Monday, May 18, 2009

Fight for Kids with Disabilities

Some of you may want to attend this event. (May 20th from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at AmericInn 9106 N. Lindbergh Dr. Peoria, 61615) I can give you the organizer's contact info if you want--

FROM FREEDOM QUEST 2009: Calling for equal opportunities for citizens with disabilities in Illinois, a group of thirty-five people with disabilities, and their friends and family will arrived in Peoria, Illinois Wednesday as part of their journey around the State. They call for changes that will allow people with disabilities in Illinois to get the services they need to live free, independent and inclusive lifestyles like everyone else in America. The journey, called Freedom Quest ’09, was inspired by the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

The group of individuals is one of three groups traveling around the State of Illinois in caravans on three separate routes. Freedom Quest ‘09 travelled from the Quad Cities to LaSalle-Peru, will continue on to Bloomington and end with a rally at the State Capitol Rotunda in Springfield at 11:00 a.m. on May 21st.

The specific changes that the group is calling for include:

  1. Creating flexible, individual, cost-effective community-based supports for people with developmental disabilities so they can live free lives.
  2. Reducing and eventually eliminating the number of people with developmental disabilities on the waiting list by investing in community-based services.
  3. Reducing the need for expensive state-operated institutions by offering people with significant disabilities the services they need to live in their own communities…the millions saved could be spent to help more people in better ways.
  • Illinois institutionalizes more or its citizens with developmental disabilities than nearly every other state. Institutional care costs more than twice as much as community-based care.
  • Illinois ranks 51st in providing community integrated supports for people with developmental disabilities.
  • In Illinois, only 13% of people with developmental disabilities who want to get jobs in the community have them.
  • Illinois ranks 40th in overall funding for people with developmental disabilities.
  • There are currently almost 17,000 people waiting for services in Illinois.
-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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