March 2023
Developmental Disabilities Acceptance Month
Developmental Disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language or behavior. These conditions begin during the developmental period - birth to early adulthood. ADHD, ASD, Cerebral Palsy, Fragile X Syndrome, Intellectual Disability, Language and Learning Disorders and Tourette Syndrome are all classified as developmental disabilities.

Even though these conditions have been around since the beginning of time, we in the disability community are still working for equal rights, inclusion in schools and our community - in other words, true acceptance. Just recently I was catching up with a dear friend who asked me whether I had client experiences that surprised me. I told my friend how I am in constant awe of our parents, step parents and siblings' tireless, unapologetic advocacy. Some of our clients face particularly tremendous hardship - and their devotion remains unwavering. Our team is privileged to witness our clients' commitments to their loved ones every day. While their devotion is moving, I'm not surprised by it.

I am, however, surprised that some in our communities still advocate to segregate students with disabilities in school and refuse to support basic needs like housing for those with disabilities. Witnessing this injustice in my own community, D89 and Glen Ellyn, has brought home once again how far we still have to go toward acceptance.

This month we say goodbye to the "Mother of Disability Rights" Advocate Judith Heumann. Judy spent her life advocating for those with disabilities and achieved so much - I encourage you to watch the documentary "Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution" to get a taste of her spirit and incredible efforts. Judy said: "Disability only becomes a tragedy when society fails to provide the things we need to lead our lives."

This month, we also celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st. Get it? Three copies of the 21st Chromosome! We love this year's theme: "With Us Not For Us" which highlights the need to help individuals become and remain independent (and resist the urge to complete tasks for them!)

Finally, we welcome donations to our Polar Plunge as we raise money for Team Clancy & Ice-sociates. Perhaps donate in Judy's name, your favorite family or child with disabilities. The funds we raise stay right here in Chicagoland to help our own kids and young adults enjoy the games!! Thank you for your contribution! Here's our page: Special Olympics Chicago Polar Plunge 2023.
-- Katie

📢 Upcoming Events and Resources

Tuesday, March 7, 2023 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Katie Clancy and Kate Schye of Clancy & Associates will lead a presentation and question and answer session about government benefits, special needs trusts, guardianship and IEP Planning in Transition for parents of students aged 14-22. This presentation will help you feel ready to face the tasks ahead with knowledge and confidence! Open to the general public. You do not have to have a student in D87 to attend.

Address: Glenbard District 87 Transition Center (450 E Roosevelt Rd., Lombard, IL 60148)

Saturday, March 11, 2023 from 10 AM - 1 PM

Connect with Chicagoland providers and learn more about the programs and services that can help you and your loved ones with developmental differences. This event will feature an exhibitor hall, free developmental screeners and parent workshops.

Address: Malcolm X College (1900 W Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60612)

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

The NEXT STEPS team of DuPage County presents "NEXT STEPS: The Transition Series". This final workshop will be a “mini” resource fair. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with community organizations including: Special Rec Association; College of DuPage; college experience programs; NAMI; community day service organizations, Clancy & Associates, and employment agencies.

Address: Glenbard District 87 Transition Center (450 E Roosevelt Rd., Lombard, IL 60148)

Thursday, March 23, 2023 from 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Connect with service providers, including college sponsorships, vocational programs, guardianship, benefits planning, and more. This is an event for families of students with IEPs (all ages/grades). There will be various presentations to support students with disabilities.

Address: STEP Campus - Brooks Middle School (360 Blair Lane, Bolingbrook IL 60440)

Tuesday, April 25, 2023 at 6 PM - 8 PM

More information coming soon! Visit their website to stay updated.

Address: Harper College, 1200 West Algonquin Road, Palatine, IL 60067

Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 10 AM - 1PM

Join the LWSRA on Sunday, May 21st from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM for their annual Ability Awareness Fair welcoming multiple service providers. Vendors range from therapy centers and residential living facilities to state funding resources and advocacy groups.

Address: Lincolnway Special Recreation Center (1900 Heather Glen Dr. New Lenox, IL 60541)
Be sure to check out our Events Page regularly for newly scheduled events.
News You Can Use!
Funds held in a properly drafted special needs trust (SNT) will not affect a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid recipient’s benefits. However, funds disbursed in a manner that violates SSI or Medicaid rules can impact these benefits. It is important to understand what an SNT can and cannot pay for in order to avoid this. Learn more here.
In January 2023, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it would award nearly $25 million to help fund housing for people with disabilities. Roughly 100 public housing authorities across the country will receive funding. The HUD estimates that this will result in providing affordable housing to more than 2,000 additional qualifying families with non-elderly disabled loved ones.
Many parents and families planning for the care of their loved one with special needs will consider setting up a special needs trust. (Special needs trusts are also often referred to as supplemental needs trusts and SNTs). These trusts allow assets to be left to a disabled or chronically ill person without disqualifying them for certain benefits, such as Medicaid.
A ward of the state is a person under the government’s protection. Children and adults with cognitive disabilities can become wards of the state when they lack a competent parent or trusted person to look out for them and, because of young age or incapacity, cannot care for themselves. Although the term applies to children and adults receiving state support and oversight, the state’s function differs. Learn more here.
News Around the Office
Catch the C&A Team Around the Community

Jennifer A. Sabourin and Kate Devine Schye represented our firm at the Batavia Special Education Parents Network Resource Fair in February.
Judith Heumann
Planning for individuals with special needs and their families.
Clancy & Associates, Ltd. is Illinois's only full-service special needs planning law firm dedicated to supporting individuals with special needs and their families. Our mission is to help families protect and empower their loved ones with a disability through streamlined, comprehensive planning. We use our innovative full-service approach to both identify opportunities and secure solutions and benefits for our clients at our Firm. We “keep watch” for families so they can attend to the daily priorities of their loved one’s life and leave the legal planning to us.
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March 2023 | | ​773-929-9000