Striving to Enlighten the Path and Enrich the Journey for Persons with Disabilities

Volume 20, Issue 3, 2019

2019 INCIL Legislative Rally Day!

By Brian M. Szuda

Advocates from Illinois CILs joined forces at the annual INCIL Advocacy Day on May 16th. We were excited to raise the visibility of people with disabilities and Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in our State’s Capitol. Our primary focus was to ask for legislators support with eliminating the law that allows for people with disabilities to be paid a subminimum wage. We also asked if they would insure that the state had a budget by May 30. All of them agreed that they felt we would have one. We also asked if they were supporting the fair tax legislation, and the majority of them agreed they would.

In advance, I contacted the offices of all of our legislators and prescheduled appointments and was so very pleased to have scheduled meetings with all 6 legislators throughout the day. We then attended the INCIL Rally in the Capitol Rotunda at 1:00! We left the Capitol at 4:30 after a full day of important meetings. As for eliminating the subminimum wages for people with disabilities law, we were told that this issue will take time to change. We were very pleased that Representative Ryan Spain of Peoria wanted to set a meeting with us and providers in Peoria that work with people with developmental disabilities. He wanted to hear about their work and what the impact would be if the subminimum wage was eliminated. He as well wanted feedback from us on what outcomes would occur if this legislation was eliminated. We meet with him and the others on June 22. Associate Director, Lesley Gonigam, and I stayed positive and friendly when meeting with everyone in Springfield. We know everyone can be busy and rushed at the Capitol, and communicating in a pleasant way is helpful. Everyone we met was in a very pleasant mood and had a good attitude regarding our discussions with them


The Rally was from 1:00 to 1:45pm in the Rotunda. Everyone gathered there for presentations by leaders of INCIL, and several legislators, CIL staff, and consumers spoke, too, discussing why the subminimum wage legislation should be eliminated. As a whole, our legislator visits and RALLY DAY was a complete success.

Hospitals, No Interpreters…WHAT TO DO?

By Lesley Gonigam

There is an Illinois law called Language Assistance Services Act that affects all health facilities in Illinois. Health facility means a hospital licensed under the Hospital Licensing Act, a long-term care facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, or a facility licensed under the MR/DD Community Care Act. You have the right to request the form of communication that is best for YOU! If the health facilities do not provide effective communication (interpreters), they could lose their licenses.

The law also says that these facilities must have Interpreter Request signs posted in conspicuous locations, such as the emergency room, the admitting area, the facility entrance, and the outpatient area. Notices shall inform patients and their families of the availability of interpreters, the procedure for obtaining an interpreter, and the telephone numbers to call for filing complaints concerning interpreter service problems, including, but not limited to, a TTY number for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Notices shall also inform patients that interpreter services are available on request and shall list the languages most commonly encountered at the facility for which interpreter services are available. If they do not provide or refuse to get interpreting services, you can file a complaint by contacting the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). When you call or write, be sure to provide the name of the hospital, address, the department, and an explanation. The IDPH will mail a letter informing you that they will investigate that hospital.

For more information, or to file a complaint, please contact the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-252-4343 Voice, 1-800=547-0466 TTY, or

You can view the video in ASL in the link below:

Contact Illinois Department of Public Health immediately within 48 hours of your complaint.


ADVISOR ASSISTANCE CARD from the State of Illinois Deaf & Hard of Hearing Commission. This card is for a person with hearing loss to present this card to law enforcement officers during a traffic stop. It will help the police communicate with the person who is deaf or hard-of-hearing.

The New Face of the Community Reintegration Program

By Liz Bedford

The one thing that is constant in working with the State of Illinois, especially in the field of Human Services, is that nothing is constant. You know this as a resident of Illinois. We at IVCIL know this as each fiscal year changes and someone in an office in Springfield gets an idea to try something new. This year’s big shift was in the Community Reintegration Program.

It is safe to say that those of us in direct contact with this program have butterflies in our stomachs. Our consumers have been patient with us as we change computer programs, paperwork, procedures and just about everything. We thank you for your patience!

There are some very good things to come out of the changes. Some of the specifics include peer counseling & supports, group training with Independent Living Skills, a broader pool of eligibility, and specialized evaluations to determine the amount of Personal Assistant support a consumer may be entitled to. Our consumers are spread through a number of nursing homes in a five-county area. In order to meet the goals, set up by our new contract with the state, CRP Coordinators will be completing consumer intakes. Consumers will set goals based on what they see their needs to be and Coordinators will provide access to instruction in those areas.

Tying that instruction to the goal for Peer Support groups, IVCIL will encourage their consumers to invite other friends with similar needs and disabilities to join in the training at the nursing home. Similar needs and the opportunity to overcome that obstacle to independence will, undoubtedly, encourage bonding and peer support.

The highly trained and experienced evaluators through DRS will jump in to complete the Determination of Needs. The DON, as we call it, assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each consumer. DRS will then complete a Service Plan assigning a number of minutes per week a PA will be assigned to assist the consumer in their homes.

PA’s will continue to be managed by the consumer with the support of IVCIL or DRS.

Individuals with disabilities from any long-term care situation and of any age are now eligible for Reintegration Services. Previously it was limited to individuals 22-60 years of age that had been in a Medicaid funded nursing home bed for a minimum of 90 days.

This is exciting in that the CRP will be able to assist a much wider population toward independence. The FY 20 plan will provide more individuals with a more successful level of independence than ever before.

 IVCIL Thanks the following individuals, families, and businesses for their donations and/or memberships…

April—June 2019


Maryann Barth

Trisha Carroll

Elizabeth Dudek

Judith Schultz

Lois Smith

Greg Stanmar

St. John’s Lutheran Congregation


Maryann Barth

Joseph Dooley

Memorials for Jacquelyn Lineberry

Tracy Kotecki

The Scoop of Youth Services

Hello everyone! First, I would like to introduce myself. I am Megan Lock, the new Youth Services Coordinator at IVCIL! I am a wife, a mom of 2, a cosmetologist, C.N.A and have been a Social Service Director! I enjoy spending my days at the baseball field, the volleyball court, fishing, or just relaxing watching a movie with my family. I am very family oriented, and enjoy working with other families. I have worn many hats, but I am very excited to continue working with families and help meet their goals!

Coming to IVCIL, I got to experience my first Teen Summit! We had such a great day! Healthy food and sanitation habits from University of Illinois Extension Kitchen, Student Presenters about their experiences post transition with finding work with Beth Jackson, stress relief with painting with Maria Purpura, joking around and showing karate moves (not on the agenda but silliness is needed too!) and tie dying shirts. We’re so thankful for all who have helped, volunteered, donated time/services. A special thanks to Obee’s in LaSalle, Peru Casey’s, Peru Walmart, and Kroger for your kind donations! It truly was a wonderful day!

Summer is here. Another school year has recently ended and a new one will sneak up on us soon enough. Some parents have asked how they can keep their student’s academic skills in check without their children realizing they are learning. You may want to visit the following websites to help your student retain the academic skills they have learned or to give them a head start when they do return to school.

Websites are listed according to subject area. Note that some websites are geared for younger children.

Math –

Language Arts – (Reading, Writing, Grammar)

General –


The job search site, Monster, shares useful tips for people with disabilities searching for jobs at

The United States Department of Labor provides information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as lists of employment resources by topic at

The U.S. federal government website,, offers information on disability programs and services nationwide.

The Job Accommodation Network,, offers advice on workplace accommodations for a wide range of disabilities.

College Central lists several articles for students in college seeking jobs or internships. Visit to peruse these articles. College students searching for jobs can also register at this site.

Grillin’ Time!

Where: Rotary Park

What: It’s Grillin’ Time for all out of High School

When: August 20, 2019 5-7 P.M.

We will be enjoying summer with a grill out and learning about first aid safety! We will have a guest speaker, Missy Biccochi who will present first aid! There will be games, food, and refreshments!


Emergency Preparedness Presentation

by Tony Biccochi

Thursday, September 12
Presentation starts at 5:00 PM

Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living
18 Gunia Drive, LaSalle IL

Refreshments will be served


IVCIL Socials

Join the staff for a pleasant time of fellowship and dining! 5:00 p.m. start time.

Call Lesley to confirm attendance at 815-224-3126 ext. 214 or email at

Wednesday, July 17, 2019— Jalapeño’s Mexican Restaurant, 4387 Venture Dr., Peru, IL
Wednesday, August 14, 2019—101 Supper Club, 101 1st Street, La Salle, IL
Wednesday, September 11, 2019—Cindy’s on 39, 100 N. Lewis Ave., Oglesby, IL

Please save this for future reference but be sure to check the next newsletter for any changes.

Personal Assistant Orientations

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019(1pm-4) – IVCIL, 18 Gunia Dr

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019(9am-12) – IVCIL, 18 Gunia Dr

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019(1pm-4) – IVCIL, 18 Gunia Dr

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019(9am-12) – IVCIL, 18 Gunia Dr

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019(1pm-4) – IVCIL, 18 Gunia Dr

Please call Tessa at 224-3126 ext. 213 or email to reserve your spot.

Ability Adventurer Get Togethers

August 20th 2019 Rotary Park Let’s learn about first aid and grilling 5-7pm

September 12th 2019 Emergency and Disaster Preparedness 5-7pm

Skip to content