The SILC is a Governor-appointed council of up to 21 members. 51 percent of the council's members must be people with disabilities who are not state or CIL employees. Other members may include family members of people with disabilities, independent living advocates, or representatives of businesses or partner organizations of the Independent Living (IL) program.
The Rehabilitation Act and federal reporting documents outline the following duties of the SILC:
Participating in the submission of a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL), which identifies steps to maximize the cooperation, coordination, and working relationships among public and private entities; addresses outreach to populations that are unserved or underserved by the Rehabilitation Act's Independent Living program; and ensures the existence of appropriate planning, financial support and coordination, and other assistance to appropriately address needs on a statewide and comprehensive basis.
Conducting activities to monitor and evaluate the State Plan for Independent Living's implementation.
Coordinating activities with the State Rehabilitation Council and councils that address the needs of specific disability populations and issues under other federal law.
Conducting meetings that are open to the public, and with sufficient public notice.
Participating in the submission of an annual report to the Rehabilitation Services Administration regarding Oregon's Independent Living program.
Playing a central role in pulling together Independent Living partners, assessing the IL needs of the state, promoting the expansion of programs to fill service gaps and facilitate the development of the IL Network.
In general, the SILC's role is to evaluate what works and doesn't work within the State Independent Living Program, then pull together partners to adjust the program so that the services provided are effective in meeting the needs of Oregonians who may utilize IL services.
Priorities for member recruitment include finding individuals who are role models of the Independent Living movement's philosophy. These individuals should be able to identify the difference between a paternalistic approach to disability and a self-directed approach to disability. This does not mean the individual necessarily uses the term "independent living", but they will be someone who understands and supports the values of informed choice, self-determination, and community inclusion versus segregation in their daily life. The SILC also hopes to find members who have some degree of knowledge about what Centers for Independent Living do. Finding members who have time to actively participate in the SILC's planning and evaluation activities is also necessary.
The SILC's activities have the effect of changing the way people with disabilities are treated in society. Our goals and outcomes are consistent with an advocate. However, direct advocacy is not what people should expect when they become members of the SILC. In the IL program, it is usually Centers for Independent Living, along with consumers, who work directly with legislators and disability service organizations to advocate for changes in the law or program funding. The SILC's work is focused on creating change by maintaining a voice in IL program planning and evaluation, then bringing people together to figure out how to make improvements that will enhance the community involvement and independence of people who experience disabilities.
If you are considering SILC membership, it is important for you to determine whether your interests match the SILC's role and responsibilities and whether your personal goals fit well with the SILC's mission.
If you believe you are a good match, you may contact SILC staff to request a member recruitment packet. The packet explains how to apply, and tells more about our meeting schedules, the IL philosophy, etc.
Staff contact information:
Current targets for SILC recruitment
The SILC is required to maintain a balanced, statewide demographic representation among our members. For that reason, the Council is currently seeking additional members especially from the following areas.
North or South Coast
Additionally, members who fit any of the following criteria would give greater balance to the SILC's membership.
Individuals between 18 and 30 years of age
Individuals from the Hispanic or Asian communities
Individuals with experience in research, program planning and evaluation