Support Independence of People with Disabilities: Upcoming efforts to preserve Home Services

Scott, Jackie and Mike spreading the word in 2011 about independence for people with disabilities.
Access Living often writes about and campaigns around Home Services. Home Services is a program out of the Illinois Department of Human Services. Through Home Services, people with disabilities are able to access programs that support people with disabilities living in their own homes. Without the Home Services, many people would be forced into nursing homes and institutions. Institutions cost more money, segregate our communities, and rob people of our independence. That is why Access Living and others campaign so hard for Home Services and other community supports.

The Problem

This year, like many other budget cycles, access to Home Services is threatened by the state budget. Current proposed cuts to the Home Services Program include:

• Raising the Determination of Need Scores. Raising the
score will disqualify many people from Home Services.
• cutting hours for consumers with lower DON scores
• No one under 18 will be eligible for services
• no people with psychiatric or cognitive disabilities will be
eligible for the program.

These cuts will limit the independence of hundreds, if not thousands, across Illinois.

What Can Be Done

Throughout April, there will be a number of ways for people to get involved in the effort to protect Home Services.

Attend a Community Meeting

Illinois Representative Lilly, Representative Turner and Senator Collins will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, April 10 at 6 p.m. You can attend the meeting, learn more, and demand that the state support the independence of people with disabilities.

Where -- Austin Town Hall at 5610 W. Lake St, (corner of Lake & Central)

When -- Tuesday, April 10th at 6 p.m.

Talk to your legislators in Springfield

Access Living and others are organizing a number of Lobby Days throughout April and May. This is your chance to travel to the State Capitol with other Home Service Program supporters and speak directly to your senator and representative about the importance of independence and community living for people with disabilities.

These are the days Access Living will travel to Springfield:

• April 19
• April 26
• May 3
• May 9
• May 16
• May 23
• May 30

To learn more and get involved, contact Curtis Harris at Access Living!

Curtis Harris
Staff Associate – Community Development and Organizing/Health