I am delighted to welcome two important programs to ACL—the Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) and the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs). These programs are moving to ACL as a result of the 2014 budget recently signed by President Obama.
ACL was formed in April 2012 to advance policy and implement programs that support the rights of older Americans and people with disabilities to live in their communities throughout their lifespan. The missions of the PRC and SHIPs align perfectly with our mission and provide ACL with important new programmatic opportunities to help persons with physical disabilities as well as older adults and people with developmental disabilities.
The PRC provides a comprehensive, national source of information for people living with paralysis and their families to promote health, foster involvement in the community, and improve quality of life. Resources on spinal cord injury, paralysis and mobility-related disabilities, including information and referral by phone and email are available in English and Spanish. The PRC currently operates through a cooperative agreement between the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ACL will be working with the CDC on transitioning the program to ACL.
SHIPs are federally funded, state-based programs that offer free one-on-one counseling and assistance to assist Medicare beneficiaries and their families in navigating the complexities of health and long-term care systems. Services are provided via telephone and face-to-face interactive sessions, public education presentations and programs, and media activities. SHIPs originated as a grant program within the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). ACL will be working with CMS on transitioning the program to ACL.
Additionally, ACL will be implementing a new injury prevention program, focusing on helping prevent seniors from falling, which is the leading cause of injuries to people more than 65 years old; and will be expanding its efforts to meet the needs of caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer's Disease through an outreach campaign and the development of more dementia-capable long-term service and support systems.
It is a pleasure to welcome these programs that help Americans access the services and supports that enable them to live as vibrant, participating members of their communities.