Peer Action Alliance calls on the Independent Living Administration and the Administration for Community Living to immediately cease funding Michigan’s broken Independent Living Program. Because Michigan CILs refuse to provide the core services they are funded to provide; because they do not meet federal requirements to be staffed and led by a majority of people with significant disabilities; and because they refuse to discuss these important issues with the communities they are funded to serve, the ILA must send a strong message:
Michigan’s Independent Living Program is not for sale. Provision of core services and consumer control are non-negotiable.
Michigan’s Centers for Independent Living are now controlled by Michigan Rehabilitation Services, and they respond only to financial motivation. Michiganders with disabilities can no longer rely on IL values and philosophy to motivate change.
If we do not act quickly and act now, an entire state of CILs will be lost and Michiganders with disabilities will continue to suffer without access to Independent Living Services. Millions of dollars earmarked for Michigan’s local disability communities are being thrown in the garbage annually. Until the ILA makes it clear that IL dollars are to be spent as legislated in the Rehabilitation Act, public funding must be suspended.
Michiganders with disabilities not directly employed by these corrupt Centers for Independent Living will not suffer any loss. Instead, we will gain what is rightfully ours: fully functioning Centers for Independent Living that are run by and for people with disabilities that lead the Independent Living Movement in our communities. We have nothing to lose and our own unbounded potential as a community to gain.
Contact Bob Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Independent Living Administration and let him know that Michigan’s Independent Living Program is in desperate need of oversight.