the advocacy monitor

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

Help ADAPT Keep the Pressure on Democrats in the House!

ADAPT is back in the House today working to secure additional cosponsors for the Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555). Per this morning’s alert, yesterday’s actions were hugely successful and we are extremely close to having the number of cosponsors needed to ensure passage in the House of Representatives!

ADAPT put out a press release this morning about their ongoing efforts today in the House to call on Democratic Representatives to keep their promise of civil rights for all. ADAPT has also called on House Leadership to cosponsor the Disability Integration Act (DIA), and NCIL joins in that call for support. At NCIL’s Annual Conference over the summer, Speaker Pelosi proudly wore a DIA pin and committed to securing as many cosponsors as she could for the bill (watch a video or read the transcript). It is time for her and the rest of House Leadership to cosponsor the DIA!

Keep Taking Action!

Check the list of current cosponsors, and if your Representative is still not a cosponsor, call now and demand they become a cosponsor today. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your Representative’s office, or contact their office directly using the House directory. You can use these fact sheets for talking points.

And, keep following and boosting the action on social media using the hashtags #ADAPTandRESIST, #DisabilityFreedom, and #DIAtoday.

Competitive Integrated Employment Updates and Action Alert

New Coalition to Advance Competitive Integrated Employment

Disabled people deserve to be fully included in the workforce, working real jobs for real pay. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) established competitive integrated employment (CIE) as a priority, which means the opportunity for disabled people to work for the same wages and benefits and in the community alongside nondisabled coworkers.

NCIL has joined the Coalition to Advance Competitive Integrated Employment, a coalition of over 20 other national organizations working to promote competitive integrated employment. You can check out our new website, learn more about the coalition and current efforts around CIE, and find out how you can get involved in the effort to protect CIE at integratedemploymentnow.org.

Upcoming Hearing

Today, Tuesday May 21, the House Committee on Education and Labor are holding a hearing entitled “Eliminating Barriers to Employment: Opening Doors to Opportunity”. The hearing will include a focus on the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act. Read more about this hearing.

Take Action for the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act!

The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (H.R. 873 / S. 260) was introduced earlier this year by Senators Casey and Van Hollen, Chairman Scott, and Representative McMorris Rodgers. The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act will phase out the use of 14(c) certificates and provide funding for grants to states and employers to transform business models to support competitive integrated employment. Read the fact sheet (PDF) and the letter NCIL signed (PDF).

Please contact your Senators and Representative and ask them to cosponsor the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (H.R. 873 / S. 260)! It’s time to expand opportunities for competitive integrated employment and end subminimum wages! Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your Representative or Senator’s office, or contact their office directly using the directory for the House or Senate.

Keep Supporting ADAPT – Make Calls Today!

Yesterday National ADAPT occupied 19 House offices in honor of ADAPT’s original “Gang of 19.” Yesterday was a huge success, with 19 new cosponsor commitments! Read the press release and check out the updated DIA Dashboard at disabilityintegrationact.org/dia-dashboard

With the new cosponsors and 2 additional yes votes (not co-sponsors), we are now at a total of 204. We are so close to having the number of cosponsors needed to ensure DIA passage in the House of Representatives. With 218 needed, we’re only 14 away!

THANK YOU to those of you who mobilized and made calls to your Representatives to support our ADAPT family in DC. ADAPT will be on the Hill again today, and they still need your support!

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Support ADAPT Next Week by Gearing Up for Action on the Disability Integration Act!

We are so close to having the number of cosponsors needed to ensure Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555 / S. 117) passage in the House of Representatives. Right now we have 158 cosponsors listed on congress.gov and ten more have committed to signing on this week, which means we only need 50 more to secure a majority of the House. Every week, we’re building more momentum and gaining more cosponsors!

Next Monday through Wednesday, ADAPT will be in Washington, DC for three days of historic work to get the DIA closer to passage. They’re coming to DC to call on Democratic members of the House to keep their promise of civil rights for all.

Read their message, “We Put Our Bodies on the Line to Save Obamacare. Now ADAPT Is Asking House Democrats to Support Our Fight for Freedom!

We need the IL community to be ready to mobilize and support their work!

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Action Alert: Momentum is Building – Help Secure Additional DIA Cosponsors!

The Disability Integration Act (DIA), H.R. 555 and S. 117, is continuing to gain cosponsors thanks to the efforts of disability advocates across the country!

As a reminder, we need 218 cosponsors to ensure we’ll have enough votes to pass DIA in the House of Representatives. Right now we have 155, which means we only need 63 commitments before passage is virtually guaranteed! ADAPT has created a new tool on the DIA website (disabilityintegrationact.org) called the DIA Dashboard, so keep checking back for updated numbers!

Our goal is still to pass the bill during the week of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), when many Independent Living advocates from across the country will also be in Washington, DC for NCIL’s Annual Conference on Independent Living. We need your help to make sure this happens!

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Call for Presentations: Second Annual Assistive Technology Makers’ Fair

The call for presenters at the second national Assistive Technology (AT) Makers’ Fair Conference and Expo is now open.

To find out more about this event and to submit your presentation, please visit www.atmakersfair.com or read more about the event in our recent article by John Flaherty, Assistive Technology Specialist at Transitional Paths to Independent Living (TRPIL). You can also see examples of presenters who participated last year.

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TRPIL to Host Second Annual Assistive Technology Makers’ Fair September 24-25 in Monroeville, PA!

By John Flaherty, Assistive Technology Specialist, Transitional Paths to Independent Living (TRPIL)

This coming September 24-25, Transitional Paths to Independent Living (TRPIL) is hosting the second national Assistive Technology (AT) Makers’ Fair: Making AT for All Conference & Expo in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

TRPIL serves Washington, Fayette and Greene counties in Pennsylvania. We are also the home of the Assistive Technology Resource Center as part of the state AT Act program in Pennsylvania (TechOwl), which has the stated goals of providing public awareness, access, outreach and technical service / training activities. I also work with Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) to provide information about financing options for assistive technology. Additionally, I’ve been a member of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) for several years.

The staff at TRPIL and I are working with local, state and national partners to bring this event to the Pittsburgh area, but we need your help. If you would be willing to share this information it would be greatly appreciated. You can see some of what we did at last year’s event on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ATMakersNH, and you can register at www.atmakersfair.com. The call for presentations is now open, and we can’t wait to see the latest innovations!

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Organizers Forum: Housing and Disability

  • Tuesday, May 21, 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

Finding affordable and accessible housing has become increasingly hard for people with disabilities. What are advocates and organizers doing on a local and national level about this crisis? Join us for ideas and conversation.

Speakers to be announced.

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2019 Assistive Technology Makers’ Fair AT Invention Contest

Makers Making Dreams Come True

Attention all tinkerers, inventors, and creators of contraptions, gizmos, and gadgets! Come share your ideas and show off your prototypes!

Makers are changing the world and giving individuals with disabilities the tools they need to stay or grow more independent. Come exhibit your invention at the Assistive Technology Invention Contest during the AT Makers’ Fair and compete to be the 2019 AT Maker of the Year. Fair attendees will vote on the inventions, and the top three makers will be awarded prizes. All levels of experience are welcome.

Register today! Visit www.atmakersfair.com.

Information Alert: ILA Reorganization Update

On Wednesday we sent out an information alert about upcoming reorganization at the Independent Living Administration. This alert was sent before the announcement was finalized in the Federal Register, because we wanted to get you the information we had as quickly as possible.

Read the notice in the Federal Register. The notice confirms the information we sent out on Wednesday. While the notice states that the reorganization will be effective upon date of signature, it was confirmed during a stakeholder call yesterday that the implementation date is the first week of August. It was also confirmed that there will be NO opportunity for public comment.

We are continuing to stay on top of this situation, and we will share all relevant information as we receive it.