National Advocacy Resources

National Resources

The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. It has more than 140,000 members and nearly 700 state and local chapters nationwide.

Easter Seals provides services, education, outreach, and advocacy to all people with disabilities.

  • Disability Specific Organizations

Search for your loved one’s diagnose on the internet and you will most likely find a national organization that can offer a wide variety of services and advocacy resources. Below are some examples.

AAIDD promotes policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Information about The Americans with Disabilities Act including filing a compliant, laws and regulations and technical assistance.

The Special Needs Alliance is a national, non-profit organization committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them.

The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities is a coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the self determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.

State Resources

State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (Councils) are federally funded, self-governing organizations charged with identifying the most pressing needs of people with developmental disabilities in their state or territory. Councils are committed to advancing public policy and systems change that help these individuals gain more control over their lives. There are 56 Councils across the United States and its territories

Disability Rights agencies are federally mandated organizations responsible for advocating and advancing the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities. Programs and initiatives vary by state. There are agencies in every state and U.S. territory as well as one serving the Native American population in the four corners region.

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD) works to accomplish a shared vision that foresees a nation in which all Americans, including Americans with disabilities, participate fully in their communities. Independence, productivity, and community inclusion are key components of its vision. Currently there are sixty-seven UCEDDs in every state and territory.

  • “Central Registry of Offenders Against Individuals with Developmental Disabilities”

Most states (if not all) have a central state list of individuals who have been found guilty of stealing or harming a person with a developmental disability. To find your state’s registry or to find out how to begin an investigation, contact your state’s government department responsible for providing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Local Resources

  • County Offices for people with disabilities

Your local disabled county offices functions as clearinghouse of information about programs and services, advocates for people with disabilities, and provides technical assistance at a local level.

Adult Protective Services (APS) is a social services program provided by municipalities nationwide serving seniors and adults with disabilities who are in need of assistance. APS workers frequently serve as first responders in cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation, working closely with a wide variety of allied professionals such as physicians, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement officers.