5/16/20 - A Message to Providers from Secretary Hou: Support for People with I/DD at Hospitals

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Dear Partners,

IDHS is pleased to share that our colleagues at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released new guidance to help families support their loved ones with developmental disabilities. The guidance clarifies that persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the right, through a reasonable accommodation, to a support person in Illinois hospitals and health facilities during this pandemic.

The IDPH announcement clarifies and strengthens a previously issued bulletin on non-discrimination in health care, which was developed with input from IDHS and at the urging of many families, advocates, and organizations serving people with disabilities. We at IDHS were proud to work with IDPH on this and appreciate the leadership of Governor Pritzker in protecting and supporting people with disabilities across Illinois.

Hospitals and health facilities should allow individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) the reasonable accommodation to be accompanied by a support person, such as a guardian, family member, caregiver, or paid support worker during their time in the hospital.

This guidance emphasizes the protection for patients with disabilities and their families during this critical time.


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS