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  2. Human Rights Authority

Volunteers

A Call for Members  

The Human Rights Authority is the division of the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission statutorily empowered to investigate alleged violations of the rights of persons with disabilities including persons with mental illness, cognitive disabilities, physical disabilities, and the aged disabled. There are nine Authorities, organized by geographic region, throughout the state. The Human Rights Authority is unique in its use of citizen volunteers to conduct these investigations and make corrective recommendations. As such, Regional Authorities are always seeking to fill vacancies as they occur as well as maintain a pool of potential volunteer members for times when the need arises.

The membership of each Authority consists of nine volunteers. Three of these, by statute, are themselves providers of disability services, one each from the area of mental health, developmental services and rehabilitation services. The other six members are private citizens, some of whom themselves might have a disability, have a family member with a disability or just be concerned citizens interested in disability rights.

Members attend monthly meetings and serve on investigative teams. These teams conduct fact-finding investigations to determine whether or not a complaint is substantiated. Investigations typically involve meetings with service providers, chart reviews and policy reviews. Members can expect to spend approximately 4 to 6 hours each month on Authority activities.

Members receive both formal group training and less formal individualized training, and are reimbursed for travel, telephone, postage, and other related expenses.

The Human Rights Authority has been active for over twenty years. During that time the lives of thousands of persons with disabilities have been positively affected by the hundreds of volunteers who have served. We believe that current and former Members would attest to what a rewarding experience serving on a Regional Authority has been.

If you are interested in the rights of persons with disabilities, please print the following application, complete it, and submit it to Teresa Parks, 401 Main Street, Suite 620, Peoria, IL 61602. If you have questions, you may contact any of the Commission’s Regional Offices listed on this site and ask for the HRA Coordinator. He or she will be happy to answer any question you might have and provide additional information about the human Rights Authority.

Thank you for your interest.