the advocacy monitor

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

Keep Supporting ADAPT – Make Calls Today!

Yesterday National ADAPT occupied 19 House offices in honor of ADAPT’s original “Gang of 19.” Yesterday was a huge success, with 19 new cosponsor commitments! Read the press release and check out the updated DIA Dashboard at disabilityintegrationact.org/dia-dashboard

With the new cosponsors and 2 additional yes votes (not co-sponsors), we are now at a total of 204. We are so close to having the number of cosponsors needed to ensure DIA passage in the House of Representatives. With 218 needed, we’re only 14 away!

THANK YOU to those of you who mobilized and made calls to your Representatives to support our ADAPT family in DC. ADAPT will be on the Hill again today, and they still need your support!

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Support ADAPT Next Week by Gearing Up for Action on the Disability Integration Act!

We are so close to having the number of cosponsors needed to ensure Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555 / S. 117) passage in the House of Representatives. Right now we have 158 cosponsors listed on congress.gov and ten more have committed to signing on this week, which means we only need 50 more to secure a majority of the House. Every week, we’re building more momentum and gaining more cosponsors!

Next Monday through Wednesday, ADAPT will be in Washington, DC for three days of historic work to get the DIA closer to passage. They’re coming to DC to call on Democratic members of the House to keep their promise of civil rights for all.

Read their message, “We Put Our Bodies on the Line to Save Obamacare. Now ADAPT Is Asking House Democrats to Support Our Fight for Freedom!

We need the IL community to be ready to mobilize and support their work!

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Action Alert: Momentum is Building – Help Secure Additional DIA Cosponsors!

The Disability Integration Act (DIA), H.R. 555 and S. 117, is continuing to gain cosponsors thanks to the efforts of disability advocates across the country!

As a reminder, we need 218 cosponsors to ensure we’ll have enough votes to pass DIA in the House of Representatives. Right now we have 155, which means we only need 63 commitments before passage is virtually guaranteed! ADAPT has created a new tool on the DIA website (disabilityintegrationact.org) called the DIA Dashboard, so keep checking back for updated numbers!

Our goal is still to pass the bill during the week of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), when many Independent Living advocates from across the country will also be in Washington, DC for NCIL’s Annual Conference on Independent Living. We need your help to make sure this happens!

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Call for Presentations: Second Annual Assistive Technology Makers’ Fair

The call for presenters at the second national Assistive Technology (AT) Makers’ Fair Conference and Expo is now open.

To find out more about this event and to submit your presentation, please visit www.atmakersfair.com or read more about the event in our recent article by John Flaherty, Assistive Technology Specialist at Transitional Paths to Independent Living (TRPIL). You can also see examples of presenters who participated last year.

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TRPIL to Host Second Annual Assistive Technology Makers’ Fair September 24-25 in Monroeville, PA!

By John Flaherty, Assistive Technology Specialist, Transitional Paths to Independent Living (TRPIL)

This coming September 24-25, Transitional Paths to Independent Living (TRPIL) is hosting the second national Assistive Technology (AT) Makers’ Fair: Making AT for All Conference & Expo in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

TRPIL serves Washington, Fayette and Greene counties in Pennsylvania. We are also the home of the Assistive Technology Resource Center as part of the state AT Act program in Pennsylvania (TechOwl), which has the stated goals of providing public awareness, access, outreach and technical service / training activities. I also work with Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) to provide information about financing options for assistive technology. Additionally, I’ve been a member of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) for several years.

The staff at TRPIL and I are working with local, state and national partners to bring this event to the Pittsburgh area, but we need your help. If you would be willing to share this information it would be greatly appreciated. You can see some of what we did at last year’s event on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ATMakersNH, and you can register at www.atmakersfair.com. The call for presentations is now open, and we can’t wait to see the latest innovations!

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Organizers Forum: Housing and Disability

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019; 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern; 12:00-1:00 Central; 11:00-12:00 Mountain; 10:00-11:00 Pacific
  • RSVP
  • Call-in: 1-515-739-1285, passcode 521847#
  • Join the meeting online

Finding affordable and accessible housing has become increasingly hard for people with disabilities. What are advocates and organizers doing on a local and national level about this crisis? Join us for ideas and conversation.

Speakers to be announced.

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2019 Assistive Technology Makers’ Fair AT Invention Contest

Makers Making Dreams Come True

Attention all tinkerers, inventors, and creators of contraptions, gizmos, and gadgets! Come share your ideas and show off your prototypes!

Makers are changing the world and giving individuals with disabilities the tools they need to stay or grow more independent. Come exhibit your invention at the Assistive Technology Invention Contest during the AT Makers’ Fair and compete to be the 2019 AT Maker of the Year. Fair attendees will vote on the inventions, and the top three makers will be awarded prizes. All levels of experience are welcome.

Register today! Visit www.atmakersfair.com.

Information Alert: ILA Reorganization Update

On Wednesday we sent out an information alert about upcoming reorganization at the Independent Living Administration. This alert was sent before the announcement was finalized in the Federal Register, because we wanted to get you the information we had as quickly as possible.

Read the notice in the Federal Register. The notice confirms the information we sent out on Wednesday. While the notice states that the reorganization will be effective upon date of signature, it was confirmed during a stakeholder call yesterday that the implementation date is the first week of August. It was also confirmed that there will be NO opportunity for public comment.

We are continuing to stay on top of this situation, and we will share all relevant information as we receive it.

Elevate: Campaign Training for People with Disabilities

People with disabilities are one fifth of the population. Many of us are great leaders in our communities and our professions due to skills that we’ve developed advocating for ourselves and others: we’re adaptable, resilient, creative, and great at problem solving.

Perhaps you have been thinking about how to take your leadership to a new level. You’ve considered running for local school board, city council, or another local leadership position but you don’t know where to start, and the idea of running a political campaign is intimidating. If you’re ready to elevate your leadership to elected office, this training series is for you!

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Information Alert: ILA Reorganization Underway

NCIL has recently learned of upcoming reorganization at the Independent Living Administration (ILA) within the Administration for Community Living (ACL). This is expected to include the demotion of ILA Director Bob Williams; and Julie Hocker, Commissioner of the Administration on Disability (AOD), will become the new Director of the ILA as well as keeping her current position. This means that the Independent Living Administration will no longer have a full-time Director! It is also our understanding that Regional Offices will be closed, although some staff will remain.

NCIL is extremely concerned about these sudden and unexpected changes, and particularly at Bob’s removal as Director of the ILA.

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