Spring is a busy time here at SU…among many other things today:
John got a long and arduous grant request for a new vehicle off his desk;
The proclamation by President Reagan is below. Don’t look at the date and get caught up in a bout of 80s nostalgia…don’t play synthesizer pop songs and do aerobics in your leg warmers. Opportunities for people with developmental disabilities have come a long way and it is worth celebrating. There’s still a long ways to go…Illinois still operates institutions and there are close to 20,000 people waiting for services. That aside, if you don’t have people with developmental disabilities as a part of your day at home or work or socially, your life is less rich than you know.
February 26, 1987
By the President of the United States
Nearly four million Americans have grown up with severe physical or mental impairments that have slowed their learning, limited their mobility, inhibited their expression, and rendered them dependent on others for care and assistance.
For many of these people with developmental disabilities there is now the prospect of a brighter future and greater opportunity. Americans are becoming increasingly aware that such disabilities need not keep individuals from realizing their full potential in school, at work or at home, as members of their families and of their communities.
New opportunities have been created through the efforts of those with developmental disabilities and their family members, along with professionals and officials at all levels of government. Working together, they have brought about significant changes in the public perception of young people and adults with developmental disabilities, opening new doors to independent and productive lives.
One important new milestone is the fruitful partnership between government and the private sector in finding productive employment for people with developmental disabilities, people who might otherwise have been destined to a lifetime of dependency. In the past 2 years, the Administration’s Employment Initiative has resulted in finding job opportunities for more than 87,000 people with developmental disabilities.
The Congress, by Public Law 99 – 483, has designated the month of March 1987 as “National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of March 1987 as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. I invite all individuals, agencies, and organizations concerned with the problem of developmental disabilities to observe this month with appropriate observances and activities directed toward increasing public awareness of the needs and the potential of Americans with developmental disabilities. I urge all Americans to join me in according to our fellow citizens with such disabilities both encouragement and the opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:58 a.m., February 27, 1987]
Happy Thanksgiving all. Our Annual Report for FY12 is is available.
Streator Unlimited, Inc. Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month
We celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
“Employers who ensure that inclusive workplace policies and practices are woven into the fabric and culture of the organization create an environment that encourages all workers — including those of us with disabilities — to work to their full capacity and contribute fully to the organization’s success,” said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy when announcing this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, which is “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?” The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) leads National Disability Employment Awareness Month. “We want to spread the important message that a strong workforce is one inclusive of the skills and talents of all individuals, including individuals with disabilities.”
Streator Unlimited’s SUCCESS Program helped eleven people obtain community employment in FY12 and also gave numerous consumers experience work in the community with supports. Working with SUCCESS is a win-win for the business and employee. Please contact us to find out how we can help you.
We’re on the front page of the Times today! It being an election year, do we sound like politicians running for election with phrases like “cautiously optimistic” or “stable for now”? It’s hard to do a good job of articulating that we’re financial stable for the moment, optimistic about the long term future, but still nervous about the outlook for the next few years. That picture of Jim in his room is the sweetest thing we’ve ever seen!
Here is an article on dental issues regarding people with developmental disabilities. It’s not a new problem but is an ongoing one. The recent Medicaid cuts removed funding for preventative care for adults, though SU is required to assure residents in our group homes receive it. Even with Medicaid, the dental rates were so low and the payments so late that it was a losing proposition for dentists to serve people under that funding source. There is a state grant that supports the Milestone dental clinic up in Rockford–this has been a great help to many in the state, and we are grateful that that grant has survived so far. Though it is an economic issue, it is relatively small for SU in relation to the other cuts we have received over the past several years, and it’s difficult to argue that the state needs to make cuts but that there should never be a cut in our own area.
A happy outcome in this article, though we wouldn’t call it uplifting. A tribute to Streator, that in the process of building our new group home, there was nothing but support from our fine city government and residents.
Our State Comptroller is conducting a tour of agencies like SU which serve people with developmental disabilities to highlight the impact of the state choosing to make budget cuts in a way that has had a negative impact. Perhaps nothing highlights the impact on the service system than this article. We’ve made it through at SU though the support of a fantastic Streator community, along with an incredibly motivated and dedicate staff plus some good fortune obtaining grants. Still, we recognize Illinois doesn’t have enough money to fund everything. We are thrilled with Governor Quinn’s position on closing outmoded, segregated state institutions so that more people with developmental disabilities can get services in their own community.
The late payments are nothing new to those of us providing services funded by the state of Illinois. We do feel that the fiscal year beginning July 1 will be a stable, if unspectacular one, for SU. We’ll have to watch our cash flow very carefully and make it through the hoops of the expedited payments process at the appropriate time. Even so, the full impact of the Medicaid cuts on healthcare costs for our residents remains unclear.
It’s nice to have a state budget passed as we plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1. However, it’s still very difficult to project the impact the Medicaid cuts will have on the expenses we have for our residents’ health concerns. At this point in time it looks like we’ll be financially stable in the coming fiscal year, assuming continued support for our workshop program through donations and fundraising. We’ve been working hard to make the program as self-sufficient as possible, reducing costs and increasing subcontract prices as we’re able and of course by developing our secure document destruction business.