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Disability Network/Michigan works very closely with organizations around the State. By working together with governmental and other non-profit organizations, the voice of people with disabilities in Michigan is amplified. You will find links to and information about our partners below.


What does the SILC do?

The Statewide Independent Living Council works cooperatively with the Michigan Department of Energy,Labor & Economic Growth-Rehabilitation Services (MDLEG-RS) and the Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) to develop and submit the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).  The SPIL establishes a blueprint for present and future independent living programs and services in Michigan.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS)

The mission of MRS is to assist individuals with disabilities in gaining employment and self-sufficiency. Michigan Rehabilitation Services is the Designated State Unit (DSU) for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services for Michigan’s citizens with disabilities other than blindness, in accord with Title I of the Federal Rehabilitation Act. The Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB) is the DSU for individuals who are legally blind. Both MRS and MCB are located within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG) and they provide a system of VR service delivery across the state. 

MRS counselors are required to have a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or related fields. The counselors assist people with disabilities to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment in an integrated setting, consistent with the individual’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice. They assist by providing vocational counseling and guidance, as well as providing, arranging, and/or purchasing other services related to the person’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

Because MRS and MCB are the designated public agencies for VR, both are also the DSUs for Independent Living, in accord with Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act. Under Title VII, IL funding, MCB staff provides IL services directly to customers.  A separately funded program of IL services is provided for persons who are aged and blind. By contrast, MRS does not directly provide IL services to customers. Instead, MRS collaborates with partners to develop and make IL supports and services available on a statewide basis.

In its role as DSU for VR, MRS works to have IL supports and services available to assist MRS customers in obtaining and maintaining employment. In its role as DSU for IL, MRS works to have IL supports and services available to promote choice, self-determination, and inclusion of all people with disabilities. In its role as DSU for IL, MRS also receives federal and state funding which it makes available through grants to develop and support the statewide Network – currently 15 CILs -- along with two statewide organizations – the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) and the Disability Network / Michigan. MRS administers the ILCIL grants in accord with the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL), which is collaboratively developed by the SILC, MRS, and MCB.

Although MRS does not directly provide IL services, the MRS direct VR service role also relates to IL. In working with VR customers, MRS staff assists in identifying IL needs and making arrangements for specific supportive services. Under the VR service definitions contained in the Rehabilitation Act and reflected in the MRS State VR Plan, many of the IL supports and services can be appropriately authorized as part of an IPE for persons eligible for VR services. Other IL supports and services can be provided under contractual arrangements for services that contribute to the vocational rehabilitation of a group of individuals but are not directly related to the IPE of any one individual. Some service needs identified through the IPE may also be met through referrals to CILs or other service resources.

In addition to its field offices, MRS operates a residential postsecondary school that offers adults with disabilities a unique blend of support services and state-of-the-art training for jobs needed in business and industry today. The Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) is situated on the shores of Pine Lake in southwestern Barry County. It is the second largest comprehensive rehabilitation training center in the United State. For more information on MCTI, see Michigan.gov/mcti.

CIL directors and staff have ongoing contact with MRS at both the local and state levels. At the local level, CIL directors work with MRS District Managers and Site Managers in developing collaborative partnership agreements, fee-for-service arrangements, and other initiatives to address community and consumer needs. CIL staff work with MRS counselors to provide IL services to consumers and to carry out community initiatives as a fulfillment of various partnership and fee-for-service arrangements. At the state level, CIL directors and staff work with MRS IL program and grants staff to submit and carry out the provisions of IL/CIL grants (including requesting payments in accord with the grant provisions) and in a variety of other activities related to the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL) and collaborative efforts of the state IL partners.

For more information about MRS, see Michigan.gov/MRS