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EMPOWER! Advocacy

NCIL and ADAPT Announce the National Organizing Project

The National Council on Independent Living and ADAPT are proud to announce the National Organizing Project, a new effort to advance direct action in support of disability rights and community living. 

Made possible by the generous support of the Ford Foundation, the National Organizing Project creates a formal partnership between NCIL and ADAPT to support ADAPT chapters, promote direct action, and analyze and create policy to support people with disabilities. NCIL and ADAPT have a long history of cooperation that was strengthened during the #summerofADAPT, where ADAPT and NCIL worked together to advocate against healthcare reforms that would have had a devastating impact on people with disabilities.

The National Organizing Project will continue these advocacy efforts in four key areas:
  • Support for emerging ADAPT chapters
  • A train-the-trainer program to train new and emerging ADAPT chapters in non-violent civil disobedience
  • Completion of the ADAPT “Piss on Pity” documentary
  • A full time Community Living Advocate, based at NCIL’s office in Washington, DC, that will educate legislators on the benefits of community living and provide up-to-the-minute policy analysis for both organizations
NCIL is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.

Ford Foundation is a philanthropic organization that seeks to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. In a statement last year, Ford Foundation president Darren Walker proclaimed the Ford Foundation’s commitment to funding disability rights initiatives. “[W]e will integrate an inclusive perspective across all of our grantmaking. As I’ve come to learn, the mantra of the disability community is ‘Nothing about us, without us’—words that ring true across our work.”

Says Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living: “We applaud Ford’s commitment to funding disability rights programs and we hope that this is only the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership. We’re also excited to work formally with ADAPT, a group that has long been intertwined with the work we do at NCIL.”

Bruce Darling, national ADAPT organizer and President of the NCIL Governing Board, says: “NCIL and ADAPT have long informed each other’s work. It is only natural that we come together to build on the momentum of the nationwide ADAPT actions during the summer of 2017. We thank the Ford Foundation for believing in this joint vision.”  

We are honored to be part of Ford Foundation’s integrated disability grantmaking.  We look forward to our role in the National Organizing Project. 
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