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

Housing & Transportation

Recent FTA Announcements: New Funding Opportunity and Matching Funds Webinar

New Funding Opportunity

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that provides assistance to local public transportation systems, recently announced a new funding opportunity called the Mobility for All Pilot Program. Approximately $3.5 million will go to projects that enhance mobility and access to community services for older adults, people with disabilities, and people with low income. You can find out more about these grants in the FTA’s notice of funding. Applications are due January 6, 2020.

Matching Funds Requirement Webinar

Under federal law, funds from federal government programs – including many ACL-funded programs like Title VII grants – can be considered “matching funds” for FTA public transit formulary grants. On Thursday, November 21, the FTA and the Administration for Community Living are hosting a webinar entitled Expanding Access to Transportation for Older Adults and People with Disabilities. On the webinar they will discuss how ACL and FTA have partnered to leverage federal investments in  transportation to increase access for people with disabilities and older adults; the new Mobility for All Pilot Program (link above); and the opportunity for FTA applicants to use ACL grants funds spent on transportation to satisfy the 20% match requirement of the FTA grant. Learn more and register online.

NCIL Housing Subcommittee Seeks Input from All CILs Collaborating with Public Housing Authorities

Last September, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $98.5 million to 285 local public housing authorities across the country to provide permanent affordable housing to nearly 12,000 additional non-elderly people with disabilities. PHAs were encouraged to partner with health & human services agencies.

Centers for Independent Living across the U.S. were encouraged by NCIL to work with their local public housing authorities (PHA) to jointly apply for these funds. The housing assistance is provided through HUD’s Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program, which provides funding to housing agencies to assist non-elderly people with disabilities who are:

  • transitioning out of institutional or other separated settings;
  • at serious risk of institutionalization;
  • homeless; or
  • at risk of becoming homeless.

The NCIL Housing Subcommittee would like to hear from any Center that applied as a partner with your local PHA to gather more information in the following areas:

[Read more…]

Organizers Forum: Housing and Disability

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019; 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern; 12:00-1:00 Central; 11:00-12:00 Mountain; 10:00-11:00 Pacific
  • RSVP
  • Call-in: 1-515-739-1285, passcode 521847#
  • Join the meeting online

Finding affordable and accessible housing has become increasingly hard for people with disabilities. What are advocates and organizers doing on a local and national level about this crisis? Join us for ideas and conversation.

Speakers to be announced.

[Read more…]

Test Uber’s New Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles in Select Cities and Share Your Experiences with NCIL

Uber has been working with MV Transportation to expand access to wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). These are now available in: New York City; Boston; Philadelphia; Washington, DC; Chicago; San Francisco; and Los Angeles. They have also developed a feedback form for riders’ experiences, which can be found at: t.uber.com/wavfeedback.

We would like to encourage those of you who are wheelchair users who are interested to try this service and send feedback us at lindsay@ncil.org. We are very interested in hearing about anything you’d like to share with us regarding your experiences. Please note that the information shared with us may be shared with Uber, but we will not provide any identifying information.

CIL-NET Presents… A National On-Location Training: How CILs Can Transform the Housing Landscape

We hope you will join us for this exciting 3½ day training on the most pressing barrier to independent living: housing. We will explore a wide range of solutions to expand accessible, affordable, integrated housing in your communities. From funding, to building partnerships, to the truly new and innovative, we will cover it all. You won’t want to miss this!

[Read more…]

Save the Date! CIL-NET Presents… A National On-Location Training: How CILs Can Transform the Housing Landscape

  • June 11-14, 2019
  • St. Louis, Missouri
  • Registration Fee: $150.00

We hope you will save the date for this exciting 3½ day training on the most pressing barrier to independent living: housing. We will explore a wide range of solutions to expand accessible, affordable, integrated housing in your communities. From funding, to building partnerships, to the truly new and innovative, we will cover it all. You won’t want to miss this!

This CIL-NET on-location training is part of Our Homes: IL-NET’s series of trainings and resources on accessible, affordable, integrated housing for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs). The lack of accessible, affordable, integrated housing remains the biggest obstacle as CILs implement the new core services of transition and diversion. Expanding housing is a key component of the provision of CIL core services and successful outcomes for consumers.

Registration will open in early March. Check your inbox and ncil.org for updates.

[Read more…]

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

This Learning Collaborative is part of Our Homes, IL-NET’s series of trainings and resources on accessible, affordable, integrated housing for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs). The lack of accessible, affordable, integrated housing remains the biggest obstacle as CILs implement the new core services of transition and diversion. Expanding housing is a key component of the provision of CIL core services and successful outcomes for consumers.

Are you ready to amplify your housing efforts, but feel like you need some assistance to get there?

CIL-NET is offering a new National Learning Collaborative on Housing to support CILs that are ready to roll up their sleeves and build solutions to one of the most persistent barriers to independence for people with disabilities.

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETGoal of the Collaborative: To expand accessible, affordable, integrated housing options through the creation of innovative, replicable housing action plans at CILs across the country based on community needs and agency capacity.

What is a Learning Collaborative?

The National Learning Collaborative on Housing at Centers for Independent Living is much more than training. From March to October of 2019, our facilitators will work with a dedicated group of CILs to support one another as they plan programs, activities, and other innovations to expand affordable, accessible, integrated housing in their states and communities. Participation in the Learning Collaborative takes a very real commitment of time and resources. 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 two individuals per CIL.  [Read more…]

An Update from the Transportation Subcommittee: Disability Provisions Included in FAA Reauthorization!

On October 5, 2018, the President signed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 – H.R. 302 (PDF) into law. This bill reauthorizes the FAA and other programs through 2023, and we are thrilled to report that the final bill includes several important disability provisions NCIL and other disability rights groups have been advocating for. The inclusion of these provisions is a huge win!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingOne exciting provision in the new law is the establishment of an Advisory Committee on the air travel needs of passengers with disabilities. The Advisory Committee will be established to assess and address barriers in the air travel experience. This Committee will be comprised of people with disabilities, national disability organizations, aviation industry employees, wheelchair manufacturers, and national veteran’s organizations representing disabled veterans, and we are excited for this work to get started.

Additionally, the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with stakeholders (including disability organizations), is required to design an “Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights” that describes the basic protections and responsibilities of covered air carriers, their employees and contractors, and people with disabilities using plain language. This Bill of Rights must minimally address the right of passengers with disabilities to be treated with respect, receive timely assistance, travel with assistive devices, receive accommodations, and file complaints.  [Read more…]

Lyft and Uber Service Dog Denials

By Melissa Carney

At the beginning of the year, a woman from Texas with cerebral palsy filed a lawsuit against Uber after she was denied service on 25 separate occasions during 2016 and 2017. She was left stranded without rides home from the grocery store, and was late to an important family gathering. An Uber driver in Boston told a blind woman that she was not allowed to enter his car, and her legally blind boyfriend was dragged down the street after the Uber driver rolled up the window with his arm inside as he tried to open the car door. A blind man from Tennessee was denied a ride home from an animal hospital. All of these incidents have occurred at different times, on different dates, and in different places, but one common theme prevails: all of these passengers were denied rides because of their service dogs.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingAccording to Uber’s policy, “A driver-partner CANNOT lawfully deny service to riders with service animals because of allergies, religious objections, or a generalized fear of animals.” All drivers are made aware of this policy and are obligated to comply with the law upon signing their terms of agreement. If an Uber driver refuses to transport a rider because of their service animal, they violate the law and breach their agreement with Uber. If Uber determines that the driver knowingly refused to transport a rider and their service animal after thoroughly investigating the case, the driver is permanently removed from the platform. Lyft’s policy is very similar to Uber’s, but drivers have one chance to be educated before they are removed from the platform. Despite these strict policies and multiple lawsuits, such as the National Federation of the Blind’s settlement with Uber in 2016, drivers continue to take it upon themselves to make uninformed and discriminatory decisions as to who should be allowed in their cars.  [Read more…]

Enforcement Notice – Airline Reporting of Data on Mishandled Baggage, Wheelchairs, and Scooters

The Department of Transportation has posted an Enforcement Notice titled Airline Reporting of Data on Mishandled Baggage, Wheelchairs, and Scooters on the DOT website. That notice addresses the obligations of large U.S. airlines to report to the Department mishandled baggage, wheelchairs, and scooters data following the enactment of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018.