The Arc’s Leadership Conference was certainly the place for disability advocates. Our agenda read like a who’s who in disability policy.

Here are the presentations from the conference:

“Leadership Prospects”  Presented by Director Greg Fenton, Division of Developmental Disabilities, DHS. The Division of Developmental Disabilities manages over $1.3 billion in services and supports for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. While we have made progress, Illinois has a long way to go to remove barriers that prevent people from living in community-based settings. Director Fenton will talk about efforts underway to transform our system through the use of person centered practices in this interactive presentation.

“Innovations in Employment”  Presented by Director Kris Smith, Division of Rehabilitation Services, DHS.The Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, WIOA, signed into law by President Obama updates vocational rehabilitation services and seeks to address a number of employment challenges facing people with disabilities. Director Smith will highlight some of the changes in WIOA including Employment First initiatives, sub-minimum wages and the state’s unified plan.

“New Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Rules” Presented by Phil Milsk

 “Delivering on the Promise” Presented by John Agosta.  All of us count on an overarching promise of opportunity to live our lives in society with our family and friends, and to have a job that pays a decent wage. In Illinois, are we delivering on that promise for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities? Or not? Or have we strayed off course? All service systems go through change, but change always requires choices. What choices should we make? Which should we avoid? Let’s “keep our eye on the prize” and deliver on what people with I/DD tell us they want. They tell us they want jobs. They want friends. They want to live a life in the community like everyone else with the support they need. Let’s make sure we deliver on the promise.

“Ligas Report and Recommendations” Presented by Ronnie Cohn, Court Monitor. The Ligas Consent Decree has been moving the Developmental Disability System forward since its signing in 2011. We now have a new Court Monitor, Ronnie Cohn, and the Fourth Annual Report of the Court Monitor. Monitor Cohn will walk us through the Fourth Report highlighting the opportunities and challenges of keeping the parties out of court in these perplexing times.

tony signature
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)