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By Amanda Fowler

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADA25 Chicago, in collaboration with the Chicago Business Leaders Network (CBLN), launched the first annual Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit on November 16, 2015.

Once I started losing my vision back in grade school it always took me longer than my classmates to get the work done. Although with the books on tape and advancements in technology, I was able to keep up. Yet, it was still frustrating to see my peers get the work done quicker, especially when it wasn't that I couldn't comprehend the information, my vision requires that I go at a slower pace.   Over the years I was able to master my skills and manage the work load. However, once I got into the work force, the rate of growth, and the advancement of technology, kept pushing me further and further behind. Once I mastered a certain program or piece of technology, there was a new version, with new icons.  

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu and U.S. Representative Bill Foster held an employer breakfast recently on hiring people with disabilities. More than 60 people attended the event held in Oswego, Illinois on Tuesday, August 26.

In addition to Deputy Secretary Lu and Representative Foster, an expert panel of state and local service providers talked about effective disability hiring strategies and resources.


Register Now! (Registration is required for the Job Fair and Workshops)

The SSA Human Resource team in the Chicago office regularly reviews the Abilitylinks resume database for potential candidates, especially for temp to hire positions. AbilityLinks Counselors alert social security recruiters to qualified AbilityLinks candidates on an ongoing basis.

Recently, three Abilitylinks job seekers have been recruited by the SSA Chicago Regional Office. After being hired as a temp, Ms. Pieniawas was offered a permanent position based on excellent job performance. "I'm pleased that SSA has developed a relationship with AbilityLinks and proud that we're a useful tool for finding candidates with disabilities that can do the job. It's great that Ms. Pieniawas is doing so well," Ms. Duvall said.

By Mark Williams

Know the Impressions You Make. Make the Impressions You Want.


There's no avoiding that some of my postings have had a negative slant to them, and a darker casting.  I won't apologize for it; when things are bad, the responsible, mature, beneficial members of the community keep their eyes, minds, and hearts open.  It doesn't matter if voices in the dark speak loudly or softly, but they should be present, meaningful, and contributing.  The contributions don't necessitate relentless or naive positivity, but optimism that's been measured, qualified, tested, and proven carries as much value as the thudding war drums resonating in the deep.  I believe the world ain't all bad, and that's what

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from August, 2014, 80.2% of persons with disabilities are not participating in the labor force. The non participation rate for persons without disabilities is only 31.8% according to the same report.  The latest-recorded unemployment rate for disabled job seekers (from August 2014) stands at 12.8.%, versus 6% for the non-disabled community. These are discouraging numbers, but my point in thi

Cynics say that the belief and reality that people all make and live in one community is an idealist's refuge of theory and abstraction.  I believe this point of view is untrue and damnable, and my reasoning is grounded in the progressing injustice being executed in Ferguson, Missouri.  Michael Brown has been laid to rest, and the facts and judgments surrounding his death are in dispute, but I believe that the circumstances spiraling out from the gunning down of an eighteen-year-old in the street in broad daylight are less important than the undeniable truth that this young man died violently

Click this link to read the August 2014 AbilityLinks Newsletter

             I know I’m addressing women and men with these words, not girls or boys or newborns unaware of how the world works and what civilization expects, so in detailing common topics like motivation and success, I’ll avoid tidy fortune cookie platitudes such as “Believe in yourself!”  You’re adults, professionals who work.  If you didn’t understand the value of belief and perseverance, you wouldn’t be given the responsibilities and rewards that define professionalism.  Keeping this in mind, then, I think I have some information relevant to assisting professional me