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Date(s) - 11/19/2019
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Registration is open for The Illinois Life Span Program of The Arc of IL Webinar – IL DHS, DDD Update and Q & A, scheduled for November 19th, 2019 at 11:00 AM! 

Please register for ILS Special Event Webinar – DHS/DDD Update and Q & A, Hosted by Ligas Family Advocates Program on Nov 19, 2019 11:00 AM CST at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The following describes the content that will be shared by each of the webinar presenters.

Allison Stark, Director, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Illinois Department of Human Services

 Update on ISC transition

Ronnie Cohn, Ligas Court Monitor

  • State of Ligas Case
  • “Reasonable Pace” for PUNS selection
  • Compliance Monitoring
  • Implementation Plan
  • Seeking input from families regarding concerns and barriers

Donna Frownfelter, PT, MA, DPT, CCS, FCCP, FAPTA, Chair, Ligas Advisory Committee & Parent

  • Development and purpose of Ligas Advisory Committee
  • Current summary of feedback from families that has been shared with LAC
  • Plans/goals for Townhall Meetings/Presentation
  • How to connect with LAC to share experiences and barriers or to participate

Shirley Perez, Director, Ligas Family Advocate Program & Parent

  • Role of Ligas Family Advocate Program
  • Services offered by LFA program
    • Know Your Options events
    • One-to-one support and consultation regarding HCBW services and navigation
    • Informational webinars and call-in series
    • Providing parent-to-parent connection
  • How to connect with regional LFA’s

More about each of the presenters . . .

Allison Stark: Director Stark has committed her entire career to serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Allison most recently served as the President and CEO of Orchard Village, a nonprofit in the North Chicagoland area providing an array of community based services to individuals with I/DD. Prior to her 12 years with Orchard Village, Allison was a Program Manager at Resources for Living in Evanston, and a Home & Community Based Services Waiver Case Manager for Adult Care Management in Lafayette, Colorado. Allison holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago.

Ronnie Cohn: My career began at just about the time that the first class action lawsuit was initiated on behalf of people with developmental disabilities who were living in deplorable institutional settings.  I initially worked as a direct support professional in a classroom setting with people who had moved out of the Willowbrook State School.  For the next ten years I worked with Willowbrook class members in direct support, supervisory and then administrative positions within the New York City chapter of the NYS ARC, which set my professional path for the next thirty years.
Over the following five years I served as executive director of an advocacy agency in California and consultant to other states regarding developmental disabilities, special education and transition services.
When I returned to New York, I was hired as staff to the Special Master in the Willowbrook Case, the focus of which at that point had become closing that institution and developing capacity in the communities throughout NYS to meet the needs of those leaving Willowbrook.  When the Special Master’s office closed in 1993, following the signing of a Permanent Injunction in that case, I was named the Independent Evaluator for the Willowbrook Class. I remain in that role, working collaboratively with the plaintiffs, defendants, families, class members, advocates, providers and others responsible for insuring that the members of the Willowbrook class receive and benefit by their court ordered entitlements.
In addition, for the past thirty years I have consulted on eight other class action suits in six states: evaluating services in both institutional and community settings; assisting in transition planning; developing and implementing  protocols for compliance reviews;  training service coordinators; working with advocacy groups and quality assurance entities; developing systemic plans; and spending time with individuals who receive services to determine whether or not they are benefitting from those services.
As the Ligas Monitor since 2015, my efforts have been focused on working with the Ligas Parties, families, class members, providers, advocates and the Court, as necessary, to achieve and monitor compliance with the Ligas Consent Decree. Earlier this year we developed and initiated a protocol for monitoring compliance with the Consent Decree and hope to complete this process by early January, 2020.

Donna Frownfelter: Donna Frownfelter PT, MA,  DPT, CCS, FCCP, FAPTA
I have been involved with the Ligas Advisory Committee since its inception. Initially we heard from many families of the challenges they are dealing with waiting to receive PUNS funding and later trying to find appropriate CILA or remain on Home Based Services.  We have heard from young people utilizing the funding and what challenges they face with services not covered or inaccessible.
As Chair of the committee I have heard many family stories and that of people that have received funding and the difficulties they have experienced.  I am happy to have the opportunity to share and discuss with DHS, the Court Monitor and the Class Counsel and hear their updates on a quarterly basis. We want to be open and hear what is happening and help discuss possible solutions and support.

Shirley Perez: Shirley A. Perez is the Program Director of the Ligas Family Advocate Program and Director of The Family Support Network of Illinois (FSN). Ms. Perez has thirty plus years of advocating and working with individuals and their families with disabilities. She has served in many volunteer positions and on various boards advocating for people with disabilities. She is a business graduate of Metropolitan Business College and Kaplan University. She operated her own business, worked at an Independent Service Coordination Agency. She advocated for and assisted families in locating services by navigating the State system. In conjunction with the City of Chicago, Federal Home Loan Bank and The Illinois Housing Development Authority, she implemented a home-buying program for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. She has worked as a Special Project Advocate with the Illinois Life Span Project; met with families/guardians to explain the transition process and listen to their concerns as their family members’ transition into the community from State Operated Developmental Centers. She is the proud mother of an adult daughter (Tamekia), who lives in the community and utilizes Home Based Services. Ms. Perez’s passion for advocacy is fueled by her desire to help her daughter and others with disabilities reach their full potential. Her philosophy is, “everyone can succeed with the right supports!”

Please note that no CEUs will be provided for attending this webinar.

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