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

2019 NCIL Youth Scholarship Applications Now Open!

NCIL is proud to announce the 2019 Youth Scholarship Fund. For the fifth year in a row, we will be offering scholarships to our Annual Conference to youth with disabilities ages 18–26 who may otherwise be unable to afford the cost of attendance.

NCIL offers three tiers of scholarships:

Local: Up to $110 to cover the cost of registration for youth with disabilities living in the Washington DC/Baltimore metropolitan area (this includes youth who will be in the area at the time of the conference for a summer internship or job).

Regional: Up to $975 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in the Region III area (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia).

National: Up to $1,200 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in other areas of the United States.

[Read more…]

Organizers Forum: Women, Gender, Sexism, and the Disability Rights Movement

  • Tuesday, March 19, 2019
  • 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern; 12:00-1:00 Central; 11:00-12:00 Mountain; 10:00-11:00 Pacific
  • RSVP
  • Call-in: 1-515-739-1285, passcode 521847#
  • Join the meeting online

In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the March Organizers Forum will be about women, gender and sexism in the disability community. We’ll talk about how to make disability spaces feminist spaces, how to address the leadership gap for women (and non-binary people) in the disability community, and intersectional feminism.

[Read more…]

Registration Now Open for NCIL’s 2019 Annual Conference!

Logo: 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living - featuring a white starburst graphic

July 22-25, 2019; Grand Hyatt, Washington

Next week, NCIL will publish our Annual Conference Guide with complete details on this year’s Conference, but you can also find the information you need to plan your trip right now at

Visit our 2019 Annual Conference web page for:

  • Registration details
  • Hotel information and reservations links
  • Basic Conference Agenda

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

NCIL Mourns the Passing of Thaddius Launderville

It is with great sadness that we write to inform you that on Monday, March 4, 2019, Thaddius Lauderville passed away. Thad was married to Sarah Launderville, NCIL’s Vice President and Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL), for 23 years, and together they have three children. Thad passed away surrounded by his family.

Thad was treasured by so many and will be remembered as a thoughtful, creative, and loving man. He had a wide range of interests, hobbies, and jobs, and he was a devoted friend, husband, and father. His passing is a huge loss for all who knew him, and our thoughts are with the Laundervilles during this incredibly difficult time. Read more about Thad’s life.

[Read more…]

CIL-NET Presents: A National Learning Collaborative on Business Acumen at Centers for Independent Living

May-December 2019

Are you looking to begin, secure, or grow contracts and funding from health plans and payers, but need help with your business acumen efforts?

CIL-NET is offering a National Learning Collaborative to assist CILs in improving business acumen by contracting with health plans and other health payers to establish income-producing community-based services that enable people with disabilities and significant health issues to live successfully in the community.

Goal of the Collaborative: To increase the Center’s capacity to engage in new business practices, notably contracting with health plans and payers, in order to establish and operate self-sustaining service programs in the community.

[Read more…]

National Council on Independent Living 2018 Annual Report

Dear Advocates and Friends,

We are pleased to announce that NCIL’s 2018 Annual Report is now available at our website.

Peace in my mind,
Love in my heart,
When my friend can have his way and his part,
A home from the start.

I’m so proud of the amazing work the Independent Living community accomplished in 2018.

The beauty of NCIL is that you, our members and supporters, run the show. In 2018, you fought attacks on the Americans with Disabilities Act, gained the support of a record number of co-sponsors for the Disability Integration Act, testified about the devastating impact of Electronic Visit Verification, and spoke out against policies that would limit access to opioids for people with chronic pain. Your tireless advocacy made all the difference.

[Read more…]

The National Organizing Project Presents: A Teleconference and Webinar – The Art of Negotiation: Closing the Deal

The National Organizing Project Presents: A Teleconference and Webinar

Negotiation is often referred to as an art form because there are many creative, nuanced ways of getting to your end goal: closing the deal.

This webinar / teleconference will highlight some techniques and explore some creative ways of getting at the compromise that allows for a win-win situation.

Target Audience: This presentation is open to all CIL and SILC staff members, directors, board members, and all other interested parties. All are encouraged to attend.

Registration Fee: This presentation is free for NCIL members to attend and $25 for non-members, but we do need you to register prior to the event.

[Read more…]

Action Alert: Honor Women’s History Month by Securing New DIA Cosponsors!

March is Women’s History Month and we are celebrating by honoring all the women in this world with disabilities! Our goal in March is to get all women in Congress – both the House and Senate – to sign on by the end of the month. Let’s win freedom for millions and get the Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555 / S. 117) passed into law in the 116th Congress!

This may take multiple calls and emails, but together we will get this imperative civil rights legislation passed and FREE OUR PEOPLE.

“Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation!” – Coretta Scott King

[Read more…]

NCIL to Launch Campaign Skills Webinar Series

Are you considering running for a local elected office but don’t know where to start? Do you have the drive to run for school board or city council, but you’re intimidated by the prospect of fundraising or concerned about potential access barriers? You’re not alone. Although one in six voters has a disability, there are surprisingly few resources and programs dedicated to teaching people with disabilities how to run for elected office. To that end, with the financial support of the American Association of People with Disabilities and the Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award, NCIL is developing a series of accessible online campaign training workshops to be held in late spring and early summer of 2019. 

This webinar series will train participants on the basics skills they need to run their first political campaign, including operations, field organizing, communications, and fundraising. It will be conducted from a cross-disability perspective, with insights on how to tailor campaign operations to work with your access needs, as well as how to talk about your disability authentically within the scope of your campaign. NCIL has partnered with NuView Consulting, a disability-owned, minority-owned consulting firm which has over 14 years of experience in political campaigns of all sizes. These training workshops will be intentionally led by campaign experts of color who have extensive experience with underrepresented communities. 

The National Council on Independent Living is a 501c3 nonprofit and a non-partisan organization, and workshops are for educational purposes only. NCIL does not provide support or endorsement to any candidates for elected office. 

Registration and additional information will be available shortly. These webinars are offered free of charge to NCIL members. However, we always welcome donations to support NCIL’s work around voting rights and running for office.  You can donate through our donation page.  Check ‘Yes’ under “I would like to donate to direct my money to a specific fund” and select “Voting Rights & Civic Engagement” from the drop down menu. If you would like receive more information about these webinars and other NCIL offerings, become a NCIL member today.

Join Wednesday’s Call-In Day for Money Follows the Person!

Thanks to your ongoing advocacy, Congress passed a short-term Money Follows the Person (MFP) extension (the Medicaid Extenders Act, H.R. 259) into law early this year. On February 25, Congress introduced a new version of the EMPOWER Care Act (H.R. 1342 / S. 548) that would extend the MFP program for five years in both the House and the Senate.

MFP was enacted in 2005 with strong bipartisan support, and is one of the longest running, most successful Medicaid demonstrations. Since it began, 47 states have participated and over 88,000 disabled people have been freed from institutions – and CILs have played a critical role in that. However, MFP expired on September 30, 2016, and the Medicaid Extenders Act provided only three months of funding, so our continued advocacy is needed for a longer-term extension.

The EMPOWER Care Act would extend the MFP program for five years, giving us more time to work toward a permanent solution for MFP. Importantly, now that CILs have been established as a national network required to conduct transition services (as part of the passage of WIOA in 2014), NCIL would like to see a permanent MFP solution that incorporates the CIL network into the bill language. NCIL is committed to that effort, and passing the EMPOWER Care Act into law would serve as a much-needed next step to reaching that goal.

Take Action Now!

  • Participate in Wednesday’s National Call-In Day! Call your Representative and Senators and tell them to support the EMPOWER Care Act and pass it immediately! Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY). Find more information at Wednesday’s Facebook event. RSVP and share widely!
  • Other ways to contact your Members of Congress: You can find your Members’ Twitter handles and other contact information on Contacting Congress. (If you post on social media, use the handle #FundMFP)
  • Continue sharing your stories! See our previous alert for more details about the stories we’re looking for, and share them with us for our advocacy efforts in DC.
  • Share with the press! Arrange press interviews highlighting the stories of folks who were able to move home because of MFP, or individuals who are stuck in institutions and would benefit from MFP’s reauthorization. Sharing our stories is the key to gaining the support of members of Congress AND the public. If you successfully get the press to cover MFP, please send a link of the coverage to