History

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In 2022, ACCSES celebrates its 25th anniversary as an independent advocacy organization.  September 1997 is not when it all began, however.  ACCSES’s roots in disability advocacy took form well over half a century ago.  Let’s look back.

In 1949,  the National Association of Sheltered Workshops and Homebound Programs, Inc. (NASWHP) was founded.  Three years later, in 1952, the Conference of Rehabilitation Centers and Facilities (CRCF) was formed.  These organizations represented the vocational and medical rehabilitation communities.  In 1962, CRCF changed its name to the Association of Rehabilitation Centers (ARC).  In 1969, ARC merged with NASWHP to form the International Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF).  In 1975, IARF changed its name to the National Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (NARF).

NARF’s divisions included vocational rehabilitation (employment), medical rehabilitation, residential day services, Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act/AbilityOne, and state use.  In 1994, NARF rechristened itself the American Rehabilitation Association (ARA).  In 1997, ARA reorganized and an independent entity under the ARA umbrella, the American Congress of Community Supports and Employment Services was formed.  Shortly thereafter, ARA dissolved and the American Congress of Community Supports and Employment Services continued to provide legislative and regulatory advocacy, policy development, educational resources, and technical assistance to disability service providers across the country.  In 2007, the American Congress of Community Services and Employment Services merged with the Disability Service Providers Association and took the name ACCSES.

Based in the heart of Washington, D.C., just six blocks from the White House, ACCSES is proud to stand with disability service providers in our collective mission to increase opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

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