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

IL-NET Presents… A National Webinar & Teleconference: Hospital to Home – A Collaborative Between Community Partners

Part I: June 10, 2020; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Part II: June 17, 2020; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Eastern

Register online

The Hospital to Home (H2H) program is one example of how a Center for Independent Living (CIL) identified an existing program with the potential to be a service the health care industry would be interested in funding. The Independence Center (The IC) and UCHealth Memorial Hospital collaborated to facilitate successful transitions to home for patients with a complex or difficult discharge. Through H2H, The IC provides service assessment, coordination, and a network of local community-based organizations to provide support services that address social determinants of health for patients discharging from the hospital, so they can successfully thrive at home. Part I of this two-part training will start with the concept and vision of the H2H program; Part II will finish with the steps to set up a hospital to home program in your area.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about this exciting, replicable program. Sign up today!

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NCIL Annual Conference Update

We would like to share a brief update on NCIL’s Annual Conference on Independent Living planning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. NCIL’s Annual Conference Subcommittee and staff have been hard at work gathering information and resources according to our conference contingency plan. With our research and analysis nearly complete, NCIL’s Governing Board is planning to meet very soon to make key decisions about the format and timing of this year’s conference. We plan to make a more significant announcement very soon. We hope you find this update helpful and we welcome your questions anytime!

NCIL remains fully committed to an event that is safe and accessible to all. 

Conference Logo: Evolution of our Revolution - 2020 Annual Conference on Independent Living. Graphic features a speech bubble and heart icon.

COVID-19 CIL Needs Assessment Survey

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many community-based organizations are focused on addressing the needs of their communities. As many Centers for Independent Living (CILs) continue to serve consumers, we understand that people with disabilities and the CIL staff that serve them are more vulnerable to the disease itself, and to the social impacts, economic impacts, and disruptions caused by government action and / or inaction. The Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL) has partnered with the IL-NET National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Independent Living at ILRU and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) to assess the impact of local, state, and federal policy actions on CILs in real-time and to bring evidence of these impacts to advocates and policymakers.

Please complete this brief survey (approximately 5-10 minutes) with as much detail as possible. We will organize your responses and identify common themes. We intend to place the raw data and a summary report on the CHRIL website,, and will get the information out to the disability community.

Take the survey at

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Deadline for NCIL Youth Scholarship Applications Extended!

Youth Scholarship Deadline Extension Clarification

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are still exploring all options for our Annual Conference this July. We have been working very hard to gather all of the best information and resources to find the best path forward for this event. With our analysis nearly complete, NCIL’s Governing Board will be meeting very soon to make key decisions about this summer’s Annual Conference on Independent Living.

No matter what, we will still be offering youth scholarships to ensure that the next generation of our movement can enjoy the conference in whatever format it’s presented in. Right now, you can still apply for a youth scholarship under the existing criteria (local, regional, and national scholarships). If you’d like to apply for a youth scholarship, please fill out the online application by May 15, 2020.

When we have more information as to what the conference format will look like, we may reassess the youth scholarship structure. Regardless, we will communicate any changes as soon as we can.

If you have any questions about the youth scholarship process, or if you’d like to donate to the youth scholarship fund, please email Cara Liebowitz, NCIL’s Development Coordinator, at

Conference Logo: Evolution of our Revolution - 2020 Annual Conference on Independent Living. Graphic features a speech bubble and heart icon.

IL-NET Presents… A National Webinar & Teleconference: Statewide and Systemic Responses to COVID-19 and Other Emergencies – A Q&A Session for CILs and SILCs

Tuesday, May 5, 2020; 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern

Register online

The IL-NET National Training & Technical Assistance Center is offering a new panel presentation in our series on maintaining strong Center for Independent Living (CIL) and Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 5, our panelists will share information and resources on developing systemic and statewide responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies. Much of the impact of COVID-19 is unique and new, but there is a lot of advocacy, coalition work, and emergency preparedness work that we can pull from and also develop for the future. Join us for this Q&A webinar where our panelists will share their experience and expertise with this kind of work.

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

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Free Webinar: The 2020 Census Disability Count Continues

Tuesday, May 5, 2020; 2:00 p.m. Eastern

The 2020 Census deadlines have been extended due to COVID-19. What does this mean for the disability rights community? In this free webinar, speakers from the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), The Arc of the United States, and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) will discuss:

  • The importance of the census and how it will impact the disability community
  • Changing deadlines and other adjustments made due to COVID-19
  • Ways you can engage with the census and outreach about the census in the months ahead.

At the end of the webinar, participants will fill out a menu of ways their organization will engage in the census, including how webinar participants can share the messages of #BeCounted, #DisabilityCounts2020, and others.

Read more about this free webinar and register online.

Action Alert: Tell Congress to Include People with Disabilities in Their COVID-19 Response!

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act was signed into law on April 24, 2020. This emergency legislation provides $484 billion in financial relief. A majority of that funding – over $300 million – will go into the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which will give loans to small business owners to stay in business and retain their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also adds funding for hospitals and other healthcare providers, COVID-19 testing, and the Small Business Administration’s disaster relief fund (and expands who is eligible for these funds). These relief efforts are all important and needed, and we are glad to see this package pass Congress.

Congress is already working on their next big COVID-19 relief package. And while each of the four Congressional COVID-19 packages so far has contained important pieces, we have yet to see a package that meaningfully takes disabled people’s needs into account.

Disabled people are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are at risk of severe symptoms and complications if exposed to the virus. We are facing significantly increased barriers and discrimination that are threatening our health, our safety, and our lives. It is simply unacceptable to leave us out of the COVID-19 response.

Take Action!

Congress is currently working on the next big COVID-19 relief package. Congress needs to hear from their constituents – again – about the importance of including people with disabilities in their COVID-19 response, and the key priorities that must be included.

Since many members and staffers aren’t in their offices to take calls right now, we recommend using email and social media. Please contact your Members of Congress today and tell them what you want to see in the next package!

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IL-NET Presents… A National Webinar & Teleconference: Technology Options During the COVID-19 Pandemic – A Q&A Session for CILs and SILCs

NEW DATE: April 30, 2020; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern

This training has been postponed until April 30. You do not need to re-register if you’ve already signed up for the webinar. Registration will remain open until 12:00 Noon Eastern / 11:00 a.m. Central on the new date of the webinar, April 30, 2020.

Register online

The IL-NET National Training & Technical Assistance Center is offering a new panel presentation in our series on maintaining strong Center for Independent Living (CIL) and Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 21, our panelists will share technology options that CILs and SILCs can use to work remotely, connect with consumers, and maintain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll discuss technology you might consider using, factors to consider when selecting and using technology, and the accessibility information gathered on various technology platforms.

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

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A Win for Many SSI Recipients: Automatic Economic Impact Payments!

Last week we sent an alert about the Economic Impact Payments in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We noted that for many people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Compensation or Veterans Pension, there was not a clear or easy process to receive economic impact payments. Commissioner Saul’s previous statement clarified that the Social Security Administration (SSA) was working with the Treasury Department to address questions regarding SSI recipients and other people who are not required to file taxes but do not receive SSA-1099s.

Yesterday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Treasury Department, and SSA announced that SSI recipients will automatically receive their payments. Payments will be received by the same method they usually receive their SSI benefits, and they should be received by early May. This is a big victory that will ensure millions of people can access much-needed payments to help during this crisis.

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Sign-On Opportunity for Organizations Regarding Medical Rationing

Disability, aging, and patient advocacy groups are calling for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue further guidance to ensure that plans to ration scarce health care resources during the COVID-19 pandemic comply with federal nondiscrimination laws. As you know from our previous alert, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released a bulletin (PDF) late last month to ensure that during this emergency, covered entities follow civil rights laws. However, additional guidance is still needed.

Too many existing plans by hospitals and states discriminate based on disability and age, devaluing the lives of people with disabilities, patients with pre-existing conditions, and older adults.

This letter is led by the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Center for Public Representation, the Disability Rights Education and Defense fund and the Partnership for Improved Patient Care. Read the letter (Word).

How to Sign on

If you would like to join this letter and call for additional guidance to prevent discrimination and save lives, please complete the sign on formThe deadline for signature is Wednesday, April 15, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. This letter is open to national, state, and local groups.

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