Joining the SILC
SILC of Colorado Council Membership
The Colorado Statewide Independent Living Council welcomes you to Colorado’s Independent Living Movement!
Are you a person with a disability who wants to get involved and make a difference? Do you have a family member with a disability, or do you work to improve the lives of people with disabilities? The Colorado Statewide Independent Living Council is recruiting new members to fill vacancies for terms and you should apply! We are looking for Council Members who are
- passionate about the independent living philosophy of consumer control, self-help, and mutual assistance for people with disabilities,
- supportive of equal access and equal opportunity,
- committed to the full integration of people with disabilities into all aspects of society,
- honest, have integrity and respect for the values of others.
Beginning October 1, 2023, we will need a non-voting member who is an employee of a state government entity that serves people with disabilities.
Beginning October 1, 2024, we will need two more State Reps, plus two regular voting SILC members from the disability community.
About the SILC
The CO-SILC is federally mandated by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. We are an independent nonprofit governed by people with disabilities, but we are also a Governor – appointed Council.
We strive to reflect the diversity of this state on the council, such as:
- Different regions of the state – metro, urban, rural, and frontier.
- Diversity of disabilities – physical, neurological, cognitive, sensory, and mental disabilities.
- An accurate representation of the diversity of Colorado’s citizens: race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, citizenship, age, gender, sexual orientation, Veteran status, and socioeconomic status. Please see our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement for more information.
There are 15 members on the Council, appointed by the Governor of Colorado.
- The majority of members must be people with disabilities who do not work for a Center for Independent Living (CIL) or any state agency. We have twelve (12) voting members, plus three (3) ex-officio members. Ex-officios are non-voting members who represent a state agency that works specifically with people with disabilities.
- Meetings are open to the public, and are often attended by staff from the Centers for Independent Living (CILs).
- A term of appointment is three years and council members may serve two full consecutive terms. A former member can apply again after three (3) years off the Council.
- The Council supports the participation of members by ensuring that Council meetings and activities are fully accessible, by providing accommodations to Council members with disabilities, and by paying for any required travel.
- If you want to think about joining the SILC, but are not yet ready to commit to full membership on the council, we welcome your involvement on one of our committees. No formal application is needed, your contribution is valued, and you can learn more about the work of SILC. Please see the Committee Page, and reach out to Coordinator@coloradosilc.org.
The Council functions as a partner with the State Office of Independent Living, plus the nine CILs in Colorado, and the Association for Colorado Centers for Independent Living (ACCIL), to ensure appropriate planning, financial support and coordination, and to address, the statewide independent living needs of Coloradans with disabilities. The primary function of the SILC is to create the Statewide Independent Living Plan (SPIL) with the Office of Independent Living and the Colorado CILs. This document is what drives systemic change throughout Colorado’s communities. We work closely with Colorado’s CILs to monitor, review, and evaluate the implementation of the SPIL. Every three (3) years we send our new SPIL to the federal Administration on Community Living for approval. We also report annually on the progress toward the current SPIL goals. Developing the three-year state plan is an ongoing process that includes the use of surveys, outreach meetings, focus groups, attendance at conferences, and regular discussions with partnering agencies. Much of this work is accomplished by telephone and E-mail, but some onsite attendance may be required.
SILC Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Membership on the SILC is based on disability and geography, and requires the Governor's approval. At least 51% of people on the SILC must have disabilities. Our work is toward justice, equity and the full inclusion of all people with disabilities. Because disability is equal opportunity, membership recruitment will also seek out new members based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, citizenship, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, and socioeconomic status. While we ourselves have been marginalized because of our disabilities, it is important that we hear from other marginalized people who also experience disability. We value what insights a diverse Council can bring to the table. We understand that people who feel included and respected are more likely to contribute by creating pathways to full participation for people with disabilities.
Please review the member responsibilities carefully and apply only if you are willing to fulfill them.
The Council meets four to six times per year, sometimes via Zoom Conferencing, and sometimes at CILs throughout the state. These meetings usually last a full day. The council uses a committee structure to accomplish its mission. The committee meetings are usually held by Zoom Conferencing.
It is the responsibility of each council member to:
- Attend the mandatory new-member trainings, and any additional training that is relevant to you. Mandatory training you can do on your own includes the Secretary of State’s Non-Profit Board Member training, and SILC Roles & Responsibilities.
- Notify staff of any accommodations you need to be an active member of the Council.
- Support and work toward the Council’s mission “to champion the full inclusion of people with disabilities in community life.”
- Become informed about the issues and priorities of the Council by reviewing the information provided by Council members.
- Likewise, provide information to the Council on relevant issues based on your knowledge and experience.
- Comply with all Council policies and follow established Council procedures.
- Support the ongoing work of the Council by serving on committees, contacting policymakers, supporting and demonstrating the independent living philosophy, and showing respect for council members, staff, and guests.
- Respond to communications from council members and notify the chairperson when unable to attend a meeting.
- Learn about something about the funding streams, federal and state laws, and the network of organizations and agencies that serve people with disabilities.
Application Process & Timelines
New terms begin on October 1, and end three (3) years later. You must reapply if you want to stay on the SILC for two (2) terms. We encourage you to start your application early in the spring, as the process can be quite prolonged.
- Use this link to apply for membership in the SILC, and send it to Coordinator@ColoradoSILC.org.
- The SILC Coordinator will send your application to the Chair of the Membership Committee. Someone from the Committee will contact you to schedule an interview. All of this must happen by May 1. The Membership Committee will discuss whether we can recommend the applicant to full SILC, and write a formal recommendation.
- After that interview, apply with The Colorado Governor’s Office of Boards and Commissions (https://www.colorado.gov/governor/boards-commissions-application). The SILC is listed under “Independent Living Council, Statewide.” You’ll need to upload your resume, and hit SUBMIT at the end.
- We ask that you attend the May SILC meeting as a guest to determine your interest. If you want to proceed, you must attend the August meeting so you can answer any questions before the full SILC votes on all of the applicants.
- The Chair of the Membership Committee writes a letter to the Boards and Commissions Director making nominations. This process can be lengthy and new members are not always appointed before the terms begin in October. Once all the information they need from you is approved by the Governor’s Office, you will be notified of your appointment by the Governor of Colorado. If you are approved, your term will start October 1.
We appreciate your patience. If you have questions or need further information or assistance, please feel free to contact Coordinator@ColoradoSILC.org.