Ensuring that our elders’ voices are heard by policymakers and legislators

In 2016, the Diverse Elders Coalition engaged in an ambitious civic engagement project to bring the needs — and the voices — of our communities to policymakers and service providers.

reportRead our new report, “Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up” to learn more about the aging needs of communities of color, LGBT communities, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities! This report synthesizes the thousands of comments we received from older adults across the country — from all 50 states, and in six languages — about the unique challenges of aging in our communities. Click here to read, download, and share the report.

In June 2016, the Administration for Community Living (ACL)/U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) announced a public comment period on Guidance for the Development and Submission of State Plans on Aging, State Plan Amendments and the Intrastate Funding Formula. The guidance, in the form of a template program instruction that ACL/AoA staff would complete on an annual basis, would in turn provide the information and guidance on which state units on aging would rely to develop state plans as required under the Older Americans Act.  (For more on the importance of the Older Americans Act to diverse elders, click here.)

To read ACL’s planning guidance in its entirety, click here. (PDF)

downloadThe Diverse Elders Coalition partnered with Caring Across Generations to mobilize our communities to respond to ACL’s guidance template and ensure that our elders’ needs are met by the Administration on Aging and its regional offices. Caring Across Generations is a national movement of families, caregivers, people with disabilities and aging Americans working to transform the way we care in this country.

On February 23, 2017, the Diverse Elders Coalition brought our new report and the comments from our constituents to Capitol Hill for a congressional briefing with members of Congress and their staff, partner organizations, and individuals supporting diverse older adults.

The comments collected from our constituents point to an overwhelming need for aging services and supports that take into account the unique needs, experiences, and challenges faced by diverse elders. Social safety net programs like the Affordable Care Act and Medicare, as well as funding for Older Americans Act programs and services, are essential to the health and dignity of diverse older adults.

Read our press advisory here: http://bit.ly/2lWKjZV

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On August 22, 2016, the Diverse Elders Coalition submitted 4,710 comments from our members to the ACL, urging that the final guidance released by the ACL explicitly acknowledges the needs of our diverse communities and encourages state aging programming to meet those needs. To read more, click here.

To find the formal comments to the ACL from each of our five member organizations, check out the Civic Engagement section of our Resources page.

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On August 11, 2016, the Diverse Elders Coalition and Caring Across Generations hosted a Twitter chat about the #TellACL campaign. We discussed the aging needs of American Indian/Alaska Native elders, Asian American and Pacific Islander elders, Black elders, Hispanic elders, and LGBT elders. Check out the Storify of that chat here: https://storify.com/DiverseElders/diverse-elders-coalition-tellacl-twitter-chat