Karen Tamley was named Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) in March of 2005 by Richard M. Daley and reppointed by Mayor Rahm Emaunel in May of 2011. MOPD promotes full inclusion of people with all types of disabilities and strives to make Chicago the most accessible city in the nation.
As Commissioner, Ms. Tamley leads numerous disability policy and accessibility compliance initiatives such as transportation, city infrastructure, emergency preparedness, housing, schools and technology. She also oversees the delivery of independent living services such as in-home supports, home accessibility modifications, amplified phones, and employment readiness.
Commissioner Tamley serves as the City’s representative regarding disability related policy on a number of boards and committees. Under Commissioner Tamley’s leadership, Chicago received the Accessible America Award from the National Organization on Disability and for two years, MOPD was named “Best Government Department” by the Deaf Illinois.
Prior to her prior to her appointment, Tamley served in management, policy and advocacy roles at disability organizations in Washington D.C., Denver and Chicago. Before her appointment as Commissioner, she was the Director of Programs at Access Living a center for advocacy and services for people with disabilities in Chicago.