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

Statement from NCIL’s Board of Directors

The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) has unanimously accepted Bruce Darling’s resignation. We unequivocally denounce the statements articulated by Mr. Darling yesterday. We want to clarify that his statements are not NCIL talking points, and that his assertion that he was speaking in the capacity of NCIL President was in violation of NCIL’s policies.

Sarah Launderville, NCIL Vice President, effective immediately, will assume the powers and functions of President for the remainder of the term until the Wednesday, July 24 Annual Council Meeting, where the position will be up for election.

NCIL acknowledges that the treatment of border detainees is reprehensible. We also recognize that people with disabilities are amongst the individuals being detained in the border camps for asylum-seeking and undocumented immigrants to the U.S.

Additionally, reports concerning the treatment of detainees within these camps clearly indicates that the conditions are resulting in detainees acquiring trauma-related disabilities. Finally, NCIL recognizes that the personal and civil rights of the disability community in the U.S. are currently being threatened within the border camps and, therefore, condemns any rhetoric that attempts to pit the disability community against those who are seeking asylum in the U.S.

The message from the dais at NCIL is this: we stand in solidarity with detainees, the Latinx community, those who immigrate to this country for whatever reason, and all marginalized people.

Furthermore, NCIL pledges to critically examine its efficacy in representing multiply marginalized members of the disability community and making the changes needed to ensure that the Independent Living Movement is truly inclusive of all. And, while we have taken steps to address the inequality multiply marginalized people with disabilities face, we acknowledge that there is much more work to do. To that end, the NCIL Board of Directors is hosting a listening session during Day One of the 2019 Annual Conference on Independent Living. It is the first step in a long-term commitment to bridging the gaps within our community.

If recent events have caused you to reconsider your attendance to next week’s Conference, please know that NCIL cannot do the work necessary to move forward without you. This conversation is important and necessary; NCIL leadership apologizes for not facilitating it sooner.

Additionally, we will work to develop a process to gather feedback in a more anonymous capacity so that members can feel safer in articulating their questions, comments, and / or concerns.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent Living


  1. Beautiful and swift response.