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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

HCBS Business Acumen Center Stories from the Field Contest Winners

The HCBS Business Acumen Center, administered by the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD), with support from its national partners and with funding provided by the Administration for Community Living, launched the Stories from the Field Contest in March 2018 to collect examples of business strategies used by disability community-based organizations (CBOs) to sustain or grow their community-based business.

NASUAD Logo - National Association of States United for Aging and DisabilitiesThis contest was designed to encourage community-based organizations serving people with disabilities to share their experiences building new business relationships, negotiating contracts, and expanding or establishing new lines of business. 

The identification and sharing of experiences and promising practices can strengthen the understanding of the role of business acumen for CBOs that serve people with disabilities. Real examples from CBOs that have been successful developing new relationships, diversifying their portfolio or creating unique and effective payment strategies can inspire other CBOs seeking ways to address these same issues. Examples from CBOs currently working through new opportunities and challenging situations can also illustrate how organizations need to think and maneuver through change as they work to sustain their organization.

We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Stories from the Field Contest!

  • United Disabilities Services (UDS), a non-profit organization committed to serving people with disabilities in Pennsylvania, was selected for the first place award. UDS developed a quality management program that includes multiple measures, to help build their value proposition.
  • Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7), a AAA that serves individuals of all ages and disability types who reside in southern Ohio, was selected for the second place award. As Ohio began to move to increase the percentage of individuals receiving Medicaid services through managed care companies, AAA7 developed a bid to provide case management services, and successfully became a subcontractor for a managed care company in 2014.
  • Community Options Enterprises, a subsidiary of Community Options, a national non-profit organization, was selected for the third place award. Community Options Enterprises developed the Daily Plan It, a complete office, conference, and copy center that offers office rental space or virtual tenancy to a variety of businesses. There are four locations in New Jersey that provide an avenue for people with disabilities to work. The Daily Plan It is a self-sustaining business model with a hybrid payer structure, where customer purchased services and office rentals support the cost of operations.

Congratulations to all the award winners! We look forward to highlighting and sharing your innovative stories and experiences.