Thank you Chairpersons Biss, Gabel and member of the committee to present testimony on abuse and neglect in community services.
The recent series in the Chicago Tribune on events in community services, challenges the Rauner administration and the General Assembly to make improvements to the way we support individuals with intellectual and other disabilities here in Illinois. The Tribune investigation points out serious problems within the disability system. We acknowledge and appreciate the finding of this series.
However, we disagree on the focus of series pointing to Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) as the problem. Make no mistake, CILA’s offer people with disabilities the opportunity to live full lives in the community, benefiting thousands of individuals.
We know how to do this.
For decades, The Arc has advocated for moving away from costly obsolete state institutions and investing scarce taxpayer dollars into home and community based services. Those calls have gone unanswered. Leaving Illinois as one of the most institutionalized states in the nation. Decades of neglect and unfunded programs have brought us to face the challenges outlined in this series.
Illinois can no longer support funding both institutional and community based services. Illinois policy should be to redirect resources to appropriately fund community based services and programs so people with disabilities are given the opportunity to succeed.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423