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

Solidarity with Japan’s Disability Community and Sagamihara

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingEarly Tuesday morning, there was an attack at the Tsukui Yamayuri-en residential center for people with intellectual disabilities. Nineteen people were killed, and 26 people were injured. The National Council on Independent Living, with our brothers and sisters in Japan, mourn the tragic events on Tuesday in Sagamihara. We grieve for the people lost, and we keep the injured in our thoughts and hearts. During this difficult time, NCIL stands in solidarity with the disability community in Japan.

Information Alert for NCIL Conference Attendees: Travel Resources

Dear NCIL Conference Attendees,

Logo - Solidarity - Everybody In - Annual Conference on Independent Living 2016We are excited to have you attending our NCIL conference, and can’t believe it is so close at hand! Before you arrive there are several transportation alerts that you should be aware of. The DC metro is under continued construction and because of this there have been reoccurring and frequent delays and outages. In order to make your trip as easy and convenient as possible, we are including links to metro outages, closing, delays, and elevator outages.

Thank you and we can’t wait to see you at the 2016 NCIL Conference.

In Solidarity,

NCIL Staff

Review NCIL’s Comments on ACL’s Proposed SILC Indicators and Submit Your Own by August 15!

In June, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) released their Draft Proposed Indicators of Minimum Compliance for Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) as required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).

ACL is seeking public comments on these proposed indicators, and NCIL’s Rehabilitation Act and Independent Living Funding Subcommittee has been working hard on developing comments that ensure the indicators reflect the values of Independent Living.

NCIL’s comments have been finalized, and we encourage you to use them as a draft to submit your own comments as well.

It is important that comments be submitted by members of the Independent Living community across the country! These comments are critical because they will help shape the final SILC Indicators of Minimum Compliance.

Comments must be submitted by August 15, 2016, and they must be emailed to: Please CC or forward your comments to NCIL Policy Analyst Lindsay Baran at

Action Alert: There’s Still Time to Submit Comments in Support of the Food and Drug Administration’s Ban on Electric Shock Devices!

The comment period on the FDA’s proposal to ban electric shock devices used as behavioral “treatment” has been extended through Monday, July 25, 2016. As a reminder, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published proposed regulations that would ban these devices, which are used to deliver electric shocks as punishment for behaviors in both children and adults with disabilities. NCIL and other disability advocates have been fighting to end the use of these devices for decades. You can read more about this in our April Alert.

It is extremely important that disability advocates submit comments supporting this ban. We know that the Judge Rotenberg Center, the only institution in the country that still uses these devices, will have their supporters writing in to oppose this ban in full force. We must ensure that the FDA hears from people around the country who support their decision!

Comments are due on July 25, 2016, so please submit your comments as soon as possible! You can submit them online by visiting, entering the docket number FDA-2016-N-1111, and clicking on the “comment now” button. You can also 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.

Sign On: Letter to Warner Brothers on the Continued Danger of “Me Before You”

Not Dead Yet LogoBy Diane Coleman, Not Dead Yet

Thanks, in part, to the great work of the disability rights community, writing, interviewing and protesting “Me Before You”, as of last weekend, the film was only being shown on 238 screens nationwide, down from over 2700 when it opened just six weeks ago.

But the film’s harmful message will continue for years in online media, so our work is not over. It’s too late for theaters, but the producers need to add a suicide prevention public service announcement to all further releases of this film in any form.

We have prepared a letter to Warner Brothers, calling for such a PSA (below). We are requesting that national, state and local disability organizations sign onto this letter by July 25. Please share this with organizations you know and urge them to sign on by emailing Diane Coleman ( the following information:

  • Organization name:
  • Location City & State:
  • Is Organization National, State or Local:
  • Contact person & email:
  • Number of members or people served (if available):

Kevin Tsujihara, CEO
Warner Brothers
4000 Warner Boulevard
Burbank, CA. 91522

Dear Mr. Tsujihara:

We, the undersigned national, state and local disability organizations are writing to express our urgent concerns about the negative impact of the plotline and treatment of the assisted suicide of a lead character with quadriplegia in the film “Me Before You”.  [Read more…]

Drop Out, Push Out, & School-to-Prison Pipeline: New Findings Regarding Systematic Discrimination and Adversity for LGBTQ Youth with Disabilities

By Oliver Stabbe, NCIL Policy Intern

This week the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network released new findings on systematic discrimination that LGBTQ students experience during their secondary education. Their findings examined LGBTQ identities as an entity as well as LGBTQ with intersectional identities. Among the researched intersectional identities was disability and how LGBTQ students with disabilities experience school compared to their LGBTQ non-disabled peers. These new findings show that LGBTQ students with disabilities reported having an educational, emotional, or physical disability are:

  • more likely to have experienced school discipline (47.8%) than their LGBTQ non-disabled peers (36.9%);
  • more likely to drop out of school (5.8%) than their LGBTQ non-disabled peers (2.6%);
  • more likely to have been involved in the justice system (4.4%) than their LGBTQ non-disabled peers (1.7%);
  • more likely to have experienced all types of disciplinary actions (47.8%) than their LGBTQ non-disabled peers (36.9%);
  • less likely to say they planned to graduate from high school (5.8%) than their LGBTQ non-disabled peers (2.6%); and
  • more likely to have been involved in the justice system due to school discipline (4.4%) than their LGBTQ non-disabled peers (1.7%).

[Read more…]

Donate to the Youth Scholarship Fund!

Dear Friend,

My name is Kings Floyd, and I am the Youth Transitions Fellow at The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL). NCIL’s Annual Conference on Independent Living is our nation’s largest gathering of disability rights advocates, and is a crucial opportunity for people with disabilities to connect, meet with our legislators, and propel the movement forward. Last year, we set a record with over 1,500 participants including over 100 youth from across the country. Please take a moment to watch the videos below that describe our success with youth involvement.

A flyer with a light blue background and four pictures of diverse, involved youth with disabilities. By continuing to support the NCIL conference through donations to the Youth Scholarship Fund, you can help young disabled advocates experience the powerful benefits created by this conference. Help support ‪#‎GenerationADA‬ and be a part of making the next generation even more progressive, productive, and supportive of a better future. Please donate today. Quotes from previous NCIL Conferences: “Attending a conference located at the heart of the disability activism, in terms of both location and community, is key for me to remain connected to the incredible activists around the globe.” “…I want to understand the struggles and difficulties that others with disabilities are dealing with in parts of the country at this time. Attending this conference will benefit me personally and professionally. I am an advocate at heart and I fight for injustice…” “…I made the choice to start volunteering with Youth Organized Disabled and Proud; which is easily the best decision I've ever made. I've learned so much about the history of the disabled rights movement… the movement is starving for new voices and leaders…” Pictures from the 2015 NCIL Conference: 1) Young adolescent male sitting on the floor smiling and engaging with peers sitting around him. 2) Two young females behind a podium speaking and gesticulating. 3) Young white female in a scooter holding a sign that says “Proud Generation ADA”. 4) Young redheaded female signing onstage with several peers behind her.The theme for the 2016 NCIL conference is Solidarity: Everybody In. Due to a variety of barriers, most especially cost, youth with disabilities have been unable to fully participate in the national disability community. We are asking for contributions towards the Youth Scholarship Fund that will bring young people from across the country to the NCIL conference. Your donation will support plane tickets, hotel accommodations, personal assistance services, and registration costs for attendees. Here are some of the reactions from youth scholars last year:

With your help, we can bring youth with disabilities to the 2016 NCIL Conference and ensure that youth leadership will grow and flourish in the Disability Rights Movement. Together we can ensure that young people with disabilities are empowered, engaged, and ready to lead. You can make a donation online. Thank you so much for your support!

Kings Floyd, Youth Transitions Fellow

[Read more…]

Your Participation Appreciated in a Short Survey on HIV/AIDS Waivers in CILs

Please take just a few moments to complete a short survey about HIV/AIDS Waivers. We want to know whether you have them in your state and if your CIL is helping people apply. Your input would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

PVA Air Travel Survey for Passengers with Disabilities

The purpose of this survey by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is to help members of the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee) in their efforts to develop specific regulations regarding whether the Department should require an accessible lavatory (restroom) on a single aisle aircraft. To assist the committee, please complete the survey.

Preliminary results are due back to the ACCESS committee on July 22, however the survey will be open until August 1 and all respondents will be counted. Please contact Paralyzed Veterans of America with any questions.

ODEP’s Campaign for Disability Employment Policy Twitter Chat – Working Together: How Businesses Can Support Career Success for Youth with Disabilities

Join the Campaign for Disability Employment on Thursday, July 28 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern for a Twitter chat on “How Businesses Can Support Career Success for Youth with Disabilities.” Held in honor of the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the chat will serve as a prelude to this October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by highlighting why “inclusion works” for the current generation of youth and young adults with disabilities who are either transitioning to or just starting out in the workforce. The chat will explore what today’s post-ADA generation of youth with disabilities see as key to their workplace success—and the important role that employers can play in helping them achieve it. To participate in this important Twitter conversation, please use the hashtag #CDEYouth.