I am pleased to announce that today ACL’s final rule for Independent Living (IL) programs went on display in the Federal Register. This final rule clarifies the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and State Independent Living Councils (SILCs).
First, I want to deeply thank our partners in the IL community for your comments and feedback throughout the rule making process. The rule is stronger and better reflects independent living philosophy, values and practices because we worked together, and I look forward to continuing that collaboration.
WIOA continues the steady progress of the IL network. With it, CILs and SILCs have greater opportunity to bolster their capacity and ultimately better help empower all of us to exercise our most precious birthright—our independence—and the freedom, responsibilities, risks, empowerment and equal opportunities that come with it.
Of course with new legislation there are always things that need clarification and explanation. With this rule, we address many of those things. Please send feedback about the final rule to ILFinalRuleFeedback@acl.hhs.gov. We will continue to work with you going forward to answer any additional questions you have.
The future is bright and I believe history will place WIOA with other landmark legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. We are proud of all the IL network has accomplished to empower people living with disabilities in this country. As we know, however, there is still much work left to be done. Let’s get to it.
Editor’s Note: In an earlier post, Partnerships of Choice, Olmstead Action, Bob talked about enhancing the capacity of the IL networks and meeting the expectations of WIOA by expanding the partnerships with organizations outside the traditional IL networks. Some CILs and SILCs are collaborating with the aging network to better serve both people with disabilities and older adults.