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1000 E Divide Avenue
Bismarck, North Dakota 58501

Phone: 701-328-8950
Toll Free: 1-800-755-2745
Fax: 701-328-1884
E-mail: dhsvr@nd.gov


The ND Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) guides the development of the Independent Living system in North Dakota, through the active involvement of people with disabilities.

Mission and Purpose

This Council is established pursuant to Federal Public Law 95-602 Title VIII and North Dakota State Century Code Section 1. Chapter 50-06.5 governing the Independent Living Program.

The mission of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) is to lead the independent Living network by developing resources and advocating for full community participation of North Dakotans with disabilities.

The North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation recognizes that the advice and counsel of persons with disabilities is vital if the Independent Living Program is to be successful and responsive to the needs of the citizens of North Dakota.

The Purpose of the Council is to:

  1. Promote the Independent Living philosophy and movement.
  2. Provide input on the Independent Living needs of people with severe disabilities in North Dakota.
  3. Provide recommendations in the establishment of a statewide network of centers for independent living and the provision of independent living services.
  4. Identify resources and assess budget needs to support all aspects of the Independent Living program.
  5. Recommend ideas for research, training, legislative activities, and needs assessments.
  6. Jointly develop and submit, in conjunction with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).
  7. Monitor, review, and evaluate the implementation of the State Plan.
  8. Coordinate activities with the State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) and councils that address the needs of specific disability populations and issues under other Federal laws.
  9. Ensure that all regularly scheduled meetings of the Council are open to the
    public and sufficient advance notice is provided.
  10. Submit to the Commissioner of the Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) such periodic reports as the Commissioner may reasonably request, and keep such records, and afford access to such records, as the Commissioner finds necessary to verify such reports.

The Council Composition

The council members are selected to serve on the SILC by the Governor of North Dakota. They are selected to serve based on their knowledge and understanding of the independent living needs of individuals with disabilities. Members are advocates for equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in their communities and throughout North Dakota.

The majority of the members of the SILC must be individuals with disabilities and not employed by a State agency or Center for Independent Living.

The SILC is composed of 16 members. These members must include:

  • 2 members who are directors of a Center for Independent Living chosen by the Center directors within the State of ND
  • 1 ex officio, nonvoting member representing the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • 1 ex officio, nonvoting member representing a State Agency that provides services to individuals with disabilities
  • 1 member representing the 121 Vocational Rehabilitation Program
  • Members who represent each of the eight regions of the state
  • Members who represent a broad range of individuals with disabilities
  • Members who are knowledgeable about Centers for Independent Living and IL services

JOIN now - Application for new membership

To see a list of the current council members, click Boards & Commissions.

ND Statewide Independent Living Council Committees Include:

Internal Affairs:

Duties: Focuses on all internal and operational issues.

  • Coordinate gathering and distribution of information submitted by the CILs
  • Lead in updating and monitoring the implementation of the SPIL.
  • Develop and maintain job descriptions for members and officers.
  • Identify and recruit members based on current composition needs of the SILC
  • Conduct oientation for new members
  • Develop a Code of Conduct policy
  • Develop a succession plan for officers

External Affairs:

Duties: Focuses on all external issues: public relations, publications, funding, advocacy, and marketing.

  • Conduct needs assessments
  • Gather information to determine the major issues facing people with disabilities
  • Research and recommend collaborative efforts that could be undertaken by the ND SILC
  • Prepare and distribute materials to educate the public on IL Philosophy and the needs of people with disabilities in North Dakota


The Governance Committee shall consist of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, chair of the Internal and External Affairs, CIL Staff, and members appointed by the Chair.

Duties: Responsible for health and functioning of the SILC.

  • Develop the agenda for SILC Meetings taking into consideration the needed work of other committees
  • Survey SILC members annually for training and technical assistance needs to develop a training plan
  • Survey/assess members annually to determine the effectiveness of the SILC and its purpose
  • Conduct annual assessment of SILC members to analyze the diversity of its members
  • Develop and monitor the overall SILC budget

ND Statewide Independent Living Council Minutes

State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL)(428kb pdf)

Annual Reports

SILC President

Russell Cusack
2626 10th Ave. SE
Mandan, ND 58554

SILC Designated State Entity

Aimee Volk
ND Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
1000 E Divide Ave
Bismarck, ND 58501

ND Centers for Independent Living

Click ND CILs to learn about independent living services.
Click on the MAP to locate the CIL nearest you.


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