Tell Governor Rauner to release funds for The Autism Program of Illinois
This petition had 6,376 supporters
On July 6th, 2017 the State of Illinois finally passed a budget, ending a two year stalemate. Included in the budget is The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) grant, which provides services and treatment for thousands of children with autism statewide. As of August 1st, 2017, the Governor’s office has not released those funds and thousands of children across the state face the possibility of ending treatment without the continued funding of this grant. We must make our voices heard by Governor Rauner. Sign this petition today and demand that funding for The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) be dispersed as set forth in the state budget.
On June 30, 2016, state funding for The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) ended for the second time in TAP’s 14 year history. The first time was because Illinois did not have a state budget. This time, Illinois’s budget includes funding for TAP, but the Illinois Department of Human Services is not issuing a contract for TAP.
TAP provides comprehensive services and supports to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families through a network of 17 partner agencies in 20 locations across Illinois. Over the past 9 months direct services, including specialized developmental screening, diagnostic evaluations, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), individual and group therapeutic interventions have been provided to 2235 children with ASD. Because ASD impacts the entire family, TAP provides parent and sibling support services as well. In many areas of the state, TAP is the only provider of these life-changing services.
Children with ASD and their families also interact with their communities in school, church, shops, and other venues. They will also likely come into contact with police officers, firefighters, paramedics, hospital, doctors, dentists, and others. TAP has free Family and Community Resource Rooms available to the public, and offers training and consultations. This year TAP has provided training without cost to 1970 individuals, including 200 teachers, 103 first responders, 537 medical, behavioral health and other providers. Without TAP, the cost of this training would come from already struggling school districts and cities.
To Bruce Rauner, Governor of Illinois and James Dimas, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services:
The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) provides life-changing services to thousands of children with autism spectrum disorder and their families – services that often not available except through TAP.
TAP provides autism-related training, consultation, and resources to professionals who work with children – teachers, first responders, medical and behavioral health providers, foster parents and caseworkers, and many others.
TAP helps children succeed in school and in life, saving the state hundreds of thousands of dollars per child in special education and general welfare costs.
The Illinois State Budget specifically identified funding for TAP as of July 1, 2017.
Release the funds and issue a contract – do not continue to withhold these services from Illinois children with autism spectrum disorder and their families.
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