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SILC-NET How-To Guide for Developing an Outcomes-Focused SPIL

Purpose of this Guide

The State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) is the document required for ongoing funding of the independent living program within a state. Additionally, it is the legal blueprint for statewide funding decisions made throughout the cycle of the SPIL. This guide has been created to support SPIL development in the following ways:

  • Help IL Partners develop a State Plan for Independent Living in compliance with RSA requirements
  • Provide suggestions and guidance to improve the quality of the planning process and the final plans
  • Learn from and share examples, models, and best practices in SPIL planning, development and evaluation

How to Use this Guide

This online guide has been developed by the SILC-NET, a program of the IL-NET national training and technical assistance project for centers for independent living (CIL-NET) and statewide independent living councils (SILC-NET). The guide is designed to provide important information and guidance for SILCs in developing their State Plans for Independent Living. It does not include Part I: Assurances, or statements of compliance, since completion of that section is rather straightforward. The Guide starts with Part II: Narratives. For each SPIL section, this guide includes regulatory references, requirements, suggestions for completing the section, and examples. Where suggestions and examples are offered, they are only recommendations for content or approaches: they provide what the authors themselves consider useful recommendations. They are meant to make the process easier and to provide SILCs with examples and ideas for managing the SPIL development process and for responding to specific questions in the SPIL. Not all suggestions or examples will fit your state's particular circumstances. There is wide variation among states and we urge SILCs to follow suggestions and examples thoughtfully.

Once you've reviewed the entire Guide, be sure to regularly check out the What's New? page in the Guide to see the latest changes and updated information.

Organization of the Guide

The majority of the Guide consists of sections associated with each of the RSA-requirement elements of a SPIL. Each of these sections includes:

  • The name of the section
  • The associated regulations for that particular section.
  • The RSA requirements for the section. Italics indicate exact language used by RSA in the SPIL instructions.
  • Suggestions for completing that section. These are not required--they are merely suggestions for strategies a SILC can use in addressing that particular section of the SPIL.
  • Examples of strategies for responding to that section. Most examples come from actual SPILs and are meant to demonstrate how your SILC might respond to that particular question.
  • Key Definitions associated with that section.

Using the Guide to Help with the Planning Process and Develop Your SPIL

To use the Guide for planning, we suggest that you start with Why a Focus on Outcomes? and Three Steps to an Outcomes-Focused SPIL to understand a potential planning approach you can use to develop your Plan. Then review each of the sections to see how you might incorporate the planning process and use it to respond to the RSA requirements for your plan.

Using the Guide to Respond to Specific Questions

If you are looking for guidance on how to respond to a particular question, then follow the links below to the associated element to review examples and get suggestions on potential ways to respond.

The Guide

What's New?--This page lists the latest changes in the guide. Check here often.

Why a Focus on Outcomes?

Three Steps to an Outcomes Focused SPIL

Section 1: Goals, Objectives and Activities

Section 1.1 Goals and Mission

Section 1.2A Objectives to be Achieved and Time Frame for Achieving Them

Section 1.2B Outreach to Unserved and Underserved Populations

Section 1.3A Financial Plan Tables

Section 1.3B(1) How Funding Furthers the SPIL Objectives

Section 1.3B(2) Coordination of Federal and State Funding

Section 1.3B(3) In-kind Resources

Section 1.3B(4) Additional Information About the Financial Plan

Section 1.4A Consistency of SPIL Objectives with the Act

Section 1.4B Consideration and Incorporation of Priorities and Objectives Established by CILs

Section 1.5 Cooperation, Coordination, and Working Relationships Among Various Entities

Section 1.6 Coordination of Services

Section 1.7 Independent Living Services for Individuals who are Older Blind

Section 2 Scope, Extent and Arrangement of Services

Section 2.1A SPIL Instrument Table: Types of IL Services to Be Provided

Section 2.1B Service Provision Priorities

Section 2.1C Service Fees and Financial Need Test

Section 2.2A DSU Contracted Services

Section 2.2B Eligibility for Services Delegated to Centers

Section 3: Design for the Statewide Network of Centers

Section 3.1 Existing Network

Section 3.2 Expansion of Network

Section 4: Designated State Unit (DSU)

Section 4.1A Administrative Support Services

Section 4.1B Other DSU Administration Arrangements

Section 5: Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)

Section 5.1A Resource Plan Description

Section 5.1B Addressing Resource Plan Requirements

Section 5.2 Establishment and Placement

Section 5.3 Appointment and Composition

Section 5.4 Staffing

Section 6: Service Provider Requirements

Section 6 Service Provider Requirements

Section 7: Evaluation

Section 7 Evaluation

Section 8: State Imposed Requirements

Section 8 State Imposed Requirements


Full Copy of Regulations Here


The SILC-NET is operated by Independent Living Research Utilization - ILRU at TIRR Memorial Hermann in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and the Association of Programs in Rural Independent Living (APRIL). The SILC-NET is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration under grant number H132B070003. No official endorsement by the Department of Education of this guide should be inferred. Permission is granted for duplication of any portion of this guide, providing that the following credit is given to the project: "Developed as part of the SILC-NET, a program of the IL-NET, an ILRU/NCIL/APRIL National Training and Technical Assistance Project."

Publication Team

  • AUTHORS: Michael Hendricks and Darrell Lynn Jones
  • SENIOR EDITOR: Richard Petty
  • PRODUCTION STAFF: Dawn Heinsohn, Carol Eubanks, Marjorie Elhardt and Sharon Finney
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