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Guardian Bulletin February 2024

IGA - Guardian Bulletin - FEB 24
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Welcome Winter!

President’s Message

 Happy New Year! 


Before we entirely close out this past year, I would like to reflect on the IGA’s Fall 2023 Conference held in Springfield on November 8, 2023. 


At that conference, we heard outstanding presentations about the transition of students with disabilities into adult services and the guardian’s role in that transition process; we received an overview of the Community and Residential Services Authority and their work in finding residential placements for youth with behavioral health needs; and we received information about an option for mental health admissions that could potentially serve as an alternative to jail detainment.  In addition, the Illinois Department of Revenue shared tax updates, while Envision Illinois provided resource information for individuals with disabilities facing domestic violence.  To finish sessions at the conference, we heard a presentation about intersectionality, equity, and justice that afforded opportunities for audience participation in exploring equity barriers faced by individuals with disabilities.  Thanks to the presenters who shared their expertise as well as the IGA education committee, co-chaired by Deborah Rose and Derick Cummins, for their planning and hard work! 


As we begin 2024, plans are already under way for the IGA’s Spring Conference to be held in Chicago on May 1, 2024.  Be on the lookout for an e-mail regarding registration for this conference.  We hope to see you there!

Also, as an IGA Member, we welcome your feedback on future conference topics that might benefit you and your work.  In addition, it is once again time to start monitoring Spring 2024 legislative proposals in the General Assembly that could impact individuals with disabilities and/or their guardians.  Please feel free to reach out to me and/or other members of the IGA Board (CONTACT US | Illinois Guardianship Association) regarding any to discuss these matters.


Finally, thanks for your IGA Membership and your continued interest in guardianship education and networking.  May the New Year bring you health, peace, and happiness!


IGA President Teresa Parks



Fall Conference Resources:

 ·       Community and Residential Services Authority:  Community & Residential Services Authority (

 ·       Envision Illinois:  Envision Illinois (

 ·       Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, Legal Advocacy Service, Advanced Directives and Detention and Evaluation forms:  Forms (

 ·       Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, Special Education Advocacy Initiative:  SPED (

 ·       Illinois Department of Revenue, Tax Resources:  Tax Resources (



Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day

 February 1 is Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day.  This awareness day was created to advocate for better protection of conservatees and wards from abuse.  It was established in 2021 by attorney Lisa MacCarley, a conservatorship and guardianship reform activist in California.  Public attention is needed to make sure that abuse is investigated in the guardianship system.

Coincidently, singer Britney Spears was involuntarily placed under conservatorship on February 1, 2008.


Related Resources


The National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) and its partner, the National Center on Elder Abuse, have developed a Guardianship Awareness Resource Guide, which lists helpful guardianship trainings, podcasts and publications.

Also, as part of a training series last year, NCLER recorded webinars covering the topics of representing clients with a range of decisional capabilities and defending against or terminating guardianship. Both trainings provide advocates with information and strategies to help clients by reducing barriers to services, increasing independence and autonomy, and restoring their civil rights.





988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has now added American Sign Language (ASL) services to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.  Doing so is part of ongoing efforts to expand accessibility to behavioral health care for underserved communities such as people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.


To connect directly to a trained 988 Lifeline counselor in ASL, callers who are Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened can click the "ASL Now" button on and follow the prompts.  Direct dialing to 988 from a videophone will be available in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, ASL callers can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) from a videophone to reach ASL services.


Related Resource:


 Disability Information and Access Line


The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) has launched a new tool to help people with disabilities to find local services and resources to support community living at


DIAL’s staff are trained to work with people of various communications abilities and will spend as much time as needed to ensure effective communication.  DIAL’s Information Specialists can assist people in all languages and are trained to work with callers who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.


To connect with a DIAL Information Specialist from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Central), Monday – Friday: 


·       Call | Text Message | Videophone:  1-888-677-1199.  People who use TTY relay can first dial 7-1-1, and then relay the 888-677-1199 number. 

 ·       Email: 

 ·       Have an online chat with an Information Specialist from DIAL.  Start a live chat now

 ·       Connect directly to an agent in American Sign Language using ASL Now



Illinois Supreme Court News


Effective January 1, 2024, the Illinois Supreme Court repealed and replaced its Policy on Access for Persons with Disabilities based on recommendations proposed by the Commission on Access to Justice’s Disability Access Committee.  This action is intended to ensure people with disabilities have full and equal access to participate in court activities and receive accommodations consistent with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (nondiscrimination based on disability in state and local government services) and the Illinois Human Rights Act (755 ILCS 5).  The new policy applies to all courts in the state at all levels and contains contact information for Court Disability Coordinators, plus provisions addressing accommodations, accessibility aids, services, devices, and technologies; physical access to court facilities; accessing courts and court activities remotely; as well as notice requirements; accommodation requests; procedures relating to grievances and appeals; and related forms, which reflect feedback provided by members of the disability community, the Commission’s Court Navigator Network, and plain language experts at Illinois Legal Aid Online.


See M.R. 25307:


Effective February 1, 2024, the Illinois Supreme Court amended the following rules:


·       Rule 9, Electronic Filing of Documents

Lists means by which a Certification for Exemption From E-filing and any accompanying documents shall be filed with the court (i.e., in person, by e-mail or by mail, or by third-party commercial carrier).


·       Rule 373, Date of Filing in Reviewing Court

Indicates that the time of filing documents received after the due date shall be deemed to be the time of mailing or the time of delivery to a third-party commercial carrier for those types of pleadings in civil cases that are exempt from electronic filing requirements.


·       Rule 472, Correction of Certain Errors in Sentencing

Specifies that no motion filed pursuant to this rule shall be subject to a filing fee in criminal cases.


·       Rule 558, Correction of Certain Errors in Sentencing

Specifies that no motion filed pursuant to this rule shall be subject to a filing fee in traffic cases, conservation cases, or ordinance violation cases.


·       Rule794, Continuing Legal Education Requirement

Adds sexual harassment prevention as a possible training topic that an attorney is required to complete during each two-year reporting period. 


·       Rule 796, Enforcement of MCLE Requirements

Caps costs for attorneys removed from the master roll for three or more MCLE reporting periods.


See M.R. 3140:


New Resources


Alzheimer’s Association:

·       Driving information and contract


American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Occupational Therapy Association:

·       Driver Planning Agreement


American Bar Association:

·       Defense Against Guardianship:  A Lawyer’s Guide to Representing Individuals in Guardianship Cases


·       Emergency Guardianship Statutes


·       Policy 506:  Guardianship Bill of Rights and Protecting the Right to Due Process in Guardianship Proceedings


·       Practical Tool for Lawyers:  Steps in Supporting Decision-Making


Centers for Elders and Courts:

·       Guardianship and Conservatorship Resources for All

o   Finding the Right Fit (updated)

o   Conservatorship Video Series

o   Guardianship Webinars

·       Guardianship and Conservatorship Resources for Courts

o   Accounting Report Protocol (new)

o   Well-Being Report Protocol (new)


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

·       2024 Federal Poverty Level Standards


·       Guidance to assist state Medicaid and partner agencies to address the needs of adults with I/DD living with and supported by aging parents and other caregivers


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

·       Considering a financial caregiver?

·       Managing Someone Else’s Money (Guides for Court-appointed Guardians, Government Fiduciaries, Power of Attorney, and Trustees)


Consumer Voice:

·       Advocating for Rights and Better Care


·       My Personal Directions for Quality Living


Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services:

·       Prevention of Spousal Impoverishment Standards for 2024


Internal Revenue Service:

·       IR-2023-208


National Institute on Aging:

·       Age-Related Forgetfulness or Signs of Dementia?


National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging:

·       Creating end-of-life documents for trans individuals:  An Advocate’s Guide


·       Planning for Lifelong Care:  Guiding Questions for Transgender & Non-Binary People to Plan for Dementia and Other Serious Illness


Office of Management and Budget:

·       Digital Accessibility Guidance


Social Security Administration:

·       2024 Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment


·       Blog:  ABLE Programs Prepare for Expanded Eligibility


The Arc:


·       Making My Own Health Care Decisions:  A Letter for My Doctor


·       The Tech ToolboxTM:


U. S. Department of Health and Human Services:

·       Language Access Plan



New Websites Launched


The Center for Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities has launched a new website: site has a variety of person-centered and culturally competent tools to help support young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, and health care professionals through the transition to the adult health care system.  Its resources are designed to give youth more choice and control throughout their health care transition. 


The National Academy for State Health Policy and its collaborating partners recently unveiled  This site was created to help disseminate and implement the 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers.  This website provides practical guidance for family caregivers and action steps for state officials and various other stakeholders to improve communities.



Public Administrator/Public Guardian Appointments


Governor Pritzker has made the following two appointments:


Moultrie County:  Andrew Weatherford

Mr. Weatherford also serves as the Public Administrator and Public Guardian for De Witt and Macon Counties.  He is an attorney owner and partner at Johnson, Chiligiris & Weatherford in Decatur, Illinois.


Sangamon County:  Michelle Coady-Carter

Ms. Coady-Carter also serves as the Public Administrator and Public Guardian for Calhoun, Menard, and Christian Counties.  She opened her practice, Coady Law Group, LLC, in Springfield, Illinois.  She also serves as a court-appointed mediator and guardian ad litem.


The Illinois Guardianship Association is working with the Governor’s Office to find candidates for open positions serving as a Public Administrator/Public Guardian in the following 21 counties:  Bond, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Greene, Jasper, Jefferson, Lawrence, Macoupin, Marion, McDonough, Mercer, Montgomery, Richland, Shelby, Washington, and Wayne Counties.  Information about the appointment process, terms, certification as a National Certified Guardian by the Center for Guardianship Certification and other training requirements, bonding and oaths, compensation, as well as power and duties for Public Administrators, Guardians and Conservators are set forth in Article XIII of the Probate Act of 1975 (755 ILCS 5/Art. XIII).



Self-nominations may be submitted to initiate the application process at:



Request for Public Comments


The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is seeking public comments to assist in addressing issues and identifying priorities for policy needs, research, and services related to physical health, mental health, and other co-occurring conditions commonly associated with autism spectrum disorder.

All comments must be submitted online by Wednesday, February 14 at 11:59 p.m. ET at:​meetings/​public-comments/​requests-for-information/​2023/​co-occurring-conditions.shtml.  Only one comment per email address will be accepted.  





·       American Society on Aging (ASA) - Maintain Your Brain:  Reducing the Risk of Dementia

Wednesday, February 7 at noon CST 

Click here to register. 


·       The Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice - Parent Webinar Series

o   Promoting Alternatives To Guardianship for Youth with IDD

o   Turning 18:  What Every Parent of a Child with IDD Needs to Know

o   Supported Decision Making What It Is and How To Do It

o   Healthcare Transition:  Options for Providing Decision-Making Support for Youth with IDD


·       Kentucky Community of Practice on Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - Merge Webinar Series


o   Wednesday, February 7 at noon CST - Health Literacy and Clear Communication:  Fundamentals of Empowerment through Health Information



o   Tuesday, March 12 at 1:00 PM CDT - Mental Healthcare for Individuals Who Identify as both LGBTQ+ and Disabled


  • Tuesday, April 9 at 1:00 PM (CDT) - to be announced


  • Tuesday, May 7 at 1:00 PM (CDT) - to be announced


  • Tuesday, June 11 at 1:00 PM (CDT) - to be announced




Membership Applications and Renewals


Membership in the IGA is open to Nationally Certified Guardians (NCG), Public and State Guardians, Licensed Master Social Workers (LMSWs), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs), Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professionals (QIDPs), Nursing Home Administrators, Fiduciaries, and Family Guardians.  (See:  Your membership fee helps support free community education and training conferences.  Please watch for a notice from the IGA in March for the upcoming membership period (i.e., May 1, 2024 - April 30, 2025).



2024-2025 IGA Elections


The IGA will be sending out a ballot for election of Officers and Directors for 2024 - 2025.  Please complete and promptly return the ballot by April 25, 2024


Mail:  Illinois Guardianship Association, P.O. Box 5183, Morton, IL  61550.


Upcoming IGA Conference and Annual Membership Meeting


The Continuing Education Committee is in the process of finalizing plans for an upcoming conference which will be held in Chicago on May 1, 2024.  Information about registration will be posted online at in the future.  The Conference will be an in-person event and presentations will be submitted for approval to award Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and/or Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLEs) Credits to those in attendance.



Illinois MCLE Reporting Period 


Before the end of the current reporting period (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2024), attorneys (with A-M last names) must complete 30 credit hours, including at least 6 hours of professional responsibility credit.  The professional responsibility credit must also include 1 hour of diversity/inclusion credit and 1 hour of mental health/substance abuse credit.  For additional information, visit:


·       Continuing Legal Education Requirement:  Illinois Supreme Court Rule 794 (

•     Nontraditional Courses or Activities/Accreditation Standards and Hours: Illinois Supreme Court Rule 795 (




The Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Illinois Supreme Court has free on-demand CLE programs on its online learning portal at 


 2024 National Conference on Guardianship


The National Guardianship Association will hold its Annual Conference on October 19 – 22, 2024.  This conference is being offered in person in Long Beach, California.  This event will offer continuing education credits.



Please save these dates on your calendar!




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