The DDD Scoop (4-27-18)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop!

Update on Opportunity for 60D CILA Providers

I want to take this opportunity to thank CILA Providers who submitted applications for acquisition, building and/or home modification projects. The response to our request for applications was overwhelming. Due to the number of applications submitted and the limited funding available, it was not possible to fund every project. These were difficult decisions to make, and the Division had to consider each proposal in the context of how it complied with the information requested. Letters went out to all applicants earlier this week.

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind providers that the Division continues to have funds available through the 53H Home Modification Request process. Additional funding can be available for Adaptive Equipment through the 53E process. Please contact Jennifer Elders for information on how to begin either of those application processes. Jennifer can be reached at 217-558-1426 or

Home Based Services - Upcoming Webinar

On May 8, 2018, the Division will host a Webinar on Self Direction Assistance (SDA) from 10:30am - 12:00pm. The webinar will address the SDA's role, billable services and documentation. It will be recorded and posted on the DHS website for future reference. The intended audience is existing and potential SDA providers as well as Independent Service Coordination agencies. The Division will offer 1.5 Continuing Education credits (CEs) to QIDPs for their participation. These credits may be applied to the 12-hour annual continuing education requirement.

To register for this webinar, click on this link:

DDD Iles Park Place Blood Drive

Heads up, everybody! The Division of Developmental Disabilities is hosting a Blood Drive on Friday, May 18, 2018 from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Please, mark your calendars and be prepared to participate. The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is critically low on blood reserves at this time! If you would like to sign up now, please email Teresa Sheley at for available time slots or you can donate blood at the center on a different day close to our blood drive, be sure to give them Sponsor Code 60835. Thank you very much for being a part of this life saving event! All presenting donors will receive a free "Let's Taco Bout Donating" t-shirt!! (Pictured below)

On the Move

Brent Thomas will be joining the Division's Bureau of Program Development and Medicaid Administration on May 1, as a Social Service Program Planner II. Brent was born in Springfield and now lives in New Berlin, Illinois. Brent began his state career with DHS/Division of Rehabilitation Services as a Disability Claims Adjudicator in 2014. He has been a member of the 183rd WG, Air National Guard in Springfield since 2002.

Christina Suggs joins the Division's Bureau of Reimbursement Program Support on May 1, as an Administrative Assistant I. Christina is originally from Chicago, and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 2011. She has prior experience in education and community mental health, prior to beginning her career with the State of Illinois in October 2014 as a Human Services Caseworker with the DHS Medical Field Operations Downstate.

SODC Operations News

Choate Center -The facility-wide Talent Show will be held May 23. Individuals are actively involved in all aspects of publicity, event planning, review of acts, and prizes.

Choate Center - The Life Skills building will begin to offer programming in the next two weeks. This area will offer a specialized area for our seniors, computer lab/resource room for additional learning and skill building, arts and crafts, woodworking, facility laundry program, and residential janitorial services.

Fox Center - The new Technology Lab opened earlier this month. Each Adult Training Room rotates working in the lab on the MyGaze software. This innovative technology tracks the movement of the pupils, allowing people to move the cursor visually rather than physically.

Ludeman Center - The Activity Department sponsored a White Sox outing where 11 individuals from Unit 2 attended and enjoyed the game.

Mabley Center - Leo Club students from Amboy High School served pancakes and sausage at Mabley Center's Open House. Thirty-five volunteers organized a successful pancake breakfast for the residents, families and the Mabley Center staff. We extend a big thank you to the Sauk Valley Area Lions Clubs (Dixon Evening, Dixon Lioness Lions, Dixon Noon, Amboy Lions, Ashton Lions), Crest Foods, DARC Parent's Association, and AFSCME Local 172 for their financial support. Some of the volunteers are pictured below.

Shapiro Center - Individuals who participate in Best Buddies attended their Formal on April 15, at Olivet Nazarene University. They enjoyed dressing up, dancing to music provided by a DJ, and spending time with their fellow peers and Best Buddies. They also participated in their final event with their Best Buddies on April 22, 2018 at Shapiro. Best Buddies came to Shapiro for a peer visit to participate in activities on the living areas and spending time with their buddy.

Shapiro Center - With signs of the weather improving, the Greenhouse is up and running. Individuals are making garden art and planting flowers for their upcoming Mother's Day Sale on May 11.

Dignity and Grace

In closing, I want to share with all of you that I was saddened by the news of the passing of Barbara Bush last week. She was the wife of the 41st president and the mother of the 43rd president, respectively. Despite the wide polarities that currently exist in this country, it's hard to find a single person who had a bad thing to say about her.

Someone once said, "The depth and quality of our life depends on the grace with which we live each day". By that standard, Mrs. Bush lived a high-quality life because in her roles as First Lady and First Mother, she carried herself with so much dignity and grace.

As I listened to the eulogies given at her memorial service, for the first time in a long time I felt like all Americans were united as we collectively mourned the passing of this special lady. For a brief period, it seemed like a return to civility. Testimonials at her memorial service made me nostalgic for a different time -a time when people took their marriage vows seriously; a time when a person said what they meant and meant what they said; a time when words really did matter and your word was your bond; a time when silence was a virtue; and a time when people with opposing views weren't necessarily your enemies.

Among the lasting legacies Barbara Bush leaves behind are models of self-sacrifice, romance, commitment, perseverance, and fidelity-for people around the world to follow. In 1990, she delivered the commencement address at Wellesley College. Among the things she told graduates, "Cherish your human connections". She went on to say, "At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend or a parent".

How right she was!

When she left this world, she was surrounded by people who loved her, and she was holding the hand of the only man she ever kissed and the only man she ever loved for 73 years. She left this world the same way she lived her life -with dignity and grace.

I wish the same for all of us!

Have a great weekend!