We had an excellent Executive Forum webinar on Ligas Wednesday. It is remarkable to me the progress that has been made because of the consent decree. There is certainly room for improvement as stated by Equip for Equality in their letter to the Court Monitor that the state is out of compliance.Mark Friedman, Ph.D., Ligas Consultant, gave a presentation on “Ligas Transition Planning.” He talked about his role in Ligas implementation. He also talked about the positive changes in the Illinois system and said those changes will continue even with the change in administrations. Some of those include:

  • Ligas Implementation
  • Employment First
  • Life Choices Recommendations
  • New CMS Community Rules
  • Workforce Development Act
  • Justice Department Lawsuits
  • Technology

Some of the successes of the Ligas Consent Decree include these highlights:

  • There are 16,300 Ligas Class Members & Growing.
  • 865 Individuals Have Moved From ICFDD to Smaller Community Living Arrangements.
  • 2,089 Individuals Have Moved Off The PUNS Waiting List.
  • 954 Individuals in Crisis Have Been Supported Within 24 to 72 Hours. Persons in Crisis Become Class Members.
  • 3,581 Individuals Receiving New Community Supports.
  • DDD is Working on 47 Downsizing Agreements With ICFDD Providers.

Mark pointed out the remarkable satisfaction that individuals and guardians were expressing after moving out into smaller community living arrangements. When surveyed 69% were very or somewhat satisfied with living in an ICFDD. When those individuals moved into a CILA, the vast majority of respondents reported 92% satisfaction or 23% increased satisfaction. Truly remarkable.

Here is Mark’s PowerPoint: Ligas Transition Planning.

You can reach Mark at: Mark@MTAdvocacy.com

The next Ligas update was on the Ligas Family Advocate Program. Shirley Perez, Program Director, and her team walked us through this advocacy program for class members moving off the PUNS Waiting List.

The Ligas Family Advocate Program has one purpose: to connect recipients of Ligas award letters seeking Home Based or CILA services and their families with family advocates who are knowledgeable about creative ways to utilize their Ligas funding to build successful lives in the community.

Shirley pointed out that Ligas Family Advocates do not duplicate the important work of Individual Service Coordination (ISC) agencies. Rather the Advocates are another resource for the ISC’s and the Ligas Class member. The Advocates work closely with a designated representative within the ISC, sharing information with families. We currently work with the following ISC’s:

  • Community Service Options
  • Developmental Disabilities Services Metro East
  • Suburban Access

Part of the outreach required by the Court Monitor is to identify barriers to the community supports/services class members desire. In the first year of operation, Ligas Family Advocates have met with over 500 individuals. Barriers that are being identified by class members include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of Communication and Inconsistency in Information Communicated
  • Information Overload
  • CILA Placements Too Large & Too Far From Home
  • Lack of Meaningful Day Services
  • Lack of Employment Opportunities
  • Would Like Services with Non-Disabled Peers
  • Transportation
  • Health/Medical Concerns

Shirley’s PowerPoint can be found here: The Ligas Family Advocate Program.

Shirley can be reached at Shirley@FamilySupportNetwork.org

Mark Friedman and Shirley Perez & her team are two great resources for Ligas Class members and their families.

Mark your calendars for the next Executive Forum Webinar on January 7th at 10:00.

The Arc’s Annual Leadership Conference is scheduled for Feb. 5-6, Hilton in Lisle.

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)