developmentally disabled

A special joint committee of Illinois Senators and Representatives will meet Wednesday to learn about abuse and neglect in the state's network of group homes for the developmentally disabled.

Illinois State Capitol
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

After taking a break for Thanksgiving, Governor Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders are scheduled to meet Monday afternoon, as the second, and final, week of Illinois' annual veto session begins.

The governor and leaders are meeting as Illinois approaches a deadline: When 2016 is over, so is a temporary spending plan.

Rauner continues to prioritize an agenda he says will grow the economy in the long run; Democrats continue to resist those plans.

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Adults with disabilities often face long waiting lists for services or placements in group homes. This leaves parents filling the role of primary caregiver, often with little outside help.

In recent years, there have been multiple incidents of parents in the Chicago suburbs killing their adult children with disabilities and then killing themselves or trying to kill themselves. 

These tragedies prompted the Daily Herald to look at the pressures caregiver parents face. Marie Wilson wrote a series of stories on that topic. Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn talked with Wilson about her stories. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants to get the state out of legal agreements called consent decrees. The deals are a big part of the reason the government is still operating without a budget; they also impact the lives of thousands of Illinois residents. But unless you are affected by one, you've probably never heard of them. 

  Suspended payments for early intervention services will resume, even though Illinois still has no budget. 

Early intervention is just that -- therapists intervening in disabled children's lives when they're infants or toddlers.

Chicagoan Naomi Shapiro's 8-month old has a genetic disorder.

"He received physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, hearing therapy and soon he'll start developmental therapy," she says.

Therapy she says has little Leor Braun smiling, and responding to his own name.

Photograph by Yoshiko Dart / Access Living

Twenty-five years after the landmark federal law, people with disabilities in Illinois still have trouble getting hired.

Lisa Ryan

Advocates for people with disabilities gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday to show support for community-based living.

Bridget Brown is a public speaker who has down syndrome. She helped lead a rally calling on lawmakers to get rid of state institutions that house people with disabilities.

"A champion is a person who fights for a defenseless person, a protector, advocate and a warrior," she said to the crowd. "You are a champion!"

Jennifer Wilson moved into her new room at Bethesda Lutheran Communities in January.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Jennifer Wilson’s family painted her new room a "buttercream yellow" in anticipation of her big move. They threw house-warming showers for the 27-year-old to equip her with all the things she will need in her first place. 

 

 

Should capital punishment be banned for mentally retarded defendants? Of course it should. 

And policymakers at the state and national levels now have an opportunity to make that happen.