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Welcome to the California State Independent Living Council Website

The SILC is an 18-member council, appointed by the Governor, to represent persons with disabilities throughout the state and charged with:

  • Determining the allocation of federal funds for independent living;
  • Advising the Governor and Legislature about issues impacting persons with disabilities in California;
  • Creating projects and moving forward ideas that will enhance the ability of people with disabilities to live independently;
  • Assuring compliance with applicable state and federal laws governing independent living.

All council members serve three year terms as volunteers. In July 1996, Governor Pete Wilson signed an executive order which established the SILC as an independent state agency.

View SILC's “A Passion for Freedom: The Birth of Independent Living” Video


ABLE Act Proposes a Better Economic Future for Californians with Disabilities

For the first time, many Californians with disabilities may be allowed to save more than $2,000 without losing their eligibility for Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other public benefits. If legislated in California, the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, enacted in December 2014, will allow individuals whose disabilities occurred before age 26 to open one tax-exempt ABLE savings account to spend on qualified disability expenses. The ABLE Act supports the independence of people with disabilities in pursuing an education, buying a car or house, paying for assistive technology and personal support, setting aside funds for unexpected healthcare expenses and more.

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Independent Living Centers Pave the Way for Older Individuals with Blindness to Live Independently

More than ever, older Californians are facing the threat of blindness from age-related eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. According to the American Foundation for the Blind, close to 800,000 individuals in California have visual impairment, a majority of whom are 55 years of age and older. Recognizing the gravity of these statistics, the Independent Living Center of Kern County (ILCKC) took action in October 2014 and paved the way for these individuals to live and work independently by implementing an Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) program.

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Independent Living Centers Advance Ed Roberts’ Legacy

The late activist and advocate Ed Roberts believed disability is a strength. He demonstrated that belief by becoming the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of California, Berkeley and became known as the Father of the Independent Living Movement. His legacy lives on and is at the heart of the employees’ and volunteers’ work at the Independent Living Center of Southern California helping Californians with disabilities live and work independently.

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Governor Brown Announces SILC Appointments

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announces SILC appointments.



Art Guild and Independent Living Center Give Veterans with Disabilities Freedom to Express Artistic Talents

California has the highest number of veterans of any state in the nation with more than 2 million military veterans calling the Golden State home. Many of these veterans return home with "service-connected" disabilities, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In 2011, the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco (ILRCSF) seized the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of veterans by honoring the Veterans’ Art Guild's (Guild) request to meet weekly at ILRCSF, which offers veterans a supportive environment to share their stories through art.

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Governor Brown Announces SILC Appointments

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announces 6 SILC appointments.



Gonzales Joins California State Independent Living Council as Legislative Specialist

The California State Independent Living Council (SILC) is pleased to announce Desi Gonzales, J.D., has been hired as SILC’s Legislative Specialist. Gonzales will be responsible for implementing the State Plan for Independent Living, handling public affairs activities, analyzing legislation impacting people with disabilities, developing recommendations for SILC Council members to present to policymakers, building coalitions with other disability, senior and civil rights organizations and more.

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Connections are Key for Independent Living Centers to Increase Employment Options for Californians with Disabilities

For the first time since July 2008, the nation’s unemployment rate dropped below 6 percent. While this is welcome news for many jobseekers, Californians with disabilities continue to encounter barriers to employment. Topping the list are employer bias and unreliable or non-existent transportation.

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Updated 9/23/14

California’s Independent Living Centers - Challenging the Misconceptions About the Deaf and Hard of Hearing SILC and Independent Living Centers Celebrate Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Month

We often take our hearing for granted, but extending that to audism, the belief that hearing affords one a superior position to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, furthers misconceptions about deafness. Independent Living Centers fight every day against these misconceptions while sending the message that hearing is the only difference between people who are deaf and those who aren’t.

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Youth with Disabilities Sharpen Skills to Meet the School Year Head On

Updated: 8/27/14

As high school and college campuses across the state gear up for the new school year, several Southern California students with disabilities are prepared and well equipped to tackle the challenges ahead.

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Embracing Diversity in Celebration of the Americans With Disabilities Act

Updated: 7/16/14

If you listen carefully, you’ll hear individuals, businesses and communities in Northern California joining together and embracing diversity as a tribute to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Disability Awareness Day. On July 19, hundreds of individuals and the Independent Living Centers (ILCs) in Northern California will participate in the 5th Annual West Coast Disability Pride Parade & Festival (Parade & Festival) in celebration of disabilities as an element of human diversity.

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Over $200K Available to California IL Network

Updated: 6/16/2014

Eligible IL Network organizations can apply by July 18, 2014 to secure funding for projects that provide technical assistance, increase capacity, or provide peer mentorships.

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Independent Living Centers Champion Olmstead Decision All Year Long

Updated: 6/10/2014

Fifteen years ago, the Supreme Court called upon the Americans with Disabilities Act as the basis for the Olmstead Decision, declaring that segregating people with disabilities in institutions is discrimination and against the law. Every day, Independent Living Centers, like Dayle McIntosh Center and the Central Coast Center for Independent Living, champion Olmstead by providing programs, services and resources designed to keep people with disabilities living independently rather than isolated in institutions.

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Independent Living Centers Provide Proven Alternatives for Individuals with Mental Health Disabilities to Live Well and Independently

Updated: 5/22/2014

Too often individuals with mental health disabilities who are in crisis end up in mental health facilities, living on the streets or incarcerated in jails or prisons. In contrast, California's Independent Living Centers provide an alternative to hospitalization and incarceration through community-based programs and support services that promote independence and lead to a healthy lifestyle.

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May 28, 2014 10 AM Webinar

Hearing collecting testimony regarding proposed Amendment to 2014-2016 SPIL

Updated: 5/21/2014

The SILC and DOR are proposing to split new, one-time federal funds 28 ways with one $3500 grant or so going to each state-recognized independent living corporation.

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Jacqueline Jackson, of San Diego, appointed to the California State Rehabilitation Council

SILC Council Members Fills Statutory Seat

Updated: 5/12/2014

Jackson has been an independent nonprofit management consultant since 1994. She was development director and consultant at the San Diego Center for the Blind from 2002 to 2004, director for charter school development at Norman and Norman Inc. from 1996 to 2005 and an education consultant for the Schools Future Research Foundation from 1994 to 1996.

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Traveling Poses a Unique Set of Challenges for People with Blindness

SILC Council Members Highlight Transportation Obstacles for Individuals Living with Blindness

Updated: 4/23/2014

Getting from "here to there" can be challenging and require patience from most everyone. But for people with blindness or visual impairment, overcoming mobility challenges often takes more than just patience - it takes planning, flexibility and, at times, courage – particularly given the public's lack of awareness and compliance with safety and anti-discrimination laws.

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It's a "Family Affair" at Independent Living Centers for People with Disabilities and Their Families

Updated: 3/31/2014

Managing the daily challenges of life can be stressful and overwhelming. And for approximately 4.8 million people living with disabilities in California, many of those challenges impact the entire family as well. For example, if a family cannot find accessible, affordable housing, they may end up living in a shelter or on the streets. Helping families with a plan to achieve residential stability is just one of the services provided by Independent Living Centers in California.

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SILC Position Paper: The Employment Policy Crisis for People with Disabilities

Updated: 3/09/2014

Employment is crucial for individuals with disabilities to live meaningful, productive, and independent lives within their communities. Markedly improving employment outcomes of people with disabilities requires collaborative leadership, marketing strategies that increase awareness, strong support for workplace diversity, and proactive solutions to regulatory barriers while creating a sustained focus on accountability.

Read more in PDF Format (192 kilobytes) and Microsoft Word Format (48 kilobytes)

Independent Living Centers Help Obliterate Obstacles to Aging with Disabilities in Rural Communities

Updated: 2/20/2014

As California baby boomers enter their senior years, many will face the unique challenges of living independently in rural areas.

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Independent Living Centers Keep Ed Roberts’ Vision Alive

SILC and Independent Living Centers Pay Tribute to Ed Roberts Day

Updated: 1/22/2014

In the mid-seventies, Ed Roberts, Father of the Independent Living Movement, was hired as a state director and asked if he was planning to become a bureaucrat. Roberts replied, "No, I think I’ll be an 'advocrat'" and furthered his journey as a change agent for people living with disabilities.

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Grants Awarded for SPIL Projects

Updated: 1/22/2014

More than $25,000 in Title VIIB funds were awarded to Independent Living Centers in California to support efforts to achieve greater long term stability through technical assistance and peer mentoring (Technical Assistance), and to build internal capacity to provide services by undertaking revenue generating ventures (Capacity Building).

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Independent Living Centers - Matchmakers Making a Big Difference

Updated: 12/17/2013

To live a more independent life and remain in their homes, many individuals with disabilities require assistance to tackle daily activities such as bathing, dressing, transportation to medical appointments, preparing meals, etc. According to the Personal Assistance Services Center website, the estimated number of California adults age 18 years and older who will need help with daily living activities is projected to grow as high as 980,000 by 2015.

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Independent Living Centers View Partnerships as Key to Ensuring "No Wrong Door" for California Veterans Seeking Services

Updated: 11/13/2013

California's veterans deserve timely access to services since they served us when we needed them most. Gateways to veterans services rely on extensive collaboration among a wide array of providers.

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Independent Living Centers "Equal to the Task" of Increasing Employment Opportunities for Californians with Disabilities

Updated: 10/7/2013

California currently ranks last in the nation for employing people with disabilities. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with the theme "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task." The purpose of NDEAM is to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of workers with disabilities, including veterans transitioning to civilian life.

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SILC Position Paper: Coordination of Health Care and Home and Community-Based Services

Updated: 10/3/2013

People with disabilities and seniors have a fundamental right to quality health care and Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). We embrace positive principles of care coordination and person-centered care and urge attention to quality and access.

Read more in PDF Format (163 kilobytes) and Microsoft Word Format (35 kilobytes)

SILC Position Paper: Affordable, Accessible, Integrated Housing

Updated: 10/3/2013

There is a crisis of unmet housing needs for people of all ages with disabilities. California must increase affordable, accessible, and integrated housing for people with disabilities who have the right to live at home, not in institutions..

Read more in PDF Format (168 kilobytes) and Microsoft Word Format (37.5 kilobytes)

Independent Living Centers Play a Vital Role in Helping Students Transition Out of High School

Updated: 9/10/2013

Leaving high school may translate into enrolling in college or considering employment options or exploring new cities and cultures. To make informed decisions, students first must understand their options and, second, possess the ability to weigh and exercise those options for successful outcomes. For students with disabilities, these options aren't always clear, which is where California's Independent Living Centers (ILCs) play a vital role.

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Minor Home Modification Program Makes Major Impact

Independent Living Centers Continue Breaking Down Barriers to Affordable, Accessible Housing Services

Updated: 8/8/2013

Increasing housing affordability and accessibility for people with disabilities is a significant factor to living independently.

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Disability Organizing Network and Independent Living Centers Focus on Building Accessible Communities

Updated: 7/16/2013

As the disability community prepares to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 2013, efforts to make the law a reality are still being forged throughout California with support from the State Independent Living Council.

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Seven ILCs Receive Title VII B Funds to Work On Employment Benefits Counseling, Housing, and Leadership

Updated: 7/02/2013

Department of Rehabilitation awarded grants totaling over $135,000 to community based non-profits.

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Governor Brown Appoints new Rehabilitation Ex-Officio

Updated: 6/21/2013

Continuing his support for the California Independent Living Network, California timely replaced the Ex-Officio on the SILC representing the California State Department of Rehabilitation. There is no salary for this appointment to the council and it does not require State Senate confirmation. Megan Juring, 50, of Carmichael, has been appointed to the California State Independent Living Council.

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SILC Chair Honored by San Diego I.L. Community

Updated: June, 2013

Access to Independence is holding its annual fundraiser Thursday, June 13. At that event (6 PM – 9 PM). SILC Chair Susan Madison will be honored with the "Lead On" award in recognition of her many years of service to people with disabilities.

Congratulations Susan!

Independent Living Centers: Furthering Olmstead Decision as Cost-Effective Coordinators of Care

Updated: 6/13/2013

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California and a spotlight on managed care, Independent Living Centers (ILCs) have an opportunity to further the Olmstead Decision by providing cost-effective, coordinated care for dual eligible beneficiaries or individuals who qualify for health care services through both Medicare and Medi-Cal programs.

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SILC position paper on Independent Living Services to Native Americans

Updated: 7/16/2009

Independent Living Services to Native Americans in Microsoft Word format (80 kb) or Rich Text Format (57 kb).

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