Mayor Davis said, "I think what we're
doing here that we just can't get past sometimes is comparing apples
to oranges and the needs of certain individuals." Task force members
are all advocates of individuals with disabilities and want them to
be able to be independent, self-serving, anything that increases
their productivity during the day and helps them feel more a part of
society. "That's what we're after," she said.
She believes that what community-based
living advocates are misunderstanding is that we are dealing with
the profoundly developmentally disabled: individuals who don't have
a voice, can't hear, can't see. Their parents or guardians should be
the ones to speak up for them. "And that's what they are missing;
they are overlooking that point."
She said she sees that the parents are
"very disheartened, very upset." They are getting older and have to
travel farther than they did before. "We do have the number that
want to come back to LDC."
"There is one little, small group that
doesn't think that we are serving individuals with disabilities in
the proper way. And we are. We are all on their side. But they are
not seeing that," she said.
Last Thursday's results were more
positive toward getting the differences resolved, once the groups
that have been opposing, Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities and
Equip for Equality, realized we really want to put an integrated
community on the old LDC campus. A lake and homes are proposed.
From the start, when the task force
began meeting, three members that favor community-based living were
opposed to the campus setting, seeing it as too isolated from the
rest of society. While two members who would have also voted in
favor were gone, the task force voted 21-3 for the plan to reopen an
integrated campus accommodating everyone's needs. "I think these
three individuals need to recognize that and start moving a little
in their direction for us," the mayor said.
Sen. Larry Bomke felt that the last
meeting went better than he thought it might. It was very orderly,
and he felt that the group was moving along. "It's very frustrating,
particularly for myself," he said. "I thought a year ago I had a
commitment from the governor to reopen LDC as it was. There are
advocates and parents of former residents there that want that to
[to top of second column in
Since that time we have come 340
degrees in reducing the numbers and that still doesn't satisfy the
community-based advocates, Bomke said. "I am of the opinion that the
only thing that will satisfy them is if we do nothing at the former
Lincoln Developmental Center," he said.
But, we'll continue to move on and
hopefully we'll be approved by the Health Facilities Planning Board,
Sen. Bomke said. Once that is done the bids can be let out and
construction can begin.
Capital spending and operational
expenses for renovations and startup were in place to start up if a
plan had been made and approved last year. The state's fiscal
2003-2004 budget had $7 million in funds set aside. Last year the
powerhouse was started up and maintenance began without a line item,
so we can do the same thing this fiscal year, Bomke said. The House
has again budgeted money, he said. Speaker Madigan's Senate budget
did not have LDC in it. Sen. Emil Jones' budget did. Rep. Jim Watson
has been approached for his support, Bomke said.
DHS Secretary Dr. Carol Adams said: "I
think we are making progress. I think it's slow, but that's all
right. These are real critical issues that are really important to a
lot of people. So if it takes longer, then longer is what it takes."
What we want in the end is an outcome
that first of all meets the needs of the people for whom it is
planned, Secretary Adams said. That is the thing that we have all in
common and that's what drives us to keep on meeting like this: to
look at what going to best meet the needs of disabled people in our
Major differences lie between care of
disabled and the profoundly disabled. Adams concedes that satisfying
all advocates for disabled people will probably not happen. "We'll
come as close as we can to meeting the needs of the individuals that
we're talking about and having something that's state-of-the-art
that represents the current thinking about how people ought to live
and in what kind of community," she said. "We're not trying to go
back a hundred years when the original Lincoln was first
constructed. We're trying to do something new and innovative."
16) the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board is discussing the
LDC plan and request to open.