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

NCIL, APRIL, and the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service Reach Historic Memorandum of Understanding

Nothing About Us Without Us 2012 signIn a cooperative effort spanning nearly two years and involving many dedicated contributors, the Department of Veteran Affairs’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service (VR&E), the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), have successfully reached agreement on a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning how the member organizations might work together with VR&E counselors to provide Independent Living services that address Veterans’ needs.

Building vital relationships between Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and the VA is essential, and this document goes a long way toward opening doors to available services and opportunities that may not have been achievable in the past.

Read the MOU and supplemental documents (in PDF or as a Word document). See page 2 for specific examples of areas for possible collaboration. 

CILs that are interested in working with veterans to provide or enhance the IL services they already offer to veterans will need to determine how they can be involved. They will need to decide which services they can provide and begin the process by contacting their local VR&E office to begin discussions on how they can work together. The VR&E Regional Offices listing is included in the supplemental materials in the link above, so you may determine which office you can contact.

Also included in the supplemental materials is the document “How Centers for Independent Living (CILs) Can Assist VR&E and Veterans,” which was developed to provide examples of possible Independent Living Services. This flyer will be sent to VR&E counselors across the country and provides information about the array of services available from a CIL.

VR&E utilizes National contractors to contract for services to the regional VR&E offices.  If a CIL is interested in learning about possible contract opportunities, they may wish to contact the national contractor in their area. A list of the VetSuccess Contractors is also included at the link above.