Don’t Miss Supported Employment Trainings in Rockford, Quincy, Peoria and Carbondale.  Check them and all the other Arc events out here.

DDD Comments Due Today!
Don’t forget to comment by close of business today to the Divisions draft bulletin on the implementation of the rate!  Here is the They Deserve More letter that focuses on concerns about funding being short.  The Arc is also very concerned that independent service coordination agencies were also only partially funded for an increase, creating further imbalance and stretching the ability for conflict free case management to be implemented.    

The Illinois Department of Human Services has issued a draft bulletin ( about the 3.5 percent rate increase that was included in this year’s state budget. For reference, it includes a link to its current rate table, effective July 1.

This draft bulletin is open for comment through July 17. We encourage others to submit their own to the DHS-Division of Developmental Disabilities at:

National Disability Voter Registration Week
What are you doing to make sure everyone you know with disabilities or who cares about disability issues is registered to vote?  It isn’t too late because the week isn’t over and you can keep registering people beyond this week!  The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has some great information and leads the RevUP Campaign.  Check it out here.  At minimum join us this week by using #RevUp and #disabilityvote and tweet and post about the importance of registering and voting.  

Other States In the News
Indiana To Develop Statewide Crisis Assistance Program For People With Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities – From Open Minds

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) is developing a series of new programs to improve services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) by 2021. The programs include the development of new statewide crisis assistance system program; the creation of job placement services for individuals with I/DD; and changes to Indiana First Steps program to make it easier for individuals to enter and stay in the program. First Steps is Indiana’s early intervention program that provides services to young children who have developmental delays or disabilities by connecting with a local network of professionals from education, health, and social service agencies. Nearly 100,000 Indiana residents have an I/DD.This new crisis system was directed by a new state law, Public Law 262 (previously House Bill 1488), which was signed on May 5, 2019. This law establishes a statewide crisis assistance system program for individuals with developmental disabilities and outlines requirements of the program. The law requires the establishment of a Task Force for Assessment of Services and Supports for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities by July 1, 2020.  The legislation also requires the state to provide job placement support for those with disabilities. By December 31, 2019, DDRS will analyze certain components of the vocational rehabilitation services program. The analysis will focus on the cost of services provided in state fiscal years 2018 and 2019; an estimate of the number of people who can be served and the number that must be deferred between state fiscal years 2020 and  2025; projected staffing and fiscal resources needed; current provider organization capacity; projected capacity needed to serve more categories of individuals; and the adequacy of current reimbursement rates. DDRS will also work with the task force to establish new priority categories for individuals served by a waiver by July 1, 2021.

A link to the full text of “Indiana House Enrolled Act 1488 Of 2019” may be found in the OPEN MINDS Circle Library at
A link to the full text of “Indiana House Enrolled Act 1216 Of 2019” may be found in the OPEN MINDS Circle Library at
For more information, contact: Jim Gavin, Director of Communications and Media, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, 402 West Washington Street, W461, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204; 317-234-0197; Fax: 317-233-4693; Email:; Website: and

Texas Highlighted for Its Institutional Bias
With Illinois seeing an 11% increase for state workers including workers at SODCs, but 3.5% or less for workers in the community, I thought this editorial was particularly appropriate to share about Texas’ challenges:  Why Texas Is All But Forcing The Developmentally Disabled Into Bad State Institutions?

Texans with intellectual or developmental disabilities often have a choice: Add their name to a 10-year waitlist for services in their community in places like group homes or get a spot in a more restrictive  state-supported institution immediately. Most choose to wait. 

The state of Texas prioritizes funding for state-supported institutions over community-based services for developmentally disabled citizens. But these institutions are fraught with problems, and few choose them. In order to serve its citizens and use public funds more responsibly, the state needs to reconsider its priorities. 

More than half a million people in Texas have an intellectual or developmental disability, encompassing a range of illnesses and abilities. Most need significant support to live. Many can’t get jobs without that support, and some need full-time care. This level of care is financially inaccessible for all but the wealthiest families, so many turn to the state.  Click here for the rest of the Article.  
Federal Activities
Over 800 Rights Organizations Express Support for the Disability Integration Act of 2019, 7.10.2019
In honor of the 29th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) which we celebrate later this month, 852 civil and human Rights, faith based, justice reform and housing advocates from national, state and local organizations write to say that we support The Disability Integration Act of 2019 (DIA) (H.R. 555/S. 117). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will ensure that people with disabilities live in the community, which is the premise of the ADA – community integration.

Autism/Family Support: House Subcommittee Approves Autism CARES, Lifespan Respite Reauthorizations
On July 11, the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously voted to approve the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act of 2019 (H.R.1058); and the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R.2035). The Autism CARES Act funds autism research, surveillance, and education programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The Lifespan Respite Care Program, through grants to states, helps build coordinated state lifespan respite systems, helps family caregivers pay for respite or find funding sources, encourages development of new and innovative community and faith based respite opportunities, and trains respite workers and volunteers. These bills must next be approved by the full House Energy and Commerce Committee. Visit the Committee website for more information, including video of the markup.

Tax: Mississippi Opens Qualified ABLE Program
In June, Mississippi opened a new Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) program, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 43. The program is open to all eligible individuals nationwide. It has six investment options and a checking option with a debit card. The program has a quarterly maintenance fee of $15 with a $3.75 discount for opting to receive statements via email and a $1.25 discount for Mississippi residents. Asset-based fees for investment options range from 0.34% to 0.38%. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here.

Miscellaneous News: Registration Open for The Arc’s National Convention
Are you ready to join advocates from all over the country? Registration is officially open for The Arc’s 2019 National Convention in Washington, DC. Whether you’re a professional looking to develop skills, a family member trying to expand your advocacy and support network, or an ally interested in getting more involved in the disability community, we have a program that will speak to you! You’ll connect with other passionate advocates from across the country and learn how to navigate and work to improve employment, education, housing, technology, criminal justice, and more. Register today at!