"Access Living strongly encourages the ultimate goal of Illinois being institution-free."


March 8, 2023 | by Emma Olson

The State of Illinois announced this morning that it has begun taking steps to move residents with intellectual/developmental disabilities out of the troubled Choate Developmental Center in Anna, Illinois. More detail is at this link from ProPublica.

Access Living’s statement is below. Please share widely with concerned advocates.

Access Living Statement on the Choate Transformation Initiative

Illinois houses more disabled people in state-run institutions than any other state except Texas. For decades, the Choate Developmental Center in Anna, Illinois, has been particularly notable for repeated instances of staff abuse and neglect of residents. Today, the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) took action to begin transitioning a portion of Choate residents with developmental disabilities. DHS will also invest in increased staff supports for those remaining in Choate, as well as assessments for their needs for community placements.

This is an important and courageous step towards ending institutionalization in Illinois. Seventeen states have no such institutions and Access Living strongly encourages the ultimate goal of Illinois being institution-free.

However, this cannot be achieved without public and legislative support for investment in the home and community-based services needed by Choate residents, and all Illinoisans with disabilities in the State Operated Developmental Center (SODC) system.

We urge the Governor and the General Assembly to take action immediately to fully fund all Illinois developmental disabilities services, so that stakeholders can effectively collaborate to eventually transition all residents out of Illinois’ SODCs.