Intelligent Lives Tonight 
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8 ET / 7 CT / 10 MT / 9 PT

Assistive Tech Grants Announced
In response to recommendations from the Assistive Technology Subcommittee of the Ligas Rates Oversight Committee, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) released an RFI requesting information from community provider agencies regarding innovative strategies using Assistive Technology (AT).  They received many exciting responses — more than could be funded at this time. DDD ultimately chose to fund 7 projects. The results of these projects will be able to be replicated across the system  and, most importantly, positively supports individuals with I/DD to live self-determined lives in their community.

Director Allison is pleased to announce the following provider agencies will be funded for their AT strategies and have received an email notification which will be followed by an official letter.  DDD will also post the list to the DDD website. The agencies to be funded are:
Avenues to Independence
Community Support Systems
Kreider Services
New Star Services
The Arc of the Quad Cities Area
Trinity Services
UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago

Regarding those agencies who will not be able to fund, they will receive an email notification, and in some cases, DDD will notify them that what they proposed can be acquired through the Home and Community-Based waiver or under the state plan.  We will be offering technical assistance to the impacted agencies to help them through those processes.

Chicago Mayor’s Office for Peopel with Disabilities Business Forum
The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities will be hosting a Disability Business Forum this Friday for entrepreneurs with disabilities seeking to start or grow their own business. 

The National Disability Institute Presents
The ABCs of Social Security Benefits, Employment Options and Work Supports + Where to Find the Experts
November 14, 2019 – 10:00 AM CST
Join National Disability Institute (NDI), through the support of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD), as we share an overview of benefits, options for employment and work supports available through the Social Security Administration (SSA), as well as where to find experts on these topics throughout Illinois. You will not want to miss this final part of our three-part webinar series for 2019. Our national expert, a previous 35-year employee of SSA, will provide listeners with information on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and available work incentives that allow an individual to keep some or all of their benefits as they test their ability to work and/or increase their hours or earnings.

Understanding one’s benefits and the options available is a crucial step towards financial wellness. This session will provide a better understanding of the world of benefits and give valuable information to assist individuals in making an informed decision about entering the workforce or increasing their current employment status. Additionally, we will share with you how and where to find experts in your local community through a Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program to discuss with a certified individual more in-depth personal options and scenarios. This webinar is designed for people with disabilities, their family members, disability service providers, educational programs and financial institutions. 

Please note: Real-time captioning will be provided for this webinar. For other accommodation requests, questions about the webinar, or the registration process, please contact Katie Metz at

Increases in Homebased Funding 
As you may be aware, the Social Security Administration has announced a rate increase of 1.6 % to $783 effective January 1, 2020, for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) individual benefits. This will determine the monthly and annual maximum amounts for HBS.

In the HBS Program, children ages 3 to 17 and young adults who are between the ages of 18 and 21 and enrolled in a Special Education program, currently receive services up to $1,542 per month. This amount will increase to $1,566 per month effective January 1, 2020. For those individuals who choose to use the flexible spending amount, the monthly maximum will be $3,132. The annual maximum is $18,792.

In the HBS Program, the maximum amount for adults ages 22 and older, and adults ages 18 to 21 who are no longer in Special Education, will increase from $2,313 to $2,349 per month effective January 1, 2020. The annual maximum is $28,188.

HBS service plans for the month of January 2020 may reflect service spending up to the new maximum amounts. Any adjustments made to accommodate the increase in service amounts must be included in service plans and service agreements. For those individuals who employ their own personal support workers, fiscal/employer agent service agreements should also be updated.

Effective Date:  January 1, 2020

Major Recent Events
Education: Higher Education Act Reauthorization Introduced in House
On October 15, Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the College Affordability Act (H.R.4674). This bill provides federal funding to states that provide free community college education, increases Pell grants, and makes various improvements to student loan programs, among other things. Additionally, it contains a provision requiring colleges to accept an individualized education plan or a 504 plan as evidence of a disability when a student is seeking accommodations. Learn more from the Committee on Education and Labor website. The Arc supports this legislation.

Major Upcoming Events
Immigration: House to Hold Hearing on Deporting Critically Ill Children and Their Families
On October 24, the House Oversight Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties will hold a hearing on the Administration’s Decision to Deport Critically Ill Children and Their Families. Ken Cuccinelli, the Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Matthew T. Albence, the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will testify. This hearing was originally scheduled for October 17, but was postponed. Additional information on the rescheduled hearing will likely be posted on the committee website. Read The Arc’s initial statement opposing the Administration’s policy here.