Access Living

Access Living Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society, one that enables all people with disabilities to live fully engaged and self-directed lives.

Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables Chicagoans with disabilities to live fully-engaged and self-directed lives. With programs in housing, youth and education, civil rights, health care reform and economic empowerment, Access Living is a non-profit Center for Independent Living serving Chicago that offers direct services and systemic advocacy. Located at 115 West Chicago Avenue (the first office building to combine the principles of Universal and Green Design), Access Living also runs an Arts & Culture Project, designed to raise the visibility around Disability Culture.

Operating as usual

Survey: Accessible COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution to People with Disabilities
04/30/2021
Accessible COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution to People with Disabilities

Survey: Accessible COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution to People with Disabilities

Now that vaccine distribution is picking up pace rapidly, we want to find where people with disabilities continue to face barriers in accessing the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage you to answer all questions to the best of your knowledge because this data will help The Partnership strategize for equi...

04/30/2021

"We were avid moviegoers, but she hesitated in honoring Christopher Reeve. Not because he was no longer a movie star, of course, but because she didn’t fully support his work in regenerative research. To Marca life, was all about acceptance." https://buff.ly/2R7uJzp

04/30/2021

"As people with disabilities we feel bad about not having money and not being able to do the things we want to do financially. Just keep in mind that the system is created that way to create a certain level of poverty. So creating financial wealth and getting out of debt is a PROCESS." #FinancialLiteracyMonth

Financial literacy is all about starting this process and setting ourselves up for financial security and empowerment. Take your first (or 100th!) step today. We're here to take it with you.

https://www.accessliving.org/our-services/money-management-classes/

"Fair Housing Month provides an opportunity to elevate a most basic right: that everyone, no matter their profession, in...
04/30/2021
Celebrate Fair Housing Month by passing a bill

"Fair Housing Month provides an opportunity to elevate a most basic right: that everyone, no matter their profession, income or station in life, is entitled to clean, safe and affordable housing. But the principles of Fair Housing Month must be more than just words. We must take action."

Here's how to take action: Next month three housing bills that would benefit people with disabilities are up for vote in the Illinois General Assembly. Take action by asking your elected representatives to support HB 2775 and SB 1975

Guest columnists Toni Preckwinkle and Richard Monocchio: Throughout the last year, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the once-in-a-generation push for civil rights of 2020, one key principle has remained at the fore: equity.

04/29/2021

Here is an exciting project. There is a new effort to develop an Easy Read Qu'ran for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. They are looking for people to help do translation (Arabic/English/Easy Read) and feedback from Muslims with I/DD. The social media kit at the link has calls for people who want to do the translation and feedback work, as well as shareable images about the project to help amplify the call for help.

04/29/2021
OneCause

Tonight Lawyers Lend-A-Hand to Youth is presenting Access Living with the 2021 Thomas A. Demetrio Award of Excellence for our Disability Justice Mentoring Collective! It's a virtual event, 7-7:45, and DJMC mentor Suzen Riley and mentee Sydney Bryant will accept the award on our behalf. Attendance is free! Sign up to attend:

04/28/2021
www.chicago.gov

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection has launched the nomination period for the 2020 Taxicab Driver Excellence Award. The award focuses on taxicab drivers who serve our community of people with disabilities, drive WAV taxis, and provide exemplary customer service to passengers. The winners will receive a free Chicago taxicab medallion. Learn more and nominate your favorite driver here:

04/28/2021
www.cct.org

#FinancialLiteracyMonth: Disability and the Racial Wealth Gap

"State Representative Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, also advanced a significant bill with unanimous support to coordinate me...
04/28/2021
Lawmakers in Illinois House give go-ahead to public health and safety bills

"State Representative Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, also advanced a significant bill with unanimous support to coordinate mental health services with the 911 system for people suffering a mental health crisis." A great article on our recent CESSA success:

The Illinois House of Representatives advanced several bills Friday dealing with concerns around public health and safety while debating other measures to combat gun violence.

04/27/2021

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month! This year's theme: “Stop AAPI Hate: Solidarity, Community, and Celebration.”

On May 2nd, join an anti-AAPI hate rally in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. Start time is 12pm at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago (1151 W. Leland Ave). Wear a mask! We'll see you there.

04/27/2021
Financial Empowerment | National Disability Institute

According to the National Disability Institute the path to economic empowerment starts with....financial education! We can help with that. Join an Access Living Financial Literacy Workshop. The whole series is free and open to any who want to learn. https://buff.ly/3xscm8Y

National Disabilitiy Institute builds a better financial future for people with disabilities. Learn more on our "Financial Empowerment" page.

"I think that it tells them that the doors are open, that it is not out of the realm of possibility that anyone with a d...
04/26/2021
‘Crip Camp’ Co-Director Jim LeBrecht Says Wearing a Custom Gucci Tux to the Oscars Is ‘Huge’ for the Disability Community (EXCLUSIVE)

"I think that it tells them that the doors are open, that it is not out of the realm of possibility that anyone with a disability could be on the red carpet in a wheelchair, with a walker, with their guide dog." #CripCamp #CripTheOscars #RepresentationMatters

Jim LeBrecht isn’t just wearing any ol’ tux to the Oscars. Instead, he’s in a custom-made navy blue Gucci ensemble with a black and ivory flower-print shirt. LeBrecht, the co-director of “Crip Camp…

The country’s resilience through and recovery from the pandemic are inextricably linked to the government’s collective r...
04/26/2021
Disability-Forward Policy Recommendations To Advance Accessible and Affordable Housing for All - Center for American Progress

The country’s resilience through and recovery from the pandemic are inextricably linked to the government’s collective responsibility to ensure that every person has a place that they can call home. The federal government must take bold action to create more equitable, accessible, inclusive, and affordable housing for marginalized populations, communities that have historically been excluded from quality housing, and individuals experiencing homelessness.

Recommendations from Center for American Progress:

The federal government should enact the following policy recommendations to increase affordable, accessible, and inclusive housing for all—especially people with disabilities.

The Added Cost of Disability: A household with an adult with a disability must spend an estimated 28% more income to get...
04/26/2021
The Extra Costs of Living with a Disability in the United States

The Added Cost of Disability: A household with an adult with a disability must spend an estimated 28% more income to get the same standard of living as a household with no disability. The research proves that these extra costs exist. The question remains, what can we, as a country, do – through policy and practice – to address this inequality? https://buff.ly/3tSmTs4

#FinancialLiteracyMonth

The research proves that these extra costs exist. The question remains, what can we do to address this inequality?

Thank you so much to all the advocates and allies that made this happen, and a huge thank you to CESSA's Chief sponsor S...
04/23/2021

Thank you so much to all the advocates and allies that made this happen, and a huge thank you to CESSA's Chief sponsor
State Representative Kelly Cassidy and all its other sponsors; getting this bill through the House has not been easy. Your dedication and hard work made today's victory possible!

State Representative Mary Flowers
Jaime Andrade, State Representative, 40th District
State Representative Anna Moeller, 43rd District
State Representative Michelle Mussman
State Rep. Will Guzzardi - 39th District
State Representative Lindsey LaPointe
Maurice A. West II
State Representative Joyce Mason
State Representative Aaron M. Ortiz
State Representative Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar
Representative Barbara Hernandez
State Representative Delia Ramirez
State Rep Theresa Mah
State Representative Edgar Gonzalez Jr.
Robyn Gabel for State Representative
Representative Will Davis
Denyse for State Rep
Representative Justin Slaughter
State Representative Anne Stava-Murray - political candidate
State Rep. Rita Mayfield
Kathleen Willis
State Representative Michael J. Zalewski
State Representative Bob Morgan
Representative Curtis J. Tarver II
Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz
State Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr.
State Representative Kam Buckner
State Rep Mark Batinick
State Representative Natalie Manley
State Representative Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez
State Representative Jeff Keicher
State Representative Seth Lewis
State Rep CD Davidsmeyer
Rep. Joe Sosnowski
Keith Wheeler - State Representative
State Representative Tim Butler
State Representative Stephanie Kifowit
State Rep Sue Scherer
State Representative Margaret Croke
State Representative Mike Halpin

ID: A bi-colored graphic with an icon of a laptop. Text reads "Needing mental healthcare is not a crime". On the screen of the laptop is the hashtag #SupportCESSA.

Thank you so much to all the advocates and allies that made this happen, and a huge thank you to CESSA's Chief sponsor
State Representative Kelly Cassidy and all its other sponsors; getting this bill through the House has not been easy. Your dedication and hard work made today's victory possible!

State Representative Mary Flowers
Jaime Andrade, State Representative, 40th District
State Representative Anna Moeller, 43rd District
State Representative Michelle Mussman
State Rep. Will Guzzardi - 39th District
State Representative Lindsey LaPointe
Maurice A. West II
State Representative Joyce Mason
State Representative Aaron M. Ortiz
State Representative Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar
Representative Barbara Hernandez
State Representative Delia Ramirez
State Rep Theresa Mah
State Representative Edgar Gonzalez Jr.
Robyn Gabel for State Representative
Representative Will Davis
Denyse for State Rep
Representative Justin Slaughter
State Representative Anne Stava-Murray - political candidate
State Rep. Rita Mayfield
Kathleen Willis
State Representative Michael J. Zalewski
State Representative Bob Morgan
Representative Curtis J. Tarver II
Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz
State Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr.
State Representative Kam Buckner
State Rep Mark Batinick
State Representative Natalie Manley
State Representative Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez
State Representative Jeff Keicher
State Representative Seth Lewis
State Rep CD Davidsmeyer
Rep. Joe Sosnowski
Keith Wheeler - State Representative
State Representative Tim Butler
State Representative Stephanie Kifowit
State Rep Sue Scherer
State Representative Margaret Croke
State Representative Mike Halpin

ID: A bi-colored graphic with an icon of a laptop. Text reads "Needing mental healthcare is not a crime". On the screen of the laptop is the hashtag #SupportCESSA.

04/23/2021

CESSA PASSES THE HOUSE UNANIMOUSLY!!! #SupportCESSA #HarmReduction

"For many, calling 911 or going to the hospital might seem like the only options in this situation. Instead, Baird and h...
04/23/2021
This Crisis Team Has Handled Mental Health Calls Without Cops for 30 Years

"For many, calling 911 or going to the hospital might seem like the only options in this situation. Instead, Baird and her family doctor reached out to the Gerstein Crisis Centre, a 24/7 support community and mobile team in Toronto for people experiencing addiction and mental health crises. It’s one of the only programs of its kind in Canada. They aren’t cops, doctors, or social workers. They’re trained in nonviolent de-escalation to help people find solutions in moments of peril and beyond. Many Gerstein staff are survivors themselves, peers who understand emotional crises firsthand." https://buff.ly/2H3TAiW

Police should not be the only option for mental or behavioral health emergencies. #SupportCESSA for emergency alternatives in Illinois. https://buff.ly/3tIITWd

The Gerstein Crisis Centre in Toronto, with its non-violent de-escalation approach, shows a way forward in defunding the police.

Community testimony in support of CESSA:"In addition to my work as a trauma therapist for individuals with Developmental...
04/23/2021
URGENT ADVOCACY NEEDED: Last Chance to #SupportCESSA

Community testimony in support of CESSA:

"In addition to my work as a trauma therapist for individuals with Developmental Disabilities, I am a CIT trainer focusing on interactions with individuals with Autism for law enforcement and corrections officers.

While I see the importance of CIT training for situations that involve violence, I have seen too many tragedies and traumas when law enforcement is asked to respond to mental health crises or crises involving people with Autism or other developmental disabilities.

The comment that I hear very frequently from officers in CIT training is "Why are we being asked to be social workers? We can't be everything to everyone." Their interest and their skill set are generally in the law enforcement "command and control" response. Mental health crises need specialized responders. The CESSA model meets that need.

A law enforcement officer once said to me that his goal in a crisis situation is "one thing: to get this person from this spot to where ever he needs to be safely." In his mind "where he needs to be" is either in the hospital or in jail, and "safely" has a focus first on the safety of others. This model often results in repeated crisis situations because there is little attempt made to help the individual remediate the circumstances that brought them to crisis.

The CESSA model, on the other hand, emphasizes de-escalation and connection with existing and community resources. Instead of the individual being bounced from crisis to detention, the CESSA model seeks to connect the individual with the supports and services needed to prevent future crises. The model promotes safety, connection to services, and the prevention of recurrence. It recognizes that mental health crises are not criminal acts, but rather a behavioral (and sometimes literal) cry for help. There have been too many tragedies already. Please support CESSA."

This is our last chance for CESSA to become law this legislative season. We need to tell Illinois lawmakers to vote YES on CESSA.

TODAY IS THE DAY. CESSA (HB 2784) will be voted on in the Illinois House. Please help our racial justice and other #Harm...
04/23/2021

TODAY IS THE DAY. CESSA (HB 2784) will be voted on in the Illinois House. Please help our racial justice and other #HarmReduction advocates establish a 911 emergency alternative that doesn't involve police deploying to mental or behavioral health crisis! https://buff.ly/32GzqTj

ID: A bi-colored graphic with an icon of a laptop in the center. Above the laptop text reads "Needing mental healthcare is not a crime". The laptop screen reads, "#SupportCESSA".

TODAY IS THE DAY. CESSA (HB 2784) will be voted on in the Illinois House. Please help our racial justice and other #HarmReduction advocates establish a 911 emergency alternative that doesn't involve police deploying to mental or behavioral health crisis! https://buff.ly/32GzqTj

ID: A bi-colored graphic with an icon of a laptop in the center. Above the laptop text reads "Needing mental healthcare is not a crime". The laptop screen reads, "#SupportCESSA".

What you should care about Black autistic lives and CESSA. #SupportCessa #HarmReduction
04/23/2021
Why You Should Care About Black Autistic Lives And CESSA

What you should care about Black autistic lives and CESSA. #SupportCessa #HarmReduction

Black males are nearly three times as likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts, and those with autism are seven times more likely to encounter police than “neurotypical” individuals. We must make mental and behavioral health professionals available as an alternative to the pol...

CESSA is a bill that would address the mental and behavioral health needs of people by sending support instead of police...
04/22/2021

CESSA is a bill that would address the mental and behavioral health needs of people by sending support instead of police whenever appropriate, because a lot of the time the practices of law enforcement only escalate many of these emergencies. De-escalation works, and it can work for the people of Illinois. #SupportCESSA today for a better tomorrow: https://buff.ly/3tIITWd

CESSA is a bill that would address the mental and behavioral health needs of people by sending support instead of police whenever appropriate, because a lot of the time the practices of law enforcement only escalate many of these emergencies. De-escalation works, and it can work for the people of Illinois. #SupportCESSA today for a better tomorrow: https://buff.ly/3tIITWd

There are tons of ways to #SupportCESSA right now, including sending an email to your legislator or using the Cessa Soci...
04/22/2021
URGENT ADVOCACY NEEDED: Last Chance to #SupportCESSA

There are tons of ways to #SupportCESSA right now, including sending an email to your legislator or using the Cessa Social Media Toolkit to amplify our message on your social media! Check out the toolkit and all our other engagement options here:

This is our last chance for CESSA to become law this legislative season. We need to tell Illinois lawmakers to vote YES on CESSA.

This week, we hope to see the Illinois House vote on HB 2784, better known as CESSA, the Community Emergency Services an...
04/22/2021

This week, we hope to see the Illinois House vote on HB 2784, better known as CESSA, the Community Emergency Services and Supports Act. The deadline to pass it out of the House is Friday, April 23. If it passes the House, it will go on to the Senate. We need your help to support CESSA’s passage in the House. We need you, supporters, activists, allies, advocates, friends, family, coworkers, to make it clear to members of the Illinois House that we want them to vote YES on CESSA.

Get involved: https://buff.ly/3tIITWd

This week, we hope to see the Illinois House vote on HB 2784, better known as CESSA, the Community Emergency Services and Supports Act. The deadline to pass it out of the House is Friday, April 23. If it passes the House, it will go on to the Senate. We need your help to support CESSA’s passage in the House. We need you, supporters, activists, allies, advocates, friends, family, coworkers, to make it clear to members of the Illinois House that we want them to vote YES on CESSA.

Get involved: https://buff.ly/3tIITWd

Address

115 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL
60654

Access Living is accessible by the Chicago stops on both the Brown and Red lines. Both of these stations have elevators. We are also accessible by several major bus routes.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:00
Thursday 08:30 - 17:00
Friday 08:30 - 17:00

Telephone

(312) 640-2100

Products

All services are free of charge.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Access Living posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Access Living:

Videos

The Story of Access Living

The disability movement is really the story of many movements for the rights and freedom of people with disabilities. The work of Access Living was born from the work of the independent living movement, which co-exists with movements such as the self-advocacy movement, the Autistic movement, and others.

In 1972, the independent living movement, with roots in the civil rights and social change movements, began taking shape with the creation of the country's first center for independent living, the Berkeley Center for Independent Living. As other centers for independent living sprang up across the country, a new philosophy emerged -- an "independent living philosophy" that asserts that people with disabilities are their own best advocates and able to make the necessary decisions in order to live, work and socialize in the community. This was a significant shift away from the prevailing "medical model" which viewed people with disabilities as individuals who needed to be cared for. The community of people with disabilities entered the dawn of a new era.

In 1980, Access Living brought the independent living movement to Illinois when it was founded as part of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's quest to address the growing need for affordable, accessible housing for its patients ready to leave the RIC. Access Living remained a department within the RIC until 1984, when it became an independent non-profit group.

In the early 1980's society largely ignored people with disabilities. They were invisible: disrespected and viewed as little more than recipients of charity. Few options, if any, existed for to people with disabilities to engage in the community. Disabled people were segregated in housing, in schools, in cultural and sports arenas, in restaurants, shopping and entertainment. There was limited access to quality medical care, no accessible public transportation, no curb cuts, and communications access was rarely available. Employment opportunities were less than minimal. With early support from the RIC, Access Living’s committed staff took on the challenge of removing the obstacles that stood in the way of full equality for people with disabilities.

Nearby government services


Other Chicago government services

Show All

Comments

I have already VOTED. NOW EVERYONE ELSE GO VOTE PLEASE!
Dancing with Disability Online Events October 7-11 Watch performance highlights, dance with us, hear from leaders in dance advocacy and disability rights, then CELEBRATE the progress and promise of inclusive dance! pay what you can $35-$0 http://momentadances.org/counterbalance-x Image Description: Ginger Lane seated in her power wheelchair with a younger dancer posed gracefully in Ginger's lap.
Hi all, Please share the following link for a virtual wheelchair dance convention called Rollettes Experience For disabled females of all ages and disabilities. https://www.rollettesexperience.com/ Two dates for the convention are October 10and 11. The sea is $100 for adults and $75 for children which covers dance classes, Yoga and stretching workshops, A make up tutorial, guest speakers, and an award ceremony. The deadline for adults to sign up is September 30. The deadline for children to sign-up is tomorrow.
Online Voter Registration is being offered by the American Association of People with Disabilities https://www.whenweallvote.org/aapdrevup/. Please share to spread the word!
There have been a lot of panels on social justice as of late, a lot of very important discussions and protests surrounding equality and inclusion and holding American Theater accountable. Where is the place for BIPOC people with Disabilities in the American Theater and for people with disabilities in general? Not a lot of people even KNOW I am disabled. Yes, I am cross-eyed and sexy-but I am cross eyed because I was born blind. Please join us tonight (it's Free) for this panel on an even more nuanced conversation on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Featuring: -- Tekki Lomnicki of Tellin' Tales Theatre (currently in production with Divercity streaming at 16th Street Theater -- Elbert Joseph a celebrated Boston actor and member of the deaf community -- Talleri Adkins McRae is disabled theater artist based in Louisville, KY, an access inclusion and education consultant and member of National Council on Disability -- Amber Smock is the Director of Advocacy for Access Living here in Chicago and a proud member of the deaf community
Access livening had me wait 7days to be talk to then when they did call me the doctor told the receptionist that they call private and could not get to me but she did two time they call and then they decided not to call me any more but it just makes me feel that blacks are set up to be killed and that is so sad 😞 by the way I am still 😷
I just learned, via Curtis Harris' post, that an Access Living member, William Owens Jr, just died-apparently of Congestive Heart Failure. He was just 52 Of course, I want America to invest in Space. and I want a strong military; But isn't it just as important to why the minority community, is such a statistical "sitting duck" when it comes to Vascular Diseases of ALL KINDS-NOT JUST HEART DISEASE? America cannot claim to be a world leader, unless it can individually and collectively set an example for the rest of the world.
This post on wearing face masks was written by my son, who has sensory challenges. He heard that some parents are worried that their autistic family member would not be able to wear a mask. While those with disabilities are exempt, it is preferable to wear one if one can.