Articles, Newsletters, Podcasts, and Video

Spring 2021 Illinois State Legislative Disability Roundup

By Amber Smock / 2021-06-03
Posted in

Advocacy Team

Advocacy@accessliving.org

(312) 640-2100

Spring 2021 Illinois State Legislative Disability Roundup New bills will support multiply marginalized people

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Updates from Access Living: Illinois Housing Relief; Child Stimulus Checks; New Federal Special Ed Guidance

By Amber Smock / 2021-05-24
Posted in

Advocacy Team

Advocacy@accessliving.org

(312) 640-2100

Updates from Access Living: Illinois Housing Relief; Child Stimulus Checks; New Federal Special

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Updates on Our Current Work on Illinois State Disability Bills

By Amber Smock / 2021-04-26
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Updates on Our Current Work on Illinois State Disability Bills

Advocacy Team

Advocacy@accessliving.org

(312) 640-2100

Today, we’d like to

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INCIL Week of Daily Action: Support Education Services

By Emma Olson / 2021-04-07
Posted in

INCIL Week of Daily Action: Support Education Services for Graduating Students with Disabilties  

Chris Yun

Education Policy Analyst

cyun@accessliving.org

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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

By Steve / 2021-03-25
Posted in ,

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (formerly called P.L. 94-142 or the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975) requires public schools to make available to all eligible children with disabilities a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their individual needs.

IDEA requires public school systems to develop appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s) for each child. The specific special education and related services outlined in each IEP reflect the individualized needs of each student.

IDEA also mandates that particular procedures be followed in the development of the IEP. Each student’s IEP must be developed by a team of knowledgeable persons and must be at least reviewed annually. The team includes the child’s teacher; the parents, subject to certain limited exceptions; the child, if determined appropriate; an agency representative who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education; and other individuals at the parents’ or agency’s discretion.

If parents disagree with the proposed IEP, they can request a due process hearing and a review from the State educational agency if applicable in that state. They also can appeal the State agency’s decision to State or Federal court. For more information, contact:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-7100

www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep

(202) 245-7459 (voice/TTY)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq.

Implementing Regulation:

34 CFR Part 300

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Action Alert: Support Illinois Bills for Students with Disabilities

By Jerome Palliser / 2021-03-22
Posted in

Advocacy Team

Advocacy@accessliving.org

(312) 640-2100

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

We need your help TODAY to support TWO

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Highlights: Our Current Work on Illinois State Bills

By Amber Smock / 2021-03-08
Posted in

Advocacy Team

Advocacy@accessliving.org

(312) 640-2100

Highlights: Our Current Work on Illinois State Bills Friday, March 5, 2021

Access Living

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Legislative Analyst’s Office – Special Education

By The Arc of California / 2021-02-12
Posted in

The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has provided fiscal and policy advice to the Legislature for 75 years. One of the most important responsibilities of the LAO is to analyze

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Behavioral Therapist Kirstie Gillespie Helps Us Understand the Functional Behavioral Assessment

By Special Education Matters / 2020-05-04
Posted in

When you are entering the world of assessments and therapies, often the FBA, or Functional Behavioral Assessment, is dropped into the conversation as a starting point to understanding how best to help a child. 

Today I speak with Kirstie Gillespie, a behavioral therapist (BCBA), and we get down to the nitty gritty of what an FBA is, how it is conducted and how the assessment guides therapies going forward.

Bio

Kirstie Gillespie joined the CSH family in 2016, and is currently working as a Clinical Supervisor providing support to direct therapy, staff oversight, program development, creation and implementation of behavior intervention plans, and Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) to clients and families with developmental disabilities, learning disabilities and related behavior disorders. 

Kirstie graduated with her Bachelors of Arts in Behavioral Science with a focus in Deviant Behavior in 2015. She received her Masters of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2017, and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in November 2018. 

Prior to working at CSH, Kirstie worked in an integrated healthcare system, working directly with patients suffering from Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injuries, then later managing the Hospital’s Strategic Operations Center. 

Kirstie utilizes her education and experience in neuroscience and background in lean, supportive management systems as a staple in every team she is part of, and every family she works with. In her free time, Kirstie enjoys snowboarding, hiking, working out, and photography.

Contact Information

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Lynne Merrill Education and Reading Specialist

By Special Education Matters / 2020-04-21
Posted in

About Lynne Merrill

Lynne Merrill followed her years in the classroom by opening Merrill Educational Center in 1993. Lynne had wanted to teach since she was eight years old, inspired not by good teachers, but by poor ones. She recalls, “I was astounded how much a poor teacher could extinguish a child’s love of learning. I realized early on that I needed to teach to make a positive difference.”

Lynne’s teaching background covers many curricula—from first, fifth, sixth, and eighth grades, to high school English and history. She is qualified in Regular and Special Education and has graduate degrees in these areas, as well as graduate work in English. Lynne holds an undergraduate degree in English and Teaching English as a Second Language. All of Lynne’s programs, at prestigious universities, were completed with Summa and Magna Cum Laude recognition. She has been recognized by members of the state government for her work in pursuing her educational goals.

Lynne is a reading specialist and treats children with decoding, comprehension, spelling, and written expression problems through worldwide acclaimed programs in literacy. She also specializes in Executive Functioning disorders through teaching study skills and organizational techniques. Her greatest accomplishment comes from helping students to help themselves.

Lynne delights in traveling, reading, theater, and spending time with her daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, and grandson. When she speaks of her family she smiles and says, “They are my moon and stars.”

Services

  • Education Therapy and Remediation
  • Independent School Options
  • Tutoring
  • Testing Preparation

Contact

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