Policy Reform Program
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DFC’s Special Education Reform Program provides assistance to families, principals, teachers, Local School Councils, and social service agencies to assist them in creating appropriate educational programs for Chicago students with disabilities.
teacher and student

This effort places a primary focus on helping to ensure that students with disabilities are educated in the regular education program and master the regular education curriculum, consistent with the most current federal law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA) and with the Corey H. Settlement Agreements.


The ABLE Coalition:
Advocates Behind Legal Education
Check out a calendar of parent support group meetings here
DFC encourages parents of children with disabilities to take advantage of training opportunities and join a parent support group. A parent support group will provide needed emotional support and valuable feedback and information from other parents. You will also get a better idea of systemic issues and how they impact on other children with disabilities. Parent group meetings are a great place to compare strategies and share stories from the field!


Understanding Your Rights
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Ending Illegal Segregation of Chicago's Students with Disabilities: Strategy, Implementation, and Implications of the Corey H. Lawsuit
Prepared for the Conference on Minority Issues in Special Education, the Civil Rights Project of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. November 2000.
This paper analyzes key aspects of the Corey H. lawsuit, which aims to end the illegal segregation of students with disabilities in Chicago and Illinois. In this paper, the authors place major emphasis on explaining (1) the multi-method advocacy effort (which includes parent organizing, media advocacy, and lobbying) that has been employed to support the Corey H. litigation and its settlement agreements and (2) the crafting of remedies in the lawsuit based on viewing schools and school districts as complex “human systems.”

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Advocacy Strategies to Make Your IEP More Effective
The IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is a legally mandated document that when written correctly, should address how a child’s special needs will be accommodated in the child’s LRE (Least Restrictive Environment). An effective IEP is a well-negotiated document that requires a team approach in determining what specialized services, adaptations and modifications may be needed to enable your child to make progress in their appropriate school placement.
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