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

Independent Living & The Rehabilitation Act

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…]

NIDILRR Seeks Peer Reviewers for Upcoming Competitions

The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) is seeking expert peer reviewers for several upcoming competitions. Expertise in all areas of disability and rehabilitation is welcome. NIDILRR uses teleconferences to conduct all review meetings, so reviewers do not have to travel to participate. Interested individuals who would like to be considered for peer reviewers may send CV and contact information to NIDILRR-grants@acl.hhs.gov.

Trump Budget Proposal Cuts Independent Living and Other Vital Programs: Contact the Appropriations Committees!

Last week, the President released his budget proposal for FY 2019 (PDF). Unsurprisingly, the budget proposes steep cuts to the programs people with disabilities rely on, including the Independent Living Program! While it’s important to note that this is only a proposal, and Congress will likely not include many of these proposals in their appropriations bills, it does confirm for us the areas we’ll likely have to continue fighting for. We need to make sure our voices are heard NOW, before Congress begins the FY 2019 appropriations process!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingFirst and foremost, the budget proposes cutting the Independent Living line item by $5 million, to a total of $96 million.

  • Note: While the HHS budget document presents this as a $4 million cut, this proposal was drafted before the recent budget agreement. Congress has yet to enact a full-year appropriations bill for 2018, so based on the most recently enacted spending levels (FY 2017), this budget proposes a $5 million cut.

NCIL and the Independent Living community have long been urging Congress for a funding increase, because as we all know, the program has been remarkably underfunded for years! With the addition of the fifth core services, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) around the country are working harder than ever with insufficient funding. We need to ensure that this proposal does not make it into Congressional spending bills.  [Read more…]

CIL-NET & SILC-NET Present… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in CILs

April 25, 2018; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

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

Sexual violence and sexual harassment in the workplace has been in the spotlight recently and it’s about time. Independent Living advocates know all too well the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment experienced by people with disabilities. As employers and administrators and service providers, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) have a responsibility to create environments that respond sensitively and safely. Our staff, board, council members, volunteers, and consumers all benefit when sexual violence and sexual harassment is addressed. Policies and procedures within CILs and SILCs should give guidance and structure in order to create responsive facilities, programs, and activities.

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETJoin us this April – Sexual Assault Awareness Month – to learn how you can support victims of violence and work to prevent sexual harassment in your organization. Learn the steps for creating an environment where sexual violence and harassment is addressed sensitively and effectively using a trauma informed approach. Sample policies and procedures that offer guidance will be discussed. Our presenters will share their work as sexual assault advocates and discuss these issues specifically within CILs and SILCs. We all have a role to play in creating a culture where sexual violence is addressed and sexual harassment is not tolerated. Don’t miss this crucial presentation.  [Read more…]

CIL-NET Presents… A National Onsite Training – Get to the Core of It: Integrating CIL Core Services for a Holistic Consumer Experience

May 1-4, 2018; Tempe, Arizona

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

Registration Fee: $150.00

Registration Deadline: March 31, 2018

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETConsumer control is at the heart of Independent Living. Centers for Independent Living distinguish themselves and the quality of their services by allowing consumers to determine their own goals and success. It’s a simple concept, but running a CIL and providing the core services is anything but. This training will provide you with best practices and innovative approaches to the core services by going straight back to our roots in consumer control and the independent living philosophy. We will address all of the CIL core services, including the new core services of youth transition, transition from institutions to the community, and avoiding institutionalization.

Our team of experienced CIL directors and staff will give you real-world solutions to build integrated, seamless services and programs focused on consumer empowerment and success. This will be IL-NET’s only national, onsite training in 2018. Don’t miss this exciting 3 ½ day event in the Valley of the Sun.

Following the training, on the afternoon of May 4, participants will have the opportunity to take a field trip to the Ability360 campus, Phoenix’s Center for Independent Living and an international landmark in universal design and collaborative planning with both its Ability360 Center and Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center.  [Read more…]

Call for Presenters – 2018 Independent Living Conference: Collaboration & Solidarity

  • When: June 6, 2018
  • Where: Sacramento, CA

There is no better time than now to build and cultivate our disability community partnerships. The goal of this year’s conference is to cultivate our relationships and build on our solidarity. Local, regional, statewide and national organizations that are focused, proactive and looking for ways to make positive change in collaboration with Independent Living Centers are encouraged to submit a conference proposal.

Please consider submitting a brief workshop proposal. Multiple presenters and panel presentations are welcome. Workshop length: 75 minutes.

Seeking Workshops Proposal for the Following Tracks

  • Long-Term Services & Support
  • Youth Transition
  • Intersectionality
  • Emergency Readiness & Recovery
  • Effective Systems Change/Community Organizing Campaigns

Proposal Deadline: Workshop proposals are due by March 12, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. Read more at the CFILC website.