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Helpful Documents

Family Resources and Support

Illinois department of human services

IL DHS Website

Consent Decrees

The Ligas v. Hamos lawsuit was filed on July 28, 2005, on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities who were residing in private, state-funded facilities (Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Developmental Disabilities or ICFs/DD) of nine or more persons or who were at risk of being placed in such facilities. Plaintiffs sought placement in Community-Based Settings and receipt of Community-Based Services. On June 15, 2011, a fairness hearing was held and, on the same day, a Consent Decree was approved by the Court. The Consent Decree, which is available on the Division of Developmental Disabilities’ (DDD) website, identifies two groups of Class Members:

          Adult individuals in Illinois with developmental disabilities who qualify for Medicaid Waiver services, who reside in ICFs/DD with nine or more residents, and who affirmatively request to receive Community-Based Services or placement in a Community-Based Setting.

          Adult individuals in Illinois with developmental disabilities who qualify for Medicaid Waiver services, who reside in a Family Home, who are in need of Community-Based Services or placement in a Community-Based Setting, and who affirmatively request Community-Based Services or placement in a Community-Based Setting.

Link to read more about the Ligas Consent Decree

Link below for Ligas Consent Decree Video

Early Intervention Links

Early intervention resources and support for families

The Illinois Early Intervention (EI) Clearinghouse offers a collection of resources for families in Early Intervention as well as a lending library with books, journals, and DVDs related to early childhood, parenting, and young children with special needs.

Early Intervention Central Billing Office (CBO) Frequently asked questions from families.

CFC Parent to Parent Support Program Parent Liaison – Do you ever wish that you could talk with a parent who has already navigated through the Early Intervention System? We have five Service Coordinators in our office who are also parents who have had a child in the Early Intervention Program. They are available to share their experience and office support. Our five parent liaisons are Julia B, Juli T, Melissa B, Kelli C, and Karen P. You may contact the main office by calling 815 730-2617 and ask to speak to a parent liaison.

Special Parents for Special Kids is a parent led support group – meets periodically at agreed upon locations in the Joliet area or contact the group founder Machelle Klee at

Down in the Southland is a group created by parents of children with Down Syndrome ages newborn to 18 years, devoted to fostering education, social and life skills among individuals with Down Syndrome and their families in the southern suburbs of Chicago. For more information contact Juliette DeNova via their website at or email them at

Parents Raising Children with ASDs – Autism Parent Support Group – Easter Seals hosts a FREE parent support group that meets monthly. This program is a wonderful way to meet other parents, get information and get connected to resources in your community. Childcare will be provided by Easter Seals staff for those who sign up ahead of time. Call Valerie Lenz with any questions or to register 815-927-5465.

The Answer Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, provides support, resources, education, recreation, and advocacy for families in the greater Chicago area supporting family members with Autism & Developmental Differences. They offer several family support groups, a Men’s support Group for fathers of children with Autism and other mental impairments as well as a monthly family support group. For more information call 708-296-5651.

Fussy Baby Warmline offers FREE telephone support for parents with a baby who is fussy, crying excessively or has difficulties with sleeping or feeding. Call 1.888.431.BABY (2229).

Shield Healthcare is a medical supply company that delivers to your home products for incontinence, enteral nutrition, ostomy, urological, diabetes, and wound care. To learn more about what they offer go to They also offer a newsletter for families and webinars on many topics for families and clinicians. To view articles and resources from their newsletter go to

SIBSHOPS is a FUN program just for kids who have a sibling with special needs. Participants will have a chance to meet other kids whose sibling have special needs, have fun, and talk about having a sibling with a disability or medical condition. Meetings are held at Lafayette School in Kankakee. This event is free of charge and open to all siblings ages 7-13; lunch is included. For more information or to register, please contact Debra Tamez at 815-802-7787. For information on Sibshops, go to


Good Shepherd for Exceptional Children 708-335-0020

Center for Disability Services 815-744-3500


Illinois Hands and Voices & Guide By Your Side is a free program that offers parent-to-parent emotional support for families who have a child who has a hearing loss or who you suspect has a hearing loss. To request free support from a trained Parent Guide, please call 224-343-1873 or e-mail For more information, contact the GBYS Program Coordinator, Carrie Balian at (866) 655-4588. To see all the Illinois Hands and Voices upcoming events go to

Illinois School for the Visually Impaired located in Jacksonville provides accredited educational and related services for children from birth to twenty-two years of age. For more information on their programs, go to

The Illinois Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments provides support, information, and services to parents of children with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities. To view their website and see upcoming events they have planned, go to

CHOICES for Parents is a statewide coalition serving children with identified hearing loss and their families


Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive, Child Health and Development Information from the Administration for Children and families ZERO TO THREE Little Kids, Big Questions podcasts Day to Day Parenting Early Intervention support

Parents Page, an online resource for parents sponsored by Success by Six in Kankakee County.

Make the First Five Count, an online developmental screening tool.


DSCC – Specialized Care for Children provides free Care Coordination for families of children with special health care needs in Illinois.

Ability Path, online special needs community for parents and professionals.

Friendship Circle, an online blog to support individuals with special needs and their families.

One Place for Special Needs, an online community for disability resources.

The Special Recreation Association Network of Illinois

FREE National Park Passes for children and adults with permanent disabilities in the United States.

Gigi’s Playhouse, a one-of-a-kind achievement center for individuals with Down Syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society

Autism Speaks

Autism Navigator is a collection of web based autism tools and information.

My Child at Cerebral Palsy informational website.

Journal and Resources for Parents and Caregivers of Children with Cerebral Palsy.

Sensory Processing Disorder Network

Mended Little Hearts support for families affected by congenital heart disease.

Muscular Dystrophy Association


Share: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support is a community for anyone who experiences the tragic death of a baby. Share is a national organization with over 75 chapters in 29 states. Their services include bedside companions, phone support, face-to-face support group meetings, resource packets, private online communities, memorial events, and training for caregivers. This site offers support to families after the loss of a child. They have online information and resources as well as information on local support groups and an online support community.

Joliet Area Hospice

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in enrolling for our programs.

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