Wednesday, the Executive Forum hosted Greg Fenton, Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities. The Director updated the Forum on “Progress Being Made on Compliance with New CSM Rules” & “The Status of the Crisis Intervention System.” Click on to the links to view the Director’s presentation.
The following are my notes which only cover about 10% of our discussion with the Director. Obviously these are my comments and impressions of the meeting.


Shirley, Tony, Director Fenton, Terri, Deb & Steve

The Director then entertained questions submitted on important disability issues.  Most of the time was spent on the veto of the Direct Service Professionals (DSP’s) wage legislation, compliance and transition to the new CMS rules on home & community based services and the transition to conflict free independent service coordination.

I prefaced the question and answer session stating the number one question has to be the DSP wage legislation vetoed by the Governor. This was truly a disappointment and a signal that the retention and recruitment was not a priority for the Administration. Most of us believe that we cannot accomplish any of the initiatives being proposed without having the proper staffing and quality in the community is suffering. Until the wage issue is resolved, expansion of community services will be limited and they will not be able to achieve the transformation that Secretary Dimas is promoting.

The Director responded that he and the Secretary have shared their concerns about the DSP crisis at the highest levels. The Director realizes that DSP’s are the backbone of the Disability System and it is critical to have a stable workforce. I responded that this needs to be the top priority as the budget is now being crafted for Fiscal Year 2018 but that a good faith action is needed now to begin to address this crisis.

Director Fenton & Tony

We then moved on to the major changes around conflict free services coordination and the changing role of person centered planning. At or around July, 2017, the Independent Service Coordination Organizations will assume the responsibility of writing with the individual the person centered plan. Currently the person centered plan is developed by the organization delivering the services with the individual. As a result we have many questions about the role of the QIDP in this process, the role of Service Facilitation and the monitoring of the person centered plan. The Director stated that this was a work in progress the there are many roles still necessary to insure the execution of the plan. He did indicate that there are now some Independent Service Coordination piloting the new system and we will have much to learn from these pilots.

The Director was asked what role the Division will play in the new Dept. of Labor rules around sub minimum wages. He indicated that the Division will have a role of monitoring sub minimum wages and certificates in their review processes. It was also pointed out that the Division of Rehabilitation Services and the Division of Developmental Disabilities need to better coordinate responsibilities on sub minimum wages.

After the Director departed the Executive Forum members discussed the possibility of legislation to phase out sub minimum wages in Illinois similar to efforts in other states. It is clear to everyone in the room that the Dept. of Labor is going to eliminate sub minimum wages and wouldn’t it be better for us to take the initiative in a planful manner here in Illinois? One of the participants at the meeting shared with the Forum the experience of the four year phase out in another state. Other members also shared their individual efforts to eliminate sub minimum wages within their organizations. It was agreed that this would be an ongoing agenda item at future Executive Forum meetings. It was also discussed that The Arc should discuss this with the Alliance.

Phil Milsk, Tony & Steve Boisse, President of the Executive Forum

Steve Bossie and Terri Devine discussed the search for a new Arc Executive Director indicating that interviews are scheduled for the end of September and an anticipated start date of January, 2017.

The next meeting of the Executive Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5th, featuring the Ligas Court Monitor and an Illinois Legal Update from Barry Taylor, Equip for Equality.

If you any questions of the Court Monitor, please send them to

tony signature
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)