Category Archive: News

Daily Digest: Disability Issues

As part of its ongoing commitment to the mission and objectives of ADA 25 Chicago, Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications will continue to produce and distribute a daily e-blast highlighting local and national disability-related news. Those interested in receiving this daily news aggregation on disability issues can sign up by clicking here.

“Famous Violinist Itzhak Perlman Breaks Societal Stigma”

Rows and rows of cushioned seats at the Harris Theater filled with spectators with and without disabilities last Wednesday to hear a moderated afternoon talk featuring Itzhak Perlman. The renowned violinist confidently zipped onstage in his scooter to share his experiences as a musician with a disability to the eager crowd.


Medill Reports Chicago January 12, 2016

“CTA Announces Next Step Making Rail System 100% Accessible”

As part of Mayor Emanuel’s ongoing commitment to improve accessibility throughout the city of Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) on Jan. 7, announced a new initiative that will establish a blueprint for making the nation’s second largest transit agency 100 percent accessible over the next 20 years.


Mass Transit January 7, 2016

“Master “fiddler” Itzhak Perlman Talks About Access”

Few would deny that Itzhak Perlman speaks most eloquently through his violin, from which he coaxes some of the most golden sounds ever to emerge from that instrument.


Chicago Sun-Times January 6, 2016

Release: AbilityLinks Participates in ADA 25 Chicago’s Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit

WHEATON, Ill. – In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Chicago chapter of ADA 25, in collaboration with the Chicago Business Leaders Network (CBLN), launched the first annual Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit. The event was geared towards civic, business, and nonprofit organization leaders to examine successes and opportunities in implementation of the historic law—in short, how to make the environment and opportunities more accessible for people with disabilities.


Please click here to download the release.

“Disability Summit sets sights on workplace inclusion”

A partnership between the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation and ADA 25 Chicago spawned the city’s first Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit, held Nov. 16–17 at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Building, 300 E. Randolph St.


The Columbia Chronicle November 23, 2015

“Duckworth celebrates ADA’s impact, calls for more measures to aid disabled”

Earlier this week, a quarter of a century after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was originally signed into law, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) spoke to hundreds of government and business leaders during the opening session of ADA 25 Chicago’s Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit.


DuPage Policy Journal November 20, 2015

“The State of Americans with Disabilities”

In 1999, the Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling for citizens with disabilities in Olmstead v. L.C.


The Takeaway November 20, 2015

ADA 25th Anniversary Events

Please click here for an Audio Described & Captioned version of the video.

GREATER > TOGETHER

Please click here for an audio described version of the video.

“National ‘Disabilities Inclusion Opportunity Summit’ Comes to Chicago”

The national “Disabilities Inclusion Opportunity Summit” is being held at the Blue Cross Blue Shield building in Chicago Monday and Tuesday. Leaders from across the country will meet to develop new ways to give people with disabilities better access to education, the job market and technology.



NBC 5 Chicago November 16, 2015

“Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit to commence in Chicago”

U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Former Congressman Tony Coelho, executives, experts and innovators will join a two-day summit to increase inclusion of people with disabilities in education and employment on Monday, Nov. 16


Windy City Times November 13, 2015

“AXIS Dance Company, Jessica Lang Dance, Miami City Ballet and More Set for Harris Theater’s 2015-16 Dance Series”

President and Managing Director of The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Michael Tiknis, recently announced the dance performances for the 2015-16 Harris Theater Presents season. High wattage stars and accomplished masters comprise one of the most highly anticipated dance seasons to date. The Harris Theater is proud to have the support of The Northern Trust Company as its 2015-2016 season sponsor.


Broadway World October 8, 2015

MIX MATTERS

Executive Director Emily Harris joined “MIX Matters” with Susan Wiencek on The Mix 101.9 FM to discuss ADA 25 Chicago.


101.9 FM September 27, 2015

“Legendary Jazz musicians advocate on disability issues in Chicago”

Jazz Artists Henry Butler and Fred Hersch participate in Jazz Fest and community programming in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Chicago Crusader September 19, 2015

“Activists push those with HIV, AIDS to know their ADA rights”

CHICAGO (WLS) — They are topics that most people don’t easily connect: HIV/AIDS and the Americans with Disabilities Act.



ABC 7 Chicago September 13, 2015

“Greater Together: Cultural Accessibility Summit”

Experts describe how accessibility and inclusion is both good for the community—and good for business at Chicago’s first Cultural Accessibility Summit held in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.



CAN TV September 9, 2015

“MUSIC Legendary jazz artist plays and shares his life”

On the eve of a performance before thousands of fans at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Fred Hersch told a more intimate audience at the Center on Halsted Sept. 3 that when he publishes his memoir, the title will be “Good Things Happen Slowly.”


Windy City Times September 9, 2015

“President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts”

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced the appointment of the following individuals to key Administration posts:


White House Press Office September 8, 2015

“Tickets to Harris Theater Family Series Now on Sale”

The Harris Theater today announced the performances of its popular Exelon Family Series for the 2015-2016 season. Established in 2008, Exelon Family Series programs provide unique learning opportunities for families to experience world-class performances at the Harris, at affordable prices. This season’s series includes one of the world’s most celebrated ensembles for performers with and without disabilities, AXIS Dance Company; the Family Series premiere of the world renowned Kronos Quartet; and the Harris Theater debut of the fanciful C!RCA: Carnival of the Animals.


Broadway World Chicago September 8, 2015

“Illinois Issues: Does The ADA Work?”

Twenty-five years after the landmark federal law, people with disabilities in Illinois still have trouble getting hired.

Bob Peterson wants to work in the community rather than in a sheltered workshop for people with disabilities. In that Aurora program, he spends five hours a day putting components for gutters into plastic bags. Rather than a set wage, he is paid by the piece.


WUIS September 3, 2015

“Your comprehensive guide to the 37th annual Chicago Jazz Festival”

Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians turned 50 in 2015, and celebrations of this influential collective have been popping off worldwide all year—here in town, exhibits honoring the AACM’s impact have opened at the DuSable Museum of African American History and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The 37th annual Chicago Jazz Festival marks this auspicious anniverary with performances by four AACM-related groups: Douglas Ewart & Inventions, the Jeff Parker Trio, Steve & Iqua Colson, and Muhal Richard Abrams’s Experimental Band. The Experimental Band set—Sunday’s marquee event and the capstone of the festival—features most of the AACM’s greatest living figures, including Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, and Amina Claudine Myers.


Chicago Reader September 2, 2015

“37th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, September 3-6”

The 37th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival will take place in Millennium Park and at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Street), September 3-6, showcasing the very best of jazz music from noon to 9:30 pm daily. This free admission festival is produced by Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago (JIC). Culminating on Labor Day Weekend, the festival’s programming celebrates both the mainstream of the national jazz scene as well as Chicago’s unique contributions to the art form. The Chicago Jazz Festival has historically made a special point of placing its own distinctly Chicago artistic stamp on the musical proceedings.


Jazz Police September 2, 2015

“The ADA at 25 – A Legal Tool for Social Change”

In 1990, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide comprehensive civil rights protection to people with disabilities in all aspects of life, including employment, state and local government services, public transportation and private businesses.


CBA Record July/August 2015

“Henry Butler presses on after Katrina and a bout with cancer”

Ten years ago this week, the colossal New Orleans singer-pianist Henry Butler saw his life very nearly wrecked by Hurricane Katrina and its disastrous aftermath.


Chicago Tribune August 25, 2015

“Robie House celebrates ADA with new aids for tours”

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is offering free tours catered to those with vision or hearing impairments at four Wright sites across Chicago, including the Robie House, 5757 S. Woodlawn Ave. Other participating houses include the Emil Bach House and the Rookery Building, which are both in the city, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, located west of the city, in Oak Park.


Hyde Park Herald August 19, 2015

“Chicago’s Harris Theater Make Programmatic and Structural Changes in Conjunction with ADA25”

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrated its 25th birthday this July, during which the ADA Legacy Project has been teaming up with organizations and community leaders throughout the Chicago area to create discussion on the role ADA has had on thousands of lives since it’s start in 1990. The Harris Theater, one of many businesses working in conjunction with ADA25, plans to embark on a campaign over the next five years to raise funds for program expansion and structural updates to the theater.


AARP Illinois August 12, 2015

“How Chicago theaters, museums enhance entertainment for blind, deaf”

When the lights dim and a play starts, all eyes are on the stage. But what if you can’t see it?

How do people who are blind experience a live theater show? A museum exhibit?


Chicago Tribune August 9, 2015

“Chicago groups chip in as ADA marks 25 years”

In Chicago, a network of more than 160 civic organizations, government agencies and businesses have come together to commemorate the American With Disabilities Act’s 25th anniversary by committing to new programs and initiatives within their organizations.


Windy City Times July 29, 2015

“Which Funders Will Get Behind Chicago’s New Disabilities Initiative?”

A quarter-century after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, adults with disabilities still find it difficult to find employment, succeed in school, and rise above poverty. To celebrate the 25th anniversary, a new local initiative has emerged in Chicago to take the law’s successes a few steps further.


Inside Philanthropy July 28, 2015

“ADA turns 25: What cases have challenged the law?”

As we commemorate the law’s 25th birthday, we’re taking a look at some of the most integral cases that have allowed the law to evolve, and extend rights to people in the workplace. Barry Taylor, Vice President for Civil Rights and Systemic Litigation with the group Equip for Equality, joins us to discuss.



WBEZ July 28, 2015

“On 25th Anniversary, City Official Addresses Chicago’s ADA Advancements”

Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, landmark legislation that set standards for everything from accessing buildings and public transportation to mandating equal access in employment.



WTTW: Chicago Tonight July 27, 2015

“Fellowship for new lawyer with disabilities starts”

As the Americans with Disabilities Act marked 25 years Sunday, a fellowship for an upcoming law school graduate with a disability has been established.


Chicago Daily Law Bulletin July 27, 2015

“On 25th Anniversary, City Official Addresses Chicago’s ADA Advancements”

Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, landmark legislation that set standards for everything from accessing buildings and public transportation to mandating equal access in employment. How has the world changed for the disabled in the last quarter century? Here to discuss that is Karen Tamley, commissioner of the Chicago Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities.


Chicago Sun-Times July 27, 2015

“Chicagoland Coalition Marks ADA’s 25th Anniversary With New Initiatives”

It’s been 25 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was put in place, and more than 160 Chicago-area advocacy groups, government agencies, cultural institutions and businesses have joined forces to develop new programs aimed at expanding opportunities for local residents with disabilities.


Progress Illinois July 27, 2015

Release: McDermott Will & Emery Joins with Equal Justice Works to Sponsor First “ADA 25 Chicago” Fellowship

CHICAGO (July 27, 2015) – Honoring the 25th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act, McDermott Will & Emery announced today that it will be the first sponsor of a new fellowship for Chicago-area attorneys with disabilities.


Please click here to download the release.

“Newsviews: The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns 25”

CHICAGO (WLS) — “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” That was the declaration from President George HW Bush 25 years ago when he signed the Americans with Disabilities Act.


ABC 7 Chicago July 26, 2015

“Photo Exhibit Documents Battle for Disability Rights”

CHICAGO (WLS) — The battle to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was long and hard, and it was critical. It outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. But people with disabilities say it left them out. But that didn’t count them out.



ABC 7 Chicago July 26, 2015

“Chicago’s Access Living Got 10 year Start on ADA”

CHICAGO (WLS) — Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Access Living has been at the forefront in that struggle for equality.



ABC 7 Chicago July 24, 2015

“Editorial: Cutting curbs and opening doors for Chicagoans with disabilities”

Chicago was a decidedly unfriendly town for people with disabilities before 1990.


Chicago Sun-Times July 23, 2015

“ADA: 25 years of opening doors for people with disabilities”

When Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it provided protections to people based on race, color, ethnicity, gender, religion and age. The act did not include disability as a protected class, despite a long history of discrimination against people with disabilities.


Chicago Daily Law Bulletin July 23, 2015

“For people with disabilities, 25 years under the ADA has opened a new world”

One day when I was 23 years old, back in 1977, I was hanging out at Lake Michigan when my friend’s dog knocked my shoes in the lake. I dove in to retrieve them and broke my neck, leaving me paralyzed from the chest down.


Chicago Tribune July 23, 2015

“Disability act marked turnaround 25 years ago, but work to be done”

Life can change in a second. Marca Bristo knows that.

Her second happened in 1977. The then-23-year-old world traveler and career woman inhaled deeply as she watched the waves on Lake Michigan. Next, she dove headfirst into the blue water and — suddenly — into life with a disability.


Chicago Tribune July 21, 2015

“Disability & Theater”

Disability rights activist and playwright Mike Ervin says he “was fortunate to be born in the nick of time” for someone who uses a wheelchair.


Streetwise July 13-19, 2015 Issue

“America’s First Disability Rights Museum on Wheels Comes to Chicago”

The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is bringing its Disability Rights Museum on Wheels (DRMW), the country’s first disability rights mobile museum, to Chicago on Tuesday, July 21 and Wednesday, July 22 in celebration of the 25 anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


USBLN Disability Rights Museum on Wheels Press Release Chicago July 17, 2015

“Disability Pride Parade returns to Chicago”

Chicago is making sure people living with disabilities do not live in fear. The city is hosting its 12th annual Disability Pride Parade on Saturday, July 18.



ABC 7 Chicago July 18, 2015

“12th Annual Disability Pride Parade Held Downtown”

A parade in downtown Chicago Saturday kicked off a week of events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.



CBS Chicago July 18, 2015

“Millennium Park sets accessibility standards, ADA 25 Chicago Says”

Twenty-five years ago the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. The legislation prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and sets standards that require accessibility in public places.



ABC 7 Chicago July 17, 2015

“People with Disabilities, Older Adults Learn How to Use Public Transport”

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace join the more than 56 million Americans with disabilities in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Oak Park-River Forest Patch July 18, 2015

“Brookfield Zoo Celebrate 25 Years of Americans with Disabilities Act”

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 19.


La Grange Patch July 17, 2015

Mayor Emanuel Commemorates The 25th Anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

On July 16, 2015, Mayor Emanuel hosted a breakfast to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). During the breakfast held at City Hall, the Mayor met with the ADA 25 Chicago Steering Committee representing the disability community, business, philanthropy and civic leaders to discuss critical disability initiatives going forward.


Mayor Emanuel Commemorates The 25th Anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Mayor Emanuel during breakfast to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ADA

Mayor Emanuel speaking to members of ADA 25 Chicago

“To Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act”

At their 83rd Annual Meeting, the United States Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act.


The United States Conference of Mayors Resolution

“Sen. Harkin urges Chicago businesses to be leaders in disability employment”

Twenty-five years after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the bill’s sponsor, former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), called on local business leaders to hire more individuals with disabilities.


The Daily Whale June 24, 2015

“Honor the Disabilities Act by Enjoying a Showing of Edward Scissorhands”

Remember the old heartwarming classic about some handsome guy with scissors for hands, Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands? The one that makes you cry and laugh and reminds you that judging others by their physical disabilities is morally reprehensible? Wouldn’t you like to watch that flick in the park of one of America’s finest cities?


Gawker June 23, 2015

Mayor Emanuel’s Special Chicago Blues Festival Message for ADA 25 Chicago

City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had a special message for ADA 25 Chicago, which played at Blues Fest where we sponsored Clarence Carter’s performance on June 12. The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is increasing accessibility at public festivals and events throughout the summer.

“UCP Seguin Team Members Win National Innovation Lab Competition”

(Chicago, IL) On May 19-20 people with disabilities joined designers, engineers, technologists and other professionals as part of the first annual “Innovation Lab” sponsored by United Cerebral Palsy’s Life Labs Initiative. This intense two-day national competition is part of an overall effort to improve the lives of disabilities through development of innovative technology. Team Wheelhouse, comprised of individuals served by UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago alongside UCP Seguin staff, students and technology professionals, won bragging rights, taking first place in this inaugural contest.


Chicago Tribune June 19, 2015

“Blues great Clarence Carter achieved independence and stardom stroke by stroke”

He started off early wanting to be an attorney, but the college that Blues guitar great Clarence Carter attended didn’t offer that major. So, he pursued a degree in what has proven to be beneficial for himself and his fans—music. Carter was in Chicago recently to kick off the Chicago Blues Fest and, as well, to help spread awareness about the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) 25-year anniversary.


The Chicago Crusader June 18, 2015

“More to Blues Fest Than Just Music”

Clarence Carter performance is sponsored by ADA 25 Chicago as part of an initiative to improve access and equality for people with disabilities. NBC Chicago’s LeeAnn Trotter reports.



NBC 5 Chicago June 12, 2015

“CHM exhibition chronicles movement of disability rights”

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Chicago History Museum (CHM), in partnership with ADA 25 Chicago, hosted a preview event for its newest exhibition “Access For All: Tom Olin’s Photographs of the Disabilities Rights Movement” June 5 at the museum.


Windy City-Times article June 9, 2015

“Miami City Ballet and Hamburg Ballet Among Major Dance Companies Headed to Harris Theater in 2015-2016 Season”

AXIS Dance Company (Oct. 8 – 10, 2015): Founded in 1987, AXIS emerged at a time when the Disabilities Rights and Independent Living Movement were gaining momentum and the dance community was just beginning to open its doors to people with disabilities. In partnership with ADA 25 Chicago, the Harris will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with these performances.


Chicago Sun-Times article May 7, 2015

“AXIS Dance Company, Jessica Lang Dance, Miami City Ballet and More Set for Harris Theater’s 2015-16 Dance Series”

The 2015-2016 season at the Harris will begin with the Harris debut of AXIS Dance Company. Founded in 1987, AXIS emerged at a time when the Disabilities Rights and Independent Living Movement were gaining stride and the dance community was just beginning to open its doors to people with disabilities. In partnership with ADA 25 Chicago, the Harris is proud to present one of the world’s leading and most innovative ensembles of dancers with and without disabilities in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Broadway World article May 7, 2015

“Harris Theater a major player for 2015-16 dance season”

AXIS Dance Company, Oct. 8 and 10: The Oakland-based “physically integrated” troupe makes its Harris debut in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act.


Chicago Tribune article May 6, 2015

“ADA 25 Chicago holds launch event”

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), more than 200 people including elected officials, civic leaders, business leaders and members of disability organizations gathered to launch “ADA 25 Chicago: Greater > Together” April 17 at Motorola Mobility’s headquarters in Chicago.


Windy City Times Article April 21, 2015

“Groups pledge to increase disability access at launch of ADA 25 Chicago”

City elected officials and business leaders gathered Friday to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by launching a broad new initiative to promote physical access and employment opportunities for those with disabilities.


Chicago Sun-Times Article April 17, 2015

“Paradigm Shift”

March 2015. ADA 25 Chicago Executive Director Emily Harris and Leadership Council Co-Chair Jack Catlin discuss universal design.


AIA Chicago Architect March/April 2015

Guidelines for writing and reporting about people with disabilities