In Chicago today again meeting with Director’s Hanson and Romano. I then head to
Westmont to meet with Rep Patti Bellock. Rep Bellock is a Deputy Republican Leader,
sits on the House Human Services Appropriations Committee and is looked upon as a
leader on disability issues in the House and her Republican Caucus. Joining me for
our meeting with Rep Bellock is my good friend Bridget Brown (pictured above)!
Should be a great day!
Arc Board Member Susy Woods letter to the editor was published in the Belleville
News Democrat today. Well done Susy! Thank you for your leadership!
Letters to the Editor are an excellent way to get our advocacy message to the public
and policy makers. Consider responding with Letters to the Editor to advance our
efforts to create fully inclusive communities in Illinois.
Disability Not So Far Away
I am the parent of an adult son with a developmental disability. We had a
conversation about the fact that the presence of a group home is causing
controversy in Belleville. His response was, “You mean they wouldn’t like me for a
neighbor just because I have a disability? I’m a good neighbor and I like to help
people.” I think this statement says a lot. People with disabilities are like all people,
no better, no worse. Would a community not want a senior citizen housing in their
community or a house where college students were living? Of course not. I think
the more troubling aspect about this situation is not that this is being discussed but
that in 2014 we still see people with disabilities as being a marginalized population
and not really part of the community. In reality, the disability minority is something
each of us is a heartbeat away from joining. I won’t wake up another race or other
sex tomorrow but I could wake up a person with a disability due to an illness or
accident. Disability is a natural part of life and as we begin to realize that hopefully
we will not question the rights of people with disabilities to choose where they want
to live or to fear having them as neighbors.
Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/08/13/3348355/disability-not-so-far-
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423