The Disabilities Fund of the Chicago Community Trust advises about disability inclusion and priorities for practical solutions in the areas of employment, education, community and technology for people with disabilities in the Chicago region. The Disabilities Fund needed a tool to help raise awareness and spark discussion among disability advocates, the business community and policymakers.


The data available came from a wide variety of sources and covered different geographic areas that did not always match. In addition, there was a lot of information to choose from. It was critical to narrow down key information to tell a clear story of what it means to have a disability without associating disabled people with negative aspects of the challenges they face. We also wanted to figure out how to convey meaningful, digestible information in a format that is 100% accessible and visually interesting.  

  • 508 and ADA Accessibility
  • Animation
  • Captioning and Subtitling
  • Data Visualization
  • Infographics
  • Advocacy
  • Community
  • Public Health

Aha! Moment

A series of important topics emerged, including disability in the Chicago region and as it relates to youth and to the private sector. We decided to create clear and neutral infographics using a logical order and consistent, accessible design across all fact sheets. We also saw an opportunity to animate the Youth and Disability fact sheet in order to reach a broader audience and bring the facts and statistics to life.


In each fact sheet, the text and images work together to show relationships and correlations in the data, beginning with breakdowns of the disabled population by demographic and moving to what barriers these populations are likely to encounter. The neutral iconography and consistent color scheme keep the focus on the issues discussed in the text. Each fact sheet ends with a call to action giving the viewer or listener ways to learn more and get involved.

From the youth and disability fact sheet, we created an animation that used key infographics, color cues and custom-designed graphics, all set to music and narration. We ensured accessibility through an audio description and transcript. The animation’s narrator is an ADA25 Advancing Leadership Fellow, a voice from the disability community.


The fact sheets were shared with the Metropolitan Mayor’s Caucus, including 272 mayors in the metropolitan area, and at the Ford Foundation’s Disability Inclusion Conference. They are also now being shared by the Chicago Community Trust via their website and social media. They connect with different audiences to raise awareness about issues critical to the disabled community and how individuals and institutions can begin to work towards solutions. They serve as a conduit for those familiar and unfamiliar with these situations to dig deeper and consider how they can ensure a more inclusive Chicago region.

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