Meet the Council


The mission of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (the Council) is to help lead change in Illinois so all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities exercise their right to equal opportunity and freedom.



Medical Advocacy: Understanding Rights and Interactions with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Proposals are due March 20, 2019 by 4 pm.

The Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities recognizes that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities need quality healthcare like everyone else. Obtaining healthcare in these times of complicated insurance and changing ways of accessing services is often hard for everyone, but people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have added issues to surmount in communication, physical access and more.

This Call for Investment seeks a project(s) to provide knowledge assisting people with IDD and their family members/ support staff to know how to best access and advocate for their healthcare, and to give healthcare providers additional skills in interacting and assisting people with IDD to achieve health.

$200,000 is available to achieve both Target A and B below through 2-year projects.

A. Individuals with IDD and their family members will know their rights and have the information they need to get their medical care needs adequately and sensitively met.  
B. Healthcare professionals and/or office staff have knowledge and ready access to information so they effectively and sensitively communicate with patients with IDD and provide quality healthcare service, and can quickly access information such as how to assure healthcare coverage and referrals so the patient is able to follow treatment recommendations.

Informational Webinar: 

An informational webinar was held on Friday, February 15, 2019 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM (CDT).  Feel free to view the recorded webinar below.  

Medical Advocacy Call For Investment Informational Webinar (Recording)

 What's New


Financial Wellness for Persons with Disabilities

We are excited to announce that The Council has voted to fund the National Disability Institute (NDI) for three years to lead the Financial Wellness for Persons with Disabilities Project.  NDI is a national non-profit organization with a mission to drive social impact to build a better economic future for people with disabilities and their families. NDI is the first national organization committed exclusively to championing economic empowerment, financial education, asset development and financial stability for all persons with disabilities.  Furthermore, NDI funded and successfully implemented programs supported by Developmental Disability Councils in Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Missouri to improve the financial stability of persons with developmental disabilities.  

Financial Wellness for Persons with Disabilities Project Overview: 

NDI will bring resources to Illinois that have been shown to be effective in addressing the unique needs of the developmental disability community in achieving financial wellness. 
A max number of 30 trainees will be trained each year; with a total of 90 Financial Wellness Trainers equipped to provide extensive training statewide. 
Over three years, a total of 2000 people with I/DD and 500 family members will receive the curriculum.  
Under the proposed plan, NDI will update the “Upward to Financial Stability Train the Trainer Curriculum” (that was previously developed for the North Carolina DD Council in 2014) to be specific for Illinois. NDI will update and create a total of 11 modules.
NDI will outreach and hopes to train IL Partners in Policymaking members/graduates, Vocational Rehabilitation professionals, Med-waiver providers, disability organizations and self-advocates on how to offer the curriculum within their organization, enhancing the financial future for the clients they serve. 
A three-part webinar series will be offered during each year of the project. The webinar series will be open to the community at large to participate and gain information.  

Going Home Coalition

We are also excited to announce that The Council has voted to fund The Arc of Illinois for three years to lead the Going Home Coalition.  The Council has worked with the Going Home Coalition for several years to build capacity in home and community-based services by advocating for rebalancing of institutional funding and the engagement of people with disabilities and families waiting for and receiving community-based services. A prior project supporting the Going Home Coalition brought voices of advocacy organizations and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to legislators and policy makers. A yearly rally at the Capitol was a major activity.  The partner organizations jointly engaged in strategic planning to map a course for future activity in support of rebalancing and increased community living. The Arc of Illinois will lead the reinvigorated coalition to organize activities and unify the message of the coalition.

Going Home Coalition Focus Areas:

  • Membership recruitment (especially of those on the PUNS waiting list) and efficient coalition structure
  • Statewide participation
  • Educating legislators and other entities involved in legislation
  • Focus on community living
  • Yearly rally and 5-10 legislative coffees yearly

 Additional Resources


ABLE stands for “Achieving a Better Life Experience” and refers to savings and investment accounts that eligible people with disabilities can own for the purpose of financing qualified expenses.  ABLE account owners can save and invest their private funds without losing, or losing access to, federal means-tested benefits, such as SSI, SSDI and Medicaid.  ABLE.FAQs_Web_022619.pdf


ICDD provides grant funding for the Consumer Involvement Fund to the Arc of Illinois. For more information Login and, click here.


Illinois became an Employment First State when legislation was signed in July of 2013. To comply with that law and a following Executive Order in June 2014, state agencies prepared an initial Strategic Plan for how policies and procedures will need to change. The full strategic plan and recommendations is now available.  FINAL EEOPD Recommendations Report.pdf


Illinois Emergency Management Agency Offers Emergency Preparedness Tips for People with Functional and Access Needs.


Through a Council investment called the Life Choices Initiative, easy to follow materials were developed to help you navigate what may seem like a very complex system. Please take a look and see what you think. Guide to Developmental Disabilities System


The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) HCBS: Advocates Creating Transformation project offers on-line resources related to Medicaid waiver funded services: HCBS-ACT project in Illinois.