Public policy has a direct connection to the quality of life people with disabilities and their families experience. Health care, special education, day services and community living are all impacted by public policy, good or bad. The people we elect on the state and federal levels determine public policy for you and your family. That is why we have to elect public officials who understand the importance of community supports/services and what it means to have a full life in the community.
We have developed this package of information for you to use as you talk to candidates running for office. It will be updated as we learn of more resources, events and forums.
Included in this resource guide are:
  1. The Arc’s We’ve Got the Power
  2. Ten Questions for State Legislators
  3. Questions for Federal Legislators (coming soon)
  4. The State Board of Elections Resources
  5. Local Illinois Candidate Forums
  6. St. Charles
  7. Moline
  8. National Disability Election Resources
  9. Chicago Watch Party on Presidential Candidates Forum
  10. Disability Power & Pride

The Arc’s We’ve Got the Power

Election Day 2012 is rapidly approaching. It’s time for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and those who care about them to make their mark by getting engaged in the political process.
As a chapter of The Arc, you are in a unique position in your community to help educate voters and candidates about our issues and help people with I/DD exercise their right to vote. The Arc has created a national campaign – “We’ve Got the Power” – to amplify the voice of the I/DD community and promote civic responsibility and participation in our democracy. Together with Nonprofit Vote, a nonpartisan organization focused on providing voter engagement tools and resources, we are offering chapters a variety of online resources.

To help you take advantage of these resources, here is a Chapter Voter Engagement Toolkit containing sample copy for newsletters, emails, blog posts and social media messages to help you get the word out, along with artwork and other items to help you promote the “We’ve Got the Power” campaign in your community. Note that you need to be logged in to our website to view this information (can be found in the For Chapters section of the site). Please use these tools over the next few months and if you have any questions, contact Dee Dee Eberle, The Arc’s Director of Chapter Organizing and Advocacy at 202-534-3726.



  1. Are you in favor of Governor Quinn’s “rebalancing” initiative that gives persons with developmental disabilities or intellectual disabilities greater opportunity to live in community settings with a full opportunity for community participation?  Explain.
  2.  Do you support the implementation of the Affordable Care Act?   If not, please describe how you would address some of the barriers to adequate, accessible and affordable health care that currently exist for persons with disabilities.
  3. Would you be in favor of giving persons with disabilities greater opportunity for mainstream employment and economic self-sufficiency by changing Illinois’ service system to an “Employment First” system that focuses on education, training, services and supports that lead to real jobs, self-employment and customized employment?   Explain.
  4. What would you do to improve the quality and outcomes of Illinois P-12 educational services for children with disabilities?
  5. What steps would you take to address the problem of significantly late payments by the State to private non-profit community based agencies that provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities and other human services agencies?   
  6. Do you favor placing developmental disability community services such as group homes, employment and day services into a managed care system run by insurance companies? Please explain. 
  7. Do you favor a change to a progressive income tax rate in Illinois? If not, please explain.
  8. Would you vote in favor of extending the Income Tax increase passed in 2011 when it is due to expire?     If not, what areas would you cut to make up for the lost revenue?   
  9. What, if any, ideas do you have for raising revenues to fund vital services in Illinois?
  10. There are now 22,000 children and adults on the PUNS Waiting List. What are your ideas on eliminating the waiting list?

State Board of Elections
Everything you want to know about the November elections and who the candidates are in your area. Here is the link:
Local Illinois Candidate Forums
Please send me details on your local candidate’s forum so I can share them with other disability advocates.
St. Charles
Advocates Network Candidates Forum 
Thursday, Sept. 20th, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30.
Christ Community Church
37W100 Balcum Road (just off Randall Road)
St. Charles, IL
More information: Link to flyer on the Candidates Forum
Gina Richter:
You are cordially invited to attend a legislative forum in anticipation of the upcoming election.  This event is organized by The Arc of the Quad Cities Area self advocacy group, Speak Out.  Here is a link to the flier providing more details.  The focus of the forum will be on disability issues and the public will be invited to submit questions.  All of our local Illinois legislative candidates have agreed to attend.  Please plan to join us on Monday September 17 at 6pm at the “iwireless” Center in Moline.  We hope you will attend! 
Kyle Rick
Sponsor:  Speak Out, the selfâ€advocacy group affiliated with The Arc of the Quad Cities Area, Invites you, your family members, and friends to attend.
2012 Legislative Forum on Illinois Disability Issues
1201 River Drive, Moline, Illinois
Conference Rooms Aâ€Bâ€C
Monday, September 17, 2012
6â€8 pm
More information: Kyle Rick

National Forums
University of Illinois at Chicago
The Institute on Disability and Human Development (IDHD), the national Sibling Leadership Network and Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters are pleased to host a watch party of the National Forum on Disability Issues.
What:          Presidential candidates’ positions on disability issues!
When:         Sept. 28th 11:30-2:30pm CST
Where:        IDHD at UIC 1640 West Roosevelt Road, Rm 448, Chicago, IL 60608
Join us at IDHD to watch the National Forum on Disability Issues which will be live streamed from Columbus, Ohio.  President Obama and Governor Romney have been invited to share their vision for disability policy over the next four years.  Come hear the Presidential candidates’ positions on disability issues at this historic nonpartisan event, which is the only national event to focus specifically on disability issues. 
The live webcast will carry Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) to the national viewing audience.  Reservations are not required, however, to request additional accommodations, contact Kate Arnold at Refreshments will be provided & an opportunity to register to vote/look up your polling place will be available.

Your help is needed to make the National Forum on Disability a success

The National Forum on Disability Issues is scheduled to take place on September 28, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. Even if you do not live in Ohio, your support for this momentous event is important! Help us by reaching out to both candidates to request that they make disability related issues a priority and take part in this important Forum.

The Arc has joined more than 40 other national organizations in pledging our support as a co-sponsor of this event. Now we need you to help by reaching out to the candidates today.
Invite the candidates:Each of the campaigns have acknowledged the event but will not make a decision on attending for several more weeks, if not at the last minute. We must make them aware of the significance and prominence of the disability community and disability policy issues. They must feel the power of the disability vote.

  • Tell them why the Forum and disability issues are important to you and to the disability community.
  • Tell them that the Forum will be the only national event to focus specifically on disability issues.
  • Tell them you want answers to questions on “big picture” issues facing the broad disability community, such as employment, health care, long-term services and supports, education, transportation, housing, and research.

Reach out today:

Make a video of your invitation to the candidates:  Keep it short and to the point. Be sure to include your home state. Send videos to These videos will be posted on YouTube, Facebook and on the registration website. An example of a video invitation can be found at

Invite co-sponsors: Co-sponsors are still needed to support the event! Call or send a letter to interested disability-related organizations inviting their participation. Sponsorships are available in the amount of $100 to $10,000, and corporate sponsorships are welcomed. Contact Kate Josephson at for more information.

For more information about how to participate in the forum in person and online, visit the frequently asked questions page.

Leadership… Dialogue… Unity… Identity
Disability Power & Pride is back!

With a brand-new website, we plan to ramp up our voice in this presidential election. Nothing about us without us! Since the smash-hit Inaugural Ball in January 2009, Disability Power & Pride has sought to achieve meaningful cross-disability unification that communicates to the political world the clout of 56 million Americans with disabilities. 

Today, Disability Power & Pride can mobilize a network of over 7,000 active individuals committed to achieving disability community priorities. We will spend the 60 days before Election Day giving life to Justin Dart Dr.’s admonition: “Get involved as if your life depended on politics, because it does!”

We intend to share information about candidates and their platforms, about attention being paid (or not) to disability issues, and about disability community fundraising activity. Although Disability Power & Pride has no direct involvement in raising money for or making contributions to candidates, we believe private citizens’ efforts to raise money for candidates they support is critical to making our voices heard in the political arena.
Please stay tuned for more! 

The Committee on Disability Power & Pride is a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the District of Columbia. Contributions to Disability Power & Pride are not tax deductible as charitable contributions. Disability Power & Pride is not a Political Action Committee and does not make any contributions to political candidates.
Disability Power & Pride
PO BOX 348
Glen Echo, MD 20812
United States

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)