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



What are my rights in institutions, facilities and programs?Sign for Murray Developmental Center

We help to ensure that people’s rights are enforced and not unfairly or unlawfully restricted.  People with disabilities receiving services in institutions, facilities and programs have the right to be safe and free from abuse, neglect and exploitation. They also have the right to:

  • Receive appropriate and individualized services
  • Challenge unwanted treatment and services
  • Have their preferences and choices respected
  • Be involved in decisions affecting their lives
  • Receive relevant information
  • Challenge decisions that prevent them from exercising their rights

Enforcing rights of people with disabilities through the law

We provide advocacy and legal services in response to a variety of rights violations in institutions and programs.  We help ensure that people with disabilities are safe, receive high-quality care and have their rights enforced.  Here are some of the services we provide:

  • Address the underlying causes of abuse, neglect and exploitation
  • Ensure access to appropriate services
  • Challenge the restriction of individual rights
  • Facilitate access to state and federal investigatory systems
  • Compel action by state agencies and service providers
  • Ensure access to the justice system

You can find more information about our specific individual legal advocacy services by reading Equip for Equality’s current Priorities Plan.

You have a right to be safe, no matter where you receive your services

People have the absolute right to be free from abuse, neglect and exploitation, no matter where they live or receive services. They and their guardians must be involved in the decisions affecting their lives. These include decisions about:

  • Treatment
  • Where to live
  • Where to receive services
  • Whether to work
  • How to spend free time.

So that people with disabilities can make informed decisions, facilities and programs must provide information about their rights, how to exercise those rights and how to challenge decisions when they do not agree.


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Last updated: March 07, 2016

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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