the advocacy monitor

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

NCIL Statement on the White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville

NCIL strongly condemns the racist and anti-Semitic violence that occurred over the weekend in Charlottesville, VA. We are horrified by the loss of life and brutality that took place at the hands of violent white supremacists. We especially honor and acknowledge Heather Heyer, who was killed when a white supremacist deliberately rammed his car into a crowd of counter protestors, injuring 19 people who were putting their bodies on the line in the fight for justice. We decry the lack of police response to the escalating white violence in Charlottesville. We stand in solidarity with all of those who have not allowed racist and Anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence to go unchecked in their communities.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingNCIL is committed to fighting bigotry in all its forms, including white supremacy, within our own disabled communities. Disabled people are represented in all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. We recognize that ableism impacts and is impacted in turn by other forms of oppression, including racism and anti-Semitism. To focus on ableism as a singular phenomenon, separate from other forms of oppression and violence, is to doom our movement to fail. We specifically lend our support to Black and/or Jewish people who were directly targeted by the hate speech espoused by the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. We also condemn and denounce the transphobic and homophobic hate speech on display in Charlottesville.

NCIL continues fighting against oppression every day. We are committed to dismantling the white privilege and racism in disability communities and prioritizing intersectionality as a key component of our work. We have a long way to go, but together, we can be a powerful force for justice.

SILC-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Building an Inclusive Statewide Independent Living Council

September 13, 2017; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

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

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETA strong SILC has to include and represent all types of people with disabilities from all across the state. Putting together a diverse, representative SILC isn’t easy – it takes planning, outreach, recruitment, and maybe even changes to the SILC’s meetings and organizational culture. Join us on September 13 as we highlight these steps for you to help you build a more inclusive SILC.

Target Audience

  • SILC Chairs, Executive Directors, and staff; and any SILC Committee members responsible for diversity / outreach, 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 or webinar.  [Read more…]

Piss on Pity: The Story of ADAPT

Piss on Pity explores the disability-rights movement’s radical wing, a group called ADAPT, which has helped shape this country’s disability-rights agenda since 1983. With unprecedented four years of access, Piss on Pity: The story of ADAPT will bring you an inside look at the group that stormed Congress to pass the ADA, and again this year to defeat Medicaid-killing legislation. ADAPT has fought for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities for 34 years. The struggle continues. Watch the trailer and help fund the completion of this project by donating online.

RTC:Rural Releases Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit

This toolkit is a guide for Centers for Independent Living and others to conduct interactive and engaging workshops to facilitate the development of advocacy skills of emerging Independent Living leaders and youth with disabilities. It describes how to introduce advocacy through the facilitation of unique activities and discussions, identifying issues of importance, and putting advocacy skills into practice. A unique approach presented in this toolkit is the use of improv to introduce, invite, and engage others into and with the world of advocacy. Read more at

Ice Cream for Dinner: Support for Freedom of Choice and the Disability Integration Act

By Raquel Bernstein, NCIL Summer Policy Intern

As children, we dreamt about some day in the future, having ice cream for dinner or being able to play video games all night. Sadly, under current laws, having ice cream for dinner does not seem to be a realistic option. The law currently says that the government must use tax dollars to pay for institutions such as nursing homes – but is not required by law to pay for home or community-based services or care. At institutions, you are constantly monitored, therefore your freedom is kind of forgotten and ice cream for dinner is no longer an option due to every detail in your life being controlled. Under the current legislation, many people rely on institutionalization to receive the services they need, such as bathing and dressing. The Disability Integration Act (H.R. 2472 and S. 910) would require insurance companies to pay for these services in the community.

Ice CreamWhat would the Disability Integration Act do?

  • The insurance companies would be required to pay for personal care services throughout the day and could not refuse services or discriminate based on what a person needs.
  • Insurance companies would have to come up with a plan on how to pay for personal care services.
  • Governmental agencies and insurance companies would be required to inform people with disabilities about their options to receive services outside of institutionalization.
  • Because so many people with disabilities would be freed from institutionalization, the government would need to increase affordable and accessible options for living throughout the community.
  • The government would have a cheaper option than institutionalization because they could pay for fewer hours of home health care per day due to people living on their own.

[Read more…]

Disability Network Business Acumen Learning Collaborative Seeks Resources from IL Field

NCIL is working with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) and other partners on the Disability Network Business Acumen Learning Collaborative. In order to create a comprehensive Toolkit of resources, we are looking for input from the Independent Living network.

Specifically, we are looking for best practices and resources that relate to the following topics (links to online resources are welcome):

  • Articulating Your Business Case: Developing an effective process for deciding what products / services to sell and understanding the true / full costs for the products / services.
  • Pricing Services
  • Successfully Changing Organizational Culture
  • Stakeholder Engagement

Please send any resources, best practices, or documents to by Thursday, August 10.

Online Survey Regarding Pregnancy Among Women with Physical Disabilities

Are you a woman over the age of 18 with a physical disability who has given birth to a child since January 1, 2010? If so, you are invited to complete an online survey examining social support for women with physical disabilities during pregnancy. We are interested in sources of support for women, and especially whether women receive supports from other women with physical disabilities who have been pregnant. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. At the end of the survey, you will be directed to a separate, unlinked survey where you will be asked to provide your contact information for an opportunity to win one of ten $25 gift cards. Take the survey[Read more…]

Geography and Rural Disability Maps from RTC:Rural

Explore Geography and Rural Disability research and data through “Disability in America,” a new series of maps from RTC:Rural!

These maps are based on demographic data collected through the American Community Survey and cover disability rates, rates of particular types of disabilities, and other status of people with disabilities such as poverty and employment. They were created as part of the Geography and Rural Disability project and have implications for organizations and agencies working on disability topics nationwide. This work was funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

The Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC:Rural) has studied disability patterns in America for 30 years. Researchers are available for technical assistance.

Ability Center of Greater Toledo Launches Next Steps Summer Program

Source: 13abc Action News

Local students living with disabilities say Ability Center program is life-changing

The Ability Center of Greater Toledo has all kinds of programs to help people living with disabilities. One of them is called the Next Steps Summer Program. It’s designed to help prepare students for college and the workplace, and the program has had a big impact on the students who are part of it.

The students are living on campus at The University of Toledo as part of the program. They are also working at several organizations and companies around the community. The students say this has been a life-changing experience.

Mallory Tarr is the Marketing Coordinator at The Ability Center,”The goal is to prepare them for the next step after high school whether that be post-secondary training or going to college. Whatever it is they want to do, we want to give them the tools and the steps to get there.” Read the full story at 13abc Action News.

Five State Teams Selected for Disability Network Business Acumen Learning Collaborative

The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) is pleased to announce the five state teams selected for participation in the Disability Network Business Acumen Learning Collaborative. This effort is led by NASUAD in partnership with nine national organizations*.

Business Acumen Center Logo - Providing Resources to Sustain Disability OrganizationsEach of the five state teams includes at least one state agency and community-based organizations (CBO**) serving persons with disabilities (physical, intellectual and/or developmental). Most also include an integrated healthcare entity or other organization dedicated to the sustainability of CBOs serving people with disabilities. The five State teams represent Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York and Texas. 

These teams will work together to develop and implement business-related strategies to state-specific challenges to integrating long term services and supports and healthcare services. Collectively, these teams will share what they learn from their efforts including promising practices that can be used to help other CBOs enhance their current business relationships and diversify their business portfolios. The learning collaborative will launch at the 2017 HCBS Conference being held in Baltimore, MD, August 27 – 31.
[Read more…]