To create policy and systems change for independent living.
The California State Independent Living Council (SILC) was originally established as an Independent Living Advisory Council (ILAC) to the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). That role changed in 1992, when amendments to the federal Rehabilitation Act required states to establish autonomous Statewide Independent Living Councils in order to retain federal funding for independent living services. In July of 1996, Governor Pete Wilson signed an executive order which established the SILC as an independent California state agency.
In cooperation with the state Department of Rehabilitation, the SILC prepares a State Plan for Independent Living which sets the policy and funding levels for the state's network of Independent Living Centers (ILCs) and services. To help guide this policy, the SILC solicits continual public feedback on the effectiveness of independent living services and the changing needs of the community.
In addition to preparing and updating the State Plan for Independent Living, the SILC monitors the implementation of it. The SILC also coordinates with similar agencies and councils at the state and federal levels to increase communication and help assure that services to people with disabilities are delivered effectively.
To influence policy and access to service delivery for all individuals with disabilities in California.
The SILC under Title VII, Chapter I, Part B of the Rehabilitation Act, as Amended by the workforce innovation and opportunity act (WIOA) of 2014, Section 796 of Title 29 of the United States Code, Governor's Executive Order Number W-133-96, and California's Welfare and Institutions Code Section 19800. These laws mandate that the SILC performs the following duties:
- Along with the directors of the CILs in the State develop and submit the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).
- Monitor, review, and evaluate the implementation of the SPIL.
- Coordinate activities with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), and other councils that address the needs of specific disability populations and issues.
- In partnership with the DOR, jointly develop and approve the Resource Plan for Independent Living Services. This attachment to the SPIL includes funding for all independent living services in the state, as well as the DOR and the SILC.
- Ensure that all regularly scheduled meetings of the Council are open to the public, and that sufficient advance notice is provided.
The SILC is a 18-member council, appointed by the Governor, which serves to maximize opportunities for people with disabilities who desire to live independently. The SILC membership represents a cross-section of the independent living movement in California and, by law, the majority of the volunteer council members are people with disabilities. Council members are appointed to three-year terms, and include:
- Consumers of independent living services;
- The director of the state Department of Rehabilitation;
- Representatives of other state agencies;
- Advocates for people with disabilities;
- A representative from the California tribal community;
- Representatives of the business community;
- And representatives from Independent Living Centers.
The members of the SILC also serve on committees organized around key issues affecting people with disabilities. The current SILC standing committees are the Communication and Collaboration, Governance, SPIL and the Executive Committee oversees and governs all.
If you would like to become a SILC member, the Governor’s online application is available here or by clicking on the link in another section of the SILC website.