Still Time if You Live in Chicago to Advocate to Alderman Re: Subminimum Wage 

November 26 is the date for the final vote on the management ordinance, which includes an elimination of the subminimum wage in Chicago  by 2024. Please advocate now through this link from Access Living.

New Inclusionary Housing Task Force aims to improve affordable housing in Chicago

ABC 7, 11.20.19

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new effort Wednesday that aims to bring improvements to affordable housing in the city of Chicago. The mayor, along with the Department of Housing (DOH), have created the Inclusionary Housing Task Force to bring up recommendations and add broader housing policies to the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO).


Ill. State Board of Education takes steps to end isolated seclusion, physical restraint in schools

“The Illinois State Board of Education announced on Wednesday that it will take emergency action to end isolated seclusion of children in schools, saying the practice has been ‘misused and overused to a shocking extent.’  “Calling the seclusion of children in Illinois ;appalling,’ Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he directed the education agency to make the emergency rules and that he will then work with legislators to make them law.  Here is the press release.  The rules would not totally ban the use of timeout rooms, but the action comes a day after the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois published an investigation into the practice.

The Arc Board and staff are involved with discussion with the state and other advocates to move from the immediate implementation of an emergency rule to a more formal effort to address the issue of the use of seclusion and restraint in Illinois school.  We thank the Governor for his swift action and look forward to working with his office and the Illinois State Board of Education as well as thank the work of the journalists from the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica.  

Here is what you can do to help!

1) Submit your comments to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) about the proposed emergency rules which can be found at this link. Information, questions, input should be directed to:  Azita Kakvand, Agency Rules Coordinator, Illinois State Board of Education, 100 North First Street Springfield, Illinois 62777-0001, (217) 782-6510, rules@isbe.net, You can simply send a letter or an email about your experience and/or why/how isolation/seclusion of students with disabilities is a problem. 2) Share your stories and concerns with us at meg@thearcofil.org.  We want to identify families who might be willing to share concerns or be involved in future legislative efforts.

3) Through social media, thank the Governor and the journalists for their efforts (@GovPritzker; @chicagotribune; @propublica), and express your opinion on this issue;

4) Check out the legislation already released by Rep Carroll.

Federally the Keeping All Students Safe Act is being reintroduced in Congress; a fact sheet is here


Act Now to Say #HandsOffSNAP

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For many of us, that means spending time with family over a delicious meal. But for millions of people, access to basic, year-round nutritious meals is at risk!

Currently, the utility costs that families and individuals have are taken into consideration when their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are calculated. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed a rule that would change that calculation to cut benefits. It would force people with disabilities and their families to choose between buying food or other necessities, such as housing, utilities, and medical expenses.

Why Does SNAP Matter to People With Disabilities?

SNAP plays a key role in reducing hunger and helping people with disabilities to maximize their health and participate in our communities. We know that all too often food insecurity and disability go together. The proposed rule would:

  • Change the deduction for utility payments and cut benefits for people with high utility costs.
  • Cut benefits for 19 percent of people on SNAP.
  • Cause 8,000 people to lose SNAP benefits entirely.

The proposed rule would cut $4.5 billion in SNAP benefits and disproportionately impact people with disabilities.


There is still time to stop this rule. Fill in your information here and you will be brought to a page with draft comments that you can personalize and submit directly to USDA.

Walmart Altering Disability Employment Policy

Disability Scoop, 11.19.19

Walmart Altering Disability Employment Policy -Under a settlement with the EEOC, the country’s largest private employer will change a policy affecting workers with disabilities nationwide.

Let’s Talk About Sexual Violence Against Men With Disabilities

Men with disabilities are twice as likely as those without disabilities to experience sexual violence. Yet few people know just how common it is, including health care professionals. On top of that, men with disabilities may not know about the different types of sexual violence they could experience, how to talk about it with their doctor, how to report it to authorities, or how to access healing services like counseling. The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability and The Board Resource Center are excited to announce new resources to address this silent epidemic.

Health care professionals are in a frontline position to educate patients with disabilities about sexual violence and how to report it, yet they generally have little or no experience talking about it. Supported by the WITH Foundation, the project is releasing new training videos and other valuable online resources to give health care professionals the practical tools they need to have simple, direct, and honest conversations about sexual violence with male patients who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.