Message from the CEO

Browse a collection of messages from Chicago Lighthouse President and CEO Dr. Janet Szlyk on what is happening around The Lighthouse.

Summer 2019 Beam CEO Letter

From the Summer 2019 Beam

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Dear Friends,

As the nation observes the 29th anniversary this month of the passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, The Lighthouse proudly reaffirms its unwavering commitment to promoting access and inclusion. Despite the progress that has been made, we are well aware that much more still needs to be done to insure a more inclusive and equitable society.

First, I want to thank Governor JB Pritzker for taking time from a busy schedule to visit The Lighthouse on June 24. We had a chance to emphasize our mission of promoting access and inclusion while showing him our world class organization. I also want to commend the Governor for his commitment to access by boosting funding in the state budget for people with disabilities.

Special thanks as well need to be extended to our outstanding Board Member Larry Broutman who has done his part to highlight the beauty of inclusion in his delightful new book, Chicago Treasure. Larry, along with his co-authors, Rich Green and John Rabias, have portrayed a diverse group of children, including many with disabilities, as their favorite nursery rhyme or fairy tale characters. As Rich points out by including children with disabilities without calling them out, Larry is sending a powerful message about acceptance and inclusion. In addition, we commend him for generously donating the book’s proceeds to The Lighthouse.

This summer also marks the first anniversary of our wildly popular public art display, Lighthouses on The Mag MileTM, which showed the world what artists with disabilities can do if given the chance. We are building on the success of that effort to launch a spectacular concert, Center Stage for Access and Inclusion, which will take place at Chicago’s famed Navy Pier on September 14.

This very special program, which is FREE and open to all, will feature national and local musicians, dancers and storytellers, many with disabilities, who will dazzle us with their amazing performances. Headlining the event will be Avett Ray, seven-year-old piano prodigy and YouTube sensation who happens to be visually impaired. “Center Stage” promises to provide us with a most memorable experience. We hope to see you there!

Janet P. Szlyk, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Low Vision Research Laboratory

Research & Publications by Dr. Szlyk

Interviews with Dr. Szlyk