Fact sheet

More than 1 in 10 Illinois residents have some kind of disability. Expanding access, inclusion and opportunity benefits all of us. We are Greater Together. 

ADA 25 Chicago is a network of civic partners who have come together to commemorate and advance a civil rights milestone – the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The ADA recognizes that disability is a natural part of the human experience, as people with disabilities are our family, friends, neighbors, teachers, doctors, lawyers and public officials. It protects the rights of all people with disabilities, both apparent and non-apparent.

Despite 25 years of progress, people with disabilities still have higher poverty rates, lower employment and poorer educational outcomes than those without disabilities.

It’s time to change the game.

ADA 25 Chicago is bringing together leaders from throughout the Chicago region — educators, government officials, corporate executives and nonprofit directors, who are working together to fulfill the promise of the ADA. Our work includes:

A commitment to expand opportunity and access and to raise public awareness about the issues that people with disabilities face — particularly in the areas of education, employment, community inclusion and technology.

A vision to make metropolitan Chicago the most inclusive region in the nation.

A plan to encourage legacy projects with lasting impact such as:

Chicago Business Leaders Network, a business-to-business organization designed to expand disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace, with leadership from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Leadership Institute for People with Disabilities, a pilot program to create a pipeline of leaders with disabilities to serve in public, private and nonprofit leadership positions. This new program will be developed collaboratively with academic, business and disability rights partners.

25 for 25 Cultural Access Plans, an initiative challenging 25 cultural institutions to increase inclusion and accessibility now and in the future.

And more! Legacy projects are emerging in the areas of technology and education. 

A commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA and of disability as natural part of the human experience. More than 100 ADA 25 Chicago program partners are planning:

An ADA 25 Chicago Public Launch on April 17 to officially unveil ADA 25 Chicago and challenge organizations to make commitments for change.

Partner organization programs

Speakers, conferences, panels, tours, exhibits and school programs celebrating diversity, emphasizing disability rights and increasing inclusion.

Arts, music, film and other cultural events featuring artists with disabilities in Millennium and Grant Parks and throughout the region.

The Disability Pride Parade and National Legacy Tour on July 18.

The ADA 25 Chicago Closing Summit in Fall 2015 to report on progress made in the anniversary year, unveil partner commitments and legacy projects, and drive momentum for the next 25 years.

Ongoing Communications, Outreach and Marketing Strategies including a website (ADA25Chicago.org), social and mainstream media, street banners and other promotions.

Join us!

ADA 25 Chicago seeks government, business, nonprofit, educational and other partners to join our growing network of leading organizations who have committed to making our region more inclusive. Join us to help raise awareness during this anniversary year and to make change for the future.

Connect with ADA 25 Chicago: