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

Youth Issues & Education

#ORLANDO Healing Space Call

The National Council on Independent Living’s Queer Caucus and Youth Caucus are hosting Healing Space call to honor the lives of those lost by the #PULSE tragedy in #ORLANDO, and to create a space to process the trauma associated with violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals. This call is aimed to center the narratives of those in the disability community who are also a part of the LGBTQIA community. We will mourn, discuss, process, and heal together. All who can respect this space are welcome.

To honor the lives of those lost by the #PULSE tragedy and to create a space to process the trauma associated with violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals

  • Thursday, June 23rd at 3:00 p.m. Eastern
  • Call-in Number: 1 (605) 475-5900
  • Passcode: 697-3837
Orlando Pulse Healing Space: To honor the lives of those lost by the #PULSE tragedy and to create a space to process the trauma associated with violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals - Thursday, June 23rd at 3:00 p.m. Eastern; Call-in Number: 1 (605) 475-5900; Passcode: 697-3837. Hosted by the National Council on Independent Living’s Queer Caucus and Youth Caucus

Orlando Pulse Healing Space: To honor the lives of those lost by the #PULSE tragedy and to create a space to process the trauma associated with violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals – Thursday, June 23rd at 3:00 p.m. Eastern; Call-in Number: 1 (605) 475-5900; Passcode: 697-3837. Hosted by the National Council on Independent Living’s Queer Caucus and Youth Caucus

CIL Youth Transition Coordinators: Apply for Funding to Attend the 2016 Annual Conference on Independent Living by June 21!

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is excited to announce a new opportunity for our Youth Transition Coordinators at CILs. Through the generous support of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) we have received a grant called the Greater Washington Internship Coalition M>PWR Project. This grant will allow us to sponsor 3 Youth Transition Coordinators to attend the 2016 NCIL Conference in Washington, DC this summer!

Logo - Solidarity - Everybody In - Annual Conference on Independent Living 2016As previously mentioned, NCIL is very dedicated to youth advocacy AND building a network for those of you who work in the youth transition field. Visit NCIL’s 2016 Conference web page for more information about this year’s NCIL Conference. There will be ample opportunities for the Youth Transition Coordinators to learn about WIOA, receive resources, and programming ideas through the 24 available workshops. On average, there are 1,000 conference participants that coordinators will be able to network with. Additionally, there will be a small time set aside for Youth Transition Coordinators to have an in depth dialogue about youth programming.

If you would like to attend the 2016 NCIL conference please fill out the Youth Transition Coordinator Scholarship Application by June 21, 2016.

ADAPT Seeks Applications for August Youth Summit

ADAPT logo: Free Our PeopleADAPT is accepting applications for its Youth Summit – a training in community organizing and direct action for youth with disabilities done by ADAPT Youth Summit graduates. Youth between the ages of 18 to 30 are eligible to apply. Space is limited, so young people should not hesitate apply!

August 5th – 9th; Rochester, New York.  [Read more…]

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

Dear NCIL Member:

As you know, the NCIL Annual Meeting and Conference is rapidly approaching. The 2016 Annual Conference on Independent Living will be held July 25-28 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.

Logo - Solidarity - Everybody In - Annual Conference on Independent Living 2016One 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.

The Diana Viets Memorial Award will be presented to the winner during the Awards Luncheon, Wednesday, July 27, 2016, at NCIL’s Annual Conference.

Please complete the nomination form by Friday, June 17, 2016. I look forward to seeing you at the NCIL Conference.


Kelly Buckland
Executive Director
National Council on Independent Living

Applications Now Being Accepted for the Advocates in Disability Award (ADA) Program

The ADA Program is seeking the next Disability Advocate Leader. Young leaders with a disability are encouraged to apply for up to $10,000 in funding!

The Advocates in Disability Award (ADA) program awards and encourages a young adult with a disability between the ages of 14 and 26 who is dedicated to positively affecting the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. The program also supports an innovative project developed by the recipient to serve and empower individuals with disabilities.

The ADA is a joint program of The HSC Foundation and the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. The selected recipient is awarded $3,000 in recognition of his or her disability advocacy and will receive up to an additional $7,000 in funding for a project to benefit the disability community. Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States at the time of application submission and recipient selection.

To apply, please see the attached guidelines and application. You may also apply online at:

Applications must be received by Wednesday, April 20, 2016 (by 5:00 p.m. Eastern).

Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame Is Accepting 2016 Nominations

Source: Partners for Youth with Disabilities

PYD is proud to be a founding organization of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC). The mission of the NDMC is to increase the awareness, quality, and impact of mentoring for individuals with disabilities across the nation. Since its inception 18 months ago, the NDMC has grown to include 27 leading organizations around the U.S. We are pleased to be able to partner and collaborate with this committed group of organizations. We have also found the sharing of best practices to be beneficial for all involved.

One of the NDMC’s initial projects was the development of the The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame, which was created to honor those who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities. The Hall of Fame’s namesake, Susan M. Daniels, devoted her life to improving the lives of others with disabilities. As a person with a disability who achieved enormous professional and personal success, she had significant impact as a senior policy maker and as a mentor to hundreds of individuals.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) last year, the NDMC named 25 outstanding leaders as the first inductees into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. These inductees were selected for their demonstrated commitment to mentoring and for the impact of their contributions on improving the lives of people with disabilities. You can see last year’s inductees here.

In honor of National Thank Your Mentor Day (January 21), the NDMC opened the 2016 Nominations for the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame. Nominations are being accepted in the categories of individual mentor and business/organization and are being accepted until May 1, 2016. To submit a nomination or learn more:

Open Position: 2016 Youth Transitions Fellowship (Washington, DC)

The HSC Foundation, in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), is now accepting applications for a paid fellowship position with the organizations’ disability youth transition and collaboration work. This fellowship is ideal for a person with a disability who has an interest in youth career transitions and employment solutions. The fellowship starts in June 2016, and continues for 15 months. Under the supervision of NCIL’s Executive Director, the Youth Transitions Fellow (YTF) will gain exposure to youth programs serving people with disabilities and will have the opportunity to facilitate collaboration among internship, fellowship, and apprenticeship programs based in the Greater Washington, DC area.

Preferred Skills and Qualifications:

  • Ability to facilitate collaboration among large groups
  • Ability to work with people in all levels of an organization, including young people with a variety of disabilities
  • Strong communication skills and strong organizational skills
  • Creative and innovative personality
  • Familiarity with technology and social networking tools
  • Strong interest in youth transition for people with disabilities and organizing.


College graduate 26-or-younger who self-identifies as an individual with any type of disability is invited to apply. You will not be required to disclose your specific disability; however, your application for this program will signify that you consider yourself a person with a disability. Please Note: This fellowship is specifically for people with disabilities.  [Read more…]

NCIL Youth Caucus Statement on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015

Having a disability is not a crime; however, it can often be treated as such. It is evident that police departments do not know how to interact with the disability community—especially those with psychiatric disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community. When referring to people with disabilities, police officers commonly use rhetoric such as “aggressive,” “threatening,” “deteriorating mental state,” “combative,” “dangerous,” and “demonic.” These stereotypes have been the basis of overt police brutality, institutionalization, and courts declaring police murders of people with disabilities as justified homicides. The NCIL Youth Caucus is committed to fight against systems that criminalize people on the basis of disability.

In addition to this stigma, people with disabilities are denied appropriate accommodations that would allow them full participation in society. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health found that, people who lack access to essential services and basic supports and people with serious mental illness are more susceptible to arrest, often for minor infractions associated with unemployment, homelessness or their untreated disabilities. The Bazelon Center for Mental Health (2011) went on to say that, “for a variety of reasons (notably that the living arrangements to which state hospitals discharged people tended to be located where crime and drug use were rampant), substance abuse problems became commonplace, adding yet another risk factor for arrest.” The NCIL Youth Caucus supports The Sentencing Reform Act because it would have a direct impact on marginalized populations that are imprisoned on drug charges that are related to systemic issues such as homelessness or lack of community based programs.  [Read more…]

The VSA International Art Program for Children with Disabilities Announces 2016 Call for Art

Yo Soy… Je Suis… I Am… The World invites children with disabilities to create artwork inspired by the world around us.

Deadline to Submit: June 8, 2016

Who may submit: Children with a disability, ages 3 to 18. The artwork may be submitted by the child’s parents, guardians, or educators.

Artwork Specifications: Two-dimensional works preferred, images of three-dimensional works accepted, no larger than 18 x 24 inches

The Kennedy Center’s Office of VSA and Accessibility proudly presents a unique opportunity for student artists with disabilities from around the world to display their artwork in an online exhibition. A selection of artwork from the online entries will be chosen for a live exhibition at the United States Department of Education in Washington, DC!  [Read more…]

AccessComputing Funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates

AccessComputing, a National Science Foundation funded project, aims to increase the participation of people with disabilities in computing careers. AccessComputing has funding for undergraduate students with disabilities to participate in summer research internships.

Undergraduate students with disabilities who are interested in summer research internships are encouraged to fill out the form.

Through applying for an internship, students will have the opportunity become AccessComputing student team members. Student team members engage in online mentoring and are eligible to request funding for internships, travel to conferences, and tutoring.

Learn more about AccessComputing.

For more information or help with the application, contact Brianna Blaser at