Dawn ‘Shelly’ Richardson
Ms. Richardson was hired as Executive Director in March 2017. As Director, she works with the 22 Centers for Independent Living (CILs), and other agencies across the state, to provide the leadership, research, planning, and education required to support independent living services for people with disabilities across Illinois. She also serves as a member of the Statewide Rehabilitation Council (SRC) of Illinois, Illinois Social Services Advisory Council (ISSAC), Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) Advisory Council, Housing Action Illinois (HAI) Board, and has been a long-time member of HAI’s Advocacy Advisory Group.
Ms. Richardson was previously employed by IMPACT, Inc., one of Illinois’ 22 Centers for Independent Living located in Alton, where she served as one of the Community Reintegration Specialists –now referred to as Transition Coordinators—for the Money Follows the Person (MFP) Program. She also served as the CIL’s Housing Specialist. She has been a long-time advocate for disability rights.
Shelly completed her Masters of Public Administration and Policy Analysis degree at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville in 2012. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a Minor is Psychology.
Tara Dunning has served as the Financial Manager of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois since March 1996. She plays many roles at SILC, office manager, meeting planner, minute taker but maybe most importantly – “the one who orders the lunch”.
Over the years, Tara has served on many committees and boards. She is currently the chairperson of the Springfield Region of the Human Rights Authority (HRA). The HRA is the investigative arm of the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission. The Authority investigates alleged violations of the rights of persons with disabilities by providers of services. The Springfield Region serves Logan, Macon, Christian, Sangamon, Morgan, Scott, Pike, Menard, Mason, Hancock, Cass, Brown, Adams, and Schuyler counties in Illinois.
She is also the co-chair of the Illinois Statewide Transition Conference which hosts an annual 2-day event for transition-aged youth and young adults with disabilities, their family members and teachers, vocational professionals, caregivers, health care professionals, college students pursuing careers in special education and community advocates.