Save the Date for Celebrating 25 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act!!
Saturday — July 25, 2015 — 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Denver’s Civic Center Park
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.
Open Invitation for Colorado SILC Membership
The Colorado Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) is a Governor-appointed 15 member group, the majority who are people living with disabilities. They volunteer their time to develop and monitor a Statewide Independent Living Plan (SPIL) to ensure people with disabilities in Colorado have access to services and supports for living well in their communities with maximum independence. This is achieved by the ten Centers for Independent Living (CILs) throughout the state because they are responsible for providing these services and supports to people with disabilities. The SILC meets four to six times a year in different parts of the state for six-hour meetings (travel, lodging and meals provided).
Currently the Colorado SILC is recruiting a few new members to serve three-year terms. Applications are being sought from people with disabilities, especially minorities, youth and veterans so that a diverse membership is maintained. People outside the Denver area are encouraged to apply, especially those from southeastern, mountain and rural communities.
Please consider becoming a member of SILC if you answer “yes” to the following:
Do you like being part of a team of dedicated, passionate people?
Do you like actively engaging in meetings because your opinion counts?
Can you travel around the state?
Do you care about others and want to see their lives improve?
Can you contribute two-four hours a month in addition to the four to six SILC meetings a year?
If so, then SILC membership could be for you! It means giving back to your community and to the state in a positive way. You would be contributing significantly an invaluable gift of your time, talents and treasures! For more information or an application, contact Priscilla Carlson, SILC Coordinator, at either firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 968-6546.