Opening Remarks

IDHS Assistant Secretary Grace Hou opened the meeting by thanking everyone for attending and for their continued efforts.

Recap of Work of Activity Since Last Meeting

The group reviewed the content of the proposed amendment to the Disabilities Services Act. The intent of the changes was to make the Act more targeted and user-friendly. The new language, which had been incorporated into the proposed amendment keeps with the original intent of the Disabilities Services Act while providing a clearer mission for the work of the DSAC. Although the Legislature did not pass the amendment during the veto session, the group agreed, that it should move forward working under the charges outlined in the amended language.

A brief overview was provided of the extensive ongoing work being conducted by the State since the last DSAC meeting. The State has been working on assessing infrastructure, finance and service capacity issues and the effect that DSAC's expectations and proposed changes may have on these and other areas. Additionally, the State is working on putting together briefing documents to support the work of the DSCAC Service Area Subcommittees. The group also discussed the extensive work involving numerous State agencies in developing the Real Choice Systems Change (RCSC) Grant application. Many of the themes from the draft Disability Services Plan (DSP) were included in the RCSC application. Although the grant application was turned down by CMS, the work that went into developing the application will be valuable as the DSAC works to finalize the DSP.

DSAC Leadership provided highlights of a recent meeting they attended between the Governor, state officials and representatives from ADAPT. Among the information shared with the Governor during this meeting was the DSAC agenda. The Governor committed to reconvening with the group before the holidays. Several group members commented that they were very encouraged by the meeting and hoped for a bold, clear and realistic direction from the Governor on where we need to go. DSAC Leadership indicated that it would work to see if Louanner Peters would be available to attend the December 15 DSAC meeting in an effort to keep the Governor's office informed of the DSAC's activities.

The proposed timeline for completing the DSP was also discussed. Because of the tight timeframe under which the DSAC is working to complete the DSP by the end of February, the group will need to close issue discussions by the end of December. Additionally, DSAC Leadership indicated that the Governor would be included in the DSAC's work on an ongoing basis before he submits his budget.

Next, the extensive work the DSAC had completed through June 2005 was discussed. A number of the documents handed out at the meeting, including that the System Change Vision and Mission, Strategic Imperative and System Change Outcomes, and Review of Current Services and Gaps, were still considered draft and subject to review and revision. The Overarching Principles/Policy Directions document is the only document considered final. The group agreed to review the documents between now and the next meeting on December 15th.

The group agreed that it was important for the DSP to include contextual information regarding Illinois' disabilities services system over the past 25 years and how Illinois' system compares to the rest of the nation. The group recommended that the most current data available from David Braddock should be used as the source for this information, in addition to including references to the Governor's letter and the legislative resolution. The group disagreed with the suggestion that similar contextual information for the Powers report could be reference in the DSP.

Formation of DSAC Subcommittees on Service Strength and Gaps

Next, the group reviewed the formation of the DSAC Subcommittees on Service Strengths and Gaps. The DSP is required to include statements regarding the service system's capacity to provide community supports and services for people who choose them. To support DSAC's work in this effort, DSAC leadership determined that DSAC should be divided into Subcommittees to address five different services areas. The recommended subcommittees were:

  1. Comprehensive Evaluation and Diagnosis
  2. Individualized Service Plan and Service Coordination
  3. Services Available in Individual Homes, Family Homes and Certified Community Residences
  4. Education, Employment, Vocational and other Day Services
  5. Clinical and Support Services (mental health, assistive technology, environmental modifications, clinical services [OT, PT, Speech, etc.], others)

During an all day working meeting scheduled for December 15th, each Subcommittee will be tasked with identifying and describing strengths of the service, the current gaps in the service, current geographic inequities in how the service is provided and the fiscal and other policies required to enhance compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and Olmstead decision.

After some discussion, several changes to the Subcommittees were recommended and agreed upon by the group, including renaming Subcommittee #5 to "Behavioral Health" and moving assistive technology, environmental modifications to Subcommittee #3. Additionally, it was recommended and agreed upon that "Certified Community Residences" should be changed to "Alternative Community Residences."


The revised Subcommittees were as follows:

  1. Comprehensive Evaluation and Diagnosis
  2. Individualized Service Plan and Service Coordination
  3. Services Available in Individual Homes, Family Homes and Alternate Residential Opportunities in the Community; and Assistive Technology and Environmental Modifications
  4. Education, Employment, Vocational and other Day Services
  5. Behavioral Health

DSAC members were requested to submit their top three choices for a Subcommittee to be assigned to. DSAC Leadership invited members of each to recommend extra resources, as necessary, to supplement each subcommittee when they meet on December 15th.

Wrap-up and Next Steps

The next DSAC meeting was scheduled to be held in person in Springfield on December 15th. The meeting is being structured as an all day working meeting, with significant time allocated to breakout sessions for each of the Subcommittees.