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

Give Aid to CILs and SILCs Affected by Disasters

As you have likely seen, Hurricane Season is in full effect. Centers for Independent Living, Statewide Independent Living Councils, and people with disabilities in Puerto Rico, Florida, and South Carolina have been significantly impacted by recent storms. CIL services are crucial to help people with disabilities regain independence after disasters. CILs provide needed housing assistance, help navigate changes to benefits that may occur, track down life-sustaining equipment, and cooperate and advocate with local, state, and federal agencies that arrive to provide emergency assistance, but so often fail to provide accommodations to people with disabilities. But CILs can’t help if their own facilities are damaged or destroyed or staff members are displaced or unable to work because of their losses.

In response to these and other types of emergencies, the National Council on Independent Living developed NCIL’s Disaster Relief Fund, which distributes money specifically to Centers for Independent Living or 501(c)(3) Statewide Independent Living Councils damaged or destroyed in disasters. NCIL does not distribute money to individual disaster victims, but rather, gives money to CILs and SILCs so that they can repair, replace, or rebuild facilities and equipment and assist their employees and communities in the wake of a disaster.

Since its inception in 2005, the Disaster Relief Fund has been funded by the generous support of NCIL members and friends like you. 100% of these restricted funds will go towards the purpose outlined above.

Giving can be a statewide effort – just ask Wisconsin.

Jason Beloungy, a NCIL Governing Board member, is the Director of Access to Independence (a CIL in Madison, Wisconsin), as well as the Board Chair for the Wisconsin Coalition of Independent Living Centers (WCILC). He reached out to the eight Centers in Wisconsin and asked if each could donate $250 or $500 toward the Disaster Relief Fund. As a result, all eight Centers in Wisconsin have made contributions for a total donation of $3,250! If you wish to connect with Jason to learn more about the effort, reach out by email at [email protected].

Imagine how impactful the Fund can become if more states came together and pooled small donations into more substantial amounts!

Please give what you can today (

Checks may be made payable and mailed to the National Council on Independent Living, P.O. Box 31260, Washington, DC 20030. NCIL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.