the advocacy monitor

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

Invitation to Participate: Diversity Partners Survey

You are the expert!

As an employment service professional, we know that you have a lot to say about working with employers and supporting jobseekers, including individuals with disabilities. We want to learn from you!

Logo - Diversity PartnersPlease help us better understand the successes and challenges that you experience in your job by completing our anonymous survey. It will take approximately 20 minutes.

Why are we asking you to do this? And who is asking?

  • We are the Diversity Partners Project of the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.
  • We are developing an online learning tool for professionals like you to support your work.
  • The Diversity Partners tools and resources will provide strategies to help you and your organization develop strong relationships with business and better support jobseekers with disabilities.
  • We need to learn about your real-life experiences to make these tools and resources the best they can be. For you.

Your time is valuable! As a token of our appreciation for your completion of the survey, you may choose to enter into a drawing to win an iPad Mini. More information on this is provided at the end of the survey.

Participation in the survey is completely voluntary and anonymous. Your answers to open-ended questions may be used verbatim in Diversity Partners materials, but with no identifying information. There are no anticipated risks associated with your decision to participate in the survey. Funding for this project comes from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). If you have any questions concerning the survey, please contact Carolina Harris: charris@cornell.edu.

Nominations Sought for Women’s Caucus Hall of Fame Award

The NCIL Women’s Caucus is pleased to announce nominations for the NCIL Women’s Caucus 2016 IL Hall of Fame Award.

We are seeking women who are leaders in our movement, who mentor other women in their community, and who work hard to push forward the rights of women with disabilities.

Womens Caucus Logo: Power with a CauseThe caucus is seeking nominations from now until May 31 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Winners will be announced at NCIL’s Annual Conference in July.

If you know someone who fits the bill, please fill out our nomination form.

In keeping with the theme of the Conference, “Solidarity: Everybody In,” we are looking for nominations that include leaders who work to allow the new generation of IL women to lead.

We know that the Independent Living Movement began with young leaders and that many young people today are making their mark in the Movement at a younger age. We are looking for nominations about these young women.

We are also hoping to receive nominations that encompass the full NCIL membership. We hope to have inductees into the hall of fame who have a diverse background when it comes to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability.

On the first Friday of every month, a group of women who are members of NCIL speak together about important policy issues facing women who have disabilities. We talk about leadership opportunities, mentoring, and most importantly, advocacy strategies.

We invite you to join these calls and become part of this work! For more information, contact Sarah Launderville at slaunderville@vcil.org or Mary Margaret Moore at mmmoore@ilcnsca.org.

Action Alert: Submit Comments in Support of the Food and Drug Administration’s Ban on Electrical Stimulation Devices!

Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published proposed regulations that would ban electrical stimulation devices used as behavioral “treatment.” These devices are used to deliver electric shocks as punishment for behaviors in both children and adults with disabilities, and disability advocates have been fighting to end the use of these devices for decades.

This is an issue that has received much attention from NCIL and other disability rights groups over the last several years. Many of you are familiar with the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Massachusetts. Despite opposition from previous residents, parents, and disability advocates around the country, JRC continues to use electric shock devices. It is the only institution in the country that still uses them. NCIL, along with other members of the Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion (APRAIS), has advocated many times for the JRC to end their use of these devices and for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to stop funding the JRC (PDF).

In 2011, NCIL adopted a resolution of opposition to involuntary electroshock. Decades of evidence has shown that the use of these devices is incredibly dangerous, posing risks to both psychological and physical health. Additionally, and equally important, the use of electric shock devices is incredibly cruel and dehumanizing.

The FDA has finally determined that these devices present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury, and they are proposing to ban both new devices and those already in distribution and use. This ban is long overdue, and we need to let them know that we strongly support this decision!

Please submit comments in support of the ban. Comments are due on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. You can submit them online at regulations.gov (click the “comment now” button), or you can mail your comments to: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. If you are submitting comments that you would like to be held confidential, you must submit them by mail.

We urge you to take a few moments to express your support of this ban. We know that the JRC and their supporters will be flooding the FDA with comments opposing this ban, and we need to make sure they hear from all of us who support it!

Tomorrow: Join Our Partner, the LEAD Center for A Free Webinar – Financial Literacy and the Workforce Development System: Resources and Implementation Strategies

LEAD Center Logo - www.leadcenter.orgApril is Financial Capability Month. The White House has encouraged Americans to “recommit to equipping individuals with the knowledge and protections necessary to secure a stable financial future for themselves and their families.” To support you in your efforts to equip the individuals you serve with the financial knowledge they need to improve their employment and economic advancement outcomes, the LEAD Center is offering a webinar that brings together representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA); Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP); the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation); and the City of Louisville’s Metro Community Services workgroup on Workforce and Financial Empowerment. Join us to learn about financial literacy tools and resources, along with implementation strategies to integrate within your employment and workforce development services.  [Read more…]

Nominate a Mentor or Program for the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame by May 1, 2016!

Established in December 2014, the mission of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) is to increase the awareness, quality, and impact of mentoring for individuals with disabilities across the nation. Member organizations share core values and align with the Coalition’s initiatives to streamline communication, reduce duplication of efforts, increase mentoring opportunities, improve recognition of successful programs and mentors, and improve outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities.

The Coalition launched the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame in September 2015 to honor those who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities. The Hall of Fame’s namesake, Susan M. Daniels, devoted her life to improving the lives of others with disabilities. As a person with a disability who achieved enormous professional and personal success, she had significant impact as a senior policy maker and as a mentor to hundreds of individuals. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the NDMC named 25 outstanding leaders as the first inductees into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. These inductees were selected for their demonstrated commitment to mentoring and for the impact of their contributions on improving the lives of people with disabilities.

Nominations for the Class of 2016 are currently being accepted until May 1, 2016.

Please spread the word! Thanks for supporting the Coalition’s work and for helping to increase awareness of the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Action Alert: Share Your Experiences Voting with the Election Assistance Commission by April 27!

This is an opportunity to have your voice heard!

VOTE Emblem features the universal sybol of accessibility holding a paper with Choice check marked and Option uncheckedHave you ever had any problems trying to vote? That includes access to an accessible parking place or having a private ballot. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will be holding a public hearing on voting accessibility on April 27th. If you have had a negative experience while casting your ballot, they need to hear your story. You have the opportunity to inform the EAC about the difficulties you encountered.

If you would like to share your experience with the EAC, please email listen@eac.gov identifying the polling place where you experienced the issue and describing the problem you had while trying to cast your vote.

You can also attend the hearing in person:

Suffolk University Boston, Law School
120 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02108
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Action Alert: Submit Comments on the EEOC’s Section 501 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by Monday!

As part of the federal government’s continued efforts to become a model employer of people with disabilities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PDF) outlining specific actions for federal agencies to take to comply with their obligations under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act. The disability community has incredibly high rates of unemployment, and this is one of several recent efforts to increase the participation of people with disabilities in the federal workforce. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) builds on recent efforts and combines requirements from a variety of sources (Executive Orders, sub-regulatory documents, and management directives) into one rule.

The EEOC is accepting comments on the NPRM through Monday, April 25. In addition to the NPRM, they have also published a summary and a questions and answers document. NCIL will be submitting comments, and we strongly encourage NCIL members to do the same!

Specifically, the NPRM proposes requiring federal agencies to adopt the goal of achieving a 12% representation rate for people with disabilities, and a 2% rate for people with targeted / severe disabilities (see the questions and answers document for more information on targeted disabilities). With people with disabilities making up approximately 20% of the country’s population, we strongly believe that in order to be a model employer, the government’s employment goals should more accurately represent the proportion of Americans with disabilities. In order for the goals to be achievable but also actually increase federal employment levels of people with disabilities, we will be submitting comments to recommend that the goals for representation be set at no less than 15% for people with disabilities, and 4% for people with targeted / severe disabilities.

Comments are due on Monday, April 25. You can submit your comments online (identified by RIN 3046-AA94), by faxing (up to six pages) to (202) 663-4114, or by mail to Bernadette Wilson, Executive Officer, Executive Secretariat, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 131 M Street NE, Washington, DC 20507.

Financial Management Workshop for CILs: Regulations and Beyond

CIL-NET Presents… A National Onsite Training

May 25-27, 2016; Baltimore, Maryland

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

Registration Fee: $150.00

Are you trying to keep up with all of the new guidance and regulations for CILs? We can help!

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETThe CIL-NET is offering an updated version of our popular financial management workshop to give your CIL the latest information on compliance and financial management practices. Whether you are new to nonprofit accounting or are looking to bolster your Center’s financial policies and procedures, you will learn exactly what you need to do to strengthen your Center, effectively manage finances, and ensure compliance with federal regulations. Led by John Heveron, a certified CPA with over 40 years working with non-profits – including Centers for Independent Living – this workshop will give you the skills and resources that are essential to sound financial management in a thriving Center for Independent Living.  [Read more…]

Did You Ever Have Trouble Voting?

Imagine being 30 years old and a person with a disability and you go to your polling place. You tell the poll worker your name and the poll worker responds to you by saying “you need to take a reading test before you can vote.” Or you’re a person that uses a wheelchair and you go to your polling place and there are two stairs going into the building.

Unfortunately, in 2016 these are still true stories for people with disabilities! Have you ever had any issues? Well the Election Assistance Commission needs to hear from you. The Voting Rights Subcommittee repeatedly hears of problems that people with disabilities are having trying to cast a private and unassisted ballot!

So here is the opportunity to try to change what is going on. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) will be holding a public hearing on voting accessibility on April 27. If you have had a negative experience while casting your ballot, you have the opportunity to inform the EAC about the difficulties you encountered. If you would like to share your experience with the EAC, please send an email to listen@eac.gov identifying the polling place where you experienced the issue and describing the problem you had while trying to cast your vote.

NCIL 2017 Independent Living Funding Talking Points

Centers for Independent Living stand ready to take on the challenges and opportunities of integrating the additions and changes included in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. In order to effectively carry out the additional core service, as well as to meet increasing demand and overcome years of devastating cute, it has been determined that additional funding of $200 million will be required.

We are requesting $200M in additional funding in the 2017 budget for the Independent Living line item.

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are grassroots, advocacy-driven organizations run by and for people with disabilities. CILs envision a society in which people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully. In order to accomplish this vision, CILs support consumers moving out of nursing homes and into the community, and advocate for individuals facing discrimination in employment, education, housing, transportation, and healthcare to ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities as citizens of our democratic nation.

The additional core service authorized by WIOA in Title V is Transition; as defined:

  1. Facilitate the transitions of individuals with significant disabilities from nursing homes and other institutions to home and community based residences;
  2. Provide assistance to individuals with significant disabilities who are at risk of entering institutions so that the individual may remain in the community; and
  3. facilitate the transition of youth (including students) who are individuals with significant disabilities, who are eligible for individualized education programs under section 614(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1414(d)), and who have completed their secondary education or otherwise left school, to post-secondary life, including employment

[Read more…]