Self-Advocacy Resources

Below is a selection of links that may be of interest to Self-Advocates. To view our entire database of links and search by TOPIC, COUNTY, and KEYWORD go to the SCDD Links Page.


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 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
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.


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.

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

Employment/Reasonable Accommodations

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

Federal Government

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

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.

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence
Hundreds of education resources supported by agencies across the US Federal government.
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.

Learning Opportunities for Your Child Through Alternate Assessments
This booklet, published by the US Department of Education, includes a section on accessing grade level content for students with disabilities.

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.

Federal Laws

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Information and resources related to IDEA.

Federal Partner

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

Health and Wellness

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.

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.

Human Centered Design

Human-Centered Design
Educational non-profit organization committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities. Adaptive Environments’ work balances expertise in legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human centered or universal design.

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.

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.

Medical Resource

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

Mental Health Resource

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.

National Training Institute

Organizing for Social Change
National training institute committed to advancing the struggle for social, economic and racial justice.

Online Resource Center

Special Education Resources on the Internet
A collection of Internet accessible information resources of interest to those involved in the fields related to special education.

Out-of-State Resource

Beach Center on Disability
The Beach Center is a national research and education center on disability located at the University of Kansas. Excellent site for practical tips, articles, best practices and other information.


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).

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

Inclusion Daily Express
Online newsletter that covers current disability rights, self-determination, and community inclusion issues around the world.

Inclusion Press
Central resource for publications, videos and other information related to community inclusion.

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

Special Education News
Round-up of recent articles related to special education. Organized by interest.

Regional Centers

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


Center for Health Services Research and Policy
George Washington University Medical Center: Information, research and white papers related to legal, health care and work-related issues for children or adults with disabilities.

Center on Human Policy (Syracuse University)
Policy and research studies promoting inclusive communities and opportunities for people with disabilities.

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.

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.

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.

Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)
Access to more than 1.2 million pieces of information related to education of individuals with developmental disabilities or those who are gifted. National network co-sponsored by U.S. Department of Education and Office of Educational Research and Improvement.

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.

Inclusion of Students with Special Needs
Site for teachers and parents advocating for an inclusive school environment. Includes information on system change, staff development, teaching and learning in an inclusive environment, collaboration, standards and assessments. Links to related sites.

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.

National Center for Family Support at Human Services Research Institute
NCFS, through the Human Services Research Institute, provides training and technical assistance on family support to 56 project sites through institutes, conferences, and symposiums. In addition, NCFS creates and disseminates resources and publications on best practices and family support policies.

Policy Research Brief: Family Support Services in the United States Research and Training Center on Community Living
Research and Training Center that provides research, evaluation, training, technical assistance and dissemination to support the aspirations of persons with developmental disabilities to live full, productive and integrated lives in their communities.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Center for Development and Learning Project STIR (Steps Toward Independence and Responsibility): Acting for Advocacy (A4A) A web site for students planning life after high school that provides helpful information, resources, and support, as well as practical tools to become strong self-advocates and make their own life choices.


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.

The Family Center on Technology and Disabilities
The Family Center on Technology and Disabilities supports families of children and youth with disabilities, educators, organizations and programs that work with families of children and youth with disabilities by providing a range of information and services on assistive technologies.

The Virtual Activist
Compilation of activist sites, issues and resources available on the Internet.


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.

Social Benefits

Social Security Disability Resource Center
The goal of this site is to make it easy for individuals and their families to understand their rights, what they are entitled to, and how to qualify for benefits.

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.

Alliance for Technology Access
The Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) is the national network of community-based resource centers, developers, vendors, and others dedicated to providing information and support services to children and adults with disabilities, and increasing their use of standard, assistive, and information technologies.

Closing the Gap
Closing the Gap provides objective information about assistive technology products for children and adults with special needs.

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

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


United We Ride: Coordinating Human Service Transportation
United We Ride is an interagency national initiative that supports states and local governments in developing coordinated human service delivery systems and provides coordination grants, a transportation-coordination and planning self-assessment tool, technical assistance, and other resources to help communities succeed.


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.

Institute on Community Integration
University of Minnesota: Resources and information related to disability issues, organized by key project and issues. Includes related resources and web sites.

Institute on Disability University of New Hampshire
The Institute on Disability/UCED at the University of New Hampshire focuses on improving knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of 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.