Less than three months after becoming Director of the Illinois Division of Developmental Disabilities, Kevin Casey spoke to a standing-room-only audience at the North/Northwest Cook and Lake County Work Group meeting on November 17, 2011. He shared his impressions and thoughts on the many challenges facing Illinois at this time.
Regarding the impact of state budget shortfalls on programs for the disabled, he indicated that he would act pro-actively and sought to enlist support from families, advocates, providers, officials and the governor. As he learned more about the structure of Illinois services he would be looking for ways to involve more stakeholders. He expected to hear from self-advocates at least once a month.
Regarding the Ligas mandate to help institutionalized individuals move into the community, he expressed concern about how the timelines for change were interacting with the financial constraints. There was a lengthy Q&A session involving concerns from parents, advocates, providers and others.
Prior to assuming this position, Mr. Casey held a similar position in Pennsylvania. He mentioned the need for a one-stop shop for parents, and noted that he had instituted a family training program and a book “Working Your Way Through the Maze in Pennsylvania”.