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

Independent Living & The Rehabilitation Act

CIL-NET & SILC-NET Present… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Know Your Resources — Orientation to the IL-NET and CIL-NET.org and SILC-NET.org

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETThe IL-NET program has operated since 1994 to support Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) with training and technical assistance on a wide variety of topics. IL-NET’s resources cover an expansive list of topics related to CILs and SILCs, from advocacy to financial management, and everything in between. The sheer quantity of material offered by the program can be overwhelming.

Please join us for this complimentary teleconference and webinar to learn what the IL-NET has to offer you. Staff from each of our partner organizations, ILRU, NCIL, APRIL, and Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities will walk you through the trainings and resources they offer and how you can best access them. You will learn about online trainings and materials that you can access right away, as well as training topics for 2019 that you can add to your calendar. Don’t miss this free event!  [Read more…]

Remembering Ann Ford

Source: Illinois Network of CILs (INCIL)

Ann Ford - HeadshotToday the Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living mourns the loss of Ann Ford, our founding Executive Director. Ann secured a place in history as a trailblazing organizer for people with disabilities who spent her entire adult life fighting for civil rights, integration and inclusion.

Her work to launch and lead the Illinois Network of CILs brought a stronger and more focused voice for the Independent Living movement to lawmakers.

Ann never shied away from telling the truth about the impact of state or federal policies on Illinois’ disability community.

She carried herself with a gentle demeanor undergirded by a tenacious commitment to justice, fairness and knowledge of the struggles faced by people with disabilities worldwide.

Ann had credibility in the corridors of power because she was honest, direct and steeped in personal and professional experience with the Independent Living philosophy.  [Read more…]

As Hurricane Florence Approaches, Give Now to Aid CILs Damaged in the Storm

Hurricane Florence is approaching the coast of the Carolinas, with a path predicted to lead inland where it could drop unprecedented rainfall before dissipating early next week. This storm is predicted to be catastrophic and a wide swath of states have already declared states of emergency. Some areas could see up to 40 inches of rain and storm surges in excess of 10 feet.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingAs you already know, CIL services are crucial to help people with disabilities regain independence after disasters. CILs provide needed housing assistance, help navigate changes to benefits that may occur, and cooperate and advocate with local, state, federal agencies that arrive to provide emergency assistance, but so often fail to provide accommodations to people with disabilities. But CILs can’t help if their own facilities are damaged or destroyed.

NCIL’s Disaster Relief Fund distributes money specifically to Centers for Independent Living or 501(c)(3) Statewide Independent Living Councils damaged or destroyed in disasters. NCIL does not distribute money to individual disaster victims, but rather, gives money to CILs and SILCs so that they can repair, replace, or rebuild facilities and equipment in the wake of a disaster. Support from the NCIL Disaster Relief Fund made all the difference for CILs in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Iowa floods of 2008, and Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Since its inception in 2005, the Disaster Relief Fund has been funded by the generous support of NCIL members like you. 100% of these restricted funds will go towards the purpose outlined above. Please give what you can today.

Cancelled: SPIL Development – Preparing Your SPIL and Recommendations from the SPIL Revision Committee

SILC-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar:

SPIL Development: Preparing Your SPIL and Recommendations from the SPIL Revision Committee

August 29, 2018; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

** We regret to announce that this training has been cancelled.  ACL is planning to provide new information on the forthcoming SPIL instrument and instructions.  They have asked us to withhold trainings on SPIL development and the new SPIL instrument until they release that information. While we believe that this is an important time for trainings on SPIL development, we have agreed to cancel this event until ACL has an opportunity to communicate with the SILCs about plans for next year’s SPIL.  Registration fees will be automatically re-funded.  Registrants do not need to take further action to cancel or receive a refund.  We regret any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETState Plans for Independent Living (SPILs) are due next June, less than a year away. Your plan is likely well underway, but there is still time to improve your process. Join us on August 29 to learn the latest on the SPIL, including what has changed since the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) passed, how to get the most out of your SPIL, and the recommendations of the SPIL Revision Committee – a group of SILC and IL advocates that advised the Administration for Community Living (ACL) on the forthcoming revisions to the SPIL instrument and instructions.

Don’t miss this opportunity to get the latest information on SPILs. Sign up today!

Registration Fee: $75.00. Fee is per site (connection) and does not apply per participant; registrants are encouraged to gather as many individuals as desired to participate by telephone.  [Read more…]

NCIL Actions in Response to ILA / ACL Reductions in Part C Funds to CILs

As you know, many Centers for Independent Living (CILs) saw a reduction in funds in FY 2016 and 2017, which the Independent Living Administration (ILA) explained as being necessary to:

  • 2016: help CILs who missed the deadline to draw down the remainder of their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds due to miscommunication from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA); and
  • 2017: help support “unaccompanied minors” coming into the country through an “Administrative Transfer” they claim the Secretary has the authority to impose.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingNCIL found both these actions unacceptable and decided to use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get information on the details of how Part C funds withheld from CILs were actually used and how they determined where cuts to CILs were made. Working with our attorneys, (Brown, Goldstein & Levy), NCIL sent a very detailed FOIA request to the Freedom of Information Act Officer at the Administration for Community Living (ACL).

Our attorney carefully analyzed all the information received and sent a detailed letter regarding that analysis and potential actions to be taken by NCIL, which included:

  • Prevail on a friendly member of Congress to ask the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for a legal opinion on the transfer of Part C funds to other Health and Human Services (HHS) programs in FY 2017 (and any others in prior years)
  • Sue for declaratory and injunctive relief regarding the transfer of Part C funds in FY 2017
  • Follow-up with ACL on deductions from Part C funds in FY 2017 for “Peer Review”, “ACL Grants System Cost”, and “Other Admin Costs”
  • Sue the Department of Education and ACL to seek redress for any illegal budgetary actions
  • Ask ACL to adjust their budget records regarding a reporting or clerical error
  • Ask ACL to petition Congress to pass legislation specifically exempting a given Part C appropriation from certain appropriations rules

The NCIL Rehabilitation Act / IL Funding Subcommittee carefully reviewed all these options. We also discussed the recommendation made by Appropriations staff that NCIL should work with ACL to prepare report language to prevent such transfers of Part C funds.  [Read more…]

CIL-NET and SILC-NET Present… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Working Together – Building a Statewide IL Network through CIL & SILC Collaboration

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETCenters for Independent Living (CILs) and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) must collaborate in order to create an effective statewide IL network. It’s not just good practice, it’s required by law. The Rehab Act requires CILs and the SILC to collaborate on composition of the SILC, development and approval of the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL), and supporting a statewide network of CILs. This is something all CILs and SILCs should strive for, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Building a strong statewide network takes years to create and a concerted effort to maintain.

Join us on August 14 to hear how this partnership works in Kansas, where the SILC and CILs have remained committed to their network – and excelled – through difficult times.

Registration Fee: $75.00. Fee is per site (connection) and does not apply per participant; registrants are encouraged to gather as many individuals as desired to participate by telephone.  [Read more…]

CIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Approaches to Emerging Systems Advocacy in CILs

Systems advocacy is a core service at the heart of the Independent Living Movement. Our systems advocacy priorities are informed by the access barriers and discrimination we experience, but it takes a concerted effort to identify emerging systems advocacy issues that CILs must address – in addition to the ongoing fights for justice in housing, transportation, healthcare, etc.

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETJoin us on July 12th to learn how one CIL has created a systems advocacy model to identify and act on emerging systems advocacy issues. Access Living brings together elements of community organizing and systems advocacy to recruit leaders and address issues that affect communities experiencing multiple forms of oppression. Your presenters will walk through the process, from concept to campaign, so you understand how they build consensus and organizational buy-in, partner with community organizations and other advocates, and work towards systemic solutions. You will learn how they have navigated the process through real-life examples from active advocacy campaigns. They will also share how this work has impacted their organization, including reporting, ensuring accountability, and even opening new funding opportunities.

Registration Fee: $75.00. Fee is per site (connection) and does not apply per participant; registrants are encouraged to gather as many individuals as desired to participate by telephone.  [Read more…]

Make Nominations for the NCIL Board of Directors by June 13, 2018!

Dear NCIL Members:

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingNCIL members have an opportunity to nominate an individual to run for each of the following positions on the NCIL Board:

If you or someone you know would be interested in running for the NCIL Board, please fill out the nomination form.

Please carefully review the position descriptions and memorandum, as it will help in considering potential nominees. Also, make sure to share these resources with the individual you are nominating so that they have a clear understanding of what will be expected should they be elected.  [Read more…]

Deadline Extended: Apply for NCIL’s 2018 Summer Policy Internship Program by Friday, May 4!

Each semester, the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) hosts 2 internship positions at our office in Washington, DC. The Policy Internship Program provides real Washington policy experience to participants at a highly respected national organization. Interns gain valuable experience in the nation’s capital and build skills necessary to be ideal candidates for open positions at NCIL, CILs, and other advocacy organizations around the country.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThe NCIL Policy Internship Program is open to students and individuals pursuing a career in a field relevant to NCIL interests, particularly Independent Living and disability advocacy. Candidates must have a strong interest in disability rights and basic knowledge of the legislative process. Although not a requirement, preference shall be given to individuals with disabilities. The program lasts approximately 12 weeks, and interns are required to work at least 10-15 hours each week.

For more information about the NCIL Policy Internship program, visit ncil.org/jobs/ncilinternships. To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation to Lindsay Baran at lindsay@ncil.org. To be considered for the summer internship program, your application must be received by May 4, 2018.

CIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Who’s “At-Risk”? How to Determine and Address Risk of Institutional Placement to Achieve the New Core Service of Diversion

June 6, 2018; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Register online or by using the printable registration form (PDF)

The new CIL core services for transition include services to assist people with disabilities at-risk of entering institutions to remain in the community. While CILs already do this work, determining exactly who is at-risk of institutional placement – and when – can be a real challenge. Several CILs in Texas have developed a very useful at-risk survey that adheres to IL principles and is very good at helping you and your consumers determine when someone is at risk of institutionalization. Join us to learn how they developed it and how you can use or adapt it for your Center for Independent Living (CIL).

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETRegistration Fee: $75.00. Fee is per site (connection) and does not apply per participant; registrants are encouraged to gather as many individuals as desired to participate by telephone.

Target Audience: Executive directors, program managers, and IL specialists who assist consumers to identify and address risk for institutional placement.  [Read more…]