House passes bill to help adults with disabilities find employment

The Illinois House of Representatives gave final approval today to legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, crafted to help Illinois residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities achieve meaningful employment. The legislation, SB 2087, passed by a unanimous vote of 115-0.

“Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities enrich our families, our communities and our state,” Rep. Keicher said. “By passing this legislation into law, we are demonstrating our commitment to supporting them as they navigate the often challenging process of finding employment. Each of these individuals deserves the opportunity to fulfill their potential and live fully integrated lives.”

The bill establishes a five-year pilot program to be implemented through an individualized employment plan developed by the individual with a disability and a vocational rehabilitation counselor employed by the Division of Rehabilitation Services. The bill requires the program to serve at least 25 individuals by the second year. The program will include a discovery phase to determine the unique needs of each participant, a customized planning process for job search, and an employer negotiation process in which job duties and employee expectations are negotiated.

Senate Bill 2087 is bipartisan legislation sponsored by Representative Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg.  The bill will now go to Governor Pritzker to be signed into law.