Phil and I are heading to Matteson today to meet with Senator Michael Hastings today.
Senator Hastings is a member of the Senate Appropriations Human Services Committee
and has been very supportive of disability services. Today’s discussion will cover the
need for new revenue and a responsible state budget that protects disability services.
Senator Hasting spoke strongly in support of Senate Bill 2046 on the floor of the Senate.
SB 2046 funds human services including community grants for TAP, Respite Services,
Early Intervention, Illinois Life Span and more.
Senate Bill 2046 now needs the support of your Representative. Ask your State
Representative to vote for SB 2046 today.
Below Director Fenton informs us of the departure of Mary Spriggs Ploessi and her
replacement. I have enjoyed working with Mary over the years. I wish her well in her
new position. She has been an outstanding advocate for people with disabilities. Good
As some of you may have heard, Mary Spriggs Ploessl will be leaving the Division of
Developmental Disabilities for a new opportunity within the Division of Family and
Community Services. This move is effective October 1. For over thirty years, Mary has
served the Division with distinction. For the past six months, through her leadership and
dedicated service, she has significantly advanced the mission of the Life Choices
Initiative. The fruits of her efforts have dramatically improved the lives of thousands of
individuals, and has earned her high praise. She will be sorely missed.
The task of finding an appropriate successor presented a difficult challenge; however, I
am pleased to announce that we have identified someone with the requisite skills to build
on Mary’s success as the Statewide Coordinator of the Life Choices Initiative. It is with
great pleasure that I am announcing that Jayma Bernhard Page will be assuming the
role of Statewide Coordinator for the Life Choices Initiative. Prior to joining state
government in 1988 as a Hearing and Speech Specialist at the Jacksonville
Developmental Center, Jayma worked for the public school system as Speech and
Language Diagnostician and Therapist for the early intervention program at Four Rivers
Special Education. Through the years, at Jacksonville Developmental Center she held
positions as Educational and Vocational Administrator, Developmental Training Liaison
, Staff Development Administrator, Lead QIDP, Accreditation Coordinator, and Quality
Manager. She served on the statewide State Operated Developmental Center (SODC)
Quality Management advisory committee as well as the educational and vocational
system steering committee. She was among a small group of eight SODC staff statewide
who were selected to train with The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) for
certification in conducting training and interviews using CQL’s personal outcome
Jayma left Jacksonville Developmental Center in 2008 to serve as Assistant Bureau
Chief/Quality Review Section Manager in the Division’s Bureau of Quality Management.
She has been instrumental in designing and implementing a data collection system for
Medicaid waiver performance measures, implementation of National Core Indicators
project in Illinois, and development of training to assist community providers in
implementing Division expectations in areas including risk assessment and service plan
development and approval. In 2009-2010, Jayma coordinated an Illinois Council on
Developmental Disabilities funded project to certify a total of 50 Certified Quality Analysts
within Illinois’ DD system (including self-advocates community provider staff, and Bureau
Jayma’s background and experience within the Division will serve us well in continuing to
move Life Choices forward. Over the next few weeks, she will work closely with Mary to
ensure a smooth transition.
Director Greg Fenton
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423