About Us


CLESE is committed to assuring that older people who are not fluent in English have access to the same programs and services as do English-speaking seniors.  The only way most limited-English-speaking elderly receive services is through a provider who speaks their language and understands their culture.

CLESE’s advocacy on behalf of our member agencies has been critical for the successful expansion of Community Care Program in-home and adult day services to ethnic elders in formally underserved communities.  Some member agencies provide culturally-appropriate meals at congregate dining sites.  CLESE advocates for the expansion of services to other language groups and for the inclusion of culturally-appropriate home delivered meal programs.

CLESE is also helping limited-English-speaking seniors and their families participate more fully in elderly services through demonstration projects around issues of severe memory loss, elder mistreatment in ethnic communities, and health awareness and screening programs. CLESE advocates for increased understanding of the refugee experience.

CLESE supports community-based participatory research (CBPR) through its work as a steering committee member for the Alliance for Research in Chicagoland Communities (ARCC). In its role CLESE participates in partnership facilitation, building capacity for research, advocacy for institutional policy change and information and resource updates.

CLESE developed and tested effective methods for teaching English as a second language to older people.  The Bright Ideas curriculum, including videos, is available to teachers of ESL through the CLESE website: www.clese.org.

As a coalition, CLESE works to increase awareness of the needs, rights and unique contributions of limited-English-speaking elders and the community-based ethnic agencies which serve them.

Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly (CLESE)
53 West Jackson, Suite 1340
Chicago, IL 60604
312-461-0812  /  312-461-1466 (fax)