Advocacy Updates: 5/31/22


May 31, 2022 | by Jerome Palliser

Don’t miss out! Register for Disability Candidates Forum and upcoming Town Hall

Access Living friends and allies,

This week, don’t miss out on two important Access Living virtual events! You will want to be sure to register in advance. Both events will have captioning, ASL and Spanish translation. Please share these opportunities with friends and colleagues!

Disability Candidates Forum, Wednesday, June 1

Illinois Secretary of State Primary Race

It’s election season in Illinois! Did you know that the Illinois primary is on June 28?

The Illinois Secretary of State is one of the most critical disability-related offices in Illinois. People with disabilities rely on the Secretary of State for driver education and licenses, disability parking plates and placards. Driver services also include a mobile unit which travels around the state helping people with their driver’s licenses and state IDs, as well as vehicle stickers. The Secretary also oversees the State Library, which runs programs such as the Illinois Talking Book and Braille Service. All of these and other programs affect the day-to-day lives of people with disabilities. 

As a nonpartisan disability services and advocacy organization, Access Living invited all candidates from all parties who are running for Secretary of State, according to the names listed with the State Board of Elections. For this event, three candidates have confirmed so far to date: Dan Brady (R), Alderman David Moore (D), and Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia (D).

During the Forum, each candidate will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and their platforms. Our emcee, John Herring of the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living, will then ask candidates a series of disability-related questions, as a panel on a round-robin basis. Candidates will then conclude with closing remarks. Please register ASAP and join us tomorrow!

Transporting Everything We Need: Town Hall on Emergency Services, Thursday June 2

Are you a person with a disability who has had to call an ambulance to go to the hospital in Chicago? A common problem for many Chicagoans with mobility devices is that if you have to go to the hospital in an ambulance, the emergency personnel won’t take your mobility device with you. However, we know that wheelchairs are freedom devices for people with disabilities, and it only makes a health emergency worse if you are wondering where your chair has gone.

So, let’s talk about it! Join Access Living for a virtual Town Hall meeting on emergency transportation. Not only may someone not be able to take their wheelchair with them, people also may not be able to take their communication devices or other medical devices with them either.  Not having these devices at the hospital may cause a serious issue for the person who relies on this devices in their everyday life.

The Town Hall will include a panel of Chicagoans with disabilities that have been directly impacted by not being able to bring their device(s) to the hospital, while being transported in the ambulance. Our panelists will share their stories, and we will invite the audience to share their stories as well. We can’t wait to hear from you!

If you need additional information or have questions about this event, please contact Ryan McGraw at or 312-640-2125. Ryan is Access Living’s Healthcare and Home/Community Based Services Organizer.

Please share these events widely with fellow disability advocates and allies!