the advocacy monitor

independent living policy for wonks and wonkettes

Action Alert: Invite Your Senators & Representative to Learn About the Discrimination Facing Parents with Disabilities and Their Children this Friday!

On Friday, July 25th from 9:00-11:30 a.m. Eastern, NCIL Disability and Aging Specialist Lindsay Baran will provide testimony at the National Council on Disability’s Congressional Forum: “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children” at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room B-318, in Washington, DC.

2014 marks the 24th anniversary of the passage of the ADA. Many members of the “ADA generation” are now at the age where they want to start families of their own, but find themselves faced with a different kind of discrimination, one that hinders or even prevents adults with disabilities from beginning or raising their own families.

With an increasing number of people with disabilities taking advantage of protections to obtain an education and go to work, combined with a large number of service members returning from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan with newly-acquired disabilities — parents with disabilities continue to be the only distinct community that has to fight to retain and sometimes gain custody of their own children without any other cause.

NCIL was responsible for bringing the issues surrounding parenting with a disability to the attention of NCD, which prompted their 2012 report “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children”. It is extremely important that we keep elected officials informed and build on our momentum.

Take Action

Please contact your Representative and both your Senators and encourage them to send members of their staff to this forum on one of the most pressing and emerging issues of importance to the disability community in recent years.

More Information

Summer 2014 NCIL Legislative & Advocacy Priorities Booklet Now Available!

The summer edition of NCIL’s Legislative & Advocacy Priorities is now available at the NCIL website.

This document contains specific information on the national legislative and policy priorities identified biannually by the NCIL membership, including funding for the Independent Living Program, healthcare and long-term care, housing, transportation, education, and more.

Please share this document with your Center or SILC staff, board, and the Senators and Representatives who serve your districts.

Contact NCIL for further information on the issues discussed in this document.

Breaking News: President to Sign WIOA at White House Signing Ceremony!

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) will be signed by the President at a White House signing Ceremony on Tuesday!

As we previously reported, the House and Senate have passed the bipartisan and bicameral Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The Senate passed WIOA by a vote of 95-3 and the House Passed it by a vote of 415-6. Now, with the President’s signature WIOA becomes the law of the land!

It is time to celebrate, and to come together as advocates from across the nation to learn exactly what these changes will mean for IL at the Federal level.

The best place to accomplish both is at NCIL’s 2014 Annual Conference on Independent Living next week. We will be hosting some amazing speakers and presenters, including Assistant Secretary Kathy Greenlee, Senate HELP Committee staff, RSA Commissioner Janet LaBreck, and Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Disability Policy and ACL Principal Deputy Administrator of ACL Sharon Lewis.

The Rehabilitation Act is contained in WIOA. Specifically, improvements to Independent Living in this bill include:

  • The establishment of the Independent Living Administration in the Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Transition will be added as a fifth core service
  • SILC activities will be improved and include resource development
  • SPIL sign-off will now include CIL Directors
  • States will choose their ‘designated state entity’ (formerly known as the DSU). The DSUs will remain the same for the “723 states” of Massachusetts and Minnesota.

NCIL will be present at the White House during the Signing Ceremony on Tuesday morning.

Senator Menendez Schedules Senate CRPD Mark-Up for Tuesday, July 22!

Source: US International Council on Disabilities (USICD)

You made a difference! Now is the time to get the CRPD Ratified!

CRPD Logo - Convention on the Rights of Persons with DisabilitiesThank you to everyone who called their Senators this month and expressed support for the CRPD! Based on your incredible show of support, Senator Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, has scheduled a mark-up of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for Tuesday, July 22, 2014!

Treaty opponents continue to use scare tactics to frighten people over fictitious dangers. We must each share the truth with our Senators!

Your Senators need to continue to hear from you and understand that you support the CRPD! Visit USICD’s citizen action portal, www.disabilitytreaty.org, to call your Senators!

They need to hear from the Independent Living Movement now, or we will not succeed. We must show that our community is behind this treaty and that we want the process to keep moving forward to a floor vote!

We cannot stop now. The word is watching.

NCIL Member Survey on the Impact of the US DOL & ACA Regulations Governing Self-Directed PAS

By Mike Oxford and Lee Schulz

Dear NCIL Members,

We have both been very involved with advocacy related to the newly-released regulations amending the “companionship exemption” of the Fair Labor Standards Act and with the Affordable Care Act regulations requiring provision of health insurance to certain employees. We have been selected to present a workshop at NCIL’s upcoming 2014 Annual Conference on Independent Living about the impact of these regulations on both self-directed programs and on individuals that self-direct their Personal Assistance Services (PAS).

While it is as yet unclear what the final impact will be on the various states’ programs and the individuals they serve, we thought it would be helpful to NCIL to collect input from members about concerns they might have at this point. Based on anecdotal input that we have received from around the country, we have designed a basic True/False survey to begin the process of gathering data about the impact of these regulations on an extremely fundamental area of independent living – self-directed PAS.

Please take a few moments to answer and return the survey via email or fax by Monday, July 21, 2014, if at all possible.

Thanks!

Mike Oxford & Lee Schulz

Email: tilrc@tilrc.org
Fax: 785-233-1561

Survey for Iowa, New York, Washington, & Texas – Core Competencies for the Direct Service Workforce

Source / Contact: The Lewin Group

Do you employ someone to provide direct services and support for you or a family member at home or on the job? Or do you get paid to provide direct services to someone else? Direct services include things like personal assistance, personal care, home health and direct support. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is conducting a survey to gather feedback from people who receive direct services about what skills they look for when they hire someone and what skills they think it is important for their employees to have. People who provide direct services for individuals with disabilities are also encouraged to complete the survey.

This research is being conducted in Iowa, New York, Texas and Washington and the findings will contribute to the completion of a “core competency” set for direct service workers. If you live in one of these states and either employ a direct service worker or work as a direct service provider, please consider reviewing the skills listed in this survey and providing your feedback about how important you think they are.

Complete the survey. For more information about this study, please contact the CMS Direct Service Workforce Resource Center at info@dswresourcecenter.org.

 

Last Chance: Pre-Event Registration for NCIL’s 2014 Annual Conference on Independent Living Closes at Midnight This Friday!

All pre-event registrations for the 2014 Annual Conference on Independent Living must be received by Friday, July 18 at 12:00 midnight, Eastern Time.

Individuals may still register onsite, but please note that onsite registration fees differ from standard registration fees and plan accordingly.

Prevail - 2014 Conference LogoPre-event registration rates:

  • NCIL Member: $265
  • Non-member: $385
  • Daily Rate: $115-160 / day

Onsite registration rates:

  • NCIL Member: $305
  • Non-Member: $430
  • Daily Rate: $210 / day

Register today and save!

To register, use the NCIL online store, which gives you the ability to register up to three attendees with one transaction and accepts Discover, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard, or use the printable registration form (PDF).

Additional details are available on our conference webpage.

This year’s Annual Conference on Independent Living is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent history, and we can’t wait to see you there!

USBLN and National Council on Independent Living Formalize Strategic Alliance

For Immediate Release
Contact: Anita Howard
July 15, 2014
Phone: (800) 706-2710
anita@usbln.org

US Business Leadership Network Logo - USBLN - Disability At WorkWASHINGTON, DC (July 15, 2014) – The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) Executive Director Jill Houghton and National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Executive Director Kelly Buckland have signed a strategic alliance agreement to formalize their mutual collaboration to drive disability inclusion awareness and to advance, improve and expand employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

The USBLN is a national 501(c) (3) non-profit, non-partisan business-to-business network that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLN serves as the collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. It provides business members with opportunities to network with other businesses and to gain information and valuable resources on disability inclusion practices across the entire business, to enable them to:

  • Recruit and retain the best talent regardless of disability;
  • Broaden their supplier bases to include diverse supplier groups, such as Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (DOBE®s), including service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, certified through the USBLN Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP), the nation’s leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses; and
  • Increase their companies’ share of diverse established and emerging markets.

“The USBLN alliance with NCIL strengthens our commitment to work together to support the employment and advancement of people with disabilities; the preparedness for work of youth and students with disabilities; marketing to consumers with disabilities; and contracting with suppliers with disabilities through the development and certification of disability-owned businesses. We are confident that our collaboration with NCIL will move the needle forward in working with employers to recognize the value and talent that people with disabilities bring to the workplace, supply chain and marketplace,” stated Jill Houghton, Executive Director, USBLN.

The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals from every state including: individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States. There are currently over 700 physical locations across America actively providing Independent Living services to people with disabilities.

“NCIL and USBLN have been discussing this Strategic Alliance for some time and I am very excited to see it become a reality. USBLN is such a strong force in increasing employment for people with disabilities and NCIL is proud to be working with them,” said Kelly Buckland, NCIL Executive Director. To learn more, visit: www.ncil.org.

About the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN)

The US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLNserves as the collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP) is the nation’s leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. www.usbln.org

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Last Chance for Hotel Rooms!

July 28-31, 2014; Grand Hyatt, Washington DC

The deadline to reserve your hotel room at the NCIL discounted group rate is quickly approaching!

Prevail - 2014 Conference LogoDid you know that staying at other hotels can hurt NCIL? If NCIL doesn’t sell the remaining rooms in our hotel block our organization could face damages from the Grand Hyatt up to tens of thousands of dollars.

We’re experiencing record-breaking registration numbers as you all prepare to come to Washington to celebrate the passage of WIOA and our own Independent Living Administration! But our numbers at the Grand Hyatt are still down. If you haven’t booked your room at the Grand Hyatt yet, please do so today. The reduced rate expires Tuesday, July 15th!

  • Grand Hyatt Washington Group Rate Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, July 15, ($269 single / double occupancy + plus tax)

To make your reservations online, use NCIL’s custom link, or call the hotel at 800.233.1234 (voice / TTY).

The Hyatt may honor the discounted rate after the deadline, but they are not contractually obligated to do so. Be sure to identify yourself as a NCIL Conference attendee either way.

Participants must register for the Conference before being eligible for a discounted rate at the hotels.

Visit our 2014 Annual Conference web page for complete details on this year’s conference.

See you in in just a few weeks!

Breaking News: WIOA Overwhelmingly Passes House, Moves to President’s Desk for Signature!

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is on its way to the President’s desk!

As we previously reported, leaders from the House and Senate have introduced the bipartisan and bicameral Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The Senate passed WIOA on June 25th by a vote of 95-3. Today the House Passed WIOA by a vote of 415-6.

It is time to celebrate, and to come together as advocates from across the nation to learn exactly what these changes will mean for IL at the Federal level.

The best place to accomplish both is at NCIL’s 2014 Annual Conference on Independent Living this month. We will be hosting some amazing speakers and presenters.

The Rehabilitation Act is contained in WIOA. Specifically, improvements to Independent Living in this bill include:

  • Independent Living Programs will move to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • A fifth core service will be added: transition
  • SILC activities will be improved and include resource development
  • SPIL sign-off will now include CIL Directors
  • States will choose their ‘designated state entity’ (formerly known as the DSU). The DSUs will remain the same for the “723 states” of Massachusetts and Minnesota.

We will keep you informed on the bill being signed by the president.