Closing disability centers is an injustice

A wise man once said, “You can tell a just society from that which practices injustice, by the way it treats those who are the weakest, those who have no voice or advocate.” An injustice is planned in the State of Illinois by those in power; and it must be counteracted by those who are sensitive to the needs of the weak. The injustice is the planned closing of the Mabley Center in Dixon, and the Jacksonville Developmental Center, where physically and developmentally disabled citizens of the state of Illinois reside.

The proposal places numerous adults in danger, and the threat of danger is causing parents and other relatives anxiety and sleepless nights. We surely recognize that some residents of these facilities would be able to make the transition. But there are those who need the stability they have found in the Mabley and Jacksonville facilities and whose families are desperate for their children and relatives to maintain that stability. The average group homes simply cannot provide for the needs of those who are at the lower end of the spectrum of disability.

What is to happen to them? The answer to that question lies in the hands of those of you who are in power, those for whom we voted and whom we trust. We beg you to reconsider this budget-cutting situation and instead find a way to place the needs of the weak before this unconscionable action.

Phyllis K. Peterson
Machesney Park, Ill.

From the Oct. 5-11, 2011, issue

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