Advocacy for Independence

January 2024

CILO Advocacy Updates

The Center for Independent Living Option’s (CILO) 2024 advocacy plan is full of opportunities for you to get involved in the work we are doing to grow and better our community.


CILO's Disability Q*mmunity is a peer support and self-advocacy group for 2SLGBTQIA+ people with disabilities to talk about shared experiences and take action to make our communities safer and more accessible for us. People of all identities are welcome at the Disability Q*mmunity. Our next meeting will take place on February 13th at 6:00PM. Contact Dee Henry for more information!


Starting in mid-2024, our advocacy program will begin hosting CILO Community Walk and Rolls. These events will take place in local areas around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, where we will invite consumers, neighbors, and community organizations to join us in a community audit. A community audit means that we, as community members, will come together to get to know each other and to assess the current state of our community in terms of accessibility and mobility freedom. CILO will provide a short educational experience so that all participants are aware of what accessibility means and how to notice and report ADA violations.

Please contact Dee Henry if you or your organization are interested in being part of the planning committee for CILO Walk and Rolls.


Self-Advocacy Situational Trainings will be offered throughout 2024. These trainings will offer a space for attendees to learn about self-advocacy as a concept and as a tool we can use when advocating for our needs as disabled people. We will explore how self-advocacy benefits us in a variety of situations including:

·        As a high school-student with a disability

·        As a college student with a disability

·        As a tenant with a disability

·        As a medical patient with a disability

If you have a request for a training on self-advocacy, email Dee Henry.

Local Advocacy News

Voters with disabilities are still denied the right to vote in Ohio. A collaborative partner of CILO, The League of Women Voters is challenging House Bill 458 (HB458), a law in Ohio requiring photo identification to vote. The Law also reduces the number of days voters have for early voting and submitting absentee ballots. HB458 only permits absentee ballots to be returned on your behalf by a specific list of relatives, meaning that non-family members (including caregivers and domestic partners) could be criminally charged for submitting a person’s ballot that has asked them to do so.

At least one person affected by this law has shared her experience of being denied access to vote in the November 2023 elections. You can read her story here and access a copy of the official complaint.

Do you believe you were denied the right to vote in 2023? Share your own experience in next month’s newsletter by emailing Dee Henry. 

Interested in viewing CILO’s past collaborations with the League of Women Voters? Watch our 2023 Advocacy at the Polls: Voting with a Disability Training here.

National Advocacy News

Support the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act

By M. Boujaoude

The Center for Independent Living Options has recently drafted a letter of support for the bipartisan Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Savings Penalty Elimination Act.

As of December 2023, over 7 million Americans receive monthly SSI payments. SSI was created by the United States government in 1972 and provides monthly cash payments to people with disabilities and older adults with limited financial resources.

Out of all government assistance programs, SSI has the strictest savings limit: individuals can only have up to $2,000 in assets while married couples can only have up to $3,000. These savings limits have stayed stagnant since 1989. If income asset limits grew with inflation, they would stand at $10,000 for individuals and nearly $15,000 for couples. The Social Security Administration (SSA) penalizes approximately 70,000 SSI recipients for exceeding their limits and has created a system where disabled people cannot marry without losing access to a quarter of their asset limits.

Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Casey (D-PA), James Lankford (R-OK), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) created a bipartisan bill that aims to increase the SSI savings limit to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for married couples. This bill has the potential to improve the economic stability of people with disabilities across the United States.

We need you to share your support! Please use this link to contact your representatives and let them know that you support the SSI Savings Penalty Elimination Act.  

If you require this publication in an alternative format,

please contact us.

To learn more about Independent Living and other services provided by CILO, visit our website at

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