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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Join Us for the Global Independent Living Summit!

July 23, 2017

Revolution - A Global Independent Living Movement - Annual Conference on Independent Living 2017. Graphic: Continents have been added to NCIL's logo (a blue semi-circle), which forms a globe. A red heart sits between the end points of the semi-circle.The Independent Living Movement is growing rapidly. In recent years, NCIL has had as many as 1,500 attendees at our Annual Conference from all 50 states and around the world. Centers for Independent Living are springing up in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia, Taiwan, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, to name just a few.

We’re excited to invite delegates with expertise in international Independent Living and disability rights to apply for attendance at a special one day Global IL Summit on July 23rd, 2017, just prior to NCIL’s 2017 Annual Conference, where we will continue to explore international issues through our Conference theme, Revolution: A Global Independent Living Movement.

The Global IL Summit and subsequent Annual Conference represent an unprecedented step forward for NCIL and the Independent Living Movement as a whole. Though the Independent Living movement has its roots in the United States, it is time to move past our isolationist history and welcome collaboration amongst Independent Living advocates of all backgrounds and nationalities. In these uncertain times, joining with our international colleagues can only strengthen us.

Though we all have different challenges to navigate, the experience of confronting bigotry and discrimination is universal among us.

Space is limited, so apply now!

Logos - 1. NCIL: National Council on Independent Living 2. USICD: US International Council on Disabilities 3. JIL 4. CGP: The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership

Read NCIL Comments on the Redesigned 704 Report and Submit Your Own by Friday, May 5, 2017!

On March 8, the Independent Living Administration (ILA) released proposed revisions to the Centers for Independent Living Annual Program Performance Review (CIL PPR), which is a redesign of the 704 Part II Report. NCIL has major concerns with this proposal, and we strongly encourage you to review our comments and submit comments of your own.

The creation of the ILA presented an opportunity for some long overdue changes, including an annual reporting process that accurately reflects the impact of CILs. Unfortunately, the PPR proposed by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) is just more of the same. We need to insist that ACL work with the Independent Living community, listen to our decades of experience, and create a PPR that accurately reflects the importance of CILs to people with disabilities and our communities around the country.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingNCIL’s Rehabilitation Act and IL Funding Subcommittee has been working hard on developing comments that convey our concerns. The comments have been finalized and posted online.

We encourage you to use these comments as a draft to submit your own, because it’s important that comments are submitted by members of the Independent Living community across the country! ACL is accepting public comments through Friday May 5, 2017.

Visit ACL’s website to find information including the Notice of Proposed Revisions in the Federal Register, the revised CIL PPR, and information on how to submit your own comments.

Funding Opportunity Announcement: Nursing Home Transition Grants Offered to CILs for Individuals Living with Paralysis

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center’s (PRC) Nursing Home Transition (NHT) Grant Program is partnering with Centers for Independent Living (CILs)* across the country to award four grants up to $40,000 each to transition people living with paralysis in nursing homes back into their homes or a community-based setting of their choice.

The PRC, in partnership with the Administration for Community Living (ACL), has focused on Nursing Home Transition as part of its mission to help seniors and individuals with disabilities live in their homes and fully participate in their communities. The NHT Grant expands on the shared mission of the ACL and the PRC to improve the quality of life for individuals with paralysis and other conditions that result in permanent mobility challenges.

For this grant purpose, the term paralysis includes anyone who sustains difficulty and/or inability to move their arms and/or legs due to a neurological condition such as spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, ALS, and many other chronic conditions that coexist with developmental, congenital, and acquired disabilities.

* The NHT grant is open to Centers for Independent Living as described in the 2014 reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act. The term “center for independent living” means a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency for individuals with significant disabilities (regardless of age or income) that (A) is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities; and (B) provides an array of independent living services, including, at a minimum, independent living core services as defined in section 705(17) as: information and referral, independent living skills training, peer counseling, individual systems and advocacy, and transition/diversion facilitation.

CILs interested in applying for the NHT grant are invited to attend a webinar on Thursday May 4. Participants will learn about the application process and have the opportunity to ask questions. Register for the webinar[Read more…]

SILC-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: SILC Member Recruitment & Orientation

SILC-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar:

May 25, 2017; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Register online or by using the printable registration form (PDF)

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETRecruiting, orienting, and retaining active and informed SILC members are not easy tasks, but there are proven strategies that can strengthen your approaches to these activities. If you would like to explore some of these strategies, then join us in May to hear from two SILCs that have developed effective processes which result in committed and engaged Council members.

Target Audience

SILC Chairs, Executive Directors, and staff; and any SILC Committee members responsible for recruiting, orienting/training, and supporting SILC members

Registration Fee: $75.00. Fee is per site (connection) and does not apply per participant; registrants are encouraged to gather as many individuals as desired to participate by telephone.  [Read more…]

Early Bird Registration Rates for NCIL’s 2017 Annual Conference End at Midnight April 28!

Revolution - A Global Independent Living Movement - Annual Conference on Independent Living 2017. Graphic: Continents have been added to NCIL's logo (a blue semi-circle), which forms a globe. A red heart sits between the end points of the semi-circle.Open our Annual Conference Guide (in PDF or plain text) to find everything you need to know about the 2017 Annual Conference.

Then, register online or by using the printable Registration Form (PDF or plain text). Online registration gives you the ability to register up to three attendees with one transaction and accepts Discover, American Express, Visa and MasterCard.

All registrations received and paid on or before April 28, 2017 are eligible for the Early Bird registration rates.

This year, you can use NCIL’s custom links to reserve your room at the Grand Hyatt or Marriott Metro Center.

Additional details are available on our Conference webpage. See you in July!

Memorandum: Call for Resolutions

This is a call for resolutions to be presented to the NCIL Membership at the Annual Council Meeting. This will be the only call for resolutions to be presented for the 2017 NCIL Annual Council Meeting. The Annual Council Meeting will be held Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC. The President will recognize the contact person listed in your resolution to speak at the Annual Meeting. If you are unable to attend, please indicate a designee that will be in attendance. A guide to writing a resolution is available on our website, and a link is included below.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingPlease note: only NCIL members – individuals and organizations – are eligible to submit a resolution for consideration.

Annual Council Meeting Resolutions

The purpose of resolutions is for members to speak directly to what NCIL does and what NCIL stands for. Resolutions to be presented at the Annual Council Meeting must be postmarked or received by Friday, June 2, 2017. The President will appoint a task force to review all resolutions to determine their impact on each of the following areas:

  • NCIL’s Mission & Guiding Principles: Is the proposed resolution consistent / compatible? Is the proposed resolution national in scope?
  • NCIL’s Resources: Can NCIL implement the proposed resolution’s intent with current financial and staff resources?
  • NCIL’s Governance: Does the proposed resolution require any significant changes to NCIL’s bylaws or Standard Operating Procedures?

The resolution task force will provide the NCIL board with a one-page summary of the resolution and the potential impact in each area. The NCIL board will make a recommendation to the membership to adopt or reject the resolution. The recommendation shall be in writing with a brief statement explaining the rationale for the board’s recommendation. All resolutions, including a brief statement with the board’s recommendation, will be included in the Annual Council Meeting packet.

“A call for resolutions shall be disseminated to the NCIL membership no less than 45 days prior to the resolution deadline date. No resolutions will be accepted for consideration after the deadline date.” (NCIL By-Laws, Article III, Section IV).  [Read more…]

NCIL Applauds Two Class Action Lawsuits Filed Against NYC Subway System

NCIL applauds the efforts of our member CILs, Bronx Independent Living Services (BILS), Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled (BCID), Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY), and Harlem Independent Living Center (HILC), in filing two class action lawsuits today against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) regarding the NYC subway system.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThe NYC subway system spans the five boroughs of New York City. However, less than one quarter of the nearly 500 subway stations in the system are accessible for people with mobility disabilities. Of the 10 major transportation systems in the country, NYC is the least accessible. In contrast, Washington D.C. and San Francisco’s transportation systems are both 100% accessible for wheelchair users and others who have difficulty climbing steps. Alternative transportation options in NYC, such as the Access-A-Ride paratransit program, are unreliable and segregate people with disabilities from their fellow NYC residents.

The lawsuit alleges that though the MTA has had the resources to make their stations accessible over the past several decades, they have chosen not to consider accessibility as a priority. The plaintiffs claim that the inaccessibility of the NYC subway system violates the New York City Human Rights Law as well as the city administrative code.

We support our member CILs in this effort and salute their commitment to equal access for all!

For more information, see below:

Urgent Action Needed to Protect the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The efforts to roll back the rights of people with disabilities through ADA Notification bills like H.R. 620 are gaining momentum in Congress. While similar bills have been unable to garner enough support to pass into law, we do not expect that to be the case in the 115th. This bill continues to gain support from both sides of the aisle in Congress, and it’s on us to fight it!

H.R. 620 would create additional barriers to seeing our rights enforced under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition to requiring that businesses in violation of the ADA be provided with a very specific written notice by the person who encountered the access barrier, those businesses would then be allowed a lengthy timeframe to “make substantial progress in removing the barrier.” Not only would this remove any incentive for businesses to come into compliance with the ADA before receiving a notification, but it would also shift the onus of monitoring compliance to the very people being discriminated against! Twenty-seven years after the ADA was signed into law, this is unacceptable. H.R. 620 would be a major setback for people with disabilities.

We need you to take action! We hope you have already been in touch with your Representatives about the dangers of this bill. Please keep it up! Please tell your Representatives to OPPOSE H.R. 620 and any other bill that would weaken the ADA, thereby weakening the protections for people with disabilities all over the country.

Please call your Representatives today. Have everyone from your organization call. And then call them again tomorrow! You can get in touch with your Representatives by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can find additional contact information for them by visiting

Note: If your Representative is on the Judiciary Committee, it is especially important for you to contact them now! The list of Committee members is below.  [Read more…]

Nominate for the NCIL Board of Directors by June 13, 2017!

Dear NCIL Members:

NCIL members have an opportunity to nominate an individual to run for each of the following positions on the NCIL Board:

If you or someone you know would be interested in running for the NCIL Board, please fill out the nomination form.

Please carefully review the position descriptions and memorandum, as it will help in considering potential nominees. Also, make sure to share these resources with the individual you are nominating so that s/he has a clear understanding of what will be expected should s/he be elected.

35th Anniversary Logo: NCIL – National Council on Independent Living. Celebrating 35 Years of Advocacy. Graphic features party candles.Nomination Deadline: June 13, 2017.

  • Article III, Section F (2) of the NCIL SOPs, states that “In order for a person to be nominated for an office or position on NCIL’s Governing Board, he or she must be staff, board, or designated representative of a NCIL CIL/SILC member and shall reside within the state of the CIL/SILC member.”
  • All Board member terms are 2 years. Each officer position (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) is limited to 2 terms by the same individual. No other board positions are term-limited.
  • Those elected to the NCIL Board are strongly encouraged to attend the NCIL Annual Council Meeting and Conference. The newly elected will meet with their fellow NCIL Board members on July 28, 2017, following the NCIL Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

If you have any questions regarding the nominating process, please feel free to contact me or Charlotte Stewart of the NCIL Membership and Nominating Committee at (V) 214-630-4796.  [Read more…]

You’re Invited! DC Office of Disability Rights Event – Suicide: It’s Time to Talk about It

On May 3, 2017 from 10 am to 1 pm, we are going to have a frank discussion about suicide, its impact, and what to do when faced with the topic. We will have representatives from District agencies for a panel discussion and interaction with audience members.

  • When: Wednesday, May 3, 2017; 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Where: 441 4th Street, NW-One Judiciary Square / Old Council Chambers-1st Floor, South Lobby

This event is being hosted by the Office of Disability Rights (ODR), the Commission on Persons with Disabilities, the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA), the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), and District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS).