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


EFE’s Recent Work

Person standing on sidewalk with a service dog.Business discrimination

Dogs allowed: Equip for Equality wins service animal access to restaurant franchise

We represented a woman who uses a service dog. She was denied access to a restaurant that is part of a major national chain. We negotiated an agreement that said:

  • The client may enter any store operated by the franchisee.
  • The defendant agreed to post stickers/signs at the entrance to all of its stores announcing that service animals are welcome.
  • The defendant agreed to send a letter to the legal department of the corporate headquarters about what had happened and suggesting that the company take action nationally.

A financial settlement was also negotiated for the client.


Showtime: Equip for Equality helps people with disabilities win unprecedented access to movie theaters

People who are blind, deaf and hard of hearing have consistently told us about their inability to use movie theaters in Illinois.  That’s a violation of state and federal law. We filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General. An investigation of Illinois’ largest movie theater company, AMC Theatres, led to a landmark settlement that will provide unprecedented access for people with hearing and vision disabilities.

Under the settlement, AMC Theatres will provide personal captioning services and audio-description technology for movie-goers with hearing and vision disabilities at all of its theaters and for all of its 460 movie screens across the state. By 2014, all AMC movie theaters will be equipped with captioning services and audio-description devices. Before the agreement, only 21 out of 246 movie theaters in Illinois offered closed-captioning services, and only 10 offered audio-description services.


Bank on us: ATMs now accessible for people with visual impairments

Equip for Equality and the Illinois Council of the Blind have collaborated with TCF bank to provide better access to TCF banking services for people with visual impairments.  The collaboration included the installation of “Talking” ATMs, which deliver audio information privately through any standard personal headset, making it possible for people who are blind to use the ATM independently. TCF installed Talking ATMs in its 445 banking offices in Illinois, as well as in Minnesota, Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin, Indiana and Arizona.  TCF also agreed to provide monthly bank statements in Braille and large print, and adopted a policy for ensuring effective communication of other banking documents.


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Last updated: August 13, 2018

This website is made possible by funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, both the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of Equip for Equality and do not necessarily represent the official view of any of these agencies.

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