4/6: Media Highlights and Resources from Access Living


April 6, 2020 | by Amber Smock

4/6: Media Highlights and Resources from Access Living

Dear Access Living friends and allies,

It’s the start of another work week here at Access Living, and we’d like to catch you up on several important developments/resources. Please read through this email carefully; we share several items that we also highlighted late Friday afternoon, in case you missed them.

Access Living and Frontline Providers in the News: In case you missed it, Access Living’s new President and CEO, Karen Tamley, was part of this Chicago Tonight news panel segment on providing frontline services in Chicago during the COVID-19 crisis. Check it out. Our Latinx and Immigration Community Organizer, Michelle Garcia, was featured in this excellent frontline story from WTTW, our local public news station. Great job Karen and Michelle! Both segments are captioned.

Prone Restraints Back in Illinois?: While everyone has been busy advocating for education opportunities for students with disabilities in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, legislators backed by private schools abruptly allowed prone restraints despite stakeholders’ consensus on banning them. See this news story from the Chicago Tribune. Access Living’s Chris Yun is quoted, expressing dismay at this turn of events. We will continue to monitor and advocate on this disturbing development.

Illinois Emergency Backup Personal Attendants: If you live in Illinois, use the Home Services Program (HSP), and, due to COVID-19, you are without a backup HSP personal attendant/home care worker, there is a new statewide emergency hotline number being run by the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living (INCIL). That number is 1-800-587-1227 (by phone or relay) during regular weekday business hours. If you live in the City of Chicago and participate in HSP, you can also call Access Living directly at (312) 640-2100 as we are coordinating the backup service in the city.

Illinois DHS-DRS Hotline: If you are a customer of the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation Services (DHS-DRS), they have set up a new COVID-19 crisis hotline to help you navigate your DRS issues. The number is 1-877-581-3690 by phone or relay service.

Access Living COVID-19 Resource Page: Staff have been working hard to compile resources. Many are local; some are national. You can see our resource page here.

Support Persons at Hospitals: We encourage more medical facilities to follow the lead of Rush University Medical Center, which has adjusted its no-visitor policy to allow for one support person to accompany people with disabilities getting medical service at Rush. The no-visitor ban has caused great stress for many people with disabilities who require a support person, so please take a look at Rush’s example.

Please feel free to share this information with those who will benefit from it. Thank you for your advocacy.