The DDD Scoop (6-10-16)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

The DDD SCoop Newsletter

Division Mission and Vision Statements

Welcome to the latest edition of the DDD Scoop. In the April 29th edition of the DDD Scoop, I shared with you a discussion we had at our March 1, 2016 all-staff meeting about a new mission and vision statement. Vision and mission statements are often created by organizations to help employees understand how their job functions and individual contributions relate to the fulfillment of the organization's mission. Following the March 1st meeting, a workgroup comprised of central office and SODC employees began work on crafting a new mission and vision statement for our Division. The group has met regularly over the past three months and has developed three mission and vision statements for further consideration. We are asking employees and stakeholders to take a few moments to go to the DDD webpage in order to vote for their favorite mission logo and vision statement. The link below will take you directly to the webpage where you can cast your vote.

Alternatively, you can click the link below to the DD Provider Information Page on the Website (under Communications) to cast your vote. No Longer Available as of 7/1/16.

Thank you for you continuing support as we transform the system in order to better meet the needs of those we are privileged to serve.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Transformation

The HHS Transformation Leadership Team is hosting two Town Hall meetings (one in Springfield and one in Chicago) to provide additional information on the recently announced HHS Transformation that will provide solutions to better support the people of Illinois. We are not sure how many people will attend, or how many people can be accommodated, so please limit attendees to two participants per organization or family, and please RSVP to Linda Davis at Questions for the Q&A portion of the Town Hall meetings can be emailed to

Please reference the attached announcement for dates, times, locations and directions for both of the Town Hall meetings.

Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) Provider Survey

On June 8, 2016, the Division of Developmental Disabilities sent a short "Capacity Building Survey" to all CILA providers. Through this survey, we are seeking to identify potential areas of growth and development as well as creating pathways for our individuals who are expressing a desire for more independent living. If you are currently a CILA provider and your agency did not receive a copy of the survey, please contact Jennifer Elders at 217-558-1426, or by email at

Home-Based Support Services (HBS) Program Workgroup

I am pleased to announce that we have convened a workgroup to look at ways to improve the HBS Program, including the quality of the Personal Support Services provided under the Medicaid Waiver. This issue is especially important now as we modify the current service planning and service facilitation policies and processes per new directives from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The workgroup is comprised of representatives from all areas of the state including providers, family members, ISC agencies, and division staff. The first meeting is scheduled for July 12th in Springfield. Further updates will be posted in the DDD Scoop. Any questions or comments should be directed to Jennifer Elders at 217-558-1426 or by email at

Waiver Renewals

On June 6, staff from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and Division of Developmental Disabilities held a conference call with staff from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the renewals of the two Children's Medicaid Waivers. Per agreement with CMS, the State has submitted requests for extensions for the two Waivers through September 23, 2016. In the meantime, the State has committed to submitting to CMS draft responses to their Requests for Additional Information by June 15. The State also committed to submitting second revised draft Action Plans for the Service Facilitation and Service Planning issues by July 1.

Ligas Consent Decree

Ronnie Cohn, Court Monitor for the Ligas Consent Decree, visited Springfield to meet with division staff and various stakeholders. This was an opportunity for her to learn more about the Division's efforts in building community capacity and other areas of interest.

On the Move

Glenda Corbett will be joining SODC Operations as the Region I Assistant Deputy Director effective June 16. Region I consists of Ludeman, Kiley and Fox Centers. For the past seven years, Glenda has served as the Center Director at Elisabeth Ludeman Center.

Kim Kilpatrick has been appointed Center Director at the Ann M. Kiley Center effective June 16. Kim has been serving as the Interim Center Director since last December. She began her career with Kiley Center in 1993 as a Mental Health Technician and has held positions in Nursing and Quality Assurance prior to serving in Administration.

Kelsey Bryant joined the Division on June 1, 2016 as an Administrative Assistant I in my (the Director's) office. Kelsey will be working with senior staff and assisting Mary Broughton on a variety of projects. She had previously worked for the Division of Healthcare and Family Services.

Dorothy Manuel has joined the Division of Developmental Disabilities - Bureau of Program Development and Medicaid Administration as a Student Intern. She will be working full time for the months of June and July. Dorothy currently attends the University of Illinois at Chicago majoring in Public Heath with a minor in Psychology. She has her Associates in Web Graphic Design from DeVry University.

We congratulate Glenda and Kim on their promotions, and welcome Kelsey and Dorothy to the DDD team!

Retirement of Tony Paulauski

As you may know, at the end of this calendar year, Tony Paulauski will be retiring after 25+ years as Executive Director of The Arc of Illinois. As such, Terri Devine, Arc of Illinois Board Chair, will be leading the board's search committee to find a visionary leader who will continue the good work of the Arc of Illinois, a leading advocacy organization supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the State of Illinois.

For additional information about this position click the following link:

Countdown to the Move

All Centrum employees should have received information on parking at Iles Park Place along with a parking space application form. If you did not receive this information, please contact Bronwyn Rains. Parking will cost $18.00 per month and can be paid by check or through a payroll deduction. Since all parking will be assigned by Iles Park Place building management, the application form is necessary in order to properly identify your vehicle as belonging to an Iles Park Place tenant.

Employee of the Month

Alfred Gakunga was selected Employee of the Month for June. Alfred is a Social Services Program Planner IV Reviewer in the Bureau of Quality Management. He was nominated for his leadership during a focus review of a community provider operating 76 Community Integrated Living Arrangement settings in 24 cities across Illinois. Congratulations, Alfred!

Alfred Gakunga

Bureau of Community Reimbursement News

Mariah Moreno was recently recognized by the Illinois Department of Human Services' Bureau of Training and Support Services for her volunteer activities. Mariah has been volunteering with the Bureau of Community Reimbursement since July of 2011. She provides administrative support to the Bureau particularly with filing and mass mailings. Maria is pictured below along with other members of the Community Reimbursement Team.

Mariah and other members of the Community Reimbursement team

SODC Operations News

Choate Center: Programs recently implemented on Cypress Building (cooking, life/pro social skills, sexual expression programs, etc.) continue to produce positive outcomes. The Interdisciplinary Team has improved the overall environment on Cypress Building by means of improving the accuracy of information and initiation of continuous quality improvement efforts. These include streamlining reportable incidents and ensuring completeness and thoroughness of documentation and follow up. The unit is also piloting a system designed to conserve and make the most efficient use of progress notes.

Fox Center: Staff from Fox participated in a peer review at a sister State Operated Developmental Center. Fox Center will be reviewing the items noted during that review in preparation for its scheduled review on June 14-15.

Kiley Center: Two individuals recently attended "A Night to Remember Prom" sponsored by a nearby community for individuals aged 18 to 24 with special needs. Every guest who attended the prom was provided a tuxedo or prom dress, along with hair styling and make-up by a professional cosmetologist, a corsage or boutonniere and a ride in a limousine. The attendees walked down a red carpet with paparazzi and cheering fans. Attendees received gift bags and enjoyed a wonderful dinner and an evening of dancing. The individuals were chosen based on age and supervision needs.

Ludeman Center: Ludeman will send 14 individuals to participate in the State Special Olympics competition June 10-12.

Mabley Center: Annette Miller, Social Worker III provided tour of the Center to a recent college graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. This individual wanted to learn more about services to persons with developmental disabilities.

Murray Center: The Illinois Department of Public Health recently completed its annual survey.

Shapiro Center: Shapiro has a goal to reduce the amount of energy used on campus in order to better manage its costs. Staff is making every effort to conserve energy by turning off lights, televisions, and radios when not in use or when no one is using the room.

Community-based Services and Employment

Finally, I have been meaning to share with you that I recently attended a meeting arranged by Art Dykstra, Executive Director of Trinity Services, Inc., along with a few other stakeholders and two Vermont Consultants, Bryan Dague, Ph.D. and Lisa Culbertson, to discuss strategies employed by the state of Vermont to increase integrated competitive employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In preparation for the meeting, I received an article published by Dr. Dague in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation titled, "Sheltered employment, sheltered lives: Family perspectives of conversion to community based employment". The article describes the varying perspectives of stakeholders - especially people served and their family members - affected by Vermont's decision to close its last sheltered workshop. I am impressed with the progress that Vermont has made in the area of integrated, competitive employment and the results of Dr. Dague's study of Vermont's conversion from sheltered workshops to community-based services. Interestingly, his study revealed the following resistant factors to the workshop closure: (1) a strong "sheltered workshop" history and culture; (2) hours and location of community-based services were not as consistent as the workshop; (3) inability to visualize a future without sheltered workshop; and (4) fear of the unknown. Regarding the latter, in his article, Dr. Dague notes that in the 1950's, 60's and 70's community-based employment at a competitive wage was generally not an option; as such, that coupled with a lack of community acceptance created a perception that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities needed to be "protected", ergo the facility-based programs established by parents were called "sheltered workshops".

The study and the meeting arranged by Art were extremely informative and offered tremendous insight that will be useful as we effect a responsible transformation of our system to increase competitive, integrated job opportunities as well as increase opportunities for people to engage in more community-based day activities. While we must be sensitive to concerns about the safety and well-being of people as they move from facility-based to community-based service models, we cannot deny people opportunities to achieve their full potential in employment and in life in an effort to keep them safe. And that's where the concept of "Dignity of Risk" comes into play, which acknowledges that there are calculated risks associated with living independent lives. We can't hold people back from enjoying all of the benefits of a full life simply out of concern that they might stumble, fall, or even fail in life experiences. Out of an overabundance of caution, we can't limit people's ability to make choices and to grow from the decisions they make - both good and bad decisions. To do so, robs them of their dignity and self-worth and opportunities to grow.

At the end of the day, we have to strike a balance between supporting self-determination and self-fulfillment and limiting risk.

Have a great weekend!