We, the undersigned, call on the Illinois Administration and the General Assembly to defend Illinois home and community based services by taking the following actions in the FY 2013 budget:

PROTECT: People with disabilities, seniors and workers have fought for decades to build programs that serve people with disabilities and seniors in the community, and have fought to raise standards for the workers who are employed by those programs.  Limiting eligibility, reducing and/ or cutting services and lowering standards for workers will only damage these vital programs.

INVEST: Serve more people by spending smarter.  Home and community based services are the most cost effective way to support people with disabilities and seniors in our own communities.  Illinois must ensure that it spends its budget wisely by investing in Medicaid home and community based services.  Illinois also needs to invest in creating affordable, accessible, integrated housing for very low-income people with disabilities and seniors.

ENFORCE: Our state must meet the requirements set forward in the three major Illinois Olmstead class action cases: Ligas, Williams, and Colbert.  These cases are based on Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the idea that federal dollars (i.e., Medicaid) should support people with disabilities in the least restrictive environment.

STRENGTHEN: State-funded programs such as the Home Services Program, the Community Care Program, Centers for Independent Living, the Community Reintegration Program and many others ensure that people with disabilities and seniors can live in the community, and provide jobs for thousands of workers.  These programs need adequate funding and up-to-date provider payments.

We, the undersigned organizations, support the fight to protect, invest, enforce and strengthen Illinois home and community based services:

Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago

AIDS Foundation of Chicago

Anne Scheetz

The Arc of Illinois

Barb Pritchard, Community for All Coalition

Caroline Herzenberg

Chicago ADAPT

Chicago Teachers Union

Chicago Women’s AIDS Project

Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois (CCDI)

Ellen J. Westley

Equip for Equality


Giudi Weiss

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living

Illinois Single-Payer Coalition Chicago

Illinois Valley CIL


Jade Dell

Jim Rhodes

Kathy Fischer & NICIL

Lake County Center for Independent Living

Laura Kingsbury

Laura Pond

LINC, Inc.

Linda Mastandrea

Marcia and Mel Rothenberg

Mary Bennett

Maureen Eisenberg

National Association of Nurses with Disabilities

Options Center for Independent Living

PACE, Inc. Center for Independent Living

Philip Dawkins

Phyllis Arist

Progress Center for Independent Living

  • Kim Liddell, PCIL

Rachel Azzarello

Sacred Creations

Sally Hamann

SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana

Service Employees International Union Local 73

Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Sonja Rotenberg, Illinois Single Payer Coalition-Chicago

Springfield Area Disability Activists

Springfield Center for Independent Living

Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois

Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters, Inc. (SIBS)

Teri Steinberg & Illinois Association of Microboards and Cooperatives

Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living

To sign onto this letter as an individual or organization, please email Amber Smock of Access Living at