Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ability Chicago Response on Illinois Governor Quinn Announcement of Closure of State Institutions : Oct 12, 2011

Thank You…

Governor, Pat Quinn, announced plans to reduce and restructure the number of state-operated facilities for people with developmental and psychological disabilities. This will result in the closure of:

• Singer Mental Health Center in Rockford

• Chester Mental Health Center in Chester

• Tinley Park Mental Health Center in Tinley Park

• Mabley Developmental Center in Dixon

• Jackson Developmental Center in Jacksonville

As the State of Illinois has found it more convenient to place People with Disabilities in Institutions, by Gov Quinn's action we as a State move forward on having the 'choice' of a Group Home.

For years so many advocates and originations have worked for this day to happen, we all owe these people our support and gratitude.

The ruling against the State of Georgia in the case Olmstead v. L.C and E.W; the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of individuals with disabilities to live in their own community.

As the cost to institution an individual is more then double to offer a Group Home setting, with the proper support system in effect. With Illinois participating in a CMS-funded Money Follows the Person demonstration grant for a number of years. In providing these grant funds, CMS intent was to change the biased thinking that has made states like Illinois to Institutionalize Individuals, instead of allowing people with disabilities to participate in there communities and to live there lives to the best of there 'Abilities'.

While there is a very organized opposition to the closure of the above 5 Institutions, we need to be just as organized in our support for those individuals that want to live in there own communities, with group homes with the proper support system in place.


Our friends at the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois (CCDI)

Have put together Talking Points for Legislative Calls/Emails on Closure; it is a pleasure to share the information CCDI has put together:


Proposed closure of two Developmental Centers

The Governor has proposed closing Jacksonville and Mabley Developmental Centers and anti-closure forces are rallying to stop him. Please email or call members of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability and let them know that people with developmental disabilities CAN AND SHOULD be served in the community, not in institutions! Tell them both institutions must be closed with a reasonable plan to transition residents safely into community based settings where possible.

Also, talk with your own representatives, especially if you live in the districts that include those two centers (Jacksonville and Dixon).



*Jeffrey Schoenberg

(217) 782-2119

*Michael Frerichs (217) 782-2507

*Matt Murphy

(217) 782-4471

*Suzi Schmidt (217) 782-7353

*Dave Syverson

(217) 782-5413

*Donne Trotter

(217) 782-3201

*Patricia Bellock

(217) 782-1448

*Kevin McCarthy

(217) 782-3316

*Elaine Nekritz

(217) 558-1004

*Raymond Poe

(217) 782-0044

*Al Riley

(217) 558-1007

*Michael Tryon (217) 782-0432



Mabley Developmental Center

*Senator Tim Bivins 217-782-0180

*Representative Bill Mitchell 217-782-8163

Jacksonville Developmental Center

*Senator William (Sam) McCann

217- 782-8206

*Representative Jim Watson 217-782-1840

Frame this issue in your own words, but feel free to use any of the talking points or facts below:


1. Everyone can live in the community with appropriate services and supports. For every one person in an institution who has severe disabilities, there are five people in the community just like them.

2. Illinois MUST develop and aggressively implement an Olmstead plan – Olmstead decision was in 1999. What other minority group would wait to realize their civil rights after a landmark decision? The state should have begun moving toward community supports twelve years ago.

3. The community knows how to support individuals who have lived in state institutions BUT money from closure of institutions MUST be re-allocated to community services and supports.

4. People with intellectual and other developmental disabilities live safer, healthier and fuller lives in small community settings.

5. Research shows that parental attitudes change after their loved ones move into small community settings.

6. Yes, people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have moved backed into state institutions. That is a failure of the system, not a failure of that person.

7. There are now fourteen states without state institutions.

8. Illinois now has eight state institutions with about 1,975 residents.

9. The daily costs of an Illinois state institution is $ $181,700 per person per year, BUT the average Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) cost is $52,454 according to the Division of Developmental Disabilities, March/2011

10. In 1998, there were 3,405 individuals in Illinois state institutions. In 2011 there are now 1,950 individuals in state institutions a 58% decrease. - The rest of the nation is trending away from institutionalization and toward community-based services and supports. More importantly, today families are not institutionalizing their children as they were urged to in the past. They are keeping them in their homes, or at least in their communities. It is probable that within the next two decades, there will be no families whatsoever institutionalizing their children and those who are currently living in institutions will have died. To continue to fund, let alone increase funding to institutions is fiscally irresponsible and not sustainable.

14 States Without State-Operated Institutions*

1. District of Columbia (1991)

2. New Hampshire (1991)

3. Vermont (1993)

4. Rhode Island (1994)

5. Alaska (1997)

6. New Mexico (1997)

7. West Virginia (1998)

8. Hawaii (1999)

9. Maine (1999)

10. Michigan (2009)

11. Oregon (2009)

12. Alabama (2012)

13. Minnesota (2000)

14. Indiana (2007)

* (Source) Challenges in Developmental Disabilities: State of the States, State of the Nation, 2011, D. Braddock, Ph.D., Arc US Convention.

Editorial Support for Community Services

Chicago Tribune, May 23, 2011

“Disability advocates say the state could save roughly $170 million by closing four of its eight institutions. This needs to happen in a way that’s least disruptive for the people at these institutions. But it needs to happen.”

State Journal-Register, May 22, 2011:

“For years, advocates for the developmentally disabled have tried, with very limited success, to persuade the state to move away from reliance on institutions and toward greater use of residential group homes and community programs for those with developmental disabilities.”

“Illinois must move out of the dark ages in treating its most vulnerable citizens.”, May 22, 2011

“… the trend in recent years has been moving toward community-based settings – and Illinois lags far behind other states that have scaled back or eliminated state-run institutions for those with developmental disabilities.”

“It is a matter worthy of consideration – for financial as well as humanitarian reasons.”

Rockford Register Star, April 27, 2011

“Illinois has its priorities exactly backward.”

“ Is it any wonder why Illinois is ranked 51st in the nation for supporting citizens in their communities?

Chicago Sun-Times, June 15, 2011

“For a state looking to cuts costs wherever it can, moving away from expensive institutional care is imperative.”

“States that have seen the light have moved away from warehousing people with disabilities in large, residential facilities in favor of placing them in smaller, community-based settings.”

# For CCDI, please visit: