ADvancing States iQ Online Learning Center

Designed to help strengthen participants' knowledge of the aging and disability networks, our online courses provide overviews and analyses of systems and services that impact older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers.

Course Categories

The following categories include several courses each. Click on a category name to see the course options within each category. To view a full list of courses available in ADvancing States iQ, scroll below the course categories to see the list of all available courses.

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This category includes courses that address abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Courses offer an introduction to elder abuse and provide an overview of Adult Protective Services.

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This category includes courses that provide training and materials for professionals who assist individuals in accessing information, services, and decision support. These courses are particularly relevant to Information & Referral/Assistance specialists and other professionals who directly serve individuals.

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This category includes courses that address topics related to community integration for older adults and people with disabilities including housing and independent living.

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This category includes courses that provide information and materials that equip disability community-based organizations (CBOs) with business resources, information, and training that promotes sustainability in a changing environment.

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This category includes courses that inform participants about health care coverage programs for older adults and persons with disabilities such as Medicaid and Medicare.

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This category includes recordings and materials from ADvancing States' virtual meetings, events, and conferences.


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    Available courses

    This course provides participants with an overview of Adult Protective Services (APS) at the national and state levels. The course explains the services provided by APS and addresses differences between state programs as a result of funding discrepancies. The Elder Justice Act and its impact on APS are also detailed in the course. This training course may benefit individuals who work with older adults or vulnerable adult populations, as well as professionals in APS agencies or other state and local agencies that collaborate with APS.

    This course provides participants with an overview of the issue of elder abuse. The course materials define, distinguish, and explain the significance and impact of elder abuse, as well as offer strategies to respond to possible scenarios. The course is designed for individuals in the fields of aging and disabilities who may encounter elder abuse or vulnerable adult abuse situations. 

    This training provides an overview of key competencies needed for aging and disability I&R/A professionals, and provides preparation for the AIRS Certification exam for Community Resource Specialists in Aging/Disabilities (CRS-A/D, formerly CIRS-A/D). The training course covers the following content: the fundamentals of information and referral (I&R); details of the AIRS certification exam; the I&R/A process; key communication techniques; highlights of the AIRS Standards and Quality Indicators for Professional Information and Referral; an overview of I&R/A and the Aging/Disability Networks; information on aging and disability programs and services; and AIRS practice exam questions. For more information on AIRS Certification, including how to apply to take a certification exam, visit AIRS by clicking here.

    This course provides training materials for the CRS-A/D (formerly CIRS-A/D) curriculum developed by ADvancing States' National I&R Support Center. The materials include trainer, trainee, and supplemental materials. This course is restricted to individuals who have participated in the Support Center’s train-the-trainer initiative.

    This class provides participants with an overview of America’s diverse aging population, and offers participants the opportunity to learn and apply culturally competent skills to successfully serve diverse populations.

    This course offers participants an overview of key issues relevant to providing information and referral/assistance (I&R/A) to individuals with disabilities. The course covers disability awareness, effective communication, services and resources, and disability rights. It will help participants expand their understanding of disability to improve I&R/A services. This course was originally designed to allow Certified Information & Referral Specialists—Aging (CIRS-A) to grandfather to the Certified Information & Referral Specialist— Aging/Disabilities (CIRS-A/D) credential.

    This class provides participants with a comprehensive, step-by-step, analysis of the Information & Referral/Assistance (I&R/A) process, and offers participants the opportunity to learn and apply communication techniques that support older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers in accessing and obtaining health and social support services.

    This course describes key communication techniques for aging and disability professionals. Many professionals utilize key communication techniques every day. While all aging and disability professionals can benefit from using key communication techniques, these techniques are regularly utilized by some professionals who work directly with clients, such as Information and Referral/Assistance (I&R/A) Specialists, Options Counselors, Person-Centered Counselors, and Benefits Counselors. For consistency purposes, this course will refer to all aging and disability professionals who work with clients as counselors.


    This course will provide an overview of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Aging population for Information & Referral/Assistance (I&R/A) staff and providers. During this course, the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA) National Resource Center on AAPI Aging will provide a general overview of AAPI older adult populations throughout America, including demographic trends, cultural diversity and barriers to accessing services. The course will offer strategies for staff and providers to integrate cultural and linguistic competence into their work with AAPI older adults, strengthening access to the Aging Network’s long-term services and supports system for this diverse group nationwide.


    This course describes ways in which Information & Referral/Assistance (I&R/A) staff and providers can improve services and resources provided to people with intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) and their families. People with I/DD and their families may experience several challenges over the course of their lifespan, and these challenges must be navigated in a manner that respects how each person’s and family’s cultural values may impact their experiences and understanding of disability. This course will offer strategies that staff and providers may use to integrate cultural and disability competence into their work with people with I/DD and their families, strengthening access to the support system for this diverse group nationwide.

    Affordable housing is a basic human need that many older adults and people with disabilities struggle to find and keep.  This NASUAD curriculum is designed to give an overview of the types of affordable housing that are available to older adults and people with disabilities, and was written in association with Leading Age, an organization that focuses on advocacy, education and applied research for various services, supports and housing solutions for seniors, children and people with special needs. 

    This class provides participants with a historical perspective and a deeper understanding of the Independent Living Movement. Participants will learn about the role and services provided by Centersfor Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and gain practical skills that will help them strengthen and promote independence and community living for people with disabilities.

    During this session, participants will use Step 1: Prepare from the HCBS Business Acumen Center Toolkit, “Disability Network Business Strategies: A Roadmap to Financial and Programmatic Sustainability for Community-Based Organizations”. This resource is a ‘how-to’ guide designed to help Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) evaluate, plan, develop, implement and monitor strategies to help build and sustain their organizations in various business climates. ​

    Step 1: Prepare discusses how to review and update the organizational vision and mission, conduct an environmental scan, complete a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis and identify champions to inform their work.


    During this session, new participants will use Step 2: Plan from the HCBS Business Acumen Center Toolkit, “Disability Network Business Strategies: A Roadmap to Financial and Programmatic Sustainability for Community-Based Organizations”. This resource is a ‘how-to’ guide designed to help Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) evaluate, plan, develop, implement and monitor strategies to help build and sustain their organizations in various business climates. ​

    Step 2: Plan discusses the activities that CBOs need to do in order to analyze the information they collected in an environmental scan and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis and provides recommendations on how to organize and prioritize that information in a strategic plan that will help their organizations achieve their goals. Since building and implementing a strategic plan involves a number of people and departments, the module also discusses how to manage organizational change.

    During this iQ course, participants will learn about Step 3: Stabilize, from the HCBS Business Acumen Center's toolkit. Every organization strives to have stable operations. Every business has to operate. It has to function. Organizational stability means many things. It requires that you have control of your finances so that you have enough in revenue to meet current expenses and are able to create savings that can be used to sustain your organization through down periods. Ideally, the financial stability of your organization is such that you are prepared for growth when opportunities present themselves. Organizational stability requires that your business has an employee base who is responsible, reliable, and trained. It means that your business has efficient business processes and uses technology in ways that allow employees to operate as effectively as possible. Ultimately, organizational stability means that your organization operates effectively today and should for the foreseeable future.

    This iQ course on Step 4: Grow and Develop builds upon the previous Steps 1, 2, and 3 iQ courses on the HCBS Business Acumen Center’s Toolkit. This course will describe how to capitalize on new business opportunities. Financial stability, good human resources (HR) practices, solid business processes, effective use of technology, and accurate financial reporting prepares your organization for growth and development. This course will help participants consider: who you want to pay for the services you offer; how to establish relationships with new payers; how to identify what is important to the potential payer; how to describe your value proposition; how you can get your foot in the door; how reimbursement will be structured; and more.

    During this session, new participants will use Step 5: Monitor, Evaluate, and Respond from the HCBS Business Acumen Center Toolkit, “Disability Network Business Strategies: A Roadmap to Financial and Programmatic Sustainability for Community-Based Organizations”. This resource is a ‘how-to’ guide designed to help Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) evaluate, plan, develop, implement and monitor strategies to help build and sustain their organizations in various business climates. Step 5: Monitor, Evaluate, and Respond discusses the activities that CBOs need to do in order to ensure that their strategic plans stay on track. This includes monitoring their finances, compliance requirements and quality measures as well as implementing ongoing continuous quality improvement efforts.

    This training module provides participants with an overview of key issues relevant to the joint state-federal Medicaid program. This module aims to empower the viewer to gain as nuanced an understanding as possible of the complex Medicaid program, given time and informational constraints. Medicaid 101 is aimed toward anyone seeking a better understanding of Medicaid.


    This training module provides an overview of Medicaid managed care and outlines important differences between the Medicaid fee-for-service and Medicaid managed care delivery systems.  The course also explains types of managed care plans, how states can implement managed care programs, and key requirements that must be followed. Medicaid Managed Care 101 is intended for participants that have completed the Medicaid 101 course.

    This course provides participants with information about MIPPA, the Medicare program, and the Medicare low-income subsidies. The course also provides key referral resources for additional program information and enrollment assistance.

    The 2020 ADvancing States Virtual Spring Meeting took place online, June 10-11th. Comprised of state aging and disabilities directors, Medicaid LTSS directors, federal officials, managed care organizations, and other key service delivery partners, participants joined us for 8 different virtual sessions focusing on: updates from CMS leadership; updates from ACL leadership; maximizing relationships with nursing facilities in times of crisis; partnering with health plans during emergencies; the challenges of integrating services for dual eligibles; how to best support family caregivers; providing services in rural settings; and lessons learned from COVID-19. This course includes access to all 8 archived session recordings with over 9 hours of content and the accompanying resources on each topic.

    If you have an enrollment key, please enter it to access this course free of charge, which includes 8 individual sessions with over 9 hours of content. Otherwise, please note that this course charges $103.30 in order to access the materials.