The initial meeting of the Disability Services Advisory Committee (DSAC) was held on February, 2005. It was held by videoconference with sites in Chicago (401 S. Clinton) and Springfield (Harris Building). The notice of the meeting was sent to all who accepted Governor Blagojevich's invitation to join this committee. Copies of material to be discussed at the meeting, including the enabling legislation, had been distributed in advance. A list of members participating is attached to this summary.

Assistant Secretary (IDHS) Grace Hou opened the meeting, handled introductions at the two sites and offered a welcome on behalf of the Governor and the Secretary. She indicated that the Department had been selected as lead agency in convening the DSAC and providing support for the Committee. She also introduced Max Chmura, who has been retained to facilitate the meetings and provide other support to the Committee activities.

Assistant Secretary Hou outlined the charge to the Committee and summarized the expectations of the Administration and that were included in the enabling legislation. She then fielded questions and comments from the Committee members.

DSAC Co-Chair Selection Process

In keeping with the requirements outlined in the Disabilities Services Act, the Committee discussed and agreed upon a process to select co-chairs. It was agreed that the co-chairs should include at least one person who had a disability or who otherwise received long term care services. A nominating committee of volunteers was created. It included Brian Rubin, Rita Burke, Willie Gunther, Audrey McCrimmon, Anne Marie Murphy, Chris Fitchner and Grace Hou. All Committee members were invited to submit the names of other Committee members that they thought should be considered for a co-chair position. They were asked to include resumes or other biographical information on their nominees. The nominating committee is to review all nominees, assess the leadership-related information available, and return to the Committee at its next meeting with recommendations. The full DSAC would then select its co-chairs who will provide leadership for all subsequent DSAC activities.

Project Outline

The Assistant Secretary indicated that the Department's preliminary work in preparing for this Committee meeting led them to select the Olmstead Plan from the State of Indiana as a proposed model or template to guide DSAC discussions and development of the Implementation Plan. A summary of this plan had been shared before the meeting. The DSAC agreed that this would be a reasonable model. The Committee also reviewed and approved a proposed project outline that had been prepared and shared in advance of the meeting. A copy of that outline is attached.

Guiding Principles

To provide a framework for DSAC activities, the Committee was asked to propose guiding principles for its work and for the system changes that would be outlined in the Implementation that it would develop. The preliminary list of guiding principles cited during the meeting is presented below (without judgment):

  • A commitment from the involved state agencies to make this Olmstead-related effort work;
  • The Administration should show public support for the DSAC and its work product;
  • The Plan should be cross-disability, cross-diagnosis, and include all ages;
  • Every person with a disability and elder who is experiencing difficulty should be considered part of the community;
  • Full inclusion should be the goal;
  • Diversity should be a point of focus and embraced;
  • All changes should be person-driven;
  • Access to the system should be user-friendly;
  • Appropriate services in the community should be supported;
  • There should be a robust continuum of care;
  • No one should be forced to accept treatment;
  • The system should be peer- and recovery-oriented.

Administration Letter

There was strong support for a public commitment by the Administration to implementing the Olmstead decision. This was in large measure a by-product of frustration experienced on the part of many who had been part of previous Olmstead-related or similar policy groups whose work product had never been accepted, endorsed or implemented. It was further proposed that the Governor be encouraged to publicly endorse a formal proposal that was being submitted by some governors at the National Governor's Association meetings. At the end of the first meeting of the DSAC a number of participants had indicated that without such a public commitment, it would be difficult to invest the time and energy in developing the required Implementation Plan without such a commitment. The Assistant Secretary agreed to pursue such a letter, although it was clear that the one proposed included recommendations that had troubling fiscal impact.

Many self-advocates and other advocacy groups in the Committee strongly urged the Governor to meet with the Committee as a demonstration of the Administration's commitment to the Committee's task. It was agreed that this request would be carried forward.

Next Steps

It was agreed that the state agencies would facilitate the dialogue about the policy directions that should be taken in the Implementation Plan by outlining those policy directions it thought appropriate. The DSAC would review the proposed statements and work with the Department to revise them, if necessary. The advocates in the Committee felt this would provide an effective framework for the Committee's discussion as well as identify the level of change that the Administration appeared ready to accept.

It was agreed that the state agencies would inventory those actions or activities that had occurred over the past 3 years or that were in development that could be considered as providing a foundation for any DSAC recommendations.

Both of these products are expected in preliminary form in time to be reviewed prior to the next DSAC meeting. No date was set for the next meeting.

Project Outline

For: Illinois Department of Human Services, Disabilities Services Advisory Committee

Project Objective

To develop and implement a Disabilities Services Implementation Plan that ensures compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and the decision in Olmstead v. L.C. (119 S. Ct. 2176, 1999). Implementation of this plan is to begin on July 1, 2005. This Implementation Plan will ensure greater flexibility and increased choices of residential, community living, employment, social opportunities within the community, in keeping with the direction outlined in the Olmstead decision and subsequent advisories of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Stakeholder Groups

  • People with a Disability and Elders (as defined in the Illinois Disabilities Services Act of 2003)
  • Family members and guardians
  • State Agencies (Department on Aging, Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Human Services, Department of Public Aid, Department of Public Health, State Board of Education, University of Illinois Division of Specialized Care for Children and the State Board of Education, where appropriate.
  • Provider Community (public and private, community and institution)
  • Disability-related Advocacy Groups
  • Workforce Advocacy Groups
  • Administration
  • Legislature

Project Outline

  • Select Advisory Committee Members (done)
  • Inform Advisory Committee members of charge, timeframes, roles & responsibilities (February 8th Meeting)
  • Select Committee Co-Chairs (not Chair and Vice-Chair?) (at least one person with a disability) (After February 8th Meeting - where a selection committee of will be created)
  • Develop Guiding Principles for project (begin on February 8th Meeting, finalize at next meeting)
  • Clarify the primary tasks and work products of the project (February 8th Meeting)
  • Create ad hoc sub-committees to focus on specific tasks and/or work products (February 8th Meeting)
  • Set Meeting Schedule (February 8th Meeting)
  • Create a work plan (by end of 2nd meeting) that guides and provides support to the completion of the following products by the respective Departments:
  1. A comprehensive description of the people with a disability and elders that are eligible under this Act now and those who may become eligible over the next 10 years.
  2. A description, in terms that support comparison with expressed need, of the full range of supports and services available to people with a disability and elders who are eligible under this Act.
  3. A description of the processes and procedures to be used to complete the required comprehensive evaluations of all people with a disability and elders that are eligible under this act that establishes required and requested services and articulates services currently being received.
  4. A summary of proposed changes to statute, regulations and/or policy that are required to support the Implementation Plan or that are considered to optimize the state's ability to effectively support individual needs.
  5. An estimate of the current and proposed costs of current and proposed programs and services to be provided under the Implementation Plan.
  6. An Implementation Plan to articulates and coordinates all Departmental efforts to meet the intent of this Act.
  • Complete all work products by July 1, 2005.
  • Implement all components of the Implementation Plan by June 30, 2008

Project Infrastructure

  1. The Disabilities Services Advisory Committee (DSAC) will meet on a regular basis (frequency of meetings to be determined, but not less than quarterly).
  2. The role of the DSAC will be to help the Departments clarify issues of significance to people with a disability and elders who are eligible under this Act, identify areas where system changes would be of benefit or required to reach the objective of this Act, and to ensure that the Departments are fully apprised of the perspective of all stakeholder groups as it completes the required Implementation Plan. The DSAC is also expected to provide support and guidance as Department staff complete involved tasks and work products.
  3. The DSAC will be comprised or representatives of all stakeholder groups
  4. The DSAC will have 2 Co-Chairs, one of whom will be a person with a disability or who otherwise receives long term care supports.
  5. The DSAC will be staffed by designated state agency staff from each involved state agency, with overall coordination resting with the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Human Services.
  6. DSAC meetings will be facilitated by an independent facilitator (Max Chmura).
  7. All DSAC meetings will have dates and times set at least 2 weeks in advance, written agendas shared at least 2 days in advance, and copies of all relevant materials for each meeting shared with the distribution of meeting agendas.
  8. Reasonable expenses incurred in attending DSAC meetings will be reimbursed upon submission of appropriate documentation.
  9. All DSAC meetings will be summarized in writing and these summaries shared in draft form for review and finalization at the subsequent DSAC meeting.
  10. The organizing principle for all discussion within the DSAC will be the impact of the issue or action under consideration on the people with a disability and elders who are eligible or who can reasonably be assumed to become eligible under this Act and their individual abilities or opportunities to receive appropriate programs and services as intended by this Act. All other systems change issues raised in DSAC discussions will be summarized and forwarded to the appropriate Department(s) for consideration outside the work plan for this project.
  11. DSAC meetings will seek general consensus on any issue of significance, but when full consensus does not appear reachable, divergent positions and concerns will be articulated in meeting summaries. Department action will always be taken with consideration of the positions taken by all stakeholders, but may not always reflect those positions.
  12. All work products will be shared in draft form with the DSAC, with finalization by the Departments only after strong consideration and/or adoption of concerns raised or changes recommended.
  13. A Final Report of the DSAC will accompany the submission of the Implementation Plan to the Legislature. This report will describe the composition of the DSAC, summarize its meetings and deliberations, and articulate any significant concerns that will improve the Legislature's ability to understand the impact of the Implementation Plan on people with a disability and elders, the systems that provide involved programs and services, and involved fiscal implications. This report will also articulate those issues that were contentious within the deliberations of the DSAC and how whether or not they were resolved and/or accommodated by the Implementation and why (or why not). This final report will be reviewed by the DSAC in draft form prior to its completion and all DSAC members will receive copies of the Final Report when it is submitted to the Legislature.