Arc News

Headed to Washington!

Arc staff and leaders head to Washington DC Sunday for the Disability Policy Seminar and to meet with the Illinois Congressional Delegation.  Almost 20 Illinoisans will demand support for Medicaid and other critical funding for individuals and families.  More to follow!

March 23 – Arc Ligas/Family Support Network 5th Informational Seminar in Chicago

Don’t miss The Arc Ligas/FSN 5th Informational Seminar on March 23 8-3:30 pm.  This a free event for self-advocates and families.  With all of the changes happening on both the State and National level you need to be informed.
Location: Heritage Plaza Banquet Facility,The Bethune Room,1500 West 95th St.,Chicago, IL 60643.  For more information, contact or calling 708-331-7370!

Register Now For The Arc Convention April 26-27


Here is the registration link.  It is now more important than ever to get and stay connected with advocates.  Check out the terrific program for this year.

Save the Date – Autism Conference Oct 3 – Life, Animated Author to Speak

It isn’t too late to put this date on your calendar.  This year, Ron Suskind, the author of Life, Animated, which was made into an Oscar nominated movie this year, will be the keynote speaker this year!



State Policy & Advocacy

Although the State House and Senate were in session this week holding committee hearings on bills, we have not seen any movement on a new or different grand bargain.  Next week we will highlight some of the bills we are following after the House finishes its committee deadline.

Action Alert

Call or stop by your Senators’ local offices next week when they are on break and back in district to ask them to support a new grand bargain.  If they voted to support the previous one, please thank them and encourage them to continue to talk with each other.  The Senate is the best chance we have to get a 2018 budget.

State Hearing on the AHCA

The House Human Services Committee held a hearing on the possible impact of the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the potential damages to the state especially through Medicaid.  The Arc submitted the following letter talking about the impact to the IDD community.



Federal Policy & Advocacy

The House Budget Committee voted 27-8 to recommend reevaluating the tax credits included in the legislation to make sure they provide more support for the poorest and oldest enrollees. However, the bill only got out of this committee with a vote of 19-17, one vote shy of what was needed to stop it!  That means our advocacy is working!  We expect a full House vote as early as next week.

Action Alert


We cannot let up on calls, letters, emails and visits to our congressional delegation to express our opposition to the AHCA.  Click here.  Here is a social media toolkit as well as save medicaid graphic.

Trump Releases Budget


President Trump released a very slim 2018 Budget Blueprint.  I wanted to share a link to this document as well as highlight at least what is reported in the brief document.

The overall spending cap for the total discretionary budget (defense and non-defense) decreases from $1.07 Trillion to $1.065 Trillion.  We see at non-defense discretionary sees a 10% decrease in spending.  Non-defense discretionary is where most of the programs impacting individuals with disabilities, families and low income people sit.  The biggest cuts come to the EPA, foreign aid and the state department.

Here are some highlights from areas that impact our community:

  • HHS sees a 17.9% decrease from 2017 (though in a different place in the document it references a 16.2% decrease).  Priorities in HHS are stated as “health services through community health centers, Ryan White HIV/AIDs funds, and Indian Health, early care and education and medical products review and innovation as well as public health priorities such as prescription drug overdose and PROGRAM INTEGRITY FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID”.  “Eliminates program duplication or limited impact in public heath and well being (no more specifics).
  • Increase for program integrity for medicaid and medicare usually means the increased need for re-authorization and increased paperwork for individuals trying to access Medicaid.
  • Decrease in NIH funding of $5.8B to $25.9B.
  • The document references that the CDC would give a $500M block grant to states to respond to their own public health challenges.
  • It references investments in mental health but does not mention money.
  • Eliminates LIHEAP (the program for low income people to receive assistance for heating in the winter) and the Community Services Block Grant – a total savings of $4.2B.
  • HUD is decreased overall by 13.2%.
  • Eliminates Corporate for National Community Services (Americorps among other things), Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Legal Services Corporation, Neighborhood Reinvestment, National Endowment for the Humanities, US Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • No word yet on the Councils for Developmental Disabilities and funding for University Centers or Protection and Advocacy organizations.
  • Also no word in this document on funding for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Please remember that this is just a starting point and will not be what is voted on in the House and the Senate.

However, although Medicaid is excluded from this discussion of discretionary funding, this budget combined with the proposed Medicaid cuts through AHCA would be devastating to our community.

Please call your legislators NOW and tell them to support individuals and families by voting NO on AHCA and NO on this Trump budget proposal.



Free Training for Parents

Please share this exciting opportunity to participate in a FREE parent training for parents of young adults with Down Syndrome. This curriculum has been developed by Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L and Linda Sandman, MSW, LCSW and all sessions will be led by them. This training is being held in conjunction with a research study to measure the effectiveness of the training in improving self-efficacy and attitudes around healthy sexuality for young adults with Down Syndrome.

All trainings will be held from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Adult Down Syndrome Center, 1610 Luther Lane, Park Ridge, IL.

There are 4 options for attending this training:

Option 1: April 22, April 29, and May 13th
Option 2: June 17, June 24, and July 8th
Option 3: August 5, August 12, and August 26th
Option 4: September 9, September 16, and September 30th.

If you’d like more information or want to register, contact Katie Frank at (847) 318-2331 or



Important Dates!