It’s that time of year again! The Arc of Illinois 63rd Annual Convention, “Living a Full Life”, will be taking place on April 24-25, 2013 at the Hilton Hotel in Lisle, IL. This year’s convention is hosting a full schedule of sessions with experts on the latest I/DD issues. Our keynote speakers are David Michael Mank, Ph.D., Mike Mayer, and Nancy Thaler. Director Kevin Casey and Tony Records will be our luncheon speakers, and there will be over 24 breakout sessions to choose from!
 As always, The Arc of Illinois will be hosting an evening reception, and this year we have a very “special” performance. Up-and-coming country star, Anthony Billups, and his Special Olympian Brother, Nicholas Billups will be our reception entertainment. Growing up with a brother will intellectual and developmental disabilities, Anthony was inspired to write his hit song “Special” in honor of Nicholas.
Along with our presenters, awards will be given to honor those who make a tremendous effort to positively impact the lives of those with I/DD. This year’s Media Excellence Award will be honoring CBS 2 Chicago’s Rob Johnson for his outstanding media efforts that enhance the public’s awareness of issues faced by people with developmental disabilities. Rob Johnson is amongst the many advocates, self-advocates, and agencies that will be awarded for their positive influence in the world of I/DD.
I highly encourage all of you to attend The Arc of Illinois 63rd Annual Convention, “Living a Full Life”. The convention is an excellent way to stay up to date on important information concerning you, your family, or your clients. I have included information about our keynote and luncheon sessions below. To learn more and to register for the convention, please take a look at our brochure  The Arc Annual Convention Program & Registration Information.
 If you have any questions regarding the convention, please call Janet Donahue or Mary McMahon at 815-464-1832.
The Arc of Illinois Annual Convention “Living a Full Life” Keynote Speakers
“Aligning What We Do with What We Know for Employment of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities”

David Michael Mank, Ph.D.
We know that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are capable of working in integrated job settings if they are well matched to a job and have individualized supports. We know many people with disabilities in sheltered settings and day programs wish to work and believe they are capable of working. We know that the methodologies already exist (and continue to be improved) to develop jobs, match skills and settings, and provide individualized supports. We know that some agencies, some communities and some states are new exemplars in delivering wage and integration outcomes based on personal choices.

The purpose of this session is to discuss the needed alignment of policies, funding and practice with these and other facts already established about what is clearly possible, yet far from prevalent, in our society.
“Business as Unusual: Building Five-Star Futures”

Mike Mayer
The future of services for people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities is changing in Illinois.  This includes new conversations about what “quality of life” means and who is responsible for helping to make “Five-Star Futures” possible. 

There are many factors involved in this process, not the least of which is the Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative. This initiative known as ACCT (Active Community Care Transition), assists people moving from state operated facilities to homes and settings they have chosen with their families and advocates.  This presentation will share some of the information about what has already occurred with the closure of Jacksonville Developmental Center and where we are in the ACCT process at the Murray Center, and how this all relates to the shift in services and supports for people with disabilities.
“The Health Care Reform Agenda Combined with Fiscal Pressures:
 What Does the Future Hold?”

Nancy Thaler
The Affordable Health Care Act has been affirmed by the Supreme Court and by the re-election of the President. States continue to face revenue challenges and the national debt is a problem yet to be tackled fully. Reform has become the watchword:  health care reform, payment reform, long term care reform and reform to comply with the Olmstead decision. The combination of fiscal pressures and reform efforts create opportunities for systems that serve people with developmental disabilities,   particularly if reform efforts are thought through carefully.
The Arc of Illinois Annual Convention “Living a Full Life” Luncheon Speakers
“Moving Forward Illinois”
Director Kevin Casey, Division of Developmental Disabilities, DHS
Illinois is involved in a major rebalancing of the disability system. Director Casey will talk about positive implications for individuals and families because of this rebalancing.
Ligas Year Two—Full Implementation”
Tony Records, Court Monitor
After nearly two years from the Federal Court signing of the consent decree, full implementation of activities is now underway. Nearly 1,000 class members are now being served as a direct impact from the Ligas Decree. Transition service plans are now being developed. Several thousand funding letters have been sent to class members. This presentation by the Ligas Court-Appointed Monitor will focus on current activities and how they are changing the landscape. There will also be   discussion about plans for the next year and their implications. Ample opportunity will be reserved for your questions.

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)