Monday, April 16, 2012

HHS Announces New Administration on Community Living

See this press release:
A Statement from Secretary Sebelius on the Administration for Community Living 
All Americans – including people with disabilities and seniors – should be able to live at home with the supports they need, participating in communities that value their contributions – rather than in nursing homes or other institutions. 
The Obama administration and my department have long been committed to promoting community living and finding new mechanisms to help ensure that the supports people with disabilities and seniors need to live in the community are accessible.

Today, with the creation of the new Administration for Community Living (ACL), we are reinforcing this commitment by bringing together key HHS organizations and offices dedicated to improving the lives of those with functional needs into one coordinated, focused and stronger entity. 
The Administration for Community Living will bring together the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities into a single agency that supports both cross-cutting initiatives and efforts focused on the unique needs of individual groups, such as children with developmental disabilities or seniors with dementia. This new agency will work on increasing access to community supports and achieving full community participation for people with disabilities and seniors.

The Administration on Community Living will seek to enhance and improve the broad range of supports that individuals may need to live with respect and dignity as full members of their communities. These support needs go well beyond health care and include the availability of appropriate housing, employment, education, meaningful relationships and social participation. 
Building on President Obama’s Year of Community Living, the ACL will pursue improved opportunities for older Americans and people with disabilities to enjoy the fullest inclusion in the life of our nation. 
For more information, please visit
An important step, but, as they say, the proof is in the pudding.  The question is whether this new agency can play an effective role in both promoting state community living initiatives and ensuring that CMS uses its very powerful fiscal leverage to support community living.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am excited about this initiative but have one question. What will they do about those seniors with dimentia and/or other cognitive disabilities and also those who simply are being declared incapacitated and forced into guardianships? Will this administration ensure that they too have their rights protected. Will they be enforce the mandate that they be able to live in their own homes independently with support and will they be protected from abuse and exploitation ????

As you say the proof is in the pudding. It is up to us, as advocates, to ensure these vulnerable citizens are not forgotten.

10:34 PM  

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