Media Alert: Save Disabled Lives


July 31, 2020 | by Emma Olson

Media Alert


Bridget Hayman

Director of Communications

(312) 640-2129

Know Your Rights: Guidance Aims to Address Bias and Discrimination, Save Disabled Lives

WHAT: Access Living, Chicago’s leading service and advocacy organization for disabled people, will host a webinar to discuss how state guidance prohibiting discrimination in emergency treatment and hospital visitation policies can save lives. As the global pandemic continues and COVID-19 cases throughout the country rise, it’s important to understand Illinois guidance that protects people with disabilities and others at risk of bias in lifesaving treatment.

The recent death in June of Michael Hickson, a Black disabled father who had Covid-19 and was denied medical care at a Texas hospital, has reignited an important national conversation about the value of disabled lives and the intersection of race and disability. Disability rates are higher in communities of color, compounding existing disparities in medical care during the pandemic and beyond.

WHEN: 5 p.m. Monday, August 3.

WHERE: Register here to attend via Zoom.

Media questions will be taken upon request and interviews with participants are available upon request.


  • Karen Tamley is President and CEO of Access Living. 
  • James L. (Jim) Bennett is Illinois Department of Human Rights Director responsible for overseeing the agency’s primary goals to prohibit discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability and more.
  • Anita Cameron is the Director of Minority Outreach at Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights group that opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia as deadly forms of discrimination against disabled people. 
  • Mary Rosenberg is a staff attorney at Access Living where she represents people with disabilities in discrimination cases.
  • Emcee: Dr. Angel Miles is the Healthcare and Home and Community-Based Services Policy Analyst at Access Living.

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Nationally recognized as a leading force in the disability advocacy community, Access Living challenges stereotypes, protects civil rights and champions social reform.