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


EFE’s Recent Work

Grandma challenges school with assist from Helpline

A grandmother called the Helpline desperate for assistance. Her 17-year-old grandson was not allowed to return to his neighborhood school for five months after he was released from a juvenile detention center. The school refused to enroll her grandson even thought it was required to do so. Schools often try to keep out young people released from juvenile detention centers, delaying much-needed educational services and contributing to school dropout.  Through our Helpline, we connected the grandmother with the appropriate people at the school district.  With the Helpline’s assistance, the grandmother was able to enroll her grandson in his neighborhood school.

Helpline equips mom with tools to restore daughter’s aide

A mother called our Special Education Helpline after her school district removed the one-to-one aide assigned to her daughter and denied other services inside and outside the classroom. The student, a 16-year-old with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and developmental disabilities, needed the aide to ensure that her healthcare and educational needs were met. The school district removed the aide and services without notice to the parents and in violation of the individualized education program.  We helped the mother write a letter to the school demanding reinstatement of the aide and requesting compensatory services.  Equip for Equality also prepared the mother for a meeting with the IEP team, and provided her with information on obtaining expert reports, records and related services. As a result, the girl’s mother was able to advocate for the reinstatement of the aide and remediation services.

Pro bono attorney preps mom for successful school meeting

A pro bono attorney, trained and fully supported by clinic staff, provided Helpline assistance to the mother of a 4-year-old boy with significant, multiple disabilities who was not performing well at school.  The attorney helped her prepare for a challenging Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting with a team of school officials. The attorney showed her how to make a strong case based on the clinical reports she had received.   With the help of the pro bono attorney, the mother negotiated with the school for a one-to-one aide, which her son needed for learning in the classroom and socialization.  The child’s doctors were very impressed by the mother’s advocacy, and the mother said she could not have done so well without the Helpline and our pro bono attorney’s assistance.


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Last updated: January 08, 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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