|If you believe that people with developmental disabilities deserve the right to live in the community, we need your help. On October 9, the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board will host a public hearing on the proposed closure of the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. People who want to keep Murray open are fighting very hard, and we need to counter with a strong show of support for closure. Illinois cannot continue to be held hostage to its heritage of warehousing people with developmental disabilities in large state-run facilities.
Over the decades, one by one, Illinois’ State Operated Developmental Centers have been shutting down. We have seven left. Year by year, our nation as a whole has been spending less and less on these settings; in fact, the peak point of US expenditures on large state-run institutions for people with developmental disabilities was the early 1990s. It is the perspective of Access Living that year by year, families and people with disabilities have come to expect that community-based settings are what people with developmental disabilities want and expect.
It is also the perspective of Access Living that year by year, we are seeing home- and community-based services expand because that is what people need and want. In fact, Illinois was recently ok’d by the Centers on Medicaid and Medicare Services to participate in the Balancing Incentive Program, which is supposed to help shift Illinois’ spending on Medicaid home and community based services to at least 50% of the whole it spends now on Medicaid long term care services. It is a lot of work, but we have faith that we are going to see an Illinois with strengthened home and community based services so that no one has to live in a large state-run institution.
Fourteen states are free of large state-run institutions. We believe Illinois needs to become #15. You can help us!
We need advocates like YOU to write a letter to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board stating why you think that the Murray Developmental Center needs to close. The letters are due October 9. If you would like to learn more about the successful transition of residents of past institutions into the community, visit the Going Home Campaign at www.goinghomeillinois.org.
Please address your letters to: