the advocacy monitor

independent living policy for wonks and wonkettes

More on Human Trafficking: An Update from the NCIL Violence & Abuse Task Force

As the world evolves toward a “global” community, human trafficking is becoming a lucrative and fast-growing crime. The Internet has become a tool of the traffickers, and often people are lured into slavery with innocent looking job posts. Women and children are among the most vulnerable and become the principle victims of traffickers who coerce their services, usually in the sex industries. Also, forced labor and slavery in any capacity is a common fate for trafficked individuals. Victims may just as easily include men, and people with disabilities; especially children with disabilities.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that there are 2.4 billion people in the world at any given time involved in forced labor and subjected to exploitation as a result of human trafficking. The definition of “Human Trafficking” given by the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime states “trafficking in persons means the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons either by threat, or use of abduction, force, fraud, deception or coercion, or by the giving or receiving of unlawful payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation” (Martin & Miller 2000).

We must use every method at our disposal to work against human trafficking. One often overlooked method that other countries are using is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). There are several articles in the CRPD that apply to Human Trafficking: Article 14 (Liberty and Security of person), Article15 (Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment/punishment). But the most effective would be Article 16 (Freedom from exploitation, violence, and abuse).

It may seem that the CRPD is just a small tool in this fight; but it is a global tool to fight a global problem. It is NCIL’s hope that the United States will eventually ratify CRPD. In the meantime, it is important to be educated about issues related to human trafficking and its effects on people with disabilities. Even as this article goes to press, the Congress is in review and debate about the “Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015”. We encourage our membership to stay abreast of these discussions.

Resource Development for CILs: Opening Up the Floodgates to Sustainability

CIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar

February 11, 2015; 3:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern

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

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETDo you find resource development daunting? You’re not alone. Imagine a world where you look forward to doing resource development. And, since CILs are required to do resource development, you may want to imagine it sooner rather than later. But not to worry, we can help!

Like any program at your CIL, all it takes to be effective is the right staff, careful planning, and a little hard work. This February 11th, we’re offering a brand new webinar to help you identify new revenue, create a plan to prioritize your development work, and obtain funding to expand your programs and maximize your mission.

This is one training you can’t afford to miss! Sign up today!

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 webcast.  [Read more...]

Apply to be an ABA Business Law Section Diplomat

By Jason Goitia

The ABA Business Law Section Diplomat program is now accepting applications until May 2016. I am a former Diplomat and now chair of the Section’s Lawyers with Disabilities Involvement subcommittee of the BLS Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

NCIL members are encouraged to apply. Please visit the link above for more information, including the selection process.

Fee-for-Service Programs at Centers for Independent Living

New Community Opportunities Center Presents… A Two-Part Webinar / Teleconference Series on:

Fee-for-Service Programs at Centers for Independent Living

Part I: Planning for Fees-for-Service

  • February 10, 2015; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Part II: Implementing Fees-for-Service

  • February 17, 2015; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

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

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETWho wouldn’t like to expand their services and their budget at the same time? If your CIL is willing to do its homework, a fee-for-service program could provide you with just that opportunity. Join us in February for this two-part series on developing fee-for-service programs at centers for independent living. You’ll learn how you can research, build, and implement fee-for-service programs the right way. You’ll learn from a center that’s built several successful programs that have expanded and supported their core services. You can, too! Sign-up Today!

Registration Fee: $100.00 for both presentations. 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 webcast.  [Read more...]

ABCs of Nursing Home Transition

CIL-NET Presents… A Brand-New National Onsite Training:

April 7-9, 2015; St. Louis, Missouri

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

Registration Fee: $150.00

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETWe all know community living is a right, but that doesn’t mean that assisting someone to move back to the community is easy. Planning a successful transition takes months, sometimes years, of careful decision-making and planning by the consumer with your support. Join us in St. Louis this April to learn from the best. Our trainers will give you the resources, tips, and planning tools to take the guesswork out of transition so you can prepare for a successful transition from step one. This proven curriculum has been presented, with consistent updates and improvements, to IL staff all over the country. Don’t miss out. Sign up today!

And, all participants will also have the opportunity to visit Paraquad, St. Louis’ outstanding Center for Independent Living on the afternoon of Thursday, April 9th. Transportation is provided and included in the registration fee!

Note: Space is limited to the first 55 participants from CILs receiving priority admission. Other organizations registering will be admitted on a space available basis only.  [Read more...]

Save the Date: ADA25 Celebration


ADA25 Logo: Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990-2015 - Description: ADA25 Logo: Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990-2015

July 27, 2015; 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Grand Hyatt

Washington, DC

Media Advisory: Disability Advocates Prepared To Oppose Flurry of State Assisted Suicide Bills Being Introduced in 2015

 Source: Not Dead Yet

Brittany Maynard’s personal story has ignited the debate around assisted suicide legalization.  Most recently, Maynard’s husband appeared in an interview alongside the president of Compassion & Choices, formerly the Hemlock Society, to push legalization.

Disability advocates are deeply sympathetic to all people with a terminal illness, facing the difficulties that lie ahead.  Legalization of assisted suicide can look acceptable and safe when the focus is solely on one individual. However, a closer examination of the issue reveals the immense harm legalization poses to vulnerable people, the elderly and society as a whole.

“If these bills pass, some people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes and abuse,” said Marilyn Golden, senior policy analyst with the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund. “No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome, which can never be undone.”

Assisted suicide legislation was defeated last year in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts by a broad coalition of disability rights organizations, medical associations and professionals, palliative care specialists, hospice workers and right to life groups.  Similar coalitions are forming in many states in 2015 to oppose assisted suicide bills.

The following individuals are disability rights advocates who are experts and active on the issue of assisted suicide and able to speak on the record.

Marilyn Golden
Senior Policy Analyst
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
Berkeley, CA
(510) 703-0696

John B. Kelly
Second Thoughts
Boston, MA
(617) 536-5140

Diane Coleman
Not Dead Yet
Rochester, NY
(708) 420-0539

For more information, see Who’s Really Hurt by Assisted Suicide?  CNN, November 4, 2014.

IL-NET Presents: Two Webinars on WIOA

Independent Living Administration Webinar for CILs on WIOA
January 26, 2015; 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern

Independent Living Administration Webinar for SILCs on WIOA
January 27, 2015; 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETPlan to join the Administration for Community Living (ACL) on Monday, January 26, 2015 and Tuesday, January 27, 2015 as ILRU hosts two webinars – one for CILs and one for SILCs – on the changes made as part of the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The webinar will highlight key changes to the IL program, provide an overview of the regulatory process and explain how stakeholders may provide ongoing input.

Learn more and register using the links above.

How to Ask for More Than Old Socks and Underwear: Your Ingenious Nonprofit

Logo - Karen Eber Davis ConsultingBy Karen Eber Davis

The Goodwill CEO concluded his talk with a plea for donations: “We need your old socks and underwear.” Unfortunately, when many of us ask for help, we ask for “castoffs.” What do I mean? Even though we solve issues and offer communities amazing solutions and opportunities, we ask for too little to do our work.

This column focuses on processes that ingenious nonprofits use to increase their income. This month we consider our collective nonprofit mindset. What beliefs make the ingenious nonprofit stand out? One thing that makes them stand out is their willingness to insist that the value of their work be recognized. This mindset influences what they say and do, and why others partner with them and share resources. In short:

  • People partner with you because of your words and deeds.
  • Our beliefs determine our words and the conviction in our voice.
  • By sharing the importance of their nonprofit’s work, ingenious nonprofits engage people.
  • In turn, some of them invest time, money, and resources that create nonprofit abundance.

Two Realms at Once

Our culture places nonprofits in two realms simultaneously. On the one hand, nonprofits are special, endearing, and dare I say transcendent. We hope nonprofits will help us reach our highest aspirations. We esteem nonprofits that call to our hearts, energize us with possibilities, and stretch our imaginations.

Nonprofits solve mighty challenges—helping homeless families, supporting recovering addicts, and installing water pumps in distant villages. Others encounter, solve, and balm our most challenging problems. They guard our health, educate our children, and expose us to art. Nonprofits deserve the esteem they receive and should be placed in the “top-floor” realm.

However, nonprofits are often assigned to a second realm. This realm includes being less than competent, being ruled by passions, and requiring different standards. These “standards” include being:

  • Judged by the amount of spent on overhead—not results.
  • Required to charge less than for-profits in many government contracts.
  • Constrained by public opinion about how often supports can be requested, while everyone readily accepts the grocer’s weekly flyer.
  • Willing to accommodate low-quality services and employees.

For example, a business person calls a community foundation, “Can you find Sam, our manager, a nice nonprofit to run?” This implies that since Sam fails to meet the corporation’s demands, Sam will readily help the blind to see, balance a tricky budget, and keep an independent board on track. (Wisely, the foundation declines.) It is likely that you’ve also been the recipient of “pro-bono” services —which were a guise for someone who needed to practice their skills. Instead of top floor status, some even those within the sector, assign the sector and nonprofits to the bottom basement realm.

How did we get here? In part, because from the outside, the sector looks simple. Even though it looks simple (how hard can it be to do good?) it’s not. For example, unlike businesses and governments who seek one primary income stream, nonprofits manage seven. (For more, see my book, 7 Nonprofit Income Streams: Open the Floodgates to Sustainability!) When a CEO, with a background that included service as a CFO for a hospital, begins leading a healthcare nonprofit, he’s challenged. He expected that, given his expertise, the budget would be easy to balance. “I learned, I could easily balance the budget if I reduced critical services.”

Words Matter: Ingenious Nonprofits Ask for More Than Old Socks

Thankfully, the culture’s top floor thinking outweighs the bottom basement mindset. People give money. They donate used goods. Millions buy Girl Scout cookies and write checks. Often these gifts are not spare change or castoffs. Hurrah for everyone who gives, and for you, because you asked for these investments. To reach our goals, we must do more. To reach our high aspirations, we must:

1. Claim Our Place in the Leader’s Circle. Nonprofits tackle tough problems that corporations and governments shun. They solve dilemmas, inspire, and transform communities—often innovatively and with limited resources. Help nonprofits do more good work. Remove one of your burdens: instead of accepting, or worse, assigning yourself basement realm status, recognize the sector, your organization, and yourself for leadership. Take your place at the leadership table.

2. Bottom Basement Thinking Calls for Education. You’re not going to change the minds of everyone who asks about overhead (see one of my articles about overhead here), but we can educate those closest to you about the need to invest in infrastructure. We can educate them on how to ask better questions about results. Say, “Years ago all we had was overhead, now we have much better tools to show our results.” Then provide them the data and stories that prove it. Start with your inner circle.

3. Ask For More. Big problems require big solutions. If you ask for too little, you can’t create results that move the needle. One reason nonprofits are underfunded is because we ask for too little. We ask for used underwear and socks. Ingenious nonprofits ask for more. While they don’t always get what they ask, over time they receive more—enough for it to make the critical difference. Enough for them to standout as successes. Be bold.

Conclude your talks with a plea for help. “To solve the challenges our mission calls us to fix, we need your best. Your best dollars, and your best hours. Together we can change the world.”

Maine’s Holocaust and Human Rights Center Presents ADA At 25: Show Me the Incredible Exhibit

The Holocaust and Human Rights Center (HHRC) is proud to present an exhibit dedicated to the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The exhibit, which will be held at the Michael Klahr Center on the campus of the University of Maine at Augusta will be displayed From January 17th through March 13th, 2015.

The ADA at 25 exhibit includes an overview of the ADA and 504 Federal legislation, some important artifacts and stories relating to the treatment and care of people with disabilities in Maine prior to the 504 and ADA, and stories created by Oral History and Folklife, Inc. from ten Maine individuals who have been touched by the passage of the ADA.

The centerpiece of the exhibit will celebrate the creativity that has been unleashed by the expansion of services and support since the passage of the ADA. The exhibit includes visual arts and poems created by members of Spindleworks in Brunswick, The Linc Wellness Center in Augusta, the Waterville Social Club, and the Charlotte White Center in Dover-Foxcroft, among other sources. The subtitle of the show, Show Me The Incredible, is taken from one of the poems written by a member of the Linc Wellness Center, in a series called LincWords, created with Maine poet Lee Sharkey.

“The goal of this exhibit is to celebrate the effects of the passage of the ADA. We also use historical artifacts to help tell the stories of Mainers whose experiences lead to reforming the way people with disabilities have been treated in our history,” said David Greenham, Program Director of the HHRC.

“We feel the exhibit captures the spirit that was exhibited when President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA in the summer of 1990,” said Greenham. President Bush said, “We embrace you for your abilities and for your disabilities, for our similarities and indeed for our differences, for your past courage and your future dreams.”

Read more at the HHRC website.