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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

I&R Center: Technology in Practice Call for Submissions (Deadline Today)

Source: National Information & Referral Support Center

The deadline for the Technology in Practice contest has been extended to March 3 to allow agencies to complete submissions – or enter a submission. The National I&R Support Center would like to hear from agencies about diverse types of I&R/A technology practices. Maybe your agency has an online searchable database that uses helpful features to guide consumers. Perhaps your agency has adopted the use of chat and/or text for I&R encounters. Is your agency making good use of social media to reach individuals and caregivers? They’d love to hear about it! More information on the contest is below.

The National I&R Support Center is taking a closer look at the role of technology in aging and disability I&R/A programs. We want to hear from you! Does your agency have a promising practice in this area? Share your practice with us, and your agency could win a prize! Please see below for more information on our new promising practice contest. Submit your practice online. For the submission form in an alternate format, or for more information, contact Support Center Director Nanette Relave at


Information & Referral/Assistance (I&R/A) programs play a vital role in connecting individuals and caregivers to needed services and resources. Technology provides a key underpinning for many I&R/A programs, from telephone systems to resource databases. At the same time, technology is rapidly evolving in ways that create both opportunities and challenges for I&R/A programs. While person-to-person communication is often at the heart of I&R/A interactions, technology is transforming how Americans seek information. Social media, smartphones, mobile apps, ecommerce and other developments are changing expectations for how individuals access and receive information. Additionally, technology has the potential to enhance the administration of I&R/A programs in areas such as data sharing, call center management, and maintenance of resource databases. 

In this evolving field, the identification and sharing of promising practices can help strengthen our understanding of the role of technology in I&R/A programs that serve older adults, people with disabilities, and family and friend caregivers. In this context, the National Information and Referral Support Center, administered by the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) and with funding provided in part by the Administration for Community Living, is launching this Technology in Practice contest to identify and disseminate promising practices on the use of technology in aging and disability I&R/A programs. We encourage organizations to think broadly about their use of technology, including practices that make better use of existing technology, those that leverage low-cost technology, and those that adopt new or emerging technology.


We invite promising practice submissions from aging and disability-focused organizations that provide I&R/A services to one or more of the following populations: older adults, people with disabilities, and family and friend caregivers. We welcome a diverse array of technology-oriented promising practice submissions, and encourage agencies both large and small, including those that serve rural communities, to share their promising practices.

Selection Criteria

This promising practices contest will select several submissions for awards, and additional submissions beyond these may be identified for development and dissemination of promising practice profiles. Read full selection criteria.


Three promising practices will be selected for awards. The first, second, and third place awards are described below. Additionally, all awardee organizations will receive a certificate of recognition. And the I&R Support Center will work with each awardee organization to develop, publish and disseminate a promising practice profile. The profiles will be widely disseminated to aging and disability I&R/A agencies across the country, and will be posted to the NASUAD website.

  • 1st place award: Complimentary registration and lodging for two staff for the 2017 National Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Conference (August 28-31, 2017, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront). The awardee will also receive recognition for its practice at the Information and Referral/Assistance Pre-Conference Intensive.
  • 2nd place award: Complimentary registration for two staff for the 2017 National HCBS Conference. The awardee will also receive recognition for its practice at the Information and Referral/Assistance Pre-Conference Intensive.
  • 3rd place award: Breakfast for up to 25 staff (breakfast costs will be covered up to $500 total), and a “swag bag” of NASUAD goodies and publications.

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