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About Us

Our Mission

To create policy and systems change for independent living.

Our History

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.

Our Role

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.

Vision Statement

To influence policy and access to service delivery for all individuals with disabilities in California.

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Statutory Requirements

Section 796(d) 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 mandate that the SILC shall perform the following duties:

  • Jointly develop and sign, in conjunction with the Designated State Unit (DSU), the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) as required in section 796(c) of Title 29. Note: The DOR is the DSU in California.
  • 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.

Council Membership

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
  • Family members or guardians of people with disabilities
  • The director of the state Department of Rehabilitation
  • Representatives of other state agencies
  • Advocates for people with disabilities
  • A representative of the state's Native American vocational rehabilitation projects
  • Representatives of the business community
  • 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 Governance and Internal Operations Committee, the Communication and Collaboration Committee, and the Executive Committee.

If you would like to become a SILC member, the Governor's appointments application is available here or by clicking on the link in another section of the SILC website.

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Core Values and Strategies

The SILC's core values, defined as beliefs and principles that guide our daily behavior while accomplishing our mission, are as follows:

  • Equal Opportunity
  • Equal Rights
  • Full Access
  • Informed Decision-Making
  • Self Determination
  • Choice
  • Empowerment and
  • Public Participation

Core Strategies are an integral part of the SILC's basic approach to guide individual and organizational behaviors toward the achievement of our vision, and to increase knowledge and provide guidance to programs in order to improve the independence of persons with disabilities in California. These strategies include:

  • Public Participation: At every opportunity, the SILC and our partners seek to raise the level of public participation of people with disabilities in the decision-making process.
  • Public Policy: The SILC researches, evaluates and makes recommendations for system change and policy improvements which enhance the independence of people with disabilities.
  • Comprehensive Planning: All SILC objectives and activities are based on sound planning processes which actualize the SILC's vision, mission, and core value statements.
  • Public Education: The SILC promotes the view that persons with disabilities should be fully included and active participants in society and we strive to eliminate the restrictive view of single disability stereotypes of persons with disabilities.
  • Quality Programs and Activities: All SILC programs and activities are developed with the input of the consumers served by those programs, and are designed and evaluated through the use of qualitative and quantitative outcome measures.
  • Partnerships: The SILC commitment to productive partnerships with agencies, departments, organizations and consumer and cultural groups permeates the SILC's work.
  • Leadership: SILC staff and members seek leadership roles on planning committees and in organizations and associations related to the SILC's mission.

SILC Diversity Plan in Microsoft Word Format (41 kb) or PDF Format (221 kb) or Rich Text format (80 kb)


Policies and Procedures

SILC Policies and Procedures in Microsoft Word format (140 kb) or Rich Text Format (236 kb) - Posted on September 11, 2012.

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Council Members
Aguirre, Rebeca
Agyin, Michael
Bazyn, Ardis
Cody, Joseph
Gelardin, Eli
Hinze, Fiona
Jackson, Jacqueline Marie
Jauregui, Ben (Chair)
Jones, Dorothy L.
Kerrigan, Trilby
Leverett, Dawn
Moussavian, Sara
Schaedle, Linda
Soto, Jimmie
Van Essen, Michael
Ex-officio Members
Santi Rogers
Denyse Curtright (Representative)
Joe Xavier
Will Lightbourne
Lora Connolly
Liz Pazdral, Executive Director
Yvonne Walden, Project Grants Manager
Robert McCarthy, Legislative Specialist
Danielle Hess, Office Manager