Even During a Crisis, People with Disabilities have Rights

View presentation on HealthMatters Program YouTube Playlist
Date and time: Tuesday, July 21, 2020 1:00 pm CDT
Duration: 1 hour and 4 minutes
Handout: PowerPoint Presentation-Robin Jones and Barry Taylor

Overview: This presentation will provide updates on issues related to COVID-19 treatment for people with IDD. Guidelines being used to help health care providers and health care institutions address issues related to access, care, and treatment issues for people with IDD will be discussed. In addition, this session will address the rights that people with IDD have as their employment options “re-open” and as agencies begin to bring people back into the workplace.

Learning Objectives:
  1. identify health care and employment issues for people with IDD related to COVID-19;
  2. discuss current guidelines to help health care providers and health care institutions address issues related to access, care, and treatment issues for people with IDD; and,
  3. delineate the rights that people with IDD have as their employment options “re-open” and as community organizations begin to bring people back into the workplace.

Robin Jones, Director of the Great Lakes ADA Center and an Instructor in the Department on Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Robin has served as director since the Center’s inception in 1991. Her educational background includes degrees in Public Administration and Occupational Therapy. Robin has extensive experiences as a consultant and trainer regarding the barriers to community participation for people with disabilities including access to education, transportation, employment and electronic information. Robin has been actively involved in assisting business and government to meet their obligations under federal disability rights laws and is recognized as a key resource regarding hiring and employing people with disabilities.

Barry Taylor, Vice President for Civil Rights and Systemic Litigation, Equip for Equality: Barry is the Vice President for Civil Rights and Systemic Litigation at Equip for Equality, where has worked since 1996. At Equip for Equality, he has overseen many individual and systemic disability discrimination cases including successful federal ADA suits against the National Board of Medical Examiners, the Chicago Police Department, and the Chicago Transit Authority. He is currently co-counsel in seven class actions, including lead counsel in Ligas v. Norwood, a class action on behalf of people with developmental disabilities who are seeking community services. Barry has given numerous presentations on the ADA across the country to people with disabilities, family members, attorneys, employers, businesses, service providers and advocacy organizations. Barry has served as the Chairperson of the Disability Rights Consortium, Chairperson of the Regional Transit Authority’s ADA Advisory Committee; Chairperson of Season of Concern, Chairperson of the Legal Committee for the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Association’s Legal Aid Committee, Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Association’s Mental Health and Disability Law Committee, and Co-Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Pro Bono Week. He has been an Adjunct Professor at John Marshall Law School, and in 2001, Chicago Lawyer Magazine named him one of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch.” He has served on Senator Dick Durbin’s Federal Judicial Screening Committee and currently serves on the Governor’s and City of Chicago’s Task Force on the Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities.

Prior to coming to Equip for Equality, Barry was the AIDS Project Attorney in the Midwest Regional Office of Lambda Legal working to advance the civil rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. His caseload included a successful challenge to discriminatory inquiries by the Chicago Public Schools on teacher applications. From 1988 – 1993, Barry was a litigation associate at the Chicago law firm of Peterson & Ross. He is a 1988 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, where he also received his undergraduate degree in 1985.


COVID-19 Webinar Series is presented by the HealthMatters Program, Department of Disability and Human Development, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago with continued partnership with Project SEARCH, a leader in securing competitive employment for people with disabilities based at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and with Aspire an Illinois organization providing services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, their families and their communities.


  • There is no cost for these webinars.
  • CEUs are not offered for these webinars.
  • Webinars and materials will be recorded and archived on YouTube.
  • For disability accommodations email Jasmina Sisirak (jsisirak@uic.edu) at least 10 days before the webinars.
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