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Illinois News
November 2006

Special Needs Future Planning
Schedule of upcoming local lectures on this topic.

ADA Distance Learning Sessions
The IL Bureau of Accessibility and Safety Systems and the IL ADA Project are inviting interested persons to attend free training sessions concerning issues on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Chicago Bears Accessible Seating Policy
Anyone with a question about accommodations for people with disabilities at Soldier Field for Bears' games is encouraged to call George McCaskey, the ADA Coordinator.
October 2006

Rail~Volution Chicago 2006 from November 5 to 8
Transit-oriented development from soup to nuts, for novices and veterans.
September 2006

Support Public Housing Operating Subsidies
Without additional federal funding, reductions in public housing operating subsidies due to rising utility costs will have direct negative impacts on the living conditions of senior citizens, people with disabilities and other low-income families in public housing.

Chicago Area Autism Seminar : Social Skills/Adolescent Issues
Starts October 11.
July 2006

ADA Celebrations
On July 12, the City of Chicago will hold its annual AccessChicago in celebration of the ADA at Navy Pier's Festival Hall A from noon to 7 PM.

Education advocates demand that Chicago stop special education budget cuts
Staff reductions violate 1999 federal settlement agreement
June 2006

Chicago Housing Authority offers Job Training
CHA and the City Colleges have created a partnership to address the "skill gap" between un- or under-employed Chicagoans and the changing job market which requires highly trained workers.

ADA Celebrations
May 2006

Parents and Advocates Share Hard Lessons
Difficulties with finding safe, accessible, supported and integrated permanent housing.

Lay Advocate in Special Education
If you have a child with a disability, you may decide to hire a lay advocate to assist you in ensuring that your child's educational needs are met.

Training for Parent Leaders
Learn how to inform parents about their rights under special education laws, help parents participate effectively in their child's IEP meeting and other special education meetings, teach parents how to become effective advocates, and provide special education rights training to your own parent or community group as a volunteer trainer.

Free Special Education Rights Seminars

Community Paint-a-Thon
Schaumburg homeowners who are financially disadvantaged and physically unable to paint the outside of their homes can qualify.

Access to Independence
Free, accessible event to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the signing of the ADA on July 20 will include :
  • an art exhibit featuring nearly 200 visual and literary works by children and adults with disabilities;
  • informational workshops on assistive technology, arts, employment and ADA issues with simultaneous telephone connection downstate;
  • three-on-three wheelchair basketball tournament, supported in part by the Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association;
  • an ADA Help Table;
  • exhibits from a variety of federal, state and local organizations;
  • and entertainment provided by performers with disabilities.

2030 Regional Transportation Plan
Public meetings throughout northeastern Illinois will give the public an opportunity to comment on the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan Update.
April 2006

Community Services for People with Developmental Disabilities in IL
Thousands of Illinois residents with developmental disabilities moved a step closer to having a choice over where they live, thanks to a recent ruling by a federal judge.

Free Tax Preparation for Low-Income Families
The Tax Assistance Program is offering free tax preparation at 23 locations throughout Chicago and suburbs.

American Sign Language Classes
In Evanston, sponsored by the Chicago Institute for the Moving Image.

Job Opening: Homeownership Coalition Coordinator
Part-time Homeownership Coalition Coordinator sought, in order to increase homeownership opportunities for people with disabilities in Chicago.

Special Needs Future Planning
Workshops throughout April and May.

Autism Task Force
A new children's waiver could include supports such as Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapy, parent education, social skills training, therapies not covered by insurance, environmental modifications to the home, transition services, crisis services, and assistive technology.

Encyclopedia of Disability attempts to bring international authorities together to provide a historically grounded reference resource on the world of disability.
January 2006

Illinois still lowering bar in dealing with disabled
In 1999, in a decision disabled people view as their Brown vs. Board of Education, The Supreme Court ruled institutionalizing disabled individuals who are able to participate in and benefit from community settings is a form of discrimination. Illinois has been resistant to make the necessary changes.

CTA rolls back paratransit fare hike
Faced with political pressure from City Hall and Springfield, the CTA board spiked its plan to double fares for disabled customers who use its dial-a-ride service.
October 2005

City of Chicago is sued for Violations of the ADA
CDR has filed a federal complaint for the city's continuing failure to provide and maintain curb-cuts that comply with the ADA.

Lambs Farm Sued for Excluding Man with HIV-Positive Status
The suit alleges that Lambs Farm's refusal to admit "John Doe" to its services is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the federal Rehabilitation Act, and the federal Fair Housing Act.

Personality Tests in Workplace can Violate ADA
A federal appellate court in Illinois recently ruled that an employer violated federal disability law by using a personality test when considering applicants for promotion.
September 2005

Let the countdown begin - Health Care Justice
The Task Force Steering Committee has put together a proposed schedule for the public hearings, with the first one beginning on October 5th in the 1st Congressional District.

Illinois Stars for the Future Free Advocacy Training Program
The Family Support Network is introducing a series of trainings designed to empower people with disabilities and their family members to become confident, effective advocates for their futures in their local communities, statewide and nationally.

Legislation To Increase Penalties For Disability Parking Abuse Signed by Governor
An initiative of Secretary of State Jesse White to address the fraud and abuse of disability placards and license plates was signed into law by Governor Rod Blagojevich.
May 2005

Join Equip for Equality in Planning Our Priorities
You're Invited!

Build Your Child's Future with the Rehabilitation Act
A workshop for parents persons with disabilities, family members and volunteer trainers
November 2004

Housing Settlement Ends Policy of Discrimination
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois today entered a consent decree resolving a discrimination case brought by a disabled nine-year old boy, his parents and the US against the Triumvera Tower Condominium Association of Glenview, Ill.

Eden Supportive Living
Designed exclusively for physically disabled individuals ages 22 to 64, Eden Supportive Living is the first residence of its kind in Illinois.

Priority funding has once again begun for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Chicago Housing Info
The Greater Chicago Housing and Community Development web site is designed to guide and assist anyone looking for information about housing in northeastern Illinois.

Legal Advocates for Seniors & People with Disabilities
This new program is part of the Chicago Legal Clinic Inc., a not-for-profit law office founded in 1981 by two lawyers, Edward Grossman and Bishop Thomas Paprocki, to bring low-cost legal services to unemployed steelworkers who were not eligible for free legal assistance.
September 2004

IL Disability Vote Project
Anyone who is interested in any type of election activity getting people registered, joining a phone bank to call members, becoming a deputy registrar, becoming an election judge, learning how to be a poll watcher please call any of the members of the Project.

Job fair promotes access to employment
The National Able Network is hosting a call to action on October 29th to provide a valuable link between employers and persons with disabilities by holding an employment fair outside Chicago.

Fragile X Seminar
Fragile X Resource Group of Greater Chicago will present a seminar October 23 addressing educational and daily living strategies for people affected by te syndrome.

Legislative Intern: Progress Center for Independent Living
A Forest Park organization is offering a 10-week legislative internship beginning immediately. It will cover how to become a self-advocate, how the legislative process works, how a bill becomes a law, and methods of communicating with your legislators.

Wheelchair Doctors
A new and innovative wheelchair repair center has been opened that will provide high quality service to Chicago citizens with disabilities.

Combined charitable campaigns
Community Shares of Illinois (of which CDR is a member) is in the charitable giving campaigns of Combined Federal Charities, State Employee Charitable Activity, Cook County, UIC, NEIU, CSU, and others. If you are an employee, please look for CDR in the campaign booklet and consider making a contribution to CDR. Thank you!
July 2004 Rent-assistance effort aims to make homes affordable
Funding a rental assistance program is one of several ways a consortium recently formed by two Illinois counties may choose to spend about $750,000 they expect to get annually from the U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

Eden Supportive Living offers new options for Chicago's north side residents
A newly renovated apartment building may answer frustrations about housing for physically disabled individuals ages 22 to 64.

Life after the nursing home: Peoria-area disabled residents transition to community settings
Forty in the Peoria area have saved the government $1.5 million over the last three years by moving out of nursing homes. By some calculations, Illinois is losing $511.5 million a year because of misdirected funds and lost revenues due to policies restricting physically and developmentally disabled residents of the state.

August 6 event to explore the state of housing in Illinois for people with disabilities
Learn about your housing options and rights as a tenant with a disability. Help create more housing options for people with disabilities.

Leading organizations call on governor to stop segregating people with disabilities
Citing evidence that Illinois trails the nation in guaranteeing the rights of its citizens with disabilities, the state's leading disability organizations issued two reports calling on Gov. Rod Blagojevich to take decisive action to comply with the Supreme Court's five-year-old ruling in Olmstead v. L.C., which directs states to move their disabled populations from institutional to community-based settings.

Governor puts clamps on health facilities board
Gov. Rod Blagojevich effectively shut down the scandal-plagued Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, prohibiting it from meeting or taking any official actions until he and lawmakers have a chance to remake the agency.

Walgreen to make all stores accessible
All Walgreens stores will be made accessible to people with physical disabilities as required by state law. Additionally, Walgreens will pay $350,000 to settle ite related case with the Attorney General.

Advanced leadership for youth
To develop future community leaders, Access Living will launch a free, two-year advanced leadership training program for young adults with developmental disabilities.

Who votes in Chicago?
Board of Elections finds the least-active voters are young men, and the most-active voters are older women.

Chicago and Cook County looks at new voting systems
The two jurisdictions (comprising more than 5,100 precincts and three million voters) have issued a joint Request for Proposal outlining the needs of future elections to more than 30 manufacturers and vendors of voting equipment across the country.

For Sale: Scooter
April 2004

Mental Health Summit Supports HB 5000
The Mental Health Summit — a statewide coalition of mental health advocates, persons with mental illnesses and the families and mental health service providers — urges passage of HB 5000. Its intent is to insure the implementation of DHS' new Maximizing Accountability and Excellence (MAX) initiative to deliver mental health services in the community.

Chicago Arts & Access Exhibition Invites Visual and Literary Work
For the July show, artists are welcome to submit one unframed, but matted two-dimensional visual or literary artwork for exhibition.

Free Trunk Lift
Bruno lift that would fit in a car trunk, now in a 96 Olds 98.
March 2004

CDR Kicks Off Home Modification Resource Collaboration Project
This new project will serve people with disabilities in the Chicagoland area to modify their residences so they can remain working outside of their home or join the workforce.

Heroes Wanted: Nominations open for 2004 Gargoyle Awards
We need to receive lots of nominations from you for our community service awards. Who is the best advocate you know? Who has stuck their neck out for people with disabilities?

In Memoriam: R. Kent Jones
Kent Jones was an early hero of the disability rights movement. A civil engineer for the City of Chicago who used a wheelchair, he filed a suit with the Chicago Human Relations Commission against the Chicago Transit Authority because it was not accessible to people who use wheelchairs.

Health Care Justice Act Update
The Health Care Justice Act of 2004 is a process plan to achieve universal health care by 2007.

Harvard Forums On Health To Hold Chicago Forum On Health Care Access and the Uninsured
What will it take to provide affordable health insurance to the tens of millions of people who now lack protection? Where does public opinion stand on financing? What are policymakers doing to break down access barriers? How will the uninsured issue play in the 2004 presidential elections? These and other questions will be examined at a half-day forum, moderated by journalist and Harvard University professor David Gergen, in Chicago on March 30.
November 2003

Chicago Mandate: Stairwell Doors that Automatically Unlock
High-rise buildings in Chicago have one week to install stairwell doors that automatically unlock in the event of a fire, or to start leaving such doors unlocked.

Promoting Community-Based Services Before Congress Adjourns
On November 23, a major article on home and community based services and related issues will published in the New York Times Magazine. Here's what you can do now.

2003 Raffle Winners
Congratulations to each of you!! Enjoy sharing your winnings with family and friends. Thank you and all the others who bought tickets or made bids in the silent auction.

For Sale: Accessible Townhouse
October 2003

New Program Will Help Learning-Disabled Students with Transition to Life After High School
PASS-AGES is a one-year program for students with multiple learning disabilities and provides a rare opportunity for students to continue their high school transition in an age-appropriate environment.


Chicago Task Force on Employment of People with Disabilities Discusses Its Progress
Mayor Daley kicked off Chicago's observance of October as Disability Employment Awareness month recently by hosting a breakfast meeting with 13 leading business, civic, economic development and government agency leaders to discuss ways of increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Chicago's Building Code Updated to Address Accessibility
New code requirements will increase Chicago's stock of housing with accessibility features through reasonable requirements that are not burdensome to the construction industry.

Voting Equipment Demo, Oct 23-34
Voting-machine vendors to demo equipment at two-day public expo sponsored by Board of Elections.

City Seeks Exemplary Cab Drivers
Mayor Daley's Cab Driver Recognition Committee is seeking nominations of cab drivers who have provided excellent customer service, especially exemplary service to people with disabilities.

For Sale: Scooter
Rascal Heavy Duty Scooter
September 2003

Gargoyle Awards 2003 : The Winners!
Announcing the winners of CDR's annual advocacy awards.

What is the Campaign for a Healthy Smoke-free Chicago?
And how can you help?

Landmark Ordinance Added to Chicago's Building Code
Mayor Richard M Daley introduced an ordinance to City Council that will create a chapter of the new Chicago Building Code (CBC) devoted exclusively to accessibility provisions.

Nursing Home Freedom Requests
265,286 persons with disabilities want their freedom. Yes, at least 265,286 persons with disabilities have expressed a preference to live in the community but are being unnecessarily segregated in nursing homes.

For Sale
Accessible townhouse in Naperville and Aramark chair.
August 2003

Fair Housing Training
Access Living is offering Disability Fair Housing Training on two dates at two Chicago Public Library sites on August 26th at the Austin-Irving branch at 6100 W Irving Park Road and on September 12th the Chicago Lawn branch at 6120 S Kedzie Street.

Daley to Offer Tax Breaks to Employers
Chicago plans to offer tax breaks and other incentives to businesses that hire or are owned by people with disabilities.

Connecting Communities
Calling all advocates: Find out how you can be involved in the caucus dedicated to creating interest groups around transportation.

Letter: Attorneys for Abuse Victims

Help for Victims of Violent Crimes
Under the Illinois Crime Victim's Compensation Act, victims who have inadequate insurance or no source of funds to cover their expenses are eligible for compensation of up to $27,000 for medical bills, counseling, lost wages, and other expenses. Learn how to help victims understand this benefit.

January 2003

CDR News
Bruce Moore joins the staff as manager of employment services.

Nomination forms for the 2003 awards will be available soon. Winners will be announced at the annual banquet on September 12.

New CDR Packet Addresses Most Common Housing Questions

Procurement Eased for Disabled-owned and -operated Businesses
The Chicago City Council passed a new initiative that means procurement opportunities will be extended to businesses owned and operated by people with disabilities.

"Last Chance" Voter Registration
Registration closes January 28. The Chicago Board of Elections is providing a myriad of "last chance" opportunities.

Evanston's Services for People with Disabilities

Council for Disability Rights

Knowing your rights is the easy part. Exercising them can be a bit trickier.

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