It is with great sadness that we share with you that grant funding for the Illinois Life Span
Program, the Family Support Network, and Family Transition Program has been
suspended as of Friday, April 3rd, 2015.
This means that the information, resources, and support provided by these programs will
no longer be available to individuals with disabilities and their families statewide, effective
immediately. We know that over the last 14 years, there have been thousands of family
members and professionals who have used the Illinois Life Span website and toll-free
help line as a constant and comprehensive resource for assistance, information and
support.  Before this program was implemented, there was no comprehensive resource
for information and assistance for individuals with intellectual and developmental
disabilities and their families. The systems and services that these individuals and their
families navigate over a lifetime are complex and ever-changing. We are deeply
concerned about the hundreds of individuals who reach out to us each year for
information, assistance, and support.
The more recent additions of the Family Support Network and Family Transition
Programs to these services have allowed us to assist families with more specialized
needs with more in-depth assistance as well. The Family Support Network has provided
advocacy and education to families statewide related specifically to home-based
services and supports. They have provided great leadership and service for Illinois
families that include a loved one with disabilities and their efforts on behalf of these
families will be greatly missed.
The Family Transition Program has also supported individuals with disabilities and their
families as they made the life-changing transition from segregated to community-based
living. Great strides have been made over the last several years in outreach and
support provided for these families, thanks to this essential program. We also know
that individuals and their families who make this monumental choice will continue to
need the support and guidance that this program has provided as they encounter new
challenges.
All of these programs demonstrate The Arc’s commitment to family support, provided
by family members who have first-hand experience with the challenges and frustrations
families encounter in their search for quality supports and services that enhance the
hopes and dreams of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Each of
these programs is staffed by family members who know exactly where self-advocates
and their families are coming from and where they want to go. This makes them a
unique resource for families.
Please take the time to call your legislators and the Governor expressing your
outrage about the elimination of important human services, including the cuts
to programs such as the Illinois Life Span Program, The Autism Program, and
others.

We encourage you to join The Arc of Illinois and work with self-advocates, family
members, and professionals for programs and policies that truly support individuals
with disabilities and their families in Illinois
.

Thank you for your support!

Deb Fornoff, Director
Illinois Life Span Program

Katherine Hamann, Director
Family Transition Project

Shirley Perez, Executive Director
Family Support Network of Illinois

Tony Paulauski, Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois


Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
 
Tony@thearcofil.org