The SPIL is a strategic plan that includes Independent Living goals and objectives, outreach plans, funding priorities, a Resource Allocation plan (budget), CIL Network information, and collaboration and partnership activities as well as statutory compliance assurances.
In order to receive Independent Living funds under Title VII, Chapter 1 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, each state must develop a State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). In Georgia the plan is developed jointly every three years by the SILC and the Georgia Department of Labor – Rehabilitation Services.
Goals of the 2017 – 2019 State Plan
Goal 1: Improve and expand consumer access to transportation
Description: Work with Department of Transportation, local municipalities and CIL’s to generate status and advocacy report(s) and increase mobility options for people with disabilities
Objectives to Goal 1:
- The appointment of an Ex-Officio member to the SILC by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GA DOT)
- The mutual exchange of information/education between the IL network and GA DOT twice annually in order to improve the lack of para-transit and public transportation services for persons with disabilities living in rural and remote areas;
- Fifty percent participation by CILs in their local, county, and regional GA DOT meetings for their service areas.
Goal 2: Improve the consumer access to affordable, accessible and inclusive housing.
Description: Work with Department of Housing, housing authorities and other housing agencies/organizations to encourage the development of appropriate housing options for persons with disabilities.
Objectives to Goal 2:
- The appointment of an Ex-Officio member to the SILC by the Georgia Department of Housing and Community Affairs
- The establishment of quarterly dialogue between the IL community and DCA and various housing authorities;
- Educate developers and realtors on the need for affordable, accessible and inclusive housing;
- Promote the Shut Out, Priced Out & Segregated (SOPOS) and Renovation/Reno Fit Tool
Goal 3: Develop opportunities for consumer employment
Description: Collaborate with GVRA, Department of Labor and other entities to develop meaningful policy to encourage employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Objective to Goal 3:
- Promote ongoing participation of initiatives such as Employment First and the ABLE Act.
- Introduce new legislation: Enable Work (Phil Payne Sliding Fee Scale PSA Program & PeachWork). Legislation that encourages employment.
Goal 4: Elevate access for individuals with disabilities to healthcare services and supports.
Description: Promote ongoing participation in initiatives such as Medicaid Buy-In, home and community services, and managed care services.
Objective to Goal 4:
- Continue to support and encourage legislation for equitable healthcare for all disabled Georgians such as Medicaid Buy-In and accessibility
- Improve Home & Community Based Services
- Promote Community First Care Options
Goal 5: Increasing out-reach efforts for education & public awareness to consumers, policy makers and relevant professionals.
Description: Consumer, potential stakeholders and policy makers are more knowledgeable about the CIL’s and the progress made to increase diversity within the community and highlight the needs of specific populations.
Objective to Goal 5:
- Develop and maintain a marketing/outreach strategy that will promote the value and visibility of the SILC and Georgia network of CILs
- Provide presentations and/or educational materials to 100% of state legislators and state agencies at least twice annually
- Youth with disabilities in transition toward community integration, employment, or higher education have access available IL resources, peer-support, and mentoring programs.
- Five CILs participate in youth outreach and mentoring programs
- Identify young adults as emerging leaders in the IL community. These young adults identified will receive stipends to attend the annual statewide IL conference and/or the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) conference(s)
Expansion of Network:
Georgia is not currently considering expanding its network. Unserved & underserved regions within the state will be divided up such that every region has an independent living center responsible for it. Unfortunately, there are insufficient funds to fully serve many communities and so consensus is that new funding should be allocated to the existing centers.
Establishing a new center requires a great deal of community support and mobilization along with a strong Board of Directors. This infrastructure takes time to establish. Creating a new center would have to be predicated on new, permanent funds in a community ready for the center.
That being said, if all of those conditions were met, this SPIL recommends opening a new center in Dougherty, Lowndes, Carroll and/or Troup Counties since the 2010 U.S. Censes found these counties have the highest disabled population throughout the state.