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

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EFE’s Recent Work

Photo of EFE client, Stanley Ligas after a Fairness Hearing, standing with EFE staff, Barry Taylor and Laura MillerAfter efforts to work collaboratively with the State of Illinois to provide more community living choices to people with disabilities were unsuccessful, we filed the following class actions in collaboration with the ACLU of Illinois, Access Living and others listed below:

Ligas v. Hamos

Ligas v. Hamos (formerly Ligas v. Maram) was filed in 2005 by Equip for Equality, the ACLU of Illinois, Access Living and Dentons (pro bono law firm) on behalf of people with developmental disabilities living in large, private, state-funded institutions or who were likely to be placed there.  Our clients wanted to receive community services, but the state of Illinois denied their requests.  In July 2011, a judge approved an agreement that said:

  • The state must provide institution residents who want community placement with an individualized, independent evaluation, and the opportunity to live in the community with appropriate services.
  • Over a six-year period, the state must move any of the approximately 6,000 institution residents who want placement in the community to the most integrated, community-based setting appropriate for them and consistent with their personal vision, preferences and strengths.
  • The state must not interfere with the placement of people who are happy where they are and must provide them with enough resources to meet their needs.
  • Over a six-year period, the state must provide community services to 3,000 people with developmental disabilities living at home without adequate services.
  • The state must quickly provide services in the most integrated, community-based setting to all people with developmental disabilities who are in crisis.

Read our News Release to learn more about the Ligas case.

Williams v. Quinn

Williams v. Quinn was filed in 2005 by Equip for Equality, the ACLU of Illinois, Access Living, Bazelon Center and Kirkland & Ellis (pro bono law firm) on behalf of people with mental illness living in large, private, state-funded facilities called Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMDs).  The class action case represented 4,300 IMD residents across Illinois.  In September 2010, a judge approved an agreement that said:

  • The state must provide interested IMD residents with independent evaluations, information about community living, and the opportunity to live in the community (including permanent supportive housing) with appropriate services.
  • The state must not interfere with the placement of IMD residents who are happy where they are.
  • Over a five-year period, the state must move all IMD residents who want placement in the community into the most integrated, community-based setting appropriate for their needs and consistent with their personal vision, preferences and strengths.

Read our News Release to learn more about the Williams case.

Colbert v. Quinn

Colbert v. Quinn was filed in 2007 by Equip for Equality, the ACLU of Illinois, Access Living and Steve Gold. (Later Dentons law firm joined the case as pro bono counsel).  The case was brought on behalf of people with mental illness and people with physical disabilities who live in Cook County nursing facilities and who want to live in community settings.  The class action case represented about 16,000 Medicaid-eligible people living in Cook County nursing facilities. In December 2011, a judge approved an agreement that said:

  • The state must allow people to receive services in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their needs.
  • In the first 30 months, the state must provide housing assistance to allow more than 1,000 people in nursing facilities to move into housing in the community.
  • The state must ensure that people who want to remain in nursing facilities will be able to do so.
  • The state must develop community-based services and housing for people moving out of nursing facilities.

Read our News Release to learn more about the Colbert case.

Individual cases

In addition to the three class actions, we have represented many people in their efforts to get or keep community housing and services.  These cases are generally in the following categories:

  • People are not eligible for community services because the state says their disability is either too severe or not severe enough.
  • People’s services are being reduced or eliminated because the state says they no longer need the same level of service – or any service.
  • People are receiving community services, but they need advocacy to get more or different services because otherwise they are likely to be sent to an institution.

Community integration is central to our mission, so we will continue to take cases, both individual and systemic, to promote the rights of people with disabilities to live in the community.


Green circle clip art with the word MORE written inside it.

 


Last updated: October 04, 2016

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