Representative Meier's July 13 letter, "Governor is not protecting living residents," alludes to existing problems for adults with disabilities living in community yet doesn't specifically state what they are, leaving the reader to conjure up the worst.
I have spent years devoted to this issue and have supported people with disabilities in speaking up for their dreams and desires, and have celebrated with them as they walk through the threshold of their new home.
No system is perfect. There are exemplary providers in the metro-east and all over the state, yet we only hear about the negative. Accidents happen and people do go to the hospital. That doesn't necessarily point to neglect; it may simply mean that staff followed procedures in ensuring that the best medical care was obtained for the self-advocate. The investigative results showing that all procedures were followed aren't much fun to share as they don't get folks worked up; perhaps that is why the public doesn't hear about that. Murray Center is governed by the Illinois Department of Public Health, and IDPH has found serious systemic issues at Murray, yet that isn't written about.
I respect that Rep. Meier is trying to represent his constituents that are making the most noise but an honest, objective assessment leads to only one conclusion: offering people the chance to live in the community brings the richness of relationships and offers a more meaningful and independent way of life. I would like to invite Rep. Meier to visit a community home to experience both sides.
The Alliance and Going Home Campaign