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

Action Alert: Issue a Press Release and Contact the Press about H.R. 620!

The House of Representatives is planning to vote on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620) NEXT WEEK. Please, take action now!

See yesterday’s alert for more information.

CILs, SILCs, Associations, and other organizations: Please issue a press release and contact the press about H.R. 620! You can use and customize the template below.

Be sure to update the text in [brackets] throughout the template before release. The template is also available in Word and plain text.

Press Release Template




Disability Community to Hold Congress Accountable for Attacking the ADA

CITY, STATE — On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, the political action committee Disability Action for America released a statement in opposition of the so-called ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620). This harmful legislation would undermine the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the landmark civil rights law for disabled Americans.

Do not be misled by the name of this bill; this bill is not an attempt to educate or reform, but an unabashed attempt by Congress to undermine the ADA and discriminate against individuals the ADA was meant to protect by allowing public accommodations to remain inaccessible. Furthermore, this bill would force people with disabilities to jump through bureaucratic hoops to secure the same rights that were promised to them under the ADA 28 years ago.  [Read more…]

CIL-NET Presents… A National Onsite Training – Get to the Core of It: Integrating CIL Core Services for a Holistic Consumer Experience

May 1-4, 2018; Tempe, Arizona

Register online or by using the printable registration form (PDF)

Registration Fee: $150.00

Registration Deadline: March 31, 2018

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETConsumer control is at the heart of Independent Living. Centers for Independent Living distinguish themselves and the quality of their services by allowing consumers to determine their own goals and success. It’s a simple concept, but running a CIL and providing the core services is anything but. This training will provide you with best practices and innovative approaches to the core services by going straight back to our roots in consumer control and the independent living philosophy. We will address all of the CIL core services, including the new core services of youth transition, transition from institutions to the community, and avoiding institutionalization.

Our team of experienced CIL directors and staff will give you real-world solutions to build integrated, seamless services and programs focused on consumer empowerment and success. This will be IL-NET’s only national, onsite training in 2018. Don’t miss this exciting 3 ½ day event in the Valley of the Sun.

Following the training, on the afternoon of May 4, participants will have the opportunity to take a field trip to the Ability360 campus, Phoenix’s Center for Independent Living and an international landmark in universal design and collaborative planning with both its Ability360 Center and Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center.  [Read more…]

Action Alert: Save the ADA – H.R. 620 to Be Voted on Next Week!

The House of Representatives is planning to vote on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act (H.R. 620) next week! That means we only have a week to stop this terrible bill.

Take Action Now!

Contact your Representative today and urge them to vote NO on H.R. 620. All Representatives can be reached through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY). You can find additional contact information and direct numbers at You can also use Resistbot to turn texts into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters, fax your members of Congress (use to find their fax number), or contact your Representative on social media with contact information from Contacting Congress.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingKeep your message simple. Use the background information below to discuss the dangers of this bill, and share your personal stories about how the ADA provides you greater access to your community! And, let them know that their disabled constituents will be watching how they vote and will hold them accountable!

Note: All Representatives need to hear from us, but we have included a list of particularly important targets below.

Background Information

H.R. 620 would create additional barriers to seeing our rights enforced under the ADA and make it harder to participate in mainstream society. Importantly, H.R. 620 would not solve the problems it claims to address. It would not stop fraudulent lawsuits or demand letters, but it would weaken the civil rights of people with disabilities! Moreover, it would eliminate any reason for businesses to comply with the ADA unless they receive a legal notice first.  [Read more…]

DOJ Rescinding Guidance on ADA: An Update from the NCIL ADA / Civil Rights Subcommittee

Late in December, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) would rescind and remove more than two dozen guidance from the department websites. This process has begun and unfortunately we expect more guidance to be removed.

“Among the 25 revoked documents are a number of ADA-related items dating as far back as 1995 offering guidance on everything from service animals to accessible building practices as well as a 2016 letter on employment of people with disabilities.

Sessions called the revoked documents ‘improper or unnecessary’ and said they were outdated or went beyond what the law called for.” (Disability Scoop)

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingAs soon as word was received this was happening, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Rights Task Force worked on a letter expressing concern (PDF), which 236 organizations signed on to. NCIL was one of the signatories and regularly participates along with CCD and other advocates in Washington. Share this letter with your representatives!

A meeting was set with CCD and the DOJ Office for Civil Rights, which was held earlier this month. Basically, the feeling was DOJ staff said thanks for coming, and not much more. A meeting will be held in the near future to consider next steps.

This is not exclusive to DOJ in the current Administration. Documents have been rescinded at the Department of Housing & Urban Development and the Department of Transportation as the Administration seeks to roll back our rights.

Let’s unite and continue pushing for our rights!

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!

National Disability Rights Network Seeks People with Disabilities to Participate in Focus Groups on the Enforcement of Federal Disability Rights Laws

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is conducting a study for the National Council on Disability about the enforcement of disability rights laws. NDRN needs the viewpoint of people with disabilities for this important study (PDF).

NDRN seeks people with disabilities who have dealt or interacted with the U.S. Access Board, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or agencies of the U.S. Department of Labor to participate in focus groups about the work of these federal agencies on disability rights. For example, people with disabilities who have filed a complaint or attended a training with the EEOC, or with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division or Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, or who may have interacted with the U.S. Access Board or the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP), would be good potential participants for these discussions.  [Read more…]

SAMHSA is Accepting Applications for Up to $52 million in Grants to Treat People Affected by Homelessness and Mental Health Disorders

Source: Administration for Community Living

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for up to $52 million in grants under its Treatment for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness program. The money will be used to help local service providers offer behavioral health and recovery support services to people experiencing homelessness.

SAMHSA expects to make as many as 16 grants of up to $500,000 or $1 million annually, depending on the grantee. The grants will be awarded for up to five years and are subject to availability of funds.  [Read more…]

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

HCBS Conference: Call for Sessions is Now Open

The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) is pleased to announce the Call for Sessions for the 2018 National Home and Community Based Services Conference, August 27- August 30, 2018 in Baltimore, MD.

The HCBS Conference shines a spotlight on how states and partners have developed promising practices, developed with innovative systems, and formed unique partnerships. We are seeking original, thought-provoking education sessions that enable national attendees to hear about creative approaches, new ideas, innovative models, and emerging trends as well as topics that address the pressing issues facing aging and disability programs. Submit Your Session Today!  [Read more…]

Call for Presenters – 2018 Independent Living Conference: Collaboration & Solidarity

  • When: June 6, 2018
  • Where: Sacramento, CA

There is no better time than now to build and cultivate our disability community partnerships. The goal of this year’s conference is to cultivate our relationships and build on our solidarity. Local, regional, statewide and national organizations that are focused, proactive and looking for ways to make positive change in collaboration with Independent Living Centers are encouraged to submit a conference proposal.

Please consider submitting a brief workshop proposal. Multiple presenters and panel presentations are welcome. Workshop length: 75 minutes.

Seeking Workshops Proposal for the Following Tracks

  • Long-Term Services & Support
  • Youth Transition
  • Intersectionality
  • Emergency Readiness & Recovery
  • Effective Systems Change/Community Organizing Campaigns

Proposal Deadline: Workshop proposals are due by March 12, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. Read more at the CFILC website.