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A Parent's Guide to Special Ed / Special Needs

Part II - Resources

Friends of Special Education does not endorse any of the groups or agencies listed, nor do we make any representations as to how effective or ineffective they are in providing services.

The following list of resources includes federal, state and local agencies mandated to provide services to children with special needs; legal assistance agencies and programs that specialize in special education and/or human rights/discrimination/disability issues; and advocacy and support groups. Some listings and descriptions of services provided were obtained from the Directory of Self-Help and Mutual Aid Groups (8th Ed.), 1996-97 edition of the Human Care of Metropolitan Chicago Services Directory, Directory of State Services for People with Disabilities, and a resource list compiled by the Family Resource Center on Disabilities. For some listings, there may be several addresses and phone numbers if the agency or group has several offices throughout the state. Other listings that may have more than one office may only list one address and phone number for intake and referral to the office closest to you.

Access Living. 614 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago 60607
(312) 253 7000 / TTY (312) 253 7002
Center for service, advocacy and social change for people with disabilities.

ADDAPT (Attention Disorders Association of Parents and Professionals Together). P.O. Box 293, Oak Forest, IL 60452
(708) 361-3387

Advocacy Services. 1 S. Franklin St., 3rd Flr., Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 357-4583 / (312) 357-4612
Advocacy and legal services in the areas of special education law, mental health law, and guardianship.

Advocates United. 1740 West McDonough, Joliet, IL 60436
(815) 741-0800
Serves Southwestern Cook, Will, Grundy, and Kankakee counties.

Alliance for Mentally Ill - Greater Chicago. 833 N. Orleans St., Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 642-3338
Mutual support, education and advocacy for families and friends of persons with severe mental illness, schizophrenia, mania and disabling depressions.

Association for Retarded Citizens of Illinois. 1820 Ridge Rd., Ste. 300, Homewood, IL 60430
(708) 206-1930 / (217) 523-9488 (Springfield)
Committed to empowering persons with mental retardation to achieve the fullest possible participation in community life through promotion of a system of support which will encourage maximum individual development.

Autism Society of Illinois. 2200 S. Main St., Ste. 317, Lombard, IL 60148
(630) 691-1270
Advocacy, education, information and referral organization for people with autism and related disorders and their families.

Brain Injury Association of Illinois. 1127 Mannheim Rd., Ste. 213, Westchester, IL 60514
(800) 699-6443 / (708) 344-4646

Center for Disability and Elder Law. 710 N. Lake Shore Dr., 3rd Flr., Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 908-4463

Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization. P.O. Box 595, Normal, IL 61761
(309) 452-3264

C.H.A.D.D. (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder)--North Suburban. P.O. Box 99, Winnetka, IL 60093
(847) 501-5662
Provides family support and advocacy, public and professional education and encouragement of research to ensure that those with ADD reach their inherent potential.

Chicago Association for Retarded Citizens. 8 S. Michigan Ave., Ste. 1700, Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 346-6230
Advocacy for people with developmental disabilities; day school; foster care; group homes; parent education and training; respite care.

Chicago Association of Citizens with Learning Disabilities, (ACLD) North. Box 59433, Chicago, IL 60659
(847) 674-7878

Chicago Association of Citizens with Learning Disabilities, (ACLD) South. Box 42888, Chicago, IL 60642
(773) 445-5830

Chicago Hearing Society. 332 S. Michigan, Ste. 714, Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 939-6888
Advocacy for people with physical disabilities; hearing, information and referral/hot lines; interpreters.

Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. 100 N. LaSalle St., Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60602 (312) 630-9744
Free legal assistance to redress human rights violations and discrimination.

Chicago Lighthouse for Persons with Visual Impairments. 1850 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL 60608 (312) 666-1331
Advocacy for people with developmental and physical disabilities; day school; parent education and training; rehabilitation; sheltered workshops; vocational training.

Chicago Organization for Autism. 1011 W. 110th St., Chicago, IL 60643
(773) 731-4222

Community and Residential Services Authority. 100 N. First St., 1st Flr. — S-100, Springfield, Il 62777-0001
(217) 782-2438

Council for Disability Rights. 205 W Randolph, Suite 1650, Chicago 60606
(312) 444-9484 / TTY (312) 444-1967
Provides individuals with disabilities, their families, and the general public with information and other forms of support on the rights of people with disabilties and how to implement those rights.

DCFS Special Education Law Project.
Free legal assistance with special education issues for wards of the state of Illinois. Contact agency designated to provide services in your county.

  • Legal Assistance Foundation. 111 W. Jackson, 3rd fl., Chicago, IL 60604
    (312) 34101070 / (312) 431-1206 (TDD)
  • Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation. 14325 S. Page Ave., Harvey, IL 60426
    (708) 339-5550 / (708) 339-5564 (TDD)
    Serves Fulton, Henderson, Know,McDonough, Stark & Warren counties.
  • West Central Illinois Legal Assistance. 1614 E. Knox, P.O. Box 1232, Galesburg, IL 61402
    (309) 343-2141
    Serves Boone, Bureau, Carroll, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Henry, Iroquois, JoDavies, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, McHenry, McLean, Marshall, Mercer, Ogle, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stephenson, Tazewell, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago, and Woodford counties.
  • Prairie State Legal Services. 400 W. Liberty Dr., Wheaton, IL 60187
    (630) 690-2130 / (630 690-2308 (TDD)
    Serves remaining counties.
  • Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. 327 Missouri Ave., Ste. 300, East St. Louis, IL 62201
    (618) 271-9140 / (618) 271-6925

Designs for Change. 6 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 1600, Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 857-4282

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. 20 E. Jackson Blvd., Ste. 1300, Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 939-8622
Group self-support and information concerning epilepsy. Educating general public about epilepsy.

Equip for Equality, Inc.

  • South Region 103 S. Washington, Suite 202, Carbondale, IL 62901
    (618) 457-3304 / (618) 457-3305
  • Northeastern Region 11 E. Adams, Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60603
    (312) 341-0022
  • Northwest Region P.O. Box 3753, Rock Island, IL 61204
    (800) 758-6869
  • West Central Region 427 E. Monroe, Suite 302, P.O. Box 276, Springfield, IL 62705
    (217) 544-0464

Committed to advancing the human and civil rights of individuals with physical and mental disabilities.

Family Resource Center on Disabilities. 20 E. Jackson Blvd., Rm. 300, Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 939-3513 / (312) 939-3519 (TDD)
Coalition of parents and professionals working to improve services for disabled children. Free services include assistance in organizing parent groups, information/referral/ linkage services, training on special education rights, and advocacy.

Fragile X Association of America. P.O. Box 39, Park Ridge, IL 60068
(847) 680-3317
Committed to helping as many families as possible, educating public and professionals about Fragile X; and making a difference in our own children's lives.

Music Therapy: The Power of Music.
Examines the power of using popular music, something people already listen to, in therapy. Includes examples of therapeutic messages in popular music.

Illinois Advocates for Deaf-Blind. 818 Dupage Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
voice (800) 771-1158 or (630) 790-2474 / tty (800) 771-1232

Illinois Child Care Association. 300 E. Monroe St., Ste. 202, Springfield, IL 62701
(217) 528-4409
Association of agencies that provide wide-range of services in the child welfare, mental health, and special education systems; advocacy; information and referral; placement services; and training.

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). 406 E. Monroe, Springfield, IL 62701
(217) 785-2509
Provides or purchases from private agencies such services as family counseling, protection of abused and neglected children, foster family care, help to unwed parents, adoption services, homemaker services and daycare. Provides financial subsidies for adopting children with disabilities.

Illinois Department of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities (DMH/DD). 100 W. Randolph, Ste. 6-400, Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-2735
Funds and monitors community-based day programs, sheltered workshops, mental health centers, emergency psychiatric care, residential alternatives and case coordination units operated by nonprofit, private organizations that provide services to people with developmental disabilities or mental illness. Provides residential services for people who require a state-operated setting.

Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH). 535 W. Jefferson, 5th Flr., Springfield, IL 62761
(217) 782-4977
Administers programs that protect health and well-being of Illinois residents. Several programs serve special health needs of people with disabilities and high-risk persons.

Illinois Department of Human Services, Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS).

  • 1151 S. Wood, Chicago, IL 60612
    (312) 633-3520
  • P.O. Box 19429, Springfield, IL 62794-9429
    (217) 782-2094
    Provides or funds services at low- or no cost, including Blind Services; Centers for Independent Living; Disabled Individual's Assistance Line; Home Services; Illinois Assistive Technology Project; Lekotek Learning Centers; Residential Schools; Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP); Services for Hearing Impaired; and Vocational Rehabilitiation.

Illinois Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC). 2815 W. Washington, Suite 300 -Box 19481, Springfield, IL 62794-9481
(800) 322-3722
Provides free or reduced cost specialized diagnosis and medical care for children with treatable chronic conditions.

Illinois Early Childhood Intervention Clearinghouse.
(800) 852-4302
Call for child development articles, books, videos and other materials in English and Spanish.

Illinois Family Support Network. 91 Fir St., Park Forest, IL 60466
(708) 481-3687

Illinois Federation of Families. 800 Roosevelt Rd., Bldg. D-004, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(630) 858-1649

Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission (GAC). P.O. Box 7009, Hines, IL 60141-7009
(708) 338-7500
Protects and enforces rights of people with mental or physical impairments and senior citizens.

Illinois Parents of the Visually Impaired. c/o Lighthouse for the Blind, 1850 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 666-1331

Illinois Special Education Legislative Association. P.O. Box 340, Jacksonville, IL 62651
(217) 245-7174

Illinois Spina Bifida Association. 3080 Ogden Ave., Ste. 103, Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 637-1050
Committed to improving the medical and social welfare of spina bifida patients. Offers information and educational programs, equipment loan scholarship fund, summer camp and family outreach.

Illinois State Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities. 100 N. First St., Mail Code E230, Springfield, IL 62777
(217) 524-4835

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). 100 N. First St., 2nd Flr., Springfield, IL 62777
(217) 782-6601
Regulates, reimburses and provides technical assistance to local educational agencies.

Illinois TASH (The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps). 889 S. Lorraine, Wheaton, IL 60187
(708) 293-6094
Offers strategies for helping severely disabled persons, as well as support and educational services for families and interested professionals.

Institute on Disability and Human Development.
Part of the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Keshet--Jewish Parents of Children with Special Needs. 3210 Dundee, Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 205-0274
Parent support, including speakers, discussions, films, general meetings, advocacy for children's and parent's rights, and recreational activities for children and families.

Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. 413 E. Broadway, Alton, IL 62002
(618) 462-0029
Participates in DCFS's Special Education Law Project for DCFS wards. Call office in county nearest you. Serves Madison, Bond, Calhoun, Jersey, Greene, Macoutin, Hancock, Montgomery, Adams, Pike, Brown, and Schuyler counties.

  • Champaign, Ford, and Vermilion counties: 1817 S. Neil, Ste. 203, Champaign, IL 61820
    (217) 356-1351
  • Macon, Dewitt, Piatt, Shelby, and Moultrie counties: 132 S. Water, 601 Milliken Ct., Ste. 601, Decatur, IL 62523
    (217) 423-0516
  • Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Clark, Fayette, Effingham, Jasper, and Crawford counties: 80 Broadway, Mattoon, IL 61938
    (217) 235-4063
  • St. Clair and Monroe counties: : 327 Missouri Ave., Ste. 300, East St. Louis, IL 62201
    (618) 271-9140 / (618) 398-0688
  • Jefferson, Marion, Clinton, Washington, Franklin, Wayne, Clay, Hamilton, Edwards, Lawrence, Wabash, White and Richland counties: 409 Harrison, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
    (618) 244-0235
  • Sangamon, Cass, Menard, Mason, Logan, Morgan, Scott, and Christian counties: 730 E. Vine St., Ste. 214, Springfield, IL 62703
    (217) 753-3300 / (800) 252-8629
  • Jackson, Randolph, Perry, Williamson, Saline, Gallatin, Hardin, Alexander, Union, Pulaski, Johnson, Massac, and Pope counties: 489 Health Department Rd., Murphysboro, IL 62966
    (618) 684-2282

Learning Disabilities Association of Illinois. 10101 S. Roberts Rd., Ste. 205, Palos Hills, IL 60465-1556
(708) 430-7LDA
Volunteer group of parents and professionals. Workshops, seminars, newsletters and yearly conferences provide much information.

Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. 111 W Jackson, 3rd floor, Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 341-1070
Participates in DCFS's Special Education Law Project for DCFS wards.

Legal Clinic, Southern Illinois University. 104 Lesar Law Building, Carbondale, IL 62901
(618) 536-4423

Look What I Can Do/Child Find. Regional Office of Education, 512 N. Main St., Harrisburg, IL 62946
(800) 851-6197 / (618) 253-5581
Free service that helps link children and youth and their families to early intervention and special education programs and services in Illinois.

Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. 6020 S. University Ave., Chicago, IL 60637
(312) 702-9611

National Association for Down Syndrome. P.O. Box 4542, Oak Brook, IL 60522
(630) 325-9112
Committed to creating better understanding and acceptance of children and adults who have Down Syndrome. Provides support and information to parents, up-to-date information to professionals.

National Center for Latinos with Disabilities, Inc. 1921 S. Blue Island Ave., Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 666-3393
Advocacy for people with developmental, learning and physical disabilities.

Northwestern University Legal Clinic. 357 E. Chicago, Room 375, McCormick Hall, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 503-8576
Advocacy for people with learning disabilities; counselling for children and youth.

Office for Civil Rights. Region V, U.S. Department of Education, 111 N. Canal St., Suite 1053, Chicago, IL 60606-4202
(312) 886-8434 / (312) 353-2541 (TDD)

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. U.S. Department of Education, 330 C St., S.W., Room 3006-MES, Washington, D.C. 20202-2500
(202) 205-5465

Office of Special Education Programs. U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Room 3086-MES, Washington, D.C. 20202-2570
(202) 205-5507

Orton Dyslexia Society. 751 Roosevelt Rd., Building 7, Suite 301, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
(630) 469-6900
Organization of professionals, parents of dyslexics and adults with dyslexia. Main goal is to educate parents, professionals and the public; and to foster research into the causes and treatments of dyslexia. Tutor training and referral service.

Prairie State Legal Services.

  • 10 E. State Ave., Ste. 102, St. Charles, IL 60174 (708) 232-9415
  • 414 Hamilton Blvd., Ste. 301, Peoria, IL 61602

Participates in DCFS's Special Education Law Project for DCFS wards. Call office nearest you for assistance.

People for Inclusive Communities. 39 Regent Dr., Oak Brook, IL 60521
(217) 446-7312

Regional Hearing Impaired Program Support Association. 6300 N. River Rd., Ste 203, Rosemont, IL 60018
(847) 998-8079 (voice) / (847) 674-5809 (voice/TDD)

S.K.I.P. (Sick Children Need Involved People). 240 Clinton / Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 848-0723

Special Parents of Unique Needs Kids (SPUNK). P.O.Box 20850, Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 239-1655
Support group for parents of children with emotional/behavior disorders and ADHD.

Support Group for Visually Impaired and Families -Deicke Center. 219 E. Cole, Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 690-7115
Helping to cope with a variety of vision impairments through self-help groups throughout DuPage County. Support for emotions, information and education. Also for family and friends of visually impaired.

Toughlove. 6111 Springside, Downers Grove, IL 60516
(800) 926-KIDS

Tourette Syndrome Association. 5102 Oakton, Ste. 115, Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 675-2121
Committed to increasing public and professional awareness, knowledge, acceptance, and understanding of Tourette Syndrome; educating physicians and other health service providers about symptoms and current treatment; promoting research seeking cause, control and cure; and providing a supportive patient and family network.

United Cerebral Palsy Association. 155 N. Wacker Dr., Ste. 315, Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 368-0380
Provides general services for children and adults disabled by cerebral palsy and their families. Provides education, transportation, training, therapy, counseling to help the individual reach his/her maximum potential.

U.S. Department of Education. 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Room 4181, Washington, D.C. 20202-0100
(202) 401-1576

Voices for Illinois Children. 208 S. LaSalle, Ste. 1580, Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 456-0600

Viva Family Center. 2516 W. Division, Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 252-6277

West Central Illinois Legal Assistance. 700 E. Oak, Room 302, Canton, IL 61520
(309) 647-4547
Participates in DCFS's Special Education Law Project for DCFS wards.

West Side Office Legal Assistance Foundation. 3333 W. Arthington, Chicago, IL 60624

Will County Legal Assistance Program. 63 W. Jefferson, Joliet, IL 60432
(815) 727-5123

Council for Disability Rights

Knowing your rights is the easy part. Exercising them can be a bit trickier.

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