Interactive Civil Liberties Human Rights Conference ~ Saturday, December 1 ~ VenueSIX10, 610 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Activism and the Law — using litigation to make public policy change

Time: 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
Location: Feinburg Theater – 2nd floor
CLE credit pending.

Moderator: Lori Turner, Regional Director, Leadership for Educational Equity
Ben Wolf, Associate Legal Director, ACLU of Illinois
Barry Taylor, Legal Advocacy Director at Equip for Equality
Marca Bristo, President & CEO of Access Living

For all our efforts to make change through the legislative and executive process, it is clear that sometimes problems are so pernicious, so pervasive and so persistent that legislatures and executive branch personnel are unable or unwilling to make the broad systemic changes necessary to fix a problem that does real harm to real people. In this instance, litigation becomes the only option to fixing these vexing problems.

The panel will explore the use of litigation as a tool to change public policy. We will explore in detail the decision by the ACLU of Illinois and other groups concerned about disability rights to pursue litigation to change long-standing Illinois policy that resulted in persons with disabilities (developmental, mental health and physical) being forced to reside in large residential facilities — often nursing homes – rather than living in the community. The groups have been successful in the litigation in changing State policy.

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