Advocacy Updates: May 23, 2022


May 27, 2022 | by Amber Smock

#CripTheVote June 1: Illinois Secretary of State Disability Candidates Forum

Access Living friends and allies,

It’s election season in Illinois! Did you know that the Illinois primary is on June 28? There are lots of competitive races across Illinois, but a critical race that affects people with disabilities is the race for Secretary of State. So, we’re holding an online Disability Candidates Forum!

Disability Candidates ForumOn June 1, Access Living will host its latest Disability Candidates Forum from 2-3 pm. This time, our focus is the statewide primary race for the Illinois Secretary of State, one of the most critical disability-related offices in Illinois

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. Additionally, the Secretary oversees the Court of Claims, as well as Business Services which support companies and nonprofits in their annual reports and licenses. All of these 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.

The Disability Candidates Forum will be streamed live on Zoom, with captioning and ASL interpreters. Spanish translators will be available by phone. For any additional reasonable accommodation requests, please contact Jerome at, or indicate your access needs when you register for the event.

For those organizations that would like to be listed as supporters, please contact Amber Smock at

We hope you will join us for this exciting event. Please spread the word!