Administration on Disabilities

About the Administration on Disabilities (AoD)

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.


AoD Programs

  • Aging and Disability Evidence-Based Programs and Practices - The purpose of the Aging and Disability Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (ADEPP) is to help the public learn more about available evidence-based programs and practices in the areas of aging and disability and determine which of these may best meet their needs.
  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers Program/No Wrong Door - These systems provide information and assistance around planning for long-term care needs.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act National Network - The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) National Network provides information, guidance, and training on how to implement the ADA in order to support its mission to "assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities."
  • Centers for Independent Living - ACL's independent living programs work to support community living and independence for people with disabilities across the nation based on the belief that all people can live with dignity, make their own choices, and participate fully in society. These programs provide tools, resources, and supports for integrating people with disabilities fully into their communities to promote equal opportunities, self-determination, and respect.
  • Employment - ACL and its Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) administer a range of initiatives that aim to improve employment outcomes.
  • Help American Vote Act Programs - Help America Vote Act (HAVA) programs are designed to establish and improve participation in the election process for individuals with the full range of disabilities.
  • National Limb Loss Resource Center - The mission of the National Limb Loss Resource Center (operated by the Amputee Coalition) is to reach out to and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support, advocacy, and the promotion of limb loss prevention.
  • Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) - The mission of the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) operated by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is to improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information, and advocacy. 
  • Person Centered Planning - Allows individuals to be engaged in the decision making process about their options, preferences, values, and financial resources.
  • The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) - PCPID promotes policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong community inclusion. 
  • Self-Advocacy Programs - A variety of ACL programs under the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) help people with developmental disabilities and their families advocate for themselves, along with Centers for Independent Living.
  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities - State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (Councils) are federally funded, self-governing organizations charged with identifying the most pressing needs of people with developmental disabilities in their state or territory. Councils are committed to advancing public policy and systems change that help these individuals gain more control over their lives.
  • State Protection & Advocacy Systems - Protection and Advocacy Systems (P&As) work at the state level to protect individuals with disabilities by empowering them and advocating on their behalf. 
  • Supported Decision Making Program - Supported decision making is a more flexible alternative to guardianship that provides older adults and people with disabilities. It is a process of working with an individual to identify where help is needed and devising an approach for providing that help.
  • Transportation Research and Demonstration Program - Through an inclusive transportation program, ACL works with communities across the country to give travelers a voice in the planning process and to improve transportation options.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Program - The TBI State Partnership Grant Program provides funding to help states increase access to services and supports for individuals with TBI throughout the lifetime. 
  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Education, Research & Service (UCEDDs) - 68 UCEDDs throughout the United States and its territories to serve as liaisons between academia and the community.
  • Veteran-Directed Home & Community Based Services (VD-HCBS) - Provides veterans with opportunities to self-direct their LTSS and continue living independently at home.

Last modified on 06/21/2017

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