Mary Forr founder of Together Founder

About Teaching Together

Our Story

Mary Forr and Megan Osterhout founded Teaching Together D.C. in 2014 while earning their Masters of Education through The University Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education. The program was piloted at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Atlanta, GA where Mary Forr previously taught.  In 2015, the program was formally instituted at St. Peter School in Washington, D.C. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3).

Teaching Together D.C. serves as a mentor to Teaching Together Chicago. Whereas the original concept sought individuals with disabilities to train to work in a classroom as teachers’ aides, the Chicago prototype incorporates social service agencies who are experts in the field of disabilities and vocational training. To ensure a successful job placement, social service agencies provide support to the school partners and job training to the interns. The project has expanded to include other jobs within the school setting such as maintenance and office work.

With the success of D.C. program, we are branching out to Chicago where there is a significant Catholic School presence.

To show people with disabilities that we love them, means showing them that we value them. — Pope John Paul II

Intern reveiwing class work

Our Mission

To provide adults with disabilities employment in Catholic Schools where their presence is largely absent and their skills are needed.

The project is a collaboration of neighborhood Catholic schools, local social service agencies, and the Coleman Foundation. The objective is to expand employment and internship opportunities for people with disabilities in Chicago area Catholic Schools to further the mission of Teaching Together D.C.

TTC Dedication

Please read.

How fitting to introduce Teaching Together Chicago as the Archdiocese unfolds its Parish Revitalization Plan, “Renew My Church”, as the universal Church celebrates the Year of Mercy!

Profound thanks to Mary Forr for her creativity and courage in pioneering Teaching Together. Heartfelt gratitude to The Coleman Foundation under the leadership of Michael Hennessy,  President, and Rosa Berardi, Program Officer, who saw the potential impact of Teaching Together. To the Coleman Foundation which is always seeking avenues to better the lives of those challenged across a lifetime with disabilities and is a partner that continues to forge unchartered territories in its focused commitment to those with disabilities and those who strive to address their needs.

Enthusiastic welcome to the Center for Independence Through Conductive Education, Helping Hand Center, El Valor, and neighborhood Catholic Schools, their principals, teachers, children and caring communities; and our emerging partners -- individuals challenged across a lifetime with the impact of disabilities, special gifts and dreams.

We would be remiss not to applaud those with disabilities who have blazed the employment trail by being hired in real jobs, many with benefits, very real benefits, and are now taxpayers!

Like any welcoming family, we are mindful that there is always room at the table. Come join us. Bring your unique gifts. Challenge us to be ever more inclusive and responsive.

Let's Teach Together!

Teaching Together has successfully (and proudly) helped young adults gain skills they are now using as paid employees. We’d love to talk to you about how we can work together to improve the lives of those living with daily challenges!


Joanne Callahan
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Teaching Together Chicago is a program of Center for Independence through Conductive Education Inc., an Illinois nonprofit under Section 501 C 3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The mission of the Center is to help people with disabilities achieve their highest level of potential. Learn more about the Center.