Washington, D.C. (Aug. 26, 2016) — On Monday, August 22, SEARAC delivered 410 comments to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), asking the Administration to produce guidance to states on increasing language access, collecting disaggregated data, and strengthening service delivery for Southeast Asian American (SEAA) elders in their state aging plans.
“Southeast Asian American elders have limited access to linguistically and culturally-competent services, and many feel isolated in their communities. Our community members mobilized to make sure the ACL’s guidance to states reflects the needs of our parents and grandparents,” said Quyen Dinh, SEARAC Executive Director. “The ACL’s initial guidance is a step in the right direction, and we expect that our community’s recommendations will be incorporated into the ACL’s final guidance to ensure that our communities have access to the aging resources and services they need.”
The comments were collected as part of a collaborative effort led by the Diverse Elders Coalition, a coalition that advocates for policies and programs that improve quality of life for American Indian/Alaska Native elders, Asian American and Pacific Islander elders, Black elders, Hispanic elders, and LGBT elders. SEARAC is one of five national organizations in the Diverse Elders Coalition.
The 410 comments shared by SEARAC to the ACL overwhelmingly asked for states to provide culturally and linguistically-competent aging programming to Southeast Asian American elders. “Understanding who you’re serving is key to providing the right kind of services,” wrote one commenter to the ACL.
Together, members of the Diverse Elders Coalition submitted more than 4,400 comments to the ACL. The Diverse Elders Coalition will request a meeting to discuss these comments in greater depth with ACL next week.
The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) is a national organization that advances the interests of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans by empowering communities through advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building to create a socially just and equitable society. Find out more at www.searac.org.