Respite is a service providing a temporary break between the family caregiver and the care recipient. Illinois offers a variety of respite services for eligible families and individuals.
Illinois Life Span (ILS), a program of The Arc of Illinois, provides fact sheets, information and a listing of respite services/providers currently funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities. The current listing may be found on their website.
The Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) is a statewide organization that partners with the state’s 16 local Child Care Resources and Referral (CCR&R) agencies. It is a recognized leader, catalyst and resource for making high quality, affordable early care and education and school-age care options available for children and families in Illinois.
CCR&R’s connect and coordinate programs and services for young children and their families. CCR&R’s manage the application and information for families to receive child care assistance, allowing them to work and/or go to school while their children have access to quality early care and education.
Visit www.inccrra.org/about/sdasearch to find your local CCR&R.
The Illinois Telecommunications Access Corporation (ITAC) is a not-for-profit that issues equipment to provide telephone access to Illinois residents who are hard of hearing, late deafened, deaf-blind or speech-disabled.
ITAC provides both the Illinois Relay phone service and an equipment program, which are both required by state law. Its equipment is designed specifically for people who are having difficulty hearing on the standard phone system. Information is also available in Spanish.
This guidance from the U.S. Department of Education addresses many considerations for Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams and offers input on how IEPs should be modified to address changes brought on by COVID-19.
The document “Return to School Roadmap: Development and Implementation of Individualized Education Programs in the Least Restrictive Environment Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” covers a wide range of topics using a question-and-answer format.
Topics include meeting timelines, ensuring implementation of initial evaluation and reevaluation procedures, determining eligibility for special education and related services, and providing the full array of special education and related services that children with disabilities need in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
The Nest Postpartum is a nonprofit that serves families with a child in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Carle Hospital in Champaign.
It provides services such as transportation, lodging, prepared meals, care coordinator check-ins and links to other community support programs for families staying in the NICU.
Through The Arc@School initiative, The Arc provides training and resources to help families and others navigate the special education system.
Arc@School offers information on the supports, services and rights for students with disabilities. It also includes information on advocating for students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a nationwide directory of special education advocacy resources.
Arc@School materials are also available in Spanish.
The September 26th Project focuses on helping families and caregivers of children or adults with cognitive, behavioral and/or physical impairments prepare for wandering and elopement and disasters such as fires floods, or earthquakes.
The September 26th Projects assists and encourages families to do a checkup at least annually and not put emergency preparedness on the back burner. They provide checklists and information on:
COVID-19 is challenging to explain, live through and communicate about. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides videos, posters, social stories, and interactive activities to help communicate with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities about COVID-19.
Five topics are featured in the toolkit:
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccine
- Wearing a mask
- Social distancing
- Hand washing
- Getting a COVID-19 test
The CDC also has a one-page, easy-to-understand tip sheet for caregivers.
The materials are also available in Spanish.
Ready.gov provides emergency preparedness tools and information to help families before, during and after disasters. This site includes:
- Step-by-step checklists, tips and individual considerations important to planning for people with disabilities and their families
- Ready Kids age-appropriate materials for helping children and teens be prepared rather than scared
Resources are also available in Spanish, simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
As families across Illinois continue to get back on their feet amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Human Services is expanding Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) eligibility to help residents get back to work.
Parents who are unemployed and actively seeking employment will be eligible for three months of child care assistance, provided they meet the standard Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) eligibility requirements. This assistance program begins on Oct. 1, 2021.
If parents become employed or enroll in an education program before the end of the three-month period and meet all other CCAP eligibility requirements, their eligibility will continue for 12 months in total.
Families interested in applying for support through CCAP should contact their local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (CCR&R) or call (877) 202-4453 toll-free.