Statewide Independent Living Council | Our Work and Resources
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The SILC TN is a technical assistance and systemic advocacy organization working to promote Independent Living philosophy and services in Tennessee.

•      Convening quarterly Council meetings that are open to the public,

•      Educating the community and public leaders about the IL philosophy and the impact of legislation individuals with disabilities,

•      Collaborating with our local, state and national disability communities on behalf of Tennesseans with disabilities,

•      Offering training and support to the state’s Independent Living Network of six Centers for Independent Living (CIL),

•      Facilitating the Tennessee Independent Living Network’s drafting of the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL),

•      Monitoring, reviewing and evaluating the implementation of the SPIL, and

•      Facilitate funding opportunities for expanding the practice of IL in Tennessee.



The SILC is conducting an online needs assessment and holding a series of Community Conversations series on April 13 as part of the Statewide Needs Assessment used to inform the development of the Statewide Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) in Tennessee.


Let’s Talk Independent Living! are community gatherings that follow the Community Conversations model to engage community members in constructive problem-solving dialogues. Tennessee Works, a project of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, has used this model to engage cross-sectors of communities in creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities.


The first community conversation was held in partnership with the Memphis Center for Independent Living (MCIL) on April 13. About 20 community members came together to discuss not only what problems they were encountering, but also solutions that might help them meet their Independent Living (IL) goals.


“Some of the problems and solutions, for example increasing the affordability and accessibility of transportation, are not new,” states Linnet Overton, SILC Executive Director. “But creating a forum for people with disabilities to express these problems and use their own words is extremely powerful. Someone saying that Independent Living means that they have the ‘right to fail’ is so much more meaningful than a professional speaking to the concept of self-determination.”


Let’s Talk Independent Living! events will also be held in the following locations, with more events being scheduled for later this summer.



In addition to feedback during Community Conversations, the SILC encourages people with disabilities to complete the online Independent Living Needs Assessment Survey.  The survey collects information on needs/barriers and services that support IL in Tennessee.



If you’re organization would like to partner with the SILC, please email Linnet Overton at This could be from having paper surveys onsite, hosting a Community Conversation, or sharing the online survey in your community newsletter or on social media.


The SILC will share the results of the data and summaries of the Community Conversations in the Fall of 2018, in preparation for the release of the first draft of the 2020-2023 SPIL.