Consumer Rights

Our goal is to empower individuals to more effectively define and control decisions that affect their lives, by providing the following services:

1. Information referral and linkage services.

2. Information and advocacy concerning the legal and civil rights of persons with severe disabilities.

3. BPA&O Benefits Planning Assistance & Outreach Agencies Sponsored by the Social Security Administration BPA & O Services help you understand exactly what will happen to all your benefits when and if you earn money.

4. Assistance in locating accessible housing opportunities.

5. Consultation and advocacy concerned with the removal of architectural barriers.

6. Peer support.

7. Independent living skills training.

8. Assistance in meeting special transportation needs.

9. Telecommunication device relay services for hearing-impaired or speech-impaired persons.

10. Interpreter referral services for hearing impaired or speech-impaired persons.

11. Assistance in locating, selecting, and supervising personal care attendants.

12. Equipment loan (wheelchairs, walkers, etc.).

13. Income Tax Preparation SILC is a VITA site ( Voluntary Income Tax assistance), and has an agreement with the IRS to provide this service. We can e-file for you right here. All for free.


Individuals experiencing difficulties in obtaining benefits or access to services will be advised of the legal and civil rights of persons with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on clients advocating for themselves, however, any assistance required in securing benefits or rights will be provided. (top of page)


Accessible housing is a primary concern of disabled individuals seeking assistance towards an independent lifestyle. Southwestern Independent Living Center maintains a list of subsidized housing options which are accessible or can easily be modified. Southwestern Independent Living Center staff will assist individuals in locating an adapting present or future homes to the individual's own needs. (top of page)


Independent living skills development includes training in community mobility, home management, personal care attendant selection and supervision, self-care, financial management, time management, consumer affairs, social skills, sexuality, educational and vocational options, and wheelchair maintenance.(top of page)


Disabled individuals meet in groups, or one to one sessions, to discuss common experiences, support on another's efforts, and provide guidance toward the common goal of increased independence. Peer counselors are available to provide support and help individuals in areas of coping and adjustment.(top of page)


A computerized directory, developed by staff, provides information about various agencies, throughout Chautauqua County, serving people with disabilities. The resource library includes information on independent living aids, local equipment vendors, various disabling conditions, accessibility standards, as well as information about programs outside Chautauqua County.(top of page)


Appropriate referral to community services and driver training will be made to individuals with transportation needs. When necessary, Southwestern Independent Living Center will provide transportation in a wheelchair accessibile van for clients of the center needing to look at available housing, consult with center staff, or utilize services otherwise unavailable to them. Other trips will be made at the discretion of the agency.(top of page)


TDD relay services assist hearing-impaired or speech-impaired individuals to deliver messages to agencies, medical personel, retailers, or others unable to receive TDD calls.(top of page)


Income Tax Prepartion SILC offers free assistance with income tax preparation. SILC has recently partnered with the IRS to be a VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance) site. We are able to offer "electronic" filing this year.(top of page)