ACL believes that every person has the right to make choices and to control the decisions in their lives. This right to self-determination includes decisions about where to live, decisions about work, and all the other daily decisions most adults make without a second thought.
Many older adults and people with disabilities need help with the daily tasks of life. We believe that the preferences and needs of older adults and people with disabilities who need assistance belong at the center of the system of services and supports that enable them to live the lives they want to live. We further believe that those needs and preferences should be defined by the individual receiving services and supports.
At the same time, ACL recognizes that some people with disabilities and some older adults experience challenges in understanding and communicating their preferences and needs, and family members and caregivers often play a critical role in ensuring that those preferences are honored and needs are met.
We also recognize that the preferences of the individual are not the only factor in determining how to best support that person. The availability of services and supports in a variety of settings, the resources and availability of family caregivers, and other factors also must be considered.
The philosophy of consumer control touches every ACL program, with several initiatives aimed directly at advancing consumer control:
- Person-Centered Planning allows individuals to be engaged in the decision making process about their options, preferences, values, and financial resources.
- Supported Decision Making is an alternative to guardianship that keeps control in the hands of the individual, while providing assistance in specific ways and in specific situations that are useful to the person.
- Transportation - Accessible transportation is a critical component of community living for older adults and people with disabilities. 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.
- Veterans Directed Home and Community-Based Services (VD-HCBS) Program - This program provides veterans with opportunities to self-direct their long-term services and supports and continue living independently at home.
Other ACL programs that promote consumer control include:
- Aging and Disability Resource Centers Program
- Centers for Independent Living
- Diversity and Cultural Competency
- Evidence-Based Care Transitions Program
- Help America Vote Act Programs
- Self-Advocacy Programs
Consumer Control Technical Assistance
- Guidance to HHS Agencies for Implementing Principles of Section 2402(a) of the Affordable Care Act: Standards for Person-Centered Planning and Self-Direction in Home and Community-Based Services Programs (PDF, 186KB)
- FLSA Home Care Rule Toolkit: ACL, in collaboration with the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, funds the National Resource Center for Participant-Directed Services to produce technical assistance resources that help states and stakeholders comply with the U.S. Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Home Care Final Rule, which took effect on January 1, 2015.