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The ANCOR Foundation

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  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-10-01 (Rev. 2010-07-16) - The ANCOR Foundation supports development of programs and disseminates information which improves quality of life for persons with disabilities. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Disabled World.

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The ANCOR Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 organization that was created to support the development of programs and to disseminate information which improves the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

The ANCOR Foundation has two centers; The Center on Leadership, and The Center for Innovation and Information. Working through these two centers, ANCOR assists professionals, families, as well as communities in the integration of persons with disabilities into everyday life and living. ANCOR, The American Network of Community Options and Resources, represents and advocates on behalf of greater than eight-hundred private service providers and supports for nearly half a million Americans with disabilities who employ more than four-hundred thousand support staff members in forty-nine states and Washington, D.C.

Their vision is one of people with disabilities living productive, meaningful, well-supported and personally-satisfying lives in the communities of their choice. ANCOR has a mission to build the commitment and capacity of providers and communities to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Their efforts in the areas of federal legislative and regulatory initiatives, public policy, state-level initiatives, as well as the culling of leading practices, have positioned them as the national presence for private providers. Both Congress and federal agencies turn to ANCOR as the authority in their profession.

The ANCOR Center for Leadership and Center for Innovation and Information

The ANCOR Center for Leadership offers an array of learning and development opportunities for community members to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities. Leaders include service providers, people with disabilities, support professionals, as well as family members, community and business leaders, people who impact the lives of people with disabilities, and public officials.

ANCOR's Center for Innovation and Information gathers, assesses, and disseminates techniques, strategies, practices and information, as well as resources that are relevant and applicable to building community capacity. The activities that the Center is involved in can include a number of things. These things may include surveys, case studies, demonstrations, evaluations, and additional types of applied research.

The ANCOR National Advocacy Campaign

ANCOR has a National Advocacy Campaign that was launched in 2001. The campaign has grown into a program that seeks public support in order to obtain resources to recruit, train, as well as retain qualified Direct Support Professionals. The campaign's overall objective is the enhancement of the lives of persons with disabilities through the obtainment of resources to recruit, train and retain a sustainable, direct support workforce.

The year 2007 found Representatives Lee Terry and Lois Capps re-introducing the Direct Support Fairness and Security Act (H.R. 1279) into the 110th Congress. The legislation is pending and ANCOR is asking family members, Direct Service Providers and friends to use their influence as a constituent and build a grassroots network to gain Congressional sponsors for this bill. The bill gives states the option to secure federal dollars for the Direct Support Professional workforce. The dollars represent a first-step towards a reduction of workforce turnover rates that are as high as fifty-five percent in residential settings, while answering the increasing demands for supports.

On a national scale there are around 1.4 million people who need professional support to live and work in their own communities instead of an institution. Sadly, there are only about 875,000 direct support workers. With the growing number of baby boomers who will also require assistance, it is very clear that the situation is bleak. In order to meet with the growing need for direct support workers, society has to create a livable wage base that mirrors the quality of service and professionalism that is expected. ANCOR is working to ensure that a better living wage becomes a reality for direct support professionals. People can assist through voicing their concerns to their legislators.

The objectives of the National Advocacy Campaign include:

To promulgate the use of assistive technology
Securing incentives for training and career development for DSPs
Creating a national policy to address the workforce shortage and financing issues
Obtaining adequate public funding to provide competitive wages and benefits for DSPs
Promoting the value that people with disabilities and the people who support them bring to their communities
Assuring that private service providers are partners in developing solutions to workforce and funding policy issues
Advancing and promoting the uses of technology to maximize human resources and assuage workforce demands

ANCOR's Values

ANCOR has a number of values that represent their guiding principles where providing services and supports to people with disabilities and enhancing their rights are concerned. ANCOR, and those who offer services and supports to people, recognize that everyone should be offered opportunities to enhance and increase informed decision-making and opportunity for self-determination throughout the spectrum of expanding and continuing choices where a number of things are involved, such as:

"With whom one associates
"Where one lives and works
"Services and supports one receives
"Enrichment opportunities in which one participates

ANCOR understand that people change. They understand that as they do, efforts need to continue to promote meaningful and ongoing participation by the person and as appropriate, the person's guardian, family members and/or friends as well in their life planning processes. ANCOR understands that everyone is entitled to the full-range of Constitutional freedoms, to include dignity, autonomy, the right to privacy, as well as to representation as assured through the resolutions adopted by the United Nations in its 1971, 'Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons,' as well as its 1975, 'Declaration on the Rights of Disabled Persons.' ANCOR and those who offer services and supports recognize a number of things related to this:

That our role has evolved to one of facilitating the balance between individual choices and vulnerabilities
That our role in promoting full participation involves a reciprocal people-centered approach of respect and sensitivity for those involved
That we accept the shared responsibility in making affirmative efforts to advocate for systems change and gain necessary resources to benefit people

ANCOR also promotes an optimal quality of life in order to increase:

"self dependence
"productivity
"well-being
"inclusion

ANCOR's History

The start of the 1990's found ANCOR with 489 member agencies, as well as a few Associate members. The ANCOR of today represents nearly seven-hundred agencies and Associates who, along with the agencies served by state organizations that are members of ANCOR, support more than 160,000 persons with disabilities across America. A vision statement that was approved by the Board of Directors in December of 1992 led to a change in name for the association. What was the National Association of Private Residential Resources (NAPRR) became the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR). The change in name opened membership to agencies who focus on areas other than residential services so that those providing employment, placement and additional supports could enjoy full membership.

Starting in the 1970's, ANCOR has been deeply involved with national accrediting bodies. By the end of the 1990's ANCOR had become a member of the Council on Quality and Leadership In Supports for People with Disabilities, the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission, as well as the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children. ANCOR members are serving on the boards of The Council and CARF. ANCOR also has a representative to the Council on Accreditation. They are involved in the development of standards with each of these groups as well.

ANCOR has been involved in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, joining other disability organizations and advocates in promotion of federal policy. They have spent a great deal of time involved with Medicaid and health care reform. ANCOR, working with other disability organizations, opposed the conversion of Medicaid to a block grant. ANCOR played a major part in eliminating the requirement that people with disabilities had to have been institutionalized before they could receive Home and Community-based Service Waiver funding for vocational and employment services.

ANCOR Foundation1101 King Street, Suite 380, Alexandria, VA 22314
phone: 703-535-7850; fax: 703-535-7860
www.ancor.org




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