2024 Maryland Independent Living Network Public Policy Platform
Who we are:
- The Maryland Independent Living Network is a partnership of the seven Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and the Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). CILs are federally established nonprofit disability resource and advocacy organizations located throughout Maryland operated by and for people with disabilities. The Maryland SILC, a governor-appointed advisory council, works with CILs to strengthen and promote independent living across the State of
- The Independent Living Movement believes that people with disabilities are the best experts on their needs. We reject the idea that disability is a barrier to independent living; the environment and attitudes of our society are the
Centers for Independent Living:
- Offer services and supports for people with disabilities to promote independence and consumer choice
- Provide information and referral
- Teach independent living skills
- Assist individuals in procuring assistive technology
- Empower individuals to advocate
- Connect individuals with staff members with disabilities to promote mentorship and support
The following is a list of our priorities as determined by work experience with consumers, statewide studies, and needs assessments conducted by our Independent Living Network. Should legislation arise that is not specifically mentioned below, it can always be made a priority.
Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council
- Strengthen the capacity of the Maryland SILC to be an autonomous entity.
- Increase number of accessible, affordable, integrated, and safe
- Increase number of vouchers for these units at 10% or less of Area Median Income (AMI).
- Increase and improve renters’ rights/Fair Housing
- Increase funding to CILs for housing case
- Increase funds for home and rental accessibility assessments and modifications.
- Increase compliance with accessibility guidelines for train and bus stops, including floating bus
- Increase public transit routes and times, particularly in rural
- Increase public transit
- Provide for public transit options that cross
- Increase accessibility of sidewalks, curb cuts, and their maintenance on all state, county, and city
- Increase the number of affordable, accessible ride share (Uber/Lyft) vehicles and publicly regulated taxi cabs.
Healthcare/Long-Term Supports and Services
- Increase affordability to prescribed medications and access to Durable Medical Equipment.
- Require private insurers to match Medicaid Home and Community Based Services
- Oppose the use of physician assisted suicide or so-called “death with dignity”
- Support the full range of chronic pain management options.
- Increase access to Rare and Expensive Case Management to assist people to remain in the community.
- Increase the provision of Medicaid Plan of Service Reviews for Community Options Waiver and Community First Choice allowing for the timely delivery of services.
- Support consumer self-direction, right to treatment and choice; oppose coercive or aversive methods of care.
Ending the Institutional Bias
- Increase Home and Community Based Services, regardless of
- Designate facility residence as “homeless” allowing for emergency shelter
- Comply with Olmstead requirements by allowing for 24/7 support in the
- Oppose the development and continuation of congregate or segregated settings.
- Support efforts that address disability discrimination in the criminal justice system.
- Create more flexibility within the Employed Individuals with Disabilities Medicaid Buy-In
- Increase direct care professionals pay in Community Options Waiver, Community First Choice, and Community Personal Assistance Services.
- Increase employment of people with disabilities to at least 20% across state
- Increase funding for the Division of Rehabilitation Services so they can better support the employment needs of people with
- Increase Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funding and compliance with IDEA and 504 Plans.
- Mandate intended resource sharing between public and private schools regarding Individualized Education Plans.
- Increase funding for technology for students to participate in learning.
- Support the incorporation of disability history, awareness and representation into general education curriculum.
- Create fast-track system for seamless transition from facility to community or diversion from facility during crisis.
- Ensure people with disabilities are included in emergency preparedness
- Ensure in-person and mail-in voting is accessible and private for all people with disabilities.
- Ensure polling places have staff who are trained on all accessibility needs.
- Support full digital accessibility, including low-cost, high-speed internet access statewide.
- Increase access to private, independent communications in nursing facilities through telephone and
- Support the least restrictive alternative to Guardianship to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.
Mental Health Supports
- Ensure a coordinated community behavioral health system that provides equitable access to quality care.
- Address the unique behavioral health needs that occur across the lifespan of people with disabilities.
- Expand Peer Support services.
- Address the structural factors that keep people with disabilities impoverished.
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