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


Annual Conference Speakers Confirmed!

Mobilize - 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"Keynote Speaker: Rebecca Vallas

We are happy to announce the confirmation of Keynote Speaker Rebecca Vallas, who will deliver an address during the Opening Plenary, which takes place 9:00-10:00 a.m. on Monday, July 23. This event will kick off a week of movement-building and mobilization. Read Rebecca’s biography.

ILA Update

The 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living will feature an ILA Update on Thursday, July 26, 4:15-5:00 p.m. Administration for Community Living (ACL) and Independent Living Administration (ILA) leadership will provide an update on NCIL’s priorities and concerns for oversight of the Independent Living Program, as well as other current affairs at ACL and ILA. An opportunity for questions and answers will be provided.

Confirmed Rally Speakers:

  • Senator Bob Casey
  • Representative Gene Green
  • Representative Colleen Hanabusa
  • Senator Maggie Hassan
  • Representative Jared Huffman
  • Representative Joe Kennedy
  • Representative Ro Khanna
  • Representative Jim Langevin
  • Representative Seth Moulton
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
  • Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson
  • Representative Dina Titus
  • Representative Juan Vargas
  • Senator Chris Van Hollen

Join Us!

Online registration for the 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living closes at midnight on Friday, July 13. Onsite registration is also available. Please note that onsite registration fees differ from standard registration fees and plan accordingly. Plan to join us for the March for Disability Rights and Rally on Capitol Hill – no registration is required!

NCIL Mourns the Passing of Jamey George

Dear friends and colleagues,

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingIt is with a heavy heart that we write to inform you of the passing of Jamey George. Jamey was the founder and longtime Executive Director of the Freedom Center for Independent Living in Maryland, a dedicated two-time member of NCIL’s Governing Board, and a past member of the Maryland SILC. Jamey passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, July 8, 2018. Read Jamey’s complete obituary.

Sarah Sorenson, fellow Marylander and Executive Director of Independence Now, said of Jamey: “Jamey believed in and fought for independent living for absolutely everyone. She was incredibly proud of founding and directing The Freedom Center, a vibrant and active CIL in Central Maryland. She felt CILs could do anything and do it better than anyone else! She was solidly loyal to this movement. At many meetings, when the chips were down, I was proud she was on our side. This is such a loss for Maryland and the Independent Living movement at large.”  [Read more…]

2018 Annual Conference: Pre-Event Registration Ends This Friday, July 13!

Mobilize - 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"All pre-event and online registration for NCIL’s 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living closes this week. All pre-event registrations must be received by Friday, July 13 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.  [Read more…]

Notice: CILs and SILCs Must Be a 2018 NCIL Member by Wednesday, June 27 in Order to Vote at the Annual Council Meeting!

Mobilize - 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 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 2018, you must sign-up and pay your dues in full by 12:00 Midnight on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 in order to vote at the Annual Council Meeting.

If you do not join or renew by June 27, your organization will not be able to vote for the Governing Board members and Resolutions that guide NCIL’s actions and priority issues.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the Conference, you can still have a designated NCIL member vote for you by proxy.

Make sure your voice is heard: sign up today!

Visit the NCIL organizational membership page to complete your organization’s 2018 membership. You can purchase your membership using our secure online store, or by using the printable membership form (PDF). The membership form is also available in Word and plain text.

Thank you for your support!

NCIL Staff

Summer 2018 NCIL Legislative & Advocacy Priorities Booklet Now Available!

The summer 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.

NCIL Mourns the Passing of Merle Buckland

To our NCIL family,

As people may have heard, our Executive Director’s wife – Merle – passed away Sunday after living 9 years with cancer. During this difficult time, Kelly has been given leave so that Kelly and his son Rodney may be together with their family and friends.

Kelly and Merle and Rodney Buckland - Family PhotoMany of us have treasured our relationship with Merle who has supported Kelly, NCIL, and the Independent Living Movement with true grace over many years. If you’d like to send a card or note to Kelly and his family, you may send them to NCIL’s office at 2013 H Street NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20006. Our staff will forward all cards and notes to the Bucklands, as they are currently together in Idaho.

During Kelly’s leave, Tim Fuchs – NCIL Operations Director – has been appointed Acting Executive Director. Tim and the NCIL staff are ensuring that the work of the organization continues uninterrupted. I want to express the board’s appreciation to Tim and the staff for their tireless efforts.

And thank you all for your thoughts and support in this difficult time for the Bucklands and our whole NCIL family.

Bruce Darling
NCIL President

Announcing: The 2018 NCIL Policy Briefing

Wednesday, June 27, 2018; 3:00-4:30 p.m. Eastern

NCIL is happy to announce our 13th Annual Policy Briefing.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThis important presentation will to bring advocates up-to-date on national issues and federal policies that affect people with disabilities and provide participants with question and answer sessions with national leaders to ensure you have in-depth information on the issues you care about most.

The Policy Briefing will ensure that we are fired up and prepared for NCIL’s 2018 Day on the Hill! For those of you who will not be at the 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living, this will provide you with valuable and timely information that you can use in your community. Please share this training announcement far and wide so that our issues reach many people.

This teleconference is free for NCIL Members. There is a $25.00 registration fee for Non-Members, per call-in site. Fee does not apply per participant in group, provided the group uses the same conference line.

The Policy Briefing will be available via teleconference and CART (captioned) webcast. You must register by 12:00 Noon Eastern on June 27 to participate in the call.

  • Materials: This call will address the issues covered in NCIL’s Legislative & Advocacy Priorities Booklet, which is available in PDF, Word, or plain text.

Please contact Tim Fuchs at with any questions.

Apply for the Rooted in Writing Fellowship by May 21!

Are you passionate about disability rights? Are you passionate about writing? If you answered yes to both questions, Rooted in Rights wants YOU to apply for the new Rooted in Writing Fellowship! Applications are open through May 21st.

To learn more about the Rooted in Writing Fellowship, check out this video from the Editor in Chief of the Rooted in Rights Blog. For more details and to apply for the Rooted in Writing Fellowship, visit

New Report – A Hidden Market: The Purchasing Power of People With Disabilities

A new report has been released by the American Institutes for Research. The report is titled A Hidden Market: The Purchasing Power of People With Disabilities and provides research that quantifies the purchasing power of working-age adults with disabilities. Please see the news release for an overview and a link to the report[Read more…]

Cast Your Ballot: NCIL Proposed Bylaw Amendments

April 30, 2018

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThe National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Governing Board recently voted to amend NCIL’s bylaws to improve or correct several sections.

A summary of the proposed changes is available, and you can also read the current bylaws and the proposed new bylaws at our website.

In accordance with NCIL’s Bylaws, “the full membership shall be afforded an opportunity to vote, to ratify or to rescind the Governing Board’s action within sixty (60) days of the date on which the interim amendment or amendments were made.”

NCIL members can cast a ballot to vote to ratify or rescind these amendments. The deadline to cast your ballot is 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.