Aging and Disability Services (ADS) is one of 13 Area Agencies on Aging—or AAAs—throughout Washington state and one of more than 600 throughout the country. All AAAs are mandated through the Older Americans Act, established in 1965.
One of the most important responsibilities of an Area Agency on Aging is creation of a four-year Area Plan for the area it serves. This State-required document summarizes community strengths and challenges—including the issues, needs, and emerging trends identified by older people, adults with disabilities, caregivers, and providers. The plan describes the function of ADS as the Area Agency on Aging for King County and outlines the major goals and objectives to be achieved over the course of four years. The plan also charts the direction we take to create an age-friendly community.
Development of the Area Plan for 2024–2027 is now underway. The new plan will lead with race and focus intentionally on older Black and Indigenous people, other people of color, and the communities that experience the most disadvantages.
To understand the harms and issues experienced by these communities, ADS initiated a series of six focus group discussions to gather input. Focus group participants included diverse representatives from the ADS Advisory Council, the Mayor’s Council on African American Elders, the King County Department of Community and Human Services, Public Health—Seattle & King County, and the Seattle Human Services Department’s Race and Social Justice Change Team. Tools from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, such as the Anti-Racist Organizing Principles and the Undoing Racism Strategy Chart, were used to guide the discussions. The series concluded with recommendations that will be used to inform the development of the Area Plan.
Our aim is to make sure the plan’s goals and objectives reflect our commitment to eliminate racial disparities among older adults and people with disabilities in Seattle and King County, so that all will thrive throughout their lifespans.
Comment on the draft plan
A three-week public comment period starts on August 14 and ends on September 5, 2023. During that time, community members and stakeholders are invited to comment on the plan. Written comments can be mailed to Aging and Disability Services, ATTN Karen Winston, PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA. 98124-4215, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The public is also invited to comment on the draft Area Plan for 2024–2027 at any one of the following public hearings:
- Public Hearing #1—Monday, August 14, at 10 a.m.: ADS Renton Office, Mt. St. Helens Conference Room (600 SW 39th St, Renton, WA 98057)
- Public Hearing #2—Wednesday, August 23, at 11 a.m.: Mt Si Senior Center (411 Main Ave S, North Bend, WA 98045)
- Public Hearing #3—Tuesday, September 5, at 10:30 a.m.: P&A Committee Meeting (virtual—to request log-on information, e-mail Karen.Winston@seattle.gov)
The Area Plan will be submitted to the State Unit on Aging (part of the Washington State DSHS Aging and Long-Term Support Administration) on November 1, 2023. Following State approval in early 2024, the final plan will be posted online.
For more information about the Area Plan or the public hearings, contact ADS senior planner Karen Winston at Karen.Winston@seattle.gov.