Our Story

Raising the voices of older adults and people with disabilities through data collection

NCI-AD is run collaboratively by two organizations that partner with states to develop innovative service systems: ADvancing States and the Human Services Research Institute. 

Using their combined expertise, and with collaboration from state directors, service participants, and leaders in the field, the team developed a standardized survey that hears directly from people served by publicly funded long-term services and supports programs—known as LTSS. More recently, NCI-AD launched a survey to understand the states of LTSS service providers.

LTSS have a major impact on people’s quality of life; through NCI-AD, states get a sense for how their LTSS programs are doing—specifically those serving older adults and people with disabilities. With access to national data, states can consider their standing against other similar delivery systems to inform when and where quality improvement is needed.

Our History

The NCI-AD initiative grew from a desire of state aging and disability staff for quantifiable data on the experiences of people receiving state LTSS and whether those services and systems were helping them achieve valued outcomes such as self-determination, access to the community, satisfaction with home and daily activities.

Since 1997, public managers of state agencies on intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have been collecting data of this type through National Core Indicators—Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (NCI-IDD), overseen by the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) and the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI). Now, with NCI-AD, this data collection effort extends to aging and disabilities.

In June 2013, ADvancing States and HSRI, partnering with a NCI-AD steering committee (comprised of state directors of aging and disabilities services), began developing performance indicators for NCI-AD’s flagship survey – the Adult Consumer Survey (ACS).  These indicators, which are regularly tested and refined, reflect priorities of aging and disability service participants as well as public managers of LTSS systems. Funding for the development of the ACS tool was supported by ADvancing States members and, in part, the Administration for Community Living (ACL).

In 2014, Georgia, Minnesota, and Ohio piloted the survey. Based on pilot results and participant feedback the ACS was refined and retested. The survey was finalized in March 2015. By June 2015, the first year of regular data collection began. See a full report on the development of ACS measures, development timelines, and initial pilot results here:

2015-16 Mid-Year Pilot Report

In 2022, NCI-AD piloted a State of the Workforce (SotW) survey with five participating states: Missouri, Washington, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Indiana. A first of its kind for the aging and disabilities field, this new effort collects and aggregates statewide information about wages, benefits, and turnover of the direct service workforce—as reported by the agencies that employ them. The SotW-AD launched to all AD states in summer 2023.

State of the Workforce-AD Pilot Report