Sharing Information Loud and Clear February 2022

Sharing Information Loud and Clear

February 2022

In This Issue:

  • Message from the Chair
  • SILC Welcomes Three New Members
  • Free at Home COVID Tests
  • Rare Disease Day 2022
  • Black History Month
  • Affordable Connectivity Program
  • Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness month

photos above: Woman reading Braille, wheelchair user, and two women posing for photo

Message From The Chair

Photo to right shows Lisa Hayes, SILC Chairperson

Greetings Valued IL Community Members and Friends:

I want to honor each of you for all the great work you are doing to support our communities during this challenging time in our world. Please remember that you are valued and appreciated.

For those who may be new to the State Independent Living Council (SILC): the SILC is an 18-member body. Our members have diverse backgrounds and expertise in Independent Living services and programs. One of our key functions is, through a public process, develop the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). The State Plan for Independent Living is a detailed three-year plan that sets the parameters and establishes the goals for the provision of Independent Living services in California. Another very important key role of the SILC is to advise the Governor and the legislature on the provision of Independent Living services.

SILC members are wrapping up their work on the 2021-2023 SPIL and soon will begin working on the development of our 2024-2026 SPIL. We will need to determine what the goals we want to accomplish during this, develop measurable objectives and outcomes, and solicit feedback from our entire network. We encourage you to get involved in the process and to help in shaping the future of IL in California.

I want to take a moment to encourage you to join with us for our next meeting of the SILC on April 5 and 6, which will be hosted on the Zoom platform due to the Coronavirus-19 pandemic. For more info including the agenda, visit The agenda will be available 10 days prior to the meeting.

If you have questions or need more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or the SILC Executive Director, Carrie England at Always remember the SILC is here for you. Feel free to reach out to us. Thank you for all you do for our communities.


Lisa Hayes

SILC Chairperson

The SILC Welcomes Three New Members!

Roque Alas-Bucton, 57, of Duarte, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. Alas-Bucton has been Disability Advocate Coordinator for Painted Brain since 2021 and an Independent Contractor and Producer for music production and performance since 1983. He was Director and Founder of the Filipino Artists Network from 2001 to 2011. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Alas-Bucton is registered without party preference.

Patrick Butler, 36, of Ukiah, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. Butler has been a Custodian for the Ukiah Unified School District since 2019 and did Work Study for the Citrus Heights Veterans Center from 2015 to 2018. Butler was a Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy from 2004 to 2009. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Butler is a Democrat.

Kyla Aquino-Irving, 42, of Rancho Cordova, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. Aquino-Irving has been Communications and Marketing Manager for United Way California Capital Region since 2020. She was Communications and Marketing Director for California Foundation for Independent Living Centers from 2017 to 2020, Program Director for Physicians for a Healthy California in 2016 and Communications Administrator for the Health Education Council from 2014 to 2015. Aquino-Irving was a Grant Field Monitor for Richard Heath Associates Inc. in 2014, an Associate for the Social Innovation and Philanthropy Division at Dewey Square Group in 2013 and an Account Coordinator at Randle Communications from 2011 to 2013. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Aquino-Irving is not registered to vote.

Photo Above: SILC Member, Roque Alas-Bucton

Photo Above: SILC Member, Kyla Aquino-Irving

Photo Above: SILC Member, Patrick Butler

FREE At-Home Covid Tests Available to All

Photo: Stack of At-Home Covid Test Kits

Are you looking for at home tests?

Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.

Order your free at-home test on the website.

Tests are free and will be shipped by the U.S. Postal Services

Tests should arrive within 7-10 days from order

Those who have difficulty accessing the internet or need additional support placing an order can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).

Rare Disease Day 2022

Photo left: Multicolored text says “I Support Rare Disease Day 28 February 2022 #Rarediseaseday”. There is a blue abstract design on the top left corner and a multicolored rare disease day logo on the bottom left.

The first Rare Disease Day was celebrated in 2008 on 29 February, a ‘rare’ date that happens only once every four years. Ever since then, Rare Disease Day has taken place on the last day of February, a month known for having a ‘rare’ number of days.

Building awareness of rare diseases is so important because 1 in 20 people will live with a rare disease at some point in their life. Despite this, there is no cure for the majority of rare diseases and many go un-diagnosed. Rare Disease Day improves knowledge amongst the general public of rare diseases while encouraging researchers and decision makers to address the needs of those living with rare diseases.

Learn more about how you can get involved in Rare Disease Day activities by visiting the Rare Disease Day 2022 website.

February is Black History Month

Photo left: “Black History Month” in white letters. Black background with red, green, and yellow stripes.

In the United States Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.

Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, from January 2 to February 28, 1970.

Six years later, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month in 1976, during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.

Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The Black History Month 2022 theme focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness. This theme acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Launches the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

On December 31, the FCC launched the ACP (the Affordable Connectivity Program).

This program, created by Congress in the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, is a longer-term replacement for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. This investment in broadband affordability will help ensure households can afford the internet connections they need for work, school, health care, and more.

The FCC also launched a toolkit of materials for partners to download and customize to meet their needs. More materials will be added in the coming weeks.

The ACP provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

Enrollment in the ACP is now open for households with at least one member qualifying under any of the following criteria:

  • Has an income that is at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
  • Participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, or Lifeline.
  • Participates in tribal-specific programs, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Tribal TANF, or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.
  • Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision.
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income program.

The 9 million households fully enrolled in the EBB program as of December 31, 2021 will continue to receive their current monthly benefit until March 1, 2022. More information about steps current EBB recipients must take to continue receiving the ACP benefit after March 1, 2022 will be available in the coming weeks.

For application questions, email or call 877-384-2575.

AMD Awareness Month

Photo above: reading glasses on wood surface with text “February amd/low vision awareness month”

February is Low Vision Awareness Month. Low vision is a visual impairment that cannot be corrected by standard eyeglasses, contact lenses, medication, or surgery.

Age related macular degeneration (AMD), a deterioration or breakdown of the macula, is one of the most common causes of poor vision after age 60. The visual symptoms of AMD involve loss of central vision. While peripheral (side) vision is unaffected, with AMD, one loses the sharp, straight-ahead vision necessary for driving, reading, recognizing faces, and looking at detail.

If you or a loved has already been diagnosed with AMD or low vision, check out the Ability Tools website by visiting, or by visiting the California Assistive Technology Reuse Coalition at They will help you discover what tools and resources can help support a more independent life.

Save the Date!

The SILC is planning to hold a meeting of the full SILC Council on April 5-6 utilizing the Zoom meeting platform. The agenda and details will be posted on the SILC website at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting.

If you would like copies of the materials being provided as a companion to items on the agenda for this meeting, or need any other information about this meeting, please contact the SILC Office Manager at or (916) 263-7905 (voice) or toll free (866) 866-7452.

We hope you will join us!






 Agency Announcements

Agency Announcements Widget

  • As of March 17, 2020, SILC Staff will be working remotely, due to COVID-19 safety. Office messages will be checked regularly – SILC Main office (916) 263-7905 or Toll Free (866) 866-7452, email (English)
  • SILC 2021-2023 SPIL Meaningful Data Work Group
    August 26, 2022, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
    Agenda will be posted 10 days prior to the meeting
  • SILC 2021-2023 SPIL Funding Formula and Equity Work Group
    August 10, 2022, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
    Agenda will be posted 10 days prior to the meeting
  • SILC 2021-2023 SPIL Long-Term Services and Supports Work Group
    August 3, 2022, 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
    Word (152 KB) | RTF (111 KB)
  • SILC 2021-2023 SPIL Independent Living (IL) Definitions Work Group
    August 25, 2022, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
    Agenda will be posted 10 days prior to the meeting
  • New SILC Member Recruitment – Please see information attached (English)
    Word (60.48 KB) | RTF (61.03 KB)
  • SILC Membership Application (English)
    External Link to Website

  SILC News