Shirley A. Perez is the Program Director of the Ligas Family Advocate Program and Executive Director of The Family Support Network of Illinois (FSN). Ms. Perez has twenty-five plus years of advocating and working with individuals and their families with disabilities. She is a business graduate of Metropolitan Business College and Kaplan University. She operated her own business, worked at a Pre-admission Screening Agency where she advocated for and assisted families in locating services by navigating the State system. In conjunction with the City of Chicago, Federal Home Loan Bank and The Illinois Housing Development Authority, she implemented a home-buying program for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. She has worked as a Special Project Advocate with the Illinois Life Span Project; met with families/guardians to explain the transition process and listen to their concerns as their family members’ transition into the community from State Operated Developmental Centers.
She is a member of The Arc of Illinois and the National Arc. She served as vice-chairman of the Board of Directors for Envision Unlimited, (formerly CARC) and Chairperson of the Program Committee for over twenty –eight years. She currently serves on varies Department of Human Services Committees and is an active volunteer in both her community and church. She is the proud mother of an adult daughter (Tamekia), who lives in the community. Tamekia is diagnosed with multiple disabilities, intellectually and developmentally delayed. She is non-verbal, diagnosed with Autism and suffers from a seizure disorder. Ms. Perez’s passion for advocacy is fueled by her desire to help her daughter and others with disabilities reach their full potential. Her philosophy is, “everyone can succeed with the right supports!” She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 708-331-7370.