the advocacy monitor

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

Breaking: House and Senate Reach Deal on Workforce Development & the Future of America’s Independent Living Program!

Congratulations, NCIL Advocates! After decades of grassroots advocacy and months of negotiations, a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers announced that they have reached a deal to improve the nation’s workforce development system through new legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

The Rehabilitation Act is contained in this bill. Yesterday, we sent you the press release that contained a one page summary of the bill, a section by section description, and the manager’s amendments.

Specifically, improvements to Independent Living in this bill include:

  • Independent Living Programs will move to the Administration on Community Living (ACL) within Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Addition of fifth core service
  • Improvements to SILC activities, including resource development
  • Changes SPIL sign-off to include CIL Directors
  • States can choose their ‘designated state entity’ (formerly known as the DSU)

Essentially, all of the improvements to the IL program that were included in S. 1356 are included in the new bill!

Again, congratulations on a big win! Your advocacy has paid off. However, your continued advocacy is still needed as we work to get this to President Obama’s desk.

Stay tuned! NCIL will be keeping you informed on this bill as it progresses and your participation is critical to our success!