ADA 25 Advancing Leadership

Ensuring Full Inclusion of Leaders with Disabilities in Chicago’s Civic and Professional Life

ADA 25 Advancing Leadership is the nation’s first initiative of its kind designed specifically to ensure that Chicago’s vibrant civic and professional life fully includes leaders with disabilities. The brand new initiative is composed of three facets:

  • Competitively selected Members
  • An annual leadership institute that provides training for emerging leaders and annual networking and educational programming
  • A Civic Connections project that actively works to connect its members with relevant opportunities to serve in the Chicago region

It directly addresses two critical needs: the desire of public officials, nonprofit boards and other appointed civic leaders for a pipeline of qualified people with disabilities; and the perception of many people with disabilities that they lack access to the networks that facilitate entry to leadership positions.

ADA 25 Chicago: Greater > Together

ADA 25 Advancing Leadership grew out of ADA 25 Chicago, a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2015. With lead funding from The Chicago Community Trust, the initiative leveraged this milestone to increase inclusion of people with disabilities—often considered the last frontier of civil rights.

ADA 25 Chicago celebrated the contributions of people with disabilities and worked with civic leaders, partner organizations, the disability community and the public to chart a brighter future so people with disabilities enjoy full inclusion in the civic, social and economic life of the community.