Comcast NBCUniversal Presents $10,000 Check to Bridge Technology Gap for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Recipients of check to Bridge Technology Gap

On Tuesday, October 25, representatives from Comcast NBCUniversal visited New Star in Chicago Heights to observe how a recent grant of $10,000 is improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The visit began with a facility tour, followed by a check presentation to New Star President and CEO, Dan Strick, and concluded with a demonstration from New Star clients of their newly purchased iPads and iPods. Comcast NBCUniversal representatives included Debra Marton, senior manager of Community Investment, Yohan Fernando, senior manager of Government Affairs, and Amanda Vallejo, director of Public Relations.

Comcast NBCUniversal, in collaboration with The Arc of the United States, awarded New Star with a $10,000 grant in August 2016. Through this grant, New Star is expanding its current computer lab to include mobile technology, such as iPads and iPods. With its larger screen size and apps designed specifically for learning tasks related to employment and daily living goals, this mobile technology offers distinct advantages to adults with special needs.

“Comcast is proud to support New Star’s mission, which is to ‘provide choices and opportunities for persons with disabilities and their families’ through innovation and caring,” said John Crowley, senior vice president of Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region. “Our hope is that the technologies and equipment Comcast is funding will help the children and adults New Star serves live more independently.”

The New Star lab expansion is part of a 2014 national partnership between Comcast NBCUniversal and The Arc, which advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The partnership enables Comcast NBCUniversal and The Arc to achieve their shared goals of expanding technology resources for people with I/DD to ensure everyone has the tools to reach his or her greatest potential.

“New Star clients involved in this pilot program enjoyed demonstrating apps like iMovie, Master Task, and iModeling that are associated with this mobile technology,” said Dan Strick, New Star President and CEO. “We are grateful that representatives from Comcast NBCUniversal were able to see first-hand the difference this generous grant is making for those we serve.”

For more information regarding this pilot program or to learn more about New Star’s programs and services, please contact Jennifer Wojcikowski, Chief Development and Communications Officer, at (708) 841-1071 x232, or visit New Star’s website at

About New Star

New Star is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that resulted from the 2016 merger of New Hope Center and SouthSTAR Services. New Star’s mission is to provide choices and opportunities for persons with disabilities and their families through a culture of innovation and caring to enrich their lives and maximize their independence. Collectively, we offer our clients and their families over 110 years of history and experience when it comes provides job training and employment, daily life skills enrichment, senior care, residential services, and special recreation to over 650 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, residing in the Chicagoland area and Northwest Indiana.

About Comcast

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit for more information.

With nearly 7,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region ( serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.  “Like” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Facebook by visiting Comcast.  “Follow” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Twitter at @ComcastIllinois.

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