CHICAGO - State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-5th Senate), in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, is helping spread the word to residents about events to celebrate this momentous occasion.

On Tuesday, July 21 and Wednesday, July 22, the Disability Rights Museum on Wheels will be set up in the East Parking Lot of the Field Museum at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. In addition to the museum exhibit, there will be wheelchair sports demonstrations supported by the Chicago Park District and RIC. The sports demos will be 11 am to 6 pm on July 21 and from 11 am to 1 pm on July 22. For more info, contact Larry Labiak at (312) 742-5097 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Also, the Illinois Department of Human Services in cooperation with numerous State Agencies and Councils is proud to celebrate the many accomplishments of people with disabilities.  On July 21, 2015, at the James R. Thompson Center (JRTC) from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM.  FREE workshops will be provided and a telecast to a Springfield site will be available for specific workshops!  See below for workshop topics and location of the Chicago event as well as the Springfield site via telecast.  Registration will be conducted on a first come, first served basis. There is limited space available, so it is important to register at
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SPRINGFIELD - Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) joined other Senate Democrats in taking a stand against the governor's cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program, drawing attention to the human face of those on CCAP.

Please take a moment to view Senator Van Pelt's comments in this video.

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SPRINGFIELD - State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) recently sat down to giver her thoughts on the ongoing Fiscal Year 2016 budget negotiations.

Please take a moment to watch Senator Van Pelt's comments.

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vp floor 3SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) to address inequities in expulsions and suspensions in Illinois high schools has passed the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation comes after a 2012 study stated that Illinois suspends more African-American students than any other state in the nation.

Senate Bill 100, an initiative of Voices for Youth in Chicago Education and negotiated with school management as well as law enforcement, will make numerous changes to the School Code. The legislation is designed to reduce the racial disparities in expulsions and suspensions that have plagued Illinois schools.

“Some of our most vulnerable students, who struggle with poverty and a lack of parental discipline, are having the only steady influence in their lives taken away from them. When these students act out, they should be kept in school, not thrown out in the streets where they will not have the positive influence of our educators to help keep them in line,” Senator Van Pelt said.

The legislation addresses the frequency and racial disparity of suspensions and expulsions in several ways, including the following:

  • Disciplinary removals of longer than 3 days must be limited to instances where the student’s presence is an on-going threat to the school, and all other options have been exhausted.
  • A school board must state how a suspension or expulsion is in the best interest of a school before disciplinary action.
  • School districts must establish re-engagement policies for disciplined students.
  • Suspended students must be given the opportunity to make up their work.
  • School officials must limit suspensions and expulsions to the greatest extent practicable.

State records show that in the 2010 - 2011 school year, Illinois students lost 1,117,453 instructional days due to disciplinary actions, 95 percent of which were for minor offenses.

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Office Info

District Office
1016 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607 
(312) 888-9191
(312) 277-3716 FAX

Springfield Office
218A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706