Special Needs Local Resource Directory
It is our hope that this directory helps you find some resources and community services that will support your family members with special needs. SEA200 does not have the ability to assess the competence of any of the following listings. It is up to each individual to question and investigate those listings that you are interested in using. Don’t forget to check for licensing, fees and health insurance acceptance as needed. SEA200 does not endorse any of the following. Any feedback is appreciated and kept confidential. Please email us.
Educational Advocates and Lawyers
An educational advocate or an attorney specializes in education law and works heavily or exclusively in the area of special education law. Since special education law is extremely complicated, access to a reliable advocate or attorney can be a critical tool in any parent’s toolbox. See guidelines below.
Local Advocates and Lawyers
Wanzenberg & Associates: 386 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 3SW Glen Ellyn IL 60137, 630-545-0234
Matt Wanzenberg has an education and school administration background that allows for a good understanding of a student’s IEP rights and professional data driven dialog between school and families. They offer a variety of services including testing, tutoring and executive functioning skills training.
Helping Hands Advocacy Services: Talitha Mueller, M.Ed.,J.D. (773)425-0532, email.
The goal is to empower parents as they undertake their journey through the special education process and protect the rights of their child. She has twenty years of experience in the field of special education. She has worked with students, ranging from three to twenty-one years of age, in both private and public school settings. For the past five years, she has worked as an ABA therapist and special education consultant assisting families of children diagnosed with autism.
Elizabeth Hooper, MA Educational Consultant: 1717 N. Naper Blvd. Ste 200 Naperville IL 60563
For over a decade I have worked to help meet the educational needs of students with disabilities and their families.I know that navigating the education system can be difficult. My aim is to provide the tools and information to empower families and students to best advocate for beneficial learning opportunities.
Matt Cohen and Associates, LLC., 155 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 715, Chicago, Il. 60601, 866-787-9270, Fax: 312-729-5479, Facebook & Blog
Matt Cohen is the founder of the firm and is well known for his work in special education, disability rights and human services law. He has represented thousands of children and adults with disabilities for over 30 years. His firm includes lawyers, paralegal advocates, including a school psychologist/advocate, all of whom are experienced with special education, disability and advocacy issues, as well as law clerks and legal interns. Matt is involved in many national and local advocacy groups and speaks frequently around the country on special education issues. He is the author of “A Guide to Special Education Advocacy- What Parents, Clinicians and Advocates Need to Know,” Jessica Kingsley Publications, (2009), which can be ordered through his office. Matt can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his office manager, Tami Kuipers, at email@example.com
IEP Institute: Maureen Lowry-Fritz, J.D., M.A. (630) 222-9735
The IEP Institute supports parents, educators, administrators and other professionals who strive to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate special education programming and related services, as set forth in education law and policy. Maureen A. Lowry-Fritz. Ms. Lowry-Fritz holds a law degree, a Master’s Degree, and is currently completing her doctoral degree. She practiced special education law for ten years. Now through the IEP Institute, she strives to unite parents and educators in their common goal of supporting students with disabilities, by conducting training, outreach, consultations, and academic/legal research.
Cahill & Associates: 1155 S. Washington Street, Suite 106, Naperville, IL 60540, (630) 778-6500
Prior to going into private practice, Ms. Cahill had a successful career as an attorney with the Chicago Board of Education. Ms. Cahill has litigated numerous matters related to disabilities. As an expert speaker in the area of Special Education, Ms. Cahill frequently presents programs for parent support groups, as well as school district sponsored support groups.
The Law Office of Michael L. Kiser, ED.D., J.D.: 4713 Seeley Ave. Downers Grove, IL 60515
I interact with educators about educational practices, services, strategies, and methods as well as about their legal obligations. I have earned a Master’s Degree in special education and a Doctoral Degree in education in addition to a law degree. I worked in schools for over thirty years as a teacher, an administrator, and an attorney.
SEAC: 2118 Plum Grove Road Box 274, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008 (847) 736-8286
The Special Ed Advocacy Center (SEAC) provides free legal services to low-income parents and caregivers of children with disabilities seeking to obtain appropriate educational services for their children.
Equip for Equality, Inc. Chicago: (Serves Northeastern Region), Toll-free: 1-(800)537-2632, (312)341-0022
Experienced advocates and attorneys in our three regional offices provide one-on-one advice and suggestions to assist individuals in developing and carrying out an action plan to achieve their personal goals. If the problem is within our priorities, we will determine the level and type of advocacy services that will be provided. Most individuals are provided with a one-time brief consultation in which we provide advice and referrals to other resources. At other times, we may provide ongoing suggestions on strategy until the individual is able to resolve the problem him or herself. We may also intervene with a phone call, letter or meeting on behalf of the individual to clarify a situation or effect a change. In a small number of cases, due to limited resources, we may assign an attorney to provide legal representation in negotiations, administrative proceedings, or in state or federal court. We may also pursue systemic litigation if there is an opportunity to bring large-scale equity to the disability community.
Offers information on federal laws that affect children with special needs and their families, advocacy information, resource links, books, conferences, and a free electronic newsletter: The Special Ed Advocate.They also have many helpful publications including From Emotions to Advocacythat website iswww.Fetaweb.com
Each month, special education lawyer Matt Cohen answers selected questions from the LD OnLine community regarding legal issues. The information in this section is provided as general feedback and should not be construed as legal advice. All feedback is provided based on federal law. In some instances, state laws or regulations may differ from federal law and/or be more useful to parents.