Self-Advocacy Resources

Disclaimer: The resources on the following page are for informational purposes only. These listings are not necessarily comprehensive nor do they imply endorsement by the SCDD or Regional Offices. If you find that any information is incorrect, if you would like to offer feedback or if you know of additional resources that may be helpful to include, please contact us.



ADAPT: Americans Disabled for Attendant Programs Today
Legislative proposals, news releases, organization newsletter and advocacy information related to community inclusion and community supports.

California Disability Community Action Network (CDCAN)
Advocacy and connecting people

Californians for Disability Rights (CDR)
Advocating for access, justice, equality and independence

Center for Independent Living: Mission and History
History of the Center for Independent Living at the University of California, Berkeley, a national leader in helping people with disabilities live independently and become more productive.

Council for Exceptional Children
The largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
National law and policy center dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities through legislation, litigation, advocacy, technical assistance, and the education and training of attorneys, advocates, persons with disabilities, and parents of children with disabilities. Includes legal cases, links, and resources.

Family Adult and Child Therapies

Family and Advocates for Parental Education/FAPE
The Families and Advocates Partnership for Education (FAPE) project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, was created to improve the educational outcomes for children with disabilities.

Fiesta Educativa
Empowering families of persons with disabilities.

Gentle Teaching
Non-violent approach to teaching children and adults with special needs.

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
Public policy information and resources related to developmental disabilities.

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the largest provider of legally-based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. NDRN provides training and technical assistance, legal support, and legislative advocacy services.

National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA)
News and information related to concerns of caregivers, including family members. Training opportunities, tips and research information.

People First of California (PFCA)
Self/Peer/Service system advocacy by persons with developmental disabilities

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North American (RESNA)
An interdisciplinary association dedicated to improving the potential of people with disabilities to achieve their goals through the use of technology. The organization does this through research, development, education, advocacy and provision of technology; and by supporting the people engaged in these activities.

SABE (Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered)
Information, resources and news for self-advocates.

Access to printed and online resources, as well up-to-date information on key public policy issues related to inclusion.

The Arc of California
Online access to facts, resources, advocacy information and news for people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities.

World Institute on Disability
Information related to inclusion, includes links to other sites with disability focus, publications and program information.

Community Development

Center for Neighborhood Technology
Information, resources and programs related to urban community development.


Education Week on the Web
Online compilation of timely articles on education in America, including special education section.

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
Self-Determination for Middle and High School Students The National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) provides technical assistance and disseminates information focused on areas of national significance for youth with disabilities and their families.

Parent Center Hub
Provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues for families, educators, and other professionals. Their special focus is children and youth (birth to age 22). If you have children with disabilities and don’t know where to turn for assistance, make this your first stop.

Site for accurate, up-to-date information related to advocacy for special education and special education law.

Employment/Reasonable Accommodations

Cornell University, ILR School Employment and Disability Institute
The Employment and Disability Institute conducts research, and provides technical assistance and continuing education on disability and the workplace issues.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
Information related to job accommodations, the ADA and employability of people with disabilities.

Federal Government

Center for Disease Control: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Background information on developmental disabilities, as well as links to web sites and related resources. Guide to disability resources on the Internet, organized by site popularity, alphabet, type of disability and state.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Comprehensive information on Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP, including coverage, laws, regulations and extensive resource section.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
This web site provides information on buying, owning and selling a home and your rights as a renter, as well as a variety of tools and resources.

Department of Labor
Information on employment for employers and employees.
Online connection to the federal government’s disability-related information and resources.
The U.S. Government’s official web portal offers access to all federal web sites and sponsored resources as well as current statistics, research and information.

HUD: Housing and Urban Development-Housing for People with Disabilities
Home purchase information specifically related to people with disabilities, including laws and regulations, HUD resources and general information.

National Council on Disability (NCD)
NCD: Access to federal policies, programs, practices and procedures related to equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Includes agency information and resources.

Administration for Community Living
Federal agency created around the fundamental principle that older adults and people with disabilities deserve to live how they choose and enjoy full community participation.

Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays retirement, disability and survivors benefits to workers and their families, administers the Supplemental Security Income program and issues Social Security numbers. This web site provides comprehensive information on Social Security benefits and programs and how to access them.

United States Access Board
The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities and a leading source of information on accessible design for the built environment, transit vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and electronic and information technology.

U.S. Department of Education
Access to comprehensive information on education and educational policy in the United States, including special education.

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
An overview of Federal civil rights laws that ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities.

Health and Wellness

American Academy of Pediatrics
Pediatricians’ association dedicated to the health of children and youth

Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health
Research tool for collecting demographic and other health related data about this population, and making state-by-state comparisons.

Human Services Research Institute (HRSI)
The Human Services Research Institute was established in 1976 to help states and the federal government enhance services and supports to people with mental illness and people with mental retardation. They also are working to develop alternatives to congregate care facilities.

National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University The National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) was created to help health and mental health programs design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems.

National Institute of Mental Health
Information on mental health issues, services and advocacy

Research & Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health
The Center’s research and training activities focus on improving services to children and youth who have mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders and their families.

Historical Archive

Disability History Museum
The Disability History Museum has no bricks and mortar. The virtual museum is home to a searchable, theme-based digital collection of documents and images related to disability history in the United States. Artifacts are drawn from public and private collections around the country.

Disability Social History Project
A community history project that outlines important events in disability history, topical exhibits, special projects and resources.

Parallels in Time
Information about the history of society’s treatment of people with developmental disabilities, including numerous videos and audio clips.

The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement
The UC Berkeley’s web site on the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement includes a collection of primary sources exploring the social and political history of the disability movement from the 1960s to the present. Includes oral history.

Housing and Community Supports

Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc.
TAC is a national non-profit organization that advances proven solutions to the housing and community support needs of vulnerable low-income people with significant and long-term disabilities.

International Nonprofit/Leadership Development

The Council on Quality and Leadership
An international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the quality of services and supports to people with disabilities. This is accomplished through its accreditation services, training programs, and research division.

Legal Advocacy

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Legal advocacy for the civil rights and human dignity of people with mental disability.

Disability Rights California (DRC)
Advancing legal and service rights of persons with disabilities: advocacy, information, training.

National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
Provides extensive information on health care law affecting low-income people. The site is updated daily with health law news, legislative analysis, and health law Internet links.


ABILITY Magazine
ABILITY Magazine features the latest information for people with disabilities on health, new technologies, the ADA, employment opportunities, human interest stories, travel, leisure, and more.

Center for an Accessible Society
The Center for an Accessible Society’s goal is to focus public attention on disability and independent living issues.

Disability Grapevine
Daily online newspaper, delivered via e-mail, devoted to disability news and commentary. Presented by the Institute for Cultural Research for People with Disabilities (ICRPWD).

National Center on Disability & Journalism
Site devoted to educating journalists and educators about disability reporting issues.

Regional Centers

Association of Regional Center Agencies
Association of regional centers – advancing Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act


American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
AAIDD: The professional association run by and for professionals who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Disability Statistics Cornell University
The purpose of Disability Statistics Cornell University is to produce and disseminate statistical information on disability and the status of people with disabilities in American society, and establish and monitor indicators of how conditions are changing over time to meet their health, housing, economic and social needs.

Independent Living Research Utilization
Information on Olmstead decision and its application, ADA, managed care, health issues and international disability issues. Includes resources, related sites, discussion groups.

Institute for Policy Research
Northwestern University: Research on significant public policies related to social sciences.


Center for Self-Determination
The Center for Self-Determination is a working collaboration of individuals and organizations committed to the principles of self-determination and to helping all persons create the lives they want, connected to and with their communities, and pursuing long-term relationships and economic futures.

State Agency

California Department of Aging
Oversight agency for programs that serve older adults

California Department of Developmental Services
Agency providing services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities

California Department of Developmental Services – Consumer Corner
Materials by DDS Consumer Advisory Committee for consumers, families and professionals

California Department of Developmental Services – Safety Net
Health and safety information for persons with developmental disabilities

California Department of Education
Agency providing education services

California Department of Rehabilitation
Agency providing rehabilitation and employment services to persons with disabilities


Objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources.

Communication Technology Education Center
Augmentative & alternative communication (AAC) services and assistive technology resources

DO-IT Program
“Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology.”

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities

Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Network of interdisciplinary Centers advancing public policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities. Includes policy information, legislative testimony, special projects and resources.

Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities – UCD – M.I.N.D. Institute (UCEDD)
Providing university-based improvement of knowledge, policies and practices related to persons with disabilities and their families.

Tarjan Center – Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities – UCLA (UCEDD)
Providing university-based improvement of knowledge, policies and practices related to persons with disabilities and their families.

USC Childrens Hospital UCEDD
Providing university-based improvement of knowledge, policies and practices related to persons with disabilities and their families.

Training Materials and Publications

Materiales de capacitación y publicaciones en español

ANNOUNCEMENT: New Resources Posted


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Disability Awareness

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Early Start Resources

Family Resource Centers (Early Start)
Family Resource Centers Network of California (FRCNCA)
First 5 California 
First 5 County Commissions

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Why Work is Better
SSAN Employment First Presentation (PDF)
California Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE): Blueprint for Change
The State of Employment For Californians with Developmental Disabilities (2016)
Directory of Women’s Shelters
Rebecca’s Community
Ticket to Work: Free Support Services for Young Adults in Transition August 31, 2011: Watch the recorded webinar here! – Read the transcript – Download the Presentation Slides (pdf, 1.6MB) – Download the audio from the presentation

Ticket to Work: Free Support Services for People Who Have a Disability and Are Ready to Work, July 11, 2012: Watch the recorded Webinar here! – Read the Transcript – Download the Presentation Slides (PDF, 1.2mb) – Download the audio from the Presentation
DDS Final Rule Handout

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Family Resources

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Government 101

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Individual Program Planning

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Public Meeting Resources

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Quality Assessment and National Core Indicators Survey (NCI)

NCI Information 

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Self Advocacy

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Emergency Preparedness

Below is a selection of resources from Cal OES, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. These resources are intended to assist people with disabilities to become more familiar with disaster and emergency preparedness.

Online Voting Rights Resources

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Your Voting Rights

California election material en espanol:


AIDD/ACL Voting Resources Help America Vote Act (HAVA)

Disability Rights California – Regional Center’s Responsibility to Help People Vote

More DRC Publications on Voting

What if I can’t sign my name?

League of Women Voters Info Page

University of Minnesota
IMPACT Magazine on Voting (free online version)

Selection of Past Grants

ATEC – AAC Mentoring Program

ATEC will establish an AAC (Augmentative & Alternative Communication) Mentoring Program for adult and child users.  This program will be the first of its kind in Orange County and is designed to train adult AAC users to mentor child AAC users, providing opportunities to enhance social engagement, communication ability, independence and community participation/integration.  The Mentoring Program will serve children, adults, family members and caregivers/attendants.

Learning Rights Law Center’s School Access Program    

The School Access Program will ensure that children with developmental disabilities receive equal access to the public education system and obtain appropriate education services by providing direct special education advocacy for 100 children in the high poverty areas of East Los Angeles and surrounding communities.  

Get Safe

Get Safe has developed a multi-tiered training program that provides practical information and necessary tools to ensure a safer lifestyle as well as more successful interactions with the complex and often intimidating legal system, from positive encounters with law enforcement to how to handle court proceedings.  Get Safe will provide training seminars for consumers, families, caregivers/service providers, and community professionals, that will teach attendees how to identify, respond and deescalate potentially dangerous and criminal behavior, reducing recidivism rates and adding to the overall safety of the community.

Hands On Job Training Project

The Hands On Job Training Project will provide students with Job Trainers to help them reach their maximum employment potential during their last year in the School of Continuing Education’s Independent Living Skills (ILS) Program.  Project Job Trainers will actively work with the students during the year to enhance their work/social skills while engaged in volunteer jobs on a local college campus, to increase their options for paid employment after graduation.

Progressive Employment Concepts  

This project will provide hand on training to staff and clients in the discovery and customized employment process leading to a customized employment outcome for a minimum of two individuals. This project will allow Progressive Employment Concepts to gain the tools needed to have continued success in finding jobs for the individuals we serve, especially those with higher support needs.

Rowell Family Empowerment of Northern California

Through the “Journey to Adulthood” program, RFENC will provide parents of teens and young adults with developmental disabilities training and support to educate their children about their bodies, personal care, safety, and social challenges using two (2) curriculums including , PACER’s national “Journey to Adulthood” and a grant developed training on media safety and peer acceptance.

Team of Adovocates for Special Kids (TASK)
Apps for All

TASKS’s Apps for All program will provide workshops and hands-on experience with assistive  technology for adults, children and their parents and professional.  Through workshops and individualized training, participants will learn about specialized mobile applications and iDevices and the potential communication and social skills benefits that apps can provide to people with developmental disabilities. 

Materiales de Capacitación y Publicaciones en Español

Asistencia Tecnológica


Educación Especial


Familia Recursos

Servicios Individual





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