Access Living milestone a dream come true for Anton Taylor

“It’s like a breath of fresh air,” said Anton Taylor, letting out a small sigh, thinking about his new apartment. Back in early 2004, Taylor moved into a southside nursing home for what he believed to be a short stay. Years later, Taylor was still in the nursing home. Like many other people with disabilities throughout Illinois, Taylor wanted out of the nursing home, but couldn’t get out because of limited community-based options.

In 2007, Taylor heard from a friend about Access Living’s Deinstitutionalization Program, through which people with disabilities in institutions can try to find a place of their own in the community. The project helps people secure an apartment and support services, and also provides money for the security deposit and first month’s rent.

On March 5, after months of hard work and persistance, Taylor moved into a two bedroom apartment of his own on the northwest side of Chicago.

While Access Living celebrates each person who transitions into the community, Taylor’s independence has extra significance. He is the 200th person to successfully complete the Deinstitutionalization Program.

Now that he is in the community again, Taylor hopes to pursue some goals that had been put on hold, including a career in computer graphics. “I always wanted to be in that field,” Taylor said. “I’ve dreamed about it. Now I can make it happen.