Chris Palamas


Chris Palamas has been active in the disability rights movement for the past four decades. Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, he studied religion, theater and psychology at Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut. Graduating in the Student Strike of 1970, he settled in the Pioneer Valley Region of Western Massachusetts. In 1974 he founded Stavros Center for Independent Living, a disabled peoples' advocacy and self-help service organization in 1974. Later in the decade he was active in the development of the Vermont Center for Independent Living.

During the mid ‘80s Chris served on Beacon Hill as Assistant Director for Programs at the Massachusetts Office on Disability. Leaving state government to support Michael Dukakis' bid for the Presidency in 1988, he assumed his current position as executive director of Independent Living Resources. For 25 years under Chris' stewardship over the past 25 years, ILR has collaborated with leading regional and national disability organizations providing training and technical assistance on the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the fair Housing Amendments Act and other disability rights law. ILR's collaborators have included the Center for Universal Design, Raleigh, North Carolina; the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund in Berkeley, California; Boston's Adaptive Environments Center, the National Training Project of the AARP, the Boston Globe Foundation and Jane Doe Inc. - the Massachusetts Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Chris is a folk historian and has been collecting stories chronicling four decades of the disability rights & independent living movement history in the United States through the lived experience of people with disabilities.

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