ACL was established on April 18, 2012, bringing together federal advocacy for older adults and people with disabilities, along with most federal human services programs for older adults and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The agency grew quickly with the transfer of programs with similar missions from other agencies, including independent living, assistive technology, and traumatic brain injury programs; paralysis and limb-loss resource centers; programs that help people navigate their Medicare benefits and the health care system; and the federal government’s primary disability research organization.
Bringing together aging and disability work has worked remarkably well – stakeholders embraced the concept and committed to making it successful. Ten years later, aging and disability communities are increasingly coming together at the state and local levels, and ACL is frequently asked for help in forging these new collaborative relationships.
From the beginning, ACL was based on a commitment to one fundamental principle – that people with disabilities and older adults should be able to live independently and fully participate in their communities. Together, ACL and the aging and disability networks are making this principle a reality for millions of Americas.
To commemorate our first ten years – and look ahead to all we can achieve in our next decade – we are kicking of a season of celebration!
Please mark your calendars and plan to join us (virtually) on Tuesday, April 26 from 1-2:30 p.m. (EDT) for our first event. ACL’s co-founders – Kathy Greenlee, Sharon Lewis, and Henry Claypool – will talk about the vision they had when they created ACL in 2012, some of ACL’s early accomplishments, and how ACL can build on the strong foundation laid in its first decade to establish and support a national expectation of community living.
A second panel will look to the future of community living, with a focus on building partnerships and collaboration. Moderated by Grace Whiting, Executive Director of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the panel will feature three leaders from the Care Can’t Wait coalition:
- Ai-jen Poo, Co-founder and Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance
- Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of Justice in Aging
- Maria Town, President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities
No registration is required – you can join the livestream at HHS.gov/live.
Then, watch this space for more!