Arc Update on Murray Closing and Ex Director Position Opening
I wanted to let you know that The Arc is signing on or an amicus (friend of the court) with
Equip for Equality and other advocates. See details below. I am very proud we are doing this.
The mission of The Arc of Illinois is: The Arc is committed to empowering persons with disabilities
to achieve full participation in community life through informed choices.
The Arc of Illinois would be proud to support and sign on to Equip for Equality’s amicus.
The Arc of Illinois strongly supports Governor Quinn’s Rebalancing Initiative. This Initiative is truly
rebalancing the disability system in Illinois by focusing on community living and closing antiquated
state institutions. This Initiative us long overdue in Illinois and honors the intent of the Olmstead
decision and the American’s with Disabilities Act.
This week I will meet with our Exec’s at our monthly Executive Forum. On the agenda for that
meeting will be Employment First, Direct Care Professionals Wages and an update by IlliniCare
on Integrated Care & Phase III. The Northeastern Illinois Task Force on Public Transit also meets
Most of my week will be preparation for the Health Facilities Planning & Services Board
Hearing on the closing of the Murray Developmental Center on Wednesday, The situation at
Murray and in Centralia continue to heat up. Should be an interesting hearing.October 9th.
See story below.
Please share the CCDI position opening below with other advocates.
POSITION AVAILABLE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR COALITION OF CITIZENS WITH DISABILITIES IN ILLINOIS
The Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (CCDI) in Illinois is responsible to provide the leadership,
education, information, and planning required to support grassroots efforts in Illinois. CCDI
also hosts an annual meeting and carries out other projects as directed by the Board.
The Executive Director is accountable to the CCDI Board of Directors and is responsible for
administration and coordination of all of the organizations activities. He/she communicates
with partner organizations and with the Illinois legislature regarding the disability rights of
Illinois residents with disabilities.
Qualifications: Personal experience with disability and commitment to the Independent Living
philosophy and advocacy for the rights of persons with disabilities very important. Bachelor’s
degree or equivalent civil rights/independent living experience plus at least three years
administrative experience required. The successful candidate will have strong communication
skills, a demonstrated history of leadership, and knowledge of not-for-profit guidelines.
To apply send cover letter, resume and names and phone numbers of at least three
professional references (by October 7, 2013). Applications may be sent to the Search Committee
electronically in Microsoft Word to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications may also be delivered or mailed
(postmarked no later than October 7, 2013) to: Search Committee Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois 3 West Old State Capitol Plaza Suite 1 Springfield, Illinois 62701
No phone calls please.
PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND MINORITIES ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO APPLY.
CCDI is committed to a diverse workforce through affirmative action and equal opportunity.
Accommodations available upon request for interview. Public urged to attend Murray Center hearing Oct. 9 at Centralia City Hall
Supporters of the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia are planning to inundate Centralia City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 9 for a public hearing on the proposed closure of the state facility.
Centralia Mayor Tom Ashby recently received notice from the Department of Public Health that the hearing was scheduled due to the state’s Aug. 27 filing of an “application for permit for the discontinuation of services and facility closure” for Murray Center.
The hearing will be conducted by the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board and is part of the board’s regulatory process for the closure of a state facility.
The public hearing will run from 4 to 7 p.m. at Centralia City Hall (222 S. Poplar). Anyone planning to voice their comments will need to sign in between 3:30 and 4 p.m.
In a letter to members of the Southern Illinois Coalition, Mayor Ashby stressed the need for a large support group to attend the hearing.
“We need to promote this opportunity and get as many people involved as possible,” Ashby said.
Rita Winkeler, president of the Murray Parents Association, said the hearing provides an opportunity for the parents and guardians of Murray Center’s residents as well as community members to once again express and put on record “the unique services Murray provides for the severely disabled.”
“These are services that cannot be duplicated in a community setting, even by the most well intended community provider,” Winkeler said. “Murray Center needs to remain open as the premier center in southern Illinois. We need to impress upon the board that if Murray closes not only will the residents lose their home but the services provided by Murray for community providers will also be forever lost.”
Currently, when a community agency needs short term specialized care, they contact Murray Center for assistance. Winkeler said that if Murray Center is closed, the nearest center that could provide these services will be four hours away.
While public participation is urged for the Oct. 9 hearing, Winkeler also stressed the importance of the pending federal lawsuit.
“When Jacksonville Development Center was closed, the initial recommendation (of the Health Facilities & Services Review Board) was to keep it open, but when the full board voted, they voted to close the center,” Winkeler said. “The members of this board are appointed by Gov. Quinn so even if the recommendation is to keep Murray open, we fear the politically appointed board will vote to close Murray. This is why our federal lawsuit is so important.”
Winkeler said that if the board votes to close Murray, it will not legally be permitted if the federal judge grants the temporary injunction.
The federal lawsuit was filed by the Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled, Murray Parents Association and 11 legal guardians of developmentally disabled adults against the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), its director Kevin Casey, and the Community Resource Alliance (CRA), the agency hired by the state to handle the transition of Murray Center residents into the community.
Plaintiffs in the federal case are seeking a preliminary injunction preventing the closure of Murray Center and the transfer of its residents to other locations if those residents have not consented to such a transfer. The plaintiffs also ask that the federal court enjoin the defendants, including CRA from conducting any pre-transfer assessments or related activities unless done with a guardian’s approval.
A hearing in that case is scheduled for Oct. 1 when, Winkeler said, “evidence will be presented showing the federal rights of our residents have been denied in this closure attempt.”
She added, “We are very hopeful that the judge will grant the injunction keeping Murray open.”
The Oct. 9 public hearing will be conducted by staff of the Health Facilities and Services Review Board pursuant to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Act. The hearing is open to the public and will afford an opportunity for parties with interest to present written and/or verbal comment relevant to the proposed closure of Murray Center.
According to a legal notice announcing the hearing, all allegations or assertions should be relevant to the need for the proposed project and be supported with two copies of documentation or materials that are printed or typed on standard 8-1/2 x 11-inch paper.
While the public notice indicates that the final decision of the Health Facilities and Services Review Board will be made at a meeting in mid-December, the board has since approved a request from the governor to move that meeting to 10 a.m. on Nov. 5 in Bolingbrook.
With the expedited meeting date, written comments about the proposed closure of Murray Center must be submitted by Wednesday, Oct. 16 to: Mike Constantino, Supervisor, Project Review Section; Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board; 525 West Jefferson Street (2nd Floor); Springfield, Illinois 62761.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423