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Friday, April 26, 2013

ACTION ALERT: Take Action to Make Illinois Institution Free : Murray Developmental Center | April 2013

The follow information has been shared from our friends from 'Access Living', and also 'Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois' (CCDI)...

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

In the war to make Illinois free of large state-run institutions, the current battleground is in Centralia, the location of the Murray Developmental Center. If you thought the fight to close the Jacksonville Developmental Center (JDC) was bitter, you should see what's going on with Murray. There are both legislative and legal efforts to keep Murray open, but in the end Murray will need to close because it is part of an outdated system of state-run institutions, and Illinois is turning towards serving people in small homes integrated in the community (and I do not mean a bunch of small homes on one campus). People with disabilities are everyone's neighbors.

Although the fight over JDC was difficult, the fact is that residents who moved into the community are finding success in their new homes. You can see the success story of three of the former women residents at this link: Jennifer, Rachael and Dinah. We at AL are so happy to see their success, and to see the State's ongoing efforts to expand the community services and supports so that anyone with a disability can live integrated in the community. If you know someone with a family member living in a State Operated Developmental Center, please remind them that there is hope and a better way, and to get in touch with a network like the Family Support Network to explore their choices.

You can help. Right now, we need your assistance to email members of the General Assembly to oppose HR 273, which was filed to try to keep Murray open. The Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois set up an action alert, which I have copied below my signature. Please take a look and click on their link (below) to take action by emailing your legislator. It takes two minutes. Be part of the struggle to FREE OUR PEOPLE!

Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy, Access Living

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Going Home Illinois- Jennifer, Rachael and Dinah

YouTube Published by morrealepublicaffair on Apr 23, 2013

The Going Home Campaign supports Governor Pat Quinn's (D-Illinois) Rebalancing Initiative which offers people with disabilities the opportunity to live in a community of choice and not be confined to a state institution. Living in the community offers people with disabilities the opportunity to be productive and social, live close to family and friends and enjoy an overall improved quality of life. The disability system has been studied extensively and the national trend is to downsize state institutions and invest in a community system.
For more information visit goinghomeillinois.org.

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From CCDI:

In the past few months, there have been two bills filed to stop the closing of Murray Developmental Center: HB 97, and HB 1731 HA 1. We've asked you to contact your representatives to oppose these bills; 70 activists took a moment to email their legislators about their opposition to the bills.

However, a resolution was filed on April 19th that asks Governor Quinn to stop the closure of Murray Developmental Center. Please take a moment to ask your representative to oppose this resolution, HR 273, and to ask Governor Quinn to proceed with the plans to close Murray Developmental Center.

Blocking the closure of Murray completely ignores the needs, desires, rights, and dignity of individuals who live there.

Blocking the closure of Murray is in conflict with the Olmstead decision, which says that people with disabilities should not be confined to an institution if they can be accommodated in the community with the right services and supports.

This bill would put the state at risk of lawsuits and of needing to spend large amounts of money on litigation and consent decrees.

The yearly cost to keep someone living in an institution like Murray Developmental Center costs 2 to 3 times as much as someone living in the community with the proper services and supports. Blocking the closure of Murray would be extremely costly to the state.

Jobs at Murray won’t go away; they will transfer to the private sector, reducing the size of government while serving people with disabilities in the most integrated setting possible: their homes.

Please take a moment to contact your legislator. Ask him or her to vote "no" on HR 273, and to proceed with the closure of Murray. Closing Murray Center is the right thing to do for the state's finances and for people with disabilities.
The link is: http://capwiz.com/ccdionline/issues/alert/?alertid=62625171&queueid=[capwiz:queue_id]. THANK YOU!

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We at Ability Chicago do SUPPORT Making Illinois Institution Free
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For Access Living homepage: http://www.accessliving.org/

For Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois (CCDI) homepage: http://www.ccdionline.org/

For Going Home Illinois homepage: http://goinghomeillinois.org/

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