Access Living Core Issues Platform

February 2011 Chicago Election

Leading up to the February 22, 2010 Election in Chicago, Access Living and the disability community will work to ensure that the concerns of people with disabilities are addressed by Mayoral Candidates and other candidates for office, and that voters with disabilities have access to the election process.

Whether the February 2011 Election, or any other election, Access Living does not support candidates. Among candidates for office, Access Living promotes issues that impact people with disabilities and works to engage people with disabilities in the election process.

With the February 22 election in mind, Access Living published a “Core City Issues Platform.” Access Living plans to use the platform as a basis for outreach to the candidates and as a tool to raise awareness within the community.

If you have questions about the core issues platform, or if you would like to get involved with Access Living efforts around the election, please contact Amber Smock, Access Living’s Director of Advocacy.

Access Living Core City Issues Platform

1. Maintain and expand the Mayor’s Office on People with Disabilities and its programs.

2. Enforce compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act across all departments, including enforcing ADA building code violations.

3. Appoint people with disabilities to serve on city boards, commissions and councils advising city agencies.

4. Education: Support and expand least restrictive education environments and other supports for students with disabilities in the Chicago Public Schools. Improve post secondary outcomes for graduating CPS high school students with disabilities through a partnership for continuing education between CPS and the Chicago City Colleges. Fund non-school community programs targeted to the development of young people with disabilities.

5. Health care: Ensure that the Chicago Department of Public Health (1) improve its medical facility and services access for people with disabilities, including communications access and (2) increases access to mental health services through community clinics and programs.

6. Housing: Support increased access to Chicago Housing Authority affordable, accessible, integrated housing for people with disabilities by (1) increasing the number of accessible public housing units and (2) expanding the number of low-income vouchers available.

7. Transit and public byways: Increase access to public transit for people with disabilities. Maintain compliance with the City’s settlement agreement to improve curb cuts.

8. Domestic and sexual violence: Support funding for safe havens and educational programs to educate and empower women and girls with disabilities victimized by violence.

9. Jobs: Track and increase the number of city employees with disabilities to better mirror the percentage of the Chicago population with disabilities, which is just over 20%.

10. Ensure cultural competence in all City interactions with people with disabilities, including that of law enforcement and emergency personnel.

Amber Smock
Director of Advocacy