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

Youth Issues & Education

2018 Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame Call for Nominations

Nominations are currently being sought for the 2018 Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame, a program of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition. Nominations will be accepted through August 15, 2018 via the Coalition’s website, www.disabilitymentors.org, on the Hall of Fame page.  [Read more…]

The Future of the Independent Living Movement Depends on You

Dear Friends of NCIL,

In 2016, while interning in DC, I received a youth scholarship to attend NCIL’s Annual Conference. I attended the conference and was struck by the sheer amount of power and passion contained in that space. I felt privileged to be among friends, fellow advocates, and disability rights legends – an experience that would not have been possible without the scholarship.

Now, two years later, I work at NCIL, helping to ensure that every person with a disability has the choice to live in the community, no matter what their needs. That’s why I’m writing to you today.

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"Two years ago, your support made it possible for me to attend the NCIL conference. Now, I’m asking for your support again, to enable other young people to attend our conference. Times are hard and budgets are tight for everyone. Unfortunately, we simply don’t have the funds to extend scholarships to all the deserving youth that have applied.

That’s where you can help. Make a donation to the Youth Scholarship Fund. Your contributions will provide scholarships to youth with disabilities who would otherwise be unable to attend the conference. With your help, we’ve already accepted nearly 30 youth this year. You can help us accept even more.

Now more than ever, in these times of upheaval and uncertainty for disabled people, you need to invest in our young leaders – because they will be the ones shaping disability rights for decades to come. Help transform other young people’s lives as mine was transformed. The future of the Independent Living Movement depends on you.

Lead on!

Cara Liebowitz
NCIL Development Coordinator

Kids As Self Advocates (KASA) Seeks Advisory Board Members

Source: KASA

KASA, the Kids as Self Advocates Project of Family Voices, is seeking youth with disabilities & health care needs to serve on our National Advisory Board. We are seeking youth with a disability and/or health care need, between the ages of 13 and 26 to serve on the all-youth volunteer Advisory Board, which is responsible for strategic planning for the growing project, program planning, activities and outreach. KASA works to help support youth to have control over their lives and future through peer-support and training, changing systems to include us and educating youth about their rights.

Open the application in Word[Read more…]

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…]