Disabled Americans Want Work Now (DAWWN)

Disabled Americans Want Work Now (DAWWN) DAWWN is a grassroots group of people with disabilities, who advocate for the Human Right to Work; provides a VOICE for all people with disabilities interested in improving access to good paying jobs, job training and broader social justice.

National Federation of the Blind

National Federation of the Blind

For #InternationalWomensDay we want to bring attention to the story of Isabelle Grant. After going blind in 1948, Isabelle threw herself into learning blindness skills, and eventually returned to her career as a teacher, making her the first blind teacher in California. Although she was never allowed to teach sighted students again, instructing blind students became her passion. In 1956 she attended a conference in Norway, during which she realized that blindness did not have to stop her from traveling independently overseas. She also realized how limited the opportunities for blind students were in many parts of the world, and subsequently spent much of her life working to improve the educational opportunities for blind children in other countries. In 1959, at a time when it was unusual for any woman to travel alone, Isabelle took a sabbatical and made a solo trip around the world during which she visited 23 countries. As part of this trip she spent six months in Pakistan, and later returned there to train teachers in the education of blind students in schools alongside their sighted peers. As a member of the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind Isabelle knew that it was important that the blind have the opportunity to speak for themselves. While in Pakistan she also founded the Pakistan Association of the Blind, and throughout her travels she collected information about potential blind leaders who could help start organizations like the National Federation of the Blind in other countries. In 1972 Isabelle was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
To learn more about the life of Isabelle Grant you can read her autobiography, Crooked Paths Made Straight, which is available on Bookshare, Amazon, and other retailers.

[Image: Isabelle Grant stands petting a monkey]

Please join our social media campaign to support affordable housing on the Northwest side at 5150 N. Northwest Highway. ...
Support Inclusive Communities

Please join our social media campaign to support affordable housing on the Northwest side at 5150 N. Northwest Highway. Together, we can make a dent in the dehumanizing forces of segregation and racism. Whatever our race, economic status, or physical ability might be, please join us as we say #JeffPark4All.

I just supported Support Inclusive Communities on @ThunderclapIt // @affordablejp

thank you thank you thank you thank you for all your donations everyone it's because of you that I am going to DC in Sep...

thank you thank you thank you thank you for all your donations everyone it's because of you that I am going to DC in September But the fundraiser is not over I said that I wanna help Other people like myself be able to go with me to DC As of right now I have enough to help myself and one more person but to me that's not enough I want to help More people go to DC in September The goal is to raise $5000 But why not start small I want to raise today $750 I hope you can help me raise this money I want again thank you for your help it's because of you that I am going to DC In September Please help me raise $750

I am ready to kick some butt in DC . But before that can happen I must raise money to go to DC . Please  Please help me ...

I am ready to kick some butt in DC . But before that can happen I must raise money to go to DC . Please Please help me reach my goal

This is how much I have re so far Thank you to all those people who have donated If you can please take the time and give

Please help me reach my goal. So I and others can go DC Click on the link below and donate As always please and thank you



Ask this page goes through some changes we ask that you stay involved because disability rights matter visit the following sites and stay involved
Cambiando Vidas
Disability Rights Action Coalition for Housing
Taskforce for Attendant Services
Access Living

Stay updated and stay informed


This page is going through some changes at this time .


Make a quick phone call:

Call your Senators and Representatives today 202-224-3121
Don't let them take away health care and services for millions of people and replace it with a plan that CUTS Medicaid.

Call your Governors today, find out how to contact them here. In Illinois, Governor Rauner can be reached at 217-782-0244 (Springfield) or 312-814-2121 (Chicago).
Remind your Governor what cuts to the ACA and Medicaid would mean for the state budget and why they matter to you.
Share that same message with state legislators.

What to Say:

I am your constituent.
I am a person with a disability or I am a family member of someone with a disability or I am a professional in the disability field.
Do NOT repeal the ACA without a replacement that maintains or improves coverage and protections.
Do NOT allow restructuring and cuts to Medicaid to be part of an ACA replacement.
The ACA and Medicaid helps me/my family member to have health care and community based services


Disability Rights Leaders oppose the GOP repeal and replace proposal because:

- Medicaid block grants and per capita caps are nothing more than an attempt by the federal government to cut support to states for Medicaid.

- Over the next 10 years Federal support is projected to be cut by $1 trillion; states and/or counties will have to come up with the replacement revenue or make major cuts.

- Cuts will be made to prescription drugs, physical, occupational and speech therapies, Personal Care, HCBS waivers and state plan amendments, Community First Choice and Health Homes, etc. These so called “optional” services often mean the difference between “life and death” for many people with disabilities.

- Under block grants, states would receive a fixed amount of money each year for the program regardless of actual needs or costs. Per capita caps provides a fixed amount of funding per Medicaid beneficiary with states liable for all medical and LTSS costs beyond the caps.

- Neither Block Grants nor per capita caps can or will control health care and LTSS costs.

- Enhanced Medicaid expansion matching funds in 31 states and DC would be reduced, another loss of revenue to states, further squeezing state budgets, and resulting in a resurgence of uncompensated care to emergency rooms and hospitals, reduction in treatment for people addicted to opioids, and millions of people losing access to health care they only recently received.

- Reduction in federal revenue to states will result in enrollment caps, increase waiting lists, and human pain and suffering. 10 million people are covered by Medicaid expansion; about 20% of those are people with disabilities.

- Reduction in federal revenue will result in a major loss of jobs in health care and long-term services and supports (LTSS) in every state.

- Eight states with Community First Choice (CFC) will lose their 6% enhanced Medicaid match: CA, CO, MD, MT, NY, OR, TX, and WV.

- Of the 73 million Americans covered by Medicaid, 15 million (21%) are children and adults with disabilities and seniors. PwDs account for 48% of total Medicaid dollars due to higher acute care costs and costs of LTSS. Kids and moms receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) benefits are generally healthy and inexpensive to Medicaid. So, capping Medicaid will result in potential draconian cuts in services to PwDs and senior citizens.

- PwDs who are employed may have to quit their jobs due to loss of funds for Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) or access to state optional Medicaid buy-in plans, now existing in 46 states: AL, FL, HI, TN and DC have NO buy-in plan

- End of enhanced federal matching funds for Money Follows the Person (MFP) that liberated over 63,000 people from institutions, and loss of Community First Choice (CFC) will make it far more difficult for people to leave or avoid institutions, which in the aggregate are 2-3 times more expensive for a poorer quality of life than the costs and benefits of community services and supports.

- If ACA is repealed we will revert to Lifetime Caps in commercial insurance which harm people with significant medical and community LTSS needs.

- There can be NO repeal without replacement, and any replacement plan must assure access to quality coordinated health care in Medicaid including Health Homes and cost-effective LTSS FOR personal care, CFC, and HCBS state plans and waivers rather than nursing homes and INSTITUTIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DEVELOPMENTAL/intellectual disabilities (ICFs/DD).

- On the commercial insurance side, we cannot accept High Risk Pools – they are proven to not work, are very expensive and have high deductibles and co-pays. Health Savings Accounts have NO savings in them for low and moderate income PwDs.

- Disability leaders cannot support reinstatement of annual and lifetime caps by insurance companies, and denial of coverage or massive surcharges for preexisting conditions.

The disability community is united in determination to protect access to affordable, quality health care and long- term supports and services that promote community living and employment and insist policy changes do no harm.

- It’s about saving lives and improving health;
- It’s about independence and community participation;
- It’s about civil rights, freedom and liberty.

We can help improve Medicaid without harming people. Nothing About Us Without Us.


Please call @SenatorDurbin @ 312-353-4952 & ask him to be initial cosponsor of #Disability Integration Act in 2017!#CripTheVote #DIAToday


>Who remembers their High School prom?
Well if you do and would like to relive it
Come join us for this event we would love to have you there and come support adapt a disability rights organization that has been out there in the front lines fighting for disability rights way before I was even born LOL but really seriously come support a great cause and have a great time doing so hope to see you at prom night




This is what the country's largest minority wants you to know this election. #CripTheVote



50 million Americans live with disabilities. They could swing this election. You listening, politicians?


JUNE 30th Action!

Home and Community Based Services for PWD and Seniors • Teachers • Black Lives Matter • Homeless Families and Youth • Immigrants • Mental Health •
Asian Americans • Child Care • Public Universities • CeaseFire • Latinos • Accessibility • Domestic Violence • Hard-working Families

Join us on June 30th to tell Springfield to stop listening to Wall Street predators, and start investing in our communities again.

1PM: Train Takeover. Community groups will take over train cars on the CTA, Metra, and Amtrak to ask our communities how they could improve their communities if we taxed the wealthy and passed a budget that put our communities first. Power to the People will be on the Brown Line. We need 10-15 people interested in doing train takeovers to meet at Access Living at 12:30 pm on Thursday June 30. Call Adam at 312-640-2195 to volunteer.

4PM: Rally at the Thompson Center. Groups from the trains will join the rest of the community for a report back and short program. Everyone should attend the rally. Plan at being at 100 W Randolph by 3:30 pm and leaving by 5:30 pm

For more information on the Train Takeover and Rally or to request accommodations, please contact Adam at [email protected].

Today's  is Rene Luna last meeting with DAWWN.  Thank you  for your hard work commitment to the disability Community

Today's is Rene Luna last meeting with DAWWN. Thank you for your hard work commitment to the disability Community

Full room today for this special meeting

Full room today for this special meeting


Join us Today from 3-5pm at Access Living
For our regular monthly meeting this meeting is going to be a special one

Urgent! Chicago Rideshare Needs to Be Accessible NOW!
Urgent! Chicago Rideshare Needs to Be Accessible NOW!

Urgent! Chicago Rideshare Needs to Be Accessible NOW!

Urgent! Chicago Rideshare Needs to Be Accessible NOW! Contact Chicago City Council to Urge Accountability for Disability Access Help us contact Chicago's City Council members to urge that they ensure that rideshare services will serve ALL people with disabilities, not just some! Enter your zip code…


Come out and join us let's send a big message to these people that people with disabilities matter

Come join members of the disability community to say “OUR LIVES MATTER”

Not Dead Yet, the Resistance



WHEN: JUNE 3, 2016, 5:30 to 7:00 PM

WHERE: AMC River East Theatre, 322 E. Illinois



“Me Before You” is the latest Hollywood film to grossly misrepresent the lived experience of the majority of disabled people. In the film, a young man becomes disabled, falls in love with his ‘caregiver’ and they have an incredible 6 months together. Despite her opposition, however, the hero does the “honorable” thing by killing himself at the Swiss euthanasia clinic Dignitas – leaving his fortune to her so she can move on and he is no longer a “burden” to her. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, “Me Before You” is little more than a disability s***f film, giving audiences the message that if you’re a disabled person, you’re better off dead.

TIME to act on real employment for people with disabilitiesBy Tom RidgeThe Hill, May 19, 2016In 1990, Congress passed an...
TIME to act on real employment for people with disabilities

TIME to act on real employment for people with disabilities
By Tom Ridge
The Hill, May 19, 2016

In 1990, Congress passed and President George H.W. Bush signed into law the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I have always supported the ADA and other laws designed to increase the participation of Americans with disabilities in our society because I believe that these Americans, like all other Americans, should have the opportunity to pursue the American dream. The ADA sought to achieve this goal by bringing Americans with disabilities out of the shadows and allowing them to compete, on a level playing field, with their non-disabled peers. The law was also intended to combat the discrimination, born of misconceptions, stereotypes and paternalism, that Americans with disabilities face every day.

More than 25 years after its passage, the ADA has at last begun to accomplish many of its goals. But policies remain that undermine the vision of fairness and equal opportunity enshrined in this landmark law.

One of those policies is buried in the Fair Labor Standards Act, passed in 1938. While that law created better wages and working conditions for most Americans, it contained a provision that excluded people with disabilities from its protections, especially the minimum wage. Nearly 80 years later, the law still contains that provision, known as Section 14(c).

The provision allows employers who hold special wage certificates issued by the Department of Labor to pay workers with disabilities a "commensurate wage" that, generally, is less than the federal or state minimum wage. Some people working under special wage certificates earn mere pennies per hour.

Back in 1938, everyone assumed that a worker with a disability was less productive than a "normal" or "able-bodied" worker. Today, we know that workers with disabilities, given equal opportunity and appropriate tools or technologies, can perform as well as their non-disabled counterparts. Just ask employers like Lowe’s or Starbucks, outstanding companies that have partnered with the national organization on disability to find job opportunities for talented men and women with disabilities, and they’ll confirm this to be true. But despite that knowledge, Section 14(c) remains in force.

Some argue that the "commensurate" or subminimum wage is necessary to provide employment for some people with severe disabilities, and that merely giving these individuals something to do each day provides them with dignity and pride. This argument does not make sense to me. Americans with disabilities want the things that all other Americans want: homes, families and the freedom to do with their lives as they wish. They cannot have any of those things on pennies per hour. If an American with a disability can't even buy a meal with his or her paycheck, he or she is likely to feel demeaned and insulted rather than dignified and proud.

This system sends the message to Americans with disabilities that they are not worth the same as other Americans, that society values them less. It traps them in tedious jobs with no prospect of advancement. Finally, it leaves them in poverty, dependent for survival on overburdened federal benefit programs like Social Security Disability Insurance. Some of these Americans remain in the care of family members, but what happens when those family members are gone? Other safety net programs must then fill the gap.

The subject of the minimum wage is a hotly debated matter. Much has been said about whether it should be raised, and to what level. But that question has no bearing on the plight of workers with disabilities who are currently not receiving it. Receiving the minimum wage, at whatever level it is set, is a matter of basic fairness. In 2016, there is no excuse for treating an entire class of workers differently from others based solely on the characteristic of disability. Such treatment is discriminatory, just as it would be if applied to individuals of a specific race, gender or religious affiliation.

I support legislation filed in the House of Representatives by Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and in the Senate by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) that would phase out the Section 14(c) program. This legislation, the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act, would rightly refocus efforts to employ Americans with disabilities on helping them train for and find jobs in the mainstream economy. This is not an impossible goal; Ayotte's home state of New Hampshire has already eliminated subminimum wages without adverse consequences for workers with disabilities, as has the state of Vermont.

Much work needs to be done to give all Americans, including those who have disabilities, a chance to have the financial freedom and security we all desire. Repealing Section 14(c) is an easy step that we can take right now to move closer to that goal. I urge the House and Senate to pass the TIME Act with all deliberate speed. It is long past time to take this fair, commonsense step in the march to freedom for Americans with disabilities.

Tom Ridge is chairman of the National Organization on Disability. He served as the first U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and was the 43rd governor of Pennsylvania. Today he is the founder and chairman of Ridge Global.


By Tom Ridge   In 1990, Congress passed and President George H.W. Bush signed into law the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I have always supported the ADA and other laws designed to increase the participation of Americans with disabilities in our society because I believe that th...


115 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL

Disabled Americans Want Work Now is hosted in the Access Living’s new building which is located close to public transportation. The accessible Red line station is located at State and Chicago Avenue (three blocks away). The accessible Brown/Purple Line station is located at Chicago Avenue and Franklin (two blocks away). The Chicago Avenue (#66) bus line also serves the building and is accessible.

General information

There are many laws assuring your right to equal access and opportunities to employment. Under laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) you may have the right to not be discriminated against, right to exercising your rights without being fire, right to request reasonable accommodation. Reasonable Accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that would allow you to apply for a job, perform job duties, or enjoy equal access to benefits. For more information: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section 800-514-0301 (Voice) 800-514-0383 (TTY) www.justice.gov DisabilityInfo.gov www.disabilityinfo.gov Individual with Disabilities Education Act http://idea.ed.gov/download/statute.html Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as ammended www.nationalrehab.org/website/history/act.html Americans with Disabilities Act, as ammended www.ada.gov/pubs/adastatute08.htm Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/add/ddact/DDACT2.html Mental Health Parity Act www.cms.hhs.gov/HealthInsReformforConsume/04_TheMentalHealthParityAct.asp Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/index.html Ticket to Work www.yourtickettowork.com


(312) 640-2100


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ACCESS LIVING is inviting you to come and speak out and listen to other advocates! Access to Health Care is your right! ACCESS LIVING HEALTH CARE TOWN HALL MEETING MARCH 27, 2018 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. FOURTH FLOOR EVENT SPACE 115 W. CHICAGO AVE. Come participate in a discussion of health issues including access to food, how to get the health services you need, transportation advocacy planning, what is happening to Medicaid services and news about replacing your old wheelchair.