Yesterday at our Executive Forum meeting we were pleased to discuss the Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative with Director Kevin Casey. The Director is going to need our assistance to make this Initiative a success. There is no doubt in my mind that this Initiative and the Ligas Implementation Plan are going to transform the disability system over the next five years. While the Director recognizes the”deficient” rate system here in Illinois and intends to address those inadequate rates things are going to have to change within the community system. Day services are going to have to focus much more on employment. Services and supports are going to have to be truly person-centered not program driven. Self-direction will be the emerging direction for future services and this is a good thing. Director Casey will be a featured speaker at our Annual Leadership Conference, February 2-3, 2012 at the Hilton Lisle. Plan to join us!Also at yesterday’s meeting, Kate Rose, Special Deputy Director for Health Planning & Reform Implementation, Illinois Dept of Insurance gave us an excellent update on “Health Benefits Exchange: Background and the Implications for Arc Chapters.” Click on to this link to view Kate’s presentation. Kate can be reached at Kate.Rose@Illinois.Gov and a wealth of health care reform information is available at http://Illinois.Gov/hiric/

The January 4th Executive Forum meeting will feature Ralph Martire, Center for Tax & Budget Accountability and Jim Parker from HSF will update our Exec’s on the Managed Care Pilot.


Here is an interesting project I found on The Arc of the United States website.

Shooting Beauty 

I was approached to preview a new documentary film about an aspiring fashion photographer whose career takes an unexpected turn when she discovers a hidden world of beauty at a day program for people living with significant disabilities. Shot over a decade, the film puts you in the shoes of Courtney Bent as she overcomes her own prejudices when she begins adapting cameras for the individuals at the program, providing them the opportunity to take pictures and videos from their own unique perch (many of them are in wheel chairs). Making video and photography accessible for these new photographers to document their world and their interpretation of “beauty” enables us to see a whole different kind of documentary.

Shooting Beauty presents an opportunity to see beauty from a different vantage point. As an organization focused on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, The Arc appreciates the respectful and sensitive way the filmmakers reflected Courtney’s transformation while showcasing the characters’ growing artistic perspectives. It’s an excellent depiction of what it means to be able to fully participate in one’s community through artistic expression. I enjoyed watching the film come together and think you will too.

There’s some buzz building up about this film, with the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital launching a patch program for it and Best Buddies International officially partnering with the producers to screen it. And, now the producers have officially launched a website dedicated to promoting the film and it’s many programs. Check it out at and be sure to leave a comment telling us what you think.