New Human Dignity and Civil Rights for People with Disabilities Grant Awarded

October 2, 2019

Today ACL awarded a new grant totaling $1.5 million over three years to address the health disparities of Americans with disabilities that result from inequities in care across the lifespan. This center is a first of its kind investment aimed at educating medical professionals about the civil rights and support needs of Americans with disabilities as they access routine and lifesaving care from the beginning of life until its natural end. 

The grant was awarded to the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, which will lead a coalition of eight national partners and stakeholders in a three-year project to establish a Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities (CDHPD).

“Unfortunately many Americans are denied care based solely on their disabilities and that is unacceptable,” said Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities Julie Hocker. “People with disabilities should receive the full protections guaranteed to all Americans when they receive medical care in any setting.”

During the grant period, the Center will develop resources for medical professionals to address and prevent healthcare discrimination, including policies, protocols, and resources. They will also develop resources for reporting healthcare discrimination and advocacy in partnership with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.

The Center will ensure that Americans with I/DD experience improved access to health care, life-saving treatments, and to mental health care -- leading to greater equitable health care across the nation.

New resources to be published on the CDHPD website and disseminated by partner and stakeholder networks, include: a gap analysis summary about medical discrimination issues impacting people with I/DD; a stakeholder panel report; protocols on key issues; a national dissemination plan; a systemic plan for reporting healthcare discrimination; the expansion of a toolkit for medical professionals regarding equitable healthcare for individuals with I/DD; and a policy guide for self-advocates and families about civil rights in a medical setting.


Projects of National Significance focus on the most pressing issues affecting people with developmental disabilities and their families. Through the projects, ACL supports the development of national and state policy and awards grants and contracts that enhance the independence, productivity, inclusion, and integration of people with developmental disabilities.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) was created around the fundamental principle that all people, regardless of age or disability, should be able to live independently and fully participate in their communities. By advocating across the federal government for older adults, people with disabilities, and families and caregivers; funding services and supports provided by primarily by networks of community-based organizations; and investing in training, education, research, and innovation, ACL helps makes this principle a reality for millions of Americans.

Last modified on 09/27/2020

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