DDD COVID-19 Information

Updated January 14, 2022.  Click on the underlined text to access related information.

CDS Welcome Back Video

Agency-Reported COVID-19 Positive Cases in DDD Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs)

COVID-19 Communications from Director Stark

Guidance Issued

Contact Information

  • Provider agencies that have critical issues/require immediate attentionshould contact Kathy Ward at kathy.ward@illinois.gov or (217) 524-2514
  • When provider agencies have individuals served with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they should report this to their ISC agency. The ISC agency is responsible for communicating this to the Division.
  • If you would like to receive updates and information from the Division please sign up at DD Email List (this is not limited to provider agencies).
  • If you have questions, concerns or issues regarding COVID 19, that are not immediate and can be addressed within 24 to 48 hours, please forward them to DHS.DDDComments@illinois.gov 
  • If you have questions regarding the Site Consolidation Form please email the Bureau of Accreditation, Licensure & Certification (BALC) at DHS.BALC@illinois.gov 


  • Arts of Life, Chicago, IL. has developed online, remote Program with anyone interested in joining and learning about becoming a professional artist. Using the ZOOM platform, they are offering four hours of daily content moderated by two Arts of Life staff members Monday through Friday for the duration of this crisis.  You can find the Arts of Life remote programming at https://artsoflife.org/remote/
  • Early Learning Helpline at (888) 228-1146 has Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies help connect essential worker families to emergency child care.
  • Gateway to Learning, Chicago, IL., has activity packets, videos, and other resources/programming at https://www.gtlchicago.com/blog/2020/4/1/activity-packets-to-do-at-home
  • Green Mountain Self AdvocatesCOVID 19 Information by and for People with Disabilities (pdf)
  • Illinois Life Span (ILS) Program, funded by a gran through DHS, is a part of the ARC of Illinois and provides information and resources related to disability advocacy, supports, and services across the life span.  The ILS staff are family members of people with disabilities themselves and understand the importance of knowing there is someone to call when there's a question. "We do not claim to know all of the answers but we will do our best to connect folks who contact ILS to resources that can help." You can access ILS's information:
  • Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has a great list of resources for individuals, families, DSPs and providers at https://dodd.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/dodd/about-us/resources/resource-resilience-for-covid-19

Stories of Good

Media Release and Consent Form; Send Stories of Good to Emily Hughes, BQM: emily.hughes@illinois.gov

CTF - Hearts for Hope (from Tracey):

I wanted to share a positive story from one of our CILA homes. Everyone there has been staying at home for a few weeks now and they are trying to find positive ways to spend their time. One of the DSPs in the home saw on Facebook people displaying hearts on windows to show hope and to show that we are all in this together (Hearts for Hope). She organized this at one of our CILAs. She outlined the pattern on the front door and people at the home used window chalk to put the colors on. Then they worked together to cut out hands and hearts for the front windows of the home. They enjoyed spending time on this project and hope that it brings joy and hope to those who drive by.

CTF Hearts of Hope

Envision - Redeploying CDS Staff (from Angela): 

As an agency we have all really come together and so many departments and staff are stepping up and leaping in. All our CDS training counselors are currently working in CILA during the day with our members and this alone was a huge shift, and they are flourishing! They're in the homes every day now (which they had never been in prior) and even though it was a scary transition, they're enjoying themselves and having great interactions with our members. Q level staff are still working out of the day programs and they are calling, and doing checks with our members, who live at home with their families. They are also calling and talking to members that live in our CILAs just to touch base and see how they're doing and make sure they have the supports and items they need.

Career Development Center - Staff Care and Teamwork (from Rae):

My heart is overwhelmed with the care and teamwork that my staff have displayed and continue to display each day. Everyone took a role, everyone is working together and continually coming up with new ways to offer our services, and to show we care in this new quarantined world. Because we do not own any residential services, several of our DSPs are working for the residential providers. They have taken activities, paint, canvas, beads for jewelry and cookies to the residents. While working, the DSP's are facetiming the other CDS staff so that the clients can see and talk to them. We are delivering books from our lending library to those interested. We are writing notes, cards and posters and are delivering to the residential homes. We have posted things on our Facebook page for them to see. Through the month of April, we will be starting virtual activities through zoom for clients, including mailing activity supplies so clients can participate at home!

Open Door Rehabilitation Center - Open Door Spirit (from Gene):

We wanted to share a "story of good" with everyone. Open Door group homes have been in quarantine with live-in staff since March 20th. To show our "Open Door Spirit" and to let the individuals we support, and the live-in staff members who are selflessly sacrificing, know that they are not alone, we chose to have a socially distanced "Parade/Dance Party" at each of our homes. Administration, Management, and QIDPs each loaded up in their personal vehicles and paraded from group home to group home with concert speakers in the back of a pick-up truck blaring a special "COVID-19" playlist. We danced and sang along with some classics like, "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany, "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer, and "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats. The feedback we got from the individuals and staff within the homes was that it was a great surprise and they all loved it. But to be honest, I believe the staff members performing in the parade enjoyed it even more. Overall, it was a huge success and a great break to the monotony, and a great stress reliever for everybody. We want to continue with these kinds of things to celebrate our Open Door strength and resilience…. maybe next time we'll take some song requests!

Open Door Spirit

Arts of Life - Creating Remote Resources (from Denny):

Since the mandated closure of all CDS, including Arts of life, we have been hard at work developing an online, remote model that captures our values and continues to move our mission forward. We've mobilized our staff to either work directly with one of our residential partners or transform the fine art programming we have provided in person for 20 years into a remote format that offers ongoing support for our artists. With the hopes of lessening the strain these much-needed closures put on our already taxed system, Arts of Life would like to share our Remote Program with anyone interested in joining us and learning about becoming a professional artist. Using the ZOOM platform, we will be offering four hours of daily content moderated by two Arts of Life staff members Monday through Friday for the duration of this crisis. It is a time to come together and make sure our system is whole when this is over. We hope this gives artists, CILA providers, and families some structure as we await an "All Clear!" We will continue to develop remote programming for the duration of the stay at home order and adapt our offerings based on artist feedback and participation. You can find the Arts of Life remote programming at https://artsoflife.org/remote/

Gateway to Learning - Sharing Online Resources and Programming (from Kathryn):

The team at Gateway to Learning has been working since early March creating at home activity packets and videos, culled from various sources. We have posted all those on our website for anyone to download. We have shared these resources with the Gateway to Learning community as well as with students at a local High School in Chicago, (who have been in quarantine since March 6th), the Chicago Park District, and a number of CILA and CDS providers. We are creating online classrooms this week and will be posting any that we are able to record. You can find our resources and programming at https://www.gtlchicago.com/blog/2020/4/1/activity-packets-to-do-at-home

Garden Center Services - Poem for staff (From Gerry)

I'm including a poem that was written for our staff:

  • Who was your hero when you were a child.
  • A parent, a teacher, or someone more wild.
  • The longer I've lived, the loss that I've known.
  • It's helped me to realize, we don't walk alone.
  • It's not the number of likes on your page.
  • Or the show you put on when you walk on this stage.
  • At the end of the day, at the end of your life.
  • It is who you have helped, through your toil and your strife.
  • Please never make small, the good that you do.
  • Helping others find meaning, brings meaning to you.
  • The respect that you show, and how deeply you care.
  • Empowering others, so they have the courage to dare.
  • I want to be open and speak from the heart.
  • Bring you back round, to where this poem had its' start.
  • I feel safe in these waters, 'cause we've got a raft.
  • It is you, the heroes, and you are our staff!

Keshet -  Virtual Self Advocacy Series (from Lisa)

One of Keshet GADOL's newer virtual programs is a Self-Advocacy series. With the loss of in-person programming, Keshet didn't want team members to also lose their voice. During the Self-Advocacy series participants learn how to make their voices heard and how to speak to legislators about what's important to them. After just two weeks, we have already seen how powerful their voice can be. Members are speaking up about wanting to take a more active role in our virtual programming. Some have already started leading and co-leading virtual groups for their peers. At our last group, members got to meet Representative Bob Morgan (58th district) and learned about legislative advocacy. The purpose of this group is to elevate the voice of people with disabilities.