Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

To raise awareness for the challenges people with disabilities face, March has been designated as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

Intellectual disabilities (ID) or developmental disabilities (DD) affect a family member in one out of 10 families. Intellectual, neurological, and physical impairments, vision and hearing loss are all examples of the wide range of conditions encompassed by the term developmental disability.

Access to disability services and resources are given to people after they are assessed by local agencies and the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). The largest area of support for these residents comes from the DDD and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

Around 32,00 residents are supported by IDHS and DDD, but due to inadequacies in services and funding, the state currently has almost 16,000 individuals on a waiting list for the services these organizations provide.

These issues have grown considerably more apparent after a Guidehouse report revealed that the state has underfunded the DD community by half a billion dollars over the last five years. Meanwhile, the Governor’s recent budget proposal once again fails to meet recommended funding levels, but prioritizes a billion dollars for non-citizen programs.

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