Program Helping Seniors With Low Vision Loses State Funding


PACE Inc./Center for Independent Living, an Urbana-based agency for people with disabilities, was hoping to expand its program for seniors with low-vision. Instead, the Illinois Department of Human Services has cancelled its funding.

PACE program director Jermaine Raymer says the program organized support groups for vision-impaired seniors in central Illinois. They met to share experiences and also learn about household tools and appliances that could help them stay independent.

Raymer blames the cancellation of the state grant that funded the program on improper administration of a new application process.  He says the state failed to follow its own rules, and held private non-profit groups like PACE to standards meant for government agencies and state universities.

“The process was totally flawed,” said Raymer. “And also, in an era where they say they care about results and accountability, they seem to have paid more attention to their application than they paid attention to results.”

Raymer says they’re appealing the state’s denial of funding. Meanwhile, the low-vision senior program held its final support group meeting Wednesday at the PACE offices in Urbana. Raymer said the program had served more than 230 people in a five-county region.

Illinois Public Media News has contacted the Illinois Department of Human Services seeking comment.

Story source: WILL