WASHINGTON

State Independent Living Council

 

 

The Washington State Independent Living Council

After nearly a year in the positon of Executive Director for the Washington State Independent Living Council (WASILC), I believe it is time to update you on all of the great work that has been taking place and to inform you of the Councils’ plans for the future.

I hit the ground running as the ED in August of 2016 and immediately began working with our stakeholders and partners. All of the individuals I met with were welcoming and enthusiastic to have a newcomer join them in the disability movement. It is reassuring to know there is a population of dedicated, service-minded professionals that are willing to offer expertise and advice when needed; and they are working tirelessly to advocate for individuals with disabilities. I continue to meet with new partners and collaborate wherever possible to ensure the WASILC advocacy efforts are reaching individuals statewide.

As well as deepening our relationships with partners and stakeholders, WASILC has seen increased collaboration with the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) in Washington State. The CIL directors and I meet regularly to discuss SPIL progress, discuss barriers, and plan for the future. In July, we are all getting together for the Annual WASILC/CIL Summit!

In October of 2017, the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) will be holding its Annual National Youth Conference in Spokane, WA. I am excited to announce that WASILC will be collaborating with APRIL for this conference! We are sending Washington State youth to the conference through a competitive scholarship (you can find the application here, as well as listed below), please feel free to share this information with anyone interested. WASILC is also sponsoring a networking event at the conference focusing on self-advocacy and employment, while expanding social and networking skills. We are very lucky to be able to partner with this organization and look forward to sending as many youth in our state to attend as possible.

Just as the needs of individuals with disabilities change, so do the needs of our Council. We are currently recruiting for new Council members to join our movement and would like to extend the invitation for you to apply to join the Council. Although applying is open to everyone, I encourage residents of Eastern Washington and Southwest Washington to apply, as we need representation from those regions on the Council. If you are interested in applying or have questions, please contact me or visit the Governor’s website here (or listed below).

Scholarship- http://www.wasilc.org/Events/CouncilMeetings.html

Inslee’s Website- http://www.governor.wa.gov/boards-commissions/board-and-commissions/apply-serve-board-or-commission-0

- Kim Conner

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.

 

 

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