Sharing Information Loud and Clear April 2022

Sharing Information Loud and Clear April 2022

Sharing Information Loud and Clear

APRIL 2022

In This Issue:

  • Message from the Chairperson
  • Save the Date! April 5-6 Full Council meeting
  • Ukraine: What happens to persons with disabilities?
  • Remembering the 504 Sit-In
  • Financial Literacy Month
  • Join the SILC SPIL Work Groups!

photo description: Woman reading Braille, wheelchair user on beach facing away from camera with arms raised triumphantly, and two smiling women posing for photo

Message From The Chair

Photo description: Lisa Hayes, SILC Chairperson

Greetings Independent Living (IL) Network partners:

Spring is in the air! We are hard at work at the SILC and 2022 is flying by! You will remember that while developing the 2021-2023 State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL), members of the Independent Living Network worked together to prioritize several goals. These goals and the related objectives were written by work groups staffed by volunteers, and then approved by both the SILC SPIL Committee and the entire SILC. Three of the work groups have ongoing projects that need to be completed (see more further down in the newsletter).

These work groups are open to everyone, so we hope you will consider joining! Agenda and Zoom meeting information is shared ten (10) days in advance on the SILC Web Page under Agency Announcements. You do not have to be a SILC member to participate in any of our meetings or workgroups.

I want to recognize and thank the many Independent Living

Centers (ILC) in California who have been working to serve our communities through the pandemic. I cannot say enough about their dedication and passion for independent living. Independent Living Centers are a great resource whether you have a newly acquired disability or whether you have lived with a disability your entire life. Independent Living Centers offer information, services, programs, and staff to help you reach your goals for independent life in our state. You can find your nearest center on our handy virtual locator,

The SILC is here for you, fee free to reach out to us at or by contacting the SILC Executive Director, Carrie England, at

In Unity and Solidarity,

Lisa Hayes, SILC Chairperson


Save the Date!

The SILC is planning to hold a meeting of the full SILC Council on April 5-6 utilizing the Zoom meeting platform. The agenda and details will be posted on the SILC website at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting.

If you would like copies of the materials being provided as a companion to items on the agenda for this meeting, or need any other information about this meeting, please contact the SILC Office Manager at or (916) 263-7905 (voice) or toll free (866) 866-7452.

We hope you will join us!


Through this conflict in Ukraine, what happens to persons with disabilities?

Photo Description: Map of Ukraine in blue and yellow (the colors of Ukraine)

“War undermines the lives, health and safety of all human beings, but for approximately three million persons with disabilities and their families living in Ukraine, the situation is much worse. As a person with disability advocating for rights of refugees with disabilities for many years, I am deeply concerned about my sisters and brothers in Ukraine who are facing multiple barriers to access safe evacuation and humanitarian assistance,” said Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and the European Disability Forum (EDF). “War can be the cause of violations of human rights including the rights of persons with disabilities and must end immediately. In the meanwhile, all involved parties must fully respect their international obligations to ensure protection and safety for persons with disabilities.”


IDA, representing over 1100 organizations of persons with disabilities around the world, is calling on all engaged parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law to ensure protection and safety for persons with disabilities in Ukraine. In particular, Article 11 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ratified by both Russia and Ukraine, and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2475, which creates clear non-derogable obligations {non-derogable means infringement is not justified under any circumstances} to ensure equal protection and safety for all persons with disabilities as well as timely and unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance.

The International Disability Alliance also calls on all humanitarian actors, including state actors and the European Union (EU) who are actively involved in providing aid to Ukraine, to ensure fulfilment of international humanitarian standards – including the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. Any international decisions, resolutions or measures adopted to address the situation in Ukraine must be inclusive of persons with disabilities facilitating their participation in decisions that affect them.

Ukraine, in particular the eastern areas, has been experiencing a humanitarian emergency since 2014. Even before the recent escalation of the situation, many persons with disabilities experienced challenges accessing humanitarian aid and safety. A 2021 OCHA report estimated that out of the total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance, at that time in Ukraine, 13 per cent had a disability. Now, with the escalation of the conflict and Russian troops in the country, all persons with disabilities are facing a high risk of losing their lives and not accessing safe evacuation, shelter and humanitarian assistance.

According to persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in Ukraine, the situation for them “is appalling. For example, shelters in Kyiv are inaccessible, so people with disabilities are forced to stay at home, not knowing where they can go.”

When conflict hits, everyone rushes to move to safe areas ensuring the security and health for themselves and their family members. But for many persons with disabilities this is not possible.

Evacuation plans are often not designed in accessible ways. Persons with disabilities cannot reach metro stations and bunkers. In many cases, shelters are inaccessible for persons who use wheelchairs to enter and navigate. Information on emergency evacuation, location of shelters and how to seek assistance are not provided in accessible formats. Consequently, many people with a sensory impairment such as blind persons and those who are partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing persons, and those with deaf-blindness do not understand how to access the limited safety and assistance available. The level of stigma and ignorance against persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with psychosocial disabilities increases during conflict, putting them at higher risk of being left behind in evacuations and experiencing violence and abuse.

There are groups who face additional risk. Women and girls, children, and older persons with disabilities, and those internally displaced before recent incidents each face multiple challenges aggravated during conflict. Thousands of children and adults with disabilities are also trapped in institutions facing the risk of being abandoned or of serious negligence.

The invasion has triggered swift international condemnation and pledges of support and aid to Ukraine. In particular, the conflict has led to unprecedented transformation in the region with the EU and its Member States taking action, both individually and in unison, to address the crisis. It is vital that the rights and needs of persons with disabilities are incorporated into these actions. That all relevant parties involved in providing aid and support to civilians in conflict zones understand and address the needs of persons with disabilities.

“We have strong international standards. As the representative voice of over a billion persons with disabilities worldwide, I want to remind all actors that any measures taken to address the situation and assist affected people must fully guarantee the rights, inclusion and participation of all groups of persons with disabilities according to international norms,” said Vladimir Cuk, Executive Director of the International Disability Alliance.

For more information, visit: and you can also contact Elham Youssefian (

This article has been reprinted from


Remembering the 504 Sit-In: the longest non-violent occupation of a federal building in United States history

Photo description: Protestors using wheelchairs demonstrating in favor of 504 with San Francisco in the background.

On April 5, 1977 a crowd which was largely comprised of individuals who were deaf, blind, using wheelchairs, living with mental disabilities, and living with paraplegia and quadriplegia gathered in San Francisco California with the goal of picketing the regional offices of the federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). Protests similar to this were happening on this day all over the country, but advocates in San Francisco were tired of protesting with no action. After marching past the security guards at the local HEW office without resistance over 100 protesters began what became known as the “504 sit in” which lasted for 26 days. Protesters camped inside the building, occupying it until the changes they demanded would be considered. Those that couldn’t occupy the HEW offices held daily rallies outside, holding public and media attention for the duration of the protest.

After years of pushing for federal civil rights protections for people with disabilities, disability rights activist groups believed HEW secretary must be compelled to sign binding regulations of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which included Section 504, which mandated integration of people with disabilities into mainstream institutions. The language stated “no qualified individual with a disability should, only by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Of the approximately 120 protesters occupying the HEW office, 14 individuals with disabilities and eight attendants were eventually selected to go to Washington D.C. to make their case. The FBI mistakenly thought this would be the end of things in San Francisco, and tried a number of tactics to get the protesters to move on. Advocates and people with disabilities were firm in their solidarity, and wanted to “hold the building” in order to have some leverage in Washington. They wanted section 504 regulations to be signed.

After more protests in Washington, on April 28, 1977 the regulations were signed into law. Under 504, nondiscrimination became a legal, fundamental right. Within months of the sit-in, noticeable changes began to take place in urban landscapes, in university classrooms, in the workplace, and in public spaces including libraries, courtrooms, and public transit. Cities instituted curb cuts from street to sidewalk. Federal buildings made adjustments to become accessible to all, including installing ramps and wider restroom stalls. Regulations instituted as a result of the success of 504, ushered in a new era of accessibility that led to the passage of Americans With Disabilities Act in 1990.

To learn more visit Exhibit Envoy or the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability Studies.


Brush Up on Your Financial Literacy

Photo description: green and blue letters say “April is Financial Literacy Month” over a picture of a piggy bank sitting atop a pile of dollar bills.

National Financial Literacy Month is recognized in the United States in April in an effort to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.

Everyone needs financial skills to make smart decisions about money. As a person with a disability, there are some additional things you need to know to be sure you can get what you need to live independently. Below are a few resources that you might find helpful.

Created by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Money Smart is a comprehensive ‑financial education curriculum that teaches the basics of handling money and ‑finances, including how to budget, save money, and how to avoid making “wrong” decisions that may result in years of ‑financial pain. The curriculum is available free of charge. For additional information, call toll-free 877-275-3342 or go on-line to the FDIC website. is the U.S. government’s website dedicated to ‑financial education. Resources are available to learn about budgeting, credit building, ‑financial planning, understanding privacy issues, saving and investing. There are links to other government programs that offer fi‑nancial educational programs, such as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. For more information, visit or call 1-888-MyMoney (1-888-696-6639).

Known formally as the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD) – brings together a range of organizations, thought leaders, and best-practice innovators to expand policy, employment, leadership, and economic advancement opportunities and outcomes for all people with disabilities. An important focus of the LEAD Center’s mission is to increase the financial literacy and financial capability of people with disabilities. Visit the LEAD center website to learn more about financial literacy for people with disabilities.

Another great resource to learn more about financial literacy is your local independent living centers (ILCs). California has 28 ILCs whose staff can help you to find local resources, create a financial plan, and learn more. Contact the ILC near you for more information. For a list of the 28 ILCs and their satellite offices, visit the SILC webpage.


SILC Seeking SPIL Work Group Members

Join us! Make an impact on IL in California!

While developing the 2021-2023 State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL), members of the Independent Living Network worked together to prioritize several goals. These goals and the related objectives were written by work groups staffed by volunteers, and then approved by both the SILC SPIL Committee and the entire SILC. Three of the work groups have ongoing projects that need to be completed. More comprehensive summaries of the 2021-2023 SPIL goals and objectives related to each work group are available by clicking the title of the work group below:


Funding Formula/Equity (FF/E)

  • The Funding Formula Equity Work Group meets on second (2nd) Wednesday of each month from 10:00am.
  • Goal: Develop new ILC base funding formula

Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS)

  • The Long Term Services and Supports Work Group meets on first (1st) Wednesday of each month at 10:30 am.
  • Goal: Create Environmental Scan Survey and work to provide information and support to ILCs who may want to participate as an Aging and Disability Resource Connection

Meaningful Data

  • The Meaningful Data Work Group meets on the fourth (4th) Friday of the month from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.
  • Goal: Look at existing ILC Data Collection and Tools; Use Data to tell the story of IL in California; Propose uniform ILC database systems


As a work group member you will be asked to attend meetings (1 to 2 per month), share your ideas and give feedback to other work group members, and complete occasional outside research or work on a volunteer basis. SILC Staff will attend all meetings to take notes and help on the administrative and technical side, but we expect these projects will be led by community members.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Danielle at (916) 263-7905 extension #1 or by email at

Agenda and Zoom meeting information is shared ten (10) days in advance on the SILC Web Page under Agency Announcements.

Please feel free to share this announcement widely with anyone else who may be interested in serving.

You do not need to be a SILC member to participate.

Thank you for your commitment to furthering Independent Living in California!