CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — One group in Central Illinois is working to connect employers to people with disabilities. 

The Developmental Services Center (DSC) in Champaign launched an online directory in June; now, 20 businesses are on it. 

So far, it’s helped people start jobs with banks, law firms and gyms. 

Maggie Baker, LEAP coordinator, said it’s important Champaign County businesses take steps to be more inclusive and she already sees the impact. 

“To me, this is something that shows that there are a group of Champaign County businesses that are taking steps to be more inclusive each and every day,” she said. 

She said one person told her how it helped her 19-year-old daughter find her first job. 

“That made me happy because that let me know okay, the word is getting out,” Baker said. 

Baker added that businesses on the list go through trainings with front-line staff and LEAP programming. 

LEAP is a grant-funded partnership between DSC and Community Choices, funded by the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board.

Staff members learn how to support co-workers with disabilities and create a safe space. 

You can find the directory on DSC’s website.