Last night WGN News did a story on JJ’s List. JJ and her team really rock! This is great coverage.

Organization helps bridge gap between businesses and people with disabilities

A local organization is bridging the communication gap between businesses and people with disabilities.

JJ’s List works kind of like Yelp and it’s recently gaining traction.

From their small office in Evanston, JJ’s List is managing a growing community of thousands across the country.

Sarah Armour is part of the team that manages the website. She says it’s changing the way people think about diversity, specifically people with disabilities.

“I think it’s about seeing us as people and not as our disability and with our labels,” she says. “There’s a real authenticness to JJ’s List.”


Also, the Value the Work Campaign will hold a press conference calling on Governor Rauner to sign House Bill 5931 which would increase the starting wage for DSP’s to $15.00 per hour.


Agencies serving people with developmental disabilities, family members to urge Rauner to sign living-wage bill for Direct Support Personnel

Supporters to hold news conference, deliver thousands of signed postcards

With a deadline looming for Governor Rauner to act on legislation addressing a workforce retention crisis among direct support personnel (DSPs) who work with people with developmental disabilities, the community-based agencies that employ them, and the family members of the individuals they serve, will hold a Thompson Center news conference and deliver thousands of postcards urging Rauner to sign the bill.

WHO: Families of people with developmental disabilities, DSPs, leaders of community agencies, state Senator Heather Steans

WHAT: News conference to urge Governor Rauner to sign House Bill 5931, legislation providing a living wage for DSPs, followed by delivery of postcards to governor’s office

WHERE: James R. Thompson Center, 15th floor blue room

WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 17 at 11:30 a.m.

Agencies contracted by the state of Illinois to provide services and supports for 27,000 people with developmental disabilities are unable to attract and retain DSPs because for eight years the state has not increased the reimbursement rate paid to these agencies. As a result, the average wage of the 34,000 DSPs working throughout Illinois is just $9.35 an hour, below the poverty line for a family of four.

The DSP workforce crisis is so great that Illinois is now in violation of the federal Ligas consent decree that ensures individuals with disabilities have the right to choose the appropriate setting in which they wish to receive care. Furthermore, the staffing crisis is leading to significant risks to the health, safety and well-being of people with disabilities.

Rauner should sign HB 5931 to modernize reimbursement rates, enabling agencies to pay a living wage to attract and retain DSPs.


tony signature

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)