The Alliance Center for Independence (ACI) is a 501(c)(3) community-based organization that supports and promotes independent living for people with disabilities. ACI recognizes disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity. www.adacil.org.
Founded in 1986, ACI is the designated Center for Independent Living for Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties in New Jersey. This region is the most populated in the state with over 1 million individuals identified as disabled. ACI's primary goal is to promote and protect the rights of individuals for independence and inclusion in their community.
Our core services include: Independent Living, Systems and Individual Advocacy, Information and Referral, Transition and Peer Support. ACI currently serves 6,000 individuals with disabilities and their families, when appropriate.
In addition to the above mentioned services, ACI provides health and wellness support; technology acquisition and adaptation; disability awareness training for providers, medical students, businesses and others; emergency preparedness; vocational supports and job readiness
training; transportation assistance; social recreation, and support and training for young adults with disabilities.
ACI provides information and referral services and develops and implements educational programs and innovative activities that promote activism, peer support, health and wellness, employment and independent living skills for people with disabilities and their allies. ACI supports the philosophy of independent living for all persons with disabilities.
ACI has also hosted several overnight shelter exercises for people with disabilities, shelter volunteers and local emergency managers to respond effectively during a disaster. Participating agencies have included the County Office of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, local social service agencies and other stakeholders.
The purpose of the exercise is to familiarize members of the disability community with an overnight shelter experience while providing volunteers who may set up and staff shelters during a disaster an opportunity to understand and better serve the needs of individuals with disabilities when a disaster occurs.
ACI began working on preparedness efforts during Hurricane Irene. Since then we have trained over 150 people with disabilities on disaster/emergency preparedness in our catchment area.
And, since 2011, the ACI has organized the New Jersey Disability Pride Parade and Celebration to celebrate the talent and abilities of New Jersey’s citizens with disabilities in an annual free event every fall in Trenton, NJ.