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


Madigan and Callahan v. Illinois High School Association, 12-cv-3758 (N.D. Illinois May 16, 2012)

In 2012, the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, and then 16-year old Mary Kate Callahan (represented by Equip for Equality), brought a lawsuit against the Illinois High School Association seeking equal opportunities for high school athletes with disabilities. Mary Kate was a star athlete and member of her high school team, but due to IHSA’s qualifying standards, she was unable to advance to competitions.


Mary Kate settled her individual case in 2012, and the Illinois Attorney General settled in 2015.

Under the settlement agreements, IHSA will:

•        Have four swimming events for students with disabilities

•        Create a new wheelchair division for track and field

•        Modify qualifying standards for swimming/diving, track/field

•        Change terms and conditions so that student athletes with disabilities can earn points for their teams

•        Create new policies and practices for accommodations

•        Appoint ADA coordinator to review all accommodation requests


Settlement Agreement

Press release from Illinois Attorney General about settlement

Press release from Equip for Equality about settlement

Press release about complaint

Last updated: May 11, 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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