Illinois Disability + COVID Updates From Access Living


April 3, 2020 | by Amber Smock

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

Illinois Emergency Backup Personal Assistants: If you live in Illinois, use the Home Services Program (HSP), and, due to COVID-19, you are without a backup HSP personal assistant/home care worker, there is a new statewide emergency hotline number being run by the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL). That number is 1-800-587-1227 (by phone or relay) during regular weekday business hours. If you live in the City of Chicago and participate in HSP, you can also call Access Living directly at (312) 640-2100 as we are coordinating the backup service in the city.

Illinois DHS-DRS Hotline: If you are a customer of the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation Services (DHS-DRS), they have set up a new COVID-19 crisis hotline to help you navigate your DRS issues. The number is 1-877-581-3690 by phone or relay service.

Access Living COVID-19 Resource Page: Staff have been working hard to compile resources. Many are local; some are national. You can see our resource page here.

Support Persons at Hospitals: We encourage more medical facilities to follow the lead of Rush University Medical Center, which has adjusted its no-visitor policy to allow for one support person to accompany people with disabilities getting medical service at Rush. The no-visitor ban has caused great stress for many people with disabilities who require a support person, so please take a look at Rush’s example.

An Additional Thank You: We would like to close by thanking the thousands and thousands of front line workers battling to protect people from the COVID-19 virus, all disability support workers, and everyone who is working to secure personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves. We see our Illinois state and local officials working day and night to keep our communities safe. These are very difficult times and we are grateful for everyone’s support.