Community Living, Education & Employment top Issues for Improving Inclusion & Quality of Life for People With Disabilities in Illinois

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The Chicago Community Trust and the Advisory Board of the Persons with Disabilities Fund (PWD Fund) will host a high-level policy convening to release the white paper: A Quest for Equality: Breaking the Barriers for People with Disabilities – A Call to Action for Illinois’ Leaders. The white paper was produced by The PWD Fund, an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, to promote and expand inclusion of people with disabilities in Illinois communities. Drawing on the collective thinking of the Illinois disability community, the report focuses on community living, education, and employment, as the three key areas of unmet priorities for people with disabilities in Illinois, and identifies statewide goals and recommendations to move forward to better promote the best quality of life for Illinoisans with disabilities.

The Chicago Community Trust and the Advisory Board of the Persons with Disabilities Fund (PWD Fund) will host a high-level policy convening to release the white paper: A Quest for Equality: Breaking the Barriers for People with Disabilities – A Call to Action for Illinois’ Leaders. The white paper was produced by The PWD Fund, an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, to promote and expand inclusion of people with disabilities in Illinois communities. Drawing on the collective thinking of the Illinois disability community, the report focuses on community living, education, and employment, as the three key areas of unmet priorities for people with disabilities in Illinois, and identifies statewide goals and recommendations to move forward to better promote the best quality of life for Illinoisans with disabilities.

The anniversary of two crucial pieces of legislation in the disability rights movement – the 35th anniversary of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – presents a timely opportunity to convene policy leaders and provide a platform, during a period of increased fiscal and political challenges, to lift the voice of the disability community, move forward ideas that can improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in Illinois, and realize the promise for the full inclusion of persons with disabilities.

    The program will feature a national panel that will respond to the report and provide a national context for and perspective on the effectiveness of programs and policies, as well as representatives from other states to present how they have dealt with challenges around key issues and effectively moved forward. A local panel discussion will follow, featuring statewide leaders to discuss how Illinois can address these issues.
Panelists Include:

  •     Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
  •     Sara Gelser, Oregon State Representative
  •     Andy Imparato, President & CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities
  •     Tony Paulauski, Executive Director, The Arc of Illinois
  •     King Harris, Chairman, Harris Holdings, Inc.
  •     Julie Hamos, Director, Department of Healthcare and Family Services
  •     Dr. Vinni Hall, Secretary, Illinois State Board of Education
  •     Robin Jones, Project Director & Instructor, DBTAC: Great Lakes ADA Center    

WHEN:    Friday, November 12, 2010
    8:00 a.m. – noon (Complimentary breakfast at 8:00 a.m., program begins at 9:00 a.m.)

WHERE:     The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
    230 S. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL
*Please bring photo identification for security purposes

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Eva Penar
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