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Welcome to the Chicago Mayoral Candidates Disability Forum!

As the race for Chicago’s Mayor ramps up, Chicago-based Access Living, will host a forum for candidates. The event will feature questions submitted by voters focused on the candidates’ experience with disability rights, laws and access enforcement; plans for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities; increasing access to healthcare, transportation and education, and creating a welcoming and accessible city.

2018 Disability Candidates Forum for the Chicago Mayor’s Race

Candidates Written Responses

The candidate responses to 20 written questions were compiled and organized by question below. These questions were submitted by Chicago disability voters through an online survey hosted by Access Living in September 2018.

Chicago Mayoral candidates commit city to spending required to correct disability discrimination in Affordable Housing Program

Daley no-show for hard questions from disability community

CHICAGO – Candidates for Mayor of Chicago today committed to spending whatever is required to correct decades of discrimination against people with disabilities in the City’s Affordable Housing Program. Ten candidates addressed questions about housing, transit, health care, criminal justice, employment, education and immigrant services in a forum today hosted by Access Living and ten community partners.


The Advocates Group

The Advocates issued this survey to examine the current situation in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) special education program under the supervision of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and its Monitor. In May 2018 the ISBE found CPS’ policies violated special education law and subsequently appointed a monitor to oversee the district’s special education program for the next three years and carry out the agency’s corrective actions. We hope ISBE finds these survey results to be a helpful indicator of the current status of ISBE’s monitoring for further improvements. A total of 800 parents, teachers, students, and other stakeholders took the survey from September 24, 2018 to October 12, 2018.

ISBE and CPS Far Behind Schedule to Reform Special Education, Advocates appeal to Pritzker to fix the problems

Teachers say CPS has not fixed problems; parents still in the dark about ISBE findings and students’ right to compensation

CHICAGO—Six months after the state nominally took control of special education in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is still failing to bring the promised changes to students with disabilities, according to results of a new parent/teacher survey.

Fall 2018 CPS Special Education Issues

Advocates continue to hear that problems with special education service persist. Please provide the Advocates Group with up–to–date information about your experiences this school year.

Otoño 2018 Problemas de Educación Especial en las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago (CPS)

Defensores continúan oyendo que los problemas con los servicios de educación especial persisten. Por favor de dar al Grupo de Defensores información actual sobre sus experiencias este año escolar.

Access Living releases disability rights analysis of CPS FY 2019 Budget

Budget doesn’t adequately impact documented special ed violations

CHICAGO – July 23, 2018 -- Today Access Living published its annual review of the Chicago Public Schools budget for the FY2019 year. Access Living once again calls for a strategic reconsideration of how CPS will resolve issues affecting students with disabilities, with the view that resolving many of these issues can help stabilize the overall education climate in CPS.

Access Living sues City of Chicago for three decades of discrimination against people with disabilities in Affordable Rental Housing Program

Complaint in Federal Court affects more than 650 developments, 50,000 housing units

Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, a Center for Independent Living (CIL) and advocate for people with disabilities, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois, alleging the City of Chicago has funded and developed tens of thousands of affordable rental housing units without ensuring that a sufficient number are accessible to people with disabilities as required by federal law.

Systemic Problems with CPS Special Ed

Advocates Respond to ISBE Findings on CPS Special Education Policies and Practices

Today advocates welcomed the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) findings of systematic problems in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) provision of services to students with disabilities.