Module 3 – Understanding Accessibility

3.2 The Lived Experience with Karen Tamley

In this section you will learn from the first hand experiences of Karen Tamley, who is a member of the U.S. Federal Access Board. She is President and CEO of Access Living, a community based center that provides resources and support for persons with disabilities in Chicago.

Karen Tamley has expanded opportunities for the residents of Chicago both as a city official running the Mayor’s Office for Persons with Disabilities and now as a non-profit executive. Having worked as a city official, she understands first hand how her work on accessibility and her lived experience as a person with a disability can change a city. Let’s hear what she has to say.

Essential Questions

While watching the video, think about the following questions:

  • How does the age of city infrastructure impact the accessibility of cities?
  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the lived experience of persons with disabilities?
  • How can decision making at the city or community level improve the situation for persons with disabilities?

Learn more about Karen Tamley

Karen lead work on disability policy and accessibility initiatives:

Karen as Chicago Disability Commissioner has led disability-related work in the areas of transportation, city infrastructure, technology, emergency planning, education and employment: