What a day we had in the Capitol on Wednesday. Press conference calling for the closure
of six of seven state institutions and a rally of over 300 individuals with disabilities in the
state captiol!

This is the first of our press coverage.

Today, I am headed to the Southside of Chicago for a standing room only Information
Program from The Arc’s Family Support Network!


Advocates: Closing Developmental Centers Will Save State Money


A group of advocates for people with disabilities rallied in the Capitol to show their support
for community-based living. Tony Paulauski of The Arc of Illinois says this would save the
state more than $300 million. “We’re still warehousing people with disabilities here even
though the national trend clearly shows that the overwhelming number of states are
closing their state institutions and investing in programs that offer people with disabilities
the chance to live with freedom,” Paulauski said.

Bridget addressing the Rally in the State Capitol!

Bridget Brown is a public speaker who has down syndrome.  She helped lead a rally
calling on lawmakers to get rid of state institutions that house people with disabilities.

“A champion is a person who fights for a defenseless person, a protector, advocate and a

Bridget lives in Darien, Illinois with her parents. Her mother, Nancy Brown, says another
family member — a cousin, who also had down syndrome — was sent to an institution as
soon as she was born.

“I think that it’s a system that is old, that is stuck in its ways.”

Opponents to closing developmental centers say institutions can provide extra care that
some people need.

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)