the advocacy monitor

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

Nominate Deserving Youth with Disabilities for the Diana Viets Memorial Award!

May 27, 2020

Dear NCIL Member:

As you know, NCIL’s Annual Conference on Independent Living is rapidly approaching. This year, NCIL will again be honoring individuals from the Independent Living field with various awards for their dedication to the Independent Living and disability rights movements.

One of these awards is the Diana Viets Memorial Award. Diana was an energetic young woman with a disability who dedicated her life to empowering young people with disabilities to take an active role in the Independent Living movement. Through her work at a Center for Independent Living and the NCIL Board, Diana touched the lives of many youth with disabilities. NCIL wants to acknowledge, honor, and encourage our young leaders who are promoting disability pride, spreading Independent Living philosophy, and fostering the active participation of youth with disabilities in the disability rights movement.

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Memorandum: 2020 Regional Advocacy Awards

Each year, NCIL recognizes individuals and / or organizations for outstanding advocacy efforts. NCIL encourages you to nominate someone in your region who you believe is deserving of this award. Please take a few minutes to complete the nomination form by June 10, 2020.

Purpose of the NCIL regional advocacy award: To recognize individuals or groups / organizations within each region for outstanding systems advocacy efforts consistent with independent living goals and philosophy at a national, state, or local level.

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NCIL Mourns the Loss of Stacey Park

It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of activist and organizer Stacey Park. Stacey passed away from surgical complications on May 19, 2020, on her 33rd birthday.

Originally from North Carolina, Stacey served on the North Carolina Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) and was a former American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) intern. She was a fixture of disability activism in the Bay Area after moving there in 2010. A co-founder of the Disability Justice Culture Club, Stacey coordinated direct aid to disabled people and other marginalized groups during emergencies like the 2019 PG&E power shutoffs in the Bay Area and the current COVID-19 pandemic. Stacey’s activism was truly intersectional in nature, addressing overlapping systems of oppression and all facets of a human being, including disability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status. Her commitment to disability justice as a queer disabled woman of color was unparalleled.

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Memorandum: Call for Resolutions

NCIL Resolutions

The purpose of resolutions is for members to speak directly to what NCIL does and what NCIL stands for. A resolution, if adopted by the membership, is a formal opinion from NCIL or a commitment to taking action on a specific topic.

Resolutions must be received by June 24, 2020.

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Make Nominations for the NCIL Board of Directors by June 12, 2020!

May 21, 2020

Dear NCIL Members:

NCIL is planning to hold virtual elections for our Governing Board positions this year. We will be sending a ballot to all members next week that will allow NCIL to amend its Bylaws to permit virtual elections this year. Regardless of the election process, our Standard Operating Procedures require us to release our call for nominations this week. So please read below and consider nominations you may want to make for the open Board positions. We will be releasing more information about the Bylaw amendment, balloting, and election dates and procedures in the next few weeks.

NCIL members have an opportunity to nominate an individual to run for each of the following positions on the NCIL Board:

  • Vice President,
  • Secretary,
  • Diversity Committee Chair,
  • three Member-At-Large positions,
  • and Representatives of Regions II, IV, VI, VIII, and X (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10).

If you or someone you know would be interested in running for the NCIL Board, please fill out the nomination form.

Please carefully review the position descriptions and memorandum, as it will help in considering potential nominees. Also, make sure to share these resources with the individual you are nominating so that they have a clear understanding of what will be expected should they be elected.

Nomination Deadline: June 12, 2020.

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NCIL Welcomes Aaron Baier As Region II Representative!

NCIL is excited to announce our new Region II Representative, Aaron Baier from Access to Independence of Cortland County, Inc.

Aaron T. Baier is the newly appointed member of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Board of Directors and represents Region II (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). Aaron is the Executive Director of Access to Independence of Cortland County, Inc. in Central New York and brings more than 14 years of experience in the Independent Living Movement and grassroots advocacy.

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NCIL’s 2020 Annual Conference on Independent Living Will Be Virtual!

July 20 – August 7, 2020

It’s official – NCIL’s 2020 Annual Conference on Independent Living will be virtual! We’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to plan the event and we’re so excited to share the news with you. We certainly have much work to do together this summer and we will proceed with as much effort and intensity as if we were in Washington together!

We are spreading our conference events out a bit to accommodate the realities of virtual events and participation from home. The week of July 20th will feature the big kick-off events and plenaries, followed by two weeks of additional workshops and other events.

We are working hard on conference registration, the final schedule, and other details. We will be releasing additional updates over the next two weeks with all of the information you will need to register and get involved.

NCIL remains fully committed to an event that is safe and accessible to all. We know there will be some access challenges to a virtual conference, just as there are access challenges to in-person conferences. We are already busy coordinating accommodations and support, and are ready to respond to your accommodation requests and feedback to hold the most accessible virtual conference possible. Accommodations can be requested when you register and you are always welcome to submit questions to conference@ncil.org.

Conference Logo: Evolution of our Revolution - 2020 Annual Conference on Independent Living. Graphic features a speech bubble and heart icon.

NCIL Statement on Police Violence

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) acknowledges that police violence, which is the cause of death for one out of every 1,000 Black males – a rate that is 2.5 greater than that for white males – is a public health issue that intersects with the disability rights movement via several different and troubling avenues:

  • the traumatization of the Black community that occurs as a result of being subjected to the prevalent images of Black people being assaulted and even killed on live TV
  • the aggravation of anxiety and other related mental health conditions as a result of constant monitoring by law enforcement in one’s own community
  • the onset of acquired disabilities as a consequence of police violence that does not result in death
  • the reality that police violence is a mitigating factor in overall health disparities prevalent within the Black community that, ultimately, impact overall life expectancy rates for Black people

We make note of this issue in light of recent high-profile instances of violence against Black people in the US by active / off-duty / retired law enforcement.  However, we recognize that outrage is no longer a sufficient response and commit to exploring proactive ways that we can support Independent Living to develop the means necessary to provide peer support and individual / systems advocacy to consumers, both prospective and actual, who are impacted by police violence.

We recognize that Black people (as well as Indigenous and other people of color) may not even feel safe to engage in systems advocacy regarding police violence without possibly putting themselves at risk to even more police violence.  In light of that, our newly announced Presidential Taskforce on Race and Equity will prioritize critically examining the barriers to systems advocacy that Black, Indigenous, and other people of color experience with the intent of bringing their findings, feedback, and action steps back to NCIL – and to Independent Living.

NCIL stands in solidarity with advocacy organizations across the country in condemning all unwarranted police violence against Black people, such as Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by a retired investigator in February; Sean Reed, who was killed by Indianapolis law enforcement officers last week; Breonna Taylor, who was killed as the result of a botched sting operation; Dameon Shepard, who was terrorized in his home by an off-duty sheriff this past weekend; and countless others whose stories may or may not make it into the conscience of the US public.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent Living

Reminder: Tell Congress to Include People with Disabilities in Their COVID-19 Response!

Congress is working on their next big COVID-19 relief package, and we expect to see draft language from the House of Representatives soon. While each of the four Congressional COVID-19 packages so far has contained important pieces, we have yet to see a package that meaningfully takes disabled people’s needs into account.

Disabled people are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are at risk of severe symptoms and complications if exposed to the virus. We are facing significantly increased barriers and discrimination that are threatening our health, our safety, and our lives. It is simply unacceptable to leave us out of the COVID-19 response.

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IL-NET Presents… A National Webinar & Teleconference: Hospital to Home – A Collaborative Between Community Partners

Part I: June 10, 2020; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Part II: June 17, 2020; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Register online

The Hospital to Home (H2H) program is one example of how a Center for Independent Living (CIL) identified an existing program with the potential to be a service the health care industry would be interested in funding. The Independence Center (The IC) and UCHealth Memorial Hospital collaborated to facilitate successful transitions to home for patients with a complex or difficult discharge. Through H2H, The IC provides service assessment, coordination, and a network of local community-based organizations to provide support services that address social determinants of health for patients discharging from the hospital, so they can successfully thrive at home. Part I of this two-part training will start with the concept and vision of the H2H program; Part II will finish with the steps to set up a hospital to home program in your area.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about this exciting, replicable program. Sign up today!

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