Self-Advocating for Reasonable Accommodations: Four Women Share their Stories Tonight

A pair of sunglasses on a white desk next to a keyboard and mouse.Tonight, Thursday, November 18, 2021, I will be one of four women with disabilities on an hour-long free Zoom panel sponsored by the Skokie Public Library:

Self Advocacy and the ADA–Online Event: Personal Perspectives, Challenges, and Success Stories
Thursday, November 18, 2021
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Zoom Event

What does self-advocacy look like when navigating the world with a disability? Four panelists from different fields share stories of how they’ve advocated for reasonable accommodations.

Panelists will share lessons learned and provide tips on fighting for more fair and just treatment in the workplace and beyond.

The three panelists with me are Deirdre Keane, a teacher/librarian who was born with a hearing loss and got a cochlear implant during her freshman year in college; Michele Lee, an experienced finance professional who uses a wheelchair; and Tina Childress, a late-deafened adult with bilateral cochlear implants. The four of us will each be given 10 minutes to tell a few personal stories of advocating for ourselves, leaving time afterwards for discussion and questions. My plan is to talk fast and describe three experiences, one a success, another a collaboration, and the third a failure:

  1. Appearing at a Chicago city court after a cab driver refused me a ride with my Seeing eye dog.
  2. Graduating from training to volunteer with hospice and never being paired with a patient
  3. Challenges I faced when the health club I’d been swimming at closed due to COVID and no other indoor pool facility would allow my Seeing Eye dog to lead me poolside to swim laps.

The hour-long panel is free, it will be hosted on Zoom on Thursday, November 18 at 7pm CST, and you can register for it here. There’s a spot on the registration form to enter a library card number, but a library card number is NOT required to register. You can attend free of charge even if you are not a member of the Skokie Public Library. Questions? Call the library at 847-673-7774.


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