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

Your Input Needed: Take the NCIL Stakeholder Survey by June 4!

Dear IL Friends and Colleagues,

Thank you for the support and patience you have shown over the past several months as NCIL has been going through times of transition. Many of you have reached out to confirm that NCIL matters to you and that you believe it is as relevant as it ever was. Some of you have said it’s no longer the organization for you or the organization you represent.

Non-profit organizations are like people in many ways. We all go through lifecycles. That’s why the board of NCIL decided to undertake a Lifecycles Capacity Assessment for the organization. With the help of Karcsay Consulting Group, we are taking a look at everything that NCIL does and stands for. Our consultant has begun conducting interviews with diverse members, former members, non-members, and other stakeholders, board, and staff. In addition, board members were asked to complete a Lifecycles Capacity Assessment to get their view of NCIL’s current level of maturity.  

We also want to hear from you, our members, partners, and stakeholders. We would appreciate your taking a few minutes to complete a short survey that will give us feedback about what’s important to you about NCIL. Please complete the survey by June 4, 2022.

The Lifecycles Capacity Assessment looks at:

  • History, Values, and Defining Moments
  • Market and External Environment
  • Mission and Programs/Services
  • Management and Staff Structure
  • Financial Health
  • Facilities
  • Systems, processes, and technology
  • Diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion

One way of thinking about the Lifecycles Capacity Model is to imagine a table with a top and four legs. Sitting on the table top is a flower pot that represents the Mission. The table top is the programs, services, and products that the organization offers. Those programs are supported by the four legs of Management, Governance, Business Model, and Administrative Systems. In the case of a membership organization such as NCIL, “programs” would include:

  • policy work and advocacy for CILs, SILCs and individuals with disabilities;
  • training and technical assistance through the IL-NET and other projects;
  • barrier removal grants to CILs;
  • an annual conference and opportunities for networking and peer support;
  • legislative briefings and organized rallies and marches to Capitol Hill;
  • committee membership that allows direct action on disability issues; and
  • information, toolkits, and other resources.

The pandemic, of course, has limited some of the activities over the past two years, but NCIL remains a strong voice in D.C. with solid productive relationships with Congress, the White House, and government agencies. NCIL collaborates with many civil rights, disability rights, and human rights organizations on the issues that matter to people with disabilities.

The Independent Living community is strong and resilient. Our greatest resource has always been ourselves – each and every one of us. As a truly grassroots membership-driven organization, NCIL seeks to clarify our understanding of our shared vision and purpose. We will embrace both our strengths and weaknesses as opportunity, remembering always that Independent Living is a movement for us and by us. Please join us on this journey by completing the stakeholder survey.

In an IL association such as NCIL, positions we take or activities we engage in don’t just affect the dues-paying members. They affect all CILs, all SILCs, and untold numbers of people with disabilities. NCIL has to be thoughtful and sensitive in its decision making. That’s why NCIL’s Committees and Subcommittees are so important. Input from a wide diversity of people with expertise in the topics is essential.

In the coming months, we will complete the Lifecycles Capacity Assessment, then identify the actions we can take to build organizational capacity and maturity. We then will conduct the Strategic Planning needed to accomplish those actions.

We encourage you to stay involved, renew your membership or your organization’s membership if you haven’t already done so, and give your valuable input to the assessment process. Your insights and ideas about NCIL’s strengths and weaknesses matter.

The survey is also available in Word and plain text. Please contact [email protected] if you have questions or need assistance.

In solidarity,

Darrell Lynn Jones

Interim Executive Director

National Council on Independent Living


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