WASHINGTON

State Independent Living Council

Welcome to the Washington State Independent Living Council (WASILC).

WASILC is a Governor appointed Council that empowers communities through advocacy, leadership, education and collaboration.  WASILC strives to achieve positive and effective solutions by promoting the Independent Living Philosophy.

What is the Independent Living Philosophy?

Independent Living (IL) is a philosophy and a movement of people with disabilities who work for self-determination, equal opportunities and self-respect. IL for people with disabilities means being able to live in the way you choose, with people you choose, and in the community of your choice.  It means having choices about who helps you and the ways they help.  It is about having control over your day to day life.

What is the WASILC?

As part of the 1986 amendments to the Federal Rehabilitation Act, each state needed to establish a State Independent Living Council (SILC).  In Washington, former Governor Mike Lowry created the Washington SILC through Executive Order 93-04. Subsequently, the original Executive Order was amended by Governor Gary Locke in 2004.  The WASILC currently operates under Executive Order 04-05.

The WASILC consists of an eleven person governor-appointed Council, an Executive Director, an Executive Lead, and a Project Specialist.  WASILC is presently collocated with the Washington State Rehabilitation Council (WSRC) Office in Lacey, Washington.

The goal of the Council is to ensure Washington State delivers IL services that are community-based, consumer-controlled, and for all disabilities.  WASILC advocates for these services to be in compliance with requirements of the Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act while acting in accordance with the IL Philosophy.

The primary purpose of WASILC is to monitor, review, evaluate and maintain a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).  The SPIL establishes goals and benchmarks for the IL services provided to all individuals living with disabilities in Washington State.  To help guide the SPIL, WASILC solicits continual public feedback on the effectiveness of IL services and the changing needs of the community.  WASILC collaborates with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Services for the Blind, State Legislature, and many other stakeholders to develop additional capacity to serve and advocate for individuals with disabilities.

Emilio Vela, Jr., Executive Director

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