Peer Visitor Program - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Peer Visitor Program

The Peer Visitor Program connects newly injured inpatients at RIC with people who have had a similar injury and are now living with their disabilities. It is up to the patient whether they would like a visitor, but referrals from staff are encouraged. A peer visitor is a valuable resource not only to the newly disabled individual, but to the family and friends of the individual, as well as the staff at RIC.

The goal of peer counseling is to help people with disabilities regain autonomy and achieve self-determination by providing them with the tools and resources that will enable them to live more independent, productive, satisfying lives. The program also offers them the opportunity to connect to the larger community of people with disabilities and those who are dealing with similar issues.

Teaming with the LIFE Center

The Peer Visitor Program at RIC is teamed with RIC's LIFE Center  and connects patients and families with Peer Visitors and RIC's LIFE Center staff. The program identifies and assists people with the following: 

  • Emotional support by someone with a similar disability
  • Role modeling and /Shared experience
  • Personal Assistance info/referrals
  • Housing Info/referrals
  • Promote self-advocacy
  • Independent living skills
  • Transportation resources
  • Parenting Issues
  • Sexuality Concerns
  • Medical resources (supplies/equipment)
  • Educating around ADA/Other Rights
  • Community Resources

For more information contact Cristina Mix, Education Program Manager and Peer Visitor Coordinator, in RIC's LIFE Center at (312) 238-5433.