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

Youth Issues & Education

Nominate Deserving Youth with Disabilities for the Diana Viets Memorial Award!

April 19, 2018

Dear NCIL Member:

As you know, the NCIL Annual Meeting and Conference is rapidly approaching. The 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living will be held July 23-26 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC. This year, NCIL will again be honoring individuals from the Independent Living field with various awards for their dedication to the Independent Living and Disability Rights Movements.

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"One of these awards is the Diana Viets Memorial Award. Diana was an energetic young woman with a disability who dedicated her life to empowering young people with disabilities to take an active role in the Independent Living Movement. Through her work at a Center for Independent Living and the NCIL Board, Diana touched the lives of many youth with disabilities. NCIL wants to acknowledge, honor, and encourage our young leaders who are promoting disability pride, spreading the Independent Living philosophy, and fostering the active participation of youth with disabilities in the Disability Rights Movement.

As a member of NCIL, we ask you to nominate young people from your Center and / or community. Individuals eligible for this award should be young adults whose work through Independent Living has had a positive impact on youth with disabilities.  [Read more…]

Youth Scholarship: Frequently Asked Questions and Planning Tips

How on Earth are you going to get yourself to the NCIL Annual Conference this summer and make sure it is affordable? Well, read the five questions and answers below, along with a list of what past attendees have found to be helpful money-saving strategies. Consider applying for the NCIL Youth Scholarship! This award covers conference expenses so that young disabled people can travel to Washington, D.C. and experience the power of the Independent Living Movement firsthand.

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"Question 1: Who is eligible for the scholarship?

Answer: The only requirements to apply are:

  • identifying as a Deaf person and / or a person with a disability or disabilities; and
  • being 26 years old or younger (NCIL categorizes “youth” as 26 years old or younger).

Question 2: How much is the scholarship amount?

Answer: it depends on where you are applying from. We have three different levels of scholarships depending on the distance you would have to travel to attend the conference.  [Read more…]

Verizon Public Policy Summer Internship

Source: Verizon

This internship position – which is part of the Verizon Campus Program – will give you a chance to channel your drive and enthusiasm while learning from the best minds in the industry. You’ll be front and center, hands-on and contributing your creative energy to high-impact projects from the moment you arrive through the course of this 10-week experience. You will take part in meaningful work and real-life projects within the Public Policy Organization that will help you grow both professionally and personally throughout the program.

Verizon’s Public Policy, Law and Security organization represents and protects the company’s legal, security, and regulatory interests at federal, state, local, and international levels. Public Policy internships at Verizon provide the opportunity for exposure to federal regulatory affairs, federal legislative affairs, public policy development, strategic alliances and communications. Public Policy internships are located in Washington, DC. Read more at Verizon’s website.

CIL-NET Presents: A National Learning Collaborative on Youth Transition at Centers for Independent Living

Are you excited to develop a youth transition program at your Center for Independent Living (CIL), but need a little help to get there?

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETCIL-NET is offering an exciting new approach to support CILs that are ready to make a commitment to young people with disabilities!

Goal of the Collaborative: To develop and implement new or additional youth transition services at your CIL through the creation of a Program-Centered Plan focused on youth’s interests and needs and agency capacity.

What is a Learning Collaborative?

A learning collaborative is an interactive group process to improve programs and performance through progressive learning, action, and planning.

The National Learning Collaborative on Youth Transition at Centers for Independent Living is much more than training. From March to December of 2018, our facilitators will work with a dedicated group of CILs to support one another as they plan to create or expand their youth transition programs. It involves a commitment of time and resources to complete an actionable plan. Participants in the collaborative will learn alongside and support one another. A successful collaborative requires commitment, teamwork, and follow-through. Therefore, we are asking interested individuals to apply to participate. A maximum of 12 CILs will be selected for participation with a maximum of 2 individuals per CIL. Applicants must have the authority and the resources to participate fully and to be ready to go once the collaborative participants are selected. Applicants must be available and prepared to participate in all collaborative activities, including monthly group calls, planning work between calls, and an onsite meeting at the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (Allentown, PA) on April 4 and 5, 2018. Group and individual work between calls is estimated at 6-10 hours a month. Facilitation of the collaborative is provided by ILRU, NCIL, and Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL) staff.  [Read more…]

Holding the Department of Education Accountable: The Importance of Guidance Documents

By Rachel Bass, NCIL Fall Policy Intern

As an individual with disabilities, I have experienced challenges during my educational career. I experienced many ups and downs, and there were tribulations that I needed to overcome.

Rachel Bass Signs I Love You in ASLIn some instances, I was refused reasonable accommodations, such as an aide for my physical needs, note takers, interpreters, and other support services. These types of services were crucial for my success in school. Because the school denied me full accessibility in the classroom, every night, I would spend hours with my mother tutoring me just to complete my homework. This went on for a couple of years before I realized that I had to stand up for myself. At the young age of nine, when I attended a meeting to go over my individualized educational plan, I had to learn to stand up for myself for the first time. I told them that I was not being treated equally and requested equal access to my education.

There was another occasion when I was in 10th grade: I had to have an aide to help with my personal needs due to my physical disability. She behaved unprofessionally, inappropriately, and aggressively towards me on a daily basis. She would constantly take advantage of both my disabilities. Also, she would intentionally embarrass me because of my disabilities. For example, she became very manipulating and constantly would come up to my nose, pointing her finger directly at my face, yelling, “Do you understand me, yes or no!” repeatedly until I replied “yes” because I did not hear or understand what she was saying at first due to my deafness. She did not have a lot of patience to work with me as a deaf individual. I felt so humiliated because I did not know why she was so angry with me. I had no idea what she wanted to convey to me. She also took it upon herself to decide how much physical help I needed, regardless of the doctor’s note that was given to the administrators from my physical therapist. My aide would constantly force me to take out my own books from my backpack, even though it was against the doctors’ and administrators’ orders and caused me physical pain.  [Read more…]

Sign-Up for NCIL’s Youth Transitions Email List

Are you struggling to find ways to incorporate youth transition into your Center’s programs? Have you found a set of youth transition practices that work well, that you would be willing to share with other Centers for Independent Living?

35th Anniversary Logo: NCIL – National Council on Independent Living. Celebrating 35 Years of Advocacy. Graphic features party candles.If you believe in the capacity of young people with disabilities and want to learn more about best practices, or if you would like to share your wisdom, then consider joining the NCIL Youth Transitions Coordinators Email List. You need not be a Youth Transitions Coordinator by title to join the list; anyone who works with or would like to learn more about working with youth is welcome.

Those who join the list will:

  • Be notified about upcoming calls to discuss youth transition best practices
  • Be able to network with others concerned with youth transition
  • Receive announcements regarding fruitful opportunities for youth, which can be disseminated as appropriate
  • Have a forum through which they can get their questions answered

Sign-Up for NCIL’s Youth Transitions Email List.

If you have any questions, please contact Hindley Williams, Youth Transitions Fellow, at hindley@ncil.org.

Disability Mentoring Initiative Request for Proposals

Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Inc. (PYD), a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization with national impact, requests proposals from non-profit organizations to become a collaborator within the Disability Mentoring Initiative (DMI). One or two new collaborators will be chosen to participate in DMI for a period of one year and nine months (January 1, 2018-September 30, 2019) and will receive training and support.  [Read more…]

Upcoming Webinar on Assessing Youth/Young Adult Voice in Agency-Level Decision Making

Source: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures

  • Date and Time: Tuesday, October 24, 2017; 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern; 10:00-11:00 a.m. Pacific
  • Register online

Increasingly, agencies and organizations that serve youth and young adults are seeking to partner with young people as they work to make their services more engaging and responsive. However, agencies often lack information about best practices for involving young people in these efforts. This webinar will describe the development and validation of the Youth/Young Adult Voice at the Agency Level (Y-VAL) assessment. The Y-VAL is intended to serve both as a guide to best practices and as a measure of the extent to which an agency is meaningfully supporting young people’s involvement in advising and decision making.

National Disability Mentoring Coalition Toolkit and Resources

Source: National Disability Mentoring Coalition

The National Disability Mentoring Coalition has co-launched the USDA Disability Mentoring Toolkit and published a new White Paper. Additionally, NDMC encourages you to view their webinar on Critical Mentoring, which aims to change how you approach mentoring and discovery of root causes.

Ability Center of Greater Toledo Launches Next Steps Summer Program

Source: 13abc Action News

Local students living with disabilities say Ability Center program is life-changing

The Ability Center of Greater Toledo has all kinds of programs to help people living with disabilities. One of them is called the Next Steps Summer Program. It’s designed to help prepare students for college and the workplace, and the program has had a big impact on the students who are part of it.

The students are living on campus at The University of Toledo as part of the program. They are also working at several organizations and companies around the community. The students say this has been a life-changing experience.

Mallory Tarr is the Marketing Coordinator at The Ability Center,”The goal is to prepare them for the next step after high school whether that be post-secondary training or going to college. Whatever it is they want to do, we want to give them the tools and the steps to get there.” Read the full story at 13abc Action News.