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Illinois Legislative Accessibility Act

 

Ensure Access to Democracy in Illinois

The chance to engage directly with your elected officials is one of the most important parts of our democracy. However, at the state level, many legislatures cannot fully engage with constituents with disabilities because in-person and/or remote proceedings are not accessible. We want to change that in the State of Illinois.

For many years, advocates with disabilities have struggled with access to Illinois legislative offices and proceedings. Our State Capitol building and other key legislative buildings pre-date the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Illinois legislature’s website does not provide a way for the public to request reasonable accommodations for visits or legislative proceedings. The legislature’s live footage of its floor proceedings are not captioned, and typically neither are Zoom proceedings. There are no official disability logistics liaisons for either the House or the Senate. Despite these challenges, people with disabilities have “made it work,” but it is time for the Illinois Legislature to step up.

We need the Legislative Accessibility Act (SB180/HB855). It is beyond time for an active, ongoing process to phase in accessibility updates and ensure that the public can effectively engage with their state elected officials. The Legislative Accessibility Act would:

  1. Ensure that the House and the Senate designate a staffer who would coordinate disability access logistics for their respective chambers
  2. Create a reasonable accommodation request process for the legislature’s website, through which the public can request reasonable accommodations for hearings, meetings or visits
  3. Establish a working group to create an accessibility plan to phase in accessibility upgrades

If you live in Illinois, we need your help! Please let your State legislators know that we need to pass the Legislative Accessibility Act THIS YEAR. You can use this easy link to send an email. If you plan to connect with your legislators this spring in Illinois, please help make them aware of this bill.

Supporters of the Illinois Legislative Accessibility Act

Interested in signing on? Email Advocacy Director Amber Smock at asmock@accessliving.org.

Access Living

AgeGuide

AgeOptions

AIDS Foundation Chicago

Brighton Park Neighborhood Council

Catholic Office of the Deaf, Archdiocese of Chicago

Chicagoland Autism Connection (CAC) Trailblazers

Chicagoland Leadership Council

Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois

Disability Lead

Health and Medicine Policy Research Group

IL Self Advocacy Alliance

Illinois Collaboration on Youth

Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities

Illinois-Iowa Center for Independent Living

Legal Council for Health Justice

LIFE CIL

Lyons Township Mental Health Commission

McManus Consulting/Disability Services

Mental Health America of Illinois

NA4J

NAMI Northern Illinois

National Coalition of Latinxs with Disabilities

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Opportunities For Access (OFA CIL)

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action

Progress Center

RAMP Center for Independent Living

Shriver Center on Poverty Law

Supportive Housing Providers Association