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

Action Alert: Do Your Part Today, Help Reauthorize the Rehabilitation Act!

We are calling on you to demonstrate your continued support for the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act. It is your sustained dedication to this extremely important piece of legislation that will help us achieve success and see action on the Senate floor! The time to act is now. We need you!

Reauthorize the Rehab Act 2013 Protest SignThe Rehabilitation Act is a top priority for NCIL because the legislation mandates how Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) operate. Although the Act has not been reauthorized since 1998, disability and Independent Living advocates have worked tirelessly with legislators to strengthen and update the language to make significant changes to the Independent Living program, including the creation of an Independent Living Administration (ILA). This bipartisan effort has ensured that these changes will allow people with disabilities to live more independently by streamlining how people with disabilities can impact the policies that affect them, a core part of NCIL’s mission. Moreover, the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act will strengthen employment opportunities, independent living services, and produce better outcomes for youth with disabilities.

What's the fix? Senate Bill 1356 - Independent Living belongs to the people. Rehabilitation Act (Senate Bill 1356), which is contained within the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (WIA), was passed out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee during NCIL’s conference this past July. But this is only the beginning. After waiting 15 years for the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, we now have a strong bill. But the bill will not turn into reality without your help and commitment to legislation that directly affects every CIL, SILC, and individual within the Independent Living Movement.

NCIL is currently engaged in countless meetings with the offices of Senators from across the country to demonstrate our continued support of the legislation and to express our motivation for the Act’s reauthorization. While we meet with Senators in Washington, you too must do your part. Take this opportunity to let your Senators know that they should support WIA and how it would affect you! Every phone call and letter in support of the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act brings us one step closer to success.

You can familiarize yourself with the Rehabilitation Act by visiting Review the S. 1356 Talking Points (PDF or plain text) and use them to advocate for Reauthorization of Rehabilitation Act when talking to your Senators. The Talking Points were developed for the August recess but still contain up-to-date information that will help you be prepared to discuss why Reauthorization of the bi-partisan bill is important to you, your SILC, and the CILs in your state.

As the year comes to a close, we want to fully dedicate ourselves to advocating for the Reauthorization of this Bill in the hopes that we can see a vote on the Senate floor soon.

We are calling on you to join the efforts of countless people who created change in the past and continue to ensure that the laws of this land are equal and accessible for all.

Do your part today!


  1. Judy Stone says:

    Re-arthorize Rehab act it is much needed. We need more accessibility to be able to be more productive and live more independant.

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