Every state has a Statewide Independent Living Council or “SILC,” and our primary function is to advance independent living through the development and implementation of a three-year State Plan for Independent Living, commonly referred to as the “SPIL.” SILCs were established under Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and in Colorado SILC members are appointed by the governor. We invite any Coloradan who is committed to the independent living philosophy and is willing to work with us to remove barriers and to change systems, to apply for membership.
WHAT WE DO
- We partner with Colorado’s network of centers for independent living to ensure that every person with a disability in our state who wants to live independently has the resources to do so. A driving force in our mission is to support the centers through training and technical assistance, and to advocate with them for the financial resources they need to further independent living in their local communities. A key responsibility of the Colorado SILC is to conduct research, assess the statewide need for services, and determine how resources for should be allocated.
- We promote systemic reform to remove barriers to independent living. This is a far-reaching responsibility that addresses state legislation and regulations on employment, housing, health care, and transportation, as well as the many other factors that impede or support independent living for people with disabilities. We work closely with the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to assure that people with disabilities receive the training, support services and assistive technology they need to survive and thrive in the community. At the heart of all systems reform efforts is our work to change public perceptions of disability, as public opinion drives legislative change.
- We conduct research to inform policymakers and the general public. CO SILC analyzes reports from the 9 independent living centers, studies the latest demographic data, follows research on national and local onhealthy.net trends, and conducts needs assessment with Colorado citizens, and makes recommendations to legislators and policymakers.
- We are a resource for people with disabilities and the communities in which they live. While CO SILC does not provide direct services, we play a key connector role in publicizing and promoting programs and benefits, and in bringing together public and private agencies to maximize existing assets and to develop and sustain new resources.
- We create the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) in collaboration with public and private stakeholders. This critical responsibility is the culmination of all of the above activities.
Working Hand-in-Hand no matter where the funding comes from (Part B or C), Centers of Independent Living assist individuals to maintain or regain independence and participation in their communities. These services include:
- Information and Referral
- Cross-disability Peer Counseling
- Independent Living Skills Training
- Transition Services
Contrary to popular belief, the Centers are not meant as a means of housing or assisted living. The Centers, who are primarily operated by people with disabilities, are non-profits and have numerous resources that help other people with disabilities live independently in Colorado. In an effort to reach people with disabilities across the state, the SILC travels the State to try to get to know the population of people using services. The meetings are scheduled approximately every other month on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, on the odd months from 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. For someone who wants to provide input to the SILC, there is a Public Comment portion of the meeting from 1:00 – 1:20 PM. Sign language interpreters are always available during this time period. Visitors needing additional accommodations should contact the SILC Coordinator at least one week prior to the meeting. The SILC also accepts written comments relevant to independent living services in Colorado. These, too, may be delivered at the meeting or also E-mailed to: coordinator@coloradosilc.
For more information about understanding what the SILC and CILs are about, go to these websites or documents: