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

Significant Progress Announced and Hearing to be Held April 17 on Reauthorization of WIA and Rehab Act!

People Over Profit 2011 protest signThe National Council on Independent Living is excited to announce significant progress in the fight to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), along with its contained Rehabilitation Act of 1973. H.R. 4227, Workforce Investment Act of 2012, has been introduced in by Democrats in the House with included language by NCIL on the historic establishment of an Independent Living Administration. This means that there is now a bill in both the House and Senate containing language creating the new national IL organization.

WIA and the Rehabilitation Act have not been reauthorized in over a decade, and we sincerely support the introduction of this bill and efforts underway to reauthorize this legislation. We are especially excited that this bill contains provisions creating a new Independent Living Administration, an idea that we know will increase opportunity and independence for millions of Americans with disabilities.

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) are particularly dependent on the reauthorization of WIA and the Rehabilitation Act because this legislation governs how they operate, and how efficiently our nation’s Independent Living Program is able to provide services. Updating WIA’s provisions with the inclusion of an Independent Living Administration will mean a historic investment in Americans with disabilities, not in terms of dollars, rather the structure needed to ensure that people with disabilities can live more independently and better contribute to the greatness of our nation.

Republicans in the House have also created their own bill to reauthorize WIA and the Rehabilitation Act, however it does not include language creating an IL Administration. Representatives Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), and Joe Heck (R-NV) introduced H.R. 4297, the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012, and will hold a hearing on the proposed Republican legislation tomorrow. NCIL encourages advocates to write, call, or email the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee urging them to adopt language that creates a new Independent Living Administration.

Contact information:

Watch the Hearing Tomorrow! The Republican bill will be up for discussion at the hearing tomorrow, and we urge advocates to attend or watch it live.

Legislative Hearing on the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012

Tuesday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m.

2175 Rayburn House Office Building

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