Disability advocates deliver Valentines to Governor Quinn

Prior to budget announcement, disability advocates
deliver Valentines to Governor Quinn

On Tuesday, February 14, Access Living's Task Force on Attendant Services, Progress Center for Independent Living, and Chicago ADAPT delivered Valentines to Governor Quinn. The Valentines urge Governor Quinn and Illinois to support the independence of people with disabilities by continuing to fund vital community based programs. “We all know that Governor Quinn will announce the budget next week,” said Tom Wilson, the coordinator of Access Living's Task Force. “This is our way to telling Governor Quinn, We will be nice to you if you are nice to us.”

Over the past few years, home and community based services – programs that enable people with disabilities to live independently in their own homes instead of nursing homes – have consistently been the target of state budget cuts. Each year, the disability community and its allies have rallied around the threat to our independence, have spoken together as a community, and have been able to largely stop any Home Service Cuts.

This year, home and community based services may again be under attack. As a result of the state budget crisis, many politicians from both parties have talked about the need for deep Medicaid cuts.

The goal of the Valentines is to send a message before the February 22 budget address that preserving Home and Community based services are essential to people with disabilities living independently and pursuing a strong quality of life. Cutting the programs threatens the independence and quality of life of people with disabilities, and will cost the State more money in the long run because, without home and community services, people will be forced into more costly institutions.

“We urge Governor Quinn and Illinois to do the right thing by supporting the independence of people with disabilities,” said Wilson. “They need to fully fund community based service programs.”

Access Living is a non–profit, Chicago–based disability rights and service organization that provides individualized, peer–based services for people with disabilities.

Chicago ADAPT is grassroots disability rights organization to practices direct action in order to affect social change.

For more information contact Tom Wilson at 312–640–2125 or twilson@accessliving.org, or Gary Arnold at 312–640–2199 (voice), garnold@accessliving.org