the advocacy monitor

independent living policy for wonks and wonkettes

NCIL Director to Ask Congress for $200 Million in Additional IL Funding: Your Support Urgently Needed!

Next Wednesday, April 29, Kelly Buckland, NCIL’s Executive Director, will be testifying in front of the U.S. House of Representatives Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee at their Public Witness Hearing. Kelly will be addressing the crucial need to increase funding for Independent Living, and the vital role that Centers for Independent Living play in the lives of people with disabilities. Read Kelly’s testimony.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingFrom 2012-2014, CILs provided the four core services to nearly 5 million individuals with disabilities. In that same period CILs moved 13,030 people out of nursing homes and institutions, and provided services such as housing assistance, transportation, personal care attendants, and employment services, to hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities. Every day, CILs are fighting to ensure that people with disabilities gain and maintain control over our own lives.

We know that this cannot occur when people reside in institutional settings. Opponents of deinstitutionalization say that allowing people with disabilities to live in the community will result in harm. We say that it’s time to get rid of those outdated, paternalistic attitudes and allow people with disabilities REAL choice in where and how they live, work, and otherwise participate in the community. The 13,030 people CILs successfully transitioned out of nursing homes and institutions from 2012-2014 clearly prove that deinstitutionalization works.

Congress demonstrated their understanding and support for this when WIOA was passed and transition was added as a fifth core service. However, with IL being the only federally funded program mandated to provide transition services, the need for funding is critical! Moreover, CILs need additional funding to restore the devastating cuts to the Independent Living program, make up for inflation costs, and address the increased demand for independent living services. Right now, the Independent Living Program is receiving nearly $3 million less in funding than we were in 2010. This is simply unacceptable.

The value of CILs cannot be overstated. People with disabilities deserve to be the decision-makers in our own lives, and CILs provide that opportunity to millions of individuals. We need to make sure that Congress hears this! The Subcommittee is accepting written testimony for the record from the public through April 29, and they need to hear from you! Input from the IL community will provide an incredible amount of support for NCIL’s written and oral testimony.

NCIL has also created a sample testimony for your use.

You should feel free to change and personalize this as much as you want – just make sure your testimony adheres to the guidance provided above and does not exceed 5 pages. Once it’s finished, you can send it as an email attachment to with the subject line FY 2016 written testimony for the record or fax it to 202-225-3509.

ADAPT Storms DC – Free Our People!

Source: ADAPT

ADAPT logo: Free Our PeopleOn April 20, 2015, ADAPT activists from across the nation gathered in Washington, DC and began a week of non-violent civil disobedience. ADAPT demanded President Obama act now to support the Community Integration Act. They were 150 strong and 53 ADAPT warriors were arrested. Read Action Reports from throughout the week.

NCIL thanks ADAPT warriors for bringing these issues to the Administration and to the American public, and for their steadfast commitment to freeing our people now!

ADAPT’s demands to the Obama Administration are as follows.

In the face of a Congress that has been unwilling to work with him to advance his priorities, President Obama has sought out ideas he can announce and enact on his own. He’s taken action on a significant number of issues, but has not taken any significant steps to assure that Americans with disabilities can live in freedom.

With the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upon us, there is greater attention on the ADA and the rights of people with disabilities. President Obama should take this unique opportunity and leverage this anniversary not only to affirm – but also to advance – the rights of people with disabilities, including the right of people with disabilities to live in the most integrated setting and be integrated in the community.

Today, ADAPT demands that the Obama Administration:

  • Issue an Executive Order that acknowledges the inhumane warehousing of people in nursing facilities and other institutions and implements specific steps to end this practice, including increased Olmstead enforcement, implementation of policies to assure that state Medicaid rates for home and community-based services support adequate wages for attendants and greater oversight of state Medicaid programs;
  • Designate Vice President Biden as an “Ambassador for Community Living” and send him on an ADA Anniversary Tour where he visits ten model programs for transitioning people with disabilities into the community and convenes round-tables in ten states to support them in developing effective systems for truly integrating people with disabilities; and
  • Issue a statement that the President supports the development of legislation clarifying and strengthening the ADA’s integration mandate and assuring that people with disabilities have a community-based alternative to institutional placement that allows them to lead an independent life.

Join Our Partner, the LEAD Center for WIOA from a Disability Perspective, Part 2: Developing the WIOA Unified State Plan – The Power of Collaboration

LEAD Center LogoThe LEAD Center, funded by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Policy, is hosting a four-part webinar series titled “WIOA From a Disability Perspective.”

Section 102 of WIOA requires states to submit a Unified State Plan that, at a minimum, includes the following core programs administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Education (ED):

  1. Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth Formula Programs (DOL)
  2. Wagner-Peyser Act Employment Services (DOL)
  3. Adult Education and Literacy Programs (ED)
  4. Vocational Rehabilitation (ED)  [Read more...]

Americans with Disabilities Act 25th Anniversary Celebratory PSA

ADA Legacy Project LogoOn the 100 day countdown to the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA Legacy Project is pleased to announce the release of a universally designed Public Service Announcement marking the 25th Anniversary of the ADA. This PSA highlights several events leading up to and including the signing of the ADA by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. Included in the PSA is a commemorative logo designed by Dan Wilkins, as well as historic black and white photographs provided by Tom Olin including a march, the Capitol crawl, and other demonstrations by persons with disabilities and their supporters.

The PSA is sponsored by ADA Legacy Project, which has been conducting a nation-wide tour of images and stories leading up the passage of the ADA.

The PSA was created and edited by Helen E. Walsh of Diverse Disability Media to be accessible to all by its utilization of universal design principles, using open caption and open audio description. The PSA additionally provides a long text description of the video for full detail. Ms. Walsh also announced that she is working on further ADA commemorative projects including a compilation of (30 seconds or less) smartphone videos from the community answering the question “How will you celebrate ADA25?”

This PSA and narrative can be accessed on the new YouTube Channel ADA 25 Celebrate!

For further information on ADA legacy Project, visit

Making Much of Little: Turning Untapped Assets Into Gold – Your Ingenious Nonprofit

Karen Eber Davis

Logo - Karen Eber Davis ConsultingIngenious solutions. People devise amazing ways to earn income or ingenious solutions. Many of their ideas can be adapted to your setting. This article shares the Asset-on-Hyperdrive technique that I encountered while writing 7 Nonprofit Income Streams.

In a nutshell, the Asset-on-Hyperdrive technique:

  1. Identifies assets such as volunteers, donations, and unused seats.
  2. Explores each asset for its potential to solve a key challenge.
  3. Expands specific assets by using multiple tools and measuring results.
  4. Reaps benefits in your triple-bottom line: growth of community support, income, and mission.

To imagine how this works, think of each of your asset as a garden hose. Left unattended, water trickles out of them. Turn the knob. Receive a flow of water. Twist the knob all the way. You’ll fill your whole yard.  [Read more...]

New ACA 101 for Small Business Webinar Series

The Small Business Administration (SBA), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Small Business Majority will host free Affordable Care Act 101 webinars. The webinar will focus on what the new healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act, means for small businesses. It will focus on both federal and state provisions to help local small business owners understand how the law will affect them. Topics being discussed include:

  1. Small business tax credits (available to businesses and tax-exempt non-profits)— who’s eligible for them and how to claim them
  2. Marketplace updates
  3. Shared responsibility
  4. Cost containment
  5. Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law.  [Read more...]

Call for Volunteers

Generation ADA: Rise Up! 2015 Annual Conference on Independent Living (Image: red power fist outlined by a black circle)The 2015 Annual Conference on Independent Living is coming up quickly! We have an exciting Conference planned! To make this year’s Conference successful, we need your help. The Annual Conference Committee and NCIL staff work tirelessly all year planning the Conference on a limited budget and we are very committed to keeping costs low to make the Conference as affordable as possible for attendees. To make this Conference affordable for all, we need volunteers!

We hope that IL advocates, family, friends, and supporters around the country will provide significant assistance at the 2015 NCIL Annual Conference. We have wonderful incentives for those who put in volunteer hours! We know some of your staff must attend all Conference activities, but if there are others that may not normally get to attend, incentives for volunteering may be the perfect opportunity for them. If you or your staff volunteers more than 5 hours during the Conference, half of the volunteer’s registration fee is waived. If you or your staff person volunteers 10 or more hours, the volunteer’s full registration fee will be waived.  [Read more...]

Fees-for-Service Accounting in CILs: Budgeting and Setting Rates

New Community Opportunities Center Presents… A National Webinar & Teleconference

May 20, 2015; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

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

If your Center is pursuing fee-for-service programs, this training might be just what you need. Determining your Center’s costs and setting appropriate rates is something you cannot afford to get wrong. Set your rates too high and you might lose a contract; too low and your new program might be a funding drain. Join us May 20th to take the guesswork out of your planning. Our presenter will teach you how to plan effectively for fee-for-service accounting, while avoiding common pitfalls along the way.  [Read more...]

Content Marketing for Centers for Independent Living: Communicating your Strengths and Expertise in your Community

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETCIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar

May 13, 2015; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

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

Do you wish more people in your community knew about the great work your Center is doing? It may seem far-fetched, but marketing your expertise and success shouldn’t be a luxury. Thinking carefully about your content marketing will help you set goals, communicate success, and find new consumers and supporters. You’ll learn how to conceptualize marketing strategies that work for you and your budget while attracting the right people in your area. Join us in May to learn proven content marketing strategies from a successful CIL.  [Read more...]

Open Position: 2015 Youth Transitions Fellowship (Washington, DC)

The HSC Foundation, in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), is now accepting applications for a paid fellowship position with the organizations’ disability youth transition and collaboration work. This fellowship is ideal for a person with a disability who has an interest in youth career transitions and employment solutions. The fellowship starts in June 2015, and continues for 15 months. Under the supervision of NCIL’s Executive Director, the Youth Transitions Fellow (YTF) will gain exposure to youth programs serving people with disabilities and will have the opportunity to facilitate collaboration among internship, fellowship, and apprenticeship programs based in the Greater Washington, DC area.  [Read more...]