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

Independent Living & The Rehabilitation Act

Call for Proposals: AIRS 2018 I&R Training and Education Conference

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) has released the call for proposals for the 2018 Annual Information and Referral (I&R) Training and Education Conference. This 40th annual I&R conference is being held in Dallas, Texas, June 3-6, 2018. AIRS is seeking workshops addressing the breadth of I&R service delivery.

The Aging and Disability conference track offers a unique opportunity to share developments and effective practices in serving older adults, persons with disabilities, and caregivers with I&R/A colleagues across the country. This track is coordinated by NASUAD’s I&R Support Center, which strongly encourages aging and disability I&R agencies of all types to review the call for proposals and consider a submission. The deadline for proposal submissions is February 16, 2018[Read more…]

Share Your Experiences with the New 704/ Program Performance Reports

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. Please share your experiences with us. The deadline to complete the survey has been extended to by Friday, February 23, 2018!

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

The survey is also available in Word and plain text and can be emailed back to

SILC-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar: Refining SILC Operations – SILC Indicators and SILC and DSE Assurances

January 31, 2018; 3:00-4:30 p.m. Eastern

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

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETJoin us January 31 as we explore the Administration on Community Living’s (ACL) indicators and assurances for SILCs and DSEs. ACL released their draft indicators and assurances in September of 2017. While these requirements are not yet in effect, they clearly display ACL’s perspective on SILC and DSE responsibilities and compliance. We will explore what the indicators and assurances say, how you can use this information, and when they may be implemented.

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 or webinar.  [Read more…]

End 2017 Right – Invest in the Fight for Disability Rights!

Hundreds of NCIL Members march through the streets of DC in 20172017 was a year to remember for disability rights. In the face of dire threats to disabled lives and livelihoods, you rose up. Over the last year, you have called, you have tweeted, you have marched, and most of all, you have fought, over and over and over again. You are indefatigable – even though you shouldn’t have to be.

Giving to NCIL is an investment in the fight. As long as the rights of people with disabilities are jeopardy, we’ll be there, fighting alongside you and taking your voices to Capitol Hill. The year may be almost over, but we’re just getting started.

Give to NCIL to continue the fight – and remember, your contribution is tax deductible.

Happy New Year!

2018 Appropriations Update

Back in September, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through this Friday, December 8. Last week, Congress passed and the President signed another CR to keep the government funded through Friday, December 22. This gives Congress less than two weeks to reach a longer-term spending deal.

The House and Senate have both already passed their Labor-HHS-Education (L-HHS-Ed) spending bills out of their Appropriations Committees. Both of them level fund the Independent Living Program. You can read more and see the bills in our September alert.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThat said, we know the GOP-led Congress is intent on slashing funding, and we may very likely see changes to the current bills. Regardless, over the next two weeks, Congress has a lot to work through if they’re going to reach a deal. They have to try to align their spending bills with the priorities addressed in their dangerous budget resolution. They’ll also be attempting to overcome several contentious issues, including funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a replacement for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), stabilizing the Affordable Care Act markets, and disaster recovery funding. Additionally, they’ll have to decide whether they’ll raise the cap on discretionary funding that’s required under the Budget Control Act of 2011; if they don’t, sequestration will go into effect, resulting in across-the-board cuts. Read more about the history of the Budget Control Act and sequestration in a 2012 NCIL Action Alert. If they can’t find agreement on these issues, we may end up with another short-term CR or a government shutdown.

Appropriations bills are part of an annual process that is critical for keeping our country up and running. But instead of working to figure out how to keep vital programs functioning, the GOP has spent the last few months focusing on their terrible tax bill that will eliminate much-needed funding instead. Their priorities are completely backwards, and we need to work together to ensure that the Independent Living Program and other programs hold on to their funding. We know that there are a lot of issues demanding your attention right now, but please take a moment to call your Senators and your Representative and tell them how important the Independent Living Program is to you. In the current atmosphere we will not see any funding increases, but a cut to Independent Living funding would be disastrous. Members of Congress in both the House and the Senate need to hear from their constituents about what’s really important to the people they represent!

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

CIL-NET & SILC-NET Present… A National Teleconference & Webinar:

Know Your Resources – Orientation to the IL-NET and and

January 10, 2018; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Register online

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETThe IL-NET program has operated since 1994 to support CILs and 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 People 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 2018 that you can add to your calendar. Don’t miss this free event!

Registration Fee: This event is free-of-charge.

Target Audience: Staff and Board of CILs, SILCs, and DSEs.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will have knowledge and resources that will enable them to:

  • Describe foundational elements of the IL-NET Training and Technical Assistance project, including history, funding, partners, and roles.
  • Describe the basic layout and navigation of the IL-NET pages of the ILRU website for ease in locating information.
  • Identify the wide array of training, resources, programs and services available to CILs, SILCs, DSEs, consumers, and other stakeholders.
  • Describe IL-NET’s national peer-to-peer mentoring program and technical and intensive support opportunities.

Presented by CIL-NET and SILC-NET: Programs of the IL-NET national training and technical assistance project for Centers for Independent Living (CIL-NET) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILC-NET). The IL-NET is operated by ILRU, Independent Living Research Utilization, in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), and Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities.

2017 Outcomes: Showcase Your Independent Living Organization!

Deadline: January 19, 2018

Dear NCIL Members,

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingPlease take just a few moments to send NCIL one or two of your Center, SILC, or other Independent Living organization’s biggest accomplishments of 2017 and a photo that represents you or your work.

We are collecting your outcomes and photos for our upcoming Congressional Briefing and 2017 Annual Report.

Photos and accomplishments from our members made the 2016 Annual Report something really special and we can’t wait to see what you did in 2017!

Please send accomplishments in the form of outcomes.

  • Individual advocacy example: “Anytown Center for Independent Living assisted 42 youth with disabilities to successfully transition from high school to college and / or employment. Those young people are now leaders and role models for younger children with disabilities.”
  • Systems advocacy example: Anytown Center for Independent Living worked with the SILC to develop state legislation to restrict certificates that allow businesses to pay employees with disabilities less than minimum wage.”

These are only examples; feel free to get creative! Please keep submissions as concise as possible. Submit your accomplishments via email to by Friday, January 19, 2018.

Thank you!

Tax Bill Passes Senate: Fight Moves Back to the House!

THANK YOU to everyone who has taken action to fight the GOP’s tax bills. In the very early hours of Saturday morning, the Senate voted to pass their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Every Republican except one voted for the bill, with no Democratic support.

This is bad news, but it’s not over yet. The House now needs to decide whether they will work with the Senate to reconcile the differences between the two bills by going to conference, or they can forego that process and vote on the Senate version – and this can happen as early as today!

A NCIL member holds a sign that reads "People Not Profits" at the 2017 Annual Conference on Independent LivingThe fate of this bill is in our Representatives’ hands. It is vital that they hear from you today! Take Action Now!

  • Find your Representative’s number at Contacting Congress or call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).
  • Use Resistbot to turn your text into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters.
  • Fax your Representative (use to find their fax number).
  • Email, post on Facebook, or Tweet your Representative with information on Contacting Congress.

Tell them:

  • Repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate will significantly increase premiums and 13 million fewer people will have insurance.
  • Increasing the deficit by over $1 trillion sets the stage for slashing Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and other vital programs disabled people rely on.
  • By triggering the “Pay-As-You-Go” (PAYGO) Budget Rule, this bill will automatically force billions in cuts – and in some cases, total elimination – to essential programs including Medicare and Vocational Rehabilitation basic State grants.

Everyone should call their Representatives today, but there some Representatives that have been identified as high priority targets. If you live in these states, or if you know people who do, please make sure they are contacted!  [Read more…]

Keep Fighting the Tax Bill and Participate in Today’s National Call-In Day!

The Senate is getting closer to passing their dangerous tax bill, with a vote expected as early as Thursday. We have a very short window to stop this bill from passing, so immediate action is critical!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingTake Action Now!

  • Participate in the National CallIn Day! Wednesday, November 29 is a national disability community call-in day. You can find more information at the Facebook event. Please participate in the event and share it with your networks!
  • Keep calling your Senators! Keep calling your Senators DAILY until they commit to voting no on the tax bill! You can find your Senators’ numbers at Contacting Congress or you can reach them by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).
  • Other ways to contact your Senators: Use Resistbot to have your texts turned into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters. Fax your Senator (use to find your Senator’s fax number). And find your Senator’s email address, Facebook page, Twitter handle, and other information through Contacting Congress.
  • Get others involved! Educate your family and friends about why this tax bill is so harmful to disabled people. Share the National Call-In Day’s Facebook event, and post information on social media using the hashtag #TaxOnDisability.

This bill would be devastating to people with disabilities. It would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which would result in significant premium increases and 13 million fewer people having insurance. It would cause a massive $1.5 trillion increase in the deficit, which would set the stage for slashing Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and other vital programs. Additionally, the increase to the deficit would trigger the “Pay-As-You-Go” Budget Rule (PAYGO), which would automatically force billions of dollars in cuts to essential mandatory programs, including $25 billion in cuts to Medicare and the potential elimination of Vocational Rehabilitation basic State grants. This bill would harm our community in countless ways, with hundreds of billions of dollars being snatched away from programs we need and handed over to the people who need it the least. Read about our additional concerns with the House version. For additional information, see our two previous alerts:

Right now, one thing is for sure: Congress plans to provide tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations at the expense of everyone else, and disabled people will be hit hard. If this bill passes, the rich will become richer, and we’ll foot the bill. The Senate’s tax bill is an attack on the disability community, and it’s on us to stop it! Take action!

Kill the Tax Bill Over the Recess!

The House passed their tax bill yesterday, and the Senate is expected to vote on their bill when they return from recess. Congress will be back home until November 26, which means that local action is critical to prevent this terrible bill from becoming law!

The Senate’s tax bill is an unquestionable threat to the disability community. If this bill passes, disabled people will lose access to programs and services to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. People will lose their health care to help the rich get richer. This bill is an attack on our community, and it’s on us to ensure that it does not become law.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingTake Action Now!

When the Senate tried to decimate Medicaid and destroy the healthcare system, our community led this country to victory. Now, we need to come together and do it again! Over the recess, we must demand that our Senators commit to voting no on any bill that will pay for tax cuts for the wealthy by cutting programs people with disabilities depend on. Here are some of the ways you can take action.

  • Set up a meeting: Meet with your Senators in their local offices. Bring other disabled people so you can share your stories and tell them how harmful this bill will be for their constituents.
  • Talk to your Senators at local events: Is your Senator hosting a town hall? Are they making a showing at your town’s Thanksgiving Day parade? Use these events as an opportunity to approach your Senators and tell them why they need to oppose this bill.
  • Set up a protest: If your Senators won’t commit to opposing this bill, set up a protest at their offices! Coordinate with local ADAPT chapters and other disability activists and give them no other choice but to listen to your concerns.
  • Call your Senators: Continue to call your Senators DAILY and demand they vote no on this bill. Use the Senate Directory to find your Senator’s contact information or reach your Senators’ staff in DC by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).
  • Tweet at your Senators: Find their Twitter handles at Contacting Congress, and use the hashtag #TaxOnDisability.
  • Find other ways to contact your Senators: Fax your Senator (use to find your Senator’s fax number). Use Resistbot to have your texts turned into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters. And find your Senator’s email address, Twitter handle, and other information through Contacting Congress.

[Read more…]