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Category: Disability

Why the Census Matters for People with Disabilities

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness


Key Takeaways

The decennial census is the constitutionally mandated count of all residents of the United States.

  • Census data help direct more than $800 billion a year in federal funding, including for key programs that support and protect the rights of people with disabilities.
  • The Census Bureau considers people with disabilities hard to count. However, the bureau has taken steps to make participation more accessible.
  • Stakeholders can help ensure a fair and accurate count of people with disabilities. Community organizations can, for example, play a vital role as trusted partners in conducting effective outreach.

For the full text, please visit or see the embedded PDF below.


NWVCIL Executive Director Job Opening

Posted in Disability, and Public Awareness

The Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living (NWVCIL) is an advocacy resource center for persons with disabilities and the communities in which they live, not a social service agency. What’s the difference? We don’t do for people; we do a lot with people. We want our consumer to be independent, not dependent on us for their independence. We do all that is possible to ensure that consumers have the skills and information they need to make informed choices and assist communities to better meet the needs of their citizens with disabilities. Located in Morgantown, WV, NWVCIL serves the city and the surrounding counties of Barbour, Braxton, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Taylor, Tucker and Upshur as a Center for Independent Living. NWVCIL is currently accepting applications for the Executive Director position to lead our team forward. Please review the position details and see the section labeled Application Instructions for more information. NWVCIL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Position:  Executive Director
Reports to:  Board of Directors
Classification:  Exempt
Responsible For: Managing NWVCIL’s services and including overseeing management, administrative tasks, finances, and public relations.

Essential functions: 

1. Ability to travel.
2. Ability to occasionally work long hours and/or weekends.
3. Ability to communicate effectively, expressively and in writing.
4. Ability to manage and supervise persons effectively. 


1. Managerial

  • Plans, organizes, directs, supervises and evaluates all Center activities.
  • Directs development of the annual service plan.
  • Organizes personnel resources in a structure which clearly and most effectively enables the Center to carry out its goals and objectives.
  • Oversees procedures for selection and hire of competent personnel.
  • Ensures the provision of programs for orientation, in-service training and professional development of staff.
  • Makes staff advancements or terminations as appropriate.
  • Periodically evaluates programs and personnel to determine necessary changes and takes corrective or reinforcing action to assure attainment of Center goals and objectives in the most cost-effective manner.
  • Meets regularly with Center staff to assess progress toward goals and objectives, identify needs, set priorities, and develop strategies.

2. Administrative

  • Regularly reports the financial and/or program status of the Center to the Board of Directors, appropriate funding sources, and other bodies as required.
  • Consults with the Board of Directors, staff and consumer groups throughout the state as appropriate on financial, program and policy planning.
  • Monitors the implementation of the Center’s strategic plan, reporting progress to the Board of Directors.  
  • Meets regularly with the Board of Directors to assess progress toward the Center’s goals and objectives, identify needs, set priorities, and develop strategies for service.
  • Completes administrative requirements and necessary documentation required by the Center.
  • Assures that proper personnel, financial and service records are maintained.
  • Assures the acquisition and dissemination of reference materials and other resources to enhance the effectiveness of Center staff and  operations.
  • Ensures that the Center complies with all funding reporting requirements.

3. Financial

  • Directs the development of the annual budget of NWVCIL.
  • Directs the development of new program initiatives to meet identified needs of the consumer population.
  • Negotiates contractual agreements with governmental contractors and other funding sources and subcontractors.
  • Directs the development of proposals for funding of specific projects, new programs and ongoing organizational priorities.
  • Monitors and controls the financial affairs of the organization.
  • Ability to fund raise/lead team responsible for fundraising.

4. Public Relations

  • Communicates the programs, policies and purpose of the Center to public constituencies, government bodies (executive, legislative, judicial) and staff in a way which will motivate them to support organizational operations, goals and objectives.
  • Promotes and maintains effective working relationships with government officials, public and private Center officials, and other such persons involved in direct or indirect service to citizens with disabilities.  
  • Assures an ongoing public information program through mass media, newsletters, pamphlets, audio visuals and personal contacts to apprise citizens of the services of the Center and the rights of citizens with disabilities.
  • Represents the NWVCIL to state and national disability & other advocacy groups.
  • Maintains active membership in professional organizations, consumer organizations, and/or inter-Center committees.
  • Serves as spokesperson for the NWVCIL through personal contact with media.


1. At least six years’ experience in the administration and management of a complex human service organization including personnel, management, fiscal management, and management of organizational development and planning  activities.

2. Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate both orally and in writing.

3. Demonstrated ability to analyze complex problems and develop creative solutions.

4. Demonstrated experience and ability to work effectively with a variety of organizations and individuals with diverse perspectives, the public, elected and  appointed officials, and consumers of service.

5. Demonstrated understanding of public policy issues and processes.

Desired Attributes:

1. Knowledge of mechanics of Centers for Independent Living

2. Degree in Public Administration/Nonprofit Management or related field.

3. Knowledge of disability resources, services and methodologies in Northern West Virginia, and throughout the country which are potentially available to persons with disabilities.

4. Demonstrated commitment and well-developed sensitivity to the rights of individuals with disabilities.

5. Demonstrated interpersonal skills, sensitivity to other people and ability to work with others on a cooperative basis.

6. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively expressively and in writing, in English.

7. Demonstrated experience and skill in public speaking and a representational presence.

8. Demonstrated commitment to civil rights of all persons.

9. Skills to effectively deal with and negotiate through confrontational situations and  stressful interactions.

Salary Range: 

Salary is commensurate with applicant’s experience, qualifications, and the organization’s budget.

Application Instructions:

Please submit your cover letter and resume by July 7th, 2019 via email to Please indicate “Executive Director Application” in the subject line of the email. You may also send your cover letter and resume via mail to:

Paulette Southerly
601 – 3 East Brockway Avenue
Suite A&B 
Morgantown, WV 26501

NWVCIL is an equal opportunity employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained staff.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.  In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, NWVCIL does not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or marital status in employment activities.  

NWVCIL is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.  To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact or Paulette Southerly at (304) 296-6091. 

“Different Voices and Common Experiences” accepting submissions

Posted in Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Different Voices and Common Experiences is an exhibit featuring artists who have been affected by mental health issues.  DVCE supports positive mental health awareness, community wellness, and inclusivity.

Completed application deadline is Friday, June 14th, 2019.

No late applications will be accepted.

Visual Artists:

Artists will be chosen on a first-come basis until the gallery space is full or deadline is met.  You must submit photographs of your art pieces (limit 3 per artist) with your completed application. One piece of artwork will be chosen as the “feature” to be used for the postcards, posters and the show program.

Performing Artists:

Performers (poets, musicians, etc.) are welcome to share their talent during the opening night reception (Friday, August 9th).  Performing artist applications will also be received on a first-come basis until the time available is full.  To request a slot, please contact Paulette Southerly.

Opening Night Reception:

There will be a free public reception on Friday, August 9th, 2019 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. Participating artists and the community are encouraged to attend to enjoy the visual and performance art with wonderful company.  Refreshments will be available. 

Set-Up and Take-Down:

Visual artists must deliver their work to the Mon Arts Center at 107 High Street in Morgantown on Monday, August 5th between 11:30 am – 7 pm. Artwork must arrive on time to be shown. All work must be picked up from the Mon Arts Center Tuesday, September 3rd between 11:30 am – 7 pm.  ARTISTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DELIVERY AND PICKUP OF THEIR PIECES.

Questions?  Call Paulette Southerly at 304.296.6091 or 1.844.212.3464 or email

Application can be downloaded here:

Instruction in Self-Advocacy (ISA) Program

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Group, Outreach, Public Awareness, and Training

Northern WV Center for Independent Living in partnership with The WV Division of Rehabilitation Services will be hosting an Instruction in Self-Advocacy (ISA) Program in the months of June-August of 2019. This program will be completed in four-day periods, from 9am-3pm and held for consumers in and around the areas of Monongalia County, Randolph County, and Gilmer County.

This ISA program will meet the Pre-Employment Transition Service of Instruction in Self Advocacy. Students who participate in these programs will gain the skills necessary to be confident and self-directed self-advocates. NWVCIL will provide high quality instruction in self-advocacy as well as experiential opportunities for students to practice self-advocacy.

Qualifying consumer participants may earn up to $15.00 per hour of participation. For more information please contact Christine Wilcox, Transition Advocate at NWVCIL (304)296-6091 or email

Follow the event on Facebook for more information.

World Autism Awareness Day

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

From the UN:

“On World Autism Awareness Day, we speak out against discrimination, celebrate the diversity of our global community and strengthen our commitment to the full inclusion and participation of people with autism. Supporting them to achieve their full potential is a vital part of our efforts to uphold the core promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind.”

Secretary-General António Guterres

2019 World Autism Awareness Day observance

“Assistive Technologies, Active Participation”

Tuesday, 2 April 2019, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room 1

Autism awareness has grown worldwide in recent years. For the United Nations, the rights of persons with disabilities, including persons with autism, as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), are an integral part of its mandate.

When world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, the international community reaffirmed its strong commitment to inclusive, accessible and sustainable development, and pledged that no one would be left behind. In this context, the participation of persons with autism as both agents and beneficiaries is essential for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For many people on the autism spectrum, access to affordable assistive technologies is a prerequisite to being able to exercise their basic human rights and participate fully in the life of their communities, and thereby contribute to the realization of the SDGs. Assistive technology can reduce or eliminate the barriers to their participation on an equal basis with others.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities acknowledges the instrumental role of assistive technologies in enabling persons with disabilities to exercise their rights and freedoms. It obliges States that are party to the Convention to promote availability and use of such technologies at an affordable cost, to facilitate access to them, and to undertake or promote research and development into new such technologies.

While technological advances are continuous, there are still major barriers to the use of assistive technologies, including high costs, lack of availability, lack of awareness of their potential, and a lack of training in their use. Available data indicates that, in several developing countries, more than 50% of the persons with disabilities who need assistive devices are not able to receive them.

In September 2018, the UN Secretary-General launched a new Strategy on New Technologies, which aims to define how the United Nations system will support the use of these technologies to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The Strategy is also intended to facilitate the alignment of these technologies with the values enshrined in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the norms and standards of International Law, including the CRPD and other human rights conventions. These values include equality and equity, inclusion and transparency. Design and use of new technologies, according to the Strategy, should be guided by a rights-based and ethical perspective.

In the context of the Secretary-General’s Strategy, the 2019 World Autism Awareness Day observance at UN Headquarters in New York will focus on leveraging the use of assistive technologies for persons with autism as a tool in removing the barriers to their full social, economic and political participation in society, and in promoting equality, equity and inclusion. Topics to be addressed through discussions with self-advocates and experts include:

  • The Internet and digital communities: Leveling the playing field
  • Independent living: Smart home technology and more
  • Education and employment: Communication and executive functioning
  • Telemedicine: Opening the doors to healthcare
  • The right to be heard: Political participation and advocacy

In 2008, The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day.

Taken from the UN Website.