The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) announced the formation and inaugural roster of the new Disability Access Committee (Committee).
The purpose of the new Committee is to guide the ATJ Commission in the development of policies and programming addressing the barriers to equitable access to our courts faced by individuals with disabilities.
“The Access to Justice Commission is committed to assisting court patrons with disabilities and believes that the members of the Disability Committee will offer tremendous insight and guidance,” said Justice Mary K. Rochford, Chair of the Access to Justice Commission. “The Commission is grateful that they are joining our efforts to assure access to justice for all persons.”
The members of the Committee are court staff, judges, stakeholders, and practitioners who were selected for membership after completing the approved application and are ardent advocates for disabled court users in different settings and will bring diverse perspectives to issues facing this community.
The members are:
Scott A. Block: Illinois’ first Statewide Behavioral Health Administrator, who serves as the Judicial Branch’s dedicated mental health voice and resource.
AJ French: CEO of Gift of Voice, a mental health training and technical assistance center operated by people in recovery.
Neil Kelley: An Assistant Attorney General in the Disability Rights Bureau of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.
James P. Naughton: An Assistant State's Attorney with Cook County.
Lisette Ortegon: A staff attorney at the Center for Disability & Elder Law in Chicago.
Judge Litricia P. Payne, Ret: Director of the Illinois Attorney General’s South Regional Office.
Cortney Redman: Director of Court Advocacy at The Chicago Bar Foundation and staffs the Cook County Pro Se Advisory Committee.
Jeffrey Stauter: CEO of Kreider Services, Inc., a private, charitable organization dedicated to providing meaningful support to people with disabilities.
Barry Taylor: Program Vice President of the Civil Rights Team of Equip for Equality, the federally mandated Protection & Advocacy System for the state of Illinois.
Ann Wohlmuth: Supervisor and Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services for the Circuit Court of Cook County since 2012.
The ATJ Commission, established in 2012 by the Illinois Supreme Court, is charged with promoting, facilitating and enhancing equal access to justice with an emphasis on access to the Illinois civil courts and administrative agencies for all people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.