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

Independent Living & The Rehabilitation Act

Sponsorship Opportunities: 2022 Annual Conference on Independent Living

The theme of NCIL’s 2022 Annual Conference is Forging Justice. This year’s conference will be NCIL’s first-ever hybrid conference, with options for in-person and virtual participation.

NCIL’s Annual Conference is the largest Independent Living event of the year. NCIL regularly hosts over 1,000 people, including grassroots advocates, CIL and SILC leadership, members of Congress, government officials, and representatives from other organizations that work for justice and equity for people with disabilities.

2022 is NCIL’s 40th Anniversary! We have grown so much over these past 40 years. Forging Justice represents the advocacy and work that NCIL has done in pursuit of liberation for people with disabilities. But Forging Justice also represents the work that NCIL must do, that our members, and all disability advocates must do in pursuit of disability justice work that fights racism and colonialism with the same passion and dedication as we fight ableism.

Please take a look at our sponsorship, exhibiting, and advertising opportunities and fill out the commitment form. I would love to hear from you with any questions, requests, or to discuss custom options.

Early bird pricing on ads and exhibits ends May 6, 2022.

– Jenny Sichel,

2022 Annual Conference on Independent Living Logo: Forging Justice

IL-NET T&TA Center for Independent Living Presents… A National Webinar: Evolving Core Services — Independent Living Skills Training

April 7, 2022; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Register online or reach out to for more information.

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 highlighting best practices and approaches to Independent Living skills training. We will feature representatives from two CILs, Lidia Fonseca of the Valley Association for Independent Living (VAIL) and Jeremy Caffee of the Access Center for Independent Living (ACIL) of Dayton.


Lidia Fonseca is the Director of Programs at Valley Association for Independent Living, a center that provides independent living services to people with disabilities in the South Texas region. She has served her community as a disability justice advocate and provides overall supervision, management, development, and implementation of programs at VAIL. She has 10 years of experience in the disability field which include advocacy efforts that focus on disability rights, emergency management and planning for persons with disabilities, training on leadership, advocacy, and disability policy, and promoting employment services that follow ADA guidelines for all persons with disabilities.

Jeremy Caffee is the Executive Director for the Access Center for Independent Living (ACIL) which provides independent living services, Disability Awareness training, and Durable Medical Equipment in Dayton, Ohio. Prior to joining the Access Center, Jeremy has over 20 years’ experience in the non-profit and disability fields. Prior to joining ACIL, he worked in permanent supportive housing, assisting individuals with disabilities experiencing homelessness obtain and maintain community-based housing. He is a graduate of Antioch University and currently working toward completing his MSW with the University of Kentucky.

Please join us for this complimentary webinar and learn more about creative approaches to delivering IL skills training in fully remote and in person settings. Additionally, participants will learn about examples of how effective IL skills training can assist consumers in achieving greater independence, and increase their knowledge about the purpose and key elements of IL skills training for consumers of Centers for Independent Living.

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Disaster Preparedness and Response Practices Call for Submissions

Source: ADvancing States

Dear aging and disability I&R professionals,

I&R/A programs are a vital resource in times of disaster and emergencies. Programs have risen to many challenges over the past two years and beyond along with developing innovative and creative approaches to helping individuals, families, and communities. We want to hear from you! Share your disaster and emergency preparedness and response promising practices with us and you could join us at the National HCBS Conference. See below for more information on our promising practices contest. Practices can be submitted through an online application. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2022. View the submission guidelines prior to starting an application. For the submission form in an alternate format, or for more information, contact

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2022 Annual Conference on Independent Living: Call for Workshop Proposals

2022 Annual Conference on Independent Living Logo: Forging Justice

July 25-28 (Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC); August 1-3 (Virtual Workshops)

Submit a workshop proposal

Note: The deadline to submit a workshop proposal has been extended to March 18, 2022.

NCIL is excited to announce our 2022 Annual Conference on Independent Living! The theme of NCIL’s 2022 Annual Conference is Forging Justice. This year’s conference will be NCIL’s first-ever hybrid conference, with options for in-person and virtual participation.

2022 is NCIL’s 40th Anniversary! We have grown so much over these past 40 years. We certainly have much to celebrate. But we must also reflect on our movement, our priorities, and what we can offer each other. The NCIL Conference is designed to provide peer support, organizing, advocacy, and learning opportunities. Let us come together this summer not only to gather and learn, but to strategize and plan the future of Independent Living.

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Non-Profit Grant Opportunity: NBCUniversal’s Project Innovation

Source: Project Innovation / Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

Project Innovation is a grant opportunity that might be of interest to your organization. 

Presented by the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBCUniversal Local (NBC / Telemundo owned stations), Project Innovation is a competitive grant challenge that will award nearly $3.5 million to non-profit organizations in 11 NBC and Telemundo markets that are tackling everyday problems through innovative solutions in one of the following categories: 

  • Culture of Inclusion
  • Youth Education and Empowerment
  • Next Generation Storytellers
  • Community Engagement

The Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation is committed to supporting the interests and needs of diverse communities.

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NCIL Announces New Operations Director and Says Farewell to Tim Fuchs

We are pleased to announce that Jenny Sichel, NCIL’s Program Coordinator, has accepted the position of Operations Director beginning March 1, 2022. Jenny has been on NCIL staff for a little over a year, most recently managing the Barrier Removal Fund project. She previously coordinated the Next. and LINK20 programs where she led over 500 disability advocates in developing and implementing social and policy change. She will complete her Master’s in Public Administration at Northeastern University in Boston in May, and also has a B.A. in Mathematics from Bryn Mawr College. Jenny is a Paralympic rowing coach and has previously won a Silver Medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games. Additionally, Jenny has been a keynote speaker on multiple occasions and excels at event coordination and planning. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Jenny in this important role.

We also wanted to publicly say farewell to Tim Fuchs and thank him for his 18+ years of amazing service to NCIL and to the Independent Living community. Tim’s values, vision, and ethics have imprinted a deep and lasting legacy on NCIL’s character and we will miss him terribly (although he will always be connected to Independent Living and we know where to find him!). Thank you, Tim. And congratulations on your new adventures!

2022 Annual Conference on Independent Living: Call for Volunteers

2022 Annual Conference on Independent Living Logo: Forging Justice

July 25-28 (Grand Hyatt, Washington, DC); August 1-3 (Virtual Workshops)

Dear Friends of NCIL,

The in-person portion of NCIL’s 2022 Annual Conference on Independent Living is scheduled for July 25-28, 2022 at the Grand Hyatt Washington. If you are interested in volunteering, we have opportunities for you!

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

  • If you volunteer 5-9.9 hours, half of your registration fee is waived / reimbursed.
  • If you volunteer 10 or more hours, your full registration fee will be waived / reimbursed.
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NCIL Job Announcement: Operations Director

The Operations Director’s function is to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. They shall also direct all of NCIL’s major projects and grants, the national Annual Conference on Independent Living, membership activities, trainings, and special events. Read full job announcement.

Deadline to apply: February 15, 2022

NCIL Anniversary Logo: Celebrating 40 Years

Darrell Jones Selected as NCIL Interim Executive Director

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has named Darrell Jones (she / her) as its Interim Executive Director. Jones has more than 40 years’ experience in the disability and Independent Living movement, including being involved in the founding of the National Council on Independent Living.

Most recently, she served as senior advisor to the national training and technical assistance programs for CILs and SILCs at the Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) IL-NET project, where she previously served as Project Director for five years and Program Coordinator for six years. Prior to these positions with the IL-NET at ILRU, she served as Training Specialist for the National Council on Independent Living’s IL-NET sub-contract with ILRU. Jones was founding Executive Director of one of the first Title VII funded CILs in the nation in Rochester, New York, then served as founding Executive Director of the Association of Independent Living Centers in New York for seven years. Jones identifies as a person with a disability.

During the next several months, Jones will help to advise the organization through the transition by working with the Board of Directors and a Transition Team. The Transition Team will be assembled with members serving under the direction of NCIL President Kent Crenshaw, and will include members of the Board and external stakeholders that will continue the work of assessing the organization and planning for the future of NCIL.

At this time, we are also announcing that the search will begin immediately to fill the upcoming vacancy of Operations Director. The job posting will be shared on NCIL’s website in the coming days. We encourage any candidates that have interest in the position to apply. We hope to fill this position as soon as possible.

At this time, NCIL remains committed to our mission and activities of the organization continue to be fully operational. This includes legislative and advocacy work, projects and grant activities, and the preparation for the next Annual Conference.

NCIL Anniversary Logo: Celebrating 40 Years

NCIL Goes Fully Virtual!

Like many organizations, when NCIL went remote in March 2020, we had to adapt very quickly. While we missed the social and practical benefits of a physical office, it became apparent that our productivity wasn’t diminished by working remotely. We could still get the work done – and we did. We’ve hosted two virtual conferences, transitioned previously on-location trainings to webinars, and made countless gains in our policy work. In addition, we found that remote work was much more accessible for many of our staff.

Going virtual made financial and logistical sense. So, as of today, we are pleased to announce that our office is now fully remote. Our business phone numbers are still active, and you can reach us by the same phone numbers as always. Our new mailing address is as follows:

National Council on Independent Living
PO Box 31260
Washington, DC 20030

We look forward to continuing our work and the future we will create together.