Deadline: June 9, 2023

About the Conference - Our Path Forward

Are you looking to make a real impact on the Independent Living movement and help shape its future? Look no further than the NYAIL Statewide Conference, where this year's theme is "Our Path Forward". This conference is a prime opportunity to come together with fellow advocates and leaders in the Independent Living community to discuss the most pressing issues and plan for the year ahead.

By participating in the conference, you'll have the chance to engage in dynamic discussions and explore new ideas and strategies for advancing Independent Living in New York. Whether you're a seasoned expert or new to the field, this event offers a unique chance to learn, network, and collaborate with like-minded individuals who share your passion.

The "Our Path Forward" theme embodies the principles of achieving diversity, equity, intersectionality, and progress that drives the Independent Living community forward. You may have noticed that many sectors of the Independent Living Movement have been seeing an increase in turnover, as the founding leaders of the movement are retiring. Our Path Forward emphasizes the value of learning from today’s leaders while providing new and emerging leaders with the skills and expertise to succeed.  By joining forces and sharing our knowledge and proficiencies, we can make a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities and pave the way for a brighter future.

So don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to connect with fellow advocates and leaders, learn from the best in the field, and help shape the future of Independent Living in New York.

Guide for Workshop Proposal Preparation

NYAIL is currently accepting workshop proposals for our upcoming two-day conference presenting twenty-four 75-minute workshops. We are seeking proposals that are engaging and informative that also aligns with the conference theme, NYAIL's mission, and the interests of our attendees, To help guide your submission, we recommend reviewing the content areas outlined in the "Proposal Focus and Audience" section below or click here to download and print guidelines. 

Submission Guidelines

All proposals must be submitted by close of business on June 9th. Proposals need to be submitted using the proposal format outlined below in the “Proposal Outline” section.  All information must be provided. Please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as a Microsoft Word file email attachment with the last name of the lead presenter as the file name. If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Mastroianni at (518) 465-4650 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Selection Process

Proposals which best address the content areas outlined in the “Proposal Focus and Audience” section below will be given priority. Proposals will be scored by the Conference Committee based on this criterion, as well as: clarity, objectives, likely interest to participants, and overall program balance. Incomplete proposals will not be considered. Applicants will be notified by June 30th, as to whether their proposal has been selected.

Proposal Outline

  1. Lead Presenter. The lead presenter will be considered the contact person and is responsible for notifying any and all co-presenters of acceptance, rejection, scheduling, and any other information provided by Please list the following contact information for the lead presenter and provide a brief biographical sketch (30 words maximum):
  • Name:
  • Title:
  • Agency/affiliation:
  • Mailing address:
  • Phone number:
  • Email address:
  • Biographical Sketch:
  1. Co-presenter(s). Please limit the number of co-presenters to no more than three per 75-minute workshop session. Please list the following contact information for each co-presenter:
  • Name:
  • Title:
  • Agency/affiliation:
  • Mailing address:
  • Phone number:
  • Email address:
  • Biographical Sketch:
  1. Workshop Title. The title should clearly describe the presentation (10 words maximum)
  • Title:
  1. Session Summary. The 2-3 sentence summary in the conference (75 words maximum)
  • Summary:
  1. The abstract will be used in reviewing and selecting proposals for the conference. Please be as concise as possible, but clearly describe (200 words or less)
  • Presentation topic/focus
  • Learning objectives
  • Outline of presentation content

Conference Accessibility

At NYAIL, we are committed to ensuring that all attendees can fully participate in the conference. To achieve this, we will make every effort to ensure that all conference presentations are accessible to the widest range of people possible. We will provide guidelines for accessible presentations to all presenters chosen and we ask that all materials you provide be made available in accessible formats so that all attendees can access them. Presenter’s materials will not be distributed to conference attendees if they are not made available in accessible formats.

NYAIL will schedule sign language interpreters and CART for all sessions and will provide materials to attendees in alternative formats, including Braille and large print, when requested.

Proposal Focus and Audience

NYAIL works to:

  • Eliminate physical and attitudinal barriers to all aspects of life and to fight for the civil rights and full independence of all people with disabilities.
  • Promote the Independent Living philosophy within the disability community, among our partners in health, aging, housing, employment, education, transportation, and other service and advocacy stakeholders, and the public.
  • Advocate for systemic changes and resources that will enable people with disabilities of all ages to live independent lives in their communities.
  • Strengthen Independent Living Centers (ILCs), the disability rights community, our partners, and service systems, by sharing best practices and innovative strategies.

We encourage proposals in the following areas:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead compliance in NYS
  • Community integration barriers and solutions
  • Innovative programs, practices and/or collaborations at the local, regional and state levels
  • Independent Living Center best practices and program development
  • Affordable, accessible, and integrated housing for people with disabilities and older adults
  • Increasing transportation options for people with disabilities
  • Disability policy and advocacy in health and long-term care, housing, aging, employment, education, transportation, election reform, and civil rights
  • Implementation of mandatory Medicaid managed care and managed long-term care
  • Successful collaborations with aging organizations
  • Best practices/creative solutions for transition across service systems
  • Peer services and supports
  • Benefits counseling
  • Promoting universal design and age-in-place initiatives
  • History and future of Independent Living
  • Grassroots advocacy and community organizing skills
  • Increasing youth involvement in Independent Living and disability rights advocacy
  • ILC and nonprofit organization best practices, including financial management, board development, capacity building, and fundraising
  • Marketing and communications, including social media
  • Empowering change agents, leadership development and promoting change

The above list is not exhaustive -- We welcome any proposals that would be of interest to our expected attendees, who include:

  • Independent Living Center staff, board members, volunteers, and consumers
  • Disability rights organizations
  • Older New Yorkers and youth with disabilities
  • Service providers in all service systems
  • Vocational rehabilitation professionals
  • State and local government agencies
  • Policymakers
  • Business professionals
  • Family members and caregivers of people with disabilities