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

Aging and Disability

NCIL Statement on CDC Funding for Vaccine Access

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) provide critical core services to people with disabilities. Even though the core services are the same, CILs are not all funded in the same way. Some CILs receive direct federal funding through the Administration on Community Living (ACL). These CILs are referred to as “Part C” CILs. Many CILs get their funding through their States, which distribute the federal funds. These CILs are referred to as “Part B” CILs. The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is committed to the entire Independent Living network, regardless of how services are funded. 

In March 2021, conversations began at the federal level about the need to use local networks, including CILs, to increase COVID 19 vaccine access to aging and disabled people. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) was looking for partnerships to specifically address vaccine access for aging and disabled people. When the CDC approached ACL, ACL indicated they would only be able to distribute those funds to Part C CILs. This is how ACL distributed CARES Act funds, even though NCIL had advocated to make those funds available for the entire IL network. NCIL and the CDC wanted to see vaccine access funds made available to all disabled and aging people. They did not want how the CIL serving their area was funded to further limit access. Based on this mutual goal, the CDC approached former NCIL Executive Director, Kelly Buckland, with a proposal to deliver funding to Part B CILs. CDC’s proposal was through a seven million dollar grant to be administered by NCIL.

These funds were not ultimately made available to NCIL for distribution to Part B CILs. In July 2021, the CDC Foundation announced the release of $6.3 million for aging and disabled vaccine access. The proposal submission deadline for this opportunity was one week after its announcement. NCIL was informed of this announcement several days after it was announced and, as a result, did not have the opportunity to submit a proposal.   

This week, ABLE South Carolina announced that, in tandem with Independent Living Review and Utilization, it had received the CDC Foundation grant. ABLE and ILRU will operate a center to support Part B CILs in addressing the systemic disparities from limited access to federal support for vaccine-related services and supports to their consumers. 

Under the grant, ABLE South Carolina and ILRU will distribute federal funds to address inequities and build capacity in the IL network nationwide. Since Part C CILs have had access to vaccine funds since April of this year, NCIL hopes the process for applications and timelines associated with distribution of the funds will be tangible for eligible members of the IL network.  Therefore, we urge ABLE South Carolina and ILRU to reconsider their October 7th deadline for funding opportunities to allow sufficient time for eligible CILs to complete the complex application process accordingly.

More information regarding ABLE South Carolina and ILRU’s Center, including its goals to assume responsibility on a national level for ensuring that the federal funding gap pertaining to vaccine access between Part B and Part C CILs is bridged, can be found here.

I&R Center: Call for Sessions Open for the 2021 HCBS Conference

Dear Aging and Disability I&R Professionals,

ADvancing States is pleased to share that the call for sessions for the 2021 Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Conference is open.

For the last 36 years, the HCBS Conference has convened state and federal agencies around improving systems that deliver long-term services and supports (LTSS) for all ages and abilities. The HCBS Conference attracts more than 1,500 attendees from over 50 states and territories and highlights best practices from across the country in home and community-based services.

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I&R Center: RFP for AIRS E-Conference in May

Dear Aging and Disability I&R Professionals,

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) is seeking workshop proposals for the AIRS virtual spring conference. The Request for Proposals for the upcoming AIRS E-Conference — “Envision I&R” (May 12th, 13th and 14th) — closes February 12, 2021. Be sure to submit your workshop ideas for consideration.

The primary audience for the spring conference is directors, managers, supervisors, and everyone and anyone involved in understanding and assembling the “big picture” in all types of I&Rs (Aging/Disabilities, 211, Health, Comprehensive, Blended Crisis/I&R, etc.). This will be a virtual conference via Zoom. AIRS will be holding a second e-conference in September that will be more geared to front-line service.

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Funding Opportunity: ADRC Critical Relief Funds for COVID-19 Pandemic Response

Source: Administration for Community Living (ACL)

ACL is announcing a $50 million funding opportunity to support efforts by Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 emergency.

The novel coronavirus has disproportionately affected older adults and people with disabilities. This funding will support ADRCs in their work connecting these populations to community resources, ensuring coordination across state and local agencies, and addressing pressing needs resulting from the pandemic including social isolation, food insecurity, and access to personal care services.

The funding is the result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act signed into law last month. All states and territories are eligible for funding and encouraged to apply. Funding will be distributed based on population estimates of individuals who are age 60 and older and individuals of all ages who have disabilities.

ACL will host a conference call on the funding opportunity April 9, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Join the informational call:

ACL has created a Q&A on emergency ADRC funding (PDF). The Q&A will be updated after the call and posted on along with a recording of the call.

Call for Sessions Now Open for the 2020 HCBS Conference!

ADvancing States is pleased to announce the opening of its Call for Sessions for the 2020 Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Conference, August 31- September 3, 2020 in Washington, DC.

For the last 35 years, the HCBS Conference has convened state and federal agencies around improving systems that deliver long-term services and supports (LTSS) for all ages and abilities. The HCBS Conference attracts more than 1,500 attendees from over 50 states and territories and highlights best practices from across the country in home and community-based services.

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IL-NET Presents… A National Webinar: Fueling Business Acumen – How CILs are Securing Contracts with Health Plans and Payers

Many CILs are seeking to expand their services by contracting and partnering with health plans, managed care organizations, and other payers. But how do you build these relationships, and why are these contracts important to meeting the needs of the disability community? Join us for a panel discussion with CILs who are leading the way in working with health plans and payers to learn more about how they got to “the table”, what services are of interest to health plans and payers, and about the growth and financial support their CILs have experienced through contracting with health plans and payers.

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

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A Message from the National I&R Support Center: AIRS Annual I&R Conference Call for Proposals

Dear Aging and Disability I&R Professionals, 

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) has released the call for proposals for the 2020 Annual Information and Referral (I&R) Training and Education Conference. The annual I&R conference is being held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 7-10, 2020. AIRS is seeking workshops addressing the breadth of I&R service delivery.  

The Aging and Disability conference track offers a unique opportunity to share developments and effective practices in serving older adults, persons with disabilities, and caregivers with I&R colleagues across the country. This track is coordinated by ADvancing States’ I&R Support Center, which strongly encourages aging and disability I&R agencies of all types to review the call for proposals and consider a submission.

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Free Webinar – Growth and Development: Capitalize on New Business Opportunities

Many organizations want to expand their businesses and work with new partners or payers. To do so, an organization must first understand its current financial health, understand the true cost of services and use that information to prepare for contract discussions. Preparing for a contract with a managed care organization is a unique scenario that requires additional consideration and preparation. To be successful, you need to understand your potential payers and partners, develop a value proposition, get in the door, and negotiate a contract that meets both yours and the payers’ needs.

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Free Webinar – Holding the Course: Stabilizing Business Operations

Business is inherently risky. To start a business, you have to identify a need, build a plan, invest time and resources and work diligently to make sure that it is successful. The same is true when you manage your business. Nothing stays exactly the same. To improve or adjust to an evolving environment, you may need to change who you work with or how you deliver services. Any modification to how you do business such as development or adjustment to a business strategy involves some level of risk. The trick is to decide what kind and how much risk you can accept in order to move your business forward.

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Free Webinar! Step 2: Plan – Use Business Intelligence to Build Your Strategic Plan

In Step 1: Prepare, of the Disability Network Business Strategies Roadmap, the HCBS Business Acumen Center guided community-based organizations (CBO) through the environmental scan and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis process. After taking a look at their external and internal environments, many CBOs find that the business environment that they work in today is more complex than it has been in the past. In Step 2: Plan of the Disability Network Business Strategies Roadmap, they describe how to analyze the information you collected and provide recommendations on how to organize and prioritize that information in a strategic plan that will help your organization achieve its goals.

Join them on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Eastern as Erica Lindquist, Senior Director of Business Acumen at the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities and Donna Martin, Director for State Partnerships & Special Projects at the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) describes the tools the HCBS Business Development Learning Collaborative used to move from data collection to strategy development.

Register online.

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