(Photo: Libenu, JUF, Keshet, and JCFS with Senator Ram Villivalam)
Libenu Advocates for People with Disabilities
Libenu was excited to participate in the Disability Advocacy Day in Springfield, IL on March 22, 2023, along with our colleagues from JUF, Encompass, JCFS, Keshet, and Clearbrook. Disability Advocacy Day, sponsored by the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF), was an incredible opportunity for our community to come together with hundreds of others to raise awareness about the challenges facing individuals with disabilities in Illinois and advocate for change.
Disability Advocacy Day began with a keynote address by the Illinois Speaker of the House, Emanual Chris Welch, who emphasized the importance of meeting with legislators and educating them about the issues. Throughout the day, our advocacy team met with elected officials and shared our experiences, perspectives, and concerns. We voiced our support for HB 3344 and House Amendment 1, which aim to fairly address the financial penalties to CILA providers resulting from the occupancy factor policy; HB 2785 Technology Workforce Solutions to Improve Care for Persons with I/DD (Telehealth); and HB 3569 which supports Fair Wages & Benefits for Direct Care Workers in Disability Services. Most importantly, our team highlighted the importance of ensuring that individuals with disabilities have access to high-quality and comprehensive services that meet their unique needs.
We are grateful to Senator Sara Feigenholtz, Senator Laura Fine, Senator Julie Morrison, Senator Mike Simmons, Senator Ram Villivalam, Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, and Representative Lindsey LaPointe for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with us, and for their receptivity and support. We were impressed with their knowledge of the issues and their willingness to help. Special thanks to Amy Zimmerman, JUF Asst. Vice President, State Government Affairs, and Jared Hoffman, JUF Legislative Associate, State Government Affairs, for organizing an efficient and busy schedule and for their passionate advocacy.
As an organization, Libenu is committed to supporting individuals with disabilities and advocating for their rights. We believe that every person, regardless of ability, deserves to live a life of dignity and respect, as a fully included member of the community. At Libenu, we work tirelessly to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the resources and support they need to thrive and that their voices are heard. We were honored to be part of the IARF Disability Advocacy Day and will continue to strive for an inclusive and promising future for all.
(Photo: Libenu, JUF, Keshet, and JCFS with Senator Laura Fine)
(Photo: Libenu, JUF, Keshet, and JCFS with Senator Sara Feigenholtz)