State comes up short for people with disabilities

By Kelsey Gibbs |

Published 08/28 2014 05:03PM

Updated 08/28 2014 06:26PM

DECATUR -- Many groups are striving to make life for those with disabilities, "normal." Groups are helping, but a study shows the state is trailing in providing the disabled a path to independence. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs explains why one center isn't letting the study keep it down.

"I think it's important for individuals who have a disability to be able to be independent in the community and enjoy life much like you or I would."

Macon Resources provides a lot for people with disabilities, but executive director Dreus Lewandowski says organizations like this need all the help they can get.

"The state of Illinois should probably first reallocate funding from state institutions and invest it into the community."

Staff here at Macon Resources say they're doing everything in their power to provide independence for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but reports show that Illinois still ranks low. 49th to be exact according to a study with UCP.

"Illinois has always ranked low in investing in the community-based services that are out here."

But, independence is key to allowing these individuals to feel like they are a part of society.

"They're just like anybody else that wants to come to work and be contributing in some way or another."

One thing they do at Macon Resources is hold down a job. Some make license plates.

"It gives them a sense of self-worth and purpose and they earn their own money."

Macon Resources also provides services to children with disabilities. The study shows Illinois ranks 47th in keeping families together, 36th in promoting productivity and 43rd in reaching those needs.

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