the advocacy monitor

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

Survey for Legal Professionals: Understanding Workplace Experiences

Legal professionals are invited to participate in a first-of-its-kind project aimed at better understanding the workplace experiences of today’s legal professionals.

The research project examines the opportunities and challenges facing individuals in the legal profession of the 21st century, with consideration of women, minorities, people of differing sexual orientations and gender identities, people with disabilities, and others. The American Bar Association is partnering with the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University on this study.

The 15-minute survey is anonymous and voluntary. It is approved by the Syracuse University Human Subjects Review Board. The findings will be used to help develop best practices in the legal profession.

[Read more…]

CIL-NET and SILC-NET Present… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Working Together – Building a Statewide IL Network through CIL & SILC Collaboration

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETCenters for Independent Living (CILs) and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) must collaborate in order to create an effective statewide IL network. It’s not just good practice, it’s required by law. The Rehab Act requires CILs and the SILC to collaborate on composition of the SILC, development and approval of the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL), and supporting a statewide network of CILs. This is something all CILs and SILCs should strive for, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Building a strong statewide network takes years to create and a concerted effort to maintain.

Join us on August 14 to hear how this partnership works in Kansas, where the SILC and CILs have remained committed to their network – and excelled – through difficult times.

Registration Fee: $75.00. Fee is per site (connection) and does not apply per participant; registrants are encouraged to gather as many individuals as desired to participate by telephone.  [Read more…]

Take Action over the July 4th Congressional Recess!

As the nation celebrates its freedom and independence this week, disabled folks once again have a great opportunity to speak with their legislators in their home districts about our freedom and independence!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingUse this recess to educate your Senators and Representatives on the Disability Integration Act (S. 910 and H.R. 2472), and ask them to become a cosponsor! Tell them why this legislation is so important to their constituents with disabilities. Tell them that living in our own communities and making choices about our own lives is our right, and as our elected officials, it’s their responsibility to protect that right!

Also, if you represent a CIL or other organization, make sure to sign on as a supporter of the DIA.

Learn more about the Disability Integration Act at

NCIL Disability Vote Organizer Talks Disabilities and Campaigning with She Should Run

This week, NCIL’s Disability Vote Organizer, Sarah Blahovec, sat down with She Should Run to talk about the challenges to participating in and running political campaigns for people with disabilities. She Should Run is “a non-partisan 501(c)3 that provides an approachable starting place and network for women leaders considering a future run for office and for those who support them.” Much of this work is accomplished through She Should Run’s Incubator program, which provides resources and a community for women to develop their leadership skills as they consider running for office.   [Read more…]

NCIL Campaign Accessibility Guide Highlighted in Rewire News Article

On June 25th, Rewire News covered three notable candidates running in 2018 who are making efforts to include people with disabilities in their campaign’s platform: Cynthia Nixon, Sara Bitter, and state Senator Barbara I’Italien. Beyond covering these campaigns’ policy stances and how they include the disability community, the National Council on Independent Living got a shout-out for its initiative to encourage political campaigns to become more accessible to voters and volunteers with disabilities.

[Read more…]

Notice: CILs and SILCs Must Be a 2018 NCIL Member by Wednesday, June 27 in Order to Vote at the Annual Council Meeting!

Mobilize - Resistance through Action: 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living. Graphic features an arrow striking a heart over the letters "IL" and a target that replaces the "o" in "Mobilize"NCIL’s Standard Operating Procedures require that CILs and SILCs pay their dues in full thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Council Meeting to be eligible to vote at that meeting. If your organization has not yet joined or renewed for 2018, you must sign-up and pay your dues in full by 12:00 Midnight on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in order to vote at the Annual Council Meeting.

If you do not join or renew by June 27, your organization will not be able to vote for the Governing Board members and Resolutions that guide NCIL’s actions and priority issues.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the Conference, you can still have a designated NCIL member vote for you by proxy.

Make sure your voice is heard: sign up today!

Visit the NCIL organizational membership page to complete your organization’s 2018 membership. You can purchase your membership using our secure online store, or by using the printable membership form (PDF). The membership form is also available in Word and plain text.

Thank you for your support!

NCIL Staff

Summer 2018 NCIL Legislative & Advocacy Priorities Booklet Now Available!

The summer edition of NCIL’s Legislative & Advocacy Priorities is now available at the NCIL website.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThis document contains specific information on the national legislative and policy priorities identified biannually by the NCIL membership, including funding for the Independent Living Program, healthcare and long-term care, housing, transportation, education, and more.

Please share this document with your Center or SILC staff, board, and the Senators and Representatives who serve your districts.

Contact NCIL for further information on the issues discussed in this document.

NCIL Mourns the Passing of Merle Buckland

To our NCIL family,

As people may have heard, our Executive Director’s wife – Merle – passed away Sunday after living 9 years with cancer. During this difficult time, Kelly has been given leave so that Kelly and his son Rodney may be together with their family and friends.

Kelly and Merle and Rodney Buckland - Family PhotoMany of us have treasured our relationship with Merle who has supported Kelly, NCIL, and the Independent Living Movement with true grace over many years. If you’d like to send a card or note to Kelly and his family, you may send them to NCIL’s office at 2013 H Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20006. Our staff will forward all cards and notes to the Bucklands, as they are currently together in Idaho.

During Kelly’s leave, Tim Fuchs – NCIL Operations Director – has been appointed Acting Executive Director. Tim and the NCIL staff are ensuring that the work of the organization continues uninterrupted. I want to express the board’s appreciation to Tim and the staff for their tireless efforts.

And thank you all for your thoughts and support in this difficult time for the Bucklands and our whole NCIL family.

Bruce Darling
NCIL President

CIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Approaches to Emerging Systems Advocacy in CILs

Systems advocacy is a core service at the heart of the Independent Living Movement. Our systems advocacy priorities are informed by the access barriers and discrimination we experience, but it takes a concerted effort to identify emerging systems advocacy issues that CILs must address – in addition to the ongoing fights for justice in housing, transportation, healthcare, etc.

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETJoin us on July 12th to learn how one CIL has created a systems advocacy model to identify and act on emerging systems advocacy issues. Access Living brings together elements of community organizing and systems advocacy to recruit leaders and address issues that affect communities experiencing multiple forms of oppression. Your presenters will walk through the process, from concept to campaign, so you understand how they build consensus and organizational buy-in, partner with community organizations and other advocates, and work towards systemic solutions. You will learn how they have navigated the process through real-life examples from active advocacy campaigns. They will also share how this work has impacted their organization, including reporting, ensuring accountability, and even opening new funding opportunities.

Registration Fee: $75.00. Fee is per site (connection) and does not apply per participant; registrants are encouraged to gather as many individuals as desired to participate by telephone.  [Read more…]

The National Council on Independent Living Condemns White House Zero Tolerance Policy

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) strongly condemns the inhumane actions of the Trump Administration that have resulted in the separation of immigrant families at the US/Mexico border.

Contrary to recent statements from the President, this policy is not required by law. Rather, the horrifying separations of immigrant children from their parents are the direct result of his Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. As a result of this policy, children have been torn from their parents, warehoused in overcrowded and isolated institutions, and forced to face inconceivable harm and abuse. The Administration’s policy is cruel, inhumane, and detrimental to the safety and well-being of both immigrant children and parents.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingAs a national disability rights organization, we are extremely concerned about the disabled children who are being separated from their parents and detained. These children are impacted disproportionately by this policy and are facing unthinkable trauma. We are also concerned for the children – and parents – who may develop disabilities due to the horror of what they are being forced to endure. The trauma they are experiencing is unquestionably causing irreversible harm.

The immigrant and disabled communities are inextricably linked. Many immigrants are disabled or have disabled family members – in fact, disability is the reason some of these people left their countries for the US. Many immigrants come to the US for better opportunities, including better treatment and support for disability and chronic conditions; sometimes they are trying to get to the US to simply survive. But immigration law has long been discriminatory against disabled immigrants, and they face a disproportionate risk for detainment and deportation. In all nearly settings – including detention centers – disabled immigrants often face insurmountable difficulties to accessing the supports and services they need.

NCIL stands in solidarity with the immigrant communities and others who oppose this immoral policy, and the families being traumatized by this policy. Children are not meant to serve as negotiating tactics, and the infliction of harm should not be used to send a message. We condemn the inhumane actions of this Administration.

After significant pressure, the President has signed an Executive Order (EO) to end the practice of separating families. But that won’t be enough, because there is no clear plan to reunite the 2,000 separated children and their parents immediately, and the EO still leaves the dangerous zero tolerance policy in place. Simply put, yesterday’s Executive Order is not the solution. We call on the President to take further action and end his zero tolerance policy immediately and completely.