Rene D. Luna - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Rene D. Luna

Rene D. Luna

Rene D. Luna joined Chicago Adapt in the successful grassroots campaign to make the CTA buses and trains wheelchair accessible during the 1980s. Subsequently, hired at Access Living as a disability rights activist’ 87, Luna worked in numerous roles at AL, including, Programs Director, research, and policy analyst until he retired in 2016.
Luna coalesced with LGBTQ activists and organized for the passage of the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance (1988) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). Notably, he coordinated advocacy efforts and networked with the Service Employees International Union to increase wages for homecare workers. He worked with parent advocates to ensure school inclusion at Chicago Public Schools; they won a reversal of a discriminatory policy that denied children with disabilities to attend magnet schools. He led the Immigrants with Disabilities Rights and legal action to force the Immigration and Naturalization Services (now ICE) to comply with federal laws requiring sign language interpretation for immigrants who are deaf and hard of hearing. He is a strong proponent of single-payer and community-based Home Services Programs. Luna worked on research projects concerning Social Security, vocational rehabilitation, employment policy, and services for Latinos with disabilities. He has a BS in political theory from DePaul University and an MA in community development from North Park College.