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


Transcript of the 2019 NCIL Awards Luncheon

The CART Transcript of protest at the NCIL 2019 Awards Banquet is available below. You can also read the full transcript.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) captioning is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.

SARAH LAUNDERVILLE: Thank you, Marca! So I want to acknowledge the folks who are here with posters, for a couple of reasons. One, I think, that their message is really powerful.

Especially in this time. And secondly, I want to acknowledge that not everybody can read those posters. Is there anyone who would like to speak from this group? No? Okay.

So, go ahead.

>> I would be happy to support, if anybody would like me to read posters. If you could show me your posters one at a time, I would be glad to read them for access. I’m going to be going from my right to left. “America is the land of immigrants”. Do you want to read the next one?

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Disability Rights Advocates to March on Washington Tuesday, July 23

For Immediate Release

July 22, 2019

Contact: Eleanor Canter, NCIL Communications Coordinator – 231-755-5063 or

Washington, DC — On Tuesday, July 23, approximately 1000 people with disabilities, advocates, and allies from across the nation will march to the US Capitol in support of disability rights. Participants will meet at 11th and G Streets NW at 9:30 a.m. and the 1.2 mile March to the Capitol will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. All members of the public and press are encouraged to attend.

This event will precede the 29th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was signed by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990.

The March route will end at the West Front Lawn of the US Capitol, where participants will gather for an empowering Rally for Disability Rights, which will feature Senators, Representatives, and Independent Living and disability rights advocates. Advocates will then make their way to the US Capitol Building to meet with their elected Members of Congress in order to promote NCIL’s Legislative and Advocacy Priorities, which are developed bi-annually by the organization’s membership.

Some of the priorities advocates will be addressing include funding for America’s Independent Living Program; protecting the ADA from Congressional attack; and protecting Medicaid and Home and Community Based Services.

Approximately 1000 people march to the US Capitol carrying signs and chanting in support of Independent Living and disability rights in 2017
Approximately 1000 people march to the US Capitol carrying signs and chanting in support of Independent Living and disability rights in 2017

The March and Rally for Disability Rights is being organized by the National Council on Independent Living as part of its 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living, which will take place July 22-25 at the Grand Hyatt Washington.

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands, including: individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

Preparing for the Annual Council Meeting: Open Positions, Floor Nominations, Eligibility, and Voting Rules

Dear NCIL Members:

The Annual Council Meeting is coming up and we know that many of you are interested in the process for elections and the vacancy in the President’s position. The following email lays out the rules and eligibility for making nominations and running for the open positions, which are outlined below.

Rules of Order

To ensure fair and orderly meetings that allow all NCIL members to participate, NCIL uses Robert’s Rules of Order for the conduct of annual meetings to the greatest extent possible. However, NCIL feels that under no circumstances should “undue strictness” be allowed to intimidate members or limit full participation. The conduct of ALL business is controlled by the general will of the whole membership, with the right of the majority to decide. See NCIL’s quick-reference guide to the rules of order. A parliamentarian will be present and will have the final call on Robert’s Rules procedures.


At the 2019 Annual Council Meeting, NCIL members will have the opportunity to vote for Governing Board members and resolutions that will guide NCIL in the coming years. This year, elections will be held for: President, Treasurer, and three Members-At-Large.

While the deadline to nominate for these positions online has passed, we always take nominations from the floor for all positions.

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Statement from NCIL’s Board of Directors

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) has unanimously accepted Bruce Darling’s resignation. We unequivocally denounce the statements articulated by Mr. Darling yesterday. We want to clarify that his statements are not NCIL talking points, and that his assertion that he was speaking in the capacity of NCIL President was in violation of NCIL’s policies.

Sarah Launderville, NCIL Vice President, effective immediately, will assume the powers and functions of President for the remainder of the term until the Wednesday, July 24 Annual Council Meeting, where the position will be up for election.

NCIL acknowledges that the treatment of border detainees is reprehensible. We also recognize that people with disabilities are amongst the individuals being detained in the border camps for asylum-seeking and undocumented immigrants to the U.S.

Additionally, reports concerning the treatment of detainees within these camps clearly indicates that the conditions are resulting in detainees acquiring trauma-related disabilities. Finally, NCIL recognizes that the personal and civil rights of the disability community in the U.S. are currently being threatened within the border camps and, therefore, condemns any rhetoric that attempts to pit the disability community against those who are seeking asylum in the U.S.

The message from the dais at NCIL is this: we stand in solidarity with detainees, the Latinx community, those who immigrate to this country for whatever reason, and all marginalized people.

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Statement from NCIL’s President

Many of you may have heard part of my remarks during a protest. In trying to explain my frustration that Democrats have failed to recognize and address the unjust incarceration of people with disabilities in nursing facilities and other institutions, I used absolutely inappropriate language. My concern for those locked in institutions because they are disabled should never have been stated in a way that minimized concern for those locked in other institutions that are equally abhorrent. That was wrong.

I cannot apologize strongly enough. I have long fought the use of the Oppression Olympics and my lack of forethought that day allowed me to slip into it myself. Ableism, racism, and xenophobia have and continue to oppress many in our community and my words only served to erase – and simultaneously add to – that oppression. I make no excuses for this, and I am truly sorry for the harm it has caused.

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2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living App Now Available

Are you ready for NCIL’s 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living? There’s an app for that!

For the first time, NCIL has developed an app for our Annual Conference.

To download the app, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play and search for “NCIL” or start from a mobile device and visit

To view the web version of the app, visit

All of the information contained in the app will also be available in your Annual Conference materials, which are available now at

Please remember to use our hashtag, #NCIL2019 in your social media posts. Please caption you images if you are able, and remember to set your post to public if you want NCIL and other conference attendees to see it.

2019 Annual Conference: Pre-Event Registration Ends Friday, July 12!

All pre-event and online registration for NCIL’s 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living closes this week. All pre-event registrations must be received by Friday, July 12 at 12:00 midnight, Eastern Time.

Individuals may still register onsite, but please note that onsite registration fees differ from standard registration fees and plan accordingly.

Pre-event registration rates:

  • NCIL Member Organization: $265
  • NCIL Individual Member: $335
  • Youth Member: $110 (26 & Under)
  • Non-member: $385
  • Daily Rate: $115 / day (NCIL Members); $160 / day (Non-Members)

Onsite registration rates:

  • NCIL Member Organization: $310
  • NCIL Individual Member: $380
  • Youth Member: $110 (26 & Under)
  • Non-Member: $430
  • Daily Rate: $210 / day

To register, use the NCIL online store, which gives you the ability to register up to three attendees with one transaction and accepts Discover, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. Registration Forms are also available in (PDFWord, or plain text).

Additional details are available on our conference web page. This year’s Annual Conference on Independent Living is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent history, and we can’t wait to see you there!

Logo: 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living - featuring a white starburst graphic

Reminder: Apply for the NCIL Youth Scholarship by July 1!

NCIL’s Youth Scholarship is one of the most exciting parts of our annual conference. The Youth Scholarship allows youth with disabilities aged 26 and under to attend the conference at little or no cost to them. NCIL offers three tiers of scholarships:

  • Local – $110 to cover registration for youth based in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area (including youth who are in the area for summer internships or other programs)
  • Regional – up to $975 to cover registration, travel, and hotel for youth in Region III (DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania)
  • National – up to $1,200 to cover registration, travel, and hotel for youth based outside of Region III.

Please note that NCIL does not have the capacity to accept international applicants at this time. Youth under the age of 18 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

So far in 2019, we have awarded scholarships to nearly 30 youth from across the country. Previous Youth Scholarship recipients have gone on to serve in leadership positions on the NCIL board, get involved in their local CILs, and launch exciting careers in the field of Independent Living! You could be next!

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Notice: CILs and SILCs Must Be a 2019 NCIL Member by June 24 in Order to Vote at the Annual Council Meeting!

NCIL’s Standard Operating Procedures require that CILs and SILCs pay their dues in full thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Council Meeting to be eligible to vote at that meeting. If your organization has not yet joined or renewed for 2019, you must sign-up and pay your dues in full by 12:00 Midnight on Monday, June 24, 2019 in order to vote at the Annual Council Meeting. 

If you do not join or renew by June 24, your organization will not be able to vote for the Governing Board members and Resolutions that guide NCIL’s actions and priority issues.

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“I didn’t begin to thrive until I came here.” Read Eiryn’s Story and Donate to the NCIL Youth Scholarship Fund

In 2016, Eiryn Griest-Schwartzman received a youth scholarship to attend the NCIL conference. Three years later, they’re on our board as the Youth Member-At-Large. In their own words:

“Attending the NCIL conference brought me:

  • an incredible community and support system
  • a level of solidarity that I’d never experienced before, 
  • empowering resources for my transition to independence.
  • It jumpstarted my career in disability advocacy.

I didn’t begin to thrive until I came here. I financially could not have gotten [to the conference] without [the youth scholarship] and in turn never would’ve gotten involved in NCIL in any meaningful way.”

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