Your Statewide Independent Living Council operates under a set of rules found in section 705 of the Rehabilitation Act and in the SILC Indicators and SILC and DSE Assurances. Here are some key items that your SILC must not overlook:

  • The executive director of a Center must be selected by the center directors to serve on the SILC as a CIL representative. This is required in the Rehabilitation Act itself, in Section 705 which states: (2) Composition. – The Council shall include (A) among its voting members, at least 1 director of a center for independent living chosen by the directors of centers for independent living within the State; Note that this is not considered a conflict of interest. This voting member can serve as an officer as well unless your bylaws prevent that. The point is to have meaningful representation from the center(s) on the council.
  • Long-term members of the SILC (more than six consecutive years) are not legitimate because the same section of the Rehabilitation Act, 705 clarifies (6) Terms of Appointment. – (A) Length of term. – Each member of the Council shall serve for a term of 3 years, except that a member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which a predecessor was appointed, shall be appointed for the remainder of such term; and the terms of service of the members initially appointed shall be (as specified by the Governor) for such fewer number of years as will provide for the expiration of terms on a staggered basis. (B) Number of terms. – No member of the Council, other than a representative described in paragraph (2)(A) if there is only one center for independent living within the State, may serve more than two consecutive full terms. The governor’s appointment office needs to be aware of this item and must remove any members of the council who are serving now and have served in excess of 6 total years.
  • The Indicators mentioned above require a number of written and approved policies and procedures for the SILC and a training plan for SILC members. We can work with you on both those items.
  • Not all SILCs fund a full SILC office. The SILC can request staff assistance from the DSE as long as the person who provides the assistance is agreed to by the SILC and the SILC evaluates the work that is done for them. While it is true that the SILC cannot be established as an entity within a state agency, they can supervise and evaluate a person from the DSE assigned to the SILC.

For technical assistance or training regarding requirements for SILCs contact Paula McElwee at

Four key checks for SILCs

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