coronavirus-19

What's New (May 4 - May 18)

Here are the latest additions to this page. Sign up for ACL Updates to receive these and other updates via e-mail.

  • The U.S. Department of Education has published Questions and Answers on Civil Rights and School Reopening in the COVID-19 Environment. (Posted May 18)

  • Georgia Tech's Center for Inclusive Design & Innovation, in partnership with the CDC Foundation, is hosting a webinar on frequently asked questions on vaccines for people with disabilities. The webinar is on Wednesday, May 26, from 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET. (Posted May 17)

  • ACL has posted updated FAQs for Older Americans Act Title VI grantees. (Posted May 14) 

  • CMS has announced a new rule to improve COVID-19 vaccine access for older adults and people with disabilities in congregate settings.
    This new policy is a powerful step in furthering the Biden Administration’s commitment to equitable vaccine access and ensuring that those who are most at risk – including people living in congregate settings – have access. It also advances the Administration’s focus on racial equity by improving access to vaccines for staff, the majority of whom are women of color. This blog post by ACL Acting Administrator has more details. (Posted May 11)

  • All Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and clinics that administer COVID-19 vaccines are accepting walk-ins for eligible veterans, spouses and caregivers. (Posted May 10)

  • The HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the availability of approximately $250 million to develop and support a community-based workforce who will serve as trusted voices sharing information about vaccines, increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence, and address any barriers to vaccination for individuals living in vulnerable and medically underserved communities. To apply for the Community-Based Workforce for COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Program Notice of Funding Opportunity, visit Grants.gov. Applications are due May 18, 2021, at
    11:59 p.m. ET. Applicants should contact CBOVaccineOutreach@hrsa.gov with any questions. (Posted May 10)

  • Additional vaccine resources from CDC are available, including "Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19" Vaccination and web and print versions of "What Older Adults Need to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines." (Posted May 7)

  • Join the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) webinar Coming Back Strong After COVID-19: Federal Elder Justice Innovations and Resources on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 12:00 PM ET. ACL’s National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) will host this webinar, which will include speakers from ACL, NCEA, the Elder Justice Initiative at the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). (Posted May 7)

  • This webinar, Navigating Older American’s Act Title III-D During the COVID-19 Pandemic, will be held Friday, May 21, 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET (rescheduled from April 23). The webinar will highlight best practices for selecting and delivering evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention programs – including programs delivered in remote and/or in-person, socially-distanced formats. Attendees will hear from three ACL grant recipients about the strategies they are employing to deliver these programs during the pandemic, and the lessons they have learned along the way. (Posted May 5)

  • The Center of Inclusive Design and Innovation will host webinar titled, COVID-19 Vaccines for Caregivers and Personal Care Assistants (PCA) on Wednesday, May 12th from 3-4 PM ET. The webinar will highlight the guidelines that offer ways in which caregivers and personal care assistants can help support people with disabilities and slow the spread of COVID-19 by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.  (Posted May 4)

  • Consumer Voice has posted this recent webinar online: Using the CMS Guidance to Open Nursing Home Doors. Slides from the webinar are available HERE. (Posted May 4)

More recent additions
  • ACL has posted two new sets of FAQs: American Rescue Plan (ARP) program FAQs and fiscal FAQs. These two sets of FAQs are provided in response to questions received by ACL on the supplemental funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act as well as general updates and clarification on Older Americans Act funding. (Posted May 3)

  • Beginning on May 12, households can apply for Emergency Broadband Benefit. On April 13, the FCC hosted a webinar that provided an overview of the benefit, eligibility criteria, how to apply, and the FCC’s partner toolkit materials. A recording, transcript, and slides from the webinar are now available. (Posted April 30)

  • Understanding which services can be effective when virtual, how, and for whom is important—especially for those trying to reach underserved communities. HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation have published a policy brief offering preliminary lessons learned and considerations for tailoring virtual services. Topics include choosing a platform, the trade-offs of remote services, and personalized service planning. (Posted April 27)

  • Understanding which services can be effective when virtual, how, and for whom is important—especially for those trying to reach underserved communities. HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation have published a policy brief offering preliminary lessons learned and considerations for tailoring virtual services. Topics include choosing a platform, the trade-offs of remote services, and personalized service planning. (Posted April 27)

  • ACL has posted new FAQs on our partnership with CDC to increase access to vaccines. Guidance is available for Centers for Independent LivingProtection and Advocacy programsState Councils on Developmental Disabilities, and University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, (Posted April 20)

  • The HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released a brief on the potential barriers to accessing the COVID-19 vaccine faced by homebound older adults. (Posted April 19)

  • The CDC Foundation will award over $6.7 million to community-based organizations to support efforts to increase influenza and COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake for adults in racial and/or ethnic populations experiencing disparities in the United States. The CDC Foundation will provide $50,000 - $100,000 awards to an estimated 100 CBOs to: (1) Equip influential messengers by providing trainings and materials; (2) Increase vaccination opportunities and enhance provider partnerships; and (3) Establish partnerships with state and local health departments. Applications are due Monday, April 26 and selected CBOs will be notified of their selection by May 7. 2021. (Posted April 15)

  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has an updated vaccine sign-up form for veterans, spouses, caregivers, and Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) recipients who aren’t enrolled in VA health care. (Posted April 15)

  • Ensuring equitable access to vaccines: As part of our shared commitment to ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, ACL teamed up with the HHS Office for Civil Rights and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to release new legal guidance and resources to help states, vaccination providers, and others leading COVID-19 response activities improve access to vaccines for people with disabilities and older adults. These resources clarify legal requirements, illustrate some of the barriers to vaccine access faced by people with disabilities and older people, and provide strategies – and examples of how the aging and disability network can help employ them – to ensure accessibility. This ACL Update has more information, or you can go directly to:

    • OCR's guidance outlines legal standards under federal civil rights laws prohibiting disability discrimination and providing concrete examples of their application in the context of COVID-19 vaccine programs. This OCR fact sheet sets out specific steps to promote compliance with disability rights laws and provide access for people with disabilities to vaccination programs.

    • ASPE's issue brief on the prevalence and characteristics of older adults who are normally unable to leave home unassisted and for whom leaving the house would take considerable and taxing effort.

    • ACL's Strategies for Helping Older Adults and People with Disabilities Access COVID-19 Vaccines provides creative approaches to outreach and education, vaccine appointment facilitation, ensuring website and vaccination site accessibility, and reaching people who cannot be vaccinated outside of their homes. Also included are examples of how the aging and disability network have collaborated with state agencies at virtually every stage of the vaccination process to ensure access for people with disabilities and older adults. This companion piece is a summary of ACL’s programs, with examples of activities and partnerships that can support vaccine access. (Posted April 13)

Vaccination Information

Vaccinations will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and bring this pandemic to an end. As Americans get vaccinated over the next few months, it is important to continue to follow public health safety measures. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized three COVID-19 vaccines, which are now being distributed by states and territories. 

You can find information on vaccine distribution in your state in the "Follow your state's guidance" section of this page (scroll down to locate this section).

More Vaccination Resources
Beware of Vaccination-Related Scams

Scammers rapidly alter their tactics and adapt their schemes to the changing landscape, and we anticipate that they will leverage the COVID-19 vaccine to prey on unsuspecting people. Be vigilant and protect yourself from potential fraud concerning COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

Here are things you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • You likely will not need to pay anything out-of-pocket to get the vaccine during this public health emergency.
  • You cannot pay to put your name on a list to get the vaccine.
  • You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine.
  • You will not be solicited door to door to receive the vaccine.
  • No one from Medicare or the Health Department with contact you.
  • No one from a vaccine distribution site or health care payer, like a private insurance company, will call you asking for your Medicare number, Social Security number, or your credit card or bank account information to sign you up to get the vaccine.

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) is ready to provide you with the information you need to PROTECT yourself from Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse; DETECT potential fraud, errors, and abuse; and REPORT your concerns. SMPs help educate and empower Medicare beneficiaries in the fight against health care fraud. Your SMP can help you with your questions, concerns, or complaints about potential fraud and abuse issues. It also provides information and educational presentations. To locate your local Senior Medicare Patrol, call 1-877-808-2468 or visit www.smpresource.org.

More Information

 

For Older Adults, People with Disabilities, Families, and Caregivers

  • Vaccine info
  • Staying safe
  • Your rights
Click here to learn more

For the Aging and Disability Networks

  • ACL Program Guidance
  • Promising Practices: Innovative approaches that may work in your community
  • Guidance from other federal programs
Find more resources hereFind a listing of upcoming and archived webinars

Ensuring Equity and Inclusion

Resources for

  • State and local COVID-19 response planners
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Educators
  • Businesses
  • others who need to understand the needs and issues of older adults and people with disabilities

Click here to find more helpful tips

Partnership to Increase Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

On March 29, President Biden announced several actions to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, including an exciting partnership between ACL and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to increase vaccine access for people with disabilities and older adults.

These grants will provide assistance with scheduling vaccine appointments, transportation to vaccine sites, direct support services needed to attend vaccine appointments, connection to in-home vaccination options, and education about the importance of receiving the vaccine to older adults and people with disabilities. In addition, these grants will enable the aging and disability networks to identify people who are unable to independently travel to vaccination sites and to provide technical assistance to local health departments on improving access to vaccines for people with disabilities and older adults.

Approximately $5 million will fund national hotlines to connect older adults and people with disabilities with local disability and aging agencies that can assist with vaccine registration and provide services and supports necessary to get the vaccine. This funding will increase the capacity of the Eldercare Locator, a nationwide service funded by ACL that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. It also will leverage the infrastructure of the Eldercare Locator to provide, for the first time, a similar service for people with disabilities. 

An additional $93 million will be distributed as follows:

  • State Units on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging ($50 million)
  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers ($26 million)
  • Centers for Independent Living that receive federal funding directly from ACL. ($5 million)
  • University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities ($4 million)
  • Protection and Advocacy systems ($4 million)
  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities ($4 million)

Learn more about this partnership.

National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness

The National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness provides detailed information about the seven goals of Biden Administration's coordinated pandemic response. The 198-page strategy document begins with an overview of the goals, followed by details on a variety of topics, many of which intersect the core missions of the aging and disability networks. Among the topics covered are home and community based services, vaccination communication, impact on at-risk groups, equitable access to PPE, and community-based, multi-sector efforts to align health and social interventions. The strategy reflects the White House's priorities for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Follow your state's guidance

Decisions about community measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as vaccine prioritization and distribution, will be made by local and state officials, The links in this section will connect you to some state resources.

Links to state resources

Last modified on 05/18/2021


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