Community Organizing at Access Living

Zorytza Rodriguez was a member of AYLP and the Women and Girls Organizing Group. She was recognized by the city as an unsung leader.
At Access Living, we take pride in supporting our grassroots leaders with disabilities. Our Chicago disability advocacy community is vibrant and diverse. We believe in the capacity of ordinary folks with disabilities to speak truth to power and win social change. We also believe that advocacy liberates the human spirit. For more than 30 years, Chicago grassroots disability advocates have truly lived the South African saying “Nothing About Us Without Us!”

Together, our group leaders also meet quarterly through our Access Living people's coalition, Power to the People (PtP), for leadership development and community sharing. The Advocacy Department's community organizers currently support seven grassroots groups led by consumers:

Advance Youth Leadership Power (AYLP): Young people with disabilities ages 16–24 organize and educate on issues affecting young adults. Staff contact: Candace Coleman, (312) 640–2128 or ccoleman@accessliving.org .

YIELD: A workshop for youths ages 16-24 to learn what it takes to be a leader, for yourself and for the community. The workshop covers disability culture and history; how to stand up for your individual rights; and how to make the community better for people with disabilities. Staff contact: Candace Coleman, (312) 640–2128 or ccoleman@accessliving.org .

Cambiando Vidas (Changing Lives): Latinos with disabilities organize for community supports and disability education in the Latino community. Staff contact: Michelle Garcia, (312) 640–2194 or mrobbins@accessliving.org (se habla Español).

Disability Justice and Mentoring Collective (DJMC): Teens with disabilities are paired with adult mentors to develop disability pride and self-advocacy skills. Staff contact: Elesha Nightingale (312) 640-2131 or enightingale@accessliving.org.

Disability Rights Action Coalition for Housing (DRACH): DRACH fights for housing rights for people with disabilities, especially those in public housing. DRACH meetings on the fourth Thursday of the month. Staff contact: Cathleen O’Brien (312) 640-2160 or cobrien@accessliving.org.

Disabled Americans Want Work Now (DAWWN): DAWWN fights for employment rights related to vocational rehabilitation and other employment programs. Staff contact:

Empowered Fe Fes: Girls and women with disabilities campaign on disability issues through a gender perspective. Staff contact:

Task Force on Attendant Services(TFAS, pronounced “tough ass”): People with disabilities and personal attendants mobilize together for the right to home and community based services.
Staff contact: Tom Wilson, (312) 640–2125 or twilson@accessliving.org .

Independent Voices: Independent Voices is an advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of people who residing in Nursing Homes. People who are currently in nursing homes or people who have moved out of nursing homes are eligible for membership. Staff contact: Tom Wilson, (312) 640–2125 or twilson@accessliving.org .
Contact:
Adam Ballard
Title:
Manager of Community Organizing
Voicemail:
312-640-2195
Email:
aballard@accessliving.org
Title Date

Task Force on Attendant Services

Tough Ass

Task Force on Attendant Services(TFAS, pronounced “tough ass”) is a community organizing group of people with disabilities and personal attendants who mobilize together for the right to home and community based services.

Disabled Americans Want Work Now (DAWWN)

4th Thursday of each month from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

At this time, DAWWN is not meeting. For employment related work at Access Living, contact the office about the Job Empowerment Club.
DAWWN fights for employment rights related to vocational rehabilitation and other employment programs.
2013-DJMC

Disability Justice Mentoring Collective

DJMC provides a unique opportunity for youth with disabilities, ages 13 to 18, to receive guidance and support from a mentor who cares about disability justice.

The Empowered Fe Fes - Group for Young Women

The Empowered Fe Fes

Girls and women with disabilities campaign on disability issues through a gender perspective.

The Empowered Fe Fes is a support and action group of young women with disabilities ages 13 to 24. The Fe Fes represent all different kinds of disabilities and come from different racial and ethnic communities around Chicago.

El Equipo de Dessarrollo Comunitario y Económico

Vea esta página en español
El Equipo de Desarrollo Comunitario y Económico trabaja para eliminar barreras a las oportunidades económicas que la gente con discapacidades enfrenta.

Task Force on Attendant Services

Task Force on Attendant Services (TFAS, pronounced “tough ass”) : People with disabilities and personal attendants mobilize together for the right to home and community based services.
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