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Advancing the Human & Civil Rights of People with Disabilities in Illinois



Do you have a grievance about Equip for Equality?

It is Equip for Equality’s policy to provide all of our clients or individuals seeking direct services or their representatives with the opportunity to file a grievance using the procedure described below.  In addition, any individual with a disability, family member or other interested person or organization may use this procedure to raise concerns regarding Equip for Equality’s compliance with federal protection and advocacy laws for individuals with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities or physical and other disabilities.*

It is Equip for Equality’s policy to provide organizational services to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, gender, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, unfavorable discharge from military service, or citizenship status. The same requirements are applied to all persons: Equip for Equality does not discriminate in its programs and activities, or in the manner in which they are provided.

Information about Equip for Equality’s services.

To receive self-advocacy or legal services from Equip for Equality, an individual must meet program eligibility requirements and the problem for which assistance is sought must fall within the service delivery priorities established by the Board of Directors. In addition to meeting eligibility and service priorities, Equip for Equality needs to have sufficient staff and resources to accept the case. If Equip for Equality does not accept an individual’s case, for whatever reason, the individual will be provided with information and referrals to address the concern.

Equip for Equality’s priorities are reviewed annually and any individual can request a copy from the Director of Legal Advocacy and submit comments or suggestions.

How to file a grievance about Equip for Equality’s services?

A written or oral complaint that is recorded should be made to the Director of Legal Advocacy within fifteen (15) working days of the issue giving rise to your grievance of service delivery.

Your complaint should include the following:

  • a) your name;
  • b) your address;
  • c) your telephone number (or TTY number); and
  • d) an explanation of your grievance.

The Director of the program to which the complaint relates will review the complaint. The Program Director will provide you with a written decision within fifteen (15) working days of receipt of your complaint. At the discretion of the Program Director an expedited process may be used in which the grievance goes directly to the Board for a decision.

If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Program Director, you have fifteen (15) working days from receipt of this decision to make a written or oral request that is recorded for review by the Chairman of the Board for this review process. The Board Member will review the matter and notify you within fifteen (15) working days of the decision. This is the organization’s final decision.

*To comply with federal law, Equip for Equality must:

  • Be independent of service providers;
  • Have the capacity to protect and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities;
  • Have trained staff;
  • Have the authority to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect;
  • Have the authority to pursue legal, administrative and other appropriate remedies;
  • Have access to clients, records and facilities;
  • Maintain the confidentiality of records;
  • Not take action on behalf of clients that is duplicative of actions taken by the client’s legal guardian or representative, other than the state, unless the legal representatives request Equip for Equality’s assistance;
  • Exhaust administrative remedies prior to legal action, except in an emergency;
  • Have a multi-member governing board which jointly develops priorities and includes members who are broadly representative of Equip for Equality’s clients and advisory council chair;
  • Have an advisory council that offers advice on policies and priorities, has 60% of its membership comprised of recipients, former recipients, or family members, and completes a section of the Annual Report;
  • Provide the public with an opportunity to comment on priorities;
  • Use court judgments to further purposes of federal laws; and
  • Use federal allotments to supplement, not supplant, non-federal funds.

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All grievances should be sent to:

Equip for Equality
Attn: Vice President for Civil Rights
20 N. Michigan, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60602

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Last updated: April 11, 2016

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