This years NCIL Annual Conference was exciting and eventful as usual. We had thousands of advocates and their families in DC. We had a wonderful Pre-conference, amazing opening plenary with two major announcements, two great Legislative and Advocacy sessions and Regional caucuses for Hill visits, Diversity Mixer, March and Rally, Hill visits, Awards luncheon, over 20 educational and informative panels, two amazing movie screenings, Legislative and Advocacy report out of Hill visits, a jammin’ party and celebration of the 20thAnniversary of the ADA and all of this was bookend by two Board meetings – oh yeah and ADAPT and NCIL members went to the Capitol and shut down a Hill briefing being held by an organization who wants to keep people with disabilities in perpetual poverty by continuing the horrible use of 14c Sub-minimum wage and end a federal mandate to create Competitive Integrated Employment practices throughout the country.
WOW – that was a lot in a summary. To see more about the wonderful panel discussions and some of the other events for this conference please go to the NCIL Conference website. Also see the action by going on social media and seeing the posts under #NCIL2018.
This year we also had the honor to have the fabulous Laura Flanders Showcome and film at the Conference for the show. THANK YOU to ALL of our wonderful donors and sponsors for making this possible! You all rock! THANK YOU to the amazing Laura Flanders and her PHENOMENAL team! It was an honor to meet, work and fellowship with all of you. Laura – we were sisters the second we met and I thank the spirits for every moment! To find out more about the show go here and I will post this specific show on NCIL Conference when it is released – later this year – STAY TUNED!
NCIL 2018 Conference highlights:
Pre-Conference was two sessions one on Integrating Disability Into Emergency Management – A Blueprint to Saving Lives in the Community – thank you to Christy Dunaway, Todd Holloway, Vance Taylor, June Kailes and Marcie Roth – for their tireless, fearless and staunch work in this most imperative practice. For more information on their work- follow the work of the NCIL Emergency Mangagement TF – Cochaired by Todd Holloway and Christy Dunaway – who won a much deserved advocacy award – the Corey Rowley national advocacy award; as well as the amazing work of The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies. The other great group to follow is Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategiesrun by another advocacy award winner the fantastic Paul Timmons of South Carolina! Also read this amazing after action report: Getting It Wrong: Getting It Wrong: An Indictment with a Blueprint for Getting It Right on Disability Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities Before, During and After Disastersby Marcie Roth, June Isaacson Kailes and Melissa Marshall. It’s my honor to serve as a CoChair with Marcie Roth on the CCD Emergency Management Ad Hoc Committee.
The second panel was titled: Resistance through Direct Action – How IL and ADAPT work Together – panelists were Bruce Darling, Anita Cameron, Candie Dalton, Dawn Russell, Denise Figueroa, Lindsay Miller and Mike Oxford. This was a discussion on the after #SummerOFADAPT action and how the IL community have a renewed interest in organizing direct action. What was amazing is that three days later this is exactly what happened – #ADAPTandRESIST!
To learn more about ADAPT go here: https://www.ncil.org/
To learn more about NCIL go here: http://adapt.org/
The opening plenary speaker was the phenomenal Rebecca VallasVice President for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at Center for American Progress (CAP). Now I am bias because I consider Rebecca a sister and she is nothing but amazing. Her speech was on point, a genuine meaningful engaging and prolific discussion of the power of disabled people coming from her own experiences of comradery. Then she made an announcement about the newly launched Disability Justice Initiativeto be led by none other than the phenomenal Rebecca Cokley. This work is going to be amazing. STAY TUNED! So in awe of you both and this work!
March and Rally 2018
The rain started on Saturday, July 21, 2018 and it did not stop until Thursday, July 26th. But that did not stop the NCIL March and Rally as we step out onto the march route at 10:00 am sharp rain or shine! In their ponchos and other keep dry gear, umbrellas and with their posters filled with affirming slogans the march moved forward. We did our usual route down 9thStreet NW to Pennsylvania Ave NW made that turn took in the beautiful view of the Capitol and headed right there for the rally. We had our box lunches with a little bit of fellowship.
Then at 12:00pm Sharp we started the rally. This year we had 15 Congressional members come out to speak to NCIL members in the audience to get them prepared to go on their Hill visits. Then at 1:00 pm the rally ended with a thank you to the wonderful stage team, which I have managed for 8years now and all went off to both the House and Senate buildings to meet with their congressional members to tell them about our issues of concern. THANK YOU to that wonderful team (see pictures on my Twitter and IG handles)! You all are FABULOUS. To see the issues discussed this week as NCIL members attend meetings on the Hill all week please go to the NCIL 2018 Summer Legislative and Advocacy Priorities Guide.
Direct Action at NCIL Conference – 7thyear in a row
Since 2012 NCIL Conference we have gone out into DC and had a Direct Action – that year it was to tell the Hotel Association to stop trying to get out of implementation of the pool lift regulation coming out of Department of Justice. They had delayed it already for 18 years and six months as it was to come out in January 2012 and the Obama Administration decided to hold it off to hear from the Hotel industry. It just so happened that the Hotel Association’s DC offices were one block away from the conference hotel and I think every attendee and panelists came out to join us!
This year ADAPT and NCIL went up to the Capitol to “Demand ACCSES turn its briefing over to ADAPT and NCIL”.
This is about the definition of Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE). The providers groups who have these 14c Certificates are making millions of dollars and any implementation of CIE will decrease their company’s bottom line. CIE will create a fair and equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities.
They had the nerve to come to DC and try to hold a briefing the week of NCIL Conference and the 28thAnniversary of the ADA with congress and tell them that they speak for people with disabilities. ADAPT and NCIL went and said “No you don’t” not only these groups but over 100 disability civil rights groups agree with us! They began a shouting match with our activists and Capitol police shut down the briefing so they did not get to tell Congress a thing! WE SHUT IT DOWN!
ACCSES and a few other groups have a bill in the House to change the definition of Competitive Integrated Employment even though they were at the table during all of the negotiation for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). They also signed a letter to the Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in March of 2018stating their support of full implementation of CIE as written in WIOA.
The House bill is Workplace Choice and Flexibility for Individuals with Disabilities Act (H.R.5658) to see information on the bill and read it go here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr5658
This is not over STAY TUNED!
Celebration – Work Hard – Play Harder
In these treacherous times we are living in with the duplicitous Administration of #45 it seems there is not a day that we are not being reactive, fiercely fighting for our lives and liberty and preparing for the next day by infiltrating this demagogue. Yes that was a mouthful and I meant every word. My mom (R.I.P.) and daddy (yes I call him that) taught me at a young age – “Work Hard and Play Harder” They taught me that your work is a part of your life this was when I was in corporate America (I did 20years) because they try to take over your life. My parents made sure I understood the importance of celebrating accomplishments, having friends, loving my family and having fun with all! Now that I work doing something I love the lines sometimes blend for I am not sure where my activist life and personal life start and end. I am quite comfortable with this because for me I am passionate about what I do – activism and policy work that changes lives.
So on July 25, 2018 after giving information for the policy asks at the Direct Action on the Hill – while my family of ADAPTers and NCIL: got arrested; presented awards to so many amazing advocates from across this nation; assisted with making sure panels were a success; attending the NCIL annual membership meeting and voting for new leadership – the grand ballroom was turned into a dance hall with full band, lights and the most amazing dancers in DC! We did it up YALL!
We had glow light bands, a photo booth full of props (see our picture – love me some them)FIERCE – food and libations. All I know is that at the end of the night my feet hurt and my heart was full of joy! THANK YOU NCIL family for a DAMN GOOD TIME! (See my pictures on my IG account and below)
The week ended with the amazing Legislative and Advocacy report out from the NCIL advocates! They had great meetings and we have some truly righteous advocates doing phenomenal work. They will go home and get ready for the many Town Halls that will be held this summer in preparation for the November elections. They will continue to contact their House and Senate members monthly to tell them “Don’t Touch My ADA!” (We Fight Every day! Don’t Touch the ADA!)
And other issues of concern!
Until next year! Enjoy the pictures and follow the action of NCIL members via social media #NCIL2018 or become an Individual member of NCIL – you do not have to be a person with a disability or belong to a CIL in your area – all you have to be is passionate about disability rights and being a part of a disability led grassroots organization! As an individual member you can join a subcommittee and participate in the advocacy of that issue area go here to find out how to join us: https://www.ncil.org/ncil-membership/
See my pictures from the week:
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Employment: 14c Subminimum Wage there is a lot of information on this:
– NDRN – 2011 did a report titled Segregated and Exploited – then in 2012 did a follow up titled Beyond Segregated and Exploited:http://www.ndrn.org/images/Documents/Resources/Publications/Reports/Beyond_Segregated_and_Exploited.pdf
- In WIOA – we worked to get a committee to address this issue and increase competitive integrated employment – here is the website for the committee:https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/WIOA.htm