Advocacy Updates: 5/6/22


May 6, 2022 | by Jerome Palliser

Amtrak, Chicago Public Schools, Cash Assistance

Today, we’d like to share several important advocacy updates related to Amtrak, the Chicago Public Schools, and the new Chicago cash assistance pilot. Read on for more!

Historic First Disability Nomination to National Amtrak Board: 

We are pleased to share that President Biden has nominated David Capozzi to serve on the national governing board of Amtrak. Readers may recall that a disability seat on the Amtrak board was one of Access Living’s demands following the 2020 Amtrak fiasco in which two of our staff were quoted $25,000 for wheelchair accessible seats to a retreat in central Illinois. David Capozzi is a well-regarded disability advocacy veteran who served for many years as the Executive Director of the U.S. Access Board. He currently volunteers his time on the Program Committee of Access Living’s Board. Congratulations David! We’d like to also thank U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and her staff in helping to ensure this disability seat at Amtrak.

Make Your Voice Heard on Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Building Accessibility

CPS is looking for community feedback as they set the capital projects budget for FY23. Many CPS schools are NOT ADA accessible. Please complete the survey at this link before May 11th to let the district know about accessibility needs at YOUR SCHOOL. This is a great opportunity to alert the district to the need for better building accessibility! 

Did Your Child with an IEP Lose Skills During Remote Learning? 

Every CPS school is offering make-up services for students who fell behind on at least one of their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals from 2020. Your child may be eligible for these services! DO NOT WAIT: Put in a written request for a Recovery Services meeting with your case manager right away. If you need help preparing for your meeting, or if CPS will not give you a meeting, contact the Equip for Equality helpline at (312) 895-7231 or

May 13 is the Chicago Cash Assistance Deadline! 

Don’t forget, for folks in Chicago, we have a unique opportunity through the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot to help 5,000 households receive $500 in cash per month for one year. Interested people should apply for the cash assistance pilot at this link. The city will then conduct a lottery to select the 5,000 households. Please contact Access Living at if you need help.

Please share these updates with fellow disability advocates. Thank you!