Community Organizing and Policy

Youth Advocacy
Youth, Education and Disability Advocacy at Access Living

At Access Living, our youth and education disability advocacy includes community organizing and policy work. This work focuses on:

Meaningful transitions from high school to postsecondary options -- whether work or school: Access Living Youth Community Organizing Groups, such as Advance Youth Leadership Power and The Empowered Fe-Fes, advocate for coordination between schools, community partners and businesses to empower young people with disabilities with disability history and culture, increase awareness about people with disabilities, increase the education and employment rates of young people with disabilities, and promote basic life skills independence.

Youth leadership development: Groups such as Advance Youth Leadership Power teach our youth about disability history, community pride and advocacy traditions, and taking the lead on social change. Our youth learn through one-on-one mentoring and peer group opportunities.

Programmatic and physical access to education in the Chicago Public Schools: Access Living’s Education Policy Work ensures that that CPS’ more than 50,000 students with disabilities, their families and teachers work together to achieve meaningful education outcomes on an equal basis with non-disabled students, with solid postsecondary preparation.

Our young people have the ability to exercise the civil rights won by previous generations of their peers. With our community education, organizing and policy/legislative efforts, Access Living is a powerful action-oriented setting for the personal growth and self-advocacy of our young people with disabilities throughout Chicago.

Report responds to Commission on School Utilization

This report responds to the CPS Commission on School Utilization, which issued a report on January 10, 2013. Learn More

Analysis of FY 2013 CPS Special Education Budget

On Wednesday, August 15 Access Living released a report analyzing the FY 2013 Chicago Public Schools Special Education Budget. Learn More

The Empowered Fe Fes - Group for Young Women

The Empowered Fe Fes

Girls and women with disabilities campaign on disability issues through a gender perspective.

The Empowered Fe Fes is a support and action group of young women with disabilities ages 13 to 24. The Fe Fes represent all different kinds of disabilities and come from different racial and ethnic communities around Chicago.
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Access Living White Paper urges Illinois to modify Performance Evaluation Reform Act

On October 19, Access Living released an education White Paper that projects the impact that The Performance Evaluation Reform Act of 2010 (PERA) may have on Special Education students in public schools throughout Illinois. The paper, “Holding Educators Accountable For the Academic Growth of Students with Disabilities” examines the relationship within PERA between the achievement of students with disabilities and the performance of teachers. Learn More
Teaching Kids

Education Outreach and Advocacy

Access Living takes the lead in advocacy on targeted issues with state and local school administrators and governing boards on policy and legislative concerns that have an impact on students with disabilities. Learn More