In coordination with the digital release of its new documentary, the Going Home Coalition is pleased to announce the premiere of its newly redesigned website and resource center.

The centerpiece of the website is the Going Home Coalition’s 25-minute documentary, Going Home: A Full Life in the Community. The short film makes the detailed case that the majority of Illinois’ institutions for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) be closed immediately. Featuring exclusive interviews with experts in the field and many individuals with I/DD, the documentary instead argues that citizens with I/DD deserve the right to live in their communities through programs and services that support community-integrated living arrangements or “CILAs”.

Guided by Dr. Tamar Heller, Head of the Department of Disabilities and Human Development at the University of Illinois Chicago, and Tony Paulauski, Executive Director of The Arc of Illinois, Going Home: A Full Life in the Community gives viewers a stark tour of the current state of disabilities care in Illinois, supplemented by rare interviews with individuals who have transitioned out of institutions. The film also presents a number of statistics that paint a grim picture for Illinois — including the fact that over 1,600 people with I/DD currently live in Illinois state institutions, the third largest I/DD institutional population in the country. By highlighting Illinois’ sobering disability landscape, it’s the hope of the Going Home Coalition that viewers will be inspired to help create desperately needed change.

In addition to the full documentary, the new Going Home Coalition website features six extended film interviews with individuals with I/DD who have made successful transitions out of institutions into CILAs. These success stories explore the individuals’ lives, homes, hobbies, and the views of their caregivers, in the hope that many other families and citizens can see the security and benefits of community living firsthand.

All of these success stories and the documentary Going Home: A Full Life in the Community are available now to stream online for free on the Going Home Illinois website.

Viewers motivated to continue exploring the issues or begin doing their own advocacy work will also find new tools to aid them in their research with the new Going Home Coalition resource center. Visitors to the site can download a variety of new informational packets, submit questions and personal stories, and quickly look up their Illinois State Representative contact information.

Going Home: A Full Life in the Community, the Going Home success story short films, and the newly redesigned website were funded by the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD), and produced in association with The Arc of Illinois and Naperville-area digital agency and production house Launch Digital Marketing.

While Illinois has started to close state institutions, there is still more to be done. If you’d like your voice to be heard, The Arc of Illinois urges you to contact your local representative and tell them that you support the Going Home Coalition.

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