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

IL-NET T&TA Center for Independent Living Presents… A National Webinar: Transition of School-Age Youth to Post-Secondary Life

June 28, 2023; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Register online or reach out to [email protected] for more information.

** En Español abajo **

The IL-NET National Training & Technical Assistance (T&TA) Center operated by ILRU in collaboration with NCIL, APRIL, and the University of Montana Rural Institute and RTC: Rural, supports CILs and SILCs in building capacity to run strong, effective organizations. This webinar will be a discussion highlighting varied approaches and strategies surrounding transition of school-aged youth with disabilities. Participants will learn different tactics and programs that CILs across the country use when helping youth with disabilities to transition from school to post-secondary life.

Registration Fee: This event is free of charge.

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CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: 2023 Annual Conference on Independent Living

Dear Friends of NCIL,

The 2023 Annual Conference on Independent Living is scheduled for July 24-27, 2023, at the Grand Hyatt Washington.

Committed volunteers are critical to this conference’s success. We have wonderful incentives for those who put in volunteer hours.

[Read more…]

Action Alert: Tell Congress Cuts to Medicaid Are Off the Table!

Join the Disability and Aging Collaborative #SaveMedicaid Online Rally today, May 24; 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Thank you to everyone who attended NCIL’s rally and call to action yesterday. We need to continue the momentum!

Medicaid is an essential program that 88 million Americans rely on for their healthcare, including 54 million older adults, children, and people with disabilities – but it’s at risk!

We are asking you to contact your House member with the following message: 

  1. No cuts to Medicaid. 
  2. Keep Medicaid funding and work requirements for SNAP and Medicaid eligibility OUT of debt ceiling negotiations. 

To find your representative’s phone number visit the House Directory.

Today’s Disability and Aging Collaborative Online Rally

  • May 24, 2023; 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Medicaid work requirements and program cuts would take care away from millions of people, including disabled people, veterans, and older adults. The Save Medicaid Online Rally is an opportunity for supporters to learn more about the fight over Medicaid – and to take action to protect it.

Please share the event with your supporters and networks. We hope you join us there!

Questions on Lobbying vs. Advocacy?

See NCIL’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document ADVOCACY AND LOBBYING IN CENTERS FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING.

Joint Statement from the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)

Tell Congress Medicaid Cuts are off the table!

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2811, the “Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023” on April 26, 2023. This bill would cause deep cuts to discretionary spending. The bill would suspend the debt limit through March 31, 2024, or until the debt increases by $1.5 trillion, whichever comes first. 

This bill would impose radical work requirements for Medicaid enrollees ages 19 to 55 in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling, resulting in millions of people losing Medicaid benefits, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. It would also expand work requirements for the SNAP and TANF programs.  

People with disabilities rely on Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) to live independently in their communities and NOT IN Nursing Homes. Throughout the United States, more than 650,000 people are stuck on HCBS waiting lists and are not getting the services they need. Cuts to Medicaid and Work Requirements causing more red tape would make it even harder for people with disabilities, their families, and the workers who support them to access the care they need to survive. 

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Rally to Protect Medicaid: Tell Congress Medicaid Cuts and Work Requirements are OFF THE TABLE!

NCIL and other organizations have been meeting with Congressional offices telling them to back off Medicaid, but we need your help!

The U.S. House of Representatives’ bill passed on April 26 includes radical work requirements for Medicaid enrollees ages 19 to 55 in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling.

We need to tell Congress to keep Medicaid OUT of debt ceiling negotiations.

People with disabilities rely on Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) to live independently in their communities and NOT IN NURSING HOMES!

Cuts to Medicaid and the proposed work requirements would cause more red tape and would make it even harder for people with disabilities, their families, and the workers who support them to access the care they need to survive.

Rally to Protect Medicaid

NCIL will also be hosting an online rally on Tuesday, May 23 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern.

CART and ASL will be provided. This event will also be recorded and posted to the On-Demand section of NCIL’s website (ncil.org/ncil-training-on-demand). If you need any additional accommodations, please contact Jenny Sichel at [email protected].

2023 NCIL Advocacy Awards

Each year, NCIL recognizes individuals and / or organizations for outstanding advocacy efforts.

Nominees do not have to be a member of NCIL. In the event that the winner is not a member of NCIL, upon receiving the award, they will receive a free one-year individual NCIL membership.

You must be a NCIL member to nominate someone for an award. The deadline to nominate for a NCIL Advocacy Award is May 29, 2023.

Awards will be announced during NCIL’s 2023 Annual Conference on Independent Living (https://ncil.org/ncil2023/).

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.

Eligibility: Individuals eligible for this award should be young adults whose work through Independent Living has had a positive impact on youth with disabilities.

Judy Heumann Advocacy Award

Judy was a fierce advocate who dedicated her life to disability rights and independent living. From the Section 504 Sit-In of 1977 to serving in multiple Presidential Administrations, Judy tirelessly pursued disability rights legislation at the national and international level. She was instrumental in the passing of multiple policies and laws including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and was a founding member of the National Council on Independent Living. Often considered the “Mother of the Disability Rights Movement”, Judy led our movement with grace and strength. With this award, NCIL will honor Judy’s advocacy legacy and encourage all to continue fighting for independent living rights, inclusion, and disability justice.  

Eligibility: Individuals eligible for nomination are those who have proven to be instrumental advocates in the Independent Living Movement and disability justice community in the past decade at a national level. This awardee will be nominated by the membership of the National Council on Independent Living and if multiple nominations are received, the final awardee will be chosen by NCIL’s Executive Director. Nominees do not have to be a member of NCIL. In the event that the winner is not a member of NCIL, upon receiving the award, he or she will receive a free one-year individual NCIL membership.

Registration Now Open: 2023 Annual Conference on Independent Living!

July 24-27 (Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC)

2023 Annual Conference on Independent Living Logo: Indivisible. Graphic features intersecting threads.
2023 Annual Conference on Independent Living Logo: Indivisible. Graphic features intersecting threads.

NCIL is excited to open registration for our 2023 Annual Conference on Independent Living! The theme of NCIL’s 2023 Annual Conference (ncil.org/ncil2023) is INDIVISIBLE.  

This summer, we will advocate together, unite as a movement, and fight against ableism and prejudice of all types.

We are bringing back NCIL’s iconic March and Rally. We will have many influential speakers and educational workshops. We’ll be making memories and making history. We hope you’ll join us.

[Read more…]

IL-NET T&TA Center for Independent Living Presents… A National Webinar: Intergenerational Peer Support

May 17, 2023; 3:00 – 4:30 PM Eastern

Register online or email [email protected] for more information.

En Español abajo.

The IL-NET National Training & Technical Assistance (T&TA) Center operated by ILRU in collaboration with NCIL, APRIL, and the University of Montana Rural Institute and RTC: Rural, supports CILs and SILCs in building capacity to run strong, effective organizations. This webinar will be a panel discussion that will highlight varied approaches and strategies to intergenerational peer support. Specifically, panelists will describe their views on what intergenerational peer support is and how they practice it effectively, the value of intergenerational peer support, and best practices to making connections across generations outside of specific events like conferences or trainings.

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Message from NCIL’s President and Vice President: NCIL Advocacy Committee Restructuring

May 3, 2023

Dear NCIL Members,

We want to express our gratitude for the years of advocacy and support for the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL).

As you may recall, the NCIL Board held a two-day retreat last fall as we prepared to advertise for a new Executive Director and to prioritize activities for the next five years. As part of the recommendations from our consultant, we were asked to consider how we can best balance our limited staff and financial resources within our advocacy department.

While reviewing the incredible amount of work being accomplished through the NCIL Subcommittees, the Board made some broad-sweeping recommendations to focus our efforts so that we can become more efficient on areas that directly impact our membership of Centers for Independent Living (CILs). Key areas of Rehabilitation Act / IL Funding, Housing, Transportation, ADA / Civil Rights, and Healthcare / Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) will remain as the core of NCIL’s emphasis. So that we can continue to provide support to all areas, we will be consolidating issues within these NCIL Subcommittees so that we can be much more efficient in meeting goals, objectives, and outcomes. All issues will have a greater opportunity for much more support and coordination of efforts.

[Read more…]

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Sweeping Set of Executive Actions to Improve Care

Today, NCIL Executive Director Theo Braddy joined President Biden as he signed an Executive Order with over 50 directives aimed at increasing support for care workers and family caregivers. These orders included:

  • Making child care and long-term care more affordable and accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, and families;
  • Providing veterans with better access to home-based care;
  • Supporting family caregivers; and
  • Improving the job quality for long-term care workers.

For more information on the Executive Order, see the full Fact Sheet (https://bit.ly/3GSKwt5).

NCIL commends the Biden administration for its commitment to improve care for people with disabilities. We look forward to continuing to work with this Administration and advocating for access to consumer controlled personal care programs and home and community-based services for people with disabilities.

Images:

  • NCIL Executive Director Theo Braddy, a Black man with a salt and pepper beard and a power wheelchair sits amongst guests at the outdoor signing ceremony.
  • Theo Braddy sits to the left of President Biden as he signs the Executive Order from a table with the Presidential seal at the front.
  • President Biden turns toward Theo Braddy during the signing of the Executive Order. A crowd of approximately 14 people stand behind the President observing.
  • Theo Braddy shakes President Biden’s hand.