the advocacy monitor

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

Independent Living & The Rehabilitation Act

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…]

I&R Professionals: Please Take the 2018 Aging and Disability I&R/A National Survey!

NCIL has been working in partnership with NASUAD’s Information & Referral Support Center on the 2018 Aging and Disability I&R/A National Survey. We are requesting your assistance with the completion and dissemination of the survey, which is designed to assess the state of Information and Referral/ Assistance (I&R/A) systems serving people with disabilities and older adults. Findings from the survey will highlight important trends and developments in the provision of I&R/A services. The results of the survey will be compiled into a final report and shared with NCIL and NASUAD members, as well as the I&R/A network as a whole.

We are requesting that you share the survey with I&R/A lead staff at your organization so that they may complete the survey. Additionally, we would appreciate if your staff could disseminate the survey to agencies (particularly AAAs and ADRCs) in your network for them to complete the survey. We are requesting responses by April 23.

Please complete the survey online if you are able. The I&R Center’s director, Nanette Relave, is available to address questions, offer assistance, and provide the survey in an alternate format if needed (she can be contacted at 202-898-2578 x305 or nrelave@nasuad.org).

We appreciate your time and assistance in helping us disseminate this survey to increase our collective knowledge and understanding of the delivery of I&R/A to people with disabilities and older adults!

Omnibus Includes $12 Million Increase for Independent Living!

On Friday, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (PDF) that the House and Senate both passed on Thursday. The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package will fund the remainder of FY 2018, and we are excited to report that included in the spending package is a $12 million increase for the Independent Living Program! Included in the $12 million increase is $2 million for Part B and $10 million for Part C, which brings total federal funding for IL to a total of $113M ($24,878,000 for Part B and $88,305,000 for Part C). We are thrilled that rather than accept Trump’s proposed to cut IL, Congress recognized the importance of the IL program and rejected his proposal.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThis is a huge win for the Independent Living Program! Thank you for all of your efforts to teach your Members of Congress about the IL Program. Thank you for the work you do in your communities to fight for disability rights. This increase is a direct result of the incredible, critically important work the Independent Living community does across the country every single day.

We would also like to express our gratitude to some specific members of Congress who were instrumental in achieving this increase. As we mentioned in a previous alert, Representative Hanabusa (HI) led a strong effort in Congress for increased funding for the Independent Living Program. As a result of her “Dear Colleague” letter and NCIL members around the country contacting their Representatives, 23 additional Representatives signed on to Representative Hanabusa’s letter!  [Read more…]

Please Share Your Experiences with the New 704 / Program Performance Reports by Friday, March 31!

The NCIL Rehabilitation Act / Independent Living Funding Subcommittee is looking for input from CILs and SILCs on their experiences with the new 704 / Program Performance Reports (PPR) and the ACL Reporting system.

To participate, complete the survey online. The survey should take approximately 5-10 minutes.

The deadline to complete the survey has been extended to Friday, March 31, 2018.

The survey is also available in Word and plain text and can be emailed back to lindsay@ncil.org.

CIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Preventing Guardianship – How CILs Can Be the Frontline to Advocate for Less Restrictive Alternatives

May 23, 2018; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

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

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETGuardianship is the legal authority to make decisions for another individual. Independent Living philosophy is grounded in the unwavering belief that people with disabilities must have the authority to make decisions about their own lives. CILs can and should help consumers avoid guardianship. Not only is it an important civil rights issue, but helping consumers maintain their self-determination dovetails perfectly with the new CIL core services of transition, diversion, and support for youth in transition. Our presenters will share statistics about guardianship decisions, describe how guardianship prohibits the independence and civil rights of people with disabilities, and how you can help consumers pursue practical alternatives to guardianship, like supported decision making.

You don’t want to miss this important discussion. 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 teleconference or webinar.

Target Audience: CIL Executive directors, program managers, and other staff concerned with the impact of guardianship on independent living goals.  [Read more…]

Quick Turnaround: Urge Your Representative to Support the Request for Independent Living Funding!

Note: NCIL sent out the below alert on Friday and again this morning encouraging NCIL members to urge your Representatives to sign on to Representative Hanabusa’s letter of request for increased Independent Living funding. Please note that this is a Congressional letter. Only members of Congress can sign this letter. CILs, SILCs, and other organizations cannot sign this letter. Please see below for the original alert and please continue contacting your Representatives!

Congress is now working on FY 2019 appropriations, and this year’s fight is more important than ever. With Congress intent on slashing funding and the Administration’s budget proposal to cut IL funding, advocacy from our community and our allies in Congress is critical!

We are very excited to inform you that this week, Representative Hanabusa (HI) sent a Dear Colleague letter to the entire House of Representatives asking them to join her in supporting an increase in funding for the Independent Living Program. Once signatures have been received, Representative Hanabusa will submit a letter to Chairman Cole (OK) and Ranking Member DeLauro (CT) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS-Ed) to formally request increased funding for the Independent Living Program in FY 2019. So far, Representatives Norton (DC) and Sablan (CNMI) have already signed on, and we need to get as many more supporters as possible by Wednesday, March 14, 2018!

Read the Dear Colleague letter from Representative Hanabusa and the text for the request to Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingTake Action!

The Independent Living Program is a vital, cost-effective program that has been grossly underfunded for years. We need your help to get as many other Representatives as possible to sign-on! Contact your Representative TODAY and urge them to sign on to Representative Hanabusa’s Independent Living Appropriations request. Make sure you Representative knows how vital the Independent Living Program is to you, and how much the CILs in their state do for their disabled constituents!

All Representatives can be reached by the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY), and you can find your Representative’s direct DC and local office numbers as well as other contact information at Contacting Congress. You can also use Resistbot to turn texts into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters.

The deadline to sign-on is Wednesday, March 14.

If your Representative has any questions or wants more information, they can contact Elizabeth Songvilay at Representative Hanabusa’s office at Elizabeth.Songvilay@mail.house.gov.

Spring 2018 NCIL Legislative & Advocacy Priorities Booklet Now Available!

The spring edition of NCIL’s Legislative & Advocacy Priorities is now available at the NCIL website.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThis document contains specific information on the national legislative and policy priorities identified biannually by the NCIL membership, including funding for the Independent Living Program, healthcare and long-term care, housing, transportation, education, and more.

Please share this document with your Center or SILC staff, board, and the Senators and Representatives who serve your districts.

Contact NCIL for further information on the issues discussed in this document.

National Council on Independent Living 2017 Annual Report

Dear Advocates and Friends,

We are pleased to announce that NCIL’s 2017 Annual Report is now available at our website.

NCIL 2017 Annual Report Cover Art: Collage of images and text – full description included in document2017 was an extraordinary year for the Independent Living Movement. We were tested on every front. Some battles were won, and others lost, but we rose to every challenge, demonstrating the strength, commitment, and resiliency of the disability community.

We joined forces to defeat attacks on healthcare. We fought attempts to weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act and erode our civil rights. We forced disability rights to the forefront of debates led by people who had no intention of including us. We worked diligently to initiate a global Independent Living network in order to create a world in which people with disabilities are truly valued equally and participate fully.

Nevertheless, many members of our community are paying the price for misguided and discriminatory policies on immigration, policing, access to healthcare and in-home services, and segregated workplaces and classrooms.

Helen Keller said, “It is in the most trying times that our real character is shaped and revealed.” We are humbled to be part of a community that displays such bravery and commitment to the principles of justice and equality. NCIL members have carried us through a difficult year with grace, determination, and grit.  [Read more…]

An Update from the NCIL Rehabilitation Act / IL Funding Subcommittee

The NCIL Rehabilitation Act / IL Funding Subcommittee would like to thank Jeff Hughes for his hard work as Co-Chair of the Subcommittee. Jeff recently had to resign as Co-Chair but, fortunately for NCIL, he will continue serving as a Subcommittee member. We would also like to thank Dan Kessler for joining Ann Watts McDaniel as the Subcommittee’s new Co-Chair. Much work remains to be done!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThe current Administration is posing many challenges for our members and the people we serve. The President’s budget is among our top concerns, as described in NCIL’s recent Budget Alert. Last week, the President released a 2019 budget proposing a $5 million cut to Independent Living, reducing the IL budget to $96 million, if enacted.

CILs have been underfunded for many years. In 2014, Transition services were added as new core services – with no additional funding. As a result, CILs are working harder than ever with insufficient funding. We need to make sure that these proposed cuts to Independent Living do not make it into the Congressional spending bills. We know the impact that Independent Living has on the lives of the people and communities we serve. Now, more than ever, it is important for us to talk to members of Congress about the value of CILs and Independent Living.  [Read more…]