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. Lo

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. Lo

Operating as usual

"The U.S. Education Department announced that it is discharging the outstanding student loans of more than 323,000 borro...
08/20/2021
Education Department Will Erase $5.8 Billion In Loans For Borrowers With Disabilities

"The U.S. Education Department announced that it is discharging the outstanding student loans of more than 323,000 borrowers who have significant, permanent disabilities, and will remove barriers for borrowers who qualify for this relief in the future. The announcement will erase some $5.8 billion in debt and marks a significant step toward fixing a troubled debt relief program meant to help borrowers with disabilities."

https://n.pr/3AZrjAk

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced that over 323,000 borrowers who have significant and permanent disabilities will qualify for the relief from student loan debt.

This Saturday and Sunday is the annual Chicago Air and Water Show, and for the first time ever, audio description will b...
08/20/2021
Chicago Air & Water Show — Accessibility

This Saturday and Sunday is the annual Chicago Air and Water Show, and for the first time ever, audio description will be available. Use the link below to learn how you can access the audio description on Zoom or by phone.

(Afterwards, send your feedback about your experience to [email protected].)

https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_air_and_watershow2.html?fbclid=IwAR05EeI0CmckqEEPEKZ0KscxjggxZD0U7h4ND22k-5m4Sf9Ajpmax6ROcAg

Access Audio Description and Experience every twist and turn during the city of Chicago’s presentation of The U.S Navy Blue Angels on 8/21 & 8/22/2021.

"There will be companies where people will have very little choice, and there will be a lot of peer pressure," Catherine...
08/19/2021
Remote work made life easier for many people with disabilities. They want the option to stay

"There will be companies where people will have very little choice, and there will be a lot of peer pressure," Catherine said. "And there will be other companies for which work culture is a top priority, where there will be more leeway. And so the question is, do you want to be an employer of choice?"

- Charles Catherine, National Organization on Disability

https://cnn.it/3j06PkT

People with disabilities say working remotely during the pandemic led to a more comfortable experience -- or one where they could control their environment better. As the US continues its uneven opening, they hope working from home remains an option.

08/18/2021

DDD has contracted with the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to improve the person-centered planning process and expand capacity for services through the Adult Home and Community Based Services Waiver in Illinois. Through input from various stakeholders, UIC developed a person-centered planning map to provide a visual of how the process is currently structured. Additionally, UIC developed a survey to understand the barriers and strengths within the process. Please complete the survey and distribute widely within your networks.

DDD is interested in hearing from:

• people receiving services;
• families, community organizations;
• ISCs; and
• all other interested stakeholders.

The Division of Developmental Disabilities hopes to make the process run more smoothly for everyone and to maximize opportunities for people with developmental disabilities in Illinois!

This is the time to make your voice heard and help to improve the person-centered planning process! Please complete today! https://uic.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3jWUTdDUYPecejk

08/18/2021

As of 8/20 masks must be worn in indoor public places regardless of vaccine status.

Three years ago, when we were working on an editorial about a shortage of nurses at CPS for kids with disabilities, the ...
08/13/2021
Chicago and Illinois lose when CPS fails to serve special education kids | Editorial

Three years ago, when we were working on an editorial about a shortage of nurses at CPS for kids with disabilities, the late Marca Bristo, then president of Access Living, told us the real heart of the problem is how society values — or fails to value — kids with disabilities. When those kids are finally seen as equals, she said, the services they require no longer will be seen as “extras.”

That was less a criticism of CPS than of us all.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/education/2021/8/12/22619965/chicago-cps-special-education-students-editorial

The failure dates back decades. And it has to end.

08/13/2021

The Illinois Department of Human Services Rental Assistance Hotline is open Monday to Friday from 8AM-7PM. Operators can speak 30 languages to assist callers. Call (866) 454-3571 to learn more about COVID-19 rental assistance resources.

08/10/2021

Paid Research Opportunity for Chicago People with Disabilities:

A paid research is currently recruiting participants with disabilities to better understand their experiences on local (Chicago) transportation, including bus and train, that reflect the barriers, facilitators and equity in access and use to transport.

Please reach out to Jacqueline Kish at University of Illinois at Chicago at 312-996-6927 or [email protected] if you are interested in participating.

Making public transit accessible is essential infrastructure, plain and simple, and it merits serious investment. #PassA...
08/09/2021
Making public transit accessible to all is more than 'woke'

Making public transit accessible is essential infrastructure, plain and simple, and it merits serious investment. #PassASAP #infrastructure

For people with disabilities, it's the key to self-reliance. And it's the sort of infrastructure investment that all Americans should get behind.

A new podcast on financial inclusion for people with disabilities, that, on September 16th, features the one and only Ka...
08/04/2021
New Episode of the "Keys to Financial Inclusion" Podcast Series Features Governor Lael Brainard, Federal Reserve Board

A new podcast on financial inclusion for people with disabilities, that, on September 16th, features the one and only Karen Tamley as guest speaker! AL's CEO will be on-air talking about economic empowerment for people with disabilities, what it is, and how we get more of it.

Learn more about the Keys to Financial Inclusion Podcast: https://bit.ly/2WttAEY

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the...

As the Americans With Disabilities Act marked its 31st anniversary last week, Reset talked with Access Living's Presiden...
08/04/2021
31 Years After ADA, Biden Recommits To Disability Rights. But Does His Plan Go Far Enough?

As the Americans With Disabilities Act marked its 31st anniversary last week, Reset talked with Access Living's President and CEO Karen Tamley and Equip for Equality's Barry Taylor to take a closer look at what progress has been made in the advancement of civil rights for people with disabilities — and what work still needs to be done. (Transcript included)

Reset Environment & Public Health Politics 31 Years After ADA, Biden Recommits To Disability Rights. But Does His Plan Go Far Enough? By Meha Ahmad July 28, 1 p.m. CT Listen 18:35 URL Copied! Reset Environment & Public Health Politics 31 Years After ADA, Biden Recommits To Disability Rights. But Doe...

08/04/2021
301 Moved Permanently

Join the Office of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Chicago's Office of Budget and Management at the 2022 Budget Engagement Forums taking place during the month of August.

It's a good opportunity to share your feedback on the most pressing issues in Chicago and to have your voice heard.

To learn more and register for one of the three Engagement Forums being held, visit: www.tinyurl.com/budgetengagementforumCHI

Registration and masks are required. To request language or other accessibility needs, please email [email protected].

"Kahlo has been poured into familiar, palatable molds, with the aim of turning her into the sort of disabled person we c...
08/03/2021
Enough with the Ableist Worship of Frida Kahlo

"Kahlo has been poured into familiar, palatable molds, with the aim of turning her into the sort of disabled person we can admire, not just tolerate; the sort of disabled person who doesn’t remind us of 'the chaos of the world.'"

https://bit.ly/3x9p6Qt

Emily Rapp Black’s new book cuts though self-serving interpretations of disabled bodies like Kahlo’s, which have long emphasized the comfort or pleasure of others.

08/02/2021

Today, we are excited to celebrate with Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and other coalition partners as Governor Pritzker signs the Illinois Forward Act into law. Illinois is taking another step towards becoming the most welcoming state for immigrants in the country by completely separating I.C.E. from local law enforcement.

Right now, the U.S. Senate is working on a major infrastructure package. As part of the package, disability advocates ha...
08/02/2021
Urgent Alert! Ask the U.S. Senate to Support Duckworth-Casey-Brown Accessibility Amendment

Right now, the U.S. Senate is working on a major infrastructure package. As part of the package, disability advocates have been pushing for investment to make more commuter rail stations accessible (this is different from Amtrak) such as Chicago's CTA, Philadelphia's SEPTA, and more. Soon, the bill will be taken to the floor, where we are fighting to have the Duckworth-Casey-Brown amendment included. This amendment is no-cost and asks that public transportation authorities develop accessibility plans for when they receive federal dollars to invest on access improvements. Help contact your U.S. Senator today to support the Duckworth-Casey-Brown amendment! Use the form below. #PassASAP https://cqrcengage.com/accessliving/app/onestep-write-a-letter?1&engagementId=512435

Urgent Alert! Ask the U.S. Senate to Support Duckworth-Casey-Brown Accessibility Amendment Urge Congress to Support Transportation Accessibility Planning Right now, the U.S. Senate is working on a major infrastructure package. As part of the package, disability advocates have been pushing for invest...

07/29/2021

Black, Latina, Asian, indigenous and immigrant women lead in home care. Call 877-689-2371 Congress to invest in our work and make a $400 billion investment in care and care jobs. #CareIsEssential

07/29/2021

CALLING ALL ADVOCATES! Today is a national call-in day in support of the Better Care Better Jobs Act which would give a $400B investment in home and community based services. Call Congress at 877-689-2371 and tell your lawmakers to invest in good union jobs and quality home care! #CareIsEssential

Today please contact your member of Congress to support the The Better Care Better Jobs Act! This critical bill, which w...
07/28/2021
Ask Congress to Support the Better Care Better Jobs Act!

Today please contact your member of Congress to support the The Better Care Better Jobs Act! This critical bill, which would invest $400 billion in home and community-based services (HCBS) at a time when it is more needed than ever before, is facing major attempts to reduce the investment to a smaller number. We cannot let this happen; we must tell Congress how important it is to invest in and improve HCBS. Click the link below to take action!

Ask Congress to Support the Better Care Better Jobs Act! It's Time to Invest in Medicaid Home and Community Based Services This month, Congress introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act. This bill aims to make a major national investment in what is known as the "care infrastructure." That includes....

"We still see problems arise for the people we serve in healthcare inequities, racial inequities, housing disparities. T...
07/27/2021
Biden Administration Announces Resources to Support People With Long COVID

"We still see problems arise for the people we serve in healthcare inequities, racial inequities, housing disparities. The work is not done for us."

Access Living and Equip For Equality on PBS Chicago Tonight talking about #ADA31!

https://news.wttw.com/2021/07/26/biden-administration-announces-resources-support-people-long-covid

On the 31st anniversary of the ADA, the Biden administration released guidance and resources to support people experiencing long-term effects of COVID-19, known as “long COVID,” as the condition shapes up to be a major, long-term public health issue.

"As the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on how ...
07/26/2021
Statement from CEO Karen Tamley on the 31st Anniversary of the ADA - Access Living

"As the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on how the ADA anniversary is an important day to connect with one another, and to recognize the progress made over the past three decades to advance accessibility and inclusion. The ADA has been the spark of a global uplifting of human rights for people with disabilities, and it has provided so many opportunities for basic access that were previously denied. And yet, the ADA is only a start in addressing the many disparities faced by different groups of disabled people." -- Karen Tamley, President and CEO, Access Living. #ADA31

Read our full statement here:https://www.accessliving.org/newsroom/press-releases-and-statements/statement-from-ceo-karen-tamley-on-the-31st-anniversary-of-the-ada/

As the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on how the ADA anniversary is an important day to connect with one another, and to recognize the progress made over the past three decades to advance accessibility and inclusion. The ADA h...

"The contrasting responses to Britney Spears’s testimony between people with and without disabilities are a telling comm...
07/26/2021
Disabled People Still Don’t Have Reproductive Freedom | Dame Magazine

"The contrasting responses to Britney Spears’s testimony between people with and without disabilities are a telling commentary on the state of reproductive freedom for disabled people. Using #FreeBritney, fans, celebrities, and public officials continue to express disgust and surprise that such reproductive oppression is legally happening in the United States. People with disabilities, conversely, are not surprised that Spears’s conservator is exercising reproductive control over her, recognizing that such efforts are illustrative of the United States’ continuing practice of oppressing disabled people’s reproductive rights." #ADA31 #FreeBritney
https://www.damemagazine.com/2021/07/26/disabled-people-still-dont-have-reproductive-freedom/

On this 31st anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Britney Spears conservatorship case is glaring reminder that our laws are still…

#ADA31 Advocacy: Support Sen. Duckworth's ASAP Act for real access to public transit. We need local, state, and national...
07/26/2021
Tammy Duckworth on Twitter

#ADA31 Advocacy: Support Sen. Duckworth's ASAP Act for real access to public transit. We need local, state, and national organizations to sign on as supporters; Doesn't today seem like the perfect day to get on board? Holler at us. We'll get you signed up. https://bit.ly/3l4cKqJ

“If you don't live with a disability, you might not think of the 31st anniversary of the ADA as significant at first glance—but I assure you it is for the 61 million of us who do live with a disability—and it should be important for you, too. A thread 👇”

"If you don't live with a disability, you might not think of the 31st anniversary of the ADA as significant at first gla...
07/26/2021
Tammy Duckworth on Twitter

"If you don't live with a disability, you might not think of the 31st anniversary of the ADA as significant at first glance—but I assure you it is for the 61 million of us who do live with a disability—and it should be important for you, too.

A thread 👇" - Senator Tammy Duckworth

https://twitter.com/SenDuckworth/status/1419708335834771465

“If you don't live with a disability, you might not think of the 31st anniversary of the ADA as significant at first glance—but I assure you it is for the 61 million of us who do live with a disability—and it should be important for you, too. A thread 👇”

For #ADA31 President Biden signed a proclamation and the White House released an overview of the steps they've taken to ...
07/26/2021
FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Marks Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act and Announces Resources to Support Individuals with Long COVID | The White House

For #ADA31 President Biden signed a proclamation and the White House released an overview of the steps they've taken to support the disability community, including asking for $400F for home and community based services. Not nursing homes or institutions/ $400B for home care: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/07/26/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-marks-anniversary-of-americans-with-disabilities-act-and-announces-resources-to-support-individuals-with-long-covid/

Today, on the 31st Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we celebrate the inclusion and access promoted by the landmark civil rights law for disabled Americans. Grounded in four core outcomes of full participation, equal opportunity, independent living, and economic self-sufficie...

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 8:30am - 5pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 5pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 5pm
Thursday 8:30am - 5pm
Friday 8:30am - 5pm

Telephone

(312) 640-2100

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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.

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ICYMI March for Medicare for All Disability Roundtable with Kathy Powers, Ryan McGraw, David Zoltan, Marinda Darnell, and Stefanie Smith hosted by Fred Hampton Leftists!! #M4ANow https://youtu.be/EIRHpfPQQyg https://fb.watch/6VXcLn9wm0/
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 😷