In the May 29, 2020 DDD Communication, I announced that DDD, in partnership with the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) and the IDHS Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) was awarded a $1.7 million grant through the CARES Act from the federal Administration for Community Living (ACL). As a reminder the purpose of the grant is to provide support to older adults and individuals with disabilities who are socially isolated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will be used to purchase tablets or iPads through the Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) and also may include, as needed, the first-year connectivity costs and funding necessary to enable connectivity through personal hotspots. Since that time, IDoA, IATP, DRS and DDD have worked to establish an application/referral process and we are happy announce the launch of Illinois CARE Connections!
The Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies will be coordinating the application/referral process. Only referrals submitted by ISC agencies can be accepted. Please reach out to them directly. Eligible participants are persons currently receiving services under the Adults with Developmental Disabilities Home and Community Based Waiver who are experiencing isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note: The DDD cannot guarantee that this grant funding will be available to everyone who could benefit from it. At this time, we do not know how many referrals there will be and if the applicants have the appropriate connectivity (Wi-Fi, hotspot, etc.) necessary to support the recommended device. If people need connectivity support, it will reduce the funding available to purchase additional devices because a hotspot would also have to be purchased.
This is an amazing opportunity! We look forward to working with IATP, IDoA and DRS on implementation.
Director, Division of Developmental Disabilities