Carrie Baatz (left) and Nina Kamekona (right) proudly display their handmade signs for the march to and rally at the Capitol on July 26, 2016.

The Independence Center sent two delegates to the National Centers for Independent Living (NCIL) Annual Conference on Independent Living that was held in Washington, D.C. July 24 – 28, 2016.

Carrie Baatz, Community Advocacy Coordinator, and Nina Kamekona, Youth Advocate Specialist, attended the conference on behalf of The Independence Center. Nina attended on a youth scholarship awarded by NCIL that paid for her registration and up to $1,000 for travel expenses. Nina was one of only 10 youth around the country chosen for the scholarship.

Carrie attended workshops to equip her to effectively advocate for housing solutions in Colorado Springs. Nina attended workshops with the goal of learning how to strengthen youth programs at The IC. Both participated in a disability rights march and rally on the Capitol on the anniversary of the passage of the ADA on July 26, 2016.

Founded in 1982, the National Council on Independent Living is a national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. It represents thousands of organizations that advocate for the civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.