Advocacy Resource - Reopening of Community Day Services

What Self-Advocates Want to Know About the Reopening of Community Day Services (CDS)

July 1, 2020

On June 9, 2020 Division of Developmental Disabilities Director Allison Stark announced that Community Day Services (CDS) programs may reopen September 1, 2020 if Illinois continues to meet identified goals in the Restore Illinois Phase process.

Many self-advocates have shared that they are not receiving information about the reopening of their CDS programs, and they would like to advocate for themselves to learn more. This resource serves as a guide to help self-advocates "speak up and speak out" to ask the questions and get the information that is important to them.

Using the resource is as easy as 1 - 2 - 3 … and 4!


  • 1. Pick out the questions that are important to you!

    • The questions can include those listed in the sections below or come up with your own questions.
    • Returning to CDS

      • What if I don't want to go back to CDS? Can I do CDS on Zoom or on another form of technology?
      • Will all participants come back at the same time?
      • Can I come back part time or do I have to attend full time?
      • How will transportation work, especially for people who ride vans and busses?
      • Will the start and end time change?
      • Will the daily schedule at CDS change?
    • Staying Safe at CDS

      • What happens if someone at CDS program tests positive for COVID-19?
      • Will everyone at CDS be required to wear facemasks?
      • Will everyone at CDS have their temperatures taken before entering the building?
      • How often will frequently touched surfaces be cleaned and disinfected? Who will do the cleaning?
      • How will good handwashing occur? What happens if self-advocates or staff don't comply?
    • Social Distancing at CDS

      • How will emergency drills be practiced?
      • How will breaks and lunchtime be handled?
      • How will social distancing happen in the following areas:
        • Hallways
        • Dining room
        • Break room
        • Classrooms
        • Work areas
        • Restrooms
        • Computer lab
        • Gym area
        • Management offices
        • Smoking area
    • Earning Money at CDS

      • Will there be piece work?
      • Can I return to my job - food service, custodial, office work, supported employment, etc.?
    • Food at CDS

      • Will vending machines be open to use?
      • How will breaks and lunchtime be handled?
      • Will the kitchen be open to prepare and sell food for lunch?
  • 2. Decide who you want to ask.

  • You can ask these questions of
    • Agency/Organization Executive Director or President
    • CDS Director
  • 3. Decide how you want to ask the questions.

  • You can ask these questions by
    • Making a phone call
    • Writing and sending a letter
    • Sending an email
    • Ask for a meeting
  • 4. Ask how the agency/organization is preparing for CDS re-opening.

  • You can ask if
    • There is a committee or workgroup working on preparing for CDS re-opening.
    • There is a self-advocate or self-advocates on the committee or workgroup.
    • You can be part of a committee or workgroup to help prepare for CDS re-opening.

If you are going to plan for us to return to CDS, we need to be part of developing and reviewing the plan. Our voices are important and need to be heard. Remember, Nothing About Us Without Us!

A Message of Thanks from the Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance, Inc. Thank you to the self-advocates who participated in the development of this resource. Continue to speak up and speak out!


The Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance, Inc. (The Alliance) is proud to be an initiative of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities. In partnership with the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities. This project was supported, in part by grant numbers 19/2001ILSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy