IL Department on Aging Launches Campaign to Protect Seniors and Adults with Disabilities from Abuse

IL Department on Aging Launches Campaign to Protect Seniors and Adults with Disabilities from Abuse

July 10th, 2020- The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) has launched a new public and professional awareness campaign to remind everyone about the importance of reporting suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation of persons ages 60 and older and persons with disabilities ages 18-59.

Specifically, Engage2Change is a three-year campaign theme for IDoA’s Office of Adult Protective Services (APS). IDoA’s APS received a $2.1 million grant from the federal Administration for Community Living. The grant will execute a public awareness campaign through the CBS Community Partnership Division to include broadcast television, email marketing, and digital platforms which encourage people to do their part to assist in preventing abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable Illinoisans. Additionally, other components of the grant include APS Caseworker Simulation Training, Caseworker Trauma-Informed Training, and Legal Professional Training to educate the judiciary and legal professions about APS.

In 2019, Adult Protective Services at IDoA responded to more than 21,000 reports of suspected abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of adults with disabilities and adults 60 years of age and older. Abuse takes many forms that include financial exploitation, emotional abuse, passive neglect, physical abuse, willful deprivation, confinement, and sexual abuse; and these often occur in tandem. Victims are often abused by family members or other relatives.

“Unfortunately, we know abuse directly coincides with social isolation. And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many people are forced to stay in dangerous situations because they have nowhere else to go,” said Paula Basta, Director of IDoA. “Victims of abuse or neglect may not be able to call for help because they are not alone or are likely to be overheard. We cannot assume that someone else will report it. We need every Illinois resident to engage to make the change.”

If you are a victim of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation – or suspect that someone you know is a victim – call our statewide 24-hour Abuse Hotline at 866-800-1409, or visit  Trained professionals are available and prepared to take reports of suspected abuse and forward them promptly to local adult protective service agencies. All calls and information related to abuse, neglect, and exploitation are strictly confidential. The sooner we know about the abuse, the sooner we can put a stop to it.

Durfee Technology Magnet School Resurrects Time Capsule

Durfee Technology Magnet School Resurrects Time Capsule

July 9th, 2020-In commemoration with the closing of Durfee Technology Magnet School, a time capsule that was buried in 04-05′ on the schools’ ground has been resurrected. Durfee Technology Magnet School Principal Mary Brady and Assistant Principal Kristi Mullinix uncover the memories and documents that were buried 15 years ago. The capsule held a Magnet from the school, staff pictures, school brochures, the school’s oath, and lists of students and faculties names. Check out the full video now.

Decatur Police release Fourth of July Enforcement Numbers

Decatur Police release Fourth of July Enforcement Numbers

July 9th, 2020- The Decatur Police Department made 14 impaired driving arrests and issued 5 seat belt citations during the recent Fourth of July “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” safety campaigns.

Decatur Police joined forces with more than 200 other state and local law enforcement agencies to get drunk and drugged drivers off roads and encourage seat belt use.
The enforcement period was funded by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation as part of the statewide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” programs.
Famed Artist Creates Wings Mural In Decatur – Gift From Community Foundation

Famed Artist Creates Wings Mural In Decatur – Gift From Community Foundation

July 9, 2020 – A new interactive mural has been unveiled as part of a gift to the community to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Community Foundation of Macon County.  

The Community Foundation, in partnership with the Decatur Area Arts Council and the Decatur Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, commissioned famed artist Kelsey Montague to create her signature angel wings mural at the northwest corner of the Civic Center.   

Montague’s wings, which have been featured in the 2019 Superbowl, as well as part of the debut of Taylor Swift’s single “Me!”is the third such creation in Illinois and the only one downstate.  

The wings, which Montague says are not truly complete until someone is standing in front of them, features familiar Decatur iconography and elements patterned into monarch wings, an homage to the efforts of Dennis Lab School to make the butterfly the state insect.  The mural, along with a smaller version next to it for children and pets, is designed for the viewer to stand in front of the mural to create a complete vision of “wearing” the wings”. 

Montague’s pieces, which can be found all over the world, are a welcoming combination of public beauty, interactive art, and social media influence.  

I think social media is so powerful. . being able to share art with so many different people. To know that you are impacting somebody and giving them a chance to share a memory.  Having that gift of a photo of that memoryIt’s really rewarding and has caused me to push harder as an artist” said Montague.  

I wanted to do something that people could interact with and be a part of but also something that could be positive, empowering, and uplifting”.  Montague encourages those sharing the image on social media to use the tag #whatliftsyou.  Visitors to Decatur’s mural are also encouraged to use the tag #ExploreDecaturIL. 

The experience that art has brought into my life is amazingEspecially with angel wings. It’s a universal language everywhere that I create. It’s my way of giving back.” added Montague.  

The mural will be open for public viewing and for pictures beginning July 11th.  Visitors are asked to socially distance when waiting to take photos. 

“We commissioned Kelsey to paint our wings as part of the Foundation’s yearlong 20th Anniversary celebration, said Natalie Beck, President of the Community Foundation of Macon County. “We are so proud of how our community comes together to lift each other up. We’re hopeful that the installation will become a must-see, not only for locals, but for visitors alike.” 


State Awards $307,000 to Support Adult Literacy Programs in Decatur, and Springfield

State Awards $307,000 to Support Adult Literacy Programs in Decatur, and Springfield

July 9th, 2020- Local adult literacy programs are receiving over $300,000 in funding from the Illinois Secretary of State.

Statewide, more than 13,500 students will be served by adult literacy programs. Nearly 6,000 volunteer tutors provide skills training for students. Adult literacy projects help Illinois adults who read below the ninth-grade level or speak English at a beginning level to improve their reading, writing, math, or English as a second language skill.

The following organizations will receive grants:

Baby TALK Decatur


Richland Community College Decatur


Lincoln Land Community College Springfield


Fishes & Loaves Outreach Springfield



The Adult Literacy Program is administered by the Secretary of State’s Illinois State Library Literacy Office and awards grants in three categories:

  •  Adult Volunteer Literacy Grants provide training for volunteers who tutor those ages 17 and older in basic reading, math, writing, or language skills. Participating literacy providers include libraries, volunteer tutoring organizations, community-based organizations, community colleges, regional offices of education, schools (individual and public), preschool programs, school districts, domestic violence shelters, and correctional facilities.
  •  Penny Severns Family Literacy Grants provide educational services to parents and children to enhance basic reading, math, writing, or language skills. Programs must partner with an adult literacy provider, a child-at-risk agency, and a public library.
  • The Workplace Skills Enhancement Project Grants provide onsite instructional services to employees of participating Illinois businesses, enabling them to enhance their basic reading, writing or language skills and to improve their chances for promotion. Eligible employees must read at or below the ninth-grade level. Grantees must match the grant award and provide instructional services to prospective employees. The fiscal agent and submitting agency may be either the educational partner or the business partner.

People interested in becoming volunteer tutors are encouraged to contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 800-321-9511.