* Reporters were taken on a rare tour yesterday of the Jacksonville Developmental Center, which Gov. Pat Quinn wants to close. The governor’s administration claims that the residents would be much better served in community settings, but some parents said they’d already tried that route. From Jacksonville’s WLDS radio…
Doctor David Iacono-Harris’ son Jonathan lives at JDC. He says his son has been in community settings twice. Both instances have yielded disastrous results.
“He has literally physically destroyed two group homes. He is not a candidate for the community,” says Iacono-Harris.
Janet Anderson’s daughter Elly Voth says she’s lived at JDC for 12 years. Anderson says the problems Elly has are best handled at JDC.
“She’s OCD. She tears her clothes. She’s incontinent. What she needs is a staff who can handle someone like that, who is educated,” says Anderson.
“She did live at a group home at Hope School in Springfield, and it was an absolute disaster. It was just hell every day. She always had a bruise on her. She had two black eyes that were swollen shut, and the eye doctor said it only had to come from a ball bat. She was overmedicated, ended up in the hospital for six weeks two different times, three weeks each,” she continues.
* Humans in general often don’t like change. But change can be even harder on the seriously developmentally disabled, so closing the facility will definitely have an impact at least for a while…
“Another transition, she’d go through hell,” said Anderson, voicing her concern over what will happen to her daughter if the center closes.
* From the SJ-R…
Many of the residents’ rooms are personalized with pictures and other objects. In one area, staff members were beginning to put up decorations for St. Patrick’s Day.
“Inside the building, we try to make it as homelike as possible,” Day said.
Rep. Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville, said people sometimes picture JDC as a virtual dungeon for its residents.
“The impression this is a stale environment I don’t think is accurate,” said Watson who also toured the facility Monday. “You see these rooms are like dorm rooms. I would argue some of these folks here live better than a lot of our senior citizens who go to nursing homes.” […]
The boiler is so old replacement parts must be fabricated individually because they are no longer manufactured.
* WAND TV…
The trend toward deinstitutionalization of the developmentally disabled has steadily accelerated, following passage of home- and community-based service waivers under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
But Illinois is an outlier in that trend. It ranked sixth nationally in public and private institutionalization in 2006, with 63 per 100,000 developmentally disabled individuals living in institutions. It ranked last in the proportion of persons served in residential settings that support one-to-six people. […]
Community services spending in Indiana, adjusted for inflation, grew by 85 percent between 1999 and 2008, while institutional spending declined by 81 percent. In 2006, Indiana committed 88 percent of its total developmentally disabled resources to community services, compared with 64 percent in Illinois.