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

Urgent Action Alert: Contact Your Senator Today and Tell Them to Pass Senate Bill 1356!

NCIL + APRIL Logo.aiFrom now through April 25, Senators and Representatives will be in their home districts. We need our advocates to start scheduling time to make personal visits if at all possible, or by phone to urge their support to bring S.1356 to the Senate floor for a vote.

Reauthorizing the Rehabilitation Act is NCIL and APRIL’s top priority and it will be one of the greatest advancements for Americans with disabilities in years. There is increasing urgency to get the Reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act passed now!

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) has not been reauthorized since 1998, even though Congress requires it to be reauthorized every five years. S. 1356, which contains the reauthorization of the Rehabilitation Act, was passed out of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee in July on a strong 18-3 vote. The next step is a floor vote by the entire Senate.

Disability and Independent Living advocates have worked tirelessly with legislators to strengthen the language within the Rehabilitation Act. S. 1356 contains significant improvements to the Independent Living program, including the creation of an Independent Living Administration (ILA), which will be located within the Administration for Community Living. The proposed changes are a bipartisan effort to allow individuals with disabilities to maximize their independence and ability to participate fully in all aspects of American society.

When you talk to your Senator, tell them that, according to the Rehabilitation Services Administration, during fiscal years 2008-2010, Centers for Independent Living:

  • What's the fix? Senate Bill 1356 - Independent Living belongs to the people. ncil.org/rehabactProvided the core services of advocacy, information and referral, peer support, and independent living skills training to over 3.7 million individuals with disabilities;
  • Attracted over $910 million through private, state, local, and other sources,
  • Moved 10,711 people out of nursing homes and institutions;
  • Saved states and the Federal government nearly $194,000,000;
  • Provided personal assistance services to 260,000 people with disabilities;
  • Assisted 135,000 people in securing accessible, affordable, and integrated housing;
  • Provided Assistive Technology to 129,000 people with disabilities;
  • Provided employment services to 87,000 people with disabilities;
  • Provided transportation services to over 79,000 people with disabilities, and;
  • Served over 43,000 youth with disabilities.

Additional information on S. 1356 can be found at www.ncil.org/rehabact.

Please take this opportunity to let your Senators know that they should support WIA and how it would affect you!

Tell your Senator it is time to move S. 1356 to the Senate Floor and pass it! 

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