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

Youth Issues & Education

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…]

Deadline for NCIL Youth Scholarship Applications Extended!

Youth Scholarship Deadline Extension Clarification

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are still exploring all options for our Annual Conference this July. We have been working very hard to gather all of the best information and resources to find the best path forward for this event. With our analysis nearly complete, NCIL’s Governing Board will be meeting very soon to make key decisions about this summer’s Annual Conference on Independent Living.

No matter what, we will still be offering youth scholarships to ensure that the next generation of our movement can enjoy the conference in whatever format it’s presented in. Right now, you can still apply for a youth scholarship under the existing criteria (local, regional, and national scholarships). If you’d like to apply for a youth scholarship, please fill out the online application by May 15, 2020.

When we have more information as to what the conference format will look like, we may reassess the youth scholarship structure. Regardless, we will communicate any changes as soon as we can.

If you have any questions about the youth scholarship process, or if you’d like to donate to the youth scholarship fund, please email Cara Liebowitz, NCIL’s Development Coordinator, at cara@ncil.org.

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

Sign-on Opportunity to Oppose IDEA / Rehabilitation Act Waivers!

As you likely know, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act directed the Secretary of Education to submit a report to Congress on additional flexibilities she recommends for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act, and other laws. While the report is due within 30 days of enactment, we understand that the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is actively working on the report and plans to submit it well before the deadline.

The Education Taskforce of the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has drafted this letter to Congress strongly opposing any waivers to IDEA or the Rehabilitation Act during COVID-19. While it was originally open to national organizations, they have now opened it up to state and local organizations for signatures as well.

If your organization can support this effort to maintain students’ civil rights and educational opportunity, please sign on using this Google form by 12:00 Noon Eastern on Thursday, April 9

[Read more…]

2020 NCIL Youth Scholarship Applications Now Open!

NCIL is proud to announce the 2020 Youth Scholarship Fund. For the sixth year in a row, we will be offering scholarships to our Annual Conference for youth with disabilities ages 18 – 26 who may otherwise be unable to afford the cost of attendance.

NCIL offers three tiers of scholarships:

Local: Up to $110 to cover the cost of registration for youth with disabilities living in the Washington DC/Baltimore metropolitan area (this includes youth who will be in the area at the time of the conference for a summer internship or job).

Regional: Up to $975 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in the Region III area (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia).

National: Up to $1,200 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in other areas of the United States.

[Read more…]

Surviving Education Trauma: Teacher Abuse of Disabled Students

Content Warning: discussion of abuse (mainly emotional abuse)

Head shot of Eryn Star
Photo of Eryn Star

By Eryn Star, NCIL Summer Policy Intern

In Spring 2018, the first known survey on the prevalence of k-12 teachers abusing students (all kinds of students, not just disabled) was released. It was an online survey from Northern Michigan University directed at a little over 1,000 teachers who were asked about the kinds of abusive behavior they have observed from the teachers around them. The results are important for everyone to see and validate what many education trauma survivors have been saying for years.

When asked how often they have seen teachers yelling at a student and embarrassing them publicly, most of the teachers responded 1-2 times with some responding 3-4 times or even 10 or more times. Never seeing those acts from teachers was rare. When the teachers were asked how many teachers in their school emotionally abuse students, only 14% said none. Furthermore, one in five teachers said that more than 10% of the teachers in their schools regularly target students. As much as we want to believe that educators would never do this to children and teens, teacher abuse of students happens much more often than society is ready to acknowledge and address. What resonated with me and confirmed what I’ve suspected for a long time is that the students targeted most by teachers were those with cognitive impairments with “other” a close second. When “other” respondents were asked to expand on who they witnessed being targeted, 1/3 said students of color, queer students, and English language learners. As an autistic queer student, it reminds me of my own experiences with education trauma.

[Read more…]

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

Dear NCIL Members,

As you know, the NCIL Annual Meeting and Conference is rapidly approaching. The 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living will be held July 22-25 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, DC. 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.

As a member of NCIL, we ask you to nominate young people from your Center and / or community. Individuals eligible for this award should be young adults whose work through Independent Living has had a positive impact on youth with disabilities.

[Read more…]

2019 NCIL Youth Scholarship Applications Now Open!

NCIL is proud to announce the 2019 Youth Scholarship Fund. For the fifth year in a row, we will be offering scholarships to our Annual Conference to youth with disabilities ages 18–26 who may otherwise be unable to afford the cost of attendance.

NCIL offers three tiers of scholarships:

Local: Up to $110 to cover the cost of registration for youth with disabilities living in the Washington DC/Baltimore metropolitan area (this includes youth who will be in the area at the time of the conference for a summer internship or job).

Regional: Up to $975 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in the Region III area (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia).

National: Up to $1,200 to cover registration, travel, and hotel costs for youth with disabilities living in other areas of the United States.

[Read more…]

CIL-NET Presents… A National Teleconference & Webinar – Supporting Youth in Transition: How CILs Can Contract for Youth Transition Services

IL-NET Logo - CIL-NET + SILC-NETCenters for Independent Living (CILs) are required to support young people with disabilities as they transition to adulthood. This “new” core service is hardly new anymore, but many of us are still trying to figure out the best ways to address it. Join us in September to learn how one CIL has built excellent youth transition services for young people in their community – and turned them into revenue generators for their CIL. LVCIL (Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living) has spent a decade building programs for young people with disabilities, and getting paid by VR, schools, and other funding sources to do it. Our presenters will share the details of their programs, lessons learned along the way, and how you can get started or expand this work in your area.

You won’t want to miss this critical webinar. Sign up today!

Registration Fee: $75.00. Fee is per site (connection) and does not apply per participant; registrants are encouraged to gather as many individuals as desired to participate by telephone.  [Read more…]

2018 Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame Call for Nominations

Nominations are currently being sought for the 2018 Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame, a program of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition. Nominations will be accepted through August 15, 2018 via the Coalition’s website, www.disabilitymentors.org, on the Hall of Fame page.  [Read more…]

The Future of the Independent Living Movement Depends on You

Dear Friends of NCIL,

In 2016, while interning in DC, I received a youth scholarship to attend NCIL’s Annual Conference. I attended the conference and was struck by the sheer amount of power and passion contained in that space. I felt privileged to be among friends, fellow advocates, and disability rights legends – an experience that would not have been possible without the scholarship.

Now, two years later, I work at NCIL, helping to ensure that every person with a disability has the choice to live in the community, no matter what their needs. That’s why I’m writing to you today.

Mobilize - Resistance through Action: 2018 Annual Conference on Independent Living. Graphic features an arrow striking a heart over the letters "IL" and a target that replaces the "o" in "Mobilize"Two years ago, your support made it possible for me to attend the NCIL conference. Now, I’m asking for your support again, to enable other young people to attend our conference. Times are hard and budgets are tight for everyone. Unfortunately, we simply don’t have the funds to extend scholarships to all the deserving youth that have applied.

That’s where you can help. Make a donation to the Youth Scholarship Fund. Your contributions will provide scholarships to youth with disabilities who would otherwise be unable to attend the conference. With your help, we’ve already accepted nearly 30 youth this year. You can help us accept even more.

Now more than ever, in these times of upheaval and uncertainty for disabled people, you need to invest in our young leaders – because they will be the ones shaping disability rights for decades to come. Help transform other young people’s lives as mine was transformed. The future of the Independent Living Movement depends on you.

Lead on!

Cara Liebowitz
NCIL Development Coordinator