ACL's person-centered approach means 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.
These programs help individuals advocate to make these choices and ask for the supports and services they may need to achieve community living and full integration.
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) promotes policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong community inclusion.
- Self-Advocacy Programs help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families advocate for themselves.
- Centers for Independent Living (CILs) – CILs are community-based non-profit organizations that operate according to the independent living philosophy, this includes consumer control of the center regarding decision making, service delivery, management, and establishment of the policy and direction of the center. They were created to offer support, advocacy, and information on empowerment in the attainment of independence from a peer viewpoint. They provide peer support, mentorship, skills training, and other services to empower people with disabilities to live with dignity, make their own choices, and participate fully in society. Although specific programs and services vary from center to center, systems and individual advocacy are core services that all CILs offer.
- State Councils on Developmental Disabilities – Councils promote and support advocacy, systems change, and capacity building for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Councils are required to establish, strengthen, or collaborate with a self-advocacy organization to help provide leadership opportunities for people with developmental disabilities in their state.
- Protection and Advocacy Systems (P&As) – P&As across the country inform people with disabilities of their rights, investigate suspected abuse and neglect, and provide free legal representation and support for clients.