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Advocacy and Empowerment for Individuals, Families, and Communities

ACL believes that the preferences, needs, and voices of people with disabilities and older adults drive the services and supports that enable them to live the lives they want in the community.

ACL programs are creating more and better opportunities for individuals to speak up, make their own choices, and have control over the supports and services they may need to live the lives they want and participate fully in the community.

  • Bridging the Aging and Disabilities Networks is a grant for developing a Community of Practice designed to build capacity across and within states’ aging and disability networks that will focus on creating culturally competent systems to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families to improve planning to address their individual needs, goals, and preferences across the lifespan. 

  • Centers for Independent Living (CILs) are nonprofit, community-based, non-residential organizations that are controlled and operated by and for people with disabilities. They provide an array of services to keep people with disabilities living in the community, including independent living skills training, assistance with moving from institutions and nursing homes, transitioning from high school into post-school life, peer support, among many others to advance community living. CIL services are rooted in the Independent Living philosophy principles of choice, control, equal access, and independence.

  • Community-based transition planning and implementation grants help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) with transitions, including from school to college or work in the community and from pediatric to adult health care providers.

  • I/DD Longitudinal Data Collection Projects collect information about the services provided to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in three specific areas: (1) revenue, public spending, and programmatic trends; (2) residential and in-home supports; and (3) day and employment services.

  • The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) is a program of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) administered by Easterseals and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) with guidance from ACL. NADTC goal is to promote the availability and accessibility of transportation options for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers. Learn more about ACL's inclusive transportation work.

  • National Limb Loss Resource Center - This center provides comprehensive information, resources, education, and support for people living with limb loss or limb difference, their families, and their support networks. The resources focus on health and wellness, career path development, youth engagement, and community living.

  • National Paralysis Resource Center  - This resource center provides comprehensive information for people living with spinal cord injury, paralysis, and mobility-related disabilities and their families. 

  • Protection and Advocacy Systems (P&As) across the country inform people of their rights, investigate suspected abuse and neglect, and provide free legal representation and support to people with disabilities.

  • The Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SAR-TAC) was created to share self advocacy ideas for people with I/DD for advocating on issues important to their well-being and daily life. The mission of SARTAC is to strengthen the self advocacy movement by supporting self advocacy organizations to grow in diversity and leadership.

  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities are a guiding force for positive, life-altering changes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). They create programs to improve the daily lives of people with I/DD; foster equity in education, health, and employment; empower self advocates; and educate decision-makers using research and lived experiences of people with I/DD.

  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDDs) provide leadership in, and advise federal, state, and community policymakers to promote opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to exercise self-determination and to be independent, productive, integrated, and included in all facets of community life. 

Last modified on 06/12/2023

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