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On October 3, 2023, New Star, a chapter of The Arc, and Sertoma Centre merged to become Sertoma Star. From the press release: “After completing a thorough assessment of the organizations and receiving approval from state agencies, both boards agreed that combining resources will have a greater impact in serving individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and those living with mental illness. 

“Both Dan Strick and Gus van den Brink will continue in leadership roles in the merged organization. Dan will be the President/CEO of the agency and Gus will remain as Executive Director until his eventual retirement.”  

Individual and Family Forums 

Thank you to LARC and Sertoma Star for recently hosting our third Individual and Family Forum. The purpose of the Individual and Family Forums is to engage in dialogue around systems change to address barriers to supports and services as well as suggestions for strengthening of the community IDD system. These Forums, coupled with our Public Policy Survey, will guide the development of our Public Policy Priorities in 2024. This week I look forward to meeting with advocates in Centerstone in West Frankfort, IL. Click here for more information on upcoming Forums.   

Governor’s Disability Rights Round Table

Last week, The Arc of Illinois was among other organizations invited to a Disability Rights Roundtable hosted by the Office of the Governor. Though we remain in the process of collecting information on legislative priorities through our Public Policy Survey (in English and Spanish), we were able to share our concerns about the state of IDD services in Illinois, including ongoing allegations of abuse and neglect at state operated developmental centers, issues with the CILA rate calculator (see below), and the nearly 15,000 people currently on the wait list.

CILA Rate Calculator

Earlier this month, The Arc of Illinois met with Ligas Rates Oversight Committee, staff from the Division on Developmental Disabilities, and Guidehouse to revisit the framework of the CILA rate calculator, a formula used to determine the cost of providing support based on the individual’s  level of support needs. The previous CILA rate calculator would have resulted in a reduction of nearly 3.8 million hours of Direct Support Professionals across the system. The Division has re-engaged with Guidehouse for these discussion and has extended the pause on implementation of the DSP hours CILA rate calculator to December 31, 2023. The Arc of Illinois is hopeful that this issue will be satisfactorily addressed to avoid further system disruption.


Welcome to the beginning of Veto Session in Illinois! State legislators will gather to deliberate on bills beginning tomorrow. While we’re keeping a close watch on Veto Session, it’s important to note that there may not be anything big addressed this week. It may be pushed off to the second week of veto (beginning November 7). There is also a possibility that legislators might not focus on disability issues until January.

Stay tuned! If there’s an action item for your legislators, I will be reaching out to you with all the details.


Going Home Coalition’s October Meeting with Equip for Equality’s attorneys Stacey Aschemann and Laura Miller set a new record! October’s meeting was part two of our informative, thoughtful, and engaging conversation about Equip’s recently released report on Choate Developmental Center, and Ligas Consent Decree updates! We gained a lot of knowledge to sharpen our advocacy skills! Please contact carole@thearcofil.org to be added to the invite list for future meetings.


Image description: Curtis Harris, smiling, wearing sunglasses, a red cap, and a yellow jacket.

Self-advocate and recent Alliance Builder Award, Curtis Harris, has done a great job speaking to people and signing up new participants for Going Home Coalition as part of his Larry Biondi Fellowship goals. On October 12th REV UP grant manager, Carole Rosen presented with Curtis at The Illinois Self Advocacy Alliance regional training in Dixon, IL on The 5 W’s of voting!

Later that afternoon, Carole and Bob Peterson, former Shapiro resident and current Mentor in The Arc of Illinois Family Transition program presented at Mabley Developmental Center. Bob shared his experience of having lived at Shapiro and how he is now supported in the community, enjoying a much different life.


Image description: Bob Peterson, smiling, wearing glasses, and a collared shirt.


Image description: John Porter, smiling, wearing a gray polo shirt and a hat with a red bill.

On October 18th, REV UP co-presenters John Porter and Carole Rosen spoke on voting at The Illinois Self Advocacy Alliance regional training in Dwight, IL. Attendees were excited to learn about self-advocacy and to Speak Up and Speak Out for themselves!!!


Image description: Group of people smiling with their hands in the air at regional training in Dwight, IL. One is standing wearing a tie-dyed shirt.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with this year’s theme being “Advancing Access and Equity.”

Research shows that creating an inclusive workplace that includes people with and without disabilities is a good business decision. It increases overall productivity, offers a window into an untapped market, and boosts bottom lines.

Learn more about #NDEAM on our blog: 



The IDD & Mental Health Conference is Now 2 days!

November 14-15, 2023

This virtual conference focuses on the intersection of intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health. Click here for the flyer.

14th Annual DisABILITY Resource Expo: October 28, 2023
We will be returning as an exhibitor and sponsor at the DISABILITY Resource Expo! The Expo will be held at the Market Place Mall and will be run from 11:00am to 4:00pm on October 28th.





The Arc of Illinois Virtual Events

  • Transition Resources through Shirley Ryan Ability Lab | October 18, 2023 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm | Register
  • Seminario Web en Espanol | La Tutela y Las Otras Opciones | October 23, 2023 | 5:30 - 6:30 pm | Register
  • Seminario Web en Espanol | Enfoque en los Hermanos de Personas con Discapacidades del Desarrollo | November 13, 2023 | 5:30 - 6:30 pm | Register
  • Work Incentives Planning & Assistance (WIPA) program and More | November 14, 2023 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm | Register
  • Adapting The Holidays to Your Child with IDD | December 12, 2023 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm | Register


DOL Section 14(c) Stakeholder Engagement Session

First session Thursday, October 26, 2023 | 5:30 - 7:00 pm ET
Registration required by Wednesday, October 25, 2023

In September, Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su announced that the Department of Labor (DOL) is launching a comprehensive review of the Section 14(c) program. 

During the first stakeholder engagement session, DOL welcomes your input on important areas of focus for reviewing the 14(c) program, experiences with options for competitive integrated employment (CIE), lessons from states that have expanded CIE and/or prohibited subminimum wages, impacts of potentially ceasing to issue 14(c) certificates in the future, and any related issues.


Ray Graham Association (RGA) is pleased to present a learning opportunity for families, educators and 
others in the community

This year, Ray Graham is resuming in person, and all are free of charge. Although geared towards families, they are also great learning opportunities for educators and other professionals. This year, the remaining date is November 16. Click here for the flyer.


Alliance and The Arc of Illinois Fall 2023 Regional Training 

“Self-Advocacy, Rights, and YOU!”

Self-Advocates, allies/professionals, and family members are invited to join the Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance (The Alliance) and The Arc of Illinois for a day of learning and advocacy. Trainings are free and will begin promptly at 10am and end at 2pm; lunch is included. Click here for flyer.


The Illinois Autism Task Force (IATF) Transition sub-committee is seeking 
parents/guardians’ feedback on their understanding of the high school (Secondary) transition process. The survey is designed for parents/guardians of children with autism (all ages-young adults) who have an IEP.

The survey will be available beginning September 1, 2023, ending December 1, 2023: The IATF: Transition Sub-Committee Survey 2023


University of Illinois Adults with Autism and Health Services Research Study

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR‐P) grant, UT2MC39440. 

Click here for the flyer. 


Are you, or do you know, a Spanish-speaking
family member of a person who uses AAC?/¿Usted es o conoce a un familiar hispanohablante de alguien que usa la CAA?

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are conducting a study
to learn about the experiences and perspectives of Spanish-speaking family
members of people who use augmentative-alternative communication (AAC).

Investigadores de la Universidad de Illinois en Chicago están realizando un
estudio para conocer las experiencias y perspectivas de los familiares
hispanohablantes de personas que utilizan la comunicación aumentativa y
alternativa (CAA). 

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