State Independent Living Council Discussion Archive

NATSILC: RSA Staff Explains New Policy

Posted by: Lou Diehl
Date Mailed: Wednesday, October 22nd 2003 10:31 AM

Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2003 20:00:36 EDT

For those who doubt the veracity of the warnings written about in the
posting at here is an
example of the many facts upon which it was based. 

In response to a query about who can and can't vote for the center
director who Title VII requires as a member selected by his or her peers,
a Region V staffperson wrote the following: 

"The Rehab Act draws no connection between the network of centers and the
election of a center representative to the SILC.  The law talks about the
SILC having at least one member that is a director of a center for
independent living chosen by the center directors in a state The
requirement for centers to participate in the election of the center
representative to the SILC is that the center must meet the definition of
a center contained in the Rehab Act at section 702. There is no
requirement that the center also meet the standards and assurances set
forth in section 725 of the Act in order to vote on the center
representative to the SILC.  However, a center must meet the definition of
a center in the Act and must meet the standards and assurances to be a
member of the network of centers." 

Here's the reason the query was sent. 

As part of its report of findings in Indiana, RSA noted that none of the
membership required by Title VII for the SILC had been appointed - not the
DSU representative, no one from other agencies providing services to
people with disabilities, and not a representative from the state's

Note:  Although several persons self-identified as being the center
representative, no one has ever been appointed by the Governor for that
purpose. Emma Sullivan's election nearly three years ago was rejected by
the former SILC chair, saying "she's a good person and her heart's in the
right place, but she shouldn't be forced onto the council." 

Six entities in Indiana have been receiving Part C funding through RSA
after having been selected through the appropriate review processes.  Only
five of those were recognized by the state until last year. 

Four have formed the Indiana Federation of Centers for Independent Living. 
The other two have chosen to collaborate instead with three other entities
who were selected by the state's Department of Administration (neither the
SILC nor the DSU were involved in that process) to receive SSA/VR funds
and be deemed as "Centers."  This was done without benefit of peer review
or determination that they meet the standards and assurances that most
have assumed must apply to anyone who calls themselves a center. 

Note: many in IL believe that those three were funded as "rewards" to
previous council members who "paid their dues" by doing the state's
bidding, and question whether or not they are operating in accordance with
generally accepted practices for CILs. For example, one claims that they
don't "do advocacy," one operates an apartment complex, one has a director
who doesn't believe that anyone should be allowed to hold up signs at a
SILC meeting. 

Meanwhile, at least five other groups have been referenced by SILC members
as "centers," even though most don't even have an address and one operates
out of a sheltered workshop.  One of them is funded by a veterans
organization that runs out of one of the federally funded centers, and its
'director' is the daughter-in-law of the SILC's treasurer, who works for
the director of the federally funded center. 

So. The question is, how many centers may participate in the process by
which a representative of the Centers is selected?  Six?  Nine?  Fourteen? 

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