About 25 people attended a Developmental Disability Task Force meeting on September 19 at the Shah Center in McHenry. They learned about a county-wide initiative to create a 377 Board to support the unmet needs of the estimated 5200 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. This initiative would involve a referendum on the Spring 2013 ballot in McHenry County.
Organizers pointed out that less than one fifth of developmentally disabled individuals currently receive services. Long-term unmet needs include housing, transportation, life skills supervision, and other services. Housing is of particular concern, mirroring the state shortage of disabled housing. Currently, many individuals with developmental disabilities must move away from family and social supports in order to find housing at all. With the aging of parents, their need for assistance is expected to grow.
Concerned individuals are now contacting members of the McHenry County Board to ask them to approve placement of a referendum on the Spring 2013 Ballot. The deadline to obtain approval for ballot placement is October 16, 2012.
McHenry is not the first county in Illinois to pursue this kind of board. Champaign County, Illinois has a 377 Board that has operated for several years. The Board Members are listed here.
For more information on the McHenry initiative contact Options and Advocacy, 815-477-4720.