Monday, June 22, 2009

Illinois Budget Woes Threaten Programs for People with Developmental Disabilities

Just about every state across the country is facing a similar situation. Now more than ever, people with developmental disabilities, their families, friends, service providers and supporters need to advocate to esnure that these critical services remain intact.

Bravo to the Chicago Tribune for taking the time to cover this important story. More agencies need to be contacting the media with similar stories so people realize how budget cuts are going to impact people in their community.

CHICAGO -- The brain seizures that strike Joan Nowak's daughter without warning once made it impossible for her to secure a job or have any semblance of a social life. But for the last 11 years, Lisa Nowak, now 33, has enjoyed both at a Tinley Park-based Southwest Community Services, which provides case management and work programs for adults with developmental disabilities. Her situation, however, is tenuous after Southwest Community Services and other agencies that serve people with developmental disabilities in the south suburbs learned the state could slash funding by as much as 50 percent if Illinois lawmakers do not enact an income tax increase to plug a multibillion-dollar budget gap."My daughter asked, 'Where will I go next month?' and I had to tell her I didn't have an answer," Nowak said.

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