I have been working on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families for over 30 years. I have direct personal experience with family members with disabilities and have lived through those pressures and triumphs. I believe strongly in assuring appropriate services and the protection of civil rights and dignity for all people. I use a team of people that also have considerable experience and share my passion for social justice and equal treatment of all. I strive to provide full and honest information about every situation, helping my clients to understand what they can do on their own and what we can do to assist them. At the same time, I work hard to be practical about what can be accomplished and what makes economic sense. I believe in resolving disputes as constructively as possible and use due process hearings or other legal steps as a last resort. When we do have to pursue legal action, however, we pursue it diligently and with great attention to all relevant information.
I also work hard at a national level to achieve systems change, as I have learned that while each individual case is important, the individual cases do not always result in changes in the system that are needed for a particular client or people in general.
I also do wide training on special education and disability issues and have written widely on these topics, including my book: "A Guide to Special Education Advocacy: What Parents, Advocates and Clinicians Need to Know," Jessica Kingsley Press (2009). I am involved in many special education and advocacy organizations, including being on the board of the Council of Parents, Attorneys and Advocates, former president of National CHADD, and chair of the Illinois Attorney General's Committee on Special Educaton.
Languages spoken: Spanish
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|IL||Active And Authorized To Practice Law||1981||05/17/2016|
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Illinois SuperLawyers- 2006-2011||Illinois SuperLawyers||2011|
|Illinois Leading Lawyers 2008-2011||Leading Lawyers in America||2011|
|Public Education Award||Greater Chicago Chapter, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill||2010|
|Legislative Policy Award||Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders||2009|
|Professional of the Year Award||Illinois TASH||1995|
|Co-founder and Partner||Monahan and Cohen||1990 - 2011|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates||Past Board Member & Current Pub Policy Comm Member||2004 - Present|
|Ill. Attorney General's Special Education Committee||Chairperson||1995 - Present|
|Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder||Past President||1991 - Present|
|Jessica Kingsley Press||A Guide to Special Education Advocacy- What Parents, Advocates & Clinicians Need to Know||2009|
|Illinois Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities||Barriers to Inclusion in Local Schools in Illinois: A Blueprint for Change||N/A|
|University of Minnesota, Twin Cities||Law||N/A||1981|
|Special Education law Conference||Ethical Issues In Special Education Advocacy||2012|
|International Learning Disabilities Conference||Transition Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities||2012|
|International CHADD Conference||ADA and Section 504 Accommodations for People with ADHD||2011|