It's My Life



Welcome to the Alliance website! The Alliance is a statewide team of self-advocacy groups in Illinois. We work together to make life better in our communities and to work to make services better in our state.

We want groups from around the state to speak together with one loud voice. We can do more when we all work together!

Our Vision

Our vision is for self-advocates to work together to get the support we need and to live the life we want in the community.


Our Mission

Our mission is to speak up for ourselves and each other while working together to make changes in our communities and in Illinois.


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The Alliance has been refunded by the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD) through April 2021! 

Check out the The Alliance:  The Self-Advocacy Movement Continues! Webinar Recording (Recorded Live on Friday, April 6, 2018) to learn more.  About the Webinar Recording: Join self-advocates and Alliance staff as they celebrate the past 5 years of The Alliance and share exciting information about the next 3 years including the new Alliance application and member levels and benefits! 

Also attached are the following documents referenced during the webinar:

Please Note: ​We are asking all current member groups to complete and submit the Alliance Membership Application so that we know what membership level you desire and can plan for staff support over the next three years!



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Call for Speakers Being Accepted Until June 22, 2018!

The Arc of Illinois is in the planning stages for the 2018 Speak Up and Speak Out Summit (SUSO) funded by the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities to be held on October 29, 2018 to October 31, 2018, at the Wyndham Hotel (formerly Hilton Hotel) in Springfield, IL. We are looking for people or small groups of people interested in sharing their experiences and expertise on topics such as community living, employment, personal choice and other topics of importance to people with disabilities. The goal is to have sessions at the Summit that will demonstrate to people with disabilities that they have a voice, and they have choices in what they do with their life and their Voice Will Be Heard! We are committed to empowering persons with disabilities to reach their highest potential in education, employment and community living. We want you to present at the Speak Up and Speak Out 2018 Summit. Staff and Allies please share with and support self-advocates to submit a presentation proposal. We want to encourage new people and new exciting topics! This year the theme is “My Voice Will Be Heard!” and will focus on providing attendees with information to help empower them to use their voice to make positive choices and changes in their life.

Check out the Call for Speakers at SUSOCallForSpeakers2018

Check out The Alliance’s webinar recording So You Want to Present at a Conference… (recorded live 6.20.17)



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Last summer the Illinois General Assembly granted a 75-cent hourly wage increase after giving nothing to DSPs for nearly a decade. But the average starting pay for DSPs has only now reached above $10 – far less than wages paid by retailers, warehouses, and even fast food restaurants.

There are two bills – SB 3508 and HB 5622 – just filed in the Illinois General Assembly that would provide a long-overdue solution to the state’s DSP staffing crisis by raising starting wages for DSPs to $13.50 in July 2018 (FY’19) and ramping up to $15 per hour in July 2020 (FY’21).

Please visit for more updates and action steps. Please share your stories if you or a loved one have been impacted by low DSP wages.

Please maximize the power of your networks by sharing this updated fact sheet, the new They Deserve More website, and their Facebook and Twitter pages. We invite you to voice your support with the hashtag #TheyDeserveMore.


Dignity in Pay


Many people with disabilities are being paid way below the minimum wage, and it’s perfectly legal. We can do better. With creativity and commitment, we can build more integrated, supported and customized work opportunities for all people. It will take a lot of thoughtful planning and system change, but if we are willing to embrace bold change, Illinois can responsibly phase out subminimum wages.

Other states are leading the way in reforming the systems that perpetuate segregated, isolated, dead-end jobs for workers with disabilities. Extensive research confirms that people with “significant” disabilities who want to work and receive proper support can contribute to the workforce in a significant way.



The Alliance is proud to be funded through April 2021 by the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (ICDD). 





















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