STRENGTHENING PARTNERSHIPSFOSTERING STATEWIDE COLLABORATION PART 1: SILCs AND CILs
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> OPERATOR: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for waiting. Welcome to the strengthening partnership conference call. All lines have been placed on listen only mode and the floor will be open for your questions following the presentation. Without further adieu, it is my pleasure to turn the floor over to your host, Mr.Tim Fuchs. Mr.Fuchs, the floor is yours.
> TIM: Thank you very much. Good afternoon, everybody. I'm Tim Fuchs with the National Council on Independent Living here in Washington D.C. And I want to welcome you all to the SILC net. This webinar is being presented by the SILCNET for SILCand CILs. It is independent research living utilization in Houston, Texas.
[INAUDIBLE] and the association of programs for rural independent living in Little Rock, Arkansas.
It is provided by RSAand the U.S. Department of Education. We are record today's call so we can archive it on ILRU's website and we will break several times during the presentation to answer questions. You're on mute now, but you will be able to interact and ask questions. For those of out webinar, you can ask questions on the public chat on the righthand side of the screen. That's the textbook under the emoticons. And if you enter a question during the presentation, we will get it. It won't show up until the Q&Abreak. If you enter it and hit enter, we'll get it and then you'll see it displayed during the Q&Abreaks. For those of you on the phone, you will be asking your questions live on the call. We will remind you of those instructions when we go to the Q&Abreak.
The Powerpoint for today's call and actually Thursday's call as well was sent to you in the confirmation i mail with the connection instructions. If you don't have that PowerPoint open, you're going to want to. Now, of course, if you're on the webinar, that will display automatically. If you're listening on the phone and you don't have that PowerPoint open or print out in front of you, you will. Do that now. If you can't find that confirmation email for any reason, you can just let me know. I have my email open. My email address is . Definitely have the Powerpoint open. The other thing that's in that confirmation email is the evaluation form.
I know a lot of you have done these calls before. You're probably familiar with them. You know I am telling the truth when I say it is very easy to complete. It is very brief and it is important to us. Please let us know what you think of today's call and there will be a separate one for Thursday. So go ahead and fill them out for each call. It only takes a moment. If you're participating in a group with other people from your SILC, we would love to have feedback. That's the end of my announcements.
I am excited to introduce our speakers. Two folks that I have the pleasure of knowing for some time, but I haven't worked with on the training is Liz Pazdral and Eli Gelardi. Liz has worked with the DSU there and also spent 13 years working at centers and including four years as a SILC director. She's been a director on the calls. And Eli Gelardi is the director and has been since 2008. Eli has been involved in ILsince 2003. He currently serves on the California SILCand has a passion for getting young people and know new leaders involved in IL. So, thanks, Liz and Eli, for being with us and for helping to put together the presentation without further adieu, I will turn it over to Liz to get us started. Liz?
> LIZ: Thank you so much, Tim. We have some things you will take away from today's presentation. We hope you will be more knowledgeable about the statutory requirements to developing and working with reasons with CILs. We hope you will get ideas from collaborating with CILs and we're also hoping to come up with some ideas for SILC and CILpartnering. Ideas that you've seen that work for you as well. Next slide.
I'm think we should be on slide number 3 where we talk about the statute, section 701 from the rehab act. So, one of the reasons that the SILC exist is to provide financial assistance to states from helping work relationships. And the SILC is supposed to help with building relationships between the state independent living rehabilitation, centers for Independent Living including the SILC, the state VRprogram,state support employment programs, client assistance programs and other federal and nonfederal programs that interact with either employment or independent living with people with disabilities.
And if we go to the next slide, on slide number 4, we see that in section 704 there's some information about what needs to be in your state plan. Your state plan needs to detail the need for working relationships between programs you're supposed to talk about programs that provide independent living services, centers for Independent Living, the vocational rehabilitation program and are the programs that provide services to individuals with disabilities. On the next slide number 5, we learn more about what's in section 704.
Section 04 says the state plan other set fort the steps that will be taken to maximize the cooperation and working relationships among the different promise previously discussed. So you can't justyou have to talk about the need for building relationships and collaboration. You have to talk about how you're going to building cooperation and coordination among those groups.
On slide 6, we see that section 725 has an assurance where you I'm sorry? Where when you're doing your state plan, you assure RSAthat the proposed activities that are consistent with your state plan for Independent Living and you include a description on how these activity are consistent with your state plan. So the judged that you're putting in writing that everything fits together like a big jig saw puzzle. Eli, I thought it would be good for you to talk about slide 7.
> ELI: Sure. Hello, everyone. So, um, in slide 7, you know, Liz and I had a conversation about, you know, what are some of our best practices and what has worked really well in California. And one thing we really came to a consensus on is that the relationship between CILs and the SILC gets tested in times of stress. But pivotal moments and, you know, when conflict arises whether it's around the state plan or funding formulas, um, or putting out RFPs, it really, you know, flushes out, you know, the relationship and those are the key moments when, you know, open communication and, you know, good faith effort really matter. So going into slide 8.
You know, just some examples of best practices and again, you know, best practices are evolving. So everything we're doing in California is evolving and, you know, we continue to refine and improve and, you know, I'm sure the same is true for all states. But improving your CILs relationship and create a strong independent living network is critical. And, you know, it's not just CILs, but the broader independent living network which we'll talk about later. And also, you know, in terms of having good terms with the CILs is where the power is. Not acting as a, you know, policer or, ah, monitor of CILs, but, you know, as a, you know, supporter access to the press and utilizing advocacy and presenting a collective face to the DSUand having that dialogue in unison is key. We're going to slide 9. Liz, go ahead.
> LIZ: Sure, Eli.
Many SILC provide funding so that centers can participate in the SILC activities or they somehow subsidized activities that the centers do so that helps build the relationship. 50% of the states and territories in the United States provide state funding to CILs which adds another dimension to your state and explain to the relationships. Several SILC also fund associations of Independent Living centers. And what Eli referred to previously was that, um, a strong investment living network is not just made up of the Independent Living centers, but it also includes community organizations that practice Independent Living philosophy. I mean, the idea of the independent living philosophy is to really grow it throughout all different services and venues. So past being a strong independent living net work is reach think out to other communityorganizations. It may not already be participating with a network, but should be. Eli, you want to talk about slide 10?
> ELI: Great. Um, and I just have a note, Tim, that there's an issue with the teleconference number that it might not be correct.
> TIM: We were somehow booked on a different line. I noticed most people have joined on the webinar, but I am sending that email out right this second. Thanks, Eli.
> ELI: Thank you. So slide 10. Ways to collaborate with centers for Independent Living and are the network partners. And I think bullet point one is really the key which is meeting centers and I would broaden that to organizations in the community. One thing that I think we've done very well recently, um, is get out in the community and interact with areas especially under served areas where there were issues that Arose. We had closure of the center in the L.A.area and we had to come up with the plan, the state plan of how to address the need of the consumers in that community.
And the SILC in collaboration with the other L.A.centers and in collaboration with other communitypartners from the developmental disability communityand other specific disability populations. Put together a communityforum where consumers got provide feedback. It went really well and I think that's the key in terms of getting the SILC and the DSU and the CILs getting into the communityand interacting.
And, of course, the second bullet on that inviting the community. You know, it's not just outreach think to the centers, but outreaching to diverse populations that, you know, the center in that area might or might not traditionally serve. So the mental health community, the developmental community, the age communityspecific underserved populations, um, especially those identified in the state plan.
So in our communityor in our state, you know, Latinos and under served youth with disabilities really getting out invitations to everyone to participate. It's also about engaging CILs and are the community partners. But also really getting the CILs and the community partners in the same room and having an interaction. So it's not just engaging with the SILC, but the centers and their communitypartners are engaging with each other.
> LIZ: Ky chime in?
> ELI: Yeah.
> LIZ: One of the things that the SILC instructed me to do pretty early in my work with them is whatever communitywe were in, partner with the Independent Living center that serves that community. Get them to help you put on the meeting. Give them a forum to brag about themselves and show off their services and find some way to directly include them and that's really run the gamut. We had a center do a community forum where a large number of participants came and gave testimony. Different centers want to express that in different ways.
> ELI: Yeah. Great example. The last bullet on slide 10. 7Bbrants and financial support. So in California, our SILC funds a variety of different core areas including systems change, advocacy, homestead, serving the under served population of our community. At this point, our 7Bgrants do not go directly to fund Independent Living centers. But SILC has played a really critical role in supporting our state wide advocacy records and also reaching out to unserved and underserved communities. Slide 11.
> LIZ: So another way that we can landlord a collaboration with the Independent Living centers to both be involved in projects that are relevant to the growth of the independent living network. And really our vision is to be sort of the state level representative of the whole Independent Living network in California.
And so some of the kinds of projects that we've gotten involved in along with the independent living centers with the aging and disability resource connections, with conferences about the changes in our longterm supports and services system, the youth leadership form that happens every year where high school students with disabilities is from around the state come to the capital, disability capital action day is a project that is coordinated, but we participate in it because it's a way of being a collaborator and a partner with the Independent Living centers.
The DSU and the SILC and centers that put on Independent Living leadership sum it where we get university professors and independent link center directors to come and teach about issues to help build leadership capacity and invited all the DSU Independent Living staff, all the Independent Living center directors or their designees. At all of the us are learning these technologies and we found that to be very helpful.
> ELI: There are just a lot of great project going on around our state. On the leadership component, this most recent year we've expanded that to, um, really bring up the competency of our center leadership to establishing a peer review system. So it's a new project. But it really has kind of been an offshoot of the feedback we've gotten from these leadership sum its and it's very exciting to see our peers around the state kind of taking the next level of saying, you know what, we need to bring all of us to a higher level in terms of business practices and, up, advocacy and how we're providing services and we've going to do that through a peer model.
It's an emerging program and something they really think started through the SILC. The other component that I really want to emphasize is in terms of the implementation of Olmstead, which is one our top priorities, we have been providing small transition grants and I believe the amount is around 100,000 a year. Is that correct, Liz?
> LIZ: Yeah. It started out as 100,000 a year and it's been up to 150. I don't want to interrupt you and I want to clarify. We're really closely partnered with department of rehabilitation, which is our DSU. We take a lot of pride of ownership in the different funding projects that we design in the state plan for Independent Living. We give out scholarships and the transition funds, but really department of rehabilitation is the one that administers the funds.
> ELI: The impact of these funds, um, in our community has been tremendous because it's allowed many individuals, you know, to transition out of skilled nursing or rehabilitation or longterm care and into the communityand helped, you know, the initial cost of setting up support systems.
> LIZ: Yeah. The transition grants are onetime grants that Independent Living centers can access if they're helping someone come out of an institution. And they can be up to $4,000 and they can pay for things that other funding source won't pay for. So sometimes people have unique needs like because they've been in an institution a long time. They won't have furnishings or they won't have [INAUDIBLE] or maybe they have some needs like a men fridge to hold their medication. Different requirements that have been put on them in order for them to move into their own home. And the men grants can be used to purchase anything, including assistive technology. Eli, I would love for you to talk about slide number 12. An example of an effective dialogue.
> ELI: Absolutely. An example of effective dialogue within the state of Independent Living network. The first bullet point because of the excellent advocacy of Independent Living advocates in California, chairman George Miller introduced HR fix 10 on June 28th, 2010. So a few years back, um, it came to our attention and our attention being the Independent Living network in California that there would be a severe impact on our core funding as a result of our funds which obviously help centers in California and across the state.
And we as a Independent Living network and parterinship we said we doesn't want to hurt centers. We don't want to hurt consumers in our community. We want everyone to maintain their existing level of funding. It's not about winners and losers, but about the entire network in California being able to serve the consumers in our state. So collaboratively, um, a few folks went back to D.C, collaborated with members of NICLand SILC and partnered in advocating and educating the national communityon the impact of the funds. As a resulted through, you know, what started in California and became a national issue, ah, HR5610 was introduced which allowed states to optout of the change in their funding formula and that [INAUDIBLE] would have and maintain that existing funding for centers.