Disability Advocates attend State Hearing to urge closure of institution for people with developmental disabilities.

On Monday, October 17, 16 advocates from the Access Living community will travel to Dixon, Illinois to testify at a hearing on the closure of the Mabley Developmental Center. In September, Governor Quinn announced the closure of Mabley and other institutions for people with disabilities. Access Living is urging that Quinn and Illinois go forward with the closure, and that Illinois support the closure with a transfer of resources from institutions into the community. With appropriate resources, people with disabilities transitioning from institutions will have the support they need to live successfully and independently in their own homes and communities.

In addition to Access Living, Chicago ADAPT, the Community for All Coalition, the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois, and the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities will also be at the hearing.

Access Living urges the community to contact members of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability and urge them to move forward with closure.

Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability

Senator Jeffrey Schoenberg
Springfield Office -- 217-782-2119
District Office -- 847-492-1200

Representative Patricia Bellock,
Springfield Office -- 217-782-1448
District Office -- 630-852-8633

Here is a statement from Access Living about the October 17 Hearing:

Access Living Urges Closure of Institution and meaningful Community Supports

Access Living, a Chicago disability advocacy and services organization, will be sending a contingent of advocates to today’s State of Illinois legislative hearing on the closure of Mabley Developmental Center in Dixon, Illinois. The hearing will begin at 5 pm at the Dixon Theatre, 114 S. Galena Avenue in Dixon.

In September, Governor Quinn announced the closure of two state run institutions for people with developmental disabilities, including the Mabley Developmental Center. Access Living, along with other disability organizations around Illinois, support the institution’s closure.

“Fourteen other states have closed their state operated facilities for people with developmental disabilities and it is time for Illinois to close its institutions,” said Amber Smock, Access Living’s Director of Advocacy, who is scheduled to testify at the hearing. “We believe that shifting the developmental disabilities system fully to community-based services will allow us to serve more people and serve them better. While Illinois’ state operated developmental centers waste millions of dollars, 20,000 people with developmental disabilities languish for lack of services.”

Tom Wilson, Access Living’s Community Development Organizer for Health Care, stated, “We understand that this is a time of great fear and uncertainty for residents, families and workers. The truth is however, that community living is a civil right, not to mention that it also saves money and so many current institution residents would rather live in the community.”

Established in 1980, Access Living is a non-profit, Chicago-based disability rights and service organization that provides individualized, peer-based services for people with disabilities. With a strong influence in public policy and social reform, Access Living is a leading force in the community. Committed to challenging stereotypes, protecting civil rights and breaking institutional and community barriers, Access Living is a nationally recognized change agent at the forefront of the disability rights movement.

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