Our building is closed today and until further notice because of water damage. Access Living staff is working remotely. Look for more updates to be posted here as they become available.

Action Alert: April 7, 2023


April 7, 2023 | by Amber Smock

Support Funding for Illinois Disability-Led Services

Today, we need your help to serve more Illinoisans with disabilities! On a regular basis, Centers for Independent Living in Illinois (CILs) work with people with disabilities who struggle to get accessible, disability-competent services and supports. CILs are unique in that by federal law, our staff and board must be made up of more than 50% people with disabilities. We know how to support people with disabilities, because we live with disabilities ourselves. Access Living is one of the 22 CILs in Illinois.

What does it take to serve more people with disabilities throughout the State of Illinois? Currently, Illinois CILs serve more than 50,000 people with disabilities each year. Our collective goal is to reach even more people with disabilities across the state, especially the folks that are really hard to reach and in need of supports. To do this, we need increased organizational capacity through state funding.

We are asking the State of Illinois for an increase of $10 million in funding to CILs. Here is an easy action alert form you can use to help us contact Illinois legislators to ask them to support  HB 4017/SB 2548. CILs have received minimal increases in our history. As a result, we cannot remain competitive employers. Without the funding to pay competitive wages, we cannot meet the essential needs of our community. In addition, higher gas prices and other direct expenses required to operate CILs mean we are continually forced to do more with less. This is unsustainable.

Why invest in CILs? Here’s what CILs do:

  • Direct, individualized services and information and referral to over 50,000 disabled people.
  • Thousands of hours of community education events in partnership with local governments, businesses, and other non-profits. 
  • CILs save the state, and taxpayers, millions of dollars moving people with disabilities from nursing homes into the community. 
  • CILs provide essential programs that help all types of disabled people of any age live independently in the community. 
  • CILs have programs and services no other entities offer and we can often help in situations when no other provider can.

HB4017/SB2548 would give CILs statewide a fighting chance to serve many more people. In the big picture of state finances, $10 million is truly a drop in the bucket. Access Living strongly believes this investment could move Illinois towards improving the lives of thousands more people with disabilities statewide. Let’s get the funding where it’s needed!

Please share this alert with fellow disability community folks in Illinois.