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.

An EPIC Undertaking

As our community slowly re-opens, this seems a good time to reflect on how we can further shape the future. Without a doubt, our physical world has become more accessible in the 30-plus years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. As we move even further into the 21st century, we are proudly leading the way in making the online world more usable for people who are blind or visually impaired.

In recent months, our Digital Accessible Experience (DAX) specialists have begun working with organizations such as the Chicago Housing Authority and Briteweb to optimize their digital properties’ use by people with disabilities. In a Q&A, DAX Lead Accessibility Analyst Jose Martinez explains how his first-hand insights as a user who is blind benefits companies and other organizations.

Among the organizations our DAX team has worked with is Epic, developer of the most widely-used health records software. When our longtime partner, UI Health, was transitioning to Epic, they encouraged the company to work with us to ensure the software was optimized for our Call Center Agents who are blind or visually impaired. For many months, The Chicago Lighthouse’s DAX analysts and Call Center operations teams worked side-by-side with Epic and UI Health to make the software more intuitive and accessible.

Already, more than 15 of our UI Health Call Center Agents who are blind or visually impaired have become official Medical Schedulers, thanks to these accessibility updates. Furthermore, this work will extend far beyond our walls, as it opens up opportunities for Epic users who are blind or visually impaired throughout the world.

We are all truly thankful to UI Health, which has been an outstanding partner for the past six years, and to Epic for bringing this important work to fruition. Together, we are truly making the world a more inclusive and accessible place.


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

Low Vision Research Laboratory

Research & Publications by Dr. Szlyk

Interviews with Dr. Szlyk

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