Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Action Alert: Increase Funding for Independent Living Centers

ACTION ALERT in bold white letters on burgundy background
Urge Governor Cuomo to include a crucial funding increase of only $5 million for Independent Living Centers in his 30-day budget amendments!

The Independent Living Centers (ILCs) have been dreadfully underfunded for over a decade. With the additional demand for services, and the increased cost to provide them, centers are struggling. The Board of Regents have included a request that Independent Living Centers receive a much needed $5 million increase in this year's budget. Despite this strong support, Governor Cuomo did not include an increase to Independent Living in his proposed 2017-18 Executive Budget proposal.

But it's not too late! Governor Cuomo can still include this increase in his 30-day budget amendments. Act today to urge Governor Cuomo to include a funding increase of only $5 million for ILCs in his 30-day budget amendments!

ACTION: Email Governor Cuomo and urge him to include a funding increase of only $5 million to Independent Living Centers across New York State in his 30-day budget amendments!

Click on the "Take Action!" link below for a template.  Feel free to personalize the message to include examples of the impact the lack of ILC funding has had on you as an individual and/or your local ILC.

This Action Alert comes through the New York Association on Independent Living.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ed Roberts Day

Screen shot of the Google home page, featuring cartoon picture of Ed Roberts, a bearded man in an electric wheelchair and using a breathing machine.

January 23 is Ed Robert's Day, the birthday of the founder of the Independent Living Center movement, Ed Roberts. He would have been 78 today. In honor of this, Google's home page "doodle" features Ed Roberts,  and includes a link to a terrific article by the American Association of People with Disabilities on the history of the disability rights movement. Click the link to read the article. It includes some great stories and amazing historical photos. Not a lot of people know this rich, fascinating history, so do share with your family and friends!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Action Alert: Tell Congress to Protect the Rights of PWD when Repealing the ACA!

Congress is on the fast track to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  There are many, many advocates fighting to preserve the insurance provisions of the ACA - known as ObamaCare, but virtually no one is talking about the disability-specific aspects of the law.  Here are four important provisions in the ACA that are critical for the Disability Community.

1. The ACA prohibited discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions by insurance companies.

2. The ACA extended Money Follows the Person, a Republican New Freedom initiative that is liberating thousands of disabled people from institutions, but that program is ending because of Congressional inaction.

3. The ACA established the Community First Choice Option a Medicaid option that incentivizes states to FREE OUR PEOPLE from nursing facilities and institutions.

4. The ACA authorized accessibility standards for Diagnostic Medical Equipment so people with disabilities could get access to preventative healthcare screenings and appropriate diagnostic testing.

Congress is acting swiftly to repeal the ACA, but most members of Congress have no idea that these provisions were even included in the ACA!  We cannot rely on other groups to defend our interests and issues.  The Disability Community - itself - needs to act now!


1. Do this electronic action alert to tell Congress to preserve these disability-specific provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

2. PROMOTE and SHARE this link to get as many other people as possible to TAKE ACTION on this issue!

3. Sign on your ORGANIZATION to this letter urging Congress to save these disability-specific provisions in the ACA.

4. Send your OWN letter to Congressional Leadership and the people that represent you in Congress.  Use the text from the sign on letter to make this easy and send us a copy at


Whether you like him or not, President-elect Trump demonstrated the power of Twitter.  US policy is now being made in 140 characters or less.  We should leverage our special media voice and our social media networks to get the word out.  Although Congressional leadership doesn't follow Twitter closely and respond, the President-elect does.  If we can't get through to Congress, we should ask @realDonaldTrump to help us make the case.

#ACA included Money Follows the Person- Republican initiative giving #NewFreedom to #disabled. @realDonaldTrump #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote

#ACA included Community First Choice- giving #Liberty to #disabled. @realDonaldTrump #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote

#Liberty of #Disabled shouldn't be culture war collateral damage. @realDonaldTrump help get Congress to #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote

#ACA gave #Disabled women access to mammography. @realDonaldTrump help get Congress to #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote

#ACA stops discrimination against #disabled by insurance. @realDonaldTrump help get Congress to #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote

.@realDonaldTrump #ACA's Community First Choice Option let Disabled people Stay in our homes! #ReadB4Repeal #CripThgbeVote

.@realDonaldTrump #ACA included the #GOP created Money Follows the Person Initiative giving Disabled ppl Freedom. #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote


We know it is easier when you have a toolkit to work with.  We have crafted a press release you can use and are finalizing some talking points to reference when the press calls you.  We will add additional tools as this campaign continues.  Here is the toolkit link:

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Action Alert: Act Now to Protect Healthcare & Medicaid!

The Senate is planning to pass a budget that will begin the process of repealing the ACA as soon as JANUARY 11. This is the first step in taking health care away before having a plan to replace it.

There is also talk about proposed changes to the Medicaid program to have it funded through block grants or per capita caps. Read below to learn more about how each of these possibilities would be detrimental to the disability community should they come to fruition and be sure to follow our Call To Action!
The Affordable Care Act

There have been attempts to repeal the ACA in the past, but President Obama has made it clear that he would veto any repeal bills. President-Elect Trump has expressed his support for repealing the ACA. There are key provisions within the Affordable Care Act that support the health and well-being of people with disabilities. 

To name a few:

- Health insurers cannot deny someone health insurance on the basis of a pre-existing condition, including a disability or chronic condition;

- There are no arbitrary financial limits to how much healthcare an individual can receive in a year or in their lifetime;

- More people with disabilities receive supports to live in the community of their choice rather than in an institution;

- 20 million adults and children have health insurance through Medicaid expansion and health insurance subsidies;

- The Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program that helps people with disabilities transition from institutions to the community was reauthorized and expanded;

- The Community First Choice option (CFCO) was established, which increased the Federal Matching Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for states who provide new or expanded home and community based services (HCBS);

- The U.S. Access Board was authorized to develop accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment (MDE);

- Millions of adults have been able to stay on their parent's health insurance plan until age 26; and

- Health insurers provide more people with the services they need - including mental health services and rehabilitation services and devices.

There are countless other provisions in the ACA that are important to people with disabilities. The ACA has unquestionably improved access to care for people with disabilities and chronic conditions to help them live healthy, independent, and fulfilling lives. Learn more about how people with disabilities benefit from the Affordable Care Act (source: Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities).

Call To Action!

Call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator's and/or Representative's office. You can find your Senators and Representative here. Tell your Members of Congress:

- Vote NO on the Budget package that leads to eliminating the Affordable Care Act.

- People with disabilities need access to comprehensive and affordable health care.

- Congress must include the disability community in any discussion about repeal and replace to ensure that any changes meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Tweet your Senators and Representative to tell them how important the ACA and Medicaid are to you. Sample tweets you can copy and paste, and modify if you like:

     Vote NO on Senate budget. People w #disabilities rely on #ACA for comprehensive health care

     Affordable Care Act = affordable comprehensive care for people w/#disabilities. Don't repeal it!

     11 million at risk of losing Medicaid if #ACA repealed

Click the link below to log in and send your message:

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year, and a Look Back at December

Festive red, 3 dimensional rendering of Happy New Year with red confetti
Happy New Year!

Before we launch fully into January, 2017, here’s a look back at December 2016, through the “tweets” at NCCI’s Twitter account.

Scroll down to see them all. You can click on any of the links you see here to read the linked articles. As you can see, some of the tweets are directly from NCCI, while others are “retweets” of things other people have tweeted. That’s how Twitter works. It’s a lively and efficient social media platform, and a pretty good way of keeping up to date on what’s happening at NCCI and in the wider disability community.