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


Registration Now Open for NCIL’s 2018 Annual Conference!

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"Later this week, NCIL will publish our Annual Conference Guide with complete details on this year’s Conference, but you can also find the information you need to plan your trip right now at

Visit our 2018 Annual Conference web page for:

  • Complete registration details
  • Hotel information and reservations links
  • Basic Conference Agenda

All registrations received and paid before April 27, 2018 are eligible for the Early Bird registration rates.

2018 Youth Scholarship Applications Now Open!

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"As NCIL’s 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living draws near, many youth with disabilities may be unsure of how they will fund a conference experience. Attending a national conference like this is hugely important in the life of a young person. Opportunities for networking with other young people and connecting with disabled mentors can enrich the experience of youth with disabilities and help them to learn that anything is possible for them and their futures.

The NCIL Youth Scholarship is here to help offset the cost of conference attendance. Local, regional, and national scholarships are available.

Instructions on how to apply and specifications regarding applicants are available at the Youth Scholarship Application Form.

The deadline to apply is April 30, 2018. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Youth Transitions Fellow Hindley Williams at

Please share this announcement with your networks. We want to share this opportunity with as many youth as possible. If you would like to donate to the Youth Scholarship Fund, please email NCIL Development Coordinator Cara Liebowitz at

NCIL Mourns the Passing of Teresa Favuzzi

Headshot: Teresa Favuzzi 1962-2018To friends and colleagues in the national Disability Rights Movement, Teresa M. S. Favuzzi, AKA “Fearless Favu,” was an intrepid leader who made the fight for justice, equality and inclusion her life’s focus. On Monday morning, February 5, 2018 Teresa passed away quietly at home with her beloved wife, Carol Bradley, by her side. She was 56.

Visit the CFILC website to read Teresa’s complete obituary.

Services have not yet been scheduled. CFILC will host a Celebration of Life in Sacramento, CA in June. Additional details to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made online to the Teresa Favuzzi Mobilization Fund, or via mail, checks made to the address of CFILC in memory of Teresa Favuzzi: 1000 G Street, Suite 100 / Sacramento, CA 95814.

Apply to Be A WID 2018 Disability Ambassador

The World Institute on Disability (WID) and JPMorgan Chase are launching the third year of their Conference Accessibility Initiative in order to bring disability inclusion and accessibility to some of the most influential civil rights and community development conferences in America.

WID Logo - World Institute on DisabilityApplications are open now for the Disability Ambassador Scholarship. Disability Ambassadors will receive complimentary registration, travel, and hotel accommodations, as well as disability accommodations from the WID team.

Applicants should have disability inclusion experience and interest in community development. Apply to be a 2018 Disability Ambassador today!

Announcing the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies’ First National Conference: Getting It Right

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies will be holding its first national conference at the Marriott Metro Center in Washington, DC from May 23rd to May 25th, 2018. The “Getting it Right” conference is focused “on expanding our shared commitment to achieving and maintaining disability inclusive whole community emergency preparedness, community resilience, response, recovery, and mitigation before, during, and after disasters.” More details will be announced soon, and a limited number of scholarships will be available. If you have any questions, contact Jessica Justus, Conference Coordinator, at

Action Alert: Invite Your Members of Congress to the 2018 NCIL Congressional Briefing & Reception on Capitol Hill!

Logo: 2018 Congressional Briefing and Reception. Graphic features the US Capitol BuildingDear NCIL Members,

It’s time for the annual NCIL Congressional Briefing & Reception on Capitol Hill! If you are in the DC area, we hope you will join us. Please see the event details and RSVP at our website.

Wherever you are, we are asking for your help to get your members of Congress to attend this briefing. NCIL, as the national advocate for CILs, SILCs, and the Independent Living philosophy, has the mission of being your voice in Washington DC and representing your interests. NCIL hosts this annual briefing and reception in order to educate members of Congress on a number of relevant policy initiatives that aim to advance disability rights and the ability of people with disabilities to live more independently.

There is a lot at stake for our community in 2018. This event is a great opportunity for your members of Congress to learn more about the issues affecting our members, and they will hopefully leave better equipped to vote in the interests of the Independent Living community.

To invite your members, simply email the customizable invitation below to your Senators and Representatives, and urge them to attend! They are much more likely to attend if they hear from constituents within their home districts, so we are really counting on our members to make this event a success.

Follow the links below to find contact information for your state’s Representatives and Senators. You will likely have to submit an email using the form on their website.

Sample Invitation Letter

Dear [Senator or Representative’s Name],

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) would like to invite you and your staff to our Congressional Briefing & Reception on the State of Disability in America. With so much at stake in 2018, our members want to ensure that our elected officials understand the issues that are most important to our community. The event will take place on Wednesday, February 28 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Russell Senate Office Building 385.

I am your constituent, and I am inviting you to attend this year’s event because it is important to me that my elected officials strongly support their constituents with disabilities. Last year’s NCIL Briefing was extremely successful, and was well attended by leaders in the disability community, the Administration, and both parties in Congress. NCIL was proud to host an engaging event on the Hill in 2017, and we invite you to start of 2018 with the same spirit of progress and collaboration.

NCIL is America’s oldest cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States. There are currently over 700 locations across America providing Independent Living services.

We are looking forward to an exciting event this year. We would like to thank Anthem, Inc. for the continued support, and Senator Casey for sponsoring the room for this event. If you plan to attend, please RSVP at the link below or to NCIL’s Policy Analyst, Lindsay Baran, at by Thursday, February 22, 2018.

NCIL Congressional Briefing & Reception
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Russell Senate Office Building 385


[Your Name]

Sign up to be a 2018 Day of Mourning Vigil Site Coordinator

In the past five years, over 550 people with disabilities have been murdered by their parents.

Vigil CandlesEvery year on March 1, the disability community gathers across the nation to remember disabled victims of filicide (disabled people murdered by their family members or caregivers).

We see the same pattern repeating over and over again. A parent kills their disabled child. The media portrays these murders as justifiable and inevitable due to the “burden” of having a disabled person in the family. If the parent stands trial, they are given sympathy and comparatively lighter sentences, if they are sentenced at all. The victims are disregarded, blamed for their own murder at the hands of the person they should have been able to trust the most, and ultimately forgotten. And then the cycle repeats.

Since 2012, ASAN, ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, the National Council on Independent Living, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, the American Association of People with Disabilities, The Arc, and other disability rights organizations have come together at local vigils across the country to mourn those losses, bring awareness to these tragedies, and demand justice and equal protection under the law for all people with disabilities. On March 1, 2018 we will come together again, and we ask you to join us.

Site coordinators are a vital part of the Disability Day of Mourning. Site coordinators secure space in their communities to hold a vigil, do outreach to community members leading up to the vigil, and document their vigils through pictures or videos to honor those lost to filicide.

More Information and Resources:

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!