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Statewide Independent Living Councils and State Plans for Independent Living

What is a Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)?

Each state and U.S. territory is required to maintain a statewide independent living council (SILC). The Council and the Centers for Independent Living (CILs) within the state develop a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). The SPIL is a document required by law that indicates how the IL Network is going to improve independent living services for individuals with disabilities over the next three years. It identifies the needs and priorities of consumers, providers, and other stakeholders and sets forth goals and objectives to respond to them.

Having a strong network for independent living in a state or territory is crucial. Collaborating on the SPIL development can help create a cohesive and unified vision among all stakeholders who have an interest in issues that impact citizens with disabilities. 

What are the core requirements for SILCs?

For a state to be eligible to receive financial assistance authorized by the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, Title VII, Chapter I, the state must establish and maintain a Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). The State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) provides for establishment of the SILC and a plan for funding the administrative costs of the SILC, referred to as the SILC resource plan. The SILC functions include monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating the implementation of the SPIL. It is critical that SILC autonomy over the SILC resource plan is recognized by the State as necessary to carry out the functions and authorities of the SILC. 

ACL recognizes it may be helpful for SILCs, designated state entities (DSE), and other stakeholders to have a common understanding of the SILC resource plan and required SILC autonomy related to the resource plan. The following FAQ is intended to assist in developing a common understanding of the SILC resource plan and SILC autonomy. Download the FAQ on SILC Resource Plans.

What is a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL)?

State Plans for Independent Living (SPILs) show how federal, state, and other funds will be used to support the state’s independent living programs as well as collaborations with other partners in the state and other ACL grantees to enhance and expand service delivery and options for individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 704(a) of The Rehabilitation Act, as amended requires the review and revision of the SPIL, not less than once every three years, to ensure the existence of appropriate planning, financial support and coordination, and other assistance to appropriately address, on a statewide and comprehensive basis, needs in the state for:

(A) the provision of independent living services in the state;

(B) the development and support of a statewide network of centers for independent living;  and

(C) working relationships and collaboration between—

(i)  centers for independent living; and

(ii)(I)  entities carrying out programs that provide independent living services, including those serving older individuals;

(II) other community-based organizations that provide or coordinate the provision of housing, transportation, employment, information and referral assistance, services, and supports for individuals with significant disabilities; and

(III) entities carrying out other programs providing services for individuals with disabilities.

The SPILs also includes the following:

  • The core services that WIOA requires
  • An explanation and requirement for the state matching requirement
  • Legal basis and certifications, DSE assurances, and SILC assurances
  • A chart for the financial plan 
  • A chart for centers' for independent living service areas and oversight
  • A signatures section.
State SILC Contacts

State

Organization Name

Address

Phone Number

General email

Website

AK

Statewide Independent Living Council of Alaska

35555 Kenai Spur HWY,

PMB 285

Soldotna, AK 99669

Phone: (907) 263-2011

 

https://www.alaskasilc.org/

AL

State of Alabama Independent Living Council

2960 County Highway 89

Vina, AL  35593

202-255-3434

 

https://silcal.org/

AR

Arkansas State Independent Living Council

10 Corporate Hill Drive

Suite 240

Little Rock, AR 72205

Toll-Free: (800) 772-0607

info@arsilc.org

https://arsilc.org/

AS

American Samoa Statewide Independent Living Council

P.O. Box 4561

Pago Pago, AS 96799

Phone: (684) 699-5990

TTY: (684) 699-1381

 

https://rsa.ed.gov/grantee/american-samoa/american-samoa-office-vocatio…

AZ

Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council

Mailing Address: 3820 W. Happy Valley Road Ste. 141 #482

Glendale, AZ 85310

Phone: (602) 262-2900

 

 

info@azsilc.org

https://azsilc.org/

CA

California’s State Independent Living Council

1300 Ethan Way, Suite 110

Sacramento, CA 95825

Phone: (916) 263-7905 Toll-Free: (866) 866-7452

SILC@calsilc.ca.gov

https://www.calsilc.ca.gov

CO

Colorado Statewide Independent Living Council

633 17th Street, Suite 1501,

Denver, Colorado 80202-3615

Phone: (303) 902-5897

 

https://coloradosilc.org/

CT

Connecticut State Independent Living Council

151 New Park Avenue Hartford, CT 06106

Phone: (860) 681-7599

info@ctsilc.org

https://ctsilc.org/

DC

District of Columbia

Statewide Independent Living Council

250 E Street, Southwest, First Floor, Washington, DC, 20024

Phone: (202)-442-8432

 

https://sites.google.com/a/dc.gov/dcsilc/

DE

Delaware Statewide

Independent Living Council

458 Anderson Road, Magnolia, DE 19962

302-423-5208 (text only - hearing impaired)

 

http://desilc.org/

FL

Florida Independent Living Council

1882 Capital Circle Northeast, Suite 202, Tallahassee, FL 32308

 

1616 Eagles Landing Boulevard

Suite 72

Tallahasee, FL  32308

Phone: (850) 488-5624

Toll-free: (877) 822-1993

TTY: (850) 488-5624

 

850-572-5764

 

 

 

http://www.floridasilc.org/

GA

Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia

4300 River Watch Parkway, Suite 902

Martinez, GA  30907

TTY: Use Georgia Relay, 711

 

706-627-1952

 

https://www.silcga.org/

 

GU

State Independent Living Council

P.O. Box 22783, GMF, Barrigada, GU 96921

Phone: (671) 929-3554

 

https://disid.guam.gov/state-independent-living-council-silc/

HI

Statewide Independent Living Council

841 Bishop St, Suite 201

Honolulu, HI 96813

Phone: (808) 249-2545

info@hisilc.org

https://www.hisilc.org/

IA

Iowa Statewide Independent Living Council

2520 Jordan Grove

West Des Moines, IA 50265

 

 

TTY: Use Relay Iowa for TTY

 

630-947-5154

 

https://iowasilc.org/

ID

Idaho State Independent Living Council

120 S Cole Road (83709)

P.O. Box 83720

Boise, ID 83720-9601

Phone/TDD: (208) 334-3800

Toll-Free in Idaho: (800) 487-4866

 

https://silc.idaho.gov/

IL

The Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois

828 S. 2nd St.

Suite 301

Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: (217) 744-7777

 

https://silcofillinois.org/

IN

Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council

615 N. Alabama Street, Suite 140

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Toll-Free: 1-844-4INSILC

chair@insilc.org

https://www.insilc.org/

KS

Statewide Independent Living Council of Kansas

15503 Marty Street

Overland Park, KS  66223

Phone/TDD: (785) 234-6990

913-239-9776

 

https://silck.org/

KY

Statewide Independent Living Council

120 N. Mill St., Ste 201
Lexington, KY 40507

Phone: (859) 281-0048

 

https://silc.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx

LA

Louisiana Statewide Independent Living Council

P.O. Box 94095, 1051 North Third Street, Suite 129, Baton Rouge, 70802

Phone: (225) 219-7553

Toll-free: (800) 579-5611

TTY: (225) 219-7550

 

https://gov.louisiana.gov/page/silc

MA

Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council

1 Clarks Hill, Suite 200

Framingham, MA. 01702

Phone/TTY: (508) 620-7452

 

https://masilc.org/

MD

Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council

 

Phone: (443) 961-4630

silcmaryland@gmail.com.

https://www.marylandsilc.org/

ME

Maine Statewide Independent Living Council

P.O. Box 2794
Waterville, ME 04903

Phone: (207) 219-0391

execdirector@mainesilc.org

https://mainesilc.org/

MI

Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council

PO Box 71, Middleville, MI 49333

Phone: (833) 808-7452

Toll-Free: (833) 808-7452.

 

https://www.misilc.org/

MN

Minnesota Statewide Independent Living Council

840 Sherman Street

Good Thunder, MN 56037

Phone: (612) 518-1497

 

https://mn.gov/deed/job-seekers/disabilities/councils/silc.jsp

MO

Missouri Statewide Independent Living Council

1760 Southridge Drive

Jefferson City, MO  65109

573-556-0400

 

https://mosilc.org/

MP

CNMI Statewide Independent Living Council

P.O. Box 501521
Saipain, MP 96950

Phone: (670) 322-6537

 

https://www.ovrgov.net/ovr/statewide-independent-living-council

MS

Mississippi Statewide Independent Living Council

21027 Highway 14, Macon, MS 39341

Phone: (601) 853-5230

 

https://www.mdrs.ms.gov/about-mdrs/advisory-councils

MT

Montana Statewide Independent Living Council

111 North Last Chance Gulch, Suite 4C

PO Box 4210

Helena, Montana, 59604-4210

Phone/TTY: (406) 444-2590

 

mtsilc@mt.gov

https://dphhs.mt.gov/detd/independentliving/MTSILC

NC

North Carolina Statewide Independent Living Council

100 Quincy Meadow Avenue

Zebulon, NC  27597

423-650-6994

 

https://nc-silc.org/

ND

North Dakota Statewide Independent Living Council

2626 10th Ave. SE

Mandan, ND 58554

Phone: (701) 595-2361

 

https://www.nd.gov/dhs/dvr/councils-partners/ndsilc.html

NE

Nebraska's Statewide Independent Living Council

1701 P Street

Lincoln, NE 68508

402-441-7871

 

https://www.nesilc.org/

NH

New Hampshire Statewide Independent Living Council

21 Chenell Drive

Concord, NH 03301

Phone: (603) 271-2773

 

https://silcnh.org/

NJ

New Jersey Statewide Independent Living Council

351 High Street, 103, Burlington, NJ 08016

Phone: (856) 796-2497

 

https://www.njsilc.org/

NM

New Mexico Statewide Independent Living Council

3916 Juan Tabo Boulevard, Northeast, Albuquerque, NM 87111

Phone: 505-256-3100

 

https://www.dvr.state.nm.us/state-independent-living-council/

NV

Nevada Statewide Independent Living Council

P.O. Box 33386

Las Vegas, NV 89133

Phone: (702) 757-7990

 

https://www.nvsilc.com/

NY

New York Statewide Independent Living Council

111 Washington Avenue, Suite 101 • Albany, NY 12210

Phone/TTY: (518) 427-1060

 

https://nysilc.org/

OH

Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council

670 Morrison Road

Suite 200

Gahanna, OH 43230

Phone/TTY: (614) 892-0390

Toll-Free: (800) 566-7788

 

http://www.ohiosilc.org/about-silc/

OK

Oklahoma Statewide Independent Living Council

6108 NW 63rd Street

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73132

Phone: 405-888-0068

 

http://oksilc.org/

OR

Oregon Statewide Independent Living Council

500 Summer St NE, E-87

Salem, OR 97301-1063

Phone: 503-945-6204

oregon.silc@odhsoha.oregon.gov

https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/seniors-disabilities/silc/Pages/index.aspx

PA

Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council

205 Grandview Avenue Suite 405, Camp Hill, PA 17011

Phone: (717) 364-1732

info@pasilc.org

https://pasilc.org/

PR

Puerto Rico State Council for Independent Living

Physical Address:

Edificio Mercantil Plaza

Avenida Ponce de León

Piso PH Oficina 1601-A, San Juan

 

Mailing Address:

PMB 205

PO Box 194000

San Juan, PR 00919-4000

Phone: (787) 757-8345

info@cevipr.org

https://cevipr.org/

RI

Rhode Island Statewide Independent Living Council

1944 Warwick Ave,

Warwick, RI 02889

Phone: (401) 738-1013 × 10

info@risilc.org

https://risilc.org/

SC

South Carolina Statewide Independent Living Council

1525 Fairhaven Drive

Columbia, SC  29210

708-218-8104

 

https://scsilc.com/wp/

SD

South Dakota Statewide Independent Living Council

524 N. Sycamore Ave.,

Ste. 2

Sioux Falls, SD 57110

Phone: (605) 494-3613

Toll-free: (800) 265-9684

 

https://dhs.sd.gov/rehabservices/drsboardsandcouncils.aspx

TN

Tennessee Statewide Independent Living Council

2028 Saint Gregory’s Court

Knoxville, TN  37931

216-409-2959

 

silcchair@silctn.org

https://www.silctn.org/

TX

Texas Statewide Independent Living Council

5900 Balcones Dr
Ste 13235

Austin, TX 78731

Phone: (512) 371-7353

contact@txsilc.org

https://txsilc.org/

UT

Utah Statewide Independent Living Council

423 W 800 S Ste A101

Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Phone: (801) 463-1592

 

http://usilc.org/

VA

Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council

8004 Franklin Farms Drive

Richmond, Virginia 23229

Phone: (804) 663-7817

TTY: (800) 464-9950

 

https://www.vasilc.virginia.gov/

VI

Virgin Islands Statewide Independent Living Council

P.O. Box 4840
Kingshill, VI 00851

Phone: (340) 513-1373

 

 

VT

Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council

P.O. Box 158

Worcester, VT 05682

Phone: (802) 560-8091

 

https://vermontsilc.org/

WA

Washington Statewide Independent Living Council

Mailing Address:

PO Box 45343

Olympia, WA 98504

 

Physical Address:

4565 7th Ave SE

Lacey, WA 98503

Phone: (800) 624-4105

WASILC@dshs.wa.gov

https://www.wasilc.org/

WI

Independent Living Council of Wisconsin

3810 Milwaukee St,

Madison, WI 53714

Phone: (608) 206-1581

ILCWinfo@gmail.com

https://il-wis.net/independent-living-council/about-the-council/

WV

West Virginia Statewide Independent Living Council

P.O. Box 625

5010 C Fairview Avenue, Institute, WV 25112

Phone: (304) 766-4624

 

http://www.wvsilc.org

WY

Wyoming State Independent Living Council

Accommodation Requests:

5221 Yellowstone Rd.

Cheyenne, WY 82002

Phone: (307) 777-7191

wyoming.state.chair@wyo.gov

https://wyomingsilc.wyo.gov/

Submitting State Plans for Independent Living

In April 2020, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a new State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) instrument and instructions. The new SPIL addressed changes to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that result from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, 29 U.S.C. 32, and increases the instrument’s and instructions’ clarity, conciseness, and precision. The new SPIL also includes the following:

The new SPIL also includes the following:

- The core services that WIOA requires

- An explanation and requirement for the state matching requirement

- Legal basis and certifications, DSE assurances, and SILC assurances

- A chart for the financial plan

- A chart for centers for independent living’s service areas and oversight

- A signatures section.

 

Please use the link below to open the new SPIL Instrument and Instructions:

State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) Instrument and Instructions - Template

State Plan Amendment Process

A change in the designated state entity (DSE) can only be effectuated when it is designated in the SPIL. As noted, a change of the DSE is a substantial and material change that requires an amendment of the SPIL.

Amendments to the SPIL must be submitted by the State to ACL. “To be eligible to receive financial assistance under this part, a State shall submit to the administrator, and obtain approval of, a State plan ….” Section 704(a)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 796c(a)(1). Required steps include:

- SILCs must hold public hearings to solicit input from individuals with disabilities and other stakeholders in the state.

- Amendments must be signed by three parties: the chair of the SILC, acting on behalf of and at the direction of the SILC; and not less than 51 percent of the directors of the Centers in the state. The SPIL is also signed by director of the DSE to affirm their agreement to fulfill all the DSE responsibilities set forth in the law.

Before amending the SPIL, states should send a SPIL amendment request by email to their assigned IL Specialist. The SPIL amendment request should include, at a minimum:

- The section(s) of the SPIL that the state proposes to amend, including both the existing approved language and the proposed amendment(s),

- Anticipated timelines for each step, including public hearings and final submission,

- Whether there will be a change in how funding is made available to the SILC resource plan, SILC placement, and staffing,

- A statement regarding whether the changes fundamentally impact how the state intends to operate its IL programs,

- A citation to or copy of any applicable state law or Executive Order that forms the basis for the proposed SPIL amendment, and

- A statement confirming that the SILC chair, at least 51 percent of the Center directors in the state and the DSE director will sign the amendment.

All requests and attachments for the SPIL amendment process should be submitted in accessible PDF formats or as Word documents.

ILA encourages states to submit proposed SPIL amendment language for review before seeking stakeholder input through public hearings. Once all appropriate steps have been completed, including the public hearing for a SPIL amendment and the signatures of the appropriate parties, states should contact their assigned IL Specialist for instructions on final processes.

Updates and Options for the FY2024 SPIL: October 2022

Status

ACL/OILP is in the process of revising the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) instrument and instructions, as well as developing a SPIL portal to allow grantees to submit their SPILs through Q90.

The current timeline anticipates the new SPIL and instructions will begin the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) process. This means the SPIL will be published in the Federal Register and open for a 60-day public comment period. At the end of the public comment period, OILP will process the public comments, make appropriate changes to the SPIL reflecting public comments, and then republish the SPIL in the Federal Register for an additional 30 days. After the 30 days have concluded, OILP will release the SPIL to the network as a final product, which we anticipate will be no later than April 2023.

In addition, the Q90 portal is not expected to be completed until April 2023. Since the new SPIL portal and the SPIL instructions and instrument will not be implemented with enough time for technical assistance prior to the current SPIL submission due date of June 30th, OILP is providing state networks guidance on the process to draft and submit for approval of an FY2024 SPIL. State networks will have the option to make either (a) substantial and material changes or (b) technical amendments to the FY2021–FY2023 SPIL in order to develop an FY2024 SPIL.

Once the instructions and instrument are approved, guidance will be provided to assist state networks in the SPIL development process for the FY2025–2027 SPIL cycle. Approvable FY2025–FY2027 SPILs would be due to OILP no later than June 30th, 2024, with an effective date of October 1, 2024.

FY 2024 SPIL Options

Sec. 704(a) of The Rehabilitation Act, as amended, requires the review and revision of the SPIL, not less than once every 3 years, to ensure the existence of appropriate planning, financial support and coordination, and other assistance to appropriately address, on a statewide and comprehensive basis, needs in the State for—

(A) the provision of independent living services in the State;
(B)the development and support of a statewide network of centers for independent living; and
(C)working relationships and collaboration between—
(i)centers for independent living; and
(ii)(I) entities carrying out programs that provide independent living services, including those serving older individuals;
(II)other community-based organizations that provide or coordinate the provision of housing,transportation, employment, information and referral assistance, services, and supports forindividuals with significant disabilities; and
(III)entities carrying out other programs providing services for individuals with disabilities.

As such, OILP is providing guidance to state networks for the development and approval of SPILs for FY2024 (the period between the current SPIL expiration and the new SPIL instrument being implemented), so that it is reviewed at least once every three years, per statute.

OILP is providing two options for the FY2024 SPIL year:
(a)Make substantial and material changes to the FY2021–2023 SPIL; or
(b)Make technical amendments to extend the FY2021–2023 SPIL through FY 2024.

To assist in deciding between these options states should consider the following:
1. Are substantial and material changes to the SPIL necessary to meet the requirements and activities as described in Sec. 704 and Sec. 713(b)?
2. Are technical amendments to the SPIL sufficient to meet the requirements and activities as described in Sec. 704 and Sec. 713(b)?

Substantial and material changes are significant changes to a SPIL. These may include but are not limited to:
- Changes in the SPIL goals and objectives that impact the scope of services to individuals with significant disabilities;
- Changes in the designation of unserved or underserved areas and the priorities for serving them;
- Changes in the state’s priorities for funding new or existing centers;
- Changes in the distribution method (e.g., formula for distributing excess funds to centers); or
- Changes of the DSE to an entity NOT currently identified in the SPIL.

Technical amendments are technical changes to the SPIL that do not constitute a substantial and material change in information in, or operation of, the SPIL. These may include but are not limited to:
- Changing the entity responsible for achieving a SPIL objective (without changing the objective itself);
- Changing the DSE director or SILC chairperson (without changing the DSE); or
- Changing the implementation dates.

If you are unsure about what changes in your SPIL would be considered significant and material, please ask your Program Officer (PO).

Required steps for a substantial and material change to a SPIL are (in the following order):
1. SILC holds public hearings to solicit input from individuals with disabilities and other stakeholders in the state. When scheduling public hearings, allow adequate time to avoid delays in the SPIL amendment and approval process.
2. Submit an approvable SPIL amendment request that includes the specific section(s) of the SPIL to be amended, the exact language to be used, and all required signatures to your PO no later than June 30th, 2023 (to allow adequate time for the PO to complete the SPIL amendment process before expiration of the current SPIL in effect on September 30th, 2023).

Amendments must be signed by three parties: the chair of the SILC, acting on behalf of and at the direction of the SILC; not less than 51 percent of the directors of the Centers in the state; and the director of the DSE.

(Note: The director of the DSE must sign amendments ONLY if a change in the DSE or materially changing its duties/responsibilities. The director of the DSE must be informed of, and provided with a copy of, all proposed SPIL amendments before submission to ACL/OILP and provided with the amended SPIL upon approval by ACL/OILP).

Required steps for a technical amendment to a SPIL are (in the following order):
1. A written statement to OILP, via the state program officer, requesting a technical amendment to the FY2021–2023 SPIL.
2. Submit an approvable SPIL amendment request that includes all required signatures to your program officer no later than June 30th, 2023 (to allow adequate time for the PO to complete the SPIL amendment process before expiration of the current SPIL in effect on September 30th, 2023).

Amendments must be signed by three parties: the chair of the SILC, acting on behalf of and at the direction of the SILC; not less than 51 percent of the directors of the Centers in the state; and the director of the DSE.

(Note: The director of the DSE must sign amendments ONLY if a change in the DSE or materially changing its duties/responsibilities. The director of the DSE must be informed of, and provided with a copy of, all proposed SPIL amendments before submission to ACL/OILP and provided with the amended SPIL upon approval by ACL/OILP).

*A public hearing is allowed though not required.

If you are unsure about what steps to take to complete either a substantial and material change OR a technical amendment to your SPIL, ask the Program Officer.

Important information about these options

ACL strongly recommends you communicate the state’s intention to your state program officer by May 1, 2023. All requests and attachments for the SPIL amendment process should be submitted in accessible PDF formats or as Word documents. The assigned state program officer will make amendments to the SPIL on behalf of each state. A revised SPIL will be provided back to the state upon completion, no later than September 29, 2023.

Once OILP receives notice of the state’s intention, the program officer will work one-on-one with each state and provide appropriate follow-up information.

If additional guidance is needed immediately, please reach out to the Program Officer or the training and technical assistance center, which can be accessed at http://www.ilru.org. If you are unsure who your program officer is, you can access the Program Officer State Assignment list at https://acl.gov/programs/aging-and-disability-networks/centers-independ….

Information on Designated State Entities:

Role of the Designated State Entity

ILA PI-15-01 Selection of the Designated State Entity (DSE)

Issued: June 5, 2015
Revised: October 28, 2015

Legal and Related Authorities: Section 704 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended

Designated State Entity in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Independent Living Administration (ILA) provides the following guidance concerning the Designated State Entity (DSE) based on questions received. As part of the changes to the Rehabilitation Act (Rehab Act or Act) under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA), the term “designated state entity (DSE)” is the agency that acts on behalf of the State for Title VII Part B programs.

The State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) must designate the DSE. Under WIOA, the SPIL is jointly developed by the chairperson of the Statewide Independent Living Council, and the directors of the Centers for Independent Living in the state, after receiving public input from individuals with disabilities and other stakeholders throughout the state. The SPIL is signed by the chair of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC or Council), acting on behalf of and at the direction of the Council and at least 51 percent of the directors of the centers for independent living in the state. The SPIL is also signed by the director of the DSE. By signing the SPIL, the director of the DSE agrees to execute the responsibilities of the DSE identified in the law. The responsibilities are:

- Receive, account for, and disburse funds received by the state based on the SPIL;
- Provide administrative support services for a program under part B, and a program under Subchapter C in a case in which the program is administered by the state under section 723;
- Keep such records and afford such access to such records as the Administrator (of ACL) finds to be necessary with respect to the programs;
- Submit such additional information or provide such assurances as the Administrator may require with respect to the programs; and
- Retain not more than 5% of the funds received by the State for any fiscal year under Part B for the performance of the services outlined in paragraphs (1) through (4). See Section 704 (c) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 796c(c).

In order to have an approvable SPIL under the law, all three parties must sign.

All states currently have an approved SPIL that remains effective through fiscal year 2016. The SPIL continues to govern the provision of Independent Living Services in the state. Each state is expected to continue its support, including specified obligations, for an approved SPIL. A SPIL amendment is required when there are significant, material, and/or substantive changes to the information in the SPIL. A change in the entity designated to fill the role of the DSE requires a SPIL amendment, as ACL stated in previous Q&As (DOCX).

Under the current law, nothing prohibits the current DSU from being designated to serve as the new DSE. States that are contemplating a change in their DSE must ensure that the new DSE is capable and willing to carry out the legal and fiscal responsibilities of the DSE.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Designated State Entities (DSEs)

1. What is the effective Date of the ACL Guidance issued on June 5, 2015?
A: The ACL guidance was effective the date it was issued. ILA PI-15-01 Selection of the DSE was effective June 5th, 2015.

2. What is the IL Network?
A: For the purpose of ACL and its guidance, the Independent Living Network or “IL Network” in each state includes: SILC, Part B and Subchapter C CILs, and the DSE. In some States, there may be more than one DSE, if there is a separate agency for the blind.

3. ACL encouraged SILCs to involve the DSE in the SPIL process. What does that mean?
A: The guidance encourages communication between the parties who are developing the SPIL and the DSE. The chairperson of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) and directors of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) jointly develop the SPIL, consistent with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), collaborating with IL consumers and the public. While the law removes the requirement that the DSE participate in the development of the SPIL, the DSE is one of the parties required to sign the SPIL. To put it another way, the DSE must sign in order to meet the requirements for an approvable plan. The DSE will continue to be responsible for administering Part B funds that they receive and disburse based on the SPIL, as required by law. Therefore, given the DSE’s role in signing the SPIL, and carrying out its statutory responsibilities, the SILC should involve the DSE to promote the effective and efficient administration of the IL program.

4. Did WIOA change the duties of the DSE?
A: Yes, the DSE no longer has a responsibility to develop the SPIL. Though WIOA eliminates the director of the DSE from the SPIL development process, the DSE continues to be the agency that acts as the grantee on behalf of the State for Title VII Part B Independent Living Services programs authorized under Section 713 of the Act and the Subchapter C programs administered by the State under Section 723 of the Act. The general responsibilities of the DSE as required in the statute include:

- Receive, account for, and disburse funds received by the State based on the SPIL;
- Provide administrative support services;
- Keep such records and afford such access to such records as ACL finds to be necessary with respect to the programs;
- Submit additional information or provide assurances as ACL may require with respect to the programs; and
- Retain not more than 5% of the Part B funds received by the State for any fiscal year, as required to perform the responsibilities above.

The DSE must also sign the SPIL.

5. Who selects the DSE?
A: The DSE is a governmental State entity that carries out the functions described in Q & A number 4 on behalf of the state. If the DSE does not carry out those functions, the state is legally responsible. Therefore, the state decides which governmental entity will serve as the DSE. To the extent that the SILC and CILs may engage in the DSE selection process under state and federal law, they may provide input to the state concerning the DSE. Such input may include a reminder to the State that the selection of a new DSE is a significant change to the SPIL. If the change in the DSE occurs during an active approved SPIL cycle, the SPIL amendment process must be followed to change the DSE. If the change coincides with the regular SPIL development cycle, the SPIL development process must be followed, and the SPIL must identify the new DSE. Both the SPIL amendment process and the SPIL development process require public hearings conducted by the SILC. The new DSE must be included in an approvable SPIL that is submitted in a timely manner in order for the State to receive funding.

6. Who should I contact regarding ideas for our IL Network in my State?
A: First, collaborate with the SILC members and Center directors. If you have further questions, including tips on collaborating with fellow ACL community partners and other stakeholders in your State, please contact your ILA point of contact for your State available on the ILRU website.

 

ACL Suggested Best Practices

ACL encourages the following best practices:

- Because the director of the DSE must sign the SPIL to affirm agreement to execute the DSE’s statutory responsibilities, ACL encourages SILCs and CILs to involve the DSE in the SPIL development process.
- Section 704(i) of the Rehabilitation Act requires the SPIL to “set forth the steps that will be taken to maximize the cooperation, coordination, and working relationships among the …” SILC, the CILs, the DSE, and other state agencies that address the needs of specific disability populations. ACL encourages incorporation of involvement of the DSE into the plan.
- ACL encourages States* to involve the current and prospective DSE, Statewide Independent Living Councils and Centers for Independent Living in discussions around the designation of a State entity to receive and administer State Independent Living Services funds.

*“The term ‘State’ includes, in addition to each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.” —Section 7(34) of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 705.

 

SILC and DSE Guidance

Dear Colleague Letter April 23, 2020:

Dear Colleague,

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) understands the country is operating under unprecedented circumstances.  We are confident that your skills and resolve will ensure the important work that you do on behalf of people with disabilities in your state is continuing. To help with this effort ACL is happy to provide information that you may find helpful during the development of the FY21-FY23 State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).  

- The Rehabilitation Act, as amended, (the Act) requires states to submit the SPIL to the ACL Administrator 90 days before the completion date of the preceding plan. An approvable SPIL must be submitted to ACL no later than 11:59 PM ET on June 30, 2020. 

- Due to significant changes to the SPIL instrument, states must use the new FY21-FY23 SPIL instrument.  FY20 SPILs will not be carried over by ACL.  

ACL has received many questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 social distancing and stay-at-home orders as related to SPIL public input and public hearing requirements.  ACL encourages states to consider the use of technology to meet the public input and public hearing requirements.  States are also encouraged to reach out to the training and technical assistance provider IL-NET at www.ilru.org  for resources and training on alternative ways to:
- Use web-based methods to collect input from people with disabilities and others across the State or Territory;
- Host public hearings and meetings using remote conferencing services; and
- Conduct in-person meetings that adhere to state requirements and social distancing due to COVID-19.

Centers for Independent Living (CILs) have received $85 million in COVID-19 Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funding. As a result of this funding, FY21-FY23 SPILs should include (at a minimum):
- The amount of CARES Act funding the state received;
- How much each CIL received;
- The CIL service area; and
- The intended uses of the funding as it relates to the SPIL.

States may wish to consider how Part B funds are allocated in the SPIL to CILs during the period that Part C funded CILs are receiving CARES Act supplemental funding.  It may or may not be appropriate in your state to make Part B allocation adjustments between CILs.    
SPIL Submission:
- Approvable FY21–FY23 SPILs are due no later than 11:59 PM ET on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.  
- Submit SPILs to Regina Blye, ILS Program Officer (PO) by email at Regina.Blye@acl.hhs.gov
- The SPIL submission email must include (1) the completed SPIL instrument as a Word document and (2) the signature page(s) as a PDF document. The two attachments must be submitted as 508-compliant documents. 
- When approved, the SILC Chair will receive an approval letter from ACL.  
- When disapproved, the SILC Chair will receive a notice from ACL requesting changes to un-approvable sections in the SPIL. 

Join ACL on Thursday, April 30, 2020, at 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET, for a webinar held in partnership with the IL-NET for a comprehensive overview of the SPIL. Attendees will receive detailed information about the following:

- Changes to the instrument and instructions;
- Requirements for each section in the SPIL;
- Submission deadline details; and 
- Submission, review, and approval process.

Attendees are encouraged to follow along using their draft SPIL or the SPIL template located on the ACL website. To register for the training visit https://ncilforms.wufoo.com/forms/r8ah1gw1nlcivq/. 
I want to end this letter with exciting news. The ILS program has its own page on the ACL website! The network can now visit https://acl.gov/ils-programs for information about the ILS program. Changes to the page are in progress, so stop by often for updates on the program. The network will soon have access to:
- The new SPIL template;
- Funding tables for the CARES Act, CIL program, the and ILS program;
- SILC Indicators and DSE Assurances; and 
- Dear Colleague letters and FAQs.

If you have any questions about any of the information provided, please feel free to reach out to me by email. I look forward to reading all of your state plans in the coming months. 

Stay Safe,   
Regina D. Blye, MPAff
Program Officer
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Community Living/Office of Independent Living Programs

      

FY 2017-2019 State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL): October 2018

Dear Colleagues,

ACL/ILA is in the process of revising the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) instrument and instructions. The ILA has engaged in extensive activities during the SPIL revision process that included engagement at SILC Congress and an external ILRU led workgroup comprised of SILC, CIL, NCIL, APRIL, DSE, ILRU, and ILA staff.

Sec. 704(a) of The Rehabilitation Act, as amended requires the review and revision of the SPIL, not less than once every three years, to ensure the existence of appropriate planning, financial support and coordination, and other assistance to appropriately address, on a statewide and comprehensive basis, needs in the state for—

(A) the provision of independent living services in the state;

(B) the development and support of a statewide network of centers for independent living;  and

(C) working relationships and collaboration between—

(i)  centers for independent living; and

(ii)(I)  entities carrying out programs that provide independent living services, including those serving older individuals;

(II) other community-based organizations that provide or coordinate the provision of housing, transportation, employment, information and referral assistance, services, and supports for individuals with significant disabilities; and

(III) entities carrying out other programs providing services for individuals with disabilities.

Because the new SPIL instrument will not be implemented prior to the expiration of the current SPILs, ILA is providing state networks guidance on the process to draft and submit for approval an FY2020 SPIL. State networks will have the option to make either (a) substantial and material changes or (b) technical amendments to the FY2017-FY2019 SPIL in order to develop an FY2020 SPIL.

These options are explained in the guidance Updates and Options for the FY2020 SPIL.

ILA is also please to provide a snapshot of SILC resource plan funding as reported to ILA by state networks for Year One ONLY of the FY2017-FY2019 SPIL.  This chart is provided so that state networks can use one another as a resource to determine funding options to support SILC resource plans. Please note that SILCs have the opportunity to receive up to 30% of funds paid to the State for Subchapter B activities and Designated State Entities (DSEs) may receive up to 5%. Amounts in excess of these allowances must be reviewed and approved by the ILA project officer reviewing the SPIL.

ILA recommends that if there are specific questions about a SILC’s resource plan amount or source of funding, contact that state’s SILC for further discussion.

Thank you for your leadership in independent living and your prompt attention to this matter.

Bob Williams
Acting Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities
Director, Independent Living Administration

SILC Resource Plan: August 13, 2018

For a State to be eligible to receive financial assistance authorized by the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, Title VII, Chapter I, the State must establish and maintain a Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). The State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) provides for establishment of the SILC and a plan for funding the administrative costs of the SILC, referred to as the SILC resource plan. The SILC functions include monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating the implementation of the SPIL. It is critical that SILC autonomy over the SILC resource plan is recognized by the State as necessary to carry out the functions and authorities of the SILC. 

ACL recognizes it may be helpful for SILCs, designated state entities (DSE), and other stakeholders to have a common understanding of the SILC resource plan and required SILC autonomy related to the resource plan. The following FAQ is intended to assist in developing a common understanding of the SILC resource plan and SILC autonomy. Download the FAQ on SILC Resource Plans.

Guidance on Changing CIL Executive Director: July 2, 2018

The Independent Living Administration (ILA) is pleased to provide guidance on the steps a CIL should follow when there is a change, or anticipated change of Executive Director. It is critical to the business activities of both the grantee and ACL that information about the Executive Director/Authorized Organizational Representative is always current and accurate.  It is, therefore, important for grantees to have a clear understanding of the requirements associated with changes to the ED/AOR position. The attached FAQ and helpful checklist is provided to assist CILs and Boards in managing changes to ED/AORs.

FAQ on CIL Executive Director Changes
CIL Executive Director Changes Grantee Checklist (Updated May 2019)

Please feel free to reach out to your project officer if you have any follow up questions.

Dear Colleague Letter: October 27, 2017

I hope that all of you have enjoyed a relaxing and rejuvenating summer. As we look forward to the coming year, I want to update you on the priorities which I shared with many of you this July at the NCIL conference as well as urge your input on several matters.

On September 11th, ACL’s new Administrator Lance Robertson and several of us on his team met with NCIL leadership to discuss his vision for the agency and key steps we will take to improve the stewardship and effectiveness of the IL programs. These include the following:

Subchapter C Funding Distribution:

In response to ongoing questions and concerns regarding how funding to the CILs is determined and how the funding formula is applied, we are developing a Subchapter C Funding Distribution FAQ to explain the process that ACL follows. We also will host a teleconference on the topic on October 19, 2017 at 1 pm EDT to explain the process as well as provide an opportunity for Q&A and offer feedback to ACL on how we can make the distribution process as easy to understand, fair and transparent as possible. The FAQ will be available prior to the teleconference. Please save the date and time. Further details on how to participate in the call will follow.

On Site Monitoring:

I announced this summer, we will resume monitoring efforts late this fall. We have reviewed and are considering making changes to our monitoring protocol and our processes for assuring compliance. To get your feedback on what we are considering, we will be seeking a few CILs to volunteer to have us do on-site visits for the first few we conduct. Volunteering for an onsite review will provide an opportunity for a CIL to be reviewed according to the protocol and if necessary, receive extensive technical assistance in areas of non-compliance prior to a final report being issued. During this period, we will put the protocol through its paces, elicit your input, and make needed tweaks along the way. We will make as many visits moving forward as is reasonable and necessary. I am confident doing these visits, coupled with conducting comprehensive desk reviews and providing targeted technical assistance to CILs, will enhance our stewardship and the quality and value added that the entire network brings to the table. If your CIL, or two or more CILs, in a state would like to volunteer for an on-site visit, please contact your Project Officer by October 15.

Indicators of SILC Minimum Compliance:

We are issuing today the attached Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) indicators of minimum compliance required by WIOA and assurances applicable to both the SILCs and the Designated State Entities (DSEs). ILA will be consulting with the network to develop a plan on setting effective dates for both the indicators and assurances. Please take the opportunity to review and familiarize yourselves with their contents. The document is the product of extensive discussions and hard work by many in the IL Network, ILRU and my staff. We thank you for your joint efforts.

Indicators of CIL Minimum Compliance:

Many have inquired about our intent to issue similar indicators for CILs. Our position is that indicators of minimum compliance for Centers already exist in law and regulations. In the coming months, however, we will seek your input on the value of developing more succinct indicators and measurable outcomes for Centers and Statewide IL Networks. We will develop the questions on this and disseminate them to the network for your responses and suggestions shortly.

Program Performance Report:

As you know, ILA has published and received extensive comments on proposed changes to the Section 704 reporting requirements that Centers must meet annually. Or, what we now refer to as the CIL Program Performance Report (CIL PPR). We recently published a 30-day notice in the Federal Register indicating that we will continue to use the current instrument for the next year. This will allow us time to gather and incorporate additional ideas and recommendations on how we can best develop and use the CIL PPR to track and accurately capture the real life impacts and results that individual Centers and the network as a whole produce at the local, state, and national levels.

Beginning in late October, we will create a working group similar to the one we are using to help revise the State Plans for Independent Living (SPIL). We will provide information on how you can participate or otherwise have input into this discussion in the coming weeks. While the approach to revising the CIL PPR will be participatory, ACL proposes to use a process that it has successfully used for several previous redesigns. This process will be adapted as needed based on feedback from the working group and the network, but it generally involves:

- Close review of previous materials to prevent duplicative efforts;
- Developing a logic model for the Federal CIL program that shows the program resources/inputs, the broad categories of activities that are permissible under the grant program, possible output measures to show the level of each activity, and grantee results/outcomes for communities, populations /individuals as appropriate;
-Based on the outputs and outcomes developed through the logic model process, discussing definitions and measures;
-Selecting a few measures that best highlight the value of ACL’s independent living program and are practical for grantees to collect and report; and
-Creating a draft form that contains qualitative and quantitative measures, and statutory monitoring requirements.

 

More immediately, we are also on track to resume the regular timelines that PPR data is due in ACL Reporting (ACLR). CIL PPR and/or Independent Living Services (ILS) PPR data must be submitted in ACLR no later than 11:59PM December 31, 2017. Before the end of September, you will receive guidance to assist you in entering CIL PPR and/or ILS PPR data into ACL Reporting.

Highlighting and Building on Results:

One of the things that I hear most often when I speak to the board members, executive directors and staff of CILs and SILCs is your strong desire and recommendation that ACL do all we can to analyze and share the information and data we collect on the results the network helps bring about and ways we can improve on what we do. I want to thank you for expressing these sentiments because they speak volumes about the commitment you bring to your work, and I also want to update you on several steps we are taking on this front.

Your Project Officer (PO) is able to assist with specific program data queries. ACL-MIS holds network PPR data submitted through the FY15 project period. ACL-MIS also holds the 2017-2019 SPILs. ACLR holds network PPR data submitted beginning the project period ending FY16. Because multiple systems currently hold network data, a query request may require manual data retrieval. We thank you in advance for your patience while POs respond to data queries. In the next 6-9 months, those data can be made available on ACL’s interim data presentation site www.AGID.ACL.Gov. We anticipate that the data could be available in early calendar year 2018.

First Annual Report on Centers for Independent Living:

As required by Title VII we will develop and issue the first annual report to the ACL Administrator regarding “the extent to which centers for independent living receiving funds under Subchapter C have complied with the standards and assurances set forth in section 725.” As provided for in Section 710(d) of the Act, the report “may identify individual (CILs) … and shall include … the results of onsite compliance reviews, identifying individual centers for independent living and other recipients of assistance under Subchapter C.” We will issue the first of these reports this coming June. In the meantime, we will consult with the network and others on how we can best develop and disseminate the report each year in order to highlight the real life results Centers and the network as a whole achieve.

Emergency Preparedness and Management:

I know that all of us are concerned by the devastation that the recent hurricanes have brought and could still bring to States and Territories in their path. My staff and I are in regular touch with the Centers, SILCs and DSEs in the areas damaged by the storms. We will be working closely with them and the entire network in the coming weeks and months ahead to provide whatever guidance and assistance we can to enhance the flexibility and capacity of CILs and SILCs to engage in emergency preparedness, response, recovery mitigation efforts.

As you know in July this year we disseminated FAQs on the role of the IL network in all stages of emergency preparedness. We will be adding to these on an ongoing basis. If you have questions or points you believe should be answered or clarified on this topic, please let your Project Officer know so that we can consider how best to address it. I also encourage CILs and SILCs to jointly consider how these FAQs might be used to prepare for and respond to an emergency in your state and please consult with your Project Officer if you have questions or need assistance on this as well.

Thank you for your leadership and commitment to advancing the aims of independent living.

Bob Williams

Deputy Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities

Director, Independent Living Administration

Administration for Community Living

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services



 

FY 2017-2019 State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL):

State Plans for Independent Living (SPILs) show how federal, state, and other funds will be used to support the state’s independent t living programs as well as collaborations with other partners in the state and other ACL grantees to enhance and expand service delivery and options for individuals with disabilities.

State Plans for Independent Living (SPILs) are submitted and can be reviewed in the ACL Management Information System. The SPIL must have been submitted no later than 11:59 PM EST on June 30, 2016. Instructions for completing the SPIL are found directly in the SPIL instrument.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) amended the Rehabilitation Act and resulted in changes to the development of the SPIL. As a result of final IL regulations, amendments to the 2017-2019 SPILs will be necessary in some states. ACL is providing guidance to affected states. If you have questions about the SPIL instrument or submission, please contact the project officer for your state.

SILC-NET has developed several SPIL-related resources in coordination with ACL:

Overview of the changes made to CILs and SILCs in WIOA webinar
Publications and on-demand training

 

ILA PI-15-01 Selection of the Designated State Entity (DSE)

Issued: June 5, 2015
Revised: October 28, 2015

Legal and Related Authorities: Section 704 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended

Designated State Entity in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Independent Living Administration (ILA) provides the following guidance concerning the Designated State Entity (DSE) based on questions received. As part of the changes to the Rehabilitation Act (Rehab Act or Act) under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA), the term “designated state entity (DSE)” is the agency that acts on behalf of the State for Title VII Part B programs.

The State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) must designate the DSE. Under WIOA, the SPIL is jointly developed by the chairperson of the Statewide Independent Living Council, and the directors of the Centers for Independent Living in the state, after receiving public input from individuals with disabilities and other stakeholders throughout the state. The SPIL is signed by the chair of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC or Council), acting on behalf of and at the direction of the Council and at least 51 percent of the directors of the centers for independent living in the state. The SPIL is also signed by the director of the DSE. By signing the SPIL, the director of the DSE agrees to execute the responsibilities of the DSE identified in the law. The responsibilities are:

- Receive, account for, and disburse funds received by the state based on the SPIL;
- Provide administrative support services for a program under part B, and a program under Subchapter C in a case in which the program is administered by the state under section 723;
- Keep such records and afford such access to such records as the Administrator (of ACL) finds to be necessary with respect to the programs;
- Submit such additional information or provide such assurances as the Administrator may require with respect to the programs; and
- Retain not more than 5% of the funds received by the State for any fiscal year under Part B for the performance of the services outlined in paragraphs (1) through (4). See Section 704 (c) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 796c(c).

In order to have an approvable SPIL under the law, all three parties must sign.

All states currently have an approved SPIL that remains effective through fiscal year 2016. The SPIL continues to govern the provision of Independent Living Services in the state. Each state is expected to continue its support, including specified obligations, for an approved SPIL. A SPIL amendment is required when there are significant, material, and/or substantive changes to the information in the SPIL. A change in the entity designated to fill the role of the DSE requires a SPIL amendment, as ACL stated in previous Q&As (DOCX).

Under the current law, nothing prohibits the current DSU from being designated to serve as the new DSE. States that are contemplating a change in their DSE must ensure that the new DSE is capable and willing to carry out the legal and fiscal responsibilities of the DSE.

State Plan Amendment Process
A change in the DSE can only be effectuated when it is designated in the SPIL. As noted, a change of the DSE is a substantial and material change that requires an amendment of the SPIL.

Amendments to the SPIL must be submitted by the State to ACL. “To be eligible to receive financial assistance under this part, a State shall submit to the administrator, and obtain approval of, a State plan ….” Section 704(a)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 796c(a)(1). Required steps include:

- SILCs must hold public hearings to solicit input from individuals with disabilities and other stakeholders in the state.
- Amendments must be signed by three parties: the chair of the SILC, acting on behalf of and at the direction of the SILC; and not less than 51 percent of the directors of the Centers in the state. The SPIL is also signed by director of the DSE to affirm their agreement to fulfill all the DSE responsibilities set forth in the law.

Before amending the SPIL, states should send a SPIL amendment request by email to their assigned IL Specialist. The SPIL amendment request should include, at a minimum:

- The section(s) of the SPIL that the state proposes to amend, including both the existing approved language and the proposed amendment(s),
- Anticipated timelines for each step, including public hearings and final submission,
- Whether there will be a change in how funding is made available to the SILC resource plan, SILC placement, and staffing,
- A statement regarding whether the changes fundamentally impact how the state intends to operate its IL programs,
- A citation to or copy of any applicable state law or Executive Order that forms the basis for the proposed SPIL amendment, and
- A statement confirming that the SILC chair, at least 51 percent of the Center directors in the state and the DSE director will sign the amendment.

All requests and attachments for the SPIL amendment process should be submitted in accessible PDF formats or as Word documents.

ILA encourages states to submit proposed SPIL amendment language for review before seeking stakeholder input through public hearings. Once all appropriate steps have been completed, including the public hearing for a SPIL amendment and the signatures of the appropriate parties, states should contact their assigned IL Specialist for instructions on final processes.
 

Frequently Asked Questions About Designated State Entities (DSEs)

1. What is the effective Date of the ACL Guidance issued on June 5, 2015?
A: The ACL guidance was effective the date it was issued. ILA PI-15-01 Selection of the DSE was effective June 5th, 2015.

2. What is the IL Network?
A: For the purpose of ACL and its guidance, the Independent Living Network or “IL Network” in each state includes: SILC, Part B and Subchapter C CILs, and the DSE. In some States, there may be more than one DSE, if there is a separate agency for the blind.

3. ACL encouraged SILCs to involve the DSE in the SPIL process. What does that mean?
A: The guidance encourages communication between the parties who are developing the SPIL and the DSE. The chairperson of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) and directors of Centers for Independent Living (CILs) jointly develop the SPIL, consistent with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), collaborating with IL consumers and the public. While the law removes the requirement that the DSE participate in the development of the SPIL, the DSE is one of the parties required to sign the SPIL. To put it another way, the DSE must sign in order to meet the requirements for an approvable plan. The DSE will continue to be responsible for administering Part B funds that they receive and disburse based on the SPIL, as required by law. Therefore, given the DSE’s role in signing the SPIL, and carrying out its statutory responsibilities, the SILC should involve the DSE to promote the effective and efficient administration of the IL program.

4. Did WIOA change the duties of the DSE?
A: Yes, the DSE no longer has a responsibility to develop the SPIL. Though WIOA eliminates the director of the DSE from the SPIL development process, the DSE continues to be the agency that acts as the grantee on behalf of the State for Title VII Part B Independent Living Services programs authorized under Section 713 of the Act and the Subchapter C programs administered by the State under Section 723 of the Act. The general responsibilities of the DSE as required in the statute include:

-Receive, account for, and disburse funds received by the State based on the SPIL;
-Provide administrative support services;
Keep such records and afford such access to such records as ACL finds to be necessary with respect to the programs;
-Submit additional information or provide assurances as ACL may require with respect to the programs; and
-Retain not more than 5% of the Part B funds received by the State for any fiscal year, as required to perform the responsibilities above.

The DSE must also sign the SPIL.

5. Who selects the DSE?
A: The DSE is a governmental State entity that carries out the functions described in Q & A number 4 on behalf of the state. If the DSE does not carry out those functions, the state is legally responsible. Therefore, the state decides which governmental entity will serve as the DSE. To the extent that the SILC and CILs may engage in the DSE selection process under state and federal law, they may provide input to the state concerning the DSE. Such input may include a reminder to the State that the selection of a new DSE is a significant change to the SPIL. If the change in the DSE occurs during an active approved SPIL cycle, the SPIL amendment process must be followed to change the DSE. If the change coincides with the regular SPIL development cycle, the SPIL development process must be followed, and the SPIL must identify the new DSE. Both the SPIL amendment process and the SPIL development process require public hearings conducted by the SILC. The new DSE must be included in an approvable SPIL that is submitted in a timely manner in order for the State to receive funding.

6. Who should I contact regarding ideas for our IL Network in my State?
A: First, collaborate with the SILC members and Center directors. If you have further questions, including tips on collaborating with fellow ACL community partners and other stakeholders in your State, please contact your ILA point of contact for your State available on the ILRU website.

 

ACL Suggested Best Practices
ACL encourages the following best practices:

- Because the director of the DSE must sign the SPIL to affirm agreement to execute the DSE’s statutory responsibilities, ACL encourages SILCs and CILs to involve the DSE in the SPIL development process.
- Section 704(i) of the Rehabilitation Act requires the SPIL to “set forth the steps that will be taken to maximize the cooperation, coordination, and working relationships among the …” SILC, the CILs, the DSE, and other state agencies that address the needs of specific disability populations. ACL encourages incorporation of involvement of the DSE into the plan.
- ACL encourages States* to involve the current and prospective DSE, Statewide Independent Living Councils and Centers for Independent Living in discussions around the designation of a State entity to receive and administer State Independent Living Services funds.

*“The term ‘State’ includes, in addition to each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.” —Section 7(34) of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 705.

SILC Indicators of Minimum Compliance and DSE Assurances

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 requires ACL to develop and publish indicators of minimum compliance for Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs).

ILA issued the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) indicators and Designated state Entity (DSE) Assurances required by WIOA and assurances applicable to both the SILCs and the Designated State Entities (DSEs) on September 27, 2017. ILA will be consulting with the network to develop a plan on setting effective dates for both the indicators and assurances. Please take the opportunity to review and familiarize yourselves with their contents. The document is the product of extensive discussions and hard work by many in the IL Network, ILRU and my staff. We thank you for your joint efforts.

Learn more about the Independent Living Services (ILS) Program.

Learn more about Centers for Independent Living (CILs).

 


Last modified on 02/15/2024


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