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

Youth Issues & Education

Apply Today to Be an Access to Power Fellow!

There’s just one week left to apply for the Access to Power Fellowship, the new virtual seven-month organizing fellowship for Jewish young adults with disabilities (ages 20-39). It might be hard right now to think beyond the coming week, but we know that supporting our disabled leaders–with skills, with analysis, with spiritual grounding, with community–will be crucial for the fights to come. Would you take a moment and think about Jews with disabilities in your life whose leadership you want supported, and share this opportunity with them?

Open to both professional and volunteer organizers who live anywhere, with any kind of disability, the Access to Power Fellowship will support emerging disabled Jewish organizers to take their leadership to the next level through training and coaching. Disabled Jews of color are especially encouraged to apply.

NCIL is designing this program in partnership with JOIN for Justice, Sins Invalid, and Detroit Disability Power.

Applications are due Friday, Nov. 6! Learn more at joinforjustice.org/programs-projects/accesstopower.

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Announcing the Access to Power Fellowship!

We’re proud to announce the Access to Power Fellowship, a new virtual seven-month organizing fellowship for Jewish young adults with disabilities (ages 20-39). Open to both professional and volunteer organizers who live anywhere, with any kind of disability, the Access to Power Fellowship will support emerging disabled Jewish organizers to take their leadership to the next level through training and coaching. 

This opportunity is brought to you by JOIN for Justice in partnership with Sins Invalid, National Council on Independent Living, and Detroit Disability Power.

Please spread the word!

Youth Scholarship Application Deadline Extended to July 10th!

NCIL is re-opening our youth scholarship application for a few more days!

NCIL’s youth scholarships are given to youth with disabilities aged 26 and under to cover the costs of attending the annual NCIL conference. Since the conference will be virtual this year, all scholarships will be $90 to cover a youth’s registration fee for the conference. Dozens of youth have received scholarships to NCIL’s conference over the years, and many credit the scholarship with launching their advocacy work within NCIL’s committees and caucuses or through other organizations.

We are particularly seeking applicants for the Emet Tauber Youth Scholarship. Named in memory of former NCIL board member Emet Tauber, the Emet Tauber Youth Scholarship is given every year to one or more youth with disabilities under aged 26 who are trans and/or Jewish. Emet took great joy in living at the intersection of those three identities, and the ideal Emet Tauber scholarship recipient will embody this spirit.

To apply for a youth scholarship, fill out the youth scholarship application by July 10, 2020. To be considered for the Emet Tauber Youth Scholarship, check the box under “I would like to be considered for the Emet Tauber Youth Scholarship” and answer the questions that follow. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Cara Liebowitz at cara@ncil.org.

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

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…]