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blue bar with the words efe-mail June 2019. A gray EFE logo is in the middle and Equip for Equality is on the right.
Small, Gray Equip for Equality Logo Welcome to Our First Issue

We are excited to introduce the first edition of our new efe-email newsletter. We intend to use this quarterly publication to share the successes of our clients, announce new programs and trainings, introduce staff members and volunteers, highlight opportunities to get involved, and more. We hope you enjoy reading more about Equip for Equality.


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Small, white Equip for Equality Logo 2019 Spring Kick Off Fundraiser

Equip for Equality's Young Professionals Board held their annual Spring Kick Off Fundraiser on the night of April 26. It was an evening of friendship, networking, and fundraising. Thank you to everyone who came out to listen to our client speak. Hearing a mother talk passionately about her experiences fighting for her son’s special education rights touched everyone in the room. After the presentation, guests mingled, snacked, bid on silent auction items, and listened to music for the rest of the evening. We are grateful for your support of our mission of Advancing the Human & Civil Rights of People with Disabilities in Illinois.

See Event Photos

A smiling young women helps an older man read a tablet.

Small, white Equip for Equality Logo Representative Payee Oversight Program

Following the passage of the Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018, EFE launched a new Protection & Advocacy System program to strengthen oversight of Representative Payees and protections for Social Security Beneficiaries who are not able to manage their own finances. EFE’s Abuse Investigation Unit conducts performance reviews of Representative Payees to determine if Beneficiary funds are properly safeguarded and their needs are met. The new program  ensures proper handling of funds and Beneficiary safety. It also conducts outreach and educational trainings.

Read More About the Program

Portrait image of Andrew Webb
Small, Gray Equip for Equality Logo Meet Andrew

Andrew Webb is an attorney on Equip for Equality’s Civil Rights Team, where he works to help people with disabilities gain access to healthcare. We asked Andrew questions about his job and his life so you can get to know him better.

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EFE in the News
West Suburban Jounal logo - stylized WSJ President Toni Preckwinkle Releases Report and Findings Commissioned from the Cook County Anti-Harassment Working Group
“As a member of the working group, I provided insight to ensure that the process is accessible at all stages to individuals with disabilities, including any reasonable accommodations needed, in an effort to remove any barriers to reporting harassment,” said Rachel Arfa, Staff Attorney and PABSS Project Manager, Equip for Equality.
Chicago Tribune written in gothic text Illinois shut down his group home network over risk to residents. Now he's been convicted of health care fraud for unneeded medical tests
Deborah Kennedy, Equip for Equality’s Vice President, Abuse Investigation Unit, is quoted and Zena Naiditch, CEO and President, is mentioned in this front page article on the fraud conviction of Reuben F. Goodwin Sr. Equip for Equality’s Abuse Investigation Unit worked for years to close the community integrated living arrangements (CILAs) run by Goodwin.
John Marshall Law Review Logo
The Development of Emergency Planning for
People With Disabilities Through ADA Litigation,
51 J. Marshall L. Rev. 819 (2018)

"Although the ADA and its implementing regulations do not specifically address emergency preparedness, courts have been unanimous in finding that the ADA applies to emergency preparedness planning," writes Barry Taylor, Equip for Equality's Vice President for Civil Rights and Systemic Litigation, in this law review article.
The Chicago Reporter Logo For people with disabilities, Chicago police consent decree takes first steps toward reform
“We have a police department in this city who really hasn’t paid attention to disabilities,” says Amanda Antholt, senior attorney at Equip for Equality. Antholt helped bring the Communities United lawsuit against the City of Chicago last year in an effort to force the government to include community members, including people with disabilities, in the development of the consent decree.
The Times Weekly logo Federal Judge Issues Order Against Il Dept. of Corrections
“The court’s order requires the state to fill long-vacant mental health staff positions and provide treatment that is needed to stop harming prisoners throughout our state,” said Amanda Antholt, senior attorney at Equip for Equality and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.
Univision logo La Educación Para Los Niños en IEP
Al punto explica el sistema educativo en Chicago y cómo este trata a estudiantes con necesidades que buscan aplicar para el programa IEP y 504. También explora las dificultades que tienen padres de familia que no pueden hablar inglés y de cómo ha fallado el CPS para apoyar. Melanie Grant de Equip for Equality explora más a fondo el tema.
WBBM Newsradio logo Special Education Still Understaffed In CPS, Critics Say
An advocacy group [Equip for Equality] says Chicago Public Schools have still not made needed reforms, six months after the state took control of special education programs at CPS. For one thing, advocates for reform wanted more staff to be hired for special ed.
Small, white Equip for Equality Logo Upcoming Events
Equip for Equality logo
Equip for Equality’s Priorities Meetings

June 25 & 26, 2019 - Help us plan our priorities. EFE is hosting two meetings for the public to come and offer ideas that will help us implement priorities that are valued most in the disability community. If you can't make it, an online survey is also available.

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National ADA Symposium logo with trail of stars

2019 National ADA Symposium

June 16-19, 2019 - We are in Texas at the National ADA Symposium speaking on several topics, including how litigation has impacted the ADA’s application to healthcare and a review of the top Title II and Title III ADA cases and settlements from the past year.

Read More
Outside of Bezazian Branch Chicago Library
Know Your Rights Special Ed Clinic

September 21, 2019 - The next training in a partnership with Chicago Public Libraries will be presented by Jackie Ross. The free event is open to the public and will give parents the tools and knowledge they need to advocate for their children's school-based needs.

Read More

Asian woman on phone holding papers in an office

Small gray EFE logo Employment Rights Helpline Month

June is Employment Rights Helpline Month. Over the last two years, the Helpline has given free legal advice and self-advocacy assistance to hundreds of people with disabilities who needed legal help related to a disability in the workplace. Celebrate the Helpline's many successes with us.


Equip for Equality administers the federally mandated Protection & Advocacy System for Illinois. State Protection & Advocacy Systems serve as legal advocates for people with disabilities and as an independent watchdog. To carry out our responsibilities under federal law, we are granted broad, federal statutory powers.

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Chicago, IL 60602


This publication 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 publication 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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