Disability News Service, Resources, Diversity, Americans with Disabilities Act; Local and National.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

U.S. Presidents with Disabilities

Our nation has had a distinguished line of presidents with a variety of visible and non-visible disabilities, from epilepsy to hearing impairments to learning disabilities
U,S, Presidents speaking publicly about their disability was discouraged during their lifetime. 
On President's Day (and everyday) we honor them for overcoming the challenges they faced as individuals with disabilities and for leading and serving our country. 
William Jefferson Clinton, 1946- (hearing impairment)
42nd President of the United States (1992-2000); wears hearing aids.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1890-1969 (learning disability)
34th President of the United States (1953-1960); leader of the victorious Allied forces in Europe during World War II.
Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826 (learning disability)
3rd President of the United States (1801-1809); author of the Declaration of Independence; remembered as a great president, a diplomat, political thinker, and founder of the Democratic Party; reported to have many learning difficulties.
John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 (learning disability, chronic back pain)
35th President of the United States (1960-1963); the youngest man ever elected President and the youngest ever to die in office;  won world respect as the leader of the Free World.
Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865 (major depression)
16th President (1860-1863); suffered from severe, incapacitating, and occasional suicidal depression; also thought to have Marfan Syndrome.
James Madison, 1751-1836 (epilepsy)
4th President (1809-1817); drafted the Bill of Rights; often referred to as the Father of the Constitution; played a leading role in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 where he helped design the checks and balances system that equalizes the roles of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government; also created the federal system.
Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004 (hearing impairment)
40th President of the United States (1980-1988); also served two terms as governor of California; in 1932 became a radio announcer for WOC in Davenport, Iowa and later WHO in Des Moines, Iowa; in 1937 he signed a contract with Warner Brothers and his first film was “Love is on the Air.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1882-1945 (polio)
32nd President of the United States (1933-1945); promised to create jobs for the unemployed and gave assistance to those in need; suffered with polio and worked very hard to hide the extent of his disability.
Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919 (visual impairment)26th President of the United States (1901-1909); founder of the Progressive Party; an avid boxer, he suffered a severe blow to the head that detached his retina and led to blindness in the affected eye. 
George Washington, 1732-1799 (learning disability)
1st President of the United States (1789-1797); was unable to spell throughout his life and his grammar usage was very poor; thought to have learning disabilities.
Woodrow Wilson, 1856-1924 (learning disability)
28th President of the United States (1913-1921); had a stroke toward the end of his term that left him partially paralyzed; known to have a dyslexia; World War I leader awarded Nobel Peace Prize for Versailles Treaty, 1919; domestic reforms included 1914 creation of Federal Reserve.

Donald J. Trump, 2017 - (Suspected ADHD) The current president is believed to have Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) , though not officially diagnosed or acknowledged by the White House.

# originally posted July 2015

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Chicago's Emergency Preparedness Resources for People with Disabilities and Seniors In An Emergency

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities
City of Chicago Links and Resources

Notify Chicago is a city service that provides residents with recorded telephone messages, text messages and/or e-mail alerts on various emergency and non-emergency situations taking place throughout Chicago.

Emergency Assistance Voluntary Registry

The City of Chicago’s Voluntary Emergency Assistance Registry (click) was created to provide police, fire and other emergency personnel with important information about the type of assistance people with disabilities and seniors would need in an emergency.

The City of Chicago continues to coordinate partnerships that will strengthen the response, rescue and recovery efforts of first responders as well as assist in protecting Chicago’s critical infrastructure. As such, the Chicago Police Department (CPD), Chicago Fire Department (CFD) and Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) have joined forces to ensure the highest level of preparedness for local businesses through the Chicago’s Public and Private Partnership (CP3) initiative.

The CP3 portal will immediately assist first responders across all agencies in saving time, life and property during an emergency event. The CP3 portal gives the private sector the opportunity to proactively update critical information regarding their infrastructure, such as, floor plans and security operations at their specific locations. The portal provides a one-stop-shop for the private sector and first responders to communicate critical information. Business owners, tenants and members of a facility’s management teams are encouraged to enroll to become a CP3 partner.

Federal Emergency and Management Agency (FEMA)
Links and Resources

The ready.gov website has a section focused on preparedness information for people with disabilities or functional needs. It includes an instructional video as well as the brochure “Prepared for Emergencies Now: Information for people with Disabilities” (copy of brochure attached).

Ready.gov also has basic emergency preparedness resources that may be useful, such as printable wallet cards to write emergency contact numbers or other information on.

Spanish language version of ready.gov can be found at www.listo.gov

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Sign Language

Preparedness Videos

ASL videos on topics such as making a plan, building a kit, getting trained, volunteering, sheltering in place, going to a shelter, planning for people with functional needs, and planning for evacuations.
Accessible Communication 4 All

This site includes downloadable sheets of common emergency terms with pictures and/or words.
Feeling Safe Being Safe

Tools developed by and for people with disabilities: This site includes a workbook that will help individuals to make an emergency plan, a video that demonstrates how to complete the workbook and put together a home emergency kit, and a printable magnet to post important emergency contact information on the refrigerator for first responders.

Information posted as shared by the City of Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) ...

# previous posted May 2014, all links are up to as of the repost.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Signing Ceremony on July 26, 1990 : short video chronicles the historic event

The ADA stands as one of the most important civil rights documents in the history of the United States, as it guaranteed for the first time that all People with Disabilities have the right to participate fully as equal members in society.

Signing Ceremony for Americans with Disabilities Act - National Archives and Records Administration (1990-07-26 - ARC 1656530, LI 220-DISAB-1) 
South Lawn, White House

The short video chronicles the events of July 26, 1990, when four thousand people gathered on the South Lawn of the White House to witness then President George H.W. Bush sign the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law.

American History from the Presidential Libraries 
By Susan K. Donius, Director of the Office of Presidential Libraries, U.S. National Archives (posted July 26, 2012)

This year marks the 22nd (25th*) Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Act into law on the White House South Lawn in front of an audience of 3,000 people. On that day, America became the first country to adopt a comprehensive civil rights declaration for people with disabilities.

The ADA was a landmark moment in history, designed to provide universal accessibility in the areas of employment, public service, public accommodations and telecommunications. As President Barack Obama noted in 2009 at the signing of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Proclamation, the ADA “was a formal acknowledgment that Americans with disabilities are Americans first, and they are entitled to the same rights and freedoms as everybody else: a right to belong and participate fully in the American experience; a right to dignity and respect in the workplace and beyond; the freedom to make of our lives what we will.”

Among the holdings of the Presidential Libraries of the National Archives are many letters, meeting notes, photos and White House memos that document the collaborative process of creating the ADA. The Presidential Libraries have protected and shared the records of every Presidential administration since 1929, and the history of people with disabilities is woven throughout.

Sierra Gregg is a second year intern in the Office of Presidential Libraries, who recognizes the importance of sharing Presidential records related to disability history. She has been closely involved in a project to make a selection of these documents accessible to a wide audience. The following post is written by Sierra, about the Americans with Disabilities research page that is now available on the National Archives website.

I was born visually impaired one year after the signing of the ADA. I have grown up in a world where my visual impairment is not a hindrance to my success, only a characteristic of who I am. The ADA has made it possible for me to get the help I need to work toward my academic and professional goals.

However, the story of disability civil rights did not start with the ADA and it certainly did not end on that day 22 years ago. The efforts to ensure independence and equality for people with disabilities have a long and fascinating history. Throughout the course of two summer internships, I have worked on the Presidential Libraries team to collect a small sample of records related to Americans with disabilities. This collection will be added to the research topic section of the National Archives’ website and will contain at least one record from every Presidential administration since Herbert Hoover.

Although the collection contains records related to different disabilities, the records directly related to visual impairments are particularly meaningful to me. I believe my favorite record in the collection is a Braille letter written to President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 by then-thirteen-year-old John Beaulieu. I first saw the letter on display in the Public Vaults exhibit of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. I still wish I could read the words with my fingers instead of just listening to the description. I was duly impressed that Beaulieu wrote the letter using a slate and stylus; I never quite mastered the art of using the slate. In order to write using the slate and stylus a thick piece of paper is placed face down in the slate, the stylus is used to punch out dots in the paper. The trick is every letter has to be written backwards so it can be read when the page is flipped.

The collection also contains two letters written to President Herbert Hoover by Helen Keller. She wrote letters to eight U.S. Presidents, starting in 1903 with Theodore Roosevelt. She also personally met 13 Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson. I must admit to feeling a twinge of envy when I learned that during a visit to the White House, she investigated her historic surroundings with touch. She even identified a bust of George Washington with her fingers.

The Americans with Disabilities research collection currently includes more than 50 different records. They range from Keller’s letters to President Hoover to photos of a White House dinner hosted by President Clinton, honoring the Special Olympics. It’s a resource that will continue to grow, and one that sheds light on an important part of disability, and American, history.

# Learn more by visiting the Americans with Disabilities research page from the Presidential Libraries at: https://www.archives.gov/research/americans-with-disabilities.

# Susan K. Donius is the Director of the Office of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives and Records Administration.
# Sierra Gregg is a senior at Truman State University in Missouri where she is studying computer science. This year, she was awarded a scholarship from the National Federation of the Blind.

# post was originally posted July, 2011.

Friday, May 25, 2018

History of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.. (Wikipedia)

"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."  President John F. Kennedy

Friday, December 22, 2017

Hardrock, Coco and Joe -- The Three Little Dwarfs : Chicago Christmas Memories of Years Long Gone

For many of us in the Chicago area, the three cartoons posted below were a staple of our childhood. WGN9 in Chicago shows such as Ray Rayner and Friends, Garfield Goose and Friends, and of course The Bozo Show would play the cartoons every Christmas season. Though the purpose of Ability Chicago Info is disability related information, every now and then we all need to take a moment to relax and remember when,,, Jim

Historic Chicago Kids TV Christmas video: Hardrock, Coco and Joe -- The Three Little Dwarfs

u shall hear
A story fantastic, a story so queer
It's all about Santa and his helpers three
There's Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe

Now Hardrock's the driver up there by his sleigh
Coco reads maps and he shows him the way
Though old Santa really has no need for Joe
But takes him cause he loves him so

Ole olady olady I ay
Donner and Blitzen away away
Ole olady olady I oh
I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe

And Santa is busy with his heavy pack
He trusts his drivers and never looks back
Ole olady olady I oh
I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe

Now go to bed early on this Christmas Eve
I've no way of knowing just what you'll recieve
But you'll hear their laughter that much I do know
‘Twill be Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe

The 3 little men only 2 feet high
Singing to Santa way up in the sky
Laughing and shouting as the sleigh bells ring
It's Hardrock, and Coco, and Joe

Ole olady olady I ay
Donner and Blitzen away away
Ole olady olady I oh
He's Hardrock, he's Coco, he's Joe

And Santa is busy with his heavy pack
He trusts his drivers and never looks back
Ole olady olady I oh
He's Hardrock, he's Coco, he's Joe

Ol' Santa will come in and set down his pack
And Hardrock will hold the reindeer till Santa comes back
If you hear a giggle as he turns to go
It's Coco, a snowball,...and Joe!

Ole olady olady I ay
Donner and Blitzen away away
Ole olady olady I oh
I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe

And Santa is busy with his heavy pack
He trusts his drivers and never looks back
Ole olady olady I oh
I'm Hardrock, I'm Coco, I'm Joe
Ole olady olady I oh.

Additional Information

"The Three Little Dwarfs" That's what the original title of this little Christmas short was called. But we remembered them from the song. Hardrock, Coco & Joe.

Every Christmas morning this favorite was played on the Chicago children shows Bozo and Garfield Goose. It is still shown today, along with the other two favorites, 'Suzie Snowflake, and Frosty the Snowman.

This was the trilogy of childhood memories.

Very little, if anything is really known as to where these films came from. When asked around about these little gems people would acknowledge they're existence but that was it.

The video copies of these shorts have a copyright and other info at the bottom of the screen as they would begin, but the quality is so bad that you can hardly make it out.

All we know is that they are played every year at Christmas, and continue to bring back the memories of years long gone.


Historic Chicago Kids TV Christmas video: Suzy Snowflake

Historic Chicago Kids TV Christmas video: Frosty the Snowman

# this is a repost every Christmas Season, Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Remind U.S. Congress that they represent YOU! - Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Dec. 2017 - Congress is determined to pass their disastrous tax bill before their scheduled recess begins on FridayThis week is critical - we need your voice to stop this billYour advocacy has already significantly delayed their process, and with your help we can grind it to a halt. There are a lot of people trying to influence the outcome of this fight, which is why it’s so important that your Members of Congress hear from the people they represent--you.

What’s in the tax bill?

Short answer: we don’t know yet. Long answer: all the components of the previous House and Senate bills are on the table, including:
  • Taking the “affordable” out of Affordable Care Act. The Senate version of the bill repeals the individual mandate. The consequences of that would be a 10% hike in premiums and 13 million Americans losing health insurance outright.

  • Blowing up the deficit, paving the way for massive cuts to Medicaid and social services. The tax bill will increase the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion - and Congress has openly admitted that they’re planning on paying for it by slashing funding to Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP, and other social services.

  • Automatic cuts to Medicare, food stamps, special education, and affordable housing. The $1.5 trillion deficit created by the tax bill would trigger mandatory cuts to federal programs across the board. Medicare alone would see a $25 billion cut in 2018.

  • A health tax on people with high medical expenses. The House bill eliminates the medical expense deduction, which allows people to deduct medical expenses exceeding 10% of their income.

What can I do?

You can use ContactingCongress.org to find the phone numbers of your Members of Congress. When you call, you can use our script below, and if you don’t speak, you can call using your AAC device, or get a friend to call in and read your message.

My name is [your full name]. I’m a constituent of [Representative/Senator] [Name], and I live in [your town]. I’m calling to ask the [Representative/Senator] to vote NO on the final tax bill. No matter what the conference committee does, we already know that the final bill would balloon the deficit, leave the door open to cut funding to Medicaid, and automatically cut vital services including food stamps, special education, and Medicare.

People with disabilities in our state like [me/ my family member/ my friends] are not disposable, and our basic services are not your trust fund. Please vote AGAINST any tax bills that repeal the ACA or set up cuts to services disabled people rely on to survive. We’re calling on you to defend everyday Americans by standing up to this tax bill.

Calling your Members of Congress is crucial because it shows them that the people they were elected to represent do not support this bill. 

What now?

If you’ve already called, call again. After you call, send your Members of Congress an email or a fax. This site makes it easy to send free faxes to your Senators and Representative. Then, ask 5 people to call and email their Members of Congress too. Congress is making a huge push to get this bill through this week - so let’s show up, push back, and stop the tax bill in its tracks.


Autistic Self Advocacy Network Dec. 2017 press release

Federal Agency Sues Henry's Turkey Farm owner for Exploiting Mentally Disabled Workers for Years

Dec. 11, 2017 - Four years ago, an Iowa jury handed a group of intellectually disabled workers who had been exploited for years the nation’s largest-ever award in an employment discrimination case: a staggering $240 million.
The 'Bunkhouse' has been demolished.
article by Clark Kauffman for the Des Moines Register 
It was intended to compensate 32 men for the decades they'd spent in indentured servitude while employed by Henry’s Turkey Service, a labor broker accused of paying the men as little as 41 cents an hour while providing them with housing in a dilapidated bunkhouse on the outskirts of Atalissa.

The jury's award was immediately slashed to just $1.6 million — less than 1 percent of the amount specified by jurors — because of federal caps on damages.

Even so, the verdict represented an uplifting final chapter in a long story of exploitation and abuse.

But now that story has an unexpected postscript.

Robert Canino, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawyer who pursued the case against Henry's, is back in federal court.
This time, he's fighting Joseph Paul Byrd, a former Henry’s Turkey Service supervisor who took over the company’s Newberry, South Carolina, labor camp in the 1980s and kept it running for another 30 years.
In September 2016, the EEOC sued Byrd's company, Work Services Inc., alleging it had forced its intellectually disabled workers to live in a crowded, substandard bunkhouse, paid them “unconscionable wages” that were less than what nondisabled workers were paid, and subjected the men to a hostile work environment in which they were called “stupid,” “retarded” and “dumb.”
The company has denied the allegations, and a trial is scheduled for August.
"Sadly, the discovery of this situation, answers, in part, the question that has arisen since the disturbing Henry's Turkey Service operation came to light in Iowa a few years ago," Canino said. "After seeing how workers with intellectual disabilities had fallen between the societal cracks, being virtually invisible for decades, many have asked, 'Could there be any other situations like this out there or right in our own backyards?'
"The answer, sadly, turned out to be, 'Yes' — and what we found here serves to remind us all to remain vigilant against such abuse of our neighbors and co-workers."

Workers exploited at every turn

In a deposition taken last December as part of a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Labor, Byrd acknowledged that the six disabled workers who lived in the two trailers that made up the Newberry bunkhouse were each charged $800 in monthly rent, while the three or four nondisabled men who lived there paid monthly rent of $150 to $200 each.
During his deposition, Byrd was unable to explain the disparity, except to say that he was maintaining practices established by his former employer, Henry’s Turkey Service,  decades ago.
“That’s just the way it was always done,” he told a lawyer for the Department of Labor. “That’s simply the way it was when I started.”
In his deposition, Byrd also acknowledged that he and his manager, David Perez, forged signatures on the disabled men’s paychecks and cashed them, then paid the men weekly allowances of $50 to $80 each.
Byrd also testified that he took the men’s disability checks as compensation for room and board and deposited the men’s tax refunds into a company account used to pay his personal and business expenses. 
According to Byrd, he began working for Henry’s Turkey Service in 1968, when the company was populating labor camps across the United States with intellectually disabled men recently discharged from state-run institutions in Texas.
Byrd said that because his job was to supervise the individuals running the various labor camps, he traveled from one site to the next, in Iowa, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, South Carolina and Kansas.
At one time, Iowa was home to three labor camps runs by Henry’s — in Ellsworth, Storm Lake and Atalissa.
In 1985, Byrd went into business on his own, purchasing the Henry’s labor camp operation in Newberry, South Carolina. At the time, he said, the bunkhouse consisted of 15 disabled men living in a set of trailers across the street from a turkey processing plant.
Over the next 30 years, the men who worked at the plant would arrive there in the morning, help unload live turkeys from trucks, hang them on hooks and kill them. It was, as Byrd later acknowledged, difficult and repetitive work.  
By 2009, some of the men had become too old or sick to continue working. A few of them retired but continued to live in the bunkhouse. The same was true at Henry’s last remaining bunkhouse, in Atalissa.
Some of the former residents at Henry's Turkey Farm.
The Iowa operation already was winding down in February 2009 when a Des Moines Register investigation triggered a raid by state and federal authorities. All of the Atalissa workers were relocated to fully licensed care facilities, and the bunkhouse was shut down.
But Byrd’s South Carolina operation continued to do business until late 2014, when New York Times reporter Dan Barry, working on a book about the Atalissa operation, discovered the Newberry bunkhouse and reported that six of the original Henry’s workers were still living there.
Because of health problems, two of the men — Claude Wren and Johnny Hickman — had retired from work at the Louis Rich processing plant across the street from the Newberry bunkhouse, Byrd told the Department of Labor.
But the four others — Leon Jones, Carlos Morris, and Jay and John Koch — were still working at the plant and collecting $50 to $100 per week in compensation from Work Services.

Seeking compensation for the workers

According to corporate tax records, Work Services Inc. had annual gross receipts of almost $1 million at that time. An affiliate, Work Service Co., reported more than $600,000 in gross receipts.
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor filed suit against Work Services, Byrd and Perez, alleging they had failed to pay the disabled workers the legally required minimum wage; failed to pay overtime; and failed to keep adequate payroll records.
But the lawsuit was limited in scope: Under federal law, the department could seek payment of only two years’ worth of back wages.
In February, Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Herlong sided with the Department of Labor, granting the agency summary judgment before a trial could take place.
The judge called Byrd’s claim that the workers wanted the company to keep their wages for them “ludicrous,” and he ordered the defendants to pay $165,404 in back wages and damages.
Seven months later, the EEOC filed its own lawsuit against Work Services, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The EEOC’s lawsuit, if successful, could result in far greater damages than the Department of Labor case, because it seeks compensation in three categories: money for the men’s financial losses; for emotional pain, loss of enjoyment of life and humiliation; and punitive damages for the “malicious or reckless conduct” of the company.
In his December 2016 deposition, Byrd acknowledged his bookkeeping at the bunkhouse wasn’t adequate — he kept thousands of dollars owed to the men stuffed inside envelopes hidden at his home, he said — but that he considered the workers family.
“I did a really poor job of keeping records,” he said. “I was trying real hard to take care of them and make their life a little easier and, hopefully, create a place where they could live the rest of their lives. … I had a lot of affection for each and every one of them. Well, when you’ve spent a third of your life or more with them, they become part of your family, nearly.”
Two of the disabled Henry's workers are related: Carl Wayne Jones and Leon Jones are brothers, just a year apart in age. They began working for Henry's in the late 1960s, but the company eventually split them up, sending Carl to Atalissa and Leon to Newberry.   
For decades, the two men didn't see each other.
But in 2014, Canino, the EEOC attorney, set up a Skype connection that enabled the two men, then in their mid-60s, to see and speak to each other for the first time in years.
According to the New York Times, Carl Wayne shared the news that their mother had died long ago; he also talked about his girlfriend and the group home in Waterloo where he lived with some of his friends from the Atalissa bunkhouse.
This year, Carl and his girlfriend got married. Leon rented a tuxedo and, along with some of his friends from the Newberry bunkhouse, traveled to Iowa for the wedding.
"I missed being there," Canino says, "but I am so happy the South Carolina and Iowa guys got to reconnect a bit — especially Carl and Leon."

Henry's Turkey Service still owes millions

No criminal charges were ever filed against Henry’s Turkey Service for the alleged financial exploitation of its Iowa workers, labor law violations, fire-code citations or the lack of a care-facility license at the Atalissa bunkhouse.
At the time, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said the better course of action was to have other agencies pursue civil remedies against company owner Kenneth Henry of Proctor, Texas, who was worth about $3 million.
Several state and federal agencies imposed administrative penalties, or won court judgments, against the company.
They eventually totaled $5.9 million, but Kenneth Henry refused to surrender any of his assets or enter into a payment-plan agreement with the federal government before he died in April 2016.
In recent years, however, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Labor have aggressively pursued collection efforts.
To date, they have distributed roughly $800,000 to the disabled former employees of Henry's. They expect to soon collect an additional $900,000 from the estate of Kenneth Henry, which should bring the total recovery for the Atalissa workers to $1.7 million.
Here's a look at the various judgments and penalties imposed against Henry's:
  • May 2009: Iowa Workforce Development imposed a $900,000 penalty against Henry's for violating state labor laws. The penalty was later increased to more than $1.1 million.
  • November 2009: The U.S. Department of Labor sued the company for federal labor law violations, resulting in a court judgment against the company for $1.8 million.
  • September 2012: After the company offered no resistance or defense to allegations that it violated the fair-wage provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act, a federal judge ordered Henry’s to pay $1.3 million to 32 of its disabled workers.
  • May 2013: An Iowa jury returned a verdict of $240 million against Henry’s Turkey Service for discriminatory employment conditions, but the jury verdict was later reduced to $1.6 million because of federal caps on damages in such cases.


Monday, December 11, 2017

City of Chicago Sidewalk Snow Removal info: REPORT UNSHOVELED SIDEWALKS Q&A

The information is shared from the City of Chicago.

Your responsibility in removing snow and ice from the sidewalks

Many people rely on walking and transit as their primary way to get around, and without a wide, clear path through snow and ice, it is especially difficult for people with disabilities, seniors, and children to walk safely.  According to the Municipal Code of Chicago (4-4-310 & 10-8-180), property owners and occupants are responsible for keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice.
Increase awareness of sidewalk snow removal laws

Sidewalk Snow Removal Door Hangers

The door hangers are intended as a reminder to shovel the sidewalk and offer assistance to anyone physically unable to clear their own sidewalks.  The door hangers emphasize the importance of sidewalk snow removal and safe winter travel.
The door hangers are mailed to aldermanic offices and dozens of businesses and community groups throughout the city for distribution throughout the neighborhoods.
Download Sidewalk Snow Removal Door Hanger (pdf, 1.3mb)

Request a Snow Corp Volunteer

Chicago Snow Corps is a program that connects volunteers with residents in need of snow removal - such as seniors and residents with disabilities.
To request a volunteer to shovel your block in case of extreme snowfall, call 311.  This is a volunteer-matching service.  The City will do its best to match those who have requested assistance.

Report locations that DO NOT clear sidewalks to 311

Report locations that DO NOT clear their sidewalks by making a "Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk" request with
the City of Chicago 311 Service Request line.
DIAL 311 or Online Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk Request If calling from outside Chicago, call 312.744.5000
When you make a "Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk" request, please note the following:
- Make sure the problem occurs on the sidewalk.
DO NOT use this category to report snow on streets, parking lots, or alleys.
- Provide a specific address where the problem occurs.
- Request a reference number from the operator, this will help you track the status and resolution of your request.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sidewalk Snow Removal

Who is responsible for clearing the sidewalks of snow and ice?

According to the City of Chicago Municipal Code, "Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person having charge of any building or lot of ground abutting upon any public way or public space shall remove the snow and ice from the sidewalk..."
It is everyone's responsibility to make sure the sidewalks are clear of snow and ice.  We are all pedestrians and benefit from having a safe, clear, and continuous path to travel.

How long do I have to clear the sidewalks?

If the snow stops falling before 4 p.m. you have three hours to clear except on Sunday.
If the snow stops falling after 4 p.m. or on Sunday, you have to clear before 10 a.m. on the next day.

How much snow do I need to clear to comply with the ordinance?

The City of Chicago Municipal Code requires individuals to clear a 5 foot wide path along the sidewalk, where conditions allow. 
This width provides mobility and access to pedestrians in wheelchairs, people with children in strollers, students walking to school, and individuals with assistive devices.

What is the best way to remove snow from the sidewalk?

- Remove snow and ice along ALL sidewalks adjacent to your property including any ramps to the crosswalk
- Move snow to your yard or the parkway adjacent to your property
- Do not push snow into the street
- Do not cover the crosswalks
- Do not block alley entrances
- Do not pile snow around fire hydrants

What happens if I don't clear my sidewalk?

Individuals who do not comply can face fines of $50.
Businesses that do not comply can face fines up to $1000 per day of violation.

# The above information is from: City of Chicago, CDOT at:

Chicago Snow Corps - connects volunteers with residents in need of snow removal – such as seniors and residents with disabilities.

* this is a reposted page, with updates as available. 
Chicago 2014 Winter - Jim Watkins.

CIVIL IMMUNITIES [Illinois Compiled Statutes]
(745 ILCS 75/) Snow and Ice Removal Act.
(745 ILCS 75/1) (from Ch. 70, par. 201)Sec. 1. It is declared to be the public policy of this State that owners and others residing in residential units be encouraged to clean the sidewalks abutting their residences of snow and ice. The General Assembly, therefore, determines that it is undesirable for any person to be found liable for damages due to his or her efforts in the removal of snow or ice from such sidewalks, except for acts which amount to clear wrongdoing, as described in Section 2 of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 81-591.)
(745 ILCS 75/2) (from Ch. 70, par. 202)Sec. 2. Any owner, lessor, occupant or other person in charge of any residential property, or any agent of or other person engaged by any such party, who removes or attempts to remove snow or ice from sidewalks abutting the property shall not be liable for any personal injuries allegedly caused by the snowy or icy condition of the sidewalk resulting from his or her acts or omissions unless the alleged misconduct was willful or wanton.
(Source: P.A. 81-591.)


The rules of snow shoveling in Chicago

Fox News Chicago By Lisa Chavarria, FOX 32 News Reporter | Jan 30, 2015

To shovel or not to shovel? hat is the question for people living in the city. You either risk getting hit with a fine, or you risk getting sued.

Chicago winter's can be rough for anyone, but even more so for pedestrians like Jake Fruend.

"I've fallen a couple of times. You know, it's part of the sport I guess of Chicago in the winter time," said Fruend.

A simple walk home becomes a greater challenge when sidewalks are not shoveled.

"There are times when you're trying to get from A to B and there's just some absurd amount of craziness on the sidewalk that you just can't get past," added Fruend.

The expected weekend snowfall is forcing the city to remind residents and businesses they need to shovel their sidewalks.

Here's how it works: if the snow stops falling before 4 p.m., you have three hours to clear except on Sunday. If the snow stops falling after 4 p.m. or on Sunday, you have until 10 a.m. the next day to clear it.

You may have heard this before, but some may think not shoveling their sidewalks will save them from liability if someone slips and falls in front of their home.

Personal injury attorneys, like Marvet Sweis Drnovsek, add that just isn't the case, thanks to Illinois law.

"There is a law out there that protects them when they shovel their driveway and the adjacent sidewalk. We want people to get in and out of their property, of course. So the law recognizes that and protects them," said Drnovsek.

Drnovsek also said homeowners can only be sued if there is negligence.

"Don't see a patch of ice, cover it up with some snow and leave it and somebody comes and slips. Even as a joke, it's a bad joke, don't do it," she added. "That's where the law comes in and protects pedestrians."

The city will ticket residents for not complying with the ordinance, but only after being warned or after neighbors file a complaint.

Last year the city saw some of the highest amount of tickets issued, primarily because of the amount of snow we saw.

This winter is much more kind-- but for pedestrians, the hope is when it turns ugly, they'll be able to get around.

"I have to walk everywhere all the time, so I'm dealing, I'm dealing with the negligence on a regular basis," added Fruend.

If you need assistance shoveling call 311 to request the city's volunteer assistance.


(Ed. Note)
If you are a senior citizen, or a person with a disability that are not able to remove snow, call you Alderman's office. Many of the Alderman offices will make attempts to assist - especially in election years!!!
# this is a re-post, the information and links are still current.

Chicago Snow Corps: connects volunteers with residents in need of snow removal, such as seniors and residents with disabilities

Snow Corps

Chicago Snow Corps is a program that connects volunteers with residents– such as seniors and residents with disabilities - in need of snow removal.

To request a volunteer to shovel your sidewalk or block in case of extreme snowfall, call 311, submit an online Service Request or contact your Ward office. This is a volunteer-matching service. The City will do its best to match those who have requested assistance with those who have volunteered.

To become a volunteer and help residents with snow removal, join the Snow Corps by filling out the form below. While winter can be hazardous for everyone here in the City of Chicago, it can be especially difficult for elderly and physically disabled residents, who may not have the ability or resources to remove snow from their sidewalks and walkways. Chicago Snow Corps aims to help minimize potential heavy-snow emergencies by pairing volunteers with blocks where elderly and disabled citizens have requested help.

Snow Corps - Frequently Asked Questions About

Chicago Snow Corps is a new program that will connect volunteers with blocks where residents in need of snow removal – such as seniors and disabled people – live.

While winter can be hazardous for everyone here in the City of Chicago, Chicago Snow Corps aims to help minimize potential heavy-snow emergencies by pairing volunteers with blocks where elderly and disabled citizens have requested help.

To request a volunteer to shovel your block in case of extreme snowfall, call 311. This is a volunteer-matching service. The City will work to match those who have requested assistance, in a timely manner but there is no guarantee. This is also not a 24 hour service, the coordination of volunteers will happen M-F during a standard work day unless we have an extreme snow emergency.

What is the Chicago Snow Corps?

Chicago Snow Corps is a City referral program that uses 311 to connect volunteers willing to shovel snow with blocks where those in need of assistance live.

What are the requirements for participating as a volunteer?

To be a volunteer, you need to be willing and able to help shovel out an area as designated to you by the City and have your own equipment, i.e. shovel or snow blower to do so. Volunteers will be notified via email in case of a heavy snowfall. Volunteers are not employees, agents, or contractors of the City of Chicago by virtue of participation in this program.

What are the requirements for participating as an applicant for assistance?

Recipients of assistance must be age 60 or older and/OR have a physical disability. They must also live within Chicago City limits and lack access to the available resources (financial resources or local family/friends) to assist with snow removal.

Please note that we might not be able to have enough volunteers to match up with every resident that places a 311 call for service. This is a voluntary effort and best efforts will be made to help out our most vulnerable residents.

What do I need to know as an applicant for assistance?

Guidelines for recipients include: What you should not do (please
read the following carefully):

Do not expect that a volunteer will provide services other than snow removal:
Do not expect that a volunteer will remove snow other than on the public sidewalks and on a path up to your front door.
Do not expect that your volunteer will remove snow if it is expected to melt within 24 hours.
Do not offer payment for snow removal.
Inviting a volunteer into your home is NOT endorsed by the City.
What do I need to know as a volunteer Chicago Snow Corps member?
Things you should not do (please read the following carefully):
Do not accept any payment or tips for your services.
Do not give your home phone number to your recipient.
Entering a recipient's home is NOT endorsed by the City.
Note: You are not obligated to shovel driveways.
Things you should do (please read the following carefully):
Do remove snow from the sidewalk of your recipient’s house. Clear a path to the front door if specifically requested. You are not obligated to shovel the driveway.
Do shovel the snow within 24 hours after a snowstorm ends.
The City of Chicago, its agents, and its employees (i) are not liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information on this site, (ii) assume no responsibility for anyone's use of the information, and (iii) are not liable for any damages (of any type, for any reason, however caused, or under any theory of liability) arising in any way out of the use of this site.

Join the Snow Corps AtChicagoShovels 

City of Chicago Sidewalk Snow Removal info : REPORT UNSHOVELED SIDEWALKS

# this is a repost from 2013, information and links are up to date as of repost.