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Thank you to the Illinois General Assembly Human Services Committee, who allowed me to testify at today’s hearing on the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities. A special thank you to Chairman Greg Harris.

Will was told there was “no recourse and no appeal” when the Ray Graham Association dropped him from their group conversion list for Medicaid Waiver funding, a move which would have left him without services at a time when he was desperately ill. In a decision that was driven either by raw greed, revenge, or both, the Ray Graham Association culminated their two decades of atrocious exploitation and neglect with one last abusive grab for still more profits off of Will. Citing three separate, equally mendacious reasons for dropping him, they showed absolutely no compassion or decency. Fortunately, some very fine people in the state of Illinois intervened and Will was able to leave Ray Graham and get Medicaid Waiver funding, enabling him to spend the last five months of his life in dignity and with appropriate care.

But he wanted justice – he was tired of the exploitation and the lies. He wanted accountability. We are hopeful that the Human Services Committee will act on this matter and that in the future, no one else will be exploited and abused by Ray Graham and hear “No recourse and no appeal!” Will used to tell me, with great bitterness, “It must be nice to be (and here he’d name the Ray Graham chief of staff) and get away with lying and stealing….”

We promised him we would keep fighting for accountability and justice. Today’s events, we hope, will bring those goals a step closer to being realized.

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