Opportunity, yes. Efficacy….TBD.

Research Project 1 Abstract

Petrina Thomas, SOCG 371M:  Community Power, Section 1

Fifteen months after President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) on July 22, 2014, the immensity, guidance, opportunities, organization, expanded programs and funding promised by this great work continue to offer more questions than answers.  Rebecca Cokely, Executive Director of National Council on Disability (NCD), ends her Opening Keynote Address at the Statewide Independent Living Conference on October 8, 2015 with the awareness that disability advocacy groups often fail to work together in obtaining effective legislation and change and is a result of existing programs that purposely segregate people with disabilities and reduce their power to advocate and produce effective systems change.  This does not mean that people shouldn’t have a wide choice of service providers, it means that the state and federal funding and regulatory programs are separated according to type of disability.  This makes no sense for a variety of reasons such as a developmental disabilities often coexist with sensory, intellectual or physical disabilities.  Splitting programs and policies by disability is the same as splitting people.  The newest grand illusion that policy makers probably truly believe in their innocent ignorance is the efficacy of clumping previously separate programs together under one roof as WIOA has done with disability and aging programs now under the Administration on Community Living (ACL).

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the discrepancies in the funding opportunities (grants) that the Administration for Community Living advertises in its role to oversee and administer disability and aging programs and services.  Before embarking on this adventure, please know that the founding activities of the mentioned disability programs came out of advocacy efforts during, before and after the 1960s that helped produce the Rehab. Act of 1973 while the programs aimed at serving the aging population is a political reaction to the growing needs of the aging population of baby boomers.  It seems to be good policy to attach aging needs to the existing structure of disability programs.  The glaring problem at the local level is that many disability programs that were already greatly serving the aging population have experienced significant funding cuts while newer and possibly lesser effective aging programs receive new funding with the illusion that government is being responsive to the growing aging population.  Put simply, clumping programs together under one roof (ACL) does not necessarily equal increased collaboration and efficacy to produce better outcomes for the people who are supposed to benefit from these programs.

Please access the research paper attempting to prove this argument at link below:


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