April 2, 2021
It’s no secret Illinois government does a lousy job of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
It’s been that way a long time. The question is how much longer we’re willing to put up with that.
An oft-cited study from the University of Colorado ranks Illinois 47th among states in funding community-based services for this vulnerable group. About 18,000 people are on a waiting list for services.
They have autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome or other disabilities. But, with proper support, most can live fulfilling lives with varying degrees of independence.
In recognition of the state’s dismal record, Illinois entered into a federal consent decree in 2011 mandating dramatic increases to pay for those services. By 2018, a federal judge found the state in violation of the decree forc failing to meet its goals.