New ACL Organization Structure

Since the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was signed last year, ACL has been working through the process of moving the National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research and the independent living and assistive technology programs from the Department of Education to ACL. We passed a major milestone when we consolidated our staff administratively earlier this year, and we have spent the last couple of months achieving another—merging our grants and contracts into one system.

Today, we celebrate another key milestone—the announcement of an updated organization structure that reflects and supports our combined mission. This morning, our new Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority was published in the Federal Register, which means we now can share the details with our networks.

Our new structure formally incorporates the WIOA programs and better aligns similar functions (view our new organization chart). We also have changed names of some offices and centers to better fit what those groups do. The key changes are as follows:

Administration on Disabilities

The most significant change is the creation of the Administration on Disabilities, which more accurately represents ACL’s expanded role in serving people with all types of disabilities. AOD will be led by Aaron Bishop as its Commissioner.

Within AOD, we have the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, which will be led by a Deputy Director for Developmental Disabilities. The structure within AIDD remains otherwise unchanged.

Also within AOD, we have the Independent Living Administration (ILA), which was created as part of the Rehabilitation Act. ILA will be led by a career SES, who will serve as both the Deputy Commissioner of AOD, and the Director of the Independent Living Administration. In this dual role, this person serves as a member of the Administrator’s senior leadership team and reports directly to the Administrator for performing the functions of the Director of Independent Living. ILA will manage the independent living programs that moved to ACL under WIOA, as well as programs that serve people with non-developmental disabilities, such as the Paralysis Resource Center and the Limb Loss Resource Center.

Addition of NIDILRR

The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research is a new center on ACL’s organization chart, but NIDILRR itself is unchanged. It will continue to be led by John Tschida as its director.

Center for Integrated Programs

The Center for Consumer Access and Self-Determination has been renamed the Center for Integrated Programs. CIP’s function hasn’t changed—it continues to bridge the aging and disability centers and manage the programs that address both portfolios.

Within CIP, we also have renamed the group that leads ACL’s efforts to increase access to long term services and supports for all populations. It is now the Office for Consumer Access and Self-Determination. This office also manages the assistive technology programs that transferred under WIOA.

We also have created the Office of Integrated Care Innovations within CIP.This office combines the former Office of Managed Care Consumer Information and Assistance, which oversaw technical assistance activities for the Duals Demonstration Ombudsman Program, and ACL’s business acumen activities. We are combining these groups since they are both working on efforts to help our consumers—and the organizations that serve them—to adapt to the rapid shift in health care toward integrated models of care.

The rest of ACL’s structure remains the same.

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 where they choose, with the people they choose, and fully participate in their communities. Everything we do at ACL works toward this vision.

Together, the disability and aging communities have a larger voice and ultimately are more successful advocates. We are more easily able to share expertise across aging and disability networks, and we are better able to bring our networks together where the needs of the people we serve overlap. The expansion of our mission to include research and programs that serve people with all types of disabilities across the lifespan makes us even stronger.

As one organization, we have more options for serving more people, and serving them better. And with our new organization structure, we have the framework in place to help us achieve our full potential.

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Last Modified: 6/1/2015