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

An Update from the NCIL ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee: 2014 Annual Conference Activities

The 2014 Annual Conference on Independent Living concluded an interesting year in advocacy for the NCIL ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee. Co-Chairs Mike Bachhuber and Dara Baldwin were present for the entire conference and participated in the Legislative & Advocacy Update held on the day prior to the March, Rally & Hill Visits. In this session, they brought forth the information worked on throughout the 2013-2014 advocacy year. This information can be found in the NCIL Legislative & Advocacy Priority Booklet: Summer 2014 (PDF or plain text).

The Co-Chairs started with appreciations to all the Subcommittee members and the Task Force Co-Chairs. The Mental Health Task Force, Voting Rights Task Force, and Violence and Abuse Task Force are part of the advocacy work being done by NCIL through the ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee. After hearing about this work, the Co-Chairs presented a strategy about what to discuss with members of Congress and discussed how to report back what happened in the meetings.

At the Conference, the Co-Chairs of this Subcommittee were available to discuss issues at the Regional Caucuses. They also attended the March, Rally and went to meetings on the Hill with members of Congress with other NCIL members. The message delivered to members of Congress was “thank you for the work done so far on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) but we need more!”

We know that we have much work to do with the Administration implementing the ADA, such as getting the US Department of Justice to better enforce many laws affecting people with disabilities. One area of concern is in the enforcement of voting rights for people with disabilities. We also encouraged Congress to continue to fund the many programs used to assist with enforcement and the civil rights of people with disabilities.

On the final day of the 2014 Conference, the Legislative & Advocacy report-out was done, and NCIL members went on 49 Senate visits and 145 House visits. This is amazing advocacy work! NCIL has a huge presence here in DC and we must continue this legacy.

If you are passionate about any of these issues, we welcome you to join the ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee. Mike and Dara will remain as Co-Chairs and look forward to working with past and new members for the 2014 -2015 advocacy year. To join the Subcommittee, you must become an individual member of NCIL, then fill out the online form to join one of our committees.

One of the Co-Chairs will reply and get you involved. We want to thank all NCIL members for your great advocacy and we look forward to another year of continued work.

Dara Baldwin & Mike Bachhuber
Co-Chairs of the NCIL ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee

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