Allison Stahl of Sycamore was recognized with the 2018 Self-Advocacy Award at The Arc annual convention and awards presentation April 25.
The award focuses on advocacy work in Illinois by a person with a developmental disability. Award recipients should be actively involved in a local or statewide self-advocacy group and passionate about speaking for themselves and other people to the best of their ability.
Stahl lives in Sycamore and, after years of self-advocacy, recently has moved into her own home with two housemates. She has worked with state Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, to fulfill her dreams and that of others with disabilities.
Locally, Stahl helped to create her own microboard – Allison’s Awesome Blossom. It is a private corporation composed of local citizens who know Allison and want to work together to ensure her lifelong independence and safety.
On a statewide level, she has closely worked with Ligas court monitor Ronnie Cohn and Laura Miller, attorney for the Ligas case plaintiffs. The federal Ligas consent decree established in 2011 ensures access for people with disabilities to appropriate services. Stahl also works with Illinois Developmental Disability Director Greg Fenton to further her case and that of others. She has spoken at conferences on the needs of people with disabilities, and Fenton recognized her efforts in his “DD Scoop.”
Nationally, Stahl reached out to U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, and advocated that the current Medicaid funding formula be retained. Medicaid pays for care and services for Stahl and millions of people with disabilities throughout the U.S.
Stahl always says she has two jobs. She is a Walmart greeter and an advocate for people with disabilities.