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The Arc of Illinois Welcomes Encompass!

The Arc of Illinois is delighted to announce that Encompass, is the newest affiliated member organization! Together we are stronger! Interested in learning more about organizational affiliation or chapter membership? Email Amie@thearcofil.org to learn more.  

Personnel Changes

It is with mixed feelings that I report the departure of Megan Mutti, MA, Senior Ligas Family Advocate. She has accepted an offer to be the Director of Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center. She notes that it is an opportunity for continued growth in some areas of strong interest, particularly school-based parent advocacy and transition supports. Megan said, “While I'm excited about the new opportunity, it is very bittersweet to leave The Arc. I have so enjoyed my work and have benefitted tremendously from Shirley's encouragement and supervision.” We are grateful to Megan for her nearly five years of service at The Arc and wish her all the best in her new role!

With this news comes opportunities for other team members to accept additional responsibilities. We are delighted that Ruth Aguilar has been promoted to the role of Senior Ligas Family Advocate and that Shakari Asbury has also been promoted to FSN/Ligas Family Advocate. Congratulations to Ruth and Shakari!

We are hiring a Ligas Family Advocate for Central & Southern IL which is a remote position and posted to our job board

Finally, thank you to Oklahoma State University senior, Meaghan Sitar, who served as a summer intern as part of her completion of her degree in Human Development and Family Science.

Meeting with United States Senator Tammy Duckworth’s Policy Advisor, Stephanie DeLuca


Image Description: Sign that reads "United States Senate" United States Senator Tammy Duckworth.


Image Description: Two women wearing glasses with one wearing a red dress and white and black striped blazer and the other wearing a white shirt and green pants. Standing next to them is a gentleman wearing glasses and a dark jacket standing next to a Webcam with Amie Lulinski and Sabrina Wyman on the screen.

On August 2nd, The Arc of Illinois’s staff Amie Lulinski, Executive Director; Carole Rosen, Going Home Coalition Manager; Greg Walkington, Director of The Family Transition Project; and Sabrina Wyman, Legislative Advocacy Coordinator, met with United States Senator Tammy Duckworth’s Policy Advisor Stephanie DeLuca. We appreciate Senator Duckworth’s outreach and our discussion about the current situation at Choate and throughout the SODC system. We will continue to advocate with their offices on ways Senator Duckworth can support specific goals towards building community systems to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to move from SODCs into community settings to which they have a right. 


The following list of bills have been signed by Governor JB Pritzker:

SB 99: Requires public universities and community colleges to adopt certain policies and procedures governing the documentation required to verify that a student seeking Section 504 supports has a disability. Effective 1/1/2024.

SB 855: Expands the powers of the Department of Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General to include the investigation and reporting of the material obstruction of an investigation. Effective 6/9/2023.

SB 1558: Requires the Illinois Community College Board to develop a community college program to prepare Direct Support Professionals. Effective 1/1/2024.

SB 1674: Initiative of the Department of Human Services-Division of DD to revamp the long and short-term stabilization homes pilot programs designed to address the needs of individuals needing significant behavioral supports in the community instead of in institutions and to extend the programs to January 1, 2028.  Effective 1/1/2024.

SB 2039: Amends the School Code to revise and update provisions governing public schools sharing of information about the PUNS with students with IEPs and their parents or guardians. Effective 1/1/2024.

Visit our advocacy page here to sign up and join our advocacy network!


Be a Part of Something Larger.

As an Individual or Family Member, discover all the benefits, training opportunities, and networking with other families, members and professionals.

As a Chapter or Organization Sponsor, partner with us to receive many benefits, training, and support of our mission through ongoing advocacy efforts. 


Your Donation Matters.

Whether you choose to donate monthly or one time, your donation helps The Arc bring together advocates, connect people and families, train and educate, and provide resources and support. 




The Arc of Illinois Virtual Events in August and September

  • Seminario Web in Espanol: Envision Illinois: Unidos para Lograr Seguridad, Justicia y Sanación para Personas con Discapacidades que Han Sufrido Violencia Doméstica |17 de augusto| 5:30-6:30 pm | Registrarse
  • LPAP Special Topic Series: DDD Updates with Derek Hedges: Waiver Updates and Issues of Interest for New Home-Based Families | August 24 | 2:15-4:15 pm | Register
  • LPAP Special Topic Series: ACES$ Services: Navigating Payroll and EVV with Tasha Whiteside, Illinois Director, ACES$ Services | September 13 | 12:00-2:00 pm| Register
  • Family to Family Health Information Center Annual Care Options and Benefits Conference | September 14 | Register
  • Seminario Web in Espanol: Seguro de Salud de Familiares Immigrantes | 19 de septiembre | 6:00-7:00 pm | Registrarse
  • The Role of a Developmental Pediatrician | September 27 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm | Register

TAP ASSIST Launches Free Parent Training Program for Parents and Caregivers of Transition-Aged Youth

There are twelve modules in the training program. Each module features an expert-led presentation on a relevant transition topic and includes time for parent discussion and questions.

Topics include:

  • Person-Centered Planning
  • Guardianship and Alternatives
  • PUNS and Medicaid waiver services
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Health Insurance
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • and more!

They have just opened registration for the first session August 14th on person-centered planning at this link:  ASSIST Program - The Autism Program of Illinois - TAP (tap-illinois.org).

The sessions are free for Illinois parents and caregivers of youth with autism ages 14 – 22.  The sessions are virtual starting at 6:00 p.m. on Mondays and we will have approximately one session per month. Some months have two sessions if the topics are similar.  The training sessions run from August 14 through May 13, 2024.  Parents can sign up for whichever session is of interest. Right now, only the first session (August 14) is open for registration.

Parents can also sign up for our TAP Newsletter at the bottom of our home page here Home - The Autism Program of Illinois - TAP (tap-illinois.org) to be notified of future training opportunities or follow us on Facebook for updates!


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. 

We are currently recruiting adults with autism between the ages of 18-65 to participate in a research study. By participating in this study, adults with autism can help us understand their experiences in accessing health services, as well as support the adaptation of an app that could support or improve access to health services for adults with autism.

Participants will be asked to complete a short demographic questionnaire and participate in three interviews over Zoom or phone. The interview format, date, and time will take place whenever is convenient for the participant. The questionnaire should take 5 minutes and each interview will take between 30-60 minutes. In appreciation for your time, you will receive up to $75 for participating in this study.

Click here for the flyer. If you or someone you know would be interested in participating in this study, please email at mebest2@illinois.edu or phone at (312) 627-9536

Testing an Advocacy Program for Latino Families of Transition-Aged Youth with Autism

There is testing for the feasibility and effectiveness of a 24 hour advocacy program for Spanish-speaking, Latino families of youth with autism. During the program, up to 50 families will learn about adult disability services (e.g., vocational rehabilitative services, special needs trusts, housing, Medicaid waivers, and more) as well as develop advocacy skills. You may attend the program in the fall of 2023 or the spring of 2024. The program will be delivered over zoom for 2-hour sessions over 12 weeks.

We are asking participants to:

  • Complete three surveys about their advocacy, knowledge of disability services, empowerment, and unmet service needs
  • Complete a short evaluation at the end of each session and at the end of the entire program about the program

Please consider participating in this study if you are:

(a)  A parent and/or caregiver of a child (aged 12 and older with autism) (b)  Older than 18 years of age and live in Illinois AND (c) Identify as Latino and Spanish-speaking

In appreciation for your time, you will receive up to three $20 giftcards for participating in this study. Specifically, you will receive $20 after completing the pre-survey and attending the first session. Participants will receive $20 after completing the post-survey and the last session. Finally, you will receive a $20 giftcard after completing the six-month follow-up survey.  

For the flyer in English click here. For the flyer in Spanish, click here.

If you are interested in participating, go to the survey here:


If you have difficulty with the link or QR code, you can 

contact: Meghan Burke, meghanbm@illinois.edu, (217)300-1226

Virtual Future is Now (VFIN) Research Study

Online future planning for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) & their families for Illinois

Are you worried about what will happen to your loved one as you get older? Do you find the process of planning for the future overwhelming?

If yes, you might be eligible to join the VFIN research study, which is testing the effectiveness of an online future planning training at the University of Illinois Chicago for adults with IDD & their families in Illinois.

The VFIN research study will randomly assign families to be part of the intervention or control group. All family caregivers and adults with IDD will complete pre- and post- tests.

  • Families assigned to the intervention group will receive a 6-week training with weekly 1.5 hour Zoom classes from September 11 - October 16 on Mondays and two Wednesdays from 7-8:30 pm CT.
  • Families assigned to the control group will receive access to the self-paced materials after the post-test is completed.

Learn more by visiting our website: https://sites.google.com/view/vfin-uic 

To participate, please fill out the form: https://uic.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5dukbZuT2l43TZs or contact Katie at: 312-996-1002 or kkeiling@uic.edu

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