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

NCIL Mourns the Passing of Kent Mickelson

Kent Mickelson Photo Credit Washington SILCIt is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of Kent Mickelson, a longtime NCIL Board member and CIL director who passed away on December 1, 2016. Kent was a passionate advocate who spent his life fighting for the civil and human rights of the disability community. The disability rights movement has lost a strong and passionate advocate and friend.

Kent was a tireless advocate for over three decades. He served as the Executive Director of several Centers for Independent Living, including the Disability Resource Agency for Independent Living (DRAIL) and the Center for Independence of People with Disabilities (CID) in California, and most recently, the Alliance of People with disAbilities in Washington state. Sheri Burns, fellow Californian and NCIL Region IX Representative, described Kent as “a humorously bombastic and friendly guy who was extremely passionate about IL and lit up a room with his laugh and funny stories.”

Kent was a dedicated advocate, serving on several NCIL, state, and national committees. He served on NCIL’s Board of Directors 1997-2003 and 2009-2011. He served on NCIL’s Rehabilitation Act Subcommittee (1990-2010) and was a contributor to the changes in the Rehab Act that were passed in WIOA. Kent contributed to our community in countless ways, and he was also a close and personal friend to many. Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of NCIL and longtime friend of Kent, said “I considered Kent a dear friend and a really effective advocate. We will miss him greatly.” As a previous Board member and leader within NCIL, Kent’s picture will be added to NCIL’s Wall of Fame here in the office.

Kent will be missed dearly by the whole NCIL community, and we would like to express our condolences to Kent’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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