Programs & Activities

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is committed 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. In working toward that vision, the ACL oversees and administers programs and activities that support older adults, persons with disabilities, and family caregivers across the lifespan.

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Programs for Older Adults

ACL works with and through a national aging services network to promote the development of systems of home and community-based services and supports that address the needs and preferences of older adults and their caregivers. These services complement medical and health care systems. They help prevent hospital readmissions and support some of life’s most basic functions, such as bathing or preparing meals. The programs also support family caregivers, address issues of abuse of older adults, and adapt services to the needs of Native Americans.

Programs include:

  • Elder Rights Services provide a range of programs that help to protect the rights of vulnerable and at-risk older individuals both the community and long-term care settings.
  • Health, Prevention, and Wellness Programs older adults remain as healthy as possible. Efforts include evidence-based disease and disability prevention programs and the Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program.
  • Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians, and Native Americans program acknowledges the unique cultural and social traditions of tribal communities.
  • National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information provides information and resources to help individuals plan for future long-term care.
  • National Family Caregiver Support Program provides a range of supports that assist family and informal caregivers to care for their loved ones at home for as long as possible.
  • Nutrition Services provide balanced and nutritious meals at home or at a congregate setting such as a senior center, church, or another community facility.
  • Support Services assist older adults to maintain their independence in their communities. Services include assistance with transportation, in-home care, community-based services such as adult day care, and information and referral assistance.

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Programs for People with Disabilities

ACL’s disability programs fund capacity-building, knowledge creation, and systems change initiatives. Together these efforts seek to ensure that people with disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance so that they can contribute to and be a part of all facets of community living.

Programs include:

  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities engage in systems change and capacity building efforts that promote self-determination, integration, and inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • State Protection & Advocacy Systems help individuals with developmental disabilities secure their human and civil rights.
  • Projects of National Significance help create and enhance opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to contribute to, and participate in, all facets of community life.
  • National Network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research & Service represents an expansive national resource for addressing issues, finding solutions, and advancing research related to the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
  • The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities’ mission is to provide advice and assistance to the President of the United States and the Secretary of HHS on a broad range of topics that impact people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Help America Vote Act grants make polling places accessible to voters with disabilities.
  • Independent Living Services programs provide formula grants to states and territories to support the operation of and technical assistance to State Independent Living Councils, supporting the operations of local Centers for Independent Living, and providing direct services to people with disabilities.
  • Centers for Independent Living programs provide discretionary grants to centers that are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential, private and nonprofit agencies for the provision of Independent Living services.
  • Paralysis Resource Center provides comprehensive information for people living with paralysis and their families.
  • Limb Loss Resource Center works to empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy.
  • Assistive Technology programs work to improve access to assistive technology for people with disabilities.

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Combined Aging and Disability Programs

ACL also manages a variety of programs that work to remove the administrative barriers that can make it difficult for many older adults and people with disabilities to fully participate in an inclusive community life.

Programs include:

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Aging and Disability Research Initiatives

Working on the cutting edge of disability research, ACL-funded investigators are exploring ways to enhance opportunities for community living for older adults and people with disabilities through innovative rehabilitation methodologies; assistive technology; family support; environmental accessibility; transitions from school to work; and the ADA.

Visit National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research to learn more.

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Last Modified: 7/6/2015