Moultrie County Beacon Inc

“People with developmental disabilities have special needs, 

but their basic needs are the same as everyone else’s.  

The need to have a home, learn useful, relevant skills; work; and develop and sustain relationships with people they care about and who care about them.”  

Author Unknown


The Moultrie County Beacon, Inc. operates on the principle that all people with developmental disabilities and mental illness have:
  • strengths, abilities and value to their community,
  • the constitutional, civic and moral right to  live, work, play and worship in the safe and healthy community of their choice, and,
  • must be treated with dignity and respect.

The Moultrie County Beacon, Inc. is committed to providing services that empower people with disabilities, and their families, to make informed choices regarding life decisions.

The Moultrie County Beacon, Inc. will support the families of persons served by acting as an advocate in the community and provide them with leadership, compassion and respect.

The Moultrie County Beacon, Inc. will continue to strive for excellence in service delivery, enabling people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential and insuring the future of the organization for generations to come. 

Providing day program, residential and home-based support services to individuals with intellectual disabilities,
community-based mental health services to individuals with mental illness 
enrichment programs  for preschool aged children.

 PLEASE - Contact State Rep. Adam Browns office and ask him to 
vote "YES" in support of House Bill 5931. 

Please call this number: (217) 782-8398
Phone Script
When you call your Representative in Springfield you are likely to immediately connect to his or her assistant.  Please do the following:
  1. Provide your name to your Representative's Assistant and where you are calling from;
  2. Ask to speak to your Representative about HB 5931 (if your Representative is not available, that is ok, the Assistant can take your message;
  3. Indicate the reason you are supporting HB 5931 (for example, you are a DSP or work at an agency, you are a family member of someone with a disability, etc.);
  4. Ask the Representative to vote "Yes" on HB 5931;
  5. Thank the Representative or Assistant for their time.

This is our chance to finally see an increase in wages for our Direct Care staff, who currently hire in between $8.50 and $9.00 an hour.  

We need this done TODAY if at all possible!  Thank you for your support.  This will make a dramatic improvement in our ability to hire staff and provide services!


Now that you have urged your representative to vote for living wage for DSP's.........



SUPPORT SB 2952 (Steans) / HB 5931 (Gabel)

At Issue…

     On January 7, 2016 a federal court monitor found the State of Illinois non-compliant with the Ligas Consent Decree, a federal court order that ensures access to community care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The court monitor’s findings stemmed from a meeting with 68 community providers from around the state.


In Illinois, more than 27,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on Direct Support Professionals (DSPs – also known as Direct Support Persons) for supports from daily personal care (eating, grooming, and dressing) to teaching essential skills and attending to complex medical needs.

The average wage for DSPs is $9.35/hr, or $19,488 a year, less than the federal poverty level for a family of three. Poverty wages mean nearly half of Illinois DSPs rely on some form of public benefits, despite working full time.

State payments to support individuals in the community have not increased in nearly a decade. By contrast, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased 14% over the same time period.

The lack of a living wage for DSPs results in high employee turnover, creating cruel upheaval in the lives of those who most need a stable workforce. Rising wages in competing sectors now mean, despite strenuous efforts to recruit new workers, agencies are experiencing staff vacancy rates of up to 30%.

The Agency is relying more on overtime to cover shifts, leading to staff burnout and driving up costs. In some cases, shifts can’t be covered, putting individuals at risk!


These past few weeks have been a flurry of activity as we gear up for the 12th Annual Beacon Benefit at the Otto Center in Arthur.   Last week several Beacon staff working with dozens of Amish and Mennonite ladies (and gents) made and distributed 12,000 fried pies!  It is amazing what we can accomplish when we all work together!  (I think someone famous may have said that) 

This week the huge benefit committee is preparing for the festivities that will take place on Friday.  We make more fried pies on Thursday; donuts, tea rings and Cinna Swirls on Friday morning; Auction items begin arriving at the Otto Center on Friday morning and by mid-afternoon the food stands are ready to go and chicken dinner is on the grill.  The highlight of the event starts at 5:30 when the gavel swings and the auction begins!

Each year the result of this event takes on greater importance, as the support from the State of Illinois continues to decline.  In contrast, our resolve to meet the needs of people with developmental disabilities remains strong. 

Unfortunately it is also necessary for us to fight for the rights of our direct care staff (DSP’s) to earn a living wage.  We cannot provide high quality care without  a full roster of employees and our entry level pay simply does not pay the bills.  The result is high turnover of employees and positions that are never fully filled.  Thankfully we have a group of dedicated DSP’s who are willing to put in extra hours to meet the need – but that isn’t the answer.  We should be funded at a level that enables us to pay a living wage.  

Please help us send this message to our politicians in Springfield!  The people we serve, and the people who serve them, deserve their attention and their respect!

In closing, I hope you can join us on Friday night and help us meet our financial goals!  

We sincerely thank you for the support, 


Please follow our recent story in the 



A wonderful opportunity for discussion and education regarding issues of protecting assets, supporting rights, maximizing the benefits of public services and entitlements, developing an estate plan, special needs trust, ensuring appropriate education, acquiring guardianship