the advocacy monitor

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

YO! Disabled and Proud Blog Seeks 2017 Submissions!

Are you interested in writing for YO! Blog?

YO! Disabled and Proud is looking for contributors to share their experiences on several topics viewed through the lens of disability for our blog such as: Leadership & Empowerment, Anti-Bullying, Disability History and Education, Healthcare and Fighting the Medical Model, and Intersectional Issues.

The only requirements are that writers identify as a person with a disability and are between the ages of 16 and 28.

Check out the topics they’re seeking submissions for, as well as the Guidelines for YO! Blog Guest Writers at

California Independent Living Conference: Leading the Charge – Call for Presenters

Monday, June 12th, 2017 Sacramento, CA

The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers is excited to announce its first statewide Independent Living: Leading the Charge Conference. Join us at the Sacramento Convention Center on June 12, 2017. This gathering is intended to bring together Independent Living Center staff, boards and volunteers from across California and the western region to learn and share best practices related to Independent Living Center core services, innovations and partnerships.

Do you have expertise in a core service area of Independent Living? Are you doing something cool in your community that you think other ILCs can do too? Are you making things happen through partnerships that other ILCs can too? SHARE what you are doing at the CFILC IL Conference!

Please consider submitting a brief workshop proposal. Multiple presenters and panel presentations are welcome.  [Read more…]

Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living Seeks Research Participants

The Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living, or CHRIL, is a 5-year research project funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to study how health reforms affect working-age adults with disabilities. The CHRIL is currently looking for individuals with disabilities to participate in their research efforts. During the months of April through July, CHRIL staff from the University of Kansas will be interviewing 20-25 adults with disabilities across the US about their experiences using and getting health insurance and / or Medicaid and Medicare. Participants completing an interview will each receive $40.

CHRIL is currently recruiting adults 18-62 years of age with disabilities and/or chronic health conditions. If you would like more information about participating in these interviews or would like to sign up, please visit:  You can also call toll free (1-855-556-6328) or email (

Applications Now Being Accepted for the Advocates in Disability Award (ADA) Program

The Advocates in Disability Award Program is seeking the next Disability Advocate Leader. Young leaders with a disability are encouraged to apply for up to $10,000 in funding!

The Advocates in Disability Award (ADA) is a national awards program that seeks applications from young adults with a disability, between the ages of 14 and 26, who are dedicated to positively affecting the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. The program also supports an innovative project developed by the recipient to serve and empower individuals with disabilities.

The ADA is a joint program of The HSC Foundation and the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation. The selected recipient is awarded $3,000 in recognition of his or her disability advocacy and will receive up to an additional $7,000 in funding for a project to benefit the disability community. Applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States at the time of application submission and recipient selection.

For more information, please go to: Applications must be received by Wednesday, April 12, 2017 (by 5:00 p.m. Eastern).

Organizer’s Forum March 21: Proposed Health Care Cuts and the Disability Community

  • Tuesday, March 21, 2017; 1:00-2:00 p.m.
  • Call-in: 1-515-739-1285
  • Passcode: 521847#
  • RSVP online

Learn what people are doing in cities and states around the country to fight cuts to Medicaid and home and community-based services, and get ideas for what you can do.


  • Senator Bob Casey, Pennsylvania (invited)
  • Amber Smock, Director of Advocacy, Access Living, and Founder of Disability Power for Community Integration
  • Alison Barkoff, Director of Advocacy, Center for Public Representation, and Co-Chair of the LTSS Task Force of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)
  • Bill Henning or Shaya French, Boston Center for Independent Living

[Read more…]

Urgent Action Alert: Host a Press Conference at Your CIL to Oppose ACA Repeal and Medicaid Cuts!

Wednesday, March 22, is the day before the House is planning a full floor vote for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). That means we have less than a week to stop this terrible bill from passing the House and moving on to the Senate. We need you to take action now!

Please join hundreds of activists across the country by hosting a press conference to oppose the AHCA on Wednesday, March 22, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern (1:00 p.m. Central, 12:00 p.m. Mountain, 11:00 a.m. Pacific, 10:00 a.m. Alaska, 8:00 a.m. Hawaii). At that same time, disability activists will be in DC taking action to stop this bill from moving forward. We need members of Congress to hear from their constituents around the country! Your Representatives need to hear that you oppose Medicaid cuts to the community-based services that people with disabilities need!

NCIL is working with ADAPT, ASAN and other groups to coordinate these events. If you are organizing an event, please contact Ericka Jones by phone (585-546-7510) or email. Make sure to contact the media and try to get press coverage of your event. Sample media alerts and press releases can be found in the Tool Kit. The Tool Kit also includes a letter from the National Disability Leadership Alliance that was signed by more than 200 organizations and is being updated regularly.

Please stay tuned for instructions about how to host a press conference, which will follow shortly.

Announcing the #ADAyouthpledge for the NCIL 2017 Conference

Revolution - A Global Independent Living Movement - Annual Conference on Independent Living 2017. Graphic: Continents have been added to NCIL's logo (a blue semi-circle), which forms a globe. A red heart sits between the end points of the semi-circle.#GenerationADA is the cohort of youth age 26 and under who grew up after the ADA was passed. The 2017 NCIL Conference is committed to engaging and supporting #GenerationADA. However, due to a variety of barriers, most especially cost, youth with disabilities have been unable to fully participate in the national disability community. In order for the Independent Living Movement to be more inclusive of young people we need the support of CILs, SILCs, and other organizations. We are asking that your organization takes the #ADAyouthpledge through one of the three ways listed below:

  1. Pledge to financially sponsor 2 young people in your local area to attend the NCIL conference.
  2. Pledge to financially sponsor 2 young professionals on your staff to attend the NCIL conference.
  3. Contribute towards the Youth Scholarship Fund that will bring young people from across the country to the NCIL conference. Your donation will support plane tickets, hotel accommodations, personal assistance services, and registration costs for attendees.

With your help, we can bring youth with disabilities to the 2017 NCIL Conference and ensure that youth leadership will grow and flourish in the Disability Rights Movement. Together we can ensure that #GenerationADA is empowered, engaged, and ready to lead. We ask that you tweet us with your pledges @youth_fellow.

Thank you for your support!

Update: Join Senators Casey and Hassan this Wednesday for a Call to Protect Medicaid

On Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 11:00-11:40 a.m. Eastern, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) will be hosting a conference call to discuss the Republican agenda to cut Medicaid. The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) encourages you to join this important discussion.

Cuts to the Medicaid program will be enormously harmful to the disability community, and Senator Casey and others will be discussing what is currently happening and how to continue fighting to protect Medicaid. Please join us, Senator Casey, and other disability groups and advocates as we fight against these dangerous cuts.

Join the Call:

Contact Congress to Stop the American Health Care Act – Quick Timeline!

Congress is moving quickly on legislation to repeal and replace major provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to radically restructure Medicaid (see more information in our alert from earlier this week). The House Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means Committees both held long markups last week and eventually passed their portions out of committee. Uncaptioned videos of those markups are archived at the Committees’ websites: Energy & Commerce archived livestream; Ways & Means archived livestream.

There has been public opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in both the House and the Senate by Democrats as well as Republicans. And just yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their report on the AHCA, which projected that as a result of the AHCA, 24 million people would lose their health insurance and there would be almost $900 billion in cuts to Medicaid. This report confirmed many of our fears, but it is unclear whether this information will present hurdles to the bill’s passage. Either way, we know that Congress’s ultimate goal is to vote the bill out of both chambers before the April recess.

Our action now is CRITICAL! The AHCA will result in higher out-of-pocket costs, fewer choices, and loss of coverage for people with disabilities. Under Medicaid per capita caps, states will see drastic cuts to their federal funding, which will result in people with disabilities losing access to critical community-based services. Without those services, people with disabilities around the country will be forced into nursing homes and institutions, turning back decades of progress our community has fought for. If the AHCA is passed into law, not only will affordable coverage once again be out of reach for many people with disabilities, but our independence and our lives will be at stake.


We need NCIL members around the country to reach out to their Senators and Representatives and tell them that this bill will be disastrous for people with disabilities! We need YOU to explain to your members why the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid are essential to the disability community. You can get in touch with your members of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121), and they can direct you to the offices of both your Senators and your Representative.


We need local people to hold local events telling Republicans in Congress that they were not elected to cut vital Medical and community-based services for people with disabilities. NCIL is working with ADAPT to coordinate these events. Please organize a press conference, public accountability session, or public leafleting of the office. To make your event more effective, contact the media and try to get press coverage of your event. We have sample media alerts and press releases in an online Toolkit. It includes a letter from the National Disability Leadership Alliance that was signed by more than 200 organizations. The Toolkit is being updated regularly. If you are organizing an event, contact Ericka Jones, by phone (585-546-7510) or email.


You can also tell your members of Congress how unhappy you are with the AHCA by Tweeting directly at them. See a list of Twitter handles for the House and Senate. When Tweeting about Medicaid, make sure to use the hashtag #SaveMedicaid. Also, the Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has put together a week of social media action to fight against the proposals to cut Medicaid. You can join in the efforts to #SaveMedicaid by participating in this week of action and by following NCIL’s Tweets at @NCILAdvocacy. You can find information about the week of social media action along with sample tweets in CCD’s Social Media Toolkit, and the schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday – ‘HCBS are Best’ Day: Share how important HCBS waivers and services are to you and your family.
  • Wednesday – ‘Impacted People’ Day: Share stories of how cuts to Medicaid will have severe impacts to people with disabilities, seniors, children, and low-income Americans.
  • Thursday – Thunderclap / Medicaid Call-In Day: Sign up for the Thunderclap by 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, and call your Members of Congress and tell them to oppose the AHCA because the caps on Medicaid funding will be extremely damaging to people with disabilities and many others.
  • Friday – ‘Don’t Cut My Services’ Day: Tweet and Facebook and call your Members of Congress and tell them not to cut services provided under Medicaid!

Support NCIL – Become a Runner for the 2017 ADAPT FUN*RUN!

Dear Friends,

NCIL is participating in the annual ADAPT FUN*RUN and you can join us!

The FUN*RUN is an annual fundraising event hosted by ADAPT, where people pledge to walk, jog, run, or roll a certain amount of laps around Upper Senate Park in Washington DC. Each participant gets their own fundraising page for people to sponsor them and the proceeds go to the organization that the person chooses to support.

A screenshot of a page signing up for the ADAPT FUN*RUN. NCIL is highlighted under “Organization I am supporting”.Here’s how you can support NCIL through the FUN*RUN:

  1. Click on “Register for a FUN*RUN” and click the ADAPT FUN*RUN FOR DISABILITY RIGHTS in Washington D.C.
  2. Where it says “Organization I am supporting” click the drop down menu and select “NCIL”.
  3. Select walk, jog, run, roll, or virtual from the “I am able to” drop down menu. If you are unable to attend the FUN*RUN in person, please select “virtual”.
  4. Click the estimated number of laps you will do.
  5. Click the submit button, and you’re done! Share your FUN*RUN page so that people can sponsor you and support NCIL! 50% of all money raised will go to NCIL so that we can continue our mission of community living for all!

If you are a CIL that would like to participate in the FUN*RUN, you can support NCIL while also raising money for your CIL! Here’s how:

  1. Email Bob Kafka at with the name of your Center so it can be listed as an option for runners to select when registering. Tell him that NCIL sent you!
  2. Ask your staff and supporters to register for the FUN*RUN and select your Center as the organization they are supporting.
  3. That’s it! 25% of the money raised will go to your CIL, 25% will go to NCIL, and 50% will go to National ADAPT.

You can also sponsor a runner who’s supporting NCIL.

We’re grateful for your support and hope to see you at the FUN*RUN!