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The purpose of the Council is to develop, in cooperation with the DARS and the Network of CILs, the State Plan for Independent Living. This document is a detailed three-year plan that sets the parameters and establishes the goals for the provision of independent living services in Texas. The Council is also charged with the responsibility of monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the State Plan. Other roles of the SILC are systems advocacy, education of the public regarding disability-related topics, and provision of technical assistance concerning the independent living philosophy and approach.
The term "independent living" means many different things to different people. To some it means a residential program. To others it means living without substantial assistance from other people. Still others view it as having enough money to purchase the necessities of life without dependence upon governmental assistance. From the perspective of the Texas State Independent Living Council, the term "independent living" means empowerment of persons with disabilities to make their own decisions and life choices to the greatest extent possible. It also means the ability to live in the least restrictive environment with the same rights and privileges as other people. That meaning is reflected in the definitions and provisions of the Rehabilitation Act.