Illinois Early Intervention Call to Action!
Dear Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association Members,
Your attention and responsiveness are needed on a most pressing issue. It is time for the members of ISHA to take action and send a message to Springfield. It is also imperative that we get the word out to our families that they too may join in our advocacy efforts.
In recent state budget developments, Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed cutting $23 million from the state’s Early Intervention budget. Under his proposal, children with delays of less than 50% would no longer be eligible to receive services through the EI program. Currently, children are eligible with a 30% or greater delay. As you will note, thousands of children could possibly go without the Early Intervention services they deserve. The ramifications of these cuts would not only effect the Birth-3 population, but also have significant impacts on children in the local school districts for years to come. Countless children will transition to schools without having had the opportunity for Early Intervention services.
On February 26, 2015, ISHA was asked to partner with the state Early Intervention OT, PT, and DT groups to form a coalition called Save Illinois Early Intervention. Phone conferences have been held and an action plan has been developed to get the word out to providers and families.
ISHA is also working with our Lobbyist Jim Morphew to develop its own Fact Sheet that can be distributed on Capitol Hill to Senators and Representatives as well as their staffs. Templates for letter writing are attached below. Feel free to share these with others. Furthermore, if you are a member of the ISHA Legislative Pairing Project, please contact your assigned legislator on this issue.
As we move forward in our efforts, please check the ISHA Website, Facebook page, and Twitter accounts, as well as your email, for further information on how you can help to save early intervention services in Illinois:
What Can You Do to Help?
1. Email / fax / call your Illinois General Assembly Legislators personally to let them know you oppose these cuts! Don’t know who your rep is? You can look it up online through the state’s board of elections site: http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx
Email Gov. Rauner Letter Template
Email Legislators Letter Template
2. Encourage your friends, family members, and the clients you serve do the same.
3. Email Governor Rauner through his constituent page and let him know you oppose the cuts: http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/Pages/ContacttheGovernor.aspx
4. Join and follow ISHA on Facebook and Twitter for updates and more information:
5. Join the EI Facebook page for updates and more information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/isupportei/
Throughout the years, ISHA has been known to advocate and have our voices heard in Springfield again and again. Let’s do it one more time! Budget hearings are coming up in the next few weeks and your response is vital to the future of quality Early Intervention services in Illinois. Thanks for all you do for ISHA and for the clients we serve.
Barbara Goodson Shauna Ruzich and Vanessa Duncan
ISHA President Co-Chairs ISHA Early Intervention Committee