SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton is leading an initiative to extend the services offered at the Philip J. Rock Center and School in Glen Ellyn to children who are deaf or blind across the community.

“The Philip J. Rock Center and School is a vital resource for our community — this measure will give the center the ability to serve more children, including those with hearing and visual impairments,” said Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs). “We have to update the existing state law to make this facility more accessible to the children in our community who need it.”

Currently, the Philip J. Rock Center and School only serves students who are both blind and deaf. It is the only publicly funded residential school in the country for deaf-blind students. The school currently assists nine students from age three through 21.

Senate Bill 3768 would allow the center to serve children who have visual or hearing impairments, as well as those who have both. With construction underway on a new facility that will accommodate up to 20 students, Glowiak Hilton’s measure will allow the Philip J. Rock Center and School to expand their services to more children in the community with hearing or visual impairments.

“There are many children in our state who need the assistance of the Philip J. Rock Center. An outdated statute should not hold them back from the care they deserve,” said Glowiak Hilton. “This change will help more students achieve independence and improve their mobility in the world. I look forward to seeing the impact it has on these children.”

Senate Bill 3768 unanimously passed the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday and heads to the full Senate for further consideration.