Governor Pat Quinn today was presented with the Outstanding Advocate Award from the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD) for his work to offer people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to live in their community of choice. Since taking office, Governor Quinn has worked tirelessly for people with developmental disabilities by investing in community care and signing legislation that breaks down barriers to increase opportunities for employment. This legislation was first introduced by the Governor in his 2013 State of the State Address.
"Everyone deserves the opportunity to chase their own dreams and reach their full potential," Governor Quinn said. "We are making Illinois a better place to live for all people as we continue our mission of creating more choices and improving care for people with disabilities."
Governor Quinn has been recognized both nationally and locally as a champion for people with disabilities. Two years ago, the Governor launched his Rebalancing Initiative to improve the state's system of caring for those with disabilities and mental health challenges. The initiative has successfully moved hundreds of people with disabilities out of institutions and into community-based care.
"We are very appreciative of the leadership Governor Quinn has shown in the Rebalancing Initiative," Executive Director of the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities Sheila Romano said. "More than 500 people with developmental disabilities applaud the Governor's advocacy."
The Arc of the United States recently named Governor Quinn the Advocacy Matters! Award recipient for 2013, which is The Arc's most prestigious, national honor. The award is presented annually to proven leaders who advocate and protect the civil and human rights of people with disabilities and increase resources, services and supports that promote their full inclusion and participation in the community. In July, the Governor signed the "Employment First Act," a new law which requires Illinois state agencies to work together to make employment for people with disabilities a priority.
The Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD) summit for people with developmental disabilities promotes self-confidence and enhances skills enabling participants to become more self sufficient. The Arc of Illinois represents more than 220,000 people with disabilities and their families and is committed to empowering persons with disabilities to achieve full participation in community life through informed choices. In 2012 Governor Quinn received The Arc of Illinois 2012 President's Award for his leadership to improve life for people with developmental disabilities by rebalancing Illinois' approach to providing care.