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


Disability Rights Trainings

Our Training Institute provides disability-rights training to help people with disabilities and their families become better advocates for their rights.  Some of our trainings are available in Spanish and American Sign Language.  Please contact us to ask about accommodations and accessibility requests for our trainings.

Our trainings offer:

  • Important information about the legal rights of people with disabilities
  • Ways to advocate (stand up for yourself) when
    • Asking for job accommodations (help on the job)
    • Getting accessible (easy-to-use) transportation
    • Making a smooth change from high school to work or college
    • Using the right to vote
  • Teaching methods that work well with different groups:
    • Stories and activities to help guide each group in learning
    • Easy-to-read handouts to help remember the most important things
    • A list of resources (people and places to call for help)
    • A certificate for successfully completing the training


Our Training Institute partners with other organizations, called “co-sponsors.”   Our co-sponsors help us provide disability rights trainings in communities throughout Illinois.  Any group, public or private, can co-sponsor a training with us.  Our co-sponsors include:

  • Schools
  • Community mental health centers
  • Advocacy groups
  • Parent organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Service providers
  • Vocational programs
  • Other programs that work with people with disabilities

Training Locations

We can offer trainings anywhere in Illinois. However, we need at least 12 people to sign up for each training.  We will do trainings at any place that is easy for participants to access.  Examples of training locations include:

  • The co-sponsor’s office
  • Libraries
  • Public schools and colleges
  • Town halls


Our trainings are free for people with disabilities and their families. We are able to offer free trainings because we have a Scholarship Fund.  Companies, foundations, individuals and governmental entities may contribute to the fund. Visit our donation page, if you would like to donate to our scholarship fund.

The cost for trainings we do for professionals, businesses and other organizations, is based on a fee-for-service scale.

Attend or Request Training

If you would like to attend one of our upcoming trainings, check out our Events Calendar.  Or, contact us to request an in-person training for your group.

Training topics

Below, we’ve provided examples of some of our training topics.  We’ve also provided a description of the goals we hope to accomplish with each training.

Americans with Disabilities Act

• Know Your Rights: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in Everyday Life

  • How to stand up for your rights
  • File a complaint if you feel you have been treated unfairly
  • Know where you can go for more help and information

• Buses, Trains, Taxicabs, Planes: Know Your Transportation Rights

  • Learn about your rights to travel accommodations
  • Ask for those rights in your community and when traveling
  • Get door-to-door paratransit services

• Make Your Vote Count: The Voting Rights of People with Disabilities

  • Know your voting rights
  • Ask for accommodations at your polling place
  • Get help and information about filing complaints


• Put Your Rights to Work: The Americans with Disabilities Act and Employment

  • Advocate for your rights at job interviews and once you are on the job
  • Practice handling employers’ questions
  • Ask for reasonable accommodations for your job

• Self-Employment Jump Start: Starting a Person-Centered Business

  • Discover whether a small business is in your future
  • Making plans to start
  • How benefits and resources can help

• Know Your Rights to Work While on Social Security

  • Get free professional help in finding or keeping a job and keeping your benefits
  • Use work incentives, so you can work and keep your cash and medical benefits
  • Know your rights to vocational rehabilitation services


• Be a Prepared Parent: What You Need to Know About Your Child’s Special Education Rights

  • Recognize your child’s legal right to a free and appropriate education
  • Actively participate in making educational decisions for your child
  • Communicate effectively with your child’s school

• Making it a Success: Your Transition From High School to the Adult World

  • Decide what you want your life to look like
  • Prepare to share your vision with the people in your life
  • Use information to start to put your plans into action


• Advance Directives: You’ve Got the Power!

  • Learn why people use advance health care directives
  • Explore sample advance health care directives
  • Decide how an advance health care directive could help you be a stronger advocate

• Making Your Own Decisions: Guardianship and Alternatives

  • Find out about your rights as an adult (age 18 and over)
  • Learn how having a guardian could change your life
  • Talk about ways to get help with important decisions in your life

• Balancing Independence and Protection: What Family Members Need to Know About Guardianship & Alternatives

  • Learn the importance of involving your family member with a disability in decisions that affect his or her life
  • Explore how courts process guardianship, and alternatives to guardianship
  • Get help and find key information on these life-changing choices



Last updated: October 24, 2014

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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