disabilities

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

About a dozen children with complex medical needs have been kicked out of school over a funding dispute. The children reside at Children's Habilitation Center — a long-term care facility for children with complex medical needs, located in Harvey, Illinois.

On Friday, CHC filed a lawsuit against the West Harvey-Dixmoor Public School District 147, the Illinois State Board of Education, and several other school districts.

Michelle McAnarney said she realized her daughter Darby was different than other children soon after she was born.

"She was always a little delayed physically," said McAnarney, a Springfield resident. Darby was well over a year old when she started walking, but "once she could walk, I'm not even joking the next day she was running," she said.

If McAnarney and her husband took Darby, who is now four years old, to loud or chaotic places, she'd become overwhelmed -- tip a plate over in a restaurant, throw a tantrum in a grocery store -- in an attempt to exit the situation.

In Illinois, prisoners with disabilities may end up staying behind bars, long after their release date has passed. Most inmates are put on mandatory supervised release, which requires a person to have stable housing before they can leave prison. An analysis by WBEZ in Chicago found many facilities on the department’s housing directory could not take people who use a wheelchair.

Photograph by Yoshiko Dart / Access Living

Twenty-five years after the landmark federal law, people with disabilities in Illinois still have trouble getting hired.

Access Living

In July, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill calling for language that would create respectful references to people with disabilities throughout state law.

WUIS

People with autism can sometimes find it difficult to interact with others. That can make getting a job even harder. But there is a place where on the job training can open the horizons of both workers and customers.

If you find yourself off South Sixth Street you may have missed The Noll Café located at the Noll Medical Pavilion in Springfield. The café ran by The Hope Institute offers healthy alternatives for morning and lunchtime patrons.

Hannah Meisel/WUIS

  As the Illinois General Assembly considers a so-called "middle of the road" budget for next year, some programs could be cut or reduced to make up for the expiration of the 20-11 income-tax hike. Advocates for people with disabilities say a reduction could be catastrophic for that population.

One of the biggest parts of Illinois' budget is Medicaid, which not only provides health care to the poor, but also to those with disabilities. Those who can live independently usually elect to with the help of in-home health service.

Dana Heupel
NPR Illinois

Elsewhere in this issue, you will find a graphic photograph of Margie Wade taken by sheriff’s deputy a few hours before the 59-year-old woman died in 2003 in a Hillsboro hospital. It is not our normal practice to publish shocking images, and we seriously weighed the pros and cons before I decided to use it because it tells the story of her last moments in a way that words alone cannot.

Jennifer Wilson moved into her new room at Bethesda Lutheran Communities in January.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Jennifer Wilson’s family painted her new room a "buttercream yellow" in anticipation of her big move. They threw house-warming showers for the 27-year-old to equip her with all the things she will need in her first place.