Our building is closed today and until further notice because of water damage. Access Living staff is working remotely. Look for more updates to be posted here as they become available.

Advocacy Updates: June 9, 2022


June 9, 2022 | by Amber Smock

CESSA Regional Committee Opportunity and Accessible Juneteenth

Access Living friends and allies,

Today, we’d like to highlight two great opportunities, one for CESSA and one for Juneteenth! Read on below.

Want to Serve on a CESSA Regional Committee?: 

As you will recall, Access Living spearheaded the passage of the Community Emergency Services and Supports Act (CESSA), which aims to support the development of emergency mental health crisis response units as an option when you call 911. We are pleased to share that the new statewide committee established under CESSA has begun meeting, and our Diversion and Reentry Policy Analyst, Christopher Huff, is serving on that committee.

The State of Illinois is now in the process of developing the eleven regional CESSA committees, and has issued a survey for interested persons who would like to be appointed. You can check out the survey at this link. One of the categories for seats on the Regional Committees is for advocates from the mental health, behavioral health, intellectual disability, and developmental disability communities. We strongly encourage folks with disabilities to fill out the survey if interested.

Accessible Juneteenth: 

We’d also like to uplift a disability event here in Chicago celebrating Juneteenth. For the second year in the row, Chicagoland Disabled People of Color Coalition (DPOCC) and the Institute on Disability and Human Development will host the second annual Accessible Juneteenth celebration. The event will celebrate Juneteenth and commemorate Black people with disabilities who have helped create a more free world for Black communities worldwide.

The celebration will be on Saturday, June 18th, 2022 from 2pm to 6pm at Kathy Osterman Beach (5800 N. DuSable Lake Shore Drive in Chicago). Feel free to bring food (to share or for yourself), non-alcoholic drinks, chairs and blankets, games, and music. RSVP at: https://tinyurl.com/2022JuneteenthRSVP. Kathy Osterman Beach also has an accessible path to the waterfront.

There will be an open-mic where you can share your talents in singing, spoken-word, playing instruments, and more! Sign up at: https://tinyurl.com/2022JuneteenthOpenMicSignUp. They will also raffle off gift cards and prizes from Raising Cane’s and Pearl’s Place during the open mic.

From 2pm to 4pm, Chicago Internal Medicine Practice and Research (CIMPAR) will host a free COVID-19 vaccine drive for those who need booster shots or any of the first two doses. You may sign up for vaccines at events.juvare.com/IL-IDPH/qzhgv/1344187.  

If you’re not able to attend the celebration in person, there will be two live streams of the open mic portion of the event. Register for the livestreams at go.uic.edu/Virtual_AccessibleJuneteenth2022, or watch the livestream on Chicagoland DPOCC’s YouTube and Facebook pages on June 18th. 

This year’s Accessible Juneteenth is supported by University of Illinois Chicago’s Institute on Disability and Human Development, Chicagoland Disabled People of Color Coalition, University of Illinois Chicago’s Disability Cultural Center, Pearl’s Place, Raising Canes, Target, Stan’s Donuts, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, Disability Lead, Equip for Equality, Access Living, and Chicago Internal Medicine Practice and Research.

Please share this info with fellow advocates! Thank you.