the advocacy monitor

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

Independent Living & The Rehabilitation Act

Information for Members About NCIL Advocacy and Lobbying Activities

Like other 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, NCIL is allowed to and does engage in lobbying within the applicable restrictions set by law. We understand that since many of our member organizations receive federal funding, there have been concerns about whether payment of NCIL membership dues may create issues regarding restrictions on members’ use of federal funds for lobbying. We wanted to take a moment to put those fears to rest.

NCIL does NOT use money received through membership dues for lobbying; any funds that NCIL expends on lobbying is paid from other, unrestricted funds. The money we receive through membership dues helps fund the many educational, developmental, and critical non-lobbying advocacy efforts and projects NCIL staff work on day in and day out. We have good basis to believe that the law permits members to pay dues to NCIL in consideration for NCIL’s non-lobbying work such that paying those dues to NCIL does not count as federal funds being used for lobbying.

To learn more about NCIL membership, visit our membership page at ncil.org/ncil-membership.

CIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: IL Partnership with Disability Advisory Councils, Boards, and Commissions

September 10, 2019; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Presented by: Todd Holloway & Luke Byram

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

The Independent Living (IL) Movement is full of disability subject matter experts who make fantastic advisory council and commission members. Does your city or county have a disability or accessibility body to provide subject matter advice or direction? This webinar will cover positive outcomes and best practices as the result of being involved with your community at the advisory level.

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Information Alert: ACL’s New FAQ Document for CILs

As many of you have seen by now, ACL has released a document entitled FAQ: Allowable Advocacy Activities (Word). The document is intended to describe how CILs can meet federal requirements under the Rehabilitation Act to conduct advocacy without violating federal laws against lobbying with federal funds. We are currently in the process of reviewing this document, but we have major concerns.

Systems advocacy is a core service of Centers for Independent Living, which means CILs are federally mandated to conduct advocacy activities. While understanding what types of advocacy are allowable with federal funds is important, this document demonstrates a clear overreach on the part of ACL. That said, we will not be intimidated, and we will strongly defend the right – and responsibility – of CILs to advocate.

We are currently reviewing this document and considering our response, and we will send out additional information once it is ready. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. We would welcome your thoughts on this document, including any concerns or relevant experiences you would like to share. We also invite you to send any questions you have, and we will respond to those directly or pass them along to ACL with our feedback. Please send your input and questions to Kelly at kelly@ncil.org.

Please note: If you are coming to NCIL’s Annual Conference, this document, and concerns and responsibilities regarding advocacy and lobbying will be discussed before the Annual March & Rally and Hill Visits.

CIL-NET Presents… A National On-Location Training: Disability, Diversity, and Intersectionality in CILs

CILs are always striving to reach unserved and underserved populations and to better represent the vibrant, racial, ethnic, linguistic, and multi-cultural communities that we serve. If you would like effective, practical information on how to accomplish this at your CIL, then you simply cannot afford to miss this training. Sign-up today!

At our core, Centers for Independent Living are community-based, civil rights organizations. Sure, we focus on the core services of Independent Living, but disability rights are civil rights, and the Independent Living Movement shares similarities and a siblinghood with other civil rights movements. We have a strong enough foundation in human rights to expand our celebration and inclusion of people with disabilities from other marginalized communities and identities in our organizations.

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SILC-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) & Designated State Entities (DSEs) – Addressing Roadblocks and Authority Issues

August 29, 2019; 3:00–4:30 p.m. Eastern

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

Presented by:

  • Marijane Waldron, Director, WV Division of Rehabilitation Services
  • Michelle James, Chief Financial Officer, WV Division of Rehabilitation Services
  • Ann McDaniel, Executive Director, WV Statewide Independent Living Council

The Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) and the Designated State Entity (DSE) must work together. Don’t take our word for it – it’s the law! Whether you believe there is room for improvement or you feel as though you are at a total impasse, this webinar is designed to clarify what the law says about the roles and responsibilities of the SILCs and DSEs, along with practical examples of how you can each improve your relationship.

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CIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Get to the Core of It – Peer Support

Get to the Core of It – Peer Support
Best Practices in the CIL Core Services
August 13, 2019; 3:00–4:30 p.m. Eastern
Presented by: Matt Cain & Sarah Jo Jorgenson
Register online or by using the printable registration form (PDF)

Peer support is a hallmark of the Independent Living Movement and a core service – both in statute and philosophy – of Centers for Independent Living. We all know what peer support is, but running an effective peer support program with limited funding and staff has to be tailored to each CIL’s capacity and need. If you and your staff would like to learn more about implementing a proven model for peer support, then you won’t want to miss this training.

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Information Alert: ILA Reorganization Update

On Wednesday we sent out an information alert about upcoming reorganization at the Independent Living Administration. This alert was sent before the announcement was finalized in the Federal Register, because we wanted to get you the information we had as quickly as possible.

Read the notice in the Federal Register. The notice confirms the information we sent out on Wednesday. While the notice states that the reorganization will be effective upon date of signature, it was confirmed during a stakeholder call yesterday that the implementation date is the first week of August. It was also confirmed that there will be NO opportunity for public comment.

We are continuing to stay on top of this situation, and we will share all relevant information as we receive it.

Information Alert: ILA Reorganization Underway

NCIL has recently learned of upcoming reorganization at the Independent Living Administration (ILA) within the Administration for Community Living (ACL). This is expected to include the demotion of ILA Director Bob Williams; and Julie Hocker, Commissioner of the Administration on Disability (AOD), will become the new Director of the ILA as well as keeping her current position. This means that the Independent Living Administration will no longer have a full-time Director! It is also our understanding that Regional Offices will be closed, although some staff will remain.

NCIL is extremely concerned about these sudden and unexpected changes, and particularly at Bob’s removal as Director of the ILA.

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National Council on Independent Living 2018 Annual Report

Dear Advocates and Friends,

We are pleased to announce that NCIL’s 2018 Annual Report is now available at our website.

Peace in my mind,
Love in my heart,
When my friend can have his way and his part,
A home from the start.

I’m so proud of the amazing work the Independent Living community accomplished in 2018.

The beauty of NCIL is that you, our members and supporters, run the show. In 2018, you fought attacks on the Americans with Disabilities Act, gained the support of a record number of co-sponsors for the Disability Integration Act, testified about the devastating impact of Electronic Visit Verification, and spoke out against policies that would limit access to opioids for people with chronic pain. Your tireless advocacy made all the difference.

[Read more…]

Action Alert: Invite Your Members of Congress to the 2019 NCIL Congressional Briefing & Reception on Capitol Hill!

Note: Online RSVPs are closed as of 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Friday, February 22. Individuals who do not RSVP can still attend the event (space permitting) and can register on site.

Dear NCIL Members,

It’s time for the annual NCIL Congressional Briefing & Reception on Capitol Hill! If you are in the DC area, we hope you will join us. Please see the event details and RSVP at our website.

Wherever you are, we are asking for your help to get your members of Congress to attend this briefing. NCIL, as the national advocate for CILs, SILCs, and the Independent Living philosophy, has the mission of being your voice in Washington DC and representing your interests. NCIL hosts this annual briefing and reception in order to educate members of Congress on a number of relevant policy initiatives that aim to advance disability rights and the ability of people with disabilities to live more independently.

[Read more…]