Welcome New Organizational Affiliate

The Arc of Illinois is delighted to welcome Don Moss & Associates as our newest organizational affiliate! Curious about our chapters and organizational affiliates? Learn more here.

Action Alert

For decades, advocates have been decrying the fact that Illinois has ranked well below the rest of the nation with regard to community spending on intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) supports and services. Despite historic investments in the IDD community service system over the past few years, the Illinois IDD community system remains in crisis due to workforce shortages that were worsened by COVID-19. With the Choate Developmental Center transformation under way, it is critical that investments in the community-based IDD system in Illinois are significantly strengthened to support individuals who are transitioning out of institutional settings.

The Arc of Illinois continues to advocate with other members of They Deserve More to increase investments in community-based supports. The focus has been on raising the DSP wage by $4/hour (this includes the $1.50 in the Governor’s proposed budget) to be more competitive amongst other industries. To see a video featuring our very own Erica Stearns, Illinois Life Span Information & Outreach Specialist, about how the staffing crisis impacts her family, click here. Take action by emailing your member of the Illinois General Assembly and ask for their support, click here.


Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)

Last week, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) held the first of four (4) feedback sessions to hear from stakeholders regarding the implementation of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV). 

There are three more Listening Sessions coming up:

Feedback Session 2  
Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2023  
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  
Registration: Cisco Webex Meetings - Register Meeting   

Feedback Session 3 
Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2023  
Time: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  
Registration: Cisco Webex Meetings - Register Meeting  

Feedback Session 4 
Date: Friday, April 28, 2023  
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 
Registration: Cisco Webex Meetings - Register Meeting  

The Arc of Illinois is pleased that DDD is providing an opportunity for families to provide feedback on how EVV will impact them. States have the option to choose how to implement EVV and several states have chosen to use a live-in caregiver exemption. We are strongly requesting that consideration to a live-in caregiver exemption be used in Illinois so that families are not unnecessarily burdened by clocking in and out to provide support to a loved one who also resides in the home. Learn more about EVV and read our statement here.

Families are encouraged to attend a listening session and send an email to DHS.DDDEVV@Illinois.gov to share any comments, questions, or to share specific examples of how EVV may impact your family.  


There's Still Time to Register for Next Week's 73rd Annual Convention

Join us for The Arc of Illinois 73rd Annual Convention on April 19 - 20, 2023 either in person or virtually for two days of presentations.

In-Person: The Convention will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lisle, IL. As an in-person attendee, you'll be able to hear from speakers in person, visit with our sponsors and exhibitors, view the silent auction items and art exhibit, and meet your fellow attendees. You have the option to attend the breakout session of your choice. 

Virtual: The Convention will be presented using Zoom Webinar. As a virtual attendee, you'll be able to join the live stream of the keynote and plenary presentations, and choose from two breakout sessions to join. Please see the agenda for more information on which breakout sessions will be presented virtually. Attendees will also have access to the Convention website with information on the sponsors, exhibitors, silent auction, and art exhibit.

NEW this year! A track of breakout sessions will be presented in Spanish. 

We have a dedicated site on our website for additional information, including our virtual Silent Auction, Art Exhibit, and Exhibitor Hall. 


Thank you, Traci Dawodu!

Last week we bid farewell to Traci Dawodu, CPA, Finance Director, who in less than 18 months supported a major transformation of multiple financial and accounting practices at The Arc of Illinois, resulting in more efficient and user-friendly processes. I am personally grateful to her for all that I learned and for her unending patience. We wish Traci all the best in her next chapter!


Did you know that The Arc of Illinois has a job board?

Chapters and organizational affiliates may post positions for free for 30 days, while others may post for $50 for 30 days. Send postings to karin@thearcofil.org.


Update from Sabrina Wyman, Legislative Advocacy Coordinator

The legislature is out again this week for their second half of Spring Break. We are using this time to reach out to our elected officials about Illinois’s ranking for community based services. Interested in writing a letter to your State Senator and Representative? Go here to message them to FIX IT!

The table below lists some bills related to people with disabilities in Illinois that we are watching. For a more complete list, click here.

Bill Number




HB 3569

$4.00/hour wage increase for DSPs by 1/1/24

Assigned to Medicaid & Managed Care Subcommittee


HB 3811

Allows any entity to make contributions to an ABLE account. The program may also be referred to as the “Senator Scott Bennett ABLE Program”

Passed the House, referred to Senate Assignments


SB 1558

Develops a model program of study for DSPs

Passed the Senate, referred to House Rules Committee


SB 1674

Provides that DHS must establish short and long-term stabilization homes programs

Passed the Senate, arrived in the House


SB 2026

$4.00/hour wage increase for DSPs by 1/1/24

Re-referred to Assignments


SB 2039

PUNS information provided at annual review IEP meetings

Passed the Senate, arrive in the House



If you have any notes on what you’d like to hear about in this column, or have questions about legislation, please email me at sabrina@thearcofil.org!

If you wish to learn more about our advocacy efforts, I highly recommend you join our advocacy network.

Join Us as an Individual/Family Member!

Discover all the benefits, training opportunities, and networking with other families, members and professionals.

Join Us as a Chapter or Organizational Sponsor!

Partner with us to receive many benefits, training, and support of our mission through ongoing advocacy efforts.

Looking for ways to give?

Your donation helps The Arc bring together advocates, connect people and families, train and educate, and provide resources and support.


Established in 1959, Little City was founded by a group of parents who dreamed of a revolutionary environment for their children who “experts” often said should be institutionalized.  Today, Little City is a vital, vibrant community led by CEO Shawn Jeffers. Little City's mission is to offer a comprehensive scope of services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization serves the communities of Palentine, Inverness, Joliet, Grayslake, Matteson, and Chicago. 

The nonprofit includes a 56-acre campus in Palatine with a choice of housing, programming and educational options as well as a foster care placement office in Chicago. They recently added the Duffey Family Children’s Village of state-of-the-art group homes for children and doubled our square footage and capacity of its ChildBridge Center for Education. Little City is the only agency in the state providing educational and residential services to students with high intensity needs.

Detailed information about Little City can be found through their website here.


The Arc of Illinois Family Transition Project supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) currently living in state operated developmental centers (SODCs) and their families to explore the possibilities of community life.

Family Transition Project Mentors are self-advocates who have lived in SODCs and can speak personally to the challenges and benefits of transitioning to the community. Mentors work together individually and as a team. The role of the mentors include:

  • Sharing experiences of living in a state operated institution and their current lives in the community;
  • Meeting with individuals living in SODCs and their families; and
  • Speaking with elected officials about the importance of community living for people with IDD.

For our flyer, click here.


We’re participating in the myWalgreens donation program!

You can donate your myWalgreens cash rewards to The Arc of Illinois through July 31, 2023. At Walgreens, you’ll earn unlimited 1% Walgreens Cash rewards when you shop and you can choose how much to donate. It’s that easy. Whether you’d like to contribute $1, $5, or more of your Walgreens Cash rewards you’ll be making a big difference. It really adds up!

Opportunity to Attend Virtual Webinar: 

Going Home Coalition 

April 24, 2023 | 4:00-5:00pm

 presented by Carole Rosen, Going Home Coalition Manager

The Going Home Coalition is comprised of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, family members of loved ones with IDD, non-profits, service providers, advocacy organizations, and allies who are challenging community systems and calling for change. The Coalition purposefully advocates to create systems change, transition away from institutional living through increasing community systems, and empower fair and equal choices and opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

The vision is for people with disabilities in Illinois is to live in a truly individualized person-centered system with the supports and services they choose. Everyone, no matter what challenges they may face, has the right to live a full life in the community. Community is strengthened by diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

This webinar is in partnership with Operation Welcome Home. This program was created specifically to assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families who are transitioning into community-based living from state operated developmental centers (SODCs). The Arc of Illinois wants to be of service to you by providing a place to come for helpful resources, a chance to meet with other families in the same situation, and the opportunity to receive a small tangible form of support.



The IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) offers free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals

Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

To find free tax preparation assistance through VITA and TCE, click here: Get Free Tax Prep Help (treasury.gov)

Ladder Up offers a free, in-person Tax Assistance Program in Chicago, Aurora and Plainfield.  Tax Assistance Program (TAP) - Ladder Up (goladderup.org)

AARP provides in-person and virtual tax assistance to anyone, free of charge, with a focus on taxpayers who are over 50 and have low to moderate income. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Service


Thank you to our 2023 Annual Convention Sponsors!





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The Arc of Illinois
9980 190th St, Suite C  | Mokena, Illinois 60448
815.464.1832 | info@thearcofil.org

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