the advocacy monitor

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

Op-Ed: Why Social Workers Should Oppose Assisted Suicide

By Jessica Rodgers

As a social work intern with the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, I advocate for all individuals to live as independently as possible in the community. I also oppose the dangerous assisted suicide legislation that continues to be pushed upon the people of New York.

For decades, opponents have warned about the dangers this sort of legislation holds for the disabled community. Despite supposed safeguards and attempts on the part of proponents to ease concerns, the world has hurtled along exactly as disability-rights advocates have feared. One need look no further than Switzerland where those willing to pay for it can buy a designer suicide. Belgium has perhaps gone the farthest of all by allowing children the option to kill themselves and not differentiating between mental distress and physical illness. A PBS special even followed a Belgian physician as he made a home visit to give one of his patients a lethal injection. Her diagnosis? Depression.

For the old, the sick, and the disabled — particularly those in poverty — the “right to die” may, sooner rather than later, become the “duty to die.”

[Read more…]

NCIL Statement on Activism

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is saddened and angry that, just over two weeks after releasing a statement on police violence, the country is once again mourning the murder of another victim, George Floyd.

NCIL recognizes that, in the midst of so much inequity and injustice that has only been further revealed by Mr. Floyd’s murder, more people than ever – including those of with disabilities – are looking for ways to make their voices heard in the interest of both breaking the cycle of police violence and effecting systemic change. NCIL acknowledges that, although virtual and other means of non-in person activism have often been dismissed as “less than” within the disability community, all modes of advocacy have merit and, in many instances, actions taken via social media have resulted in positive outcomes, not just for people with disabilities, but for all.

With that in mind, NCIL’s Taskforce on Anti-Racism and Equity would like to amplify the resources and guides already in existence that are intended to support individuals with disabilities with in engaging in activism from both home and in-person, including the following.

[Read more…]

Registration Now Open for NCIL’s 2020 Annual Conference!

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

July 20 – August 7, 2020

Registration is now open for NCIL’s 2020 Annual Conference on Independent Living!

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

We have significantly reduced the registration rates for this virtual conference. Despite cutting the rates, we’ve also increased the number of workshops and sessions we’re offering because we’re no longer constrained by the number of meeting rooms we have available at the hotel. That means more content for less money!

We have released the conference agenda and other details over the past week. We will be releasing the full workshop schedule and additional updates over the next few weeks.

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 in order 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.

All registrations received and paid by June 16, 2020 are eligible for the Early Bird registration rates.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.