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


EFE’s Recent Work

Girl in wheelchair on accessible playgroundGovernment Services Discrimination Cases

Clearing path for people using wheelchairs

In the village of Mokena, Illinois, people were allowed to park cars on sidewalks that were also part of their driveways. That made it hard for people in wheelchairs to get around. We persuaded the village to repeal the ordinance, clearing the way for our client and many others with disabilities.

Equip for Equality files two class actions on behalf of prisoners with disabilities

Many people with disabilities are in the criminal justice system and face discrimination in those settings.  Equip for Equality and our co-counsel filed two class action suits against the director of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC)

  • Holmes v. Godinez: This class action was brought on behalf of prisoners who are deaf.  The suit seeks to require the Department of Corrections to provide effective communication for prisoners who are deaf, including access to American Sign Language interpreters. (Co-counsel: Uptown Peoples Law Center, the National Association of the Deaf, and Winston & Strawn – pro bono law firm.)
  • Rasho v. Godinez: This class action was brought on behalf of thousands of people with mental illness who receive woefully substandard care. They are punished for symptoms of their illness; placed in social and physical isolation; and have little opportunity to see mental health professionals beyond cursory conversations to renew their prescription medication.  In 2013, the parties reached an interim agreement to provide relief while negotiations proceed. (Co-counsel: Uptown Peoples Law Center and pro bono law firms Dentons and Mayer Brown.)

Client passes Illinois bar exam with Equip for Equality’s help

Our client, who had dyslexia, took the Illinois bar exam, but even with extra time, he couldn’t pass. He needed the reasonable accommodation of double time. We worked with the client on preparing his materials and expert support to appeal to the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar.  As a result, he was granted double time as he had requested, took the bar exam and passed.


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Last updated: September 10, 2021

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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