People are successfully moving out of the Jacksonville Developmental Center and into a meaningful life in the community. The governor’s rebalancing initiative is becoming a reality because just about everyone can live a full life in the community. What makes this initiative different from others is that staff is asking the individual and/or their guardians about what is important to them as they leave JDC.
I am already hearing success stories from people who have transitioned out of JDC into their new homes.
One man moved to a home close to his mother in the Chicago area. Within the first week, his mother came over three times to visit. She couldn’t do that at JDC.
Two small homes were opened last week and now four former JDC residents are excited about having privacy, their own bedrooms and a relaxing environment they are proud to call home. Something many of us take for granted and not realistic at JDC.
Another man got his wish to go fishing after his move. It was one of those magical days where he caught enough fish that he and his friends had a fish fry in his new kitchen. He never got to do that at JDC.
Some JDC staff participating in the transition and the person-centered planners are beginning to see that the closing of JDC is presenting unbelievable opportunities. The rebalancing initiative has already changed the lives of former JDC residents and the possibilities continue to be endless for those awaiting their move into a community setting.
It’s time for everyone to embrace the governor’s rebalancing initiative and focus our energy on providing as many opportunities for people with disabilities as imaginable. People with disabilities are coming home.
— Tony Paulauski, executive director, The Arc of Illinois, Frankfort
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423