3/10/21 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Bright Spot - Britni Check

Good evening IDHS Staff,

As you well know, our team includes many talented and passionate professionals committed to supporting Illinois residents in achieving independence. Each March, the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), and our partners work together to highlight the many ways in which people with and without disabilities come together to form strong, diverse communities.

Today, I am honored to recognize today's Bright Spot, Britni Check who is being acknowledged by The ARC of Illinois for her outstanding dedication and work as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP)/Case Manager. Additionally, she will be honored at the The Arc of Illinois 71st Annual Convention on April 22nd.

Joining IDHS after earning a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Britni has been with us since November 2018. Britni was passionate about wanting to work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and started work at Shapiro Developmental Center. Britni has been an advocate for the young women on her unit and takes an active role in their daily lives, and recruiting them to attend weekly WOW social and advocacy meetings.

The Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance developed meetings to offer individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities a social outlet and added support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Operated Developmental Centers (SODC) were invited to virtually attend these meetings, but many residents could not initially participate due to technology or equipment barriers. However, Britni was undeterred and found creative ways to ensure that the women she supports could participate. Britni helped residents all across the Shapiro campus attend.

Britni, as you now work on your Master's in Psychology, we know that you are on your way to continued success. Your ability to build relationships with residents and guardians to support their goals is greatly admired and appreciated.

Thank you for being a committed member of our team, and congratulations on your award!



Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS