Access Living Statement on the Illinois Home Services Program

The Illinois Home Services Program is the key to independence for 30,000 people with disabilities in Illinois. In-home care and personal assistant services are vitally important programs that enable thousands of people with disabilities to live and participate in communities of their choice. Without these services, many people with disabilities will lose their link to independence or be forced to live in costly institutions.

Takita Hightie, a mother of two who lives in Chicago, depends on the Home Services Program to live independently and keep her family living together. “This program has allowed me to focus on myself with assistance. It has made me independent and strengthened my ability to do things on my own. If it were not for this program, I would be back at a nursing home,” Hightie said. Because of the program, Hightie is also now able to work full-time.

Recent arrests and media reports have highlighted fraud within the Illinois Home Services Program. “Fraud is unacceptable and needs to be eradicated,” said Marca Bristo, Access Living’s President and CEO. “We are committed to doing all we can to help address and resolve any problems within the system because the Home Services Program is critical for the independence of people with disabilities.”

Fran Madnick, a person with a disability, had surgery a few years ago. After the surgery, she depended on personal assistants through the Home Services Program. “After surgery and rehabilitation, I was only able to return to my apartment with help from my personal assistant,” Madnick said.

Stories from Hightie and Madnick underscore the importance of Home Services. “Fraud within the system is never okay,” said Bristo. “We need to work together to deal with the problems within the program because without these services many people with disabilities will lose their link to independence and be forced to live in costly institutions.”