Gain key takeaways from your Chicago colleagues who attended the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability conference. Hear what folks were excited by and challenged to try next in their accessibility journey.
The LEAD Conference provides an opportunity for arts and culture professionals to develop accessibility best practices and resources; engage in conversations with colleagues and experts from around the world; and learn practical methods for designing inclusive arts experiences and environments.
Dave Becker (he/him) currently serves as the Senior Manager of Learning Experiences for the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo, where he has an active role in children and family programs, nature play programming, professional development, and the access and inclusion strategic initiative: Zoo for All. He has been in the informal education field for 25+ years, and previously volunteered time and energy on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Museums. Dave has an M. Ed in Instructional Leadership from the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) and is currently completing an M.Div from Meadville-Lombard Theological School.
Bill Green (he/his) is the Hart Prins Fund Accessibility & Inclusion Manager at Lincoln Park Zoo. He uses his experience from working in the disability community to foster accessibility and inclusion in all environments where people engage with the zoo. Personal experience also informs Bill’s work. Since birth, he has been low vision. He has also been a lifelong enthusiast of zoos and museums and the diverse ways people interact with these spaces. Bill has consulted with many cultural institution in Chicago, including serving as an inaugural member on The Second City’s Accessibility Board.
Zhen Heinemann (she/they) (/ʒ/ – en) is an audience-focused arts and immersive experience engineer whose work centers on creating more accessible, inclusive and inviting spaces and engagements for communities and individuals. Currently they are the Director of Visitor Experience & Public Engagement with the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, creating and managing engagement spaces in the Chicago Cultural Center, consulting on guest-facing items in Millennium Park and at Taste of Chicago and created an Accessibility Plan for adding access initiatives across all divisions of DCASE. They have over 15 years experience in public programming development, community engagement, production management and design. She holds a CPACC (Certificated Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies) Certification from IAPP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals) and is a member of the Disability Lead Network.
Lauren Pincus (she/her) has dedicated her life to the arts. After completing a BA in Theatre from Florida State University in 2017, Lauren worked at the critically acclaimed Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami before moving to Chicago in 2018 to pursue a career in ASL (American Sign Language). In May 2022, Lauren completed a second BA in ASL-English Interpretation from Columbia College Chicago. She has a love for helping others and found her passion for access through her work in the Access Committee at Second City, where she worked part-time in the Box Office while going to school. Lauren currently works at Chicago Humanities Festival as the Audience Accessibility Coordinator.