Promoting development of innovation solutions
Join the MENTAL Health Challenge to create an online tool that connects socially isolated people to resources
Launched June 23, 2020: Social isolation has enormous health consequences – it has been found to be as harmful to a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. People who are socially isolated or lonely face higher risk of hospitalization, heart failure and stroke, dementia, and even premature death. For a variety of reasons, older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans are more likely to be socially isolated and to report feeling lonely. There is a clear and critical need to help people at risk of social isolation find opportunities to connect with others and engage in their communities.
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Office for the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other partners (the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Consumer Technology Association Foundation) invite submissions to a Challenge competition awarding $750,000 in prizes for development of an easy-to-use online system that offers recommendations for programs, activities, and resources that can help users connect to others and engage in the community, based on their individual needs, interests, and abilities. The winning system will be announced and demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2021. It ultimately will become the centerpiece of a national public awareness campaign.
Tech solutions to support partnerships between health care & human services
Launched March 4, 2020: Partnerships between health care and community-based social services organizations have been shown to improve health outcomes and lower costs. ACL launched a Challenge Competition to spur development of the interoperable, statewide referral and analytics platforms needed to enable these partnerships. The competition is unique in that it requires collaboration by key stakeholders to design and implement solutions. These stakeholders include state leaders across aging, disability and Medicaid programs, community based organizations in the aging and disability networks, health IT developers, health care providers, health plans, and others with expertise in technical standards and data analysis.
Expanding recruiting and retention programs to include workers with disabilities
Launched November 1, 2020: The Administration for Community Living invited businesses to compete for cash prizes to help them expand their recruiting and retention programs to better include workers with disabilities (particularly people with intellectual and developmental disabilities) and to display leadership in addressing this critical economic issue. Through this Challenge, ACL sought innovative models that can be shared to help businesses across the country reach a wider talent pool and to create more opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. The Phase 1 winners have been announced.