Save the ADA: Oppose H.R. 620

April 18, 2017

The efforts to roll back the rights of people with disabilities through ADA Notification bills like H.R. 620 are gaining momentum in Congress. While similar bills have been unable to garner enough  support to pass into law, we do not expect that to be the case in this Congress. This bill continues to gain support from both sides of the aisle in Congress, and it’s on us to fight it!

H.R. 620 would create additional barriers to seeing our rights enforced under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition to requiring that businesses in violation of the ADA be provided with a very specific written notice by the person who encountered the access barrier, those businesses would then be allowed a lengthy time frame to “make substantial progress in removing the barrier.” Not only would this remove any incentive for businesses to come into compliance with the ADA before receiving a notification, but it would also shift the onus of monitoring compliance to the very people being discriminated against! Twenty-seven years after the ADA was signed into law, this is unacceptable. H.R. 620 would be a major setback for people with disabilities.

We need you to take action! We hope you have already been in touch with your Representatives about the dangers of this bill. Please keep it up!  You can get in touch with your Representatives by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Specifically we need you to reach out to Congressman Ted Lieu and Congresswoman Karen Bass because they are members of the House Judiciary Committee who will be voting on this bill soon. Please tell Congressman Lieu and Congresswoman Bass to OPPOSE H.R. 620 and any other bill that would weaken the ADA, thereby weakening the protections for people with disabilities all over the country.

Congressman Lieu’s phone number is 323-651-1040.
Congresswoman Bass’ phone number is 323-965-1422.

If you are not sure what do say, please click here for talking points to use during your phone call.

If you can also send an email to each Representative through their website:
Click here to email Congressman Lieu.
Click here to email Congresswoman Bass.



For more information:
Anastasia Bacigalupo (310) 740-8701



Los Angeles, CA (March 20, 2017): On the eve of the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote on the American Health Care Act (ACHA) that if passed will put thousands of Californians with disabilities at high risk to loose vital community-based services, the Westside Center for Independent Living (WCIL) will host a dynamic panel discussion featuring a broad-based coalition of disability rights advocates and attorneys emphasizing the importance of preserving access to community-based Medicaid services, a critical safety net role in financing health care services.

Panel focus is preserving Community First Choice Option (CFCO), an optional Federal funding incentive that provides additional funding for community-based services, vital medical care and other long term services and supports needed by people with disabilities. Panelists will include:

Phyllis Siegel, Disabled Advocate. Ms. Siegel will discuss how the loss of the CFCO funds will result in her In Home Support Services (IHSS) hours will be reduced or eliminated. The IHSS hours she receives allow her to live at home instead of a facility away from her community and circle of support. She is representative of 500,000 IHSS recipients in California who will lose part or all of their IHSS hours.

Arica McGary, Personal Care Attendant. Ms. McGary will explain the impact of reducing or eliminating IHSS hours for other IHSS workers like her. She will either lose hours or lose her position supporting Ms. Siegel all together. She is representative of 400,000 IHSS workers in California who will be negatively impacted by the repeal of the ACA.

Tina Segura, Staff Attorney, Disability Rights Legal Center. Ms. Segura works at the Cancer Legal Resource Center. She will share the legal ramifications of the ACHA on people affected by cancer and other disabling diseases.

The current Republican bill will eliminate CFCO by 2020 by introducing block grants and cut to Medicaid funding. The panel will evidence how this will lead to painful limits on treatment that would force states to ration or deny health care to those in nursing homes, with disabilities, and/or near the poverty line.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 11:00 AM-12:00PM


Westside Center for Independent Living, 12901 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066


The Westside Center for Independent Living (WCIL) is a disability community resource center. WCIL provides people with disabilities of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds with the tools needed to overcome the barriers that interfere with their independence in the areas of housing, employment and healthcare. WCIL serves over 2,000 people each year with resources, support, training and information. For more information, please visit:




CONTACT: Anastasia Bacigalupo

Executive Director

(310) 390-3611




Los Angeles, CA (March 15, 2017)—The Westside Center for Independent Living (WCIL) is pleased to announce it has received a grant from the Friars Charitable Foundation of Los Angeles.  The funds will be used to increase the comprehensive audio system of the WCIL’s Community Room so that WCIL can successfully host events for the community where all people with disabilities, including the hearing impaired, can fully participate.

The purchase and installation of the comprehensive audio system will ensure that all participants fully experience the acoustics in the room. The system will include a central speaker for the amplification of sound, table top microphones and speakers and an assistive listening device system. The enhanced audio system will allow the Community Room to be used for panel discussions, staff meetings, board meetings and community events.

“We currently have received complaints that the Community Room acoustics and noise compromises participants’ ability to understand and participate in events hosted in the room,” declared Anastasia Bacigalupo, the Executive Director of the WCIL. “Thanks to the continuing generosity of the Friars Charitable Foundation, the Community Room will now be able to accommodate people with hearing impairments.”

The Friars Charitable Foundation awards grants through a competitive application and review process. “We have been pleased to support the important community work of the WCIL throughout the years through funding of its computer lab and accessible workstations. Enhancing the audio quality of its Community Room continues our partnership with one of Los Angeles’ most important resources for people with disabilities,” declared Marilyn Stambler, President of the Friars Charitable Foundation.


The Westside Center for Independent Living (WCIL) is a community center with the mission to provide people with disabilities of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds with the tools needed to overcome the barriers that interfere with their independence in the areas of housing, employment and healthcare. The WCIL serves over 2,000 each year with resources, support, training and information. For more information visit:

The Friars Charitable Foundation supports charitable efforts that are dedicated to the arts, education or human services benefitting the greater Los Angeles community, particularly where its funding can have a significant impact on programs and their participants. For more information visit:







Action Alert! Join us in Opposing the American Health Care Act — Call Congress today!

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) was introduced in the House of Representatives on March 6th and will soon be introduced in the Senate. The bill will hurt moderate and low–income people with disabilities and their families on two fronts:

First, it repeals important parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that enable families of modest means to afford the reliable comprehensive coverage that people with disabilities

Second, it imposes increasingly deep cuts on federal Medicaid funding that, over time, will strip needed care and services from low-income people with disabilities and prompt states to use cost-control measures such as waiting lists. Medicaid expansion will also be revoked by 2020.

The AHCA changes the way that the federal government has funded Medicaid for over fifty years.

Instead of paying a share of the actual healthcare provided to Medicaid–eligible people in the state, the federal government would set an absolute cap based on who received Medicaid in 2016.  Regardless of how much additional care is needed by the people in a state as they age, become disabled, or as healthcare costs rise, the cap will remain. The cap is designed to produce cost savings even as the federal government gives up other sources of revenue by providing tax cuts to wealthy Americans and corporate healthcare entities.  Millions of people with disabilities rely on Medicaid services, including long–term home–and–community based services that allow people with disabilities to live as independently as possible in their communities. Medicaid matters!

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded Medicaid in many states to adults and children living at 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. People with disabilities who were previously ineligible for Medicaid because of slightly higher income or asset levels now had access to critical health coverage such as primary and preventive care, mental health and substance use disorder services, and community–based supports and services. A reduced reliance on emergency room services has led to cost savings for states and to increased employment for people with disabilities.[1]Moreover, from 2010–2015, the number of employed working-age adults with disabilities without insurance dropped from 1 million to 600,000. These gains for people with disabilities will be lost if Medicaid Expansion is repealed.

Please call and tell lawmakers that the American Health Care Act will hurt people with disabilities.

Call your Members of Congress: 202-224-3121
Call the House Energy & Commerce Committee: 202-225-2927
Call the Senate Finance Committee: 202-224-4515
Call House Speaker Ryan: 202-225-0600
Contact your governor:

How to Reach Your Elected Officials

(image description: orange background- fist raised with the words “be an advocate” to the left of the fist)

Want to reach out to your elected officials? Use these links to find out who is your elected official and how to contact them. Please give us a call if you would like information and/or support regarding legislation and public policy impacting people with disabilities.

Find your City of Los Angeles council member.

Find your Los Angeles County supervisor.

Find your state senator and representative.

Find your senator.

Find your representative.


Ed Roberts Day is January 23rd! Join us for the Celebration.

Come to WCIL and celebrate Ed Roberts Day with us.  We will be gathering at 12:30 pm with light refreshments and snacks.  We will watch a part of the film “Lives Worth Living” which is a documentary about the disability rights movement.

Who was Ed Roberts?

Ed Roberts was both an advocate and an activist. He was a leader in the civil rights movement and championed the rights of people with disabilities. He was the founder of the first Center for Independent Living and the World Institute on Disability. Ed advocated for his right to attend a university and was a activist in the 504 sit-in held in San Francisco. He was known for a lot of things by a lot of people, but most importantly he believed in empowering others to become advocates and activists.

Want to learn more about Ed?  Check out these great videos:


Women’s March Los Angeles- Accessible for All/ Come Join Us!

Logo from the Women's March Los Angeles which features the silhouettes of three women's heads with the words WOMEN'S MARCH LOS ANGELES to the right.

(logo description: logo from Women’s March Los Angeles which features the silhouettes of 3 women’s heads using the colors orange, blue and white.)

Please join WCIL at the Women’s March Los Angeles (WMLA). WCIL worked with the organizers of the WMLA to improve accessibility and create a more positive experience for disabled marchers.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Accessible drop-off/pick-up points at both stages. Pershing Square drop-off: Hill St between 5th & 6th; City Hall drop-off 1st & Spring.
  • Accessible porta-potties are available along the march route and the stages.
  • EMT tents will be available with water and emergency medical support.
  • Two ADA tents will be available with WCIL volunteer peer counselors, snacks, and mylar blankets.
  • All stages feature reserved space for disabled marchers and seating is available upon request from any volunteer.
  • ASL interpreters will be available at all stages throughout the program.
  • All stages will have open captions.
  • 4 Golf carts will be available for marchers with mobility disabilities to facilitate movement between stages and to the vendor tents.
  • The dog park at Pershing Square will serve as a “service animal relief area.”

For more information about the WMLA, please visit their website by clicking here.

WCIL is seeking volunteers to staff the two ADA tents.  Please call us at (310) 390-3611 or contact us through our Facebook page by clicking here.

Believe in our Mission, Invest in our Future

Dear Friend:

As we gather with friends and family for the holidays, all of us at the Westside Center for Independent Living (WCIL) are grateful for your enthusiastic support of our mission and your very generous donations.

This year your help and guidance made it possible for us to serve over 3,000 people.  People who accessed our programs and services gained support to:

  • Build skills and get help finding a job
  • Find affordable and accessible housing
  • Hire and manage personal care providers
  • Receive (and give) peer-to-peer support
  • Access needed income and medical benefits

In the coming year we need to bring these essential and vital services to greater numbers of people in western Los Angeles County.  To do this, we need your financial support. We urge you to click here and donate to WCIL.

The next 4 years may bring many changes for people with disabilities; changes that may affect their independence, autonomy and access to life-sustaining programs and services.  Remember that your donation will enable WCIL to be there for those in need no matter what the future holds.

We, and those we serve, deeply appreciate your support.

With gratitude,

WCIL Board of Directors and Staff