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Category: Advocacy

DIA Co-Sponsors Needed!

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

From NCIL and edited for WV voters:

We need to immediately secure members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee as co-sponsors on the Disability Integration Act – DIA (H.R. 555) in order to achieve movement on this bill in the 116th Congress.

Rep. McKinley sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, so please reach out to them right away. Tell them, “Please co-sponsor DIA (H.R. 555) today!” Then ask your family, friends, co-workers, and other community members to call and email as well.

This is the committee that will work the DIA in the House. They are in charge of the first part of the process of eventually bringing this bill to a full vote in the House of Representatives.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has 55 members: 31 Democrats (we need 19 more) and 24 Republicans (we need 23 more).

Contacting Your Legislators
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for Representative McKinley’s office or contact your Representative’s office directly at (202) 225-4172.

Once connected, ask to speak with a staff member who handles civil rights. Make sure you give them your name and identify that you are a constituent. Tell the staff member, “Please tell Representative McKinley that I want them to co-sponsor the Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555) today!”

You can tell your story and use the talking points provided. Tell them to contact Amy Bos in Representative Jim Sensenbrenner’s office at 202-225-5101 or amy.bos@mail.house.gov to sign on as a co-sponsor today! This may take multiple calls and emails.

You can also call, email, and post to social media. Hashtags: #DIA#DIAToday #DisabilityFreedom.

NWVCIL at Disability Advocacy Day

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

NWVCIL took Charleston by storm to advocate for inclusivity and barrier removal.

Posted by NWVCIL on Thursday, February 7, 2019

NWVCIL took Charleston by storm to advocate for inclusivity and barrier removal. Check out our Facebook page for pictures!

Ed Roberts’ Day

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

Remembering a pioneer of disability rights on Ed Roberts’ Day.

Ed Roberts (1939-1995) was an American activist and a pioneering leader in the disability rights movement. He was the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of Berkeley, California. In 1976, newly elected Governor Jerry Brown appointed Roberts Director of the California Department of Vocational Rehabilitation — the same agency that had once labelled him too severely disabled to work. Later, he helped found the World Institute on Disability. The following is a compilation of several of Roberts’ most famous speeches. As you read, take notes on Roberts’ tone, use of humor, and central ideas.

I contracted polio when I was fourteen. I had a serious fever, and within 24 hours, I was paralyzed and in an iron lung.1 Within earshot, my mother asked the doctor whether I would live or die.“You should hope he dies, because if he lives, he’ll be no more than a vegetable for the rest of his life. How would you like to live in an iron lung 24 hours a day?” So I decided to be an artichoke… a little prickly on the outside but with a big heart. You know, the vegetables of the world are uniting, and we’re not going away!

The transition was hard. I was on oxygen for a while. I had terrible acne and nobody could understand why it was so bad; when they stopped the oxygen my acne went away. I was so young… I had to deal with heavy-duty issues at a young age. I remember one night, it was a war going on in my body. I was making all kinds of noises, guns, explosions, planes, tanks… a nurse came in and asked me what was wrong. “It’s a war,” I told her. I was fighting for my own life. At that time, portable ventilators had not been invented.Everyone made the outlook bleak.

I decided that I wanted to die. I was fourteen years old. Now, it’s very hard to kill yourself in a hospital with everything set up to save your life. But the mind is a powerful thing. I stopped eating.They started to force feed me. It was really demeaning. I dropped to 54 pounds.

My last special duty nurse left, and the next day I decided I wanted to live. You see, that was a big turning point. Up until then, these nurses were available and doing things for me around the clock — I didn’t have to make any decisions for myself because they were always there. When they all finally left, that’s when I realized that I could have a life, despite what everyone was saying. I could make choices, and that is freedom. I started to eat again.

To read more, please visit CommonLit.org

IMPROVE Act

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

Reminder: IMPROVE Act Passed the House – Now Call Your Senators!

The House of Representatives has passed the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217) with a vote of 400-11. Now the bill moves to the Senate where a vote is expected as early as this week!
Call your Senators today and tell them to vote YES on the IMPROVE Act! It is critical they hear that extending Money Follows the Person (MFP) by passing this bill is a priority to their constituents! All Senators can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).

About the IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217): MFP has helped free over 88,000 people from institutions, and its 3-month renewal is a key provision in the IMPROVE Act. In addition, H.R. 7217 also includes an extension of protections for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) recipients against spousal impoverishment, a permanent exemption from competitive bidding for CRT manual wheelchairs, and an 18-month suspension in Medicare’s application of competitive bidding rates to CRT manual wheelchair accessories.

Olmstead Community Forum

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

From the State Olmstead Office:

The West Virginia Olmstead Office will be holding a series of community forums around the state to:

1) Share information about the Olmstead decision and West Virginia’s Olmstead Plan, and;

2) solicit stakeholder input and feedback for updating the goals, objectives and action steps of West Virginia’s Olmstead Plan.

The forums have been scheduled and they are:

September 25, 2:00 and 5:00 – Huntington – Mountain State Center for Independent Living Office

October 1, 2:00 and 5:00 – Beckley – Mountain State Center for Independent Living Office

October 16, 2:00 and 6:00 – Parkersburg – Judge Black Annex

October 24, 2:00 and 6:00 – Fairmont – Colasessano’s Restaurant

Further information can be found on the appropriate community announcement flyer.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


Vanessa K. VanGilder, Olmstead Coordinator
Olmstead Office, Office of the Inspector General
State Capitol Complex
Building 6, Room 817-B
Charleston, WV 25305

Phone: 304 558-3287
Toll Free: 866 761-4628
Fax: 304 558-1992