Mike Kaminsky, Director of Illinois Life Span; Jack Lavin, Governor Quinn’s Chief of Staff and me at our Legislative Coffee.
This letter appeared in the Southern Illinoisan the area where state institutions are scheduled to be closed by Governor Quinn.
Support closing institutions
To the Editor:
The Arc of Illinois has called for the rebalancing of the disability system for many years and supports the closure of institutions as long as the people living there have a safe and smooth transition to community services. The governor brought in national experts and developed a Rebalancing Initiative to assist individuals and their guardians to make a safe move to community living. The approach is very different from past state institutional closings because it requires the full participation of individuals and their guardians every step of the way.
I understand that this is an emotional time and I am committed to working with families at the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center to ensure a safe and meaningful transition into community living. Community living offers around the clock care and unlike institutions it allows people with disabilities a personalized care plan where they can live close to family and friends and be part of a community. Thousands of people have safely and happily transitioned from an institution to community living. About half of those currently living in a community setting came from an institution or nursing home. It has improved their quality of life. It is imperative that state institutions be closed in Illinois.
Members of the Commission should vote to support the closing of Murray Center now that the administration has developed a comprehensive and progressive plan. This is about providing opportunity for everyone to live life with independence, equality and freedom.
The Arc of Illinois
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Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423