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The Aging Network

Information Memoranda

October 1, 1997

INFORMATION MEMORANDUM
AOA-IM-97-24

TO: STATE AND AREA AGENCIES ON AGING AND TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS ADMINISTERING PLANS UNDER TITLES III AND VI OF THE OLDER AMERICANS ACT OF 1965, AS AMENDED

SUBJECT: Independent Choices Projects


In July, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced awards under their grant solicitation, Independent Choices: Enhancing Consumer Direction for People with Disabilities. This initiative is intended to demonstrate new consumer direction models in home and community-based services for chronically disabled people of all ages and to research important issues that may contribute to our knowledge base about consumer choice and control.

Under the announcement, 13 projects received a total of $3 million. Two types of grants were awarded: demonstrations for three years and research projects lasting up to three years.

A description of each of the projects, along with the name and phone number of the contact person, is enclosed. You will note that among the grantees are the National Association of State Units on Aging, Oregon Senior and Disabled Services Division, Miami University's Scripps Gerontology Center (to expand consumer direction in Ohio's PASSPORT Program) and the Alzheimer's Association's New York City Chapter.

The National Council on the Aging (NCOA), with a grant from the RWJF, houses the National Program Office for Independent Choices and will provide overall program direction and technical assistance to the grant recipients. The principal contact for the National Program Office is Kathleen A. Cameron, (202) 479-0738.

You may be interested to know that NCOA also houses the National Institute on Consumer-Directed Long-Term Services, a partnership between NCOA and the World Institute on Disability. The National Institute, which received its initial support from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services, and is now funded by RWJF, has been established to enhance consumer direction through education, technical assistance, training and research. If you have any questions about consumer direction and choice in long-term services, please call the Institute at (202) 479-6994.

As I indicated in an earlier Information Memorandum on Cash and Counseling, consumer-directed services is one of the most significant innovations in long-term care in the past decade, an innovation that promises to become a significant option for meeting the needs of disabled persons of all ages, young and old. I urge you to follow the progress of the Independent Choices projects and similar research and demonstration efforts closely and to provide them your support wherever possible.

William F. Benson
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary for Aging





Last Modified: 12/31/1600