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


Statement from NCIL’s President

Many of you may have heard part of my remarks during a protest. In trying to explain my frustration that Democrats have failed to recognize and address the unjust incarceration of people with disabilities in nursing facilities and other institutions, I used absolutely inappropriate language. My concern for those locked in institutions because they are disabled should never have been stated in a way that minimized concern for those locked in other institutions that are equally abhorrent. That was wrong.

I cannot apologize strongly enough. I have long fought the use of the Oppression Olympics and my lack of forethought that day allowed me to slip into it myself. Ableism, racism, and xenophobia have and continue to oppress many in our community and my words only served to erase – and simultaneously add to – that oppression. I make no excuses for this, and I am truly sorry for the harm it has caused.

[Read more…]

2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living App Now Available

Are you ready for NCIL’s 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living? There’s an app for that!

For the first time, NCIL has developed an app for our Annual Conference.

To download the app, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play and search for “NCIL” or start from a mobile device and visit

To view the web version of the app, visit

All of the information contained in the app will also be available in your Annual Conference materials, which are available now at

Please remember to use our hashtag, #NCIL2019 in your social media posts. Please caption you images if you are able, and remember to set your post to public if you want NCIL and other conference attendees to see it.

2019 Annual Conference: Pre-Event Registration Ends Friday, July 12!

All pre-event and online registration for NCIL’s 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living closes this week. All pre-event registrations must be received by Friday, July 12 at 12:00 midnight, Eastern Time.

Individuals may still register onsite, but please note that onsite registration fees differ from standard registration fees and plan accordingly.

Pre-event registration rates:

  • NCIL Member Organization: $265
  • NCIL Individual Member: $335
  • Youth Member: $110 (26 & Under)
  • Non-member: $385
  • Daily Rate: $115 / day (NCIL Members); $160 / day (Non-Members)

Onsite registration rates:

  • NCIL Member Organization: $310
  • NCIL Individual Member: $380
  • Youth Member: $110 (26 & Under)
  • Non-Member: $430
  • Daily Rate: $210 / day

To register, use the NCIL online store, which gives you the ability to register up to three attendees with one transaction and accepts Discover, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. Registration Forms are also available in (PDFWord, or plain text).

Additional details are available on our conference web page. This year’s Annual Conference on Independent Living is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent history, and we can’t wait to see you there!

Logo: 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living - featuring a white starburst graphic

Reminder: Apply for the NCIL Youth Scholarship by July 1!

NCIL’s Youth Scholarship is one of the most exciting parts of our annual conference. The Youth Scholarship allows youth with disabilities aged 26 and under to attend the conference at little or no cost to them. NCIL offers three tiers of scholarships:

  • Local – $110 to cover registration for youth based in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area (including youth who are in the area for summer internships or other programs)
  • Regional – up to $975 to cover registration, travel, and hotel for youth in Region III (DC, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania)
  • National – up to $1,200 to cover registration, travel, and hotel for youth based outside of Region III.

Please note that NCIL does not have the capacity to accept international applicants at this time. Youth under the age of 18 will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

So far in 2019, we have awarded scholarships to nearly 30 youth from across the country. Previous Youth Scholarship recipients have gone on to serve in leadership positions on the NCIL board, get involved in their local CILs, and launch exciting careers in the field of Independent Living! You could be next!

[Read more…]

Notice: CILs and SILCs Must Be a 2019 NCIL Member by June 24 in Order to Vote at the Annual Council Meeting!

NCIL’s Standard Operating Procedures require that CILs and SILCs pay their dues in full thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Council Meeting to be eligible to vote at that meeting. If your organization has not yet joined or renewed for 2019, you must sign-up and pay your dues in full by 12:00 Midnight on Monday, June 24, 2019 in order to vote at the Annual Council Meeting. 

If you do not join or renew by June 24, your organization will not be able to vote for the Governing Board members and Resolutions that guide NCIL’s actions and priority issues.

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“I didn’t begin to thrive until I came here.” Read Eiryn’s Story and Donate to the NCIL Youth Scholarship Fund

In 2016, Eiryn Griest-Schwartzman received a youth scholarship to attend the NCIL conference. Three years later, they’re on our board as the Youth Member-At-Large. In their own words:

“Attending the NCIL conference brought me:

  • an incredible community and support system
  • a level of solidarity that I’d never experienced before, 
  • empowering resources for my transition to independence.
  • It jumpstarted my career in disability advocacy.

I didn’t begin to thrive until I came here. I financially could not have gotten [to the conference] without [the youth scholarship] and in turn never would’ve gotten involved in NCIL in any meaningful way.”

[Read more…]

New Discounted Accessible Guestrooms Available at the Embassy Suites Convention Center!

A new block of discounted accessible guestrooms is now available at the Embassy Suites DC Convention Center: 900 10th St NW / Washington, DC 20001. These rooms are available July 21-26, 2019.

Please Note:

  • This overflow block is for ADA Accessible guestrooms. There are still standard guestrooms available at the Grand Hyatt Washington.

The Embassy Suites is two blocks from the Grand Hyatt (0.2 miles). The rate is $239 / single or $259 / double per night (plus tax of 14.5%). Reservations must be made by June 22, 2019.

[Read more…]

Apply for the NCIL Youth Scholarship by July 1st!

NCIL’s Youth Scholarship Fund is one of the cornerstones of our Annual Conference on Independent Living. The Youth Scholarship Fund offers financial assistance for youth with disabilities aged 18 to 26 to attend NCIL’s Annual Conference.

We’ve already accepted close to 20 youth to receive scholarships for the 2019 Annual Conference. You can be one of the 2019 youth scholarship recipients, too! NCIL offers three tiers of scholarship funding:

Local – $110 to cover registration costs for youth with disabilities based in the Washington Metropolitan area (this includes youth who will be in DC for internship programs or other opportunities)

Regional – up to $975 to cover registration, some travel, and hotel for youth in Region III (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)

National – up to $1,200 to cover registration, travel, and hotel for youth outside of Region III

[Read more…]

Announcing: The 2019 NCIL Policy Briefing

Wednesday, June 19, 2019; 3:00–4:30 p.m. Eastern

NCIL is happy to announce our 14th Annual Policy Briefing.

This important presentation will to bring advocates up-to-date on national issues and federal policies that affect people with disabilities and provide participants with question and answer sessions with national leaders to ensure you have in-depth information on the issues you care about most.

The Policy Briefing will ensure that we are fired up and prepared for NCIL’s 2019 Day on the Hill! For those of you who will not be at the 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living, this will provide you with valuable and timely information that you can use in your community. Please share this training announcement far and wide so that our issues reach many people.

This teleconference is free for NCIL Members. There is a $25.00 registration fee for Non-Members, per call-in site. Fee does not apply per participant in group, provided the group uses the same conference line.

[Read more…]

Information Alert: ILA Reorganization Update

On Wednesday we sent out an information alert about upcoming reorganization at the Independent Living Administration. This alert was sent before the announcement was finalized in the Federal Register, because we wanted to get you the information we had as quickly as possible.

Read the notice in the Federal Register. The notice confirms the information we sent out on Wednesday. While the notice states that the reorganization will be effective upon date of signature, it was confirmed during a stakeholder call yesterday that the implementation date is the first week of August. It was also confirmed that there will be NO opportunity for public comment.

We are continuing to stay on top of this situation, and we will share all relevant information as we receive it.