Technology in Practice: Contest to Identify Promising Practices in the Use of Technology in Aging and Disability I&R/A Programs

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Submission Guidelines to Identify Promising Practices

Introduction
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.

Eligibility 
We invite promising practice submissions from aging and disability-focused organizations that provide information and referral/assistance (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. Selection criteria include the following:
  1. The promising practice is relevant to I&R/A programs. It addresses the administration and/or implementation of I&R/A services for older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers.
  2. The promising practice implements new or emerging technology, or makes better use of existing technology, for I&R/A programs.  
  3. The promising practice shows innovation in the use of technology for I&R/A programs.
  4. There is a positive impact on the administration and/or delivery of I&R/A services.
  5. The practice improves the delivery and accessibility of I&R/A services to a diverse range of inquirers.
 










Awards
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 Home and Community Based Services (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.
*please note that travel expenses, meals not included with the conference, and incidentals will be the responsibility of the awardee organization.

Submission of practices  
Submissions will be accepted until February 28, 2017. For the submission form in an alternate format, please contact I&R Support Center Director Nanette Relave at nrelave@nasuad.org.
 
Award announcement
Awards will be announced during the week of April 3, 2017. 
 
For more information, please contact Nanette Relave at nrelave@nasuad.org.
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