Arc and Director Casey Addresses Arc Board of Directors
Saturday The Arc Board of Directors met with Director Kevin Casey to discuss many issues of common interest and how we could work closer together. It was an excellent meeting with a great dialogue on important disability issues including: the Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative, Employment First, Managed Care and the Waiting List.
Arc President Brian Rubin, Tony and Director Kevin Casey.
REBALANCING. The Director gave us an update on the rebalancing initiative indicating that most of the people at Jacksonville Developmental Center have chosen community providers and their person centered planning is now completed. While JDC has only moved about fifty people out at this time, he expects now that JDC will close not too far from the projected closing date of October 31st. Of course the Director wants to ensure that people will only move when all supports and services are in place in their new residences. Last Sunday, the Director met with the Murray Parents Association to discuss the closing of the Murray Developmental Center. Initial screening of the residents at MDC will begin shortly by the CRA team. Closure of MDC is predicted to take sixteen to eighteen months.
EMPLOYMENT. The Director is concerned that Illinois does not provide more employment opportunities (supported employment, self employment, etc.) for individuals within the developmental disability system. While he believes that not everyone can be employed, he does believe we can and should be doing a better job of getting people employment in the community. He extended an offer to The Arc to become a partner with him to start putting more emphasis on community employment as Illinois moves to become an Employment First state.
MANAGED CARE. The Director has had preliminary discussions with Secretary Saddler about the third phase of integrated care. Phase three involves placing the entire developmental disability system under the umbrella of managed care. The Director encouraged The Arc and other advocates to be at the table as we begin discussions about how this might work in Illinois. The Arc remains opposed to phase three of Integrated Care but will participate in those discussions.
WAITING LIST. Because of the Ligas Consent Decree, people are now moving off the waiting list but we need to do more. We had quite a discussion about Family Support and how we can be doing more to assist individuals on the waiting list. The Director requested that we have a more focused discussion with him on Family Support and the waiting list.
The next meeting of The Arc’s Board of Directors will be Saturday, November 3rd at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Tinley Park. This meeting will be our annual retreat and Director Casey gave us many important issues to focus our advocacy on as Illinois begins to rebalance its disability system.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423