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

Monday, November 26, 2018

City of Chicago Sidewalk Snow Removal info: REPORT UN-SHOVELED SIDEWALKS Q&A

The information is shared from the City of Chicago. The below info is current as of November 2018.

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)

Report locations that DO NOT clear sidewalks to 311

Report locations that DO NOT clear their sidewalks by making a "Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk or Bike Lane" request with 
the City of Chicago 311 Service Request line.
DIAL 311 or Online Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk or Bike Lane RequestIf calling from outside Chicago, call 312.744.5000
When you make a "Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk or Bike Lane" 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

Why is sidewalk snow removal important?
Chicagoans of all ages and abilities need to use the sidewalks to get where they're going every day of the year. Many children, older adults, and people with disabilities face serious mobility challenges in winter time. Clear sidewalks are a shared community responsibility, and this new ordinance clarifies the requirements for snow and ice removal.
Do the new regulations for sidewalk snow removal in Chicago apply to home, business, and property owners?
Yes, the new sidewalk snow regulations affect all home, business, and property owners in Chicago. Business owners that rent space adjacent to sidewalks are responsible for shoveling snow under the ordinance. Some landlords for residential and commercial property hold tenants responsible for snow clearance as a part of their lease agreements, other don't. Renters who aren't certain of their shoveling responsibilities should check their rental agreements or ask their landlords for clarification.
When do the new regulations take effect?
The new regulations took effect November 28, 2015.
When do I have to shovel my snow?
You must shovel snow as soon as possible after it falls. Snow that falls between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm must be removed no later than 10:00 pm. Snow that falls between the hours of 7:00 pm and 7:00 am must be removed by 10:00 am.
Do I have to shovel on weekends?
Yes. You must shovel 7 days a week in the City of Chicago.
In what way should I shovel my sidewalks to be in compliance?
You must clear a path at least 5 feet wide on all of the sidewalks adjacent to your property, including any crosswalk ramps. Do not shovel the snow into the right-of-way, which includes: transit stops and bus pads, parking spaces, bike lanes, bike racks, Divvy stations, and any other space where snow impedes traffic of any kind.
Are there special rules for corner lots?
Yes. If you are responsible for a corner lot, you must remove snow and ice from sidewalks on all sides of your building and from corner sidewalk ramps. This applies to residential property and business owners.
Can I be penalized for failing to shovel?
Yes, you can receive a citation for failure to shovel.  In 2014, 226 citations were issued. The fines range from $50 to $500. The amount of the fine is on a per-case basis, and determined by an Administrative Hearings judge.

How do I report a property owner who fails to shovel their sidewalk?
Report property owners who DO NOT clear their sidewalks by making a "Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk or Bike Lane" request with the City of Chicago 311 Service Request line
Dial 311 or submit a service request online.
If calling from outside Chicago, dial 312-744-5000
When you make a "Snow - Uncleared Sidewalk or Bike Lane" 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.

# 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 from over the years, the information and links are still current as of re-post date.

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Disabled Friendly Approach to Halloween - Great Ideas

As younger children catch the trick or treat bug, Halloween fancy dress has moved away from horror and taken a turn for the creative and clever. This has given rise to a new wave of innovative costumes for disabled children and adults.
In 2011, Twitter came alive with photos of a little boy called Atti dressed as Doctor Who in his wheelchair, which was cleverly made to look like a Tardis.
As well as witches and ghosts, nowadays lots of children are following suit and dressing as their favourite characters from TV and books. With a paucity of disabled princesses and superheroes, kids who use wheelchairs and their parents have to think outside the box... and that box happens to be cardboard, an excellent material for creating a sitting-down costume.
We've seen chairs adapted to look like other wheeled favourites like a digger, an ice cream van and Thomas the Tank Engine depicted widely on the web on blogs, disability sites and photo sharing sites like Pinterest.

Irish dad Paddy Brown found fame this week when a photo of his efforts to turn son Oisin's wheelchair into a bat-mobile went viral. He made the costume so that Oisin would feel included at his school fancy dress party.
Oisin in Bat chair and father Paddy
For girls on wheels a good alternative to the floaty fairy princess seems to be a mermaid outfit. Helpfully there is a website that gives instructions on how you can achieve this look - adopted by Lady GaGa in 2011. In short, simply cover the entire wheelchair with material to hide your legs and make a sparkly fish tail for the back. It's a costume that upright walking people could never achieve.
Disabled adults have been getting in on the act too. Former US Paralympic skier, now motivational speaker Josh Sundquist, is dressing as a flamingo this year. By perching upside down with crutches taking his body weight, his only leg becomes the bird's neck and bill.
Josh Sundquist dressed as a flamingo
Sundquist is known for his clever Halloween costumes that incorporate his limb difference. According to a YouTube video where he reveals this year's look, in 2010 he dressed up as a half-eaten gingerbread man - something an amputee is more readily able to achieve.
The move away from stereotypical disabled oddities or baddies like Edward Scissorhands and Captain Hook who had missing or altered body parts, and Scarface with his facial disfigurement, is no doubt welcome. And on Halloween night, these characters reportedly can confuse and upset children with autism or learning difficulties.
But, we hear you cry, you are discriminating against my disabled dog, he needs a costume too. Never fear, Fido shall go to the fancy dress apple bobbing ball. See below - for a wheelchair-using dachshund dressed as a hotdog.
Dachshund dressed as hot dog


# Originally posted October 2013 / as of Oct. 2018 as links still active

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.

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