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Investment Initiatives


The Council makes investments (grants) to a wide variety of organizations and individuals to help improve the lives of people with disabilities and entire communities. Calls for Investments are made throughout the year. For an information packet, contact the Council's Springfield office at (217) 782-9696.

The State Plan outlines the Council's priorities and objectives in nine areas of emphasis.
Click on any area to find out about the latest Council-funded programs.

Education & Early Intervention
Employment
Child Care
Formal/Informal Community Supports
ICDD funded 6 projects from 2015-2017
Health
Housing
Quality Assurance
Recreation
Transportation
Cross-Cutting


Education and Early Intervention

Please check back frequently to find out more about investments in this area.


Employment

The Council invests in these projects that will help people with developmental disabilities acquire, retain, or advance in employment within communities.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

A recommendation of the Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities Task Force (established by legislation in 2009) is for Illinois to become an Employment First state.  Employment First simply means employment in the community would be the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities receiving publicly funded services in Illinois.  To enact that recommendation, the Task Force held an invitation-only Summit on January 31, 2012 with ICDD support.  The summit included a cross-section of individuals with disabilities, family members, policymakers, disability professionals, and educators.

  • The Employment First Summit Report summarizes the findings from the summit, and lays out a series of recommendations for turning the vision of Employment First discusses at the summit into reality. 
  • The Executive Summary contains a summary of the recommendations developed as a result of the summit. 
  • The Full Report contains much greater detail on these recommendations, along with extensive documentation of the proceedings, links to a wide variety of resources within the text, and an extensive series of resources in the appendix.

Equip for Equality’s Employment First Blueprint and the Illinois Employment First Strategic Plan Draft of December 2014.

 


Child Care


Project: Training System to Support AoE in Inclusion of Children with Special Needs

Investment Partner: SASED
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Investment: $54,92
5

This grant project will support activities that will ensure the success of the new Award for Excellence in Inclusion of Children with Special Needs. With federal funding from Race to the Top, Illinois has developed a tiered system for characterizing the quality of early childhood programs in child care, public school, and Head Start in terms of the level of quality demonstrated, based on a systematic assessment of standards. This tiered system was developed with 4 tiers, with the Gold Circle representing the highest quality. While this system contains some standards that address children with disabilities and other special needs, it is primarily designed to characterize the quality of programs in general, for the broad range of children. It therefore provides a solid foundation for, but is not sufficient to ensure quality in, program practices that support inclusion of children with disabilities and other special needs and their families.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Ann Kremer ann.kremer@eclre.org
Council Staff: Margaret Harkness Margaret.Harkness@illinois.gov 
Project Website: http://www.aoeinclusion.com/


Formal/Informal Community Supports

Individuals have access to other services available or offered in a community, including formal and informal community supports that improve their quality of life.

 


 

 

Project: Educating Consumers on the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Rule

Investment Partner: Center for Quality and Leadership (CQL)
Location: Statewide
Investment: $224,827

The Educating Consumers on the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Rule will educate individuals with developmental disabilities and/or family members to be equipped and confident to conduct training and advocacy on the new HCBS settings rule as a result of the training and mentoring received from the HCBS Advocates Creating Transformation (HCBS-ACT) project. While participating in the training on the new HCBS rule, those trained will report an increase in their knowledge about HCBS waivers, the new rule, and its impact on the service system.

Contacts: Mary Kay Rizzolo
Project Staff: mkrizzolo@thecouncil.org
Council Staff: Margaret Harkness Margaret.Harkness@illinois.gov
Website: https://www.c-q-l.org

HCBS-ACT: https://www.c-q-l.org/HCBS-ACT


Project: Independent Service Coordination System Redesign

Investment Partner: National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS)
Location: Alexandria, VA
Investment: $608,222.39

In late 2012, the Council initiated three major projects to improve the design and delivery of services in the developmental disabilities system. The goals of these projects included improve Individual Service Planning, Implementation and Monitoring and Evaluate the Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS); build and strengthen the capacity of the 18 Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies to plan for individuals living in private Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (ICF/DD) agencies; and strengthen quality of the system through data management.
These projects were conceived as occurring sequentially but as the projects evolved, it became clear that improvements expected from each of the projects involve the same stakeholders. The projects were consolidated in August 2015 into one initiative (Life Choices) with the outcomes of having a redesigned system that aligns with five key provisions of the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) regulations; and having PUNS as a standardized system throughout Illinois.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Mary Sowers msowers@nasddds.org
Council Staff: Kimberly Mercer-Schleider Kimberly.Mercer-Schleider@illinois.gov
Project Website: http://www.nasddds.org


Project: Leaning into Community Together Investment

Investment Partner: Heroes of the Game, Inc.
Location: Rockford, IL
Investment: $151,225

Individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities in Winnebago, Effingham-Coles and Waterloo-Monroe counties increase their community inclusion according to personal choice.

Contacts: Project Staff: Wendy Partridge wendykpartridge@gmail.com
Council Staff: Margie Harkness Margaret.Harkness@illinois.gov


Project: Change Champions for Inclusive Communities

Investment Partner: Center for Independent Futures
Location: Evanston, IL
Investment: $200,000

Individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities from Chicagoland communities will be welcomed and supported in mainstream organizations and community participation aligned with their interests.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Kathy Lyons klyons@independentfutures.com
Council Staff: Margie Harkness Margaret.Harkness@illinois.gov
Project Website: http://www.independentfutures.com/


Project: Quality Lives in Geneseo

Investment Partner: Illinois Association of Microboards& Cooperatives
Location: Mahomet, IL
Investment: $143,000

A community provides access to typical daily life for individuals with intellectual/ developmental disorders using PATH process. Community organizations include individuals as participants, volunteers, or employees.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Vicki Niswander qualitylifeinil@gmail.com
Council Staff: Margie Harkness Margaret.Harkness@illinois.gov
Project Website: http://www.iambc.org/


Project: The IN Project

Investment Partner: Community Choices
Location: Champaign, IL
Investment: $97,000

Individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities will mentor youth in school. Personal stories and messages will be captured and disseminated through media features. Individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities will advocate through attaining positions on community boards or commissions.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Hannah Sheets hannah.communitychoices@gmail.com
Council Staff: Margie Harkness Margaret.Harkness@illinois.gov
Project Website:www.communitychoicesinc.org


Project: Community Play Project

Investment Partner: KCCDD, Inc.
Location: Galesburg, IL
Investment: $32,628

The project will develop an inclusive theater company to involve individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities and demonstrate an inclusive community arts activity.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Christina Smith cdurante@kccdd.com
Council Staff: Margie Harkness Margaret.Harkness@illinois.gov
Project Website: www.kccdd.com


Project: Proud & Included

Investment Partner: Victor C. Neumann
Location: Chicago, IL
Investment: $90,099

Project to open Chicago’s LGBTQ community to individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities who identify as LGBTQ.Entities and groups in the LGBTQ community to be trained on cultural competency in including people with intellectual/ developmental disabilities who identify as LGBTQ. Individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities who identify as LGBTQ participate in self-advocacy training.

Contacts: Project Staff: Joe Moag jmoag@neumannfamilyservices.org
Council Staff: Margie Harkness Margaret.Harkness@illinois.gov
Project Website: https://neumannfamilyservices.org


ICDD funded 6 projects from 2015-2017

with the common purpose of connecting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to a rich life in their community. Here are their Life Like Any Other project stories:


Health

Please check back frequently to find out more about investments in this area.


Housing


Project: Supportive Housing in Illinois

Investment Partner: Corporation for Supportive Housing
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Investment: $946,992

The goal of this grant project is to identify the interest and need for supportive housing within the developmental disability community, integrate DHS/DDD staff members into the planning and implementation of supportive housing resources in Illinois, and foster creative adaptations to the supportive housing model to best meet the needs of people served by and providers of developmental disability services.  As a result, CSH will create a minimum of 3 community-based supportive housing initiatives with a minimum of 30 units across the state targeted to Ligas class members or individuals transitioning from state-operated developmental centers.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Betsy Benito betsy.benito@csh.org
Council Staff: Kimberly Mercer-Schleider Kimberly.Mercer-Schleider@illinois.gov
Agency Website: http://www.csh.org/il



Quality Assurance

The Council's Quality Assurance investments focus on improving consumer and family-centered quality assurance and consumer protections, including monitoring services and supports that protect against all forms of exploitation and abuse. This area includes training in leadership, self-advocacy, and self-determination for individuals with developmental disabilities and interagency coordination to improve services to and supports for people with developmental disabilities.


Project: Consumer Stipend Program

Investment Partner: The Arc of Illinois
Location: Frankfort, IL
Investment: $100,000

This project provides stipends for people with disabilities and their families to attend conferences on disability-related issues.

Contacts:
Project Staff: MaryLynne Paris MaryLynneParis@aol.com
Council Staff: Kimberly Mercer-Schleider Kimberly.Mercer-Schleider@illinois.gov
Agency Website: www.thearcofil.org


Project: Illinois Statewide Self-Advocacy Organization

Investment Partner: Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance (The Alliance)
Location: Statewide
Investment: $625,000


The Alliance will consist of a network of self-advocacy groups and self-advocates that, through local action, will improve their lives, change local service practices, or make contributions to their communities. In addition, self-advocates, by working together, will promote statewide needed changes in disability policy and practices.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Krescene Beck krescenebeck@gmail.com
Council Staff: Kimberly Mercer-Schleider Kimberly.Mercer-Schleider@illinois.gov
Project Website: http://selfadvocacyalliance.org/


Project: Speak Up and Speak Out

Investment Partner: Arc of Illinois
Location: Frankfort, IL
Investment: $800,000

This initiative will execute a statewide Summit in the Fall of 2017- 2021. The summit provides an opportunity for self-advocates to come together from throughout the state and share activities and training designed to help each achieve the highest level of independence and self-direction in their life as possible. Self-advocates will learn to speak up about what is important to them and how to work on making changes in their lives. Self-advocates will have the opportunity in this type of setting to feel comfortable enough to speak what they feel which helps staff and families understand better and also helps each self-advocate learn more about what they themselves want. The project follows up with attendees to document how self-advocates are using their advocacy skills and to connect them to local advocacy groups if they desire.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Janet Donahue janet@thearcofil.org
Council Staff: Kimberly Mercer-Schleider Kimberly.Mercer-Schleider@illinois.gov
Project Website: http://speakupspeakoutsummit.org/


Project: Rebalancing the Service System for People with Developmental Disabilities in Illinois

Investment Partner: Arc of Illinois
Location: Frankfort, IL
Investment: $602,344

This initiative will lead to the development of one cross disability coalition established and active in achieving the goals of rebalancing the developmental disability service system.

Contacts:
Project Staff: Tony Paulauski tony@thearcofil.org
Council Staff: Kimberly Mercer-Schleider Kimberly.Mercer-Schleider@illinois.gov
Project Website:www.thearcofil.org

 


Recreation

Please check back frequently to find out more about investments in this area.


Transportation

Please check back frequently to find out more about investments in this area.


Cross-Cutting

Please check back frequently to find out more about investments in this area.