The Administration on Disabilities works with states, communities, and partners in the disability networks to increase the independence, productivity, and community integration of individuals with disabilities. Under authorities provided by the Developmental Disabilities Act (DD Act), the Rehabilitation Act, the Help America Vote Act, the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, and the Public Health Service Act, the AoD works to improve opportunities for people with disabilities to access quality services and supports, achieve economic self-sufficiency, and experience equality and inclusion in all facets of community life.
AoD includes the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) and the Independent Living Administration (ILA).
AIDD is dedicated to ensuring that people with disabilities have opportunities to make their own choices, contribute to society, have supports to live independently, and live free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In each state and territory, AIDD grantees form a developmental disabilities network, or DD Network, made up of State Councils on Developmental Disabilities; State Protection and Advocacy Systems; and University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. AIDD also funds Projects of National Significance and administers the President’s Committee on Intellectual Disabilities.
While each entity within the network serves specific purposes, they were established with overlapping goals to facilitate collaboration and interconnectivity among the different units. This structure allows each entity to work cross-functionally to achieve the core goals of the DD Act: self-determination, independence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of community for people with developmental disabilities.
That goal aligns perfectly with the Independent Living movement, which, for more than four decades, has fought to integrate individuals with disabilities into the mainstream of society. Established by the Rehabilitation Act, the Independent Living Administration manages programs, advocates in policy development, and helps establish and strengthen state and community networks of service providers in order to maximize the leadership, empowerment, independence, and productivity of individuals with disabilities.
The ILA oversees The Independent Living Services (ILS) and the Centers for Independent Living (CIL). These programs promote the independent living philosophy of consumer control, self-help and self-advocacy, development of peer relationships and peer role models, and equal access for individuals with significant disabilities to all aspects of society. The ILA also manages programs that provide information and referral services to help people with paralysis and limb loss continue to live in their homes and participate in their communities.