2014 – Rachel Weisberg
Rachel Weisberg joined Equip for Equality as a staff attorney in 2012. Her practice focuses on litigating disability rights discrimination claims in a variety of forums. Rachel has helped clients win favorable outcomes in cases ranging from the exclusion from businesses to the denial of housing to the reduction of State-provided home services critical for independent living. She has also fought to help clients gain access to meaningful employment and post-secondary opportunities, and reasonable accommodations within the workplace and higher education setting. In addition to her casework, Rachel serves as Equip for Equality’s Illinois ADA Project Manager. Under her leadership, the Project has provided dozens of trainings throughout the country that are designed to prevent discrimination before it happens by educating employers, schools, and businesses about ADA compliance, and empowering people with disabilities to engage in self-advocacy. Rachel’s advocacy and expertise have been instrumental in advancing civil rights for countless people with disabilities in Chicago and beyond.
Rachel’s unyielding dedication to the disability rights movement stems from her experience growing up with a father with a disability. Rachel saw firsthand the injustices and inequities that exist for people with disabilities and their families, and she has devoted her professional life to removing architectural and workplace barriers for others with disabilities. After college, Rachel worked at the Disability Rights Council and the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center in Washington, D.C. and sought out activities, such as taking sign language classes, that would prepare her to serve the disability community. Realizing that she could make a more meaningful impact with a law degree, Rachel attended Northwestern University School of Law, graduating cum laude. Both during and after law school, Rachel continued to seek out opportunities to fight for disability rights, including interning at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Disability Rights Section and at Equip for Equality, and working for a short period at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office in the Civil Rights and Disability Rights Bureau sections.
As a result of her extraordinary efforts and accomplishments advocating for low-income individuals, Rachel was awarded a CBF Sun-Times Public Interest Law Fellowship in 2014, a financial award that will help meet her law school loan obligations. “I am honored to receive the Sun-Times Fellowship, and am very grateful to the Chicago Bar Foundation for this incredible opportunity. Because of this Fellowship, I will have the financial security to be able to continue to fight to advance civil rights for people with disabilities.”