cohesive mission, vision, and culture for our organization to ensure that those who are working here are all working towards the same goals. We have created partnerships with many values-aligned organizations and schools and seek to continue to create more to create a larger network, audience, and reach for our services and advocacy work. In order to continue to do this work, we need to fund it through individual donations and government and foundation grants.

CHAT has 18 Master’s level speech language pathologists on staff to continue to serve our clients with the best possible care. We partner with an ever-expanding list of partners to continue to serve approximately 700 clients per year. We have given away over $173K worth of services since 2020.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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 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?

    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, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


CHAT - Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0.59 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 1.3 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 11% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

CHAT - Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

CHAT - Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

CHAT - Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of CHAT - Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$113,365 $167,479 $193,896 $113,588 -$11,697
As % of expenses -7.1% 9.5% 12.8% 7.3% -0.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$129,119 $149,893 $188,383 $106,174 -$19,111
As % of expenses -8.0% 8.4% 12.4% 6.8% -1.0%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,505,802 $1,809,305 $1,952,967 $1,707,697 $1,793,649
Total revenue, % change over prior year 16.3% 20.2% 7.9% -12.6% 5.0%
Program services revenue 92.1% 92.1% 73.5% 74.9% 77.1%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 15.3% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 7.8% 6.7% 2.8% 25.1% 22.9%
Other revenue 0.0% 1.2% 8.4% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $1,594,167 $1,770,437 $1,513,168 $1,564,746 $1,826,705
Total expenses, % change over prior year 22.3% 11.1% -14.5% 3.4% 16.7%
Personnel 76.1% 79.4% 89.0% 87.4% 87.0%
Professional fees 10.1% 5.4% 3.0% 4.6% 5.9%
Occupancy 3.4% 4.0% 1.2% 0.3% 0.3%
Interest 0.8% 2.8% 0.5% 0.1% 0.1%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 9.5% 8.3% 6.3% 7.6% 6.7%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $1,609,921 $1,788,023 $1,518,681 $1,572,160 $1,834,119
One month of savings $132,847 $147,536 $126,097 $130,396 $152,225
Debt principal payment $0 $29,883 $237,000 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $1,742,768 $1,965,442 $1,881,778 $1,702,556 $1,986,344

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 0.7 0.7 2.8 1.0 1.8
Months of cash and investments 0.7 0.7 2.8 1.0 1.8
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets -2.2 -1.1 -0.9 0.0 0.0
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $89,686 $97,079 $358,517 $126,959 $275,798
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $171,653 $186,793 $103,856 $123,759 $117,706
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $623,666 $623,666 $233,554 $215,000 $215,000
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 20.1% 22.9% 10.3% 6.0% 9.5%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 104.9% 102.1% 77.4% 37.1% 58.4%
Unrestricted net assets -$62,551 $87,342 $101,041 $207,215 $188,104
Temporarily restricted net assets $25,000 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $25,000 $71,073 $51,065 $80,428 $59,069
Total net assets -$37,551 -$16,269 $152,106 $287,643 $247,173

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No Yes No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President & CEO

Ms Karine Fiore

Karine Faden Fiore is President & CEO of CHAT. Karine brings 20 years of professional training and experience in advocacy, negotiation, client service, strategy, and management to support and grow CHAT’s team and impact. Previously, Karine served as Senior Vice President and Chief Client Officer at GG+A, a fundraising consultancy for nonprofits. Prior to that, she was Managing Director at United Airlines, managing Regulatory and Global Competition. Before joining United, Karine practiced antitrust law at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, representing several major airlines. Karine holds a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center, a Master's of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish from Amherst College. She is licensed to practice law in New York, is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and serves as Vice President of the Board of her local League of Women Voters.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

CHAT - Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

CHAT - Communication Health, Advocacy & Therapy

Board of directors
as of 01/23/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

John Roberti

Cohen & Gresser LLP

Madhvi Verma

Walgreens, NutriGuide

John Seybert

Dearborn Group

Danielle Martin

Porte Brown LLC

Tyler Jeffrey

Chicagoland Equipment Supply

Nora Hennessy

Evolve Giving Group

Anil Varghese

FTI Consulting

Ozzie Diaz


Nerissa Coyle McGinn

Loeb & Loeb LLP

Matt Moreno


Siddartha Sharad

West Monroe

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/23/2024

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
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/25/2022

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

  • 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.