SILC Membership - SILC
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SILC Membership

Members seated around a table at a SILC Quarterly Meeting 2017

SILC Membership


The SILC TN is governed by a Council appointed by the Governor for three year commitments. The SILC is comprised of Tennesseans with diverse disabilities and advocates for people with disabilities from across the state. The SILC strives to have a membership that is representative of the Center for Independent Living (CIL) consumers across the state.


Matt and Fran's Wedding

“My name is Matt and I had a swimming diving accident in a shallow lake in Michigan at the young age of 28….I thought about going to a facility where others like myself could stay with caregivers…Thankfully, my Mother talked me into trying to live independently.” Now married and a business owner, Matt lives a beautiful and fulfilling life. “I am very fortunate to be alive and I appreciate all the independent living supports I qualified for as I acclimated to living with a disability and use now to live independently…I am also honored to serve as a State Independent Living Council member for Tennessee. Independent living matters is a very worthwhile program.”


Edward Mitchell headshot


Edward is not only a world traveler and successful student with an MBA, he is also the SILC Treasurer and an employee of the Jackson TN CIL. Edward explains his story, “In 2003, I was struck by a truck riding my bicycle and left in a ditch for dead,…since then I’ve been dealing with a spinal cord injury…the reason I’ve been able to achieve success is because my mother and father didn’t hold my hand and they let me have choices and failures….and this pushed me to live independently and achieve new heights.”


Lisa Suttles SILC Board Chair 2017 meeting with Corker at TN Tuesday

Lisa is a fierce advocate for accessible transportation. After decades of service in para-transit in the Chattanooga region, the SILC TN was lucky enough to have Lisa join the Council. Lisa now serves as the SILC Chair and is the first person to offer to attend conferences and advocacy days, make a tough call to support independence for Tennesseans with disabilities, and speak up on behalf of Independent Living.



The Council supports and oversees the work of the SILC TN and the implementation of the  State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) by participating in Quarterly Meetings where members review budgets and SILC and SPIL updates, vote on Council issues, and receive board training. Members also participate triennially in developing the next SPIL in collaboration with the Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services and the directors of Tennessee’s CILs. Additionally, SILC members are encouraged to participate in a subcommittee that meets between quarterly meetings as necessary, and addresses a single area of focus in more depth. Subcommittee topics may include SILC Membership, SILC Policies and Procedures,  fundraising, and SPIL development/Needs Assessment.


To apply for the Council, you must submit the following:


These materials are to be submitted to Edward Mitchell at Nominations are submitted annually to the Governor’s office for review every fall. The annual submission deadline is August 15th. Final SILC members are appointed by the Governor and typically notified of their appointment by the new year.

For more information, review the materials below:

Thank you for interest in the SILC! We look forward to receiving your application.

NOTE: If you need application materials in an alternative format, please do not hesitate to contact Edward Mitchell at for assistance.


It is the policy of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Tennessee to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 49 CFR. Part 26; related statutes and regulations to the end that no person shall be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance on the grounds of race, color, or national origin.