the advocacy monitor

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

Rehabilitation Act Passes HELP Committee!

Today the Senate HELP Committee passed S. 1356 (a bill to reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and its contained Rehabilitation Act) out of committee, clearing the way for a full vote by the Senate. The overwhelming vote of 18-3 reflects the hard work done by NCIL advocates, who have much to be proud of on this momentous day.

This positive vote could not have happened without the efforts of NCIL members. Introduced during the NCIL Conference, S. 1356 was the highest priority of our organization, and our efforts in Washington, DC centered on strategies to get this legislation passed out of committee. Our members visited, called, and emailed senators on the HELP Committee to secure the victory that we have realized today. Despite the many obstacles and naysaying, our members persevered and demonstrated to the nation that NCIL is a force that cannot be stopped.

Now that this bill has been passed out of committee, the next step is a floor vote by the entire Senate, which is tentatively scheduled for September or October, after the August congressional recess. During this recess, Senators and Representatives will be in their home districts, with many of them holding town hall style events. We need our advocates to start scheduling time to make visits in their states, and make plans to attend these events, urging Congress to reauthorize WIA and the Rehabilitation Act with included language that strengthens America’s Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs).

Our fix is S. 1356!

Today we celebrate victory along with our members, and thank everyone who took the time to be an advocate. In the coming days, NCIL will be sending out more guidance to our members, and will introduce our new campaign to reauthorize the Rehabilitation Act.

If you or your organization are not yet a NCIL member, you can register online at:

Speak Your Mind