the advocacy monitor

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

SPIL Instrument and Instructions Posted to Federal Register: Submit Comments by March 9, 2020

ACL has announced that the new State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) instrument and instructions were published in the Federal Register. The document is available for comments through March 9, 2020. You can find the instrument and instructions at

After the comment period has closed, ACL will review the comments and release the final SPIL instrument and instructions. The new instrument must be used to complete the FY 2021 – FY 2023 SPIL. The SPIL must be submitted to ACL for review and approval by June 30, 2020.

Comments can be submitted:

  • By email to, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL;
  • By fax for (202) 395-5806, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL; or
  • By mail to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, New Executive Office Bldg., 725 17th St. NW, Rm. 10235, Washington, DC 20503, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for ACL.

You can read the full email ACL sent to the network on Friday below. It has additional information and instructions.

[Read more…]

Walmart Partners with NCIL As Part of Commitment to Accessibility

Walmart is finding new and innovative ways to serve customers through Grocery Pickup and Delivery. Walmart is testing capabilities that are shaping the future of retail, such as exploring a few pilot projects with self-driving car companies to start understanding how customers, including customers with disabilities, can benefit from this fast approaching innovation. Through the pilots, Walmart seeks to learn how using self-driving vehicles to deliver fresh groceries to customers may help make the shopping experience with Walmart even better and more convenient for all customers. Walmart is developing partnerships with organizations like the National Council on Independent Living as part of their commitment to accessibility for all customers.

Walmart has also expanded voice ordering capabilities through Google Assistant and Siri. Walmart Voice Order is a service that gives customers the option to add items to their Walmart Online Grocery Cart by simply speaking to these devices. This innovation helps customers be able to order products more conveniently. The more a customer uses it, the more seamless the experience becomes, as the system learns from their purchase history information. For example, if a customer says, “add orange juice to my cart,” Walmart can add the specific orange juice the customer buys regularly using this service. Instead of saying “Great Value organic orange juice with no pulp,” they’ll simply say: “orange juice” and a personal shopper will add the right one.

[Read more…]

IL-NET Presents… A Two-Part Webinar Series: Ready for Review – Using ACL’s Compliance & Monitoring Protocol (COMP) Tool to Achieve Excellence

  • Part 1: March 31, 2020; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern
  • Part 2: April 1, 2020; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern
  • Register online

The Office of Independent Living Programs (OILP) recently released the Compliance and Monitoring Protocol (COMP) Tool for Centers for Independent Living (CILs). The COMP tool was created to assist CILs to improve program performance; to understand how OILP is monitoring CIL performance; and to conduct self-assessments to prepare for desk audits, onsite reviews, or for internal reviews. Join us for this free, two-part webinar series to learn exactly what is included in the COMP tool and how you can use it at your CIL.

Registration Fee: This event is free-of-charge.

Target Audience: Executive directors, program managers, and board members of centers for independent living.

[Read more…]

Information Alert: Proposed Independent Living Changes in the President’s Budget

Earlier this week, the President released his 2021 Budget. The budget includes a $7.5 million cut to Part B funding. It also includes a $5 million increase to Part C funding, but those funds are reserved for competitive employment grants. Specifically, the budget would use that $5 million “to test evidence-based models of employment training and support that could be adopted by Centers for Independent Living to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities”.

The budget includes major cuts to many critical programs disabled people rely on, including Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and others. It also includes cuts to several important disability programs within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), including (but not limited to) NIDILRR (the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research), State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs), and eliminates the Assistive Technology Alternative Financing Programs.

It is important to note that this is only a proposal, and Congress is unlikely to include many of these proposals in their appropriations bills. However, it does provide insight into what the President’s priorities are. It also gives us additional insight into the areas we’ll likely have to continue fighting for.

[Read more…]

Organizers Forum: Resisting Anti-Blackness in Disability Spaces

The Organizers Forum can be used for us to explore how to make disability spaces and disability organizations actively anti-racist. Thank you to those who have been part of previous conversations to challenge ourselves and each other, and welcome to those who are committed to creating stronger and more just disability spaces. In honor of Black History Month, National Disability Rights Network has launched a series called Disability Rights in Black, which features a new video by incredible Black disabled people every day of the month. On Tuesday’s call, we will learn from Azza Altiraifi and Valerie Novack and talk about what we are all doing or commit to doing to resist anti-Blackness in our organizations and circles. 

[Read more…]

Urge your Representative to Cosponsor House Concurrent Resolution Opposing Assisted Suicide!

Just before the new year, Representatives Lou Correa (D-CA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) reintroduced a Concurrent Resolution (HCR 79) in the House of Representatives opposing assisted suicide laws. The resolution expresses “the sense of Congress that assisted suicide…puts everyone, including those most vulnerable, at risk of deadly harm” and “undermines the integrity of the health care system.” A press release was also issued, which includes a statement from NCIL’s Executive Director, Kelly Buckland.

NCIL has long opposed legalization of physician-assisted suicide for the dangers it poses to people with disabilities. On October 9, 2019, the National Council on Disability (NCD) released the findings of a federal examination (PDF) of the country’s assisted suicide laws and their effect on people with disabilities, finding the laws’ nominal safeguards are ineffective and oversight of abuses and mistakes is absent. Simply put, assisted suicide laws are bad public policy.

[Read more…]

2020 NCIL Youth Scholarship Applications Now Open!

NCIL is proud to announce the 2020 Youth Scholarship Fund. For the sixth year in a row, we will be offering scholarships to our Annual Conference for youth with disabilities ages 18 – 26 who may otherwise be unable to afford the cost of attendance.

NCIL offers three tiers of scholarships:

Local: Up to $110 to cover the cost of registration for youth with disabilities living in the Washington DC/Baltimore metropolitan area (this includes youth who will be in the area at the time of the conference for a summer internship or job).

Regional: Up to $975 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in the Region III area (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia).

National: Up to $1,200 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in other areas of the United States.

[Read more…]

Two Weeks Left to Apply for the Inclusive Pipeline Challenge

The Administration for Community Living invites businesses to expand inclusion of people with disabilities in their workforce.

Community-based organizations serving people with disabilities are encouraged to partner with local businesses to develop innovative models that can be replicated to help businesses across the country reach a wider talent pool and to create more opportunities for employment for people with disabilities.

[Read more…]

Free Webinar – The Census and the Disability Community: Get Ready to be Counted!

You are invited to join The Arc and the National Disability Rights Network for a webinar to discuss the 2020 Census and how it relates to the disability community. The webinar will begin with a 2020 Census overview along with a summary of why it matters. The webinar will also share the resources and materials for a successful Get out the Count (GOTC) effort.

Information Alert: Supreme Court Overturns Nationwide Injunction Against the Public Charge Rule

On Monday, the Supreme Court issued a decision that overturned the nationwide injunction against the Department of Homeland Security public charge rule. Read the decision (PDF).

The nationwide injunction was preventing the rule from going into effect. The Supreme Court decision means the public charge rule can now be implemented while litigation continues.

[Read more…]