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

IL-NET Presents… A National Webinar: Operating Independent Living Programs in the Face of Coronavirus – A Q&A Session for CILs and SILCs

Friday, March 20, 2020; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Register online

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Registration has re-opened for this event. We had reached our maximum capacity, but we have worked with our webinar provider to increase our capacity and can now accept additional participants.  Registration will close at Noon Eastern on Friday, March 20. 

The IL-NET National Training & Technical Assistance Center is offering a Q&A session with a panel of peers and experts, including public health experts, Center for Independent Living (CIL) and Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) Directors from communities impacted by Coronavirus / COVID-19, and experts in emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.

We all have questions related to the Coronavirus, but none of the media response or broader expert guidance details how community-based, disability-rights groups like CILs and SILCs should respond. Our panel of peers and experts will share their guidance and answer your questions about operating Independent Living programs and providing services during the epidemic.

You won’t want to miss this important webinar. Sign-up Today!

Registration: This event is free-of-charge. Registration must be completed by 12:00 Noon Eastern on March 20, 2020.

Target Audience: Staff and Board of CILs, SILCs, and DSEs

Your Presenters

Susan Dooha, J.D. is the Executive Director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY). CIDNY’s goal is to ensure full integration, independence, and equal opportunity for all people with disabilities by removing barriers to the social, economic, cultural, and civic life of the community. In 2017, under Susan’s leadership, CIDNY helped nearly 40,000 people take control of their own lives by offering information, education, and advice to individuals struggling with poverty, housing, barriers to health care coverage and access, nutrition, education, and work. In 2017, CIDNY became the lead plaintiff in litigation seeking an accessible subway system. Susan is the recipient of many honors and identifies as a person with a disability. She obtained her law degree at Yeshiva University, Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law in 1990.

Tim Fuchs joined the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) in 2003. Since 2007, Tim has been NCIL’s Operations Director. Tim also serves as NCIL’s Training Coordinator for the IL-NET. Tim stays in frequent contact with Executive Directors and other staff of CILs & SILCs to remain aware of best practices in Independent Living, as well as current needs for training and technical assistance.

Paula McElwee is the Technical Assistance Coordinator for the IL-NET at Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU). In addition to providing individualized technical assistance, Paula moderates training calls monthly for new CIL Executive Directors and Program Managers and for SILCs. Her blog,, is a repository of technical assistance questions and answers from CILs and SILCs. Paula was the first Director of Link, Inc. in Kansas (one of the first states funded through the Rehabilitation Act) beginning in 1979. She worked in the disability field in Kansas for 25 years, and was appointed by two governors to serve three terms on the Statewide Independent Living Council of Kansas before moving to California in 2000.  She previously served on the board of Resources for Independence of the Central Valley and served as interim executive director for four CILs in California, assisting the boards to transition to their next executive director. Paula has provided training, facilitation and consultation with state associations, SILCs, and numerous centers throughout the country.

Sarah Martinez, MA, CRC, has served as the Executive Director of Access 2 Independence of the Eastern Iowa Corridor, Inc. in Iowa City, Iowa since 2019. Prior to her work in IL, she was a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for Iowa Rehabilitation Services with a focus in youth pre-employment transition services. Sarah is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor with a Masters degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Iowa and Bachelors degree in Human Services from Purdue University. She serves on the Board of Directors for Heritage Area Agency for Aging in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and is the SILC Representative on the Iowa State Rehabilitation Council. 

Jeremy Morris is the Executive Director at Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council. Before joining the SILC in 2017, Jeremy had spent almost 10 years working in Independent Living, previously serving as the Executive Director of the Access Center in Dayton, Ohio and Finance Coordinator at the Western Reserve ILC in Warren, Ohio. His background in Centers for Independent Living includes direct services, advocacy and community partnerships, and operations management. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Richard Petty, MBA, is Director of the IL-NET Training and Technical Assistance Center at ILRU, Director of the National Center for Aging and Disability (NCAD) at TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research), and Co-Director of ILRU at TIRR. Petty has served as the Executive Director of the National Resource Center for Participant‑Directed Services and as Research Professor in the School of Social Work at Boston College. Petty serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). He has directed technical assistance programs at ILRU beginning in 1998. From 1988 through 1997 he served as Executive Director of Mainstream, an advocacy‑oriented center for independent living in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was a founding member of the Arkansas Statewide Independent Living Council and served as a lobbyist and advocate working to advance consumer‑controlled community services for persons with disabilities. Petty holds an MBA degree from the C. T. Bauer School of Business at the University of Houston.

Marcie Roth is Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for the World Institute on Disability.  WID is an internationally recognized public policy center organized by and for people with disabilities, dedicated to the promotion of independence and full inclusion in society of people with disabilities. Active in the Independent Living movement since 1982, Marcie has served in senior and executive leadership roles for national and global disability advocacy and public policy organizations since 1995, establishing, supporting and leading coalitions committed to operationalizing disability inclusion as an intersectional imperative for global social justice. Marcie was appointed by President Obama to the U.S Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency from 2009 to 2017, where she served as Senior Advisor to the Administrator; establishing and directing the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination. At FEMA, and subsequently, in launching the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, she led national and global transformation towards disability inclusive emergency management and disaster risk reduction as critical elements for expanding global climate adaptation and disaster resilience.

Corinna Stiles, PhD, JD, is the Director of the Office of Independent Living at the Administration for Community Living at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Stiles has held professional positions in the disability community since graduating law school in 2000. She started as Advocacy Director at the Idaho Protection and Advocacy Agency, moved to the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration in 2012 as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist. Dr. Stiles is currently the Director of the Office of Independent Living in the Administration on Disabilities. Her most recent accomplishments include attaining her PhD in May 2018 from the University of Idaho after successfully defending her dissertation Second Life: Virtual World Case Studies Exploring Self-Determination of Adults with Developmental Disability.

Yomi Wrong is former Executive Director of the Center for Independent Living, founded in Berkeley, CA. She currently works as an ADA compliance manager for a large healthcare system in Northern California. She is actively engaged in COVID-19 emergency response at work and on the grass-roots level as a collaborator and adviser to disability justice organizers. 

The IL-NET is a national training and technical assistance center for centers for independent living and statewide independent living councils. The IL-NET is operated by Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU). ILRU arranges some training activities through the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), for peer-to-peer mentoring and youth mentoring program support through the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), and for online courses and document development through Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities.

The IL-NET is supported by grant numbers 90ILTA0001 and 90ISTA0001 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.


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