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Guardian Bulletin Fall 2022

Fall 2022 IGA Guardian Bulletin FINAL
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Welcome to the fall edition of the Guardian Bulletin. The Continuing Education Committee has been busy planning webinars for the fall season. As you are aware, the Fall Conference was cancelled due to construction at the conference location. Instead, the webinars are being provided at no cost to ensure CEU’s and CLE’s are available.

We welcome new members who will co-chair the Continuing Education Committee going forward: Derick Cummins and Deborah Rose, both IGAC staff who have volunteered to assist the Continuing Education Committee in providing topics and speakers for the webinars. They join the current Committee members: Erin Nowlan, Teresa Parks, Sherri Rudy, Rhonda Benner, Karen Kloppe, Ruth Robinson, Allen James, and Kathy Eddy. Special thanks go to Erin Nowlan who did a tremendous job planning the webinars for the past two years!

We are proud of Teresa Parks who will be presenting at the National Guardianship Association Conference in Dallas, Texas, Sunday, October 23. Teresa and IGAC Director, Mary Milano, will present the topic, “From Protection to Autonomy: Changing the Trajectory of Adult Guardianship.”

Our newly designed website continues to attract new members. We welcome you and encourage you to check the Upcoming Events tab for new educational offerings.

Kathy Eddy, President

Illinois Guardianship Association


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One part of the IGA mission is to “Uphold the Standards of Practice and Model Code of Ethics of the National Guardianship Association.” Adult guardians, need a basic understanding of domestic violence and its devastating impact. Our wards, like any other adults, may be at risk if they share a residence, have romantic partners, or engage in dysfunctional relationships with relatives and friends.

Domestic violence awareness and where it could impact during guardianship services should be viewed within the context of: NGA Standard 4, “The Guardian’s Relationship with Family Members and Friends of the Person”. The standard reads “I. The guardian shall promote social interactions and meaningful relationships consistent with the preferences of the person under guardianship. A. The guardian shall encourage and support the person in maintaining contact with family and friends, as defined by the person, UNLESS (emphasis added) it will substantially harm the person. B. The guardian may not interfere with established relationships UNLESS (emphasis added) necessary to protect the person from substantial harm.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( website domestic violence is a persistent health issue. In Illinois:

  • On a typical day, local domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 19,159 calls, an average of approximately 13 calls every minute.

  • 41.5% of Illinois women and 25.9% of Illinois men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.

  • In 2018, domestic violence accounted for 20% of all violent crime.

  • Abusers’ access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner femicide at least five-fold. When firearms have been used in the most severe abuse incident, the risk increases 41-fold.

  • As of December 31, 2019, Illinois had submitted 3,565 domestic violence misdemeanor and 434 active protective order records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Index.

*National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (2020). Domestic violence in Illinois. Retrieved from

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 9-1-1.

For more information call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at

1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or TTY 1-800-787-3224

Invisible Disabilities

October 16-22 is recognized as Invisible Disabilities Week. The theme for 2022 is “Time To Believe”. It is an opportunity to increase awareness, offer education, and provide support for those living with invisible disabilities.

An invisible disability encompasses many conditions, diseases, and/or disabilities. Common ones include back injury, bone disorders, brain injury, chronic illness, chronic injuries, chronic pain, cognitive dysfunctions, deafness, fatigue, heart conditions, learning disabilities, muscular disorders, neurological disorders, organ transplant, oxygen impairment, prosthetics, seizure disorders, sleep disorders, spinal disorders, vision impairments, and many more.

In Illinois, one in four are living with a disability.

(See: However, just because a person has a disability, does not necessarily mean that individual is disabled. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), a person is disabled when a physical or mental impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities, including, but not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. See 42 USC 12102 at

While personal challenges may vary in terms of impact, those living with an invisible disability are often judged by others based what they see and conclude about a person’s abilities and actions, which leads to misunderstandings, especially in encounters with law enforcement and first responders. For example, a person with autism may run from the police and someone whose hearing is impaired or deaf may appear to be noncompliant with commands.

Fortunately, there are various aids that are now available can help improve communication in daily life and emergency situations:

  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices

  • Assistive applications for smartphones

  • Communication cards

    • (

  • In case of emergency cards/contacts on a wallet card and/or added as an “ICE” listing in smartphone contacts

  • Medical alert services

  • Parking placards

    • ( accessories with information about medical conditions/special needs (e.g., bands; bracelets; charms; dog tags; key chains; necklaces; and watch slides)

  • Service animals

  • Smart 911 Safety Profile

    • (

  • Smartphone attachments with information about medical conditions/special needs

  • State identification cards

  • Temporary tattoos

  • USBs for keychains, smartphones, and watches with access to medical records • Voluntary registries through emergency management, fire, law enforcement, or other municipal agencies for people with disabilities to self-identify for targeted assistance during emergencies and disasters

    • (

  • Wallet cards with a quick response code to access medical records

  • Wearable fitness and medical sensors

    • (

  • Information that should be supplied about an individual in using such aids typically corresponds with one or more of the following categories that will be useful to law enforcement and first responders:

  • Personal information (i.e., a person’s name, address, age, and gender; their photo and/or physical description; caregiver contact information; emergency contact information; and the best way to access a residence, such as a hidden key or security code)

  • Medical information (i.e., any diagnosed illnesses, health conditions, and allergies; a current medication list; a description of the nature of any disability and/or invisible conditions; and a list of functional needs)

  • Common types of assistance that may be needed (i.e., communication devices, glasses, hearing aids, interpreter services, mobility aids, etc.)

  • Behavior triggers (i.e., types of situations or interactions that are likely to escalate or increase anger, fear, negative reactions, etc.)

  • De-escalation techniques (i.e., things that help calm down a person, possibly use of code words, asking permission before touching, maintaining physical distance, etc.)

Additional Resources:









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