About Equip for Equality
An independent, private, not-for-profit organization designated by the governor in 1985 to implement the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System in Illinois, Equip for Equality has broad federal and state statutory powers. These powers include broad access to private and public facilities, their participants and staff, and service recipient records and other facility documents.
Equip for Equality provides an array of advocacy services that empower individuals, strengthening their ability to advocate effectively on their own behalf. We partner with community groups and public and private agencies to bring disability rights education seminars to people with disabilities and their families in their neighborhoods. When individuals' rights are violated and self advocacy is unlikely to prove effective, the organization can directly represent the individual in negotiations, administrative proceedings, or court.
Equip for Equality believes that social change will only come about when people with disabilities organize, demand justice, and become a strong voice for reform. We are committed to supporting individuals with disabilities, along with their family members, by providing them with the information and tools they need to be effective activists for societal change. And Equip for Equality stands alongside people with disabilities and their families in our state capitol, advocating for laws and policies that promote both community inclusion and choice and ensure that quality programs and services are provided in a safe and humane environment.
Equip for Equality serves as a catalyst for social change, breaking down barriers that prevent children and adults with disabilities from participating in all aspects of community living. We proactively advocate for policies and laws that advance the human and civil rights of children and adults with disabilities and fight to defeat those that move the state in a different direction. We challenge policies and practices by both government and the private sector that discriminate against people with disabilities and deny them their rights to self-determination and community integration. We hold the state and local governments and the private not-for-profit and for-profit sectors accountable for complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal and state laws intended to level the playing field for people with disabilities. And we uncover and bring to the public's attention dangerous and unsafe practices and conditions at facilities entrusted with the care and treatment of children and adults with disabilities and call for reform.
Equip for Equality is governed by a board of directors, many of whom have a disability or are a family member of a person with a disability.
For information on the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System, go to the What is the Protection and Advocacy System? page.