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National Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) Adds Self-Service Features

October 4, 2023
Source: Administration for Community Living (ACL)

New website offers 24/7 search-by-zip code option to find local services and resources

[The Administration for Community Living or] ACL’s Disability Information and Access Line has launched a new tool to help people with disabilities to find local services and resources to support community living. Through DIAL’s new website and its searchable database, users can now find the information they need, at any time of day, every day of the year.

DIAL is a first-of-its-kind contact center, initially established in 2021 as a national hotline to help people with disabilities access COVID-19 vaccinations. Today, DIAL connects people with disabilities to a broad range of services such as housing assistance, accessible transportation, legal assistance, and more to support independent living in the community.

In addition, DIAL continues to be a critical hub for information and resources to support people with disabilities in staying up to date with vaccinations. DIAL trained staff are available to help people: 

  • Find local vaccination locations 
  • Make vaccination appointments 
  • Arrange accessible transportation 
  • Order or use free at-home COVID-19 test kits, which are again available through a partnership between the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response and the United States Postal Service 

DIAL’s staff are trained to work with people of various communications abilities and will spend as much time as needed to ensure effective communication. DIAL’s Information Specialists can assist people in all languages and are trained to work with callers who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. To connect with a DIAL Information Specialist from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Eastern), Monday–Friday: 

As of September 15, 2023, DIAL had responded to nearly 90,000 calls, emails, texts, and online chats, and contact volume continues to increase as more people become aware of this resource.

Established through a partnership between ACL and the CDC, DIAL is operated as a collaboration between a consortium of organizations serving people with disabilities and USAging. The consortium includes:

  • Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) 
  • Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) 
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) 
  • Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) 
  • National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) 
  • National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) 
  • National Disabilities Rights Network (NDRN) 
  • The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies 

This collaboration benefits from the disability networks’ extensive knowledge and expertise in meeting the needs of people with disabilities across the U.S. and USAging’s decades of experience operating the Eldercare Locator, the only federally funded national information and referral resource that supports consumers across the spectrum of issues affecting older Americans.

News source: acl.gov/news-and-events/announcements/acl-expands-dial-include-self-service-features

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