Call to Families on Homebased who use Self-Directed Assistance (SDA). 

The Division of Developmental Disabilities has made significant changes to the services formally known as service facilitation.  With the updated Adult Services Waiver and the implemenation of conflict-free case management, service facilitation officially went away and in its place came self-directed assistance (SDA).  The Arc of Illinois is very concerned that the Division has a very narrow view of what an SDA’s role can be for families.  Previously SDAs in the agreement with families could manage the PSW, the budget and fill out forms and navigate systems for and with families.  It appears that the Division might be suggesting that SDAs can primarily assist and train families to do these things themselves only.  The Arc is advocating so that families can have SDAs keep doing much of what they were previously doing but we NEED YOUR HELP.

If you are an individual or family who uses the SDA beyond just for training and assisting you to explain how you can do things, please email Meg at and share 1) what the SDA does for you; 2) how important the SDA is to you.  We will be sharing this information with the Division.  

Here is a SDA Recorded Webinar, powerpoint and FAQ shared previously.  Please note – the FAQ is in the process of being updated to respond to issues that the Arc has raised among others.

Ligas Consent Decree Judge find the state is not doing enough

Yesterday, Judge Coleman in the Ligas Consent Decree found that the state is “not in compliance with the Consent Decree by failing to provide the resources of sufficient quality, scope and variety.”  Here is the judge’s statement.

The state submitted a proposal that included a $0.38 wage increase for direct support professionals (DSPs), a program to train individuals receiving TANF (temporary assistance to needy families) to be DSPs, increases in quality monitoring and additional program improvements and enhancements.

The Judge indicated that based on this proposal the Court “sees no end to the Court’s oversight”.  She recommends the state convene a work group to look at wages and rate methodology as well as quality monitoring tool.  Finally she recommends the parties come together to agree on a process for people to move faster off the waiting list and define a reasonable pace.

The judge remains clear that she “lacks the expertise and the budgetary authority to impose measures to resolve the issues here and calls on the parties to continue to develop a plan to bring the state into compliance.
Parties will return to Court on July 10, 2018 to discuss the Order.

Good news from this: The judge agrees that the state must do more in order to move the needle on people getting access to quality services and staff in the community.  The state continues to be under pressure of the consent decree to make change and hopefully investment in community living.

Challenge remains: The Judge insists she can only do so much because she lacks the expertise and the ability to require additional state fundings.  So we still have to work to getting the state fully on board with increasing funding and investing in monitoring.  It will continue to require advocacy to decrease the PUNS waiting list for home and community based services.

More shake ups at the State

Tim Mapes, Michael Madigan’s chief of staff, stepped down due to new misconduct allegations.  This is a big change as Mapes is also the clerk of the House, running the House’s day to day operations and pushing Speaker Madigan’s agenda.

Administrator Norwood Resigns from Healthcare and Family Services to take Private Sector Job

Anthem Names Felicia Norwood President, Government Business. Anthem, Inc. announced on June 4, 2018, that Felicia Norwood has been named president of the company’s government business division, effective June 18, 2018, responsible for Medicaid, Medicare and Federal Government Solutions lines. Norwood was most recently director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. She also served a stint as head of Aetna’s Active Health Management subsidiary.
Meg Cooch Signature

Meg Cooch
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)