Disability Support Organizations
APD is an agency that focuses on servicing the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities who reside in Florida. Their goals are to increase access to community-based services, treatment, and residential options for individuals with developmental disabilities, increase the number of individuals with developmental disabilities in the workforce, and improve management of the agency and oversight of providers. APD’s website contains an extensive resource directory and how to apply for APD services.
CPIR contains family-friendly information pertaining to disabilities that effect infants, toddlers, children, and youth. You will find easy-to-read articles on IDEA, the law authorizing early intervention services and special education, as well as research-based information on effective practices, programs and services.
The Center for Self-Determination offers technical assistance to individuals and organizations attempting to change their systems of support based upon the principles of self-determination. The website contains information on system changes, leadership, fiscal issues, and support.
Disability Rights Advocates is a website that contains the disability watch feature, which allows families and individuals interested in disabilities to follow the legislation and litigation involving persons with disabilities. The website also has valuable publications and success stories regarding people with disabilities. Their mission statement is "to ensure dignity, equality and opportunity for people of all types of disabilities in all key areas of life."
Easter Seals provides action alerts, outreach and advocacy so that individuals living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities. The website offers information and tips for people with and without disabilities including a list of books for children and adults to read regarding disabilities.
This website is dedicated to providing resources to the special needs community. The website utilizes a multi-media approach to spread practical advice, trending news and educational information and provide emotional support, which empowers caregivers and families of children and adults with disabilities and special healthcare needs.
Family Voices is a national, nonprofit, family-led organization promoting quality health care for all children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. Through their national network, Family Voices provides families with tools to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among professionals and families, and serve as a trusted resource on health care.
FND provides advice and support about inclusive education and disability rights. The website has state, local and national resources available for families. The website has a specific advocacy page that explains advocacy and lists resources for advocacy in the state of Florida.
The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council serves as an advocacy and planning body to influence the direction of programs and policies for individuals with developmental disabilities. These guiding principles give direction to all of the Council's efforts and a greater understanding about the supports needed for individuals with developmental disabilities. Their website provides information regarding the development and administration of services for individuals with developmental disabilities in the state of Florida. Finally, the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council website contains helpful resources regarding services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
The Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation is a federal-state program, which helps individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities obtain and keep a job. This site provides individuals links to resources and programs for Florida residents such as: transition youth, deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind services, supported employment, ticket to work, independent living program, mental health programs, and many more.
The Florida Fathers Network offers support and guidance for fathers of children with disabilities. This website has stories, resources, and events to help fathers understand, take care of, and celebrate their child with a disability.
The Federation for Children with Special Needs provides information, support, and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners, and their communities. They are committed to listening to and learning from families, and encouraging full participation in community life by all individuals, especially those with disabilities.
KASA is an organization created by youth with disabilities for youth to educate society about issues concerning youth with a wide spectrum of disabilities and special healthcare needs. KASA believes in supporting self-determination, creating support networks and proactive advocacy for all youth with disabilities in our society.” The website provides information on research, materials, current events, and other disability related resources and websites.
This organization provides individual and administration advocacy services through training and events. The website contains free publications and resources pertaining to inclusive education. Also, the MD Coalition for Inclusive Education has compiled a helpful list of nationally known entities that are leaders in inclusive education.
The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) is the library of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). They collect, catalog, and disseminate the articles, reports, curricula, guides, and other publications and products of the research projects funded by NIDILRR. NIDILRR funds more than 250 projects each year that conduct research on a wide range of issues including technology, health and function, independent living, and capacity building.
PACER offers valuable resources pertaining to parent advocacy as well as family and advocate partnerships. The site provides an extensive list of resources found on the internet. In addition, the website contains resources on transition planning, parent workshops, legislative information, health, and employment strategies.
SABE is devoted to ensure that individuals with disabilities are treated as equals and that they are given the same decisions, choices, rights, responsibilities, and chances to speak up to empower themselves; opportunities to make new friends; and to learn from their mistakes. SABE’s website provides an extensive list of websites and resources including government programs, independent living, magazines, medical resources, and other organizations.
The Arc is one of the largest national community-based organizations that advocate and serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. This website provides links to a family resource guide designed for the state in which you live in. The printable resource guide is a guide to benefits, supports, and services for families raising children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The ARC of FL website is a branch of the ARC, a nationwide organization devoted to helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The website provides information on programs available in the state, a legislative guide, upcoming events, public policy, and frequently asked questions.
TASH is an international leader in disability advocacy for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs. TASH works to advance inclusive communities through advocacy, research, professional development, policy and information and resources for parents, families and self-advocates.
Through the Looking Glass (TLG) is a nationally recognized center that has pioneered research, training and services for families in which a child, parent or grandparent has a disability or medical issue. Their mission is “To create, demonstrate and encourage non-pathological and empowering resources and model early intervention services for families with disability issues in parent or child which integrate expertise derived from personal disability experience and disability culture.”
The U.S. Department of Education website provides a list of resources for parents/guardians with children who are diagnosed with a disability.
Wrights Law provides information concerning special education advocacy. A list of articles are provided on topics such as getting started as a parent advocate, asking the right questions, and effective parent advocacy. Other resources such as: advocacy tactics and strategies, legal decisions, and getting the appropriate help to be an effective advocate.