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

Action Alert: Submit Testimony to Congress for $200 Million in Additional IL Funding – Your Support Urgently Needed!

NCIL is finalizing our written testimony to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittees. In the testimony, we address the critical need for additional funding for Independent Living, and the vital role that CILs play in the lives of people with disabilities. 

From 2012-2014, CILs provided the four core services to nearly 5 million individuals with disabilities, and provided services such as housing assistance, transportation, personal care attendants, and employment services, to hundreds of thousands more. In that same period CILs moved 13,030 people out of nursing homes and institutions, allowing people with disabilities real choice in where and how they live, work, and participate in the community. Every day, CILs are fighting to ensure that people with disabilities gain and maintain control over our own lives.

Congress demonstrated their understanding and support for IL and transition services when WIOA was passed and transition was added as a fifth core service. However, effectively carrying out these services requires additional funding, and the Independent Living Program was flat-funded in FY 2016! With IL being the only federally funded program that is 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 over $2.5 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 House and Senate LHHS Appropriations Subcommittees are accepting written testimony for the record from the public through April 15, and they need to hear from you! You can find specific instructions for submitting your written testimony for the record on the House (PDF) and Senate (PDF) subcommittee pages.

NCIL has also created a sample testimony for your use. You can feel free to change and personalize this as much as you want – just make sure your testimony adheres to the guidance and page limits provided by the Subcommittees!

If you have any questions, please contact NCIL’s Policy Analyst Lindsay Baran at

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