Letters: How Illinois can better serve adults with disabilities

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As the parents of two adult children with developmental disabilities who need many supports, the Tribune’s recent front-page article (“Budget seen as failing disabled,” May 12) presented to other readers the struggles we are dealing with in Illinois.

The state is throwing funding at us but not addressing the needs of those it is meant to serve. One-size-fits-all just doesn’t work. It leaves out those who need more supports as providers have limited budgets, and in order to stay in the black, they are providing only to those they can afford to serve.

Illinois touts its person-centered services, yet appropriate services are very limited if you can find them at all. Residential care is to be community-based. COVID-19 set us all back, but now the state is rewarding those community integrated living-arrangement homes that are having their residents remain in the home doing virtual programming rather than attending community day programs with their peers. Community day programs are vital for the individuals who need them, especially those still living in their family homes. If we lose those, the participants and their families suffer.

The state needs to address the services that are needed and how to best provide them. It should determine where we want to end up and then back into how we get there. That is how families deal with the day-to-day of living with developmental disabilities.

— Mark and Elisabeth Grzywa, Downers Grove

The Chicago Tribune publishes letters from readers reflecting their thoughts on news and Tribune content. Letters reflect the views of the authors and not necessarily the Chicago Tribune.

I identify as center-right and generally vote Republican, unless the ticket is beyond support due to incompetence, ethics or policy. Of late, it’s been some combination of all three. Now, I can no longer support what the Republican Party is. It has abandoned its principles, replacing them with a prostituted version of political expediency.

Republicans have pushed aside truth, crying unity for the sole purpose of winning, but offer no hint of the policies and legislative agenda they would unite the party behind. Party leaders unabashedly boast about their ambitions or obstructionism. They are hellbent on winning to win, to have power, changing the rules of the game for voting in the states they failed to win.

Republicans have raised hypocrisy to an art form, denying procedures and processes their legislative leaders once invoked. These are the leaders and guiding principles the party wants us to rally around? What a pathetic example for Americans, those who want to be citizens and those across the world who look at us and now shake their heads.

Republicans scrape their knees as they crawl to Mar-a-Lago, and in the process destroy democracy and our constitutional grounding. It is beyond disappointing — it has become dangerous. When they claim to only reflect what the “base” wants, they fail to acknowledge that a large portion of that base is responding to the policies that gave voice (with a wink and a nod) to white supremacy, authoritarianism, xenophobia, repudiation of science and fact, dissemination of false information, diminution of a free press, preferential treatment for loyalists, gender bias — the list goes on.

They have abetted a derelict administration, and continue to do so, as demonstrated by the vote on U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and the shameful performance of Republican lawmakers at a recent hearing on the events of Jan. 6.

They are all too small in their thinking to support a big tent. It’s time to work for those who would craft a new conservative party that puts democracy first, does not give lip service to bipartisanship and does not pull the rug out to kill constructive legislation.

Until the Republican Party returns to its principles, I am Republican no more.

— Christine L. Collins, Bolingbrook

The current battle between Israelis and Palestinians is a battle that Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes. It may keep him in place as Israel’s prime minister and prevent the courts from prosecuting him for alleged criminal behavior.

There was no need to evict Palestinians from their homes even if the property was previously owned by Israeli families. The Israeli government simply could have built new homes for those Israeli families.

Netanyahu doesn’t care about Israelis or Palestinians. He cares only about himself.

With the latest carnage between the Palestinians and Israelis, I am reminded of the warning attributed to Gandhi: “An eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.”

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May 17, 2021 at 06:53AM

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