Image description: Four women smiling. Amie Lulinski is standing in back of Representative Stava-Murray, Leanne Kenworthy, and Cheryl Colon (L-R).

Recently, I was fortunate to meet with my state representative, Rep. Anne Stava-Murray and her Chief of Staff, Kim Brondyke, along with another constituent of hers, Leanne Kenworthy, at her district office. We thanked Rep. Stava-Murray for her support of the ask for $56M infusion into the IDD system to assist with recruitment and retention of direct support professionals during the ongoing workforce crisis. As mentioned in the last newsletter, we received $12.5M at the end of the 102nd General Assembly.

From The Arc US:

Last week we received the news that Peter Berns is departing his role as CEO at The Arc US after 15 years. The announcement from The Arc US reads in part, “Under his leadership, the organization has charted an ambitious path of growth and modernization as it carries out its mission of ‘promoting and protecting the human rights of people with IDD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.’” We at The Arc of Illinois wish Peter the best of luck with his next endeavor and thank him for his 15 years of leadership.


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Legislative Update

Sabrina Wyman, Legislative Advocacy Coordinator, The Arc of IL

Springfield is gearing up for the 103rd General Assembly, having announced Leadership in both the Senate and the House. The House is scheduled to be in this week Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with no committees formed yet. The Senate is out. The Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus announced their Leadership team as well, including Rep. Dagmara Avelar as House Chair and Sen. Celina Villanueva as Senate Chair. Additionally, the Governor announced his key appointments. Secretary Grace Hou will continue to serve as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services. The Arc of Illinois is thankful for her leadership and looks forward to continuing to work together.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities released their final Information Bulletin detailing the implementation of the second set of the Guidehouse Study recommendations and other FY23 budget increases.

The U.S. Department of Justice has released a new version of its American with Disabilities Act website. This improved website has been designed to better serve everyone.

Opportunity to Attend Virtual Webinar: 

Supporting the Health of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disability by Improving Health Literacy of Caregivers

Join the February 28th webinar for the Spring/Winter 2023 Healthy Brain Webinar Series for People with IDD.

February 28th, 2023 (9am-10am CT)

Rachel Skoss, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, The University of Notre Dame Australia

People with IDD often have complex health concerns with a need for health services, caregiver support to access health services and healthy living options, and to manage chronic health conditions. A recent program of research focused on how people living in supported accommodation settings are supported with their health, and how health literacy of caregivers influences their confidence to support health of people with IDD in Australia. Following the research, a ‘health literacy guide’ was written from the perspective of ‘what would be useful for a caregiver to know about supporting the health of a person with IDD’ using a strength-based model of health literacy. The webinar will address how an improvement of health literacy of caregivers can improve health outcomes of people with IDD.


From Chicagoland Disabled People of Color Coalition (DPOCC): 

Chicagoland DPOCC (Disabled People of Color Coalition) kicks off the new year with the first public meeting in 2023!! 

For now on, between now and April, public meetings will be virtual and take place every last Wednesday of the month from 4 to 5:30 pm. 

For this meeting, come with ideas for events, webinars, or campaigns that you would like to see DPOCC plan or join. 

Meeting link:

From Envision Illinois: 

The Peer to Peer: Bridging the Gap through Self-Advocacy curriculum

This curriculum was designed to provide self-advocates with the information and tools needed to support survivors and to act as a bridge between the survivor and the programs in the community designed to serve them.

Self-advocates will learn peer support skills and information through in person learning labs and online virtual tracks: Basic (4 classes), Domestic Violence (3 classes), Sexual Assault (3 classes), and Justice (3 classes)

Leslie Myers, one of the Peer to Peer authors, presented a webinar in December 2022 about the curriculum and how it is designed for interactivity, both online and in person.

Check out the webinar recording here. Check out the Peer to Peer: Bridging the Gap through Self-Advocacy curriculum here.

For more information or to register for the class, please contact Mary Hettel at or Leslie Myers at You can complete the fillable registration form here.

Registration ends Friday, February 17, 2023 so don’t delay…register today!

From The Arc of US:


Share Your Experience as a Family Caregiver To Improve Future Policy and Supports!

Caregivers of people with disabilities have unique experiences and needs in their roles compared to caregivers of other populations, and the Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) survey seeks to understand these perspectives to better support families like yours. The online survey is available in several languages and those who complete it will be entered into a drawing to win one of six $250 gift cards. Your experience is important and can help create a future of better supports and opportunities for families!

From the Sibling Leadership Network and The Arc of Illinois:


In-Home COVID Vaccinations and Boosters

Schedule your in-home vaccination and flu shot today! If you live in Suburban Cook County – Call 833-308-1988. If you live in the City of Chicago - Call 312-746-4835. 

Opportunities to Provide Input:

The 21st Annual Convention Art Exhibit and Contest

During the Annual Convention, The Arc of Illinois hosts an Art Exhibit and Contest. This year, the Annual Convention will be hybrid with both virtual and in-person attendees.

All Artists must submit a picture of their artwork for the virtual exhibit. Artists are welcome to have their work displayed at the Convention, if able, but is not a requirement to participate in the contest.

Click on the link below for the complete contest rules. Artwork is due to by March 24, 2023. 


Virtual Learning Is Now Research Study Opportunity

Has your family member with intellectual and/or developmental disability (IDD) talked about what they want for their future? Not sure on how to prepare your family and loved one with IDD for their future? 

If yes, you might be eligible to join the VFIN research study, which consists of an online & interactive training program offered by the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois Chicago. The VFIN training program is for adults with IDD & their family members residing in Illinois to help them initiate the future planning process. This training will consist of weekly 1-hour Live Zoom classes and self-paced materials on Google Classroom for 8 weeks in Winter 2023. To know more, visit:   

For screening your eligibility, please visit: or contact us at phone: 312-996-1002 or E-mail at


Work in Human Services? Have 5 Minutes to spare? Help us with research!

The Council on Quality and Leadership wants to learn more about the views of people working in human services! In this research study, they are asking people working in human services to complete a 5-minute online survey where they read a short story about human services and answer some brief questions about their thoughts and opinions. All responses and opinions are anonymous.

Your opinion has a huge impact!

Your opinions and experiences as a person in human services are valuable. Through this study, you will help us provide deeper insight into the human services field.


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The Arc of Illinois
9980 190th St, Suite C  | Mokena, Illinois 60448
815.464.1832 |

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