Grant from DuPage Foundation boosts job placement services for individuals with disabilities at Donka

Donka Inc., a leading, nonprofit provider of computer training and job readiness services for individuals with disabilities, recently received a generous grant of $15,000 from the DuPage Foundation.

This grant will significantly enhance Donka’s efforts to support job placement services for individuals with disabilities.

According to the US Department of Labor, the unemployment rate is over twice as high for people with disabilities than without. This discrepancy is not due to lack of skills or experience but rather to finding the right fit and accommodations depending on the disability. Donka has witnessed this firsthand with its graduates.

Students quickly gained computer and assistive technology skills but needed support to find a job. To fill this service gap, Donka launched its job placement program.

Through this program, Donka graduate Alfred eventually secured his ideal job.

“For a person with a vision impairment like me,” Alfred shared, “the main challenges are transportation, mobility, and having proper assistive technology tools to perform specific job functions. As a career mechanical engineer, I sought a position in my field, but many of the jobs I was interested in didn’t work out.”

Alfred diligently worked with Donka’s job placement specialist, Carlos Johnson, to prepare for and engage in job seminars, online job fairs, and interviews for various positions. Simultaneously, he honed his newly acquired assistive technology skills, crucial for his next role.

His position materialized at the Social Security Administration, which provided him with the necessary assistive technology. However, his relationship with Donka didn’t end there; Carlos periodically checks in to ensure his continued success.

The placement services encompass a range of activities, including training in interviewing techniques, resume writing, completing online applications, and advocating for accommodations. Carlos also collaborates with companies seeking to hire, engaging over 80 employers in the greater Chicago area, with interest continually growing.

Thanks to the DuPage Foundation grant, Donka has expanded its services to aid more jobseekers like Alfred. With Carlos leading the program, the focus remains on empowering graduates with the skills and confidence necessary for successful workforce entry.

“We are immensely grateful to the DuPage Foundation for their generous grant, enabling us to expand our job placement services for people with disabilities,” said Leanne Vos, executive director at Donka.

“DuPage Foundation has been a faithful supporter of Donka for over 30 years,” Vos continued. “Their staff, including Michael R. Sitrick, president and CEO, former president and CEO David McGowan, and Barbara S. Szczepaniak, vice president for programs, are celebrated for their commitment to building solid relationships with nonprofit organizations in DuPage County and providing vital financial support for impactful programs to enrich the community.”

Today, Donka serves 60% of its participants from DuPage and has expanded its services to people with disabilities from Kane and other surrounding counties.

“With DuPage Foundation’s support and the backing of community donor-advised funds, we can continue our mission of empowering individuals with disabilities to achieve their full potential and thrive in the workforce,” Vos stated.

The grant from the DuPage Foundation represents a significant investment in the lives of individuals with disabilities, reaffirming Donka’s commitment to fostering inclusivity and opportunity within the community.

For more information about Donka and its programs, please visit

About Donka

Donka is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing computer training and job readiness services to individuals with disabilities. Since its inception in 1987, Donka has been at the forefront of empowering individuals with the skills and tools needed to succeed in the digital age.

About DuPage Foundation

DuPage Foundation, a 501(c) (3) community foundation, is the philanthropic leader in DuPage County, Illinois. The foundation manages more than $110 million in assets and has awarded more than $55 million in grants to not-for-profit organizations serving the residents of DuPage County and beyond since its founding in 1986. Individuals and organizations seeking to provide impactful support in DuPage County to address critical issues can create powerful, customizable gift solutions and partnerships through DuPage Foundation. Learn more at

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