What is the SILC?
The Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental, consumer controlled organization. The council is composed of 21 appointees from around the state – a majority of whom have disabilities – representing diverse cultures and needs in the state. The SILC is responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of the 3-year Statewide Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). The Council is jointly responsible for the SPIL with its state plan partners – The Vermont State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) and the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI).
The Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council exists to advance the equality with which people with disabilities enjoy, participate in and contribute to the lives of their community, families, and friends.
Role of the SILC:
The federal Rehabilitation Act requires each state to maintain a Statewide Independent Living Council to monitor programs that help disabled people live with independence and dignity in their own homes (as opposed to nursing homes or other institutions).
In Vermont, as in other states, the 17 voting members of the SILC are appointed by the governor and the majority of them must be persons with significant disabilities. Collectively, they must represent all regions of the state as well as a broad spectrum of disabilities. The executive director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living is a voting member of the SILC; the directors of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired are non-voting (ex-officio”) members.
Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILC’s), established under Title VII of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, are gubernatorially appointed councils which coordinate the functions related to the planning, monitoring and evaluation of the SPIL. The VT SILC provides support and technical assistance to the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) – a statewide, a community-based organization directed by and for people with disabilities.
Advertisements and articles describing the SILC and its mission are written for local newspaper and other publications such as THE INDEPENDENT and ACCESSIBILITY LIVING. Persons with significant disabilities who are interested in applying to the council are encouraged to do so.
Organizations serving people with dsabilities are contacted, asking for names of potential SILC members.
Selection criteria for board members includes the following:
Vermont SILC Committees and Work Groups