Advocates travel to Springfield Illinois to protect independence of people with disabilities.

On May 16, about 25 Access Living staff, consumers and advocates will travel to Springfield to urge legislators to vote against cuts to community based medicaid services for people with disabilities.

Currently, Illinois plans to cut $2.7 Billion in Medicaid services. Many of these cuts will devastate services that enable people with disabilities to live in their own homes. Through Medicaid, thousands of people with disabilities receive personal assistant and other supports. With those supports, people can live in their own homes and apartments. Without these supports, many people would lose their independence and would be forced to move into institutions or nursing homes.

Disability advocates argue that, rather than cut community based Medicaid services, Illinois should invest in community based services. Such an investment would save money by reducing the reliance on expensive institutions. Also, the investment would enable more people with disabilities to contribute and be productive in their communities, benefiting the diversity and strength of all Illinois communities.

Of the group making the trip to Springfield, some include people who will be directly impacted by cuts to community based services, including Henry Williams, whose story is linked to this page. Also linked to this page in the story of Jason Carrington, who also is able to live independently with the support of Medicaid Community based services.

If changes aren’t made, the Governor's proposed budget will damage the community infrastructure that Illinois needs for its rebalancing efforts, making it even more difficult to rebalance the long-term care system and ensure that seniors and people with disabilities can remain in their homes rather than being placed in much more costly institutions.

Tomorrow in Springfield, the group will urge legislators to support Senate Bill 3913 and House Bill 6141:

These bills increase funding for the Home Services Program, Centers for Independent Living and the Community Reintegration Program!

These three things will address the problems with the Governor’s proposed Home Services Program budget and allow the state to save millions of dollars by ensuring that persons with disabilities can stay or move into their own homes and communities.

Access Living is part of a coalition that is working to protect these services. The coalition released a fact sheet called PIES --
Protect+Invest+Enforce+Strengthen. Attached is a PIES Fact Sheet.


Contact:
Tom Wilson
Title:
Community Organizer - Health Care
Work:
312-640-2125
TTY:
312-640-2171
Email:
twilson@accessliving.org
Contact:
Amber Smock
Title:
Director of Advocacy
Work:
312-640-2191
TTY:
312-640-2164
Email:
asmock@accessliving.org