We need to listen to the concerns of families whose adult children will be leaving Jacksonville. Story from the Illinois Radio Network.



JDC guardians meet with governor’s staff

Parents of people being moved out of Jacksonville Developmental Center had a chance to meet with a member of the governor’s staff yesterday.They’re calling attention to the fact a woman broke her leg in the process.

Jacksonville State Representative Jim Watson and ARC of Illinois executive director Tony Paulauski have differing viewpoints.

“This is an incident,” says Watson. “How did it happen? How do we keep it from happening? And does this mean we need to re-think our plan?”

“It was an accident,” says Paulauski. “Do you know what her reaction was when she went to the hospital? She was fearful that she would have to move back to Jacksonville. That’s the story.”

David Iacono Harris of Springfield is the parent of a forty-year-old resident of JDC and says the shutdown of that facility is a bad decision, handled badly. Paulauski disagrees.

“A few folks have been moved out very rushed in a 48 hour period without visiting their destinations,” says Iacono Harris.

“The people that they say moved within 48 hours notice – that’s just not true,” says Paulauski. “Those individuals have been meeting with community providers and other people that are interested in maybe providing a home for them.”

The governor’s office released a statement saying “Governor Quinn is committed to improving the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities by helping them transition into community care settings. Illinois has lagged behind the rest of the nation in taking a person-centered, community-based approached to caring for people with disabilities.”

The Department of Human Services says “The process of transitioning individuals out of JDC has been and will continue to be careful and deliberate. Contrary to the many claims made…transitions are only made to licensed programs; the Office of the State Guardian has been involved in the transitions of residents that are wards of the state and; the department is investigating the accident involving a former resident.”

A member of the governor’s staff took note of guardians’ concerns.

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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)