Reading Room

These articles and links are offered to help you learn more about the fields of aging and disability, and the issues facing older adults and people with disabilities, from a variety of perspectives.  Check back soon -- we're still building this section!

ACL is not responsible for content or websites produced by other organizations, and does not officially endorse these materials or their authors. 


White House Report - Emerging Technology to Support an Aging Population

Published in March of 2019, Emerging Technology to Support an Aging Population identifies innovations that have the potential to improve quality of life for all Americans, particularly those who live with physical or cognitive burdens due to aging or disability. The report also identifies the R&D needed to bring these innovations to fruition.

White House Conference on Aging

The White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) was last held on July 13, 2015. It marked the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 WHCOA provided an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.

In 2015, WHCOA produced a series of Policy Briefs on four topics: healthy aging, long-term services and supports, elder justice, and retirement security. After the Conference, the White House produced a Final Report.

“Reframing Aging” Project

A coalition of aging-focused organizations is funding research into how Americans understand the needs and contributions of older adults. Reports and background on this project are available from the FrameWorks Institute:

Global Aging

ACL and AoA play a vital role in information exchange on aging issues with other countries, and in collaborating with international organizations to enhance aging programs and policies worldwide. The U.S. government promotes the human rights of older persons by calling attention to the needs of older people and recommending approaches for governments and international organizations to respond to those needs. ACL also highlights the tremendous resources that older individuals provide to our communities and society: older adults offer a wealth of knowledge and experience, and contribute to the vitality of our local, state, and national communities and economies.

In 2002, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Aging (MIPAA), to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population aging in the 21st Century and to promote the development of a society “for all ages." As a Member State of the UN, the U.S. regularly participates in the UN-led Open-ended Working Group on Aging which reviews MIPAA implementation and periodically reports to the UN on progress. See the First Review and Appraisal of MIPAA (2007), Second Review and Appraisal (2011), and Third Review and Appraisal (2016).

ACL has played a significant role in raising international attention to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and the lifetime disparities experienced by older women that can impact their welfare in later life. In collaboration with international organizations and the U.S. Department of State, efforts include:

Global Aging Resources:

Global AgeWatch Index. This online portal, produced by HelpAge International, offers information on the demographics of aging and social, political, and economic markers. It ranks countries by how well their older populations are faring.

AgeSource Worldwide. This database provides access to statistical data that compare the situations of older adults across countries or regions around a variety of issues.

United Nations Division for Social Policy Development & Aging. This is the official website of the UN agency charged with policy development for the rights of older persons and population aging.

World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Aging & Life Course. This is the official website for the WHO division charged with policy development for the health of older persons. To ensure adults live not only longer but also healthier lives, WHO produced a comprehensive Global Strategy and Action Plan on Aging and Health (2016-2020), and a related resolution was adopted in May 2016 by the World Health Assembly.

National Aging Resources:

National Council on the Aging This association of organizations and professionals is dedicated to promoting the dignity, self-determination, well-being, and contributions of older persons.

National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care This is the leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care, helping to ensure that consumers are empowered to advocate for themselves. Consumer Voice maintains the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center, funded by ACL. The section for “new ombudsmen” is a rich resource for learning about the history, law, funding streams, key organizations, and best practices.


Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section This webpage provides information on how DOJ works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). At the bottom of their home page, you will find a number of resources about the ADA.

Community Living and Olmstead This webpage describes the HHS Office for Civil Rights’ efforts to promote enforcement of the ADA and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C.

Office of Disability Employment Policy at the Department of Labor Newletter This office promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities. Their news letter includes articles on a variety of issues related to disability and employment.


Preventing Abuse

Violence Against Elders

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center offers a fact sheet on Sexual Violence in Later Life.

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape created this manual to train law enforcement officers on working with sexually abused elders.



Also, be sure to visit the "In the News" page of our Newsroom for the latest news stories on aging and disability issues. 


Last modified on 09/05/2019

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