EFE Sues Lambs Farm
EFE Applauds CTA
Judge Denies Intervention
Pine Lawn Closing
EFE Fact Sheets
EFE's Community of Funders
Someone You Should Know
20th Anniversary Event Recap
Inside the EFE Site
Karen Ward was invited to speak at the Chicago Bar Association's Election Law Committee meeting. She had an opportunity to address voting rights and access issues and to share Equip for Equality's commitment to equal access to voting for individuals with disabilities. Kevin Irvine also had an opportunity to address students at UIC on transportation rights issues.
Marsha Koelliker, director of Public Policy at Equip for Equality, recently received the Perseverance Award from the WillReturn Council of Assurant Employee Benefits. The Perseverance Award recognizes no more than 12 persons annually for demonstrating proactivity, resilience, will power and conscientiousness in their recovery from a disabling injury or illness.
Koelliker, 55, has twice fought battles with cancer. The second round began in January 2003 and resulted in an 18-month disability leave. "This award really belongs to many people," Ms. Koelliker, said, "my family and friends, doctors and nurses, and especially the board and staff of Equip for Equality who supported me throughout my recovery and enabled me to stay connected to my work and return when I was able. They really demonstrated what an enormous difference an employer's actions can make."
Equip for Equality is pleased to announce that Rachel Shapiro, a third year law student at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, has been awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship, and will be working at Equip for Equality beginning in September 2006. The Equal Justice Works Fellowship, funded by the Chicago Bar Foundation, is designed to pay the salary of a lawyer working on a two-year project at a public interest legal organization.
Rachel will provide direct representation to children with disabilities in the juvenile justice system who have unmet special educational needs. She will also provide training to parents and juvenile court staff on the rights of children with disabilities to receive special education services. Rachel's interest in children, special education, and juvenile justice makes her an ideal person to engage in this important endeavor.
Children in the juvenile justice system seldom receive the special education services they need. As a result, many of these children re-offend and end up back in the juvenile justice system or in the adult correctional system. Others manage to avoid further legal problems, but lack the skills to fully participate in society, including the skills to obtain and maintain employment. "While EFE commits significant resources to special education representation, we have not had the resources to give children in the juvenile justice system the focus they deserve," said Laura Miller, EFE Managing Attorney. "We have long been hoping to increase focus on the juvenile justice system and are thrilled to now have the opportunity to do so."
Last October, staff from Equip for Equality's Abuse Investigation Unit sharpened their creative skills in a building-wide pumpkin carving contest at Equip for Equality's Chicago offices. This was the second year that the Unit submitted a work for the contest, which is managed by the real estate company US Equities Realty. As with the previous year, Equip for Equality placed second, succumbing again to the two-year champions from Athletico, a physical therapy and rehabilitation company.
This year's theme, Pumpkins on Parade, dazzled the voters with a colorful spoof of the famous Cows on Parade that graced Chicago streets for many years. Several of the Unit's team are suspicious of the results and are considering an investigation.
"Our work was a tour de force two years in a row," says Unit director, Deborah Kennedy. "Just three and a half words: We'll be back."