ADA 25 Advancing Leadership

Disability is a natural part of the human experience and more than 56 million Americans have disabilities. Yet, people with disabilities have the highest unemployment and poverty rates in the nation. We are guided by the equal opportunity principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that pointed to a future where people with disabilities fully participate in American society. Changing the paradigm means including people with disabilities in leadership

- and it starts in Chicago.

Collage of various photos taken during the 2017 Leadership Institute retreat


ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, a signature initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, is the first program of its kind in the nation designed specifically to ensure that Chicago’s vibrant civic and professional life fully includes leaders with disabilities.
The initiative is composed of three facets:

Meet Our Members

Image featuring two rows of our 2017 ADA 25 Advancing Leadership Fellows

Over the last two years, ADA 25 Advancing Leadership has seen huge growth. In this blog post, Executive Director, Emily Harris, highlights the impressive evolution of this one of a kind program. Be sure to continue to check back in the coming weeks for new updates to the Leadership Institute, the Members Network, and the Civic Connections Project.

Special thanks to our contributors and partners: lead supporter The Chicago Community Trust, legacy supporter Exelon, and contributors BMO Harris Bank, The Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Allstate, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Hyatt Hotels Foundation, and Microsoft.