More About The Council

Independent Living Council of Wisconsin logo

Eighteen people are appointed by the Governor to serve on the Council.

Council Member Photo - April 2009 (clockwise from far left) Chuck Benner, Ron Jansen, Ben Barrett, Mike Bachhuber, William Parke-Sutherland, Karen Foxgrover, Tobie Tyler, Bruce Huseboe
Consumer Controlled: The law sets forth that the majority of our members are individuals with disabilities who are not employees of any state agency or independent living center.

Legal Mandate

The Governor appoints a Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) to represent the interest of the public in planning for independent living services for people with disabilities in Wisconsin. The Statewide Independent Living Council is authorized by state law and the federal Rehabilitation Act, as amended since 1992.

Originally created by Executive Order of Governor Tommy Thompson in 1994, Gov. Jim Doyle re-created the Independent Living Council and authorized the non-profit agency support by Executive Order #65 in 2004 as the successor SILC. Gov. Scott Walker re-created the Council by Executive Order #6 in 2011 and Executive Order #150

The 2004 Order requires that the Council “be established as a private nonprofit entity.” Members of the Council formed Independent Living Council of Wisconsin, Inc. (ILCW) in 2005 to implement this part of the Order.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the federal law authorizing the Council, was enacted to promote a philosophy of independent living, including a philosophy of

in order to maximize the

  1. providing financial assistance to States for providing, expanding, and improving the provision of independent living services;
  2. providing financial assistance to develop and support statewide networks of centers for independent living; and
  3. providing financial assistance to States for improving working relationships among
    • State independent living rehabilitation service programs,
    • Centers for independent living,
    • Statewide Independent Living Councils,
    • State vocational rehabilitation programs,
    • State programs of supported employment services,
    • Client assistance programs,
    • Programs funded under other titles of the Rehabilitation Act,
    • Programs funded under other Federal law, and
    • Programs funded through non-Federal sources.

The Council is steadfast that its activities are carried out in a manner consistent with the principles of:

  1. respect for individual dignity, personal responsibility, self-determination, and pursuit of meaningful careers, based on informed choice, of individuals with disabilities;
  2. respect for the privacy, rights, and equal access (including the use of accessible formats), of the individuals;
  3. inclusion, integration, and full participation of the individuals;
  4. support for the involvement of an individual’s representative if an individual with a disability requests, desires, or needs such support; and
  5. support for individual and systemic advocacy and community involvement.

How We Work

The Council meets quarterly to perform its main functions, develop and review policy and conduct other business. The Council usually meets in Madison once a year. Other meetings are held around the State – usually hosted by an Independent Living Center.

Members and staff carry out the work of the Council between meetings. Members work primarily through participation in committees, work groups and coalitions. Currently, the main committees are:

You can find more information about Council and committee meetings on the Meetings page.

Rev. Nov. 2016