Disability Advocacy News, Plus Advocacy Training Program


November 19, 2021 | by Jerome Palliser

Access Living friends and allies,

What a week! A lot has been happening, plus we’d like to share about our amazing upcoming Art & Advocacy Training Program. Check it all out below.

Save the Date!: On December 16, the AARP of Illinois, the Alzheimer’s Association, Access Living and SEIU HCII will host a summit on disrupting long term care. How can we expand home and community based services in Illinois? How can nursing facilities be more accountable? For more info and to register, check out bit.ly/disruptltcsummit. More info will come out over the next few weeks.

CVS Drops Supreme Court Case Under Pressure: This week, the pharmacy chain CVS Health announced that it would work with disability advocates after key national groups sounded the alarm that the case could gut disability rights. CVS v. Doe is a case that was brought by HIV-positive people (the “plaintiffs”) against CVS. CVS was not allowing the plaintiffs to opt out of a CVS insurance program, causing them to lose access to their medications. Under pressure from the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and the National Council on Independent Living, CVS Health announced it will now be working with disability advocates on equal access to healthcare. More at this link.

Digital Accessibility Win at UIC: Equip for Equality today announced that it has arrived at an agreement with the University of Illinois at Chicago to make systemic changes that will significantly improve digital access for blind users. Outcomes include:

  • Making UIC SAFE App, a digital resource for on-campus safety, readable with assistive technology
  • Making UIC’s COVID-19 Safety Training, COVID-19 Dashboard, and Human Resources website accessible for blind users
  • UIC will hire an Assistant Director for Digital Accessibility
  • UIC will create ADA and Electronic Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Committees

Check out the press release here. Great work Equip and UIC!

Illinois Subminimum Wage Story: The Illinois Times did an excellent story looking at the current use of sub minimum wage in Illinois. Access Living’s Director of Advocacy, Amber Smock, is quoted along with several disability colleagues in the story at this link. Take a look.

Art & Advocacy Training Program: Come and join our disability-culture focused Art & Advocacy Training Program and explore your untapped talents and skills! If you want to gain or polish up your self-advocacy and job skills and receive a stipend, please sign up for one of the following info sessions. You will learn more about what this program offers and how you can apply for it.

Note: This is not an employment referral program. You will gain marketable job skills but the program will not match you with an employer at the end of the training.

Monday, 12:00-1:00pm, November 15th

Access Info: auto-captioning

RSVP: https://bit.ly/1115InfoNewLink

Monday, 12:00-1:00pm, November 22nd 

Access Info: ASL Interpretation + auto-captioning

RSVP: https://bit.ly/1122Info

Wednesday, 6:00-7:00pm, November 24th 

Access Info: auto-captioning

RSVP: https://bit.ly/1124Info

Monday, 12:00-1:00pm, November 29th

Access Info: Spanish + auto-captioning

RSVP: https://bit.ly/1129Info

Wednesday, 6:00-7:00pm, December 1st

Access Info: ASL Interpretation + auto-captioning

RSVP: https://bit.ly/1201Info

Contact: Sandie Yi at syi@accessliving.org.

Organizers: Arts and Culture Project at Access Living, an independent living center for people with disabilities, Bodies of Work, and the Disability Culture Activism Lab (DCAL), a joint project of Access Living and the department of art therapy and counseling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. DCAL is a platform for creative advocacy projects and disability allyship training. Using a peer support and collective care model, disability community members and art therapy graduate students collaborate as disability culture makers for social change.

Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/events/374334254488133

Please share this important information with fellow advocates. Have a great weekend!