Letters to the Editor

Keep all choices available

This is in response to Adam Cooper’s letter to the BND.

The Murray Parents’ Association has been advocating for real choice for the disabled for more than 40 years. Many of our members have loved ones who live in CILAs, as well as in state-operated developmental centers. True advocacy groups advocate for all the disabled and all choices, from living with family members to a state center.

Our association knows that for some disabled, the least restrictive environment and the best choice for our loved ones is Murray Center.

We agree totally that the disabled have the right to choose where and how they want to live, but that means all choices have to be available. The statement, “For other individuals, no placement outside the institution may ever be appropriate“ in the federal Olmstead ruling makes it very clear that the disabled must be offered all choices.

Gov. Bruce Raune’s administration has made it very clear that Illinois will continue to offer all choices as federal law mandates. Only when advocates work together to provide true choice for everyone will there be quality care for all the disabled in Illinois.

Taking away the rights of one group of disabled citizens to live safely in a loving environment such as Murray Center is not advocating for true choice. This is why our association has been involved in a federal lawsuit to ensure that there is true choice, not hollow words.

Rita Winkeler

President, Murray Parents’ Association