American Rescue Plan Act: Modernizing Aging and Disability Resource Centers

Improving support for older adults and adults with disabilities

Wisconsin residents who are aging or have a disability may have challenges living independently, but aging and disability resource centers (ADRCs) can help. ADRCs and tribal ADRSs provide free, unbiased information and connection to resources.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has dedicated funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to improve and modernize ADRCs throughout the state. The Division of Medicaid Services and the Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources in the Division of Public Health are collaborating on this initiative.

Project goals

If you need extra help, knowing how to find it can be difficult, but people who are aging or have a disability can benefit from the services provided by ADRCs. One of the key goals is to get information to you as quickly and easily as possible. This initiative aims to:

  • Improve access to ADRC resources.
  • Increase awareness of ADRCs throughout Wisconsin.
  • Diversify and modernize ADRC services, focusing on equity.
  • Support the increasing demand for ADRC services.

Project focus areas

There are five focus areas in various stages of development. Together, the goal is to create an enhanced ADRC experience for people who could benefit most.

We are exploring the benefits of having an easy-to-use, centralized ADRC website, featuring:

  • Universally accessible design.
  • The option to find local service providers through a searchable resource directory.
  • Seamless connection to local ADRCs.

Today, the state’s ADRCs have their own resource specialists. We have created new positions for regional resource specialists, who will contribute their experience and knowledge of best practices to statewide ADRC improvements. Their responsibilities include: 

  • Compiling resources from local ADRCs and tribal nations throughout the state to establish a centralized, shared resource directory.
  • Developing an inclusion and exclusion policy to apply to resources.

We will launch a coordinated, statewide marketing and outreach campaign to:

  • Promote the centralized website and its virtual resources.
  • Raise awareness that ADRCs serve as a trusted place to connect with local resources.
  • Connect people with newly identified needs with their local ADRC right away for help and information.

We will provide easy-to-find and easy-to-understand information about publicly funded long-term care programs. Improvements include:

  • Updated enrollment counseling publications using plain language.
  • Additional long-term care program information in the resource directory.

We are developing a modernized client tracking system for ADRCs and aging programs that include:

  • Improved user interface.
  • Security enhancements.
  • Customizable reports.
  • Document storage.
  • Collaboration features.
  • Additional features based on feedback from state and local partners.

Advisory committee

The ADRC Modernization Advisory Committee supports the initiative with feedback and guidance. The committee meets as needed and includes representatives from a variety of partner and collaborator groups.

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Last revised April 23, 2024