In November 2005, a handful of people affiliated with State Rehabilitation Councils shared lunch during the CSAVR Conference in San Diego. We began considering the benefits and drawbacks of establishing a national organization. Those present were not elite. Like many of you, some were Governor-appointed volunteers serving on their respective Councils; others were staff with the sole responsibility of working for a Council; and others were agency staff assigned to provide support to their SRC.  Some around the table were fortunate to serve on well-resourced Councils; others had no budget. There were representatives from states and territories with both Blind and general programs, and some with combined programs. Despite our notable differences, we had a great deal in common.

Common ground and the power of our collective potential is what led a motivated core of individuals to move us from brainstorming to organizing.  A National Steering Committee was formed and they have, with the support of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, convened regular national conference calls of State Rehabilitation Councils on a bi-monthly basis.  In addition, the Steering Committee meets on a regular basis to further the structure and development of the NCSRC.

At each CSAVR Conference, the Saturday and Sunday SRC Sessions have focused on strategic planning and leadership development, including the development of a mission and vision statement, core values and bylaws. The organizational documents along with the strategic plan goals and activities have evolved over four CSAVR Conference – Sunday Sessions.  As a result of tenacious commitment by a number of SRCs, the hard work was finalized in October at the CSAVR 2007 Fall Conference held in San Antonio.  The result is seen in a foundation which will position all of us to be more effective within our respective states and as a national entity.

As of 2015, the Steering Committee has evolved into a Board of Directors, along with incorporation of the NCSRC and plans moving forward for the Coalition to become a 501c3.