|An Update on COVID-19
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase, NCIL’s primary concern has been the health and safety of our community. NCIL has been closely following the situation and actively advocating for policy responses that support the specific needs of the disability community.
We recognize that we have a duty to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. We want Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs) to have the tools and guidance they need to stay safe and continue to meet the needs of consumers in their communities. We want members of the disability community across the country to have access to information, resources, and services to stay healthy and safe. And we want our local, state, and federal governments to center the needs of the people most at risk for serious illness, including disabled / chronically ill people, older adults, people living in institutional settings, people experiencing homelessness, and people who are not given access to critical information about the COVID-19 outbreak. To that end, NCIL has taken the following steps:
- We have instituted a mandatory remote work policy through at least the end of March;
- We have requested guidance from the Independent Living Administration (ILA) for CILs and SILCs about continued operations and staffing, which they have assured us is forthcoming;
- We are exploring a contingency plan for our Annual Conference in July, should that become necessary;
- We are working closely with partners in and out of the disability community to propose, analyze, and fight for policy responses to address the needs of people with disabilities during this outbreak; and
- We are closely following legislative, departmental, and other guidance, information, and resources that are released.
We also note that in communities across the country, there have been increasing incidents targeting the Asian American community. Asian Americans are being discriminated against and attacked, and Asian American businesses are seeing a significant decline in customers as a result of unfounded fear and discrimination. NCIL stands in solidarity with Asian and Asian American communities and condemns the racism and xenophobia they are facing. NCIL has joined over 100 other organizations in signing on to a letter to Congressional leadership asking that they call for unity and denounce the racism targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the wake of COVID-19.
We will continue to keep you updated with more information as it is available. In the meantime, we have created a web page to collect information, resources, and opportunities regarding COVID-19. View it at ncil.org/covid-19.