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WVSILC News Release

Youth Caucus Delegate's 2006 Legislative Initiative

Mountain State Centers for Independent Living supports the efforts of the Delegates to the 2005 Youth Caucus to pass legislation to annually designate the third week of October as "Disability History Week".

Bill Signing Ceremony: April 3, 2006

governor signing bill

The bill signing ceremony for HB 4491 "Establishing Disability History Week" was held on Monday, April 3, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. in the Governor's Office at the State Capitol in Charleston. Several delegates from the Youth Caucus were in attendance.

As reported by Erick Dowdy: The day of the bill signing was really exciting. When everyone was crowding into the Governor's reception area, waiting for the bill signing ceremony to begin, it felt like the whole process of everything we'd done to that point had come full circle.

During the signing, Ann Meadows, Director of the Statewide Independent Living Council, reminded the Governor that this is the first bill in the United States like this, and he complimented us all and told us that he thought it was for a great cause. He also handed several of us pens that he used to sign the bill.

I'm eagerly anticipating spreading the news of the bill signing. My school, Huntington High's newspaper, will be doing a follow-up story on the bill's signing and passing. I will also be attending the 2006 National Council for Independent Living's "NCIL" Conference in Washington, D.C. this May and plan to share the information about the bill at the conference.

Congratulations Youth Caucus Delegates!! (March 8, 2006)

HB 4491 - Establishing the third week of October as Disability History Week was passed by the Senate on March 8, 2006. Since this bill has now completed legislative action it will go to the Governor for his signature.

Ann Meadows, Executive Director of the WV State Independent Living Council plans to meet with staff from the Governor's office about scheduling a bill signing ceremony. So stay tuned to this Web site for more information.

Again, congratulations to the Youth Caucus Delegates!! It is almost unheard of to introduce a bill for the first time and get it passed in one legislative session.

Update: House Bill 4491 Passed February 22, 2006

Congratulations Youth Caucus Delegates!

House Bill 4491 (similar to Senate Bill 472) "Disability History Week" was introduced in the House on February 10, 2006. On February 22, 2006, HB 4491 passed the House and was communicated to the Senate. On February 23, 2006, HB 4491 was introduced in the Senate and was referred to Senate Education.

Update: Bill Introduced February 2, 2006

Read a copy of Disability History Week: WV Senate Bill No. 472 introduced in the WV Senate on February 2, 2006.

Read on to learn more about their legislative initiative and watch our Web site for more information from our Youth Delegate Cub Reporter, Erick Dowdy.

Disability History Week

Establishing Disability History Week will increase the awareness and understanding of the history and contributions of people with disabilities and the disability rights movement among the general population.

The proposed legislation will:


This bill was created by the Delegates to the 2005 West Virginia Youth Disability Caucus, youth with disabilities age 16-21 from across West Virginia.

For more information: contact Ann Meadows, West Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council at 304-766-4624 (office); 304-617-1417 (cell); or

To learn more about disability movement please visit our online skills training class.

Updated: March 12, 2006

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