FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Lena Parsons, for Access Living
773-425-0725
parsonslena@gmail.com


Access Living celebrates full closure of Jacksonville Developmental Center

Access Living applauds the November 29 announcement by Governor Quinn that the Jacksonville Developmental Center is completely closed. The statement said that each of the remaining residents at the Jacksonville Developmental Center has transitioned out of the institution and into community care. “We are thrilled with the news that Jacksonville is closed,” said Amber Smock, Director of Advocacy at Access Living. “We applaud Governor Quinn for following through on his commitment to close the institution and to affirm community options for people with developmental disabilities.” Jacksonville’s closure is part of a plan by Governor Quinn to rebalance Illinois’ system of long-term care from institutional care to community-based care. In January of 2012, Governor Quinn announced his intent to close Jacksonville. The next month, in his budget address on February 22, Governor Quinn pledged to “improve the quality of life” for people with disabilities by funding a smooth transition from costly institutions to community settings. In the address, the Governor also announced his intention to close a second institution, the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia, Illinois.

“Governor Quinn’s commitment to rebalancing Illinois’s system of long-term care, and the closure of Jacksonville is a step in the right direction for Illinois,” Smock continued. “Thousands of people with disabilities are segregated in large institutions and are not given a choice to move out. The former residents of Jacksonville were given a choice to live in a community-based setting. We look forward to the day when the residents of Murray and residents of all State Operated Developmental Centers are given that same choice.”

In addition to offering people with disabilities the choice to live independently, expansion of community-based services in Illinois will save the state money. The statement issued by Governor Quinn on November 29 recognized that, “The average cost for JDC was $200,000 per year per resident while the average cost for a JDC resident living in the community is $84,000 per year.”

Established in 1980, Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully-engaged and self-directed lives. Nationally recognized as a leading force in the disability advocacy community, Access Living challenges stereotypes, protects civil rights, and champions social reform.

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Established in 1980, Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully–engaged and self–directed lives. Nationally recognized as a leading force in the disability advocacy community, Access Living challenges stereotypes, protects civil rights and champions social reform.