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

The National Organizing Project Presents: A Teleconference and Webinar – The Art of Negotiation: Closing the Deal

The National Organizing Project Presents: A Teleconference and Webinar

Negotiation is often referred to as an art form because there are many creative, nuanced ways of getting to your end goal: closing the deal.

This webinar / teleconference will highlight some techniques and explore some creative ways of getting at the compromise that allows for a win-win situation.

Target Audience: This presentation is open to all CIL and SILC staff members, directors, board members, and all other interested parties. All are encouraged to attend.

Registration Fee: This presentation is free for NCIL members to attend and $25 for non-members, but we do need you to register prior to the event.

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Action Alert: Honor Women’s History Month by Securing New DIA Cosponsors!

March is Women’s History Month and we are celebrating by honoring all the women in this world with disabilities! Our goal in March is to get all women in Congress – both the House and Senate – to sign on by the end of the month. Let’s win freedom for millions and get the Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555 / S. 117) passed into law in the 116th Congress!

This may take multiple calls and emails, but together we will get this imperative civil rights legislation passed and FREE OUR PEOPLE.

“Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation!” – Coretta Scott King

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NCIL to Launch Campaign Skills Webinar Series

Are you considering running for a local elected office but don’t know where to start? Do you have the drive to run for school board or city council, but you’re intimidated by the prospect of fundraising or concerned about potential access barriers? You’re not alone. Although one in six voters has a disability, there are surprisingly few resources and programs dedicated to teaching people with disabilities how to run for elected office. To that end, with the financial support of the American Association of People with Disabilities and the Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award, NCIL is developing a series of accessible online campaign training workshops to be held in late spring and early summer of 2019. 

This webinar series will train participants on the basics skills they need to run their first political campaign, including operations, field organizing, communications, and fundraising. It will be conducted from a cross-disability perspective, with insights on how to tailor campaign operations to work with your access needs, as well as how to talk about your disability authentically within the scope of your campaign. NCIL has partnered with NuView Consulting, a disability-owned, minority-owned consulting firm which has over 14 years of experience in political campaigns of all sizes. These training workshops will be intentionally led by campaign experts of color who have extensive experience with underrepresented communities. 

The National Council on Independent Living is a 501c3 nonprofit and a non-partisan organization, and workshops are for educational purposes only. NCIL does not provide support or endorsement to any candidates for elected office. 

Registration and additional information will be available shortly. These webinars are offered free of charge to NCIL members. However, we always welcome donations to support NCIL’s work around voting rights and running for office.  You can donate through our donation page.  Check ‘Yes’ under “I would like to donate to direct my money to a specific fund” and select “Voting Rights & Civic Engagement” from the drop down menu. If you would like receive more information about these webinars and other NCIL offerings, become a NCIL member today.

Join Wednesday’s Call-In Day for Money Follows the Person!

Thanks to your ongoing advocacy, Congress passed a short-term Money Follows the Person (MFP) extension (the Medicaid Extenders Act, H.R. 259) into law early this year. On February 25, Congress introduced a new version of the EMPOWER Care Act (H.R. 1342 / S. 548) that would extend the MFP program for five years in both the House and the Senate.

MFP was enacted in 2005 with strong bipartisan support, and is one of the longest running, most successful Medicaid demonstrations. Since it began, 47 states have participated and over 88,000 disabled people have been freed from institutions – and CILs have played a critical role in that. However, MFP expired on September 30, 2016, and the Medicaid Extenders Act provided only three months of funding, so our continued advocacy is needed for a longer-term extension.

The EMPOWER Care Act would extend the MFP program for five years, giving us more time to work toward a permanent solution for MFP. Importantly, now that CILs have been established as a national network required to conduct transition services (as part of the passage of WIOA in 2014), NCIL would like to see a permanent MFP solution that incorporates the CIL network into the bill language. NCIL is committed to that effort, and passing the EMPOWER Care Act into law would serve as a much-needed next step to reaching that goal.

Take Action Now!

  • Participate in Wednesday’s National Call-In Day! Call your Representative and Senators and tell them to support the EMPOWER Care Act and pass it immediately! Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY). Find more information at Wednesday’s Facebook event. RSVP and share widely!
  • Other ways to contact your Members of Congress: You can find your Members’ Twitter handles and other contact information on Contacting Congress. (If you post on social media, use the handle #FundMFP)
  • Continue sharing your stories! See our previous alert for more details about the stories we’re looking for, and share them with us for our advocacy efforts in DC.
  • Share with the press! Arrange press interviews highlighting the stories of folks who were able to move home because of MFP, or individuals who are stuck in institutions and would benefit from MFP’s reauthorization. Sharing our stories is the key to gaining the support of members of Congress AND the public. If you successfully get the press to cover MFP, please send a link of the coverage to

CIL-NET Presents… A National On-Location Training: How CILs Can Transform the Housing Landscape

We hope you will join us for this exciting 3½ day training on the most pressing barrier to independent living: housing. We will explore a wide range of solutions to expand accessible, affordable, integrated housing in your communities. From funding, to building partnerships, to the truly new and innovative, we will cover it all. You won’t want to miss this!

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Free Webinar: The State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Please join the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) and the I&R Support Center for a webinar on Status and Trends in Public Financing of Supports and Services for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  

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Urgent Action Alert: DIA Co-Sponsors Needed!

We need to immediately secure members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as co-sponsors on the Disability Integration Act – DIA (H.R. 555) in order to achieve movement on this bill in the 116th Congress.

If your Representative sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, please reach out to them right away. Tell them, “Please co-sponsor DIA (H.R. 555) today!” Then ask your family, friends, co-workers, and other community members to call and email as well.

This is the committee that will work the DIA in the House. They are in charge of the first part of the process of eventually bringing this bill to a full vote in the House of Representatives.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has 55 members: 31 Democrats (we need 19 more) and 24 Republicans (we need 23 more).

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Sign on to Support the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act by COB Today!

The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act (S. 260 and H.R. 873) has been introduced in Congress by Senators Casey and Van Hollen and Chairman Scott and Representative McMorris Rodgers. The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act will phase out the use of 14(c) certificates and provide funding for grants to states and employers to transform business models to support competitive integrated employment.

If your organization is interested in signing on in support, below is a link for state level organizations and affiliates to use to sign on. We’re sorry for the short notice, but signatures must be received by close of business today, February 19, 2019.

Read the previous version of the letter signed on by national organizations (PDF), including NCIL, and add your organization as a signatory.

Ask Senator Klobuchar to Sponsor the Disability Integration Act!

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is the only Democratic 2020 Candidate not listed as a co-sponsor of the Disability Integration Act (DIA)! We want her to sign on today.

On Monday, February 18, 2019 CNN will host at Town Hall with candidate Senator Klobuchar and we want you to contact her via social media to tell her to co-sponsor the DIA today!

Her messaging is: “You won’t be ignored this time” and that’s exactly right. Let’s tell Senator Klobuchar that she will not ignore the disability community and she will sponsor DIA (S. 117) today!

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Organizers Forum: Disability Integration Act

  • Tuesday, February 19, 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

The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is a civil rights, bipartisan and bicameral legislation, introduced by Senators Charles Schumer, Minority Leader (D-NY) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) in the Senate and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) in the House, to address the fundamental issue that people who need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are forced into institutions and losing their basic civil rights. The legislation (S. 117 and H.R. 555) builds on the 25 years of work that ADAPT has done to end the institutional bias and provide seniors and people with disabilities home and community-based services (HCBS) as an alternative to institutionalization. It is the next step in our national advocacy after securing the Community First Choice (CFC) option.

For this call, we will focus on the history of the Disability Integration Act, the current position of the bill, our goals for the bill, the strategy to get the DIA passed in the House this July, and how advocates across the nation can get involved in helping us pass DIA!

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