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Aug 22 2008

If you live in Illinois, I need your help

Published by Meghan at 8:26 am under Babble

Hi all!
i wanted to write you to ask for your help.
i work for a not for profit called DayOne Network that manages this area’s early intervention program for the state of illinois. it’s actually the same program that has helped us with owen’s speech therapy, developmental therapy, sign language and paid for his hearing aids. needless to say, this program has made a HUGE impact in our family. they also help families with any sort of developmental delay in speech, social emotional, self help skills, physical therapy, etc. it’s a wonderful resource for families and makes a big difference in a child’s development.
unfortunately, the state of illinois has decided to cut the department of human services early intervention program’s budget by 2% but there is talk of cutting it up to 5% this year. that’s pretty bad. illinois is already ranked #51 in the united states for funding for early intervention (that’s no typo, it’s 51….the district of columbia has better funding and resources then us…nice, huh?).  and right now the state is not releasing it’s early intervention funds for the fiscal year 2009. in addition to my office not being able to keep it’s lights on (or keep it’s doors open or pay it’s employees), all of the early intervention offices are going to be hurting, and therapists won’t be paid which will leave children who need therapies (including Owen) without therapists to provide them.
it’s really pretty sad.
 
SO, i want to ask your help in writing your local state representatives asking them to release the funding for early intervention, AND to reconsider their cuts to the early intervention budget. all it takes is them vetoing the governors proposed budget. the only way they will do that is hearing from families who will be effected by the cut.
 
since you know owen, have seen his improvements and the effects on our family, i’m sure you can vouch for the system working and that a funding cut won’t benefit anyone. in addition to that, anyone with children aged birth to three years old (or grand children, or people planning on having a child) will be hurt by not having these services available.
 
even if you write a letter on owen’s behalf, it will help. the more people say something, the more they will listen.
so, if you go to:
http://www.elections.il.gov/DistrictLocator/SelectSearchType.aspx?NavLink=1
you can enter your address, find your representative and state district senators, and write them a letter just saying that funds need to be released and a cut is a horrible idea. it doesn’t need to be fancy. it doesn’t even need to be correct grammar or spelled right. it just has to say you feel it’s wrong.
 
please share this information with anyone you feel fit. anyone who has children, anyone who knows someone with children, anyone who has grand children, or anyone who lives in illinois.
 
i appreciate any help you can offer!  
Thanks a bundle!
Love,
Meghan, Ry and the Little Man

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “If you live in Illinois, I need your help”

  1. Kateon 22 Aug 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Meghan,

    I want to lend my voice to this cause, but I live in New Jersey. Is there something you can do for us out of state who want to help you – perhaps we can write to your state representatives and senators on your behalf?

  2. AuntMarthaon 23 Aug 2008 at 8:25 am

    Wow, 51st. I’m surprised because my state of OK is usually near the bottom of any such list. Unless its teen pregnancies at which we are the top….and that’s not a good top. Our state motto is “Thank God for Mississippi! Don’t get me wrong…I’m proud to be an Okie but we have THE most idiotic legislature.

  3. Laurenon 26 Aug 2008 at 8:01 am

    Hee hee — I used to live in OK and I was also surprised that IL was worse at something than OK. Brian and I are defying the Oklahoma divorce rate!