Access Living Update Volume 25

Calendar of Events between June 15 and June 29, 2009

The Access Living Update
June 15, 2009

June 22 marks 10th Anniversary
of Supreme Court Olmstead ruling

On June 22, people with disabilities and disability advocates will rally to mark the 10th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Olmstead.

In 1999 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the unnecessary institutionalization of people with disabilities is discrimination. In the 10 years since the decision, people with disabilities nationwide have used the Olmstead decision as a tool to attempt to rebalance systems of long term care so that people with disabilities have the choice to receive services in their own homes and communities in addition to institutions.

In Illinois, despite the ruling, the system of long term care for people with disabilities still favors institutional care. As a result, many people with disabilities who want to live in their own homes are forced to live in institutions because not enough community options exist. In Chicago and nationwide, disability advocates will use the Olmstead Anniversary as a call to action, demanding that states create more choices for people with disabilities. To get involved with the Chicago event, contact Gary Arnold at 312-640-2199 (voice), 312-640-2102 (TTY).

Illinois budget threatens independence
of people with disabilities

The proposed Illinois Budget for FY 2010 would cut off the independence of thousands of people with disabilities, forcing many into institutions. When the House of Representatives rejected a tax increase, the Legislature funded only 50% of Home Services. Home Services cuts would deny personal assistant services to thousands of people with disabilities. Personal assistants help out with day-to-day things like dressing, bathing, eating and cleaning. Without personal assistant services, people with disabilities lose a critical link to independence.

People with disabilities are not alone. Many other marginalized groups would be devastated by the cuts. Unwilling to let the State of Illinois fix the budget woes on the backs of the groups who need services the most, people with disabilities and other groups are mobilizing to stop the cuts.

On June 16 at 10:30, Governor Quinn’s Chicago Staff will host a budget briefing at 160 N. LaSalle in the 5th Floor Auditorium. On June 19 at 11 a.m., the Center for Illinois Futures is coordinating a rally at Thompson Center. The rally will highlight the devastating impact of the cuts on the people of Illinois and call on the government to reverse those cuts. For more information, contact Tom Wilson at 312-640-2125 (voice), 312-640-2102 (TTY).


Wednesday, June 17, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support Group. This is a monthly peer group for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing. For more information, contact Devon at (312) 640-2163(TTY), (800) 714-6834 (voice), or

Thursday, June 18, 10 a.m. to 12 noon Housing Support Group. This monthly meeting offers people with disabilities in search of accessible, affordable housing an opportunity to network and gather resources. For information, contact Pearl at 312-640-2116 (voice),

Thursday, June 18, 12 noon to 2 p.m. Cross Disability Support Group. Monthly Peer Group open to people of all ages with any type of disability. Lunch will be served. If you’d like to participate, contact Carrie at 312-640-2103 (voice) or 312-640-2167 (TTY).

Thursday, June 18, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Deinstitutionalization Support Group. A monthly group for nursing home residents with disabilities who would like to learn about opportunities to live in their own homes and communities. For information, contact Aimee Potter at 312-640-2160 (voice) or 312-640-2167 (TTY).

Tuesday, June 23, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Disability Pride Parade Planning Meeting. The 6th Annual Parade is under two months away. Now is the time to get involved. For information, call 312-640-2195 (voice) or 312-640-2102 (TTY).

Wednesday, June 24, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Personal Assistant Orientation. This monthly training is for individuals who would like to enter Access Living’s pool of personal assistants. Personal assistants help people with disabilities with daily tasks such as dressing and cooking. Prior registration is required. Contact Jennifer Thomas at 312-640-2193, or

Thursday, June 25, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. The Disability Rights Action Coalition for Housing, (DRACH). A monthly meeting of housing advocates who work to enforce and implement the housing rights of people with disabilities. For information, contact Deidre at 312-640-2132 (voice), 312-640-2102 (TTY).

Friday, June 26, 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Empowered Fe Fes Young women with disabilities who meet to share experiences and collaborate on projects designed to empower and educate the community. For information, call 312-640-2190 (voice) or 312-640-2102 (TTY).