the advocacy monitor

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

#WeAreStillWaiting: Join Advocates across the Country Tomorrow to #StopTheShock

Tomorrow, April 24, marks five years since the FDA’s hearing on the graduated electronic decelerator (GED) shock devices used at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC). They found the device to cause serious harm and a ban was recommended. Since then, proposed regulations have been published and promises have been made, but the ban still hasn’t been finalized. Decades of advocacy have gotten us this far, and we need to keep the pressure on the FDA to release the ban and #StopTheShock!

[Read more…]

Test Uber’s New Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles in Select Cities and Share Your Experiences with NCIL

Uber has been working with MV Transportation to expand access to wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). These are now available in: New York City; Boston; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; Chicago; San Francisco; and Los Angeles. They have also developed a feedback form for riders’ experiences, which can be found at:

We would like to encourage those of you who are wheelchair users who are interested to try this service and send feedback us at We are very interested in hearing about anything you’d like to share with us regarding your experiences. Please note that the information shared with us may be shared with Uber, but we will not provide any identifying information.

Free Webinar! Step 2: Plan – Use Business Intelligence to Build Your Strategic Plan

In Step 1: Prepare, of the Disability Network Business Strategies Roadmap, the HCBS Business Acumen Center guided community-based organizations (CBO) through the environmental scan and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis process. After taking a look at their external and internal environments, many CBOs find that the business environment that they work in today is more complex than it has been in the past. In Step 2: Plan of the Disability Network Business Strategies Roadmap, they describe how to analyze the information you collected and provide recommendations on how to organize and prioritize that information in a strategic plan that will help your organization achieve its goals.

Join them on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Eastern as Erica Lindquist, Senior Director of Business Acumen at the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities and Donna Martin, Director for State Partnerships & Special Projects at the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) describes the tools the HCBS Business Development Learning Collaborative used to move from data collection to strategy development.

Register online.

[Read more…]

2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living: Call for Volunteers

Deadline: June 3, 2019

Dear Friends of NCIL,

Are you interested in volunteering? Do you just want to volunteer or want to save some money on registration? We have opportunities for you!

The 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living is scheduled for July 22-25 and volunteer opportunities begin on July 21. We have a wonderful conference planned but we can’t do it all without volunteers. The Annual Conference Committee and NCIL staff work tirelessly all year planning the Annual Conference on a limited budget and are very committed to keeping costs low to make the conference as affordable as possible for our conference attendees and organizations. Committed volunteers are critical to conference successes.

[Read more…]

Action Alert: Tell Us About Your Voting Experiences

Have you experienced access barriers as a voter with a disability in previous elections? NCIL is working with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs to learn more about voters with disabilities’ experience with voting, particularly any access barriers they have encountered that have made it difficult or impossible to cast a ballot. These barriers include but are not limited to physically inaccessible polling places, difficult interactions with poll workers, and problems with casting a ballot on voting equipment. In addition, we are also looking to hear from voters who have had difficulty registering to vote or navigating their local election office’s website and finding important voter information.

If you have experienced a challenge or a barrier while voting, please contact Disability Vote Organizer Sarah Blahovec at or 202-207-0334 extension 1103 to share your story. 

Memorandum: 2019 Regional Advocacy Awards

Each year at the Annual Conference, NCIL recognizes individuals and / or organizations for outstanding advocacy efforts. NCIL encourages you to nominate someone in your region who you believe is deserving of this award. Please take a few minutes to complete the nomination form by May 10, 2019.

Purpose of the NCIL regional advocacy award: To recognize individuals or groups/organizations within each region for outstanding systems advocacy efforts consistent with independent living goals and philosophy at a national, state, or local level.

[Read more…]

Nominate Deserving Youth with Disabilities for the Diana Viets Memorial Award!

Dear NCIL Members,

As you know, the NCIL Annual Meeting and Conference is rapidly approaching. The 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living will be held July 22-25 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC. This year, NCIL will again be honoring individuals from the Independent Living field with various awards for their dedication to the Independent Living and disability rights movements.

One of these awards is the Diana Viets Memorial Award. Diana was an energetic young woman with a disability who dedicated her life to empowering young people with disabilities to take an active role in the Independent Living movement. Through her work at a Center for Independent Living and the NCIL Board, Diana touched the lives of many youth with disabilities. NCIL wants to acknowledge, honor, and encourage our young leaders who are promoting disability pride, spreading Independent Living philosophy, and fostering the active participation of youth with disabilities in the disability rights movement.

As a member of NCIL, we ask you to nominate young people from your Center and / or community. Individuals eligible for this award should be young adults whose work through Independent Living has had a positive impact on youth with disabilities.

[Read more…]

2019 Annual Conference Guide Now Available!

Open our Annual Conference Guide to find everything you need to know about the 2019 Annual Conference. The Annual Conference Guide is available in PDF, Word, and plain text.

All registrations received and paid before April 26, 2019 are eligible for the Early Bird registration rates.

Visit our 2019 Annual Conference web page for:

  • Complete registration details
  • Hotel information and reservations links
  • Complete Conference agenda
Logo: 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living - featuring a white starburst graphic

Make Nominations for the NCIL Board of Directors by May 31, 2019!

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 they have a clear understanding of what will be expected should they be elected.

Nomination Deadline: May 31, 2019.

[Read more…]

Action Alert: Ask Your Representative to Support Proposed Bill Protecting People from EVV

Advocates nationwide are working with Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) to draft a bill that will prohibit the use of global positioning systems (GPS) and biometric data collection in Electronic Visit Verification (EVV). This is the first step in our fight to stop EVV!

The draft bill will first be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. If your Representative serves on this committee, please call or email them to ask that they co-sponsor Representative DeGette’s proposed bill!

How to contact: All members of Congress can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY). You can also find your Members’ contact information at

[Read more…]