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


Organizers Forum: Disability Organizing – Preparing for the Year Ahead

  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018
  • 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern
  • RSVP

Let’s talk about how we are doing with community organizing in disability communities. We’ll offer an assessment of our power and clout as a community over the last year. What are we good at, and where do we need help? What are the key issues and strategies we should be thinking about, and how should we do this work? How can we grow? Hear thoughts and ideas from some brilliant, powerful, insightful leaders, and come to the call with your own.


  • Lydia X. Z. Brown
  • Julia Bascom, Autistic Self Advocacy Network
  • Rebecca Cokley, Center for American Progress
  • Additional speakers to be announced.

[Read more…]

Buy a Disability Power T-Shirt and Support NCIL!

Black t-shirt with Disability Power emblem on front center. Emblem is a white wheelchair accessibility symbol with a stylized raised fist in the center.After the overwhelming success of the Disability Power t-shirt fundraiser from last October, Cole Anderson has generously agreed to open the fundraiser again for a limited time.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign student Cole Anderson has designed a new disability pride t-shirt. We’re excited to announce that Cole will donate all proceeds from the t-shirt sales to NCIL!

Shirts cost $20 each, with an option to make an additional donation to NCIL. The campaign will end at the beginning of November, with shirts being shipped after the campaign closes.

Says Anderson: “I value and support NCIL because I have a right to a dignified life. Disabled citizens have a right to the same chance to contribute to their society. I’m an engineering student at a top university. But I’m only able because of disability rights activists fighting to show I have potential. I have the services I need to be able to go to school and live an independent life. NCIL fights to make sure the disabled children of the future have that chance too.”

Thank you, Cole Anderson! Buy yours today!

Support the 2018 NCIL Youth Scholarship Fund

Resistance through Action - 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living. Graphic features an arrow striking a heart over the letters "IL" and a target that replaces the "o" in "Mobilize"Dear NCIL Family,

As we gear up for this year’s Annual Conference on Independent Living, please consider supporting NCIL’s youth. Young people who are students or starting out with their first job often face financial barriers that limit their ability to fund an enriching conference experience. In this movement, we know how important it is to be around peers and mentors with disabilities so that we can learn how strong we are together, and what we bring to the table as individuals. If you are able, we encourage you to play a role in empowering young people with disabilities by financially contributing to this year’s scholarship fund.

NCIL’s Youth Scholarship Fund allows youth with disabilities to attend our annual conference at little or no cost to them. Scholarships generally cover registration, travel, and hotel costs. You can donate through our online form or Facebook fundraiser. $1,200 covers one national scholarship, $975 covers one regional scholarship, and $110 covers one local scholarship. We also encourage all conference sponsors to consider making an additional contribution to the Youth Scholarship Fund.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to Hindley Williams, Youth Transitions Fellow, at Thank you for your contributions, and we look forward to reconnecting with all of you and seeing new faces as we mobilize at this year’s conference!

2018 Annual Conference Sponsorship, Advertising, and Exhibiting Opportunities

Resistance through Action - 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living. Graphic features an arrow striking a heart over the letters "IL" and a target that replaces the "o" in "Mobilize"NCIL’s 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living will be held July 23-26 in Washington, DC. Generous support from sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers last year resulted in a Conference of nearly 1,500 participants! We seek your partnership as we begin to prepare for our 2018 Annual Conference celebration.

Due to last year’s attendance, NCIL’s tremendous successes in 2017, and excitement surrounding the theme, the buzz has already started for this year’s Annual Conference on Independent Living, Mobilize: Resistance through Action.

Our Sponsorship Opportunities Booklet outlines opportunities for your consideration. We hope that you thoughtfully consider this opportunity to be part of our celebration and growth, and invite you to invest in our efforts to ensure equality for people with disabilities throughout the United States.

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is the longest-running national cross-disability and cross-age grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities.

Again, we appreciate your review of our exciting sponsorship, exhibiting, and advertising opportunities. Contact Cara Liebowitz at for further information.


Kelly Buckland, Executive Director

Cara Liebowitz, Development Coordinator

Call for Workshop Proposals: 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living

Resistance through Action - 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living. Graphic features an arrow striking a heart over the letters "IL" and a target that replaces the "o" in "Mobilize"

July 23–26, 2018; Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC

Submit a workshop proposal

NCIL’s Annual Conference is the largest Independent Living event of the year. NCIL regularly hosts over 1,000 people, including grassroots advocates, CIL and SILC leadership, members of Congress, government officials, and representatives from other major organizations that work for justice and equity for people with disabilities.

NCIL’s 2018 Annual Conference theme is Mobilize: Resistance through Action. For over a year now, members of Congress and aggressive ideologues have tried their hardest to strip people with disabilities of their health and liberty. We have met these challenges head-on and will continue to do so. Some battles have been won, others lost. The goal of this year’s Annual Conference is to improve our strategy and cohesion. We are powerful, but we must share our resources, strategize, and train new advocates if we want to succeed in our efforts to protect our programs and secure the independence of people with disabilities.  [Read more…]

Support NCIL While You Shop for the Holidays!

This holiday season, you can support NCIL while you shop! Shop for everyone on your list using NCIL’s custom link at

NCIL sincerely appreciates your continued support and commitment to the Independent Living Movement.

This holiday season you can support us while you shop! Shop for everyone on your list at You shop Amazon donates. Amazon Smile logo. Image of camera, stuffed toy, and handbag.

It’s Getting Closer… One Month until Giving Tuesday!

It’s the end of October, the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, and we’re gearing up for Giving Tuesday! Giving Tuesday is focused on giving back after the consumer driven days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and takes place on November 28th, 2017.

Giving Tuesday logo - #GivingTuesday with a heart icon replacing the ‘v’Here are some exciting updates from our Giving Tuesday preparations:

  1. We’ve been approved for Facebook fundraising! Now it’s even easier to raise funds for NCIL or donate directly through Facebook. And on Giving Tuesday ONLY, all fees from Facebook fundraising will be waived, so 100% of your donation goes to NCIL. In addition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is partnering with Facebook to match up to $1,000 per fundraiser or $50,000 per organization on Giving Tuesday until the match funds run out – so start your giving early!
  2. We’ve got an all-star matching team! Most organizations have one company or corporation that matches donations on Giving Tuesday. But since NCIL’s power is grassroots, so is our fundraising. We have a dedicated team of NCIL fans who have agreed to match $250 each on Giving Tuesday, for a total match of up to $1,750. That means your impact can be DOUBLED for one day only!

In the coming weeks, you’ll get to meet our matching team, learn about different ways to give to NCIL, and show off your NCIL pride on your social media! Let’s kick off the giving season right!

Action Alert: Share Your Stories from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

NCIL has partnered with Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies, Inc to determine what challenges and problems people with disabilities faced in shelters, with transportation and evacuation, with housing options after the storm, in applying for benefits, and problems with any other interactions with emergency services. (Note: we are also interested in Hurricane Maria’s impact, but due to lack of communication abilities with the affected territories and ongoing response work, in which NCIL is currently engaged, we do not anticipate being able to complete a report at this time.)

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingWere you in a shelter and experienced problems or mistreatment? Have you had difficulty finding housing options after the storm or applying for FEMA or other benefits? Did you experience difficulties in arranging transportation, services during and after the storm, or arranging evacuation? We want to hear from you. These stories will be scrubbed of identifying information and be used as data in reports on what problems people with disabilities experienced, and to determine what can be done to mitigate these problems so that they do not arise in future disasters.

If you are interested in sharing your stories or have any questions about this initiative, please send them to Sarah Blahovec at by October 31st, 2017.

Benefit Enrollment Grants Available from the National Council on Aging

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) Center for Benefits Access is now accepting applications from qualified organizations to join the network of Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs).

BECs use person-centered strategies in a coordinated, community-wide approach to find and enroll Medicare beneficiaries – both seniors aged 65+ years and adults living with disabilities – who have limited income and resources into available benefits, with the primary focus being on five core benefit programs. [Read more at…]

Save the Date! Giving Tuesday is Two Months Away!

Giving Tuesday logo - #GivingTuesday with a heart icon replacing the ‘v’NCIL is joining thousands of other organizations in participating in Giving Tuesday, “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.” Giving Tuesday is focused on giving back after the consumer driven days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and takes place on November 28th, 2017.

In the coming months, we’ll be sending you emails with more information about how to support NCIL on Giving Tuesday. In the meantime, make sure to mark your calendars for Giving Tuesday, November 28th, 2017. Let’s make this the best Giving Tuesday yet!