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

Healthcare & Community Living

NCIL Statement of Principles on Chronic Pain and Opioids

As a response to people with chronic pain experiencing increasing barriers to adequate pain treatment, the National Council on Independent Living created the Chronic Pain / Opioids Task Force. The goal of the Task Force is to work to ensure the voices of people with chronic pain and other disabilities are part of the ongoing national discussion, and to develop a national strategy around this important issue. The Chronic Pain / Opioids Task Force has created the following Statement of Principles to guide NCIL’s work, and we hope our members will be able to use this to guide their advocacy on this issue as well.

NCIL Statement of Principles on Chronic Pain and Opioids

Take Action Over the Recess!

Members of Congress are back home during various times in August, and now is a critical time to talk with them about the Disability Integration Act (DIA) and other key priorities! Senators will be home this week for a shortened recess, but they’ll be back in DC by August 13. Representatives will be in their home districts for the whole month of August and returning to DC on September 4. Take advantage of the time they’re home to meet with them about the things that are most important to you!

Disability Integration Act: If your Senators or Representative have still not signed on to the Disability Integration Act (S. 910 and H.R. 2472), urge them to become a cosponsor! Tell them how important this bill is to their disabled constituents. Explain to them that this is a bipartisan bill that would help disabled people stay in our homes and communities. If they want their disabled constituents to be a part of their communities, what are they waiting for? We need ALL our Members of Congress to support the DIA! If you get in touch with your Senators or Representative about DIA, please email an update to update@c4ci.org!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingEMPOWER Care Act: Make sure you also talk with your Senators and Representatives about the Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources, and (EMPOWER) Care Act (S. 2227 and H.R. 5306)! This bipartisan bill would reauthorize the Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program, which has freed over 75,000 disabled people from institutions, but expired in 2016. Urge your Members of Congress to support this important bill!

Other priorities: Make sure to talk with your Members of Congress about other issues that are priorities to you and your community. Talk with them about how critical it is to increase funding for the Independent Living Program. Tell them how much their disabled constituents rely on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Talk about the lack of accessible, affordable housing or transportation in your communities. Use this opportunity to make sure your Members of Congress are hearing about the issues that matter to their disabled constituents! You can feel free to use the NCIL Legislative & Priorities Booklet to help support your efforts:

As we’ve proven time and again, the disability community has the power to make things happen. Use this opportunity to educate your Senators and Representatives on the issues that are important to all of us! Every single meeting with your Members of Congress is one more opportunity to have our voices heard and our efforts supported. Take action today!

NCIL Statement of Principles on Chronic Pain and Opioids

As a response to people with chronic pain experiencing increasing barriers to adequate pain treatment, the National Council on Independent Living created the Chronic Pain / Opioids Task Force. The goal of the Task Force is to work to ensure the voices of people with chronic pain and other disabilities are part of the ongoing national discussion, and to develop a national strategy around this important issue. The Chronic Pain / Opioids Task Force has created the following Statement of Principles to guide NCIL’s work, and we hope our members will be able to use this to guide their advocacy on this issue as well.

The NCIL Statement of Principles on Chronic Pain and Opioids is available in PDFWord, and plain text.

NCIL and Centene Partner to Increase Provider Accessibility for People with Disabilities

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is partnering with Centene on an initiative to increase the accessibility of provider medical offices and services for people with disabilities. The Provider Accessibility Initiative (PAI) will kick off with the “Barrier Removal Fund” (BRF) in three pilot states, Illinois, Texas, and Ohio, as well as educational and compliance components that will be implemented in all Centene markets nationwide.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThe goal of the PAI is to improve member access and health outcomes by increasing the percentage of practitioner locations and services in Centene’s network that meet minimum federal and state disability access standards.

“NCIL is proud to have the opportunity to leverage the wealth of knowledge and expertise of Centers for Independent Living to increase accessibility of medical offices and services. We look forward to the day that all Americans can enjoy equal access to this fundamental civil right,” said Kelly Buckland, NCIL Executive Director.

“Studies have shown that Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities receive less preventive care due to inaccessible provider exam rooms and/or diagnostic equipment. Through this partnership, Centene and NCIL aim to solve a vital national problem and key social determinant of health for people with disabilities and their companions,” said Dr. Ken Yamaguchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Centene.   [Read more…]

Disability Integration Act (DIA) Update

First, we have THREE new cosponsors in the House! Our new cosponsors are:

  • Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX)
  • Cheri Bustos (D-IL)
  • Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA)

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO WORKED TO SECURE THESE COSPONSORS!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingWe are approaching a critical time for our legislation with the NCIL Annual Conference, Day on the Hill, and upcoming midterm elections. To help get you ready, here are some “DIA Tools You Can Use”.

Need general information about DIA?

Learn about the bill at www.disabilityintegrationact.org.

Contacting your Member of Congress?

Here are some resources for meetings and other contacts with legislators. We have fact sheets and comprehensive Hill packets that you can email or print and give them. While DIA is bipartisan, in our discussions with legislators many of the questions we have received about the legislation have differed along party lines. In order to better help you address your legislator’s questions, we have developed materials specific to each party, so be sure to use the right ones.  [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 www.disabilityintegrationact.org.

Deadline Extended: DIA Children’s Art and Young Adult Essay Contests

The deadline to submit content for the Disability Integration Act Children’s Art Contest and Young Adult Essay Contest has been extended to Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingAll submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on June 26. Please visit our website for complete details, guidelines, and contest rules:

Good luck to all contest participants!

Take Action for MFP on the Olmstead Anniversary!

This Friday, June 22, 2018, is the 19th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision cementing the ADA’s integration mandate. To commemorate the day, NCIL is joining other national disability organizations in hosting a National Call-In Day for the EMPOWER Care Act (S. 2227 and H.R. 5306).

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingSince Money Follows the Person (MFP) began in 2005, over 75,000 disabled people have been liberated from institutions, and CILs have played a critical role in that. But MFP expired on September 30, 2016, and states are starting to scale back and end their programs. In fact, last year was the first time the number of people transitioned into the community declined. We need your advocacy to get the House and Senate to pass the EMPOWER Care Act to reauthorize and fund MFP!

Take Action!

Congress must save and fund MFP, and they need to hear from us! Please urge your Senators and Representative to continue the Money Follows the Person program by co-sponsoring the EMPOWER Care Act!

  • Participate in the National Call-In Day! Call your Senators and Representative and urge them to co-sponsor the EMPOWER Care Act! All members of Congress can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY). Find more information, including talking points, at the Facebook event. RSVP and share widely!
  • Use Social Media! Post on Facebook and Tweet at your members of Congress. Find your Members’ Twitter handles and other contact information on Contacting Congress. Make sure to use the hashtag #FundMFP in your posts. You can find more information, including sample Tweets, at the Facebook event.
  • Email your members of Congress! Customize a message to your Members of Congress online.
  • Continue sharing your stories with us! See our previous alert for more details about the stories we’re looking for. Our original deadline passed, but we’re still looking for your stories about the importance of community living!

Take Action on the Disability Integration Act Over the Recess!

Members of Congress are back home this week for recess, so it’s the perfect time to meet with them about the Disability Integration Act (DIA)! If your Senators or Representative have still not signed on to the DIA, take action over the recess by urging them to become a cosponsor!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThe Disability Integration Act (S. 910 and H.R. 2472) is a critical bill that would reverse the institutional bias and help disabled people stay in our homes and communities. The DIA is the next logical step in our fight for disability rights and the only piece of legislation that will protect our community from institutionalization. We need ALL of our Members of Congress to support the DIA!

We know the disability community has the power to make things happen, and every meeting, email, call, and action counts. Use this recess to educate your Senators and Representative on the DIA and urge them to become a cosponsor! Tell them that living in our own communities and making choices about our lives is our right, and as our elected officials, it’s their responsibility to protect that!

Learn more about the DIA at www.disabilityintegrationact.org.

Final Week: Participants Needed for the National Survey on Health Reform & Disability

The NIDILRR-funded Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) is looking for adults aged 18-62 with disabilities to complete an online survey about getting and using health insurance and health care services – the National Survey on Health Reform & Disability.

Why? We want to know how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is affecting your life. If you have private insurance, insurance from an employer, Medicaid, Medicare, or no insurance please take the survey.

Who? Adults ages 18 to 62 with any type of disability, chronic health condition or mental illness.

How? The survey should take about 20 minutes to complete and your responses are anonymous.

During the week of May 27th – June 2nd the last of 2 drawings to win a $100 gift card will be held. The online survey is fully accessible for mobile devices and screen readers, but if you prefer to take the survey over the phone or have any questions about participating, please call toll-free 1-855-556-6328 (Voice/TTY) or email healthsurvey@ku.edu. For more information about CHRIL, go to: www.chril.org.