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New Illinois Law Improves Access to Services for Young Children with Disabilities or Delays

by Sharita Forrest, UI News Bureau / Nov 1, 2022

Catherine Corr

Special Education associate professor Catherine Corr was a member of a working group whose policy recommendations were part of an Illinois law, signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in May, that streamlines access to early intervention services for children involved with the state’s child welfare system.

Trauma, neglect and abuse can have significant long-term effects on young children’s mental health, behavior and ability to learn, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Under a new Illinois law, children up to age three who are involved in the state’s child welfare system are now automatically eligible for early intervention services such as speech or behavioral therapy that have the potential to mitigate the effects of these adverse experiences and establish the foundations for healthy development.

Hailed as a win for young children with disabilities and their families, Public Act 102-926 was the culmination of about seven years’ work by a broad coalition of supporters, said Catherine Corr, a professor of Special Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Corr was a member of a special working group that spearheaded that effort. The working group was created by the state of Illinois’ Early Learning Council, a public-private partnership that coordinates services for Illinois children from birth to age five.

Read the full story from the UI News Bureau...