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

Save the Date! CIL-NET Presents… A National On-Location Training: How CILs Can Transform the Housing Landscape

  • June 11-14, 2019
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Registration Fee: $150.00

We hope you will save the date for this exciting 3½ day training on the most pressing barrier to independent living: housing. We will explore a wide range of solutions to expand accessible, affordable, integrated housing in your communities. From funding, to building partnerships, to the truly new and innovative, we will cover it all. You won’t want to miss this!

This CIL-NET on-location training is part of Our Homes: IL-NET’s series of trainings and resources on accessible, affordable, integrated housing for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs). The lack of accessible, affordable, integrated housing remains the biggest obstacle as CILs implement the new core services of transition and diversion. Expanding housing is a key component of the provision of CIL core services and successful outcomes for consumers.

Registration will open in early March. Check your inbox and ncil.org for updates.

[Read more…]

All the Info You Need for Tomorrow’s Reintroduction Celebration!

Disabled people across the country will be celebrating tomorrow’s reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act (DIA), and we want to make sure you have all the information you need to celebrate with us!

Haven’t made your plans yet? We invite you to join NCIL’s Facebook Watch Party and watch the festivities with others in the NCIL community! To do so, join the group “NCIL Stay Connected In Advocacy”. The Watch Party will start in the group at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

Don’t have Facebook? You can still tune in! The event will be live-streamed from ADAPT’s YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2CeGGZ4

[Read more…]

CIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Supporting Your CIL Board for Success

February 20, 2019; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

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

Sure, your Center for Independent Living (CIL) board runs the organization, but there is still a lot that you can do to prepare them for success. The Executive Director and staff often know much more about the day-to-day operations and ins-and-outs of the organization than volunteer board members. That knowledge is so valuable to making the best decisions for the organization – from financial management to strategic planning and everything in between. Join us in February for tips and guidance on supporting your CIL board to do their best job. We’ll share strategies for recruitment, orientation, communications, evaluating the Executive Director, leadership development, and more!

This webinar is not just for Executive Directors. CIL staff and board members are encouraged to attend!

[Read more…]

2018 Outcomes: Showcase Your Independent Living Organization!

Deadline: January 22, 2019

Dear NCIL Members,

Please take just a few moments to send NCIL one or two of your Center, SILC, or other Independent Living organization’s biggest accomplishments of 2018 and a photo that represents you or your work.

We are collecting your outcomes and photos for our upcoming Congressional Briefing and 2018 Annual Report.

Photos and accomplishments from our members made the 2017 Annual Report something really special and we can’t wait to see what you did in 2018!

Please send accomplishments in the form of outcomes.

  • Individual advocacy example: “Anytown Center for Independent Living assisted 42 youth with disabilities to successfully transition from high school to college and / or employment. Those young people are now leaders and role models for younger children with disabilities.”
  • Systems advocacy example: Anytown Center for Independent Living worked with the SILC to develop state legislation to restrict certificates that allow businesses to pay employees with disabilities less than minimum wage.”

These are only examples; feel free to get creative! Please keep submissions as concise as possible. Submit your accomplishments via email to eleanor@ncil.org by Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

Thank you!

Make Your Plans to Celebrate the Reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act with Us!

To celebrate the reintroduction of the Disability Integration Act, NCIL and ADAPT will be holding a celebratory event on January 15 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. We will also be making a video and audio of the introduction event available so CILs, local ADAPT chapters, and other local groups and individuals can tune in and celebrate along with us!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThanks to the ongoing efforts of our siblings at ADAPT, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have set January 15 as the date to reintroduce the Disability Integration Act in the new 116th Congress. This early introduction is cause for celebration, and the excitement we generate early on will help build momentum for the DIA in this new Congress. Help drive the DIA forward and secure its passage in the 116th Congress by celebrating this momentous occasion with us! 

We hope CILs and NCIL members around the country will join us for this exciting day! Please see the information below on how to host in person celebrations and online watch parties, and make sure to register your events using the links below!  [Read more…]

Call for Workshop Proposals: 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living

Annual Conference on Independent Living 2019

July 22-25, 2019; Grand Hyatt, Washington

Submit a workshop proposal

NCIL’s Annual Conference is the largest Independent Living event of the year. NCIL regularly hosts over 1,000 people, including grassroots advocates, CIL and SILC leadership, members of Congress, government officials, and representatives from other major organizations that work for justice and equity for people with disabilities.

Logo: 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living - featuring a white starburst graphicThe theme of NCIL’s 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living is IGNITE. The Independent Living Movement ignites action and empowerment. We are not a sedentary bunch. When there is work to be done, we do it. When bad policy threatens our independence and rights, we react. When we know we have a better way, we take action to influence policy and pass laws. We are organized, we are powerful, and we know what we want. All it takes is a spark!

In 2019, we will offer another exciting Annual Conference with strong, varied workshops that will provide valuable resources and opportunities for discussion. We will address political power and advocacy, support new leaders in the Movement, approach healthcare as a right, and discuss promising practices in CIL core services and SILC operations.

It is with these goals in mind that the National Council on Independent Living seeks workshops for our 2019 Annual Conference in the following tracks:

  • Ignite Our Political Power Track: Workshops addressing the political power of the disability community, including voting rights, running for office, and systems advocacy.
  • Ignite New Leaders Track: Workshops related to building new leadership by including and prioritizing the perspectives of youth, people of color, people who are LGBTQ, and other advocates under-represented in the IL Movement.
  • Ignite the IL Network Track: Workshops addressing innovation and promising practices in the core services of Centers for Independent Living, especially the new core services of youth transition, transition from institutions to the community, and avoiding institutions.
  • Healthcare Track Sponsored by the WITH Foundation: Workshops related to healthcare, including healthcare policy and advocacy, along with the healthcare landscape and contracting with Managed Care Organizations and other healthcare providers.
  • Ignite Our SILCs Track: Workshops covering best practices and innovation in operations and programs of Statewide Independent Living Councils.

In addition to these priorities, NCIL’s Annual Conference Subcommittee encourages workshops that seek to improve the skills and resources of staff to carry out the core services of CILs and operate strong SILCs. NCIL also welcomes applications for Poster Sessions, Film Screenings, and other media that address our priority topics and Independent Living.  [Read more…]

Reminder: IMPROVE Act Passed the House – Now Call Your Senators!

The House of Representatives has passed the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) with a vote of 400-11. Now the bill moves to the Senate where a vote is expected as early as this week!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingCall your Senators today and tell them to vote YES on the IMPROVE Act! It is critical they hear that extending Money Follows the Person (MFP) by passing this bill is a priority to their constituents! All Senators can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).

About the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217): MFP has helped free over 88,000 people from institutions, and its 3-month renewal is a key provision in the IMPROVE Act. In addition, H.R. 7217 also includes an extension of protections for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) recipients against spousal impoverishment, a permanent exemption from competitive bidding for CRT manual wheelchairs, and an 18-month suspension in Medicare’s application of competitive bidding rates to CRT manual wheelchair accessories.

FDA to Finalize Ban on Electrical Shock Devices

Back in 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published proposed regulations that would ban the electrical stimulation devices used to shock disabled people at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC). Despite ongoing advocacy from the disability community, in these more than two years the regulation has not been finalized.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivinggoWe recently learned that in mid-October, when the FDA announced their priorities associated with the federal government’s Unified Agenda, they announced their intent to finally finalize the ban. The announcement reads: “We’re also planning to issue a final ban on electrical stimulation devices used for self-injurious and aggressive behaviors. We believe these products present an unreasonable and substantial risk to public health that cannot be corrected or eliminated through changes to the labeling.” This is fantastic news! But, it is by no means a done deal. We must keep the pressure on the FDA until the final rule has been released.

And, even once the rule is finalized, we must remember that our disabled siblings who are being tortured at the JRC will still be stuck in the same institution with the same people who were using these shocks to “treat” them. To that end, we must make sure this next Congress passes the Disability Integration Act (DIA) into law, so all people with disabilities have the right to live in our own communities.

Needless to say, this commitment wouldn’t have happened without the relentless pressure from advocates around the country. Thank you for your efforts, and keep the pressure on the FDA to #StopTheShock!

CILs: SAVE THE DATE for DIA Reintroduction and Plan a DIA Celebration Event!

We are excited to announce that thanks to the ongoing efforts of our siblings at ADAPT, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have set a date to reintroduce the Disability Integration Act (S. 910 / H.R. 2472) in the next Congress! Please see the message from Anita Cameron below for more information and please mark your calendars for January 15, 2019!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingTo celebrate the DIA’s introduction in the 116th Congress, NCIL and ADAPT will be holding a celebratory introduction event in DC. We also plan to make video and audio of the introduction event available so CILs, local ADAPT chapters, and other local groups who are interested can hold watch parties, press events, and other celebrations alongside us!

We hope you’ll join us, because we have reason to celebrate: NCIL, ADAPT, and other leaders in the disability community have set an expectation that the House of Representatives will pass the DIA before the ADA’s next anniversary (July 26, 2019). And this is completely achievable! The DIA has already garnered an incredible amount of support, with 143 cosponsors in the House and 25 cosponsors in the Senate. And that’s in addition to nearly 800 organizations signing onto the DIA supporter list.

NCIL has been working with ADAPT on the Disability Integration Act (DIA) for years, and we are confident the 116th Congress will be the one to pass DIA into law. We will be sending more information as the date nears, but please start thinking and planning for an event at your CIL on January 15th!  [Read more…]

Tell Your Representative to Vote Yes on the IMPROVE Act TODAY!

The Money Follows the Person program (MFP) officially expired in 2016, and today the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a bill that would renew the program for three months. The IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) was introduced last week in the House and a companion bill is expected in the Senate very soon. While three months is not nearly long enough to sustain the vital work of MFP, this extension will give the program a needed bridge into the 116th Congress, where we will continue our advocacy for a longer renewal.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingMFP has helped free over 88,000 people from institutions, and is a key provision in the IMPROVE Act. In addition, H.R. 7217 also includes an extension of protections for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) recipients against spousal impoverishment, a permanent exemption from competitive bidding for CRT manual wheelchairs, and an 18-month suspension in Medicare’s application of competitive bidding rates to CRT manual wheelchair accessories.

Call your Representative today and tell them to vote YES on the IMPROVE Act! It is critical that members of Congress hear that extending MFP by passing this bill now is a priority to their constituents! All members of Congress can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).