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

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Help Set NCIL’s Priorities: NCIL Legislative & Advocacy Survey to Be Released This Week!

Dear NCIL Members,

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingI’m writing to let you know that later this week, you will be receiving a survey that will help determine the priorities of NCIL during the 116th Congress. We really need your help by taking the time to fill it out. Our work at NCIL is determined by our membership, and this is what sets us apart from other organizations. Your answers to the survey will directly impact our legislative and advocacy work moving forward.

Please take the time to fill out the survey and I look forward to reviewing these results.

In Solidarity,

Sarah Launderville
Vice President

NCIL Matters on #GivingTuesday

Recently, one of our donors was thanked for his gift to NCIL. His response? “NCIL matters, so I am happy to give.”

Giving Tuesday logo - #GivingTuesday with a heart icon replacing the ‘v’NCIL matters, now more than ever. In an era where the programs that help people with disabilities live full and rich lives in the community are constantly under attack, NCIL is the first line of defense. Our grassroots network allows us to quickly mobilize people to call, email, and tweet their Congressional representatives to remind them that people with disabilities have a voice in our own futures, and we are a force to be reckoned with. Our staff tackles big topics every day that have the potential to create positive change in the lives of people with disabilities, like voting rights, sexuality, and accessible transportation. We also support CILs, SILCs, and other organizations so that they can more effectively assist consumers with the nitty gritty issues that affect their day to day lives.

Today is #GivingTuesday, an international day of giving following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Your gift will support people with disabilities all over the nation to live independent lives. Here are some ways you can give to NCIL:

  • Online directly through our online donation form
  • Shop on AmazonSmile with NCIL as your selected charity and Amazon will give a portion of your purchase to NCIL
  • Give to a Facebook fundraiser for NCIL, like this Facebook fundraiser created by board member Jessica Jimenez. And with Facebook’s new recurring donation feature, you can support NCIL all year round with just a few clicks.

Don’t forget to post on social media that you donated to NCIL and encourage your friends to do the same! Include the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Show the world that NCIL matters.

Organizers Forum: Disability Rights and Emergency Management – Getting It Right Before, During, and After Disasters

NDLA Logo - National Disability Leadership Alliance - Nothing About Us Without UsIn the wake of hurricanes in the south and on the east coast, and now huge fires raging in California, learn what is happening in the field of emergency management and disability rights. What should we as disability organizers do to improve things for disabled people in areas hit by disasters? What policies or practices should we be fighting for?  [Read more…]

Florida Association of Centers for Independent Living Media Advisory: Hurricane Michael Tele-Press Conference

  • What: There’s No Place Like Home Tele-Press Conference
  • Who: Disaster Survivors, Disability Leaders, and Community Allies
  • When: Friday, November 2nd 3:00 pm EST / 2:00 pm CST
  • Access: This event is open to the press.
  • Call number: 1-641-715-3580
  • Access Code: 996329#
  • Access Captioning

Disaster Survivors, Disability Leaders, and Community Allies across Florida and the nation will participate in a Tele-Press Conference Friday, November 2nd at 3:00 EST / 2:00 CST to tell Governor Scott, FEMA, and our elected officials “There’s No Place Like Home” for tens of thousands of Floridians with disabilities still displaced by Hurricane Michael.

Speakers will share their stories about the immediate and long-term crisis facing thousands of displaced Floridians with disabilities. These families have nowhere to live and no good options for their recovery. They will speak about violations of the rights of Floridians with disabilities, make recommendations for action, and call for immediate help from Governor Rick Scott, FEMA, Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, our Representatives in Congress, and the State of Florida’s Legislature to tell us what they are doing to comply with civil rights obligations and immediately meet the disability related equal access rights and needs of disaster survivors without further delay.

Please direct questions to: Beth Meyer, Executive Director, Florida Independent Living Council, 850-488-5624.

Turbocharging Nonprofit Leadership: Complimentary Online Expert Series

Karen Eber Davis, Gail Bower, and Kathy Kingston are producing three complimentary webinars for Executive Directors and Board Chairs called Turbocharge Your Nonprofit Leadership. While the first webinar in the series has already taken place, you can still sign up for the remainder of the series.

  • October 29: Attracting and Keeping Generous Donors
  • November 5: Turn Your Board Members into Revenue Heroes
  • November 12: Sponsorship Sales in the Fast Lane

Attendees will learn about leadership in areas vital to nonprofit success, and they’ll gain from other expert’s insights into how to apply the concepts all from their desks.

Today through November 2, 5% of Your AmazonSmile Purchase Will Go to NCIL!

Here’s a great and easy way to support NCIL! From now through November 2, Amazon will be giving 5% of the price of eligible purchases made through AmazonSmile to the charity of your choice! This is ten times the usual amount that Amazon gives to charities through AmazonSmile, so don’t miss out.

AmazonSmile - You shop - Amazon givesTo shop through AmazonSmile, click on NCIL’s unique AmazonSmile link and shop on Amazon just as you normally would. When you’ve completed your shopping, 5% of the cost of your purchase will go to NCIL!

This is a great way to get a head start on some holiday shopping and support NCIL at the same time! Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity!

Organizers Forum: Video as an Organizing Tool

  • Tuesday, October 16, 2018; 1:00-:00 p.m. Eastern

We all watch short videos on Facebook, but do we know how best to use video in our community organizing work? Learn from experienced organizers and social media strategists how to incorporate visual media into your organizational toolbox to do outreach and win campaigns. Find out how to prepare videos simply and effectively and how to use them in your work.  [Read more…]

Alaska, Arizona, Maine, North Dakota, and West Virginia Advocates: Keep The Pressure on Your Senator to Vote NO on Kavanaugh!

THANK YOU for taking action and demanding your Senators vote NO on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Because of the work of advocates around the country, the Senate’s vote has been delayed – but a vote is still rapidly approaching. If the last few weeks have proven anything, it’s that Judge Kavanaugh is unfit to serve on the highest court in the country. Kavanaugh would pose a threat to people around our country for decades to come, so we must keep the pressure up!

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingTake Action!

You live in a key state with a target Senator, so we need you to take action! The following Senators are critical in this effort and we must get them to publicly commit to voting NO:

  • Collins (ME)
  • Flake (AZ)
  • Heitkamp (ND)
  • Manchin (WV)
  • Murkowski (AK)

Call them now and tell them to vote NO on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Keep the pressure up until they’ve committed to a NO vote! Your Senators can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).

As a reminder, NCIL has conducted a review of Judge Kavanaugh’s past decisions which have proven him to be dangerous for people with disabilities. Judge Kavanaugh proved that he does not support self-determination for people with disabilities when he ruled against individuals with intellectual disabilities who had been forced to undergo elective surgeries without their consent or input. He has repeatedly attacked the Affordable Care Act, which is critical to healthcare access for many disabled people. He has repeatedly made decisions that would harm the disability community. For more information, please refer to NCIL’s full statement of opposition.

Take Action to Oppose Kavanaugh Today!

Today, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh are testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Kavanaugh will not protect our rights, and his appointment to the Supreme Court would pose major threats to our community for decades.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingIf you live in a state with one of the below Senators, please call and tell them to Vote NO on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation:

  • Collins (R-ME)
  • Flake (R-AZ)
  • Heller (R-NV)
  • Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Rubio (R-FL)
  • Sullivan (R-AK)

Throughout the confirmation process, we have seen protests, arrests, arguments among Senators, and repeated requests from Democratic Senators to delay the confirmation process. The drama surrounding these hearings illustrates how many people have concerns about Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and we unequivocally share those concerns.

A review of Judge Kavanaugh’s past decisions on healthcare, self-determination, employment, education, civil rights, and voting rights (among others) have proven him to be dangerous for people with disabilities.

We are thrilled that Liz Weintraub, the Association of University Centers on Disability’s Senior Advocacy Specialist, provided testimony with a focus on Kavanaugh’s threats to people with disabilities, and particularly his decision in Doe v DC. You can view an uncaptioned video of the testimony or read a transcript. For more information on that decision and others, please refer to NCIL’s full statement of opposition.

NCIL Opposes the Administration’s “Public Charge” Proposal

In yet another attack on immigrants, this weekend the Trump Administration announced their proposal to change the “public charge” rule (PDF). The changes proposed would be devastating to immigrant families by making it harder for immigrants, and especially disabled and poor immigrants, to enter the US or become legal permanent residents. NCIL strongly opposes this proposal.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingUnder US law, individuals seeking admission to the US or seeking to become lawful permanent residents (green card holders) can be denied if they are found likely to become a “public charge”. Currently, the term “public charge” refers to an individual who is likely to become “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence” by either the receipt of public cash assistance or institutionalization for long-term care – a definition that clearly already disproportionately impacts disabled immigrants. The proposed changes would significantly broaden the definition of “public charge” to include immigrants who receive one or more public benefits, dramatically expanding the benefits that could be considered to include non-emergency Medicaid (with a few exceptions), housing assistance, SNAP, and certain healthcare subsidies. Immigrant families could be denied entry or residency if they use, or are “likely” to use, any of this wide range of assistance programs.  [Read more…]