Updated October 2010 | Links checked, February 2013
Disability groups operate nationwide to share information and resources on specific disabilities. Quite often, these national-level organizations also have chapters in every state—and those state chapters may have multiple local chapters. All operate as a source of help for families and professionals in addressing the needs and well-being of individuals with the disability of interest.
This webpage offers you a brief overview of how you can use NICHCY’s website to identify and connect with the disability group(s) addressing the disability or disabilities with which you are concerned.
- First, an example
- How to find organizations on your disability of interest
- NICHCY’s disability fact sheets in English and Spanish
First, an Example
To give you an idea of what we’re talking about, an example of a disability-specific network of help might be in order.
Let’s use learning disabilities as an example. In our public schools, more children receive special education services under the category of “learning disabilities” than under any other disability category. Because learning disabilities (LD) affect 6-10% of the school-aged population and continue throughout life, it’s not surprising that there are several national-level organizations focused on learning disabilities. Some have chapters in every state, including at the local level. Others do not but provide indepth information about LD. These include:
National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) | Does not have state-level chapters, but offers a tremendous amount of information for professionals, families, and individuals who have LD. NCLD also operates a family of websites on LD.
Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) | LDA is a membership organization for professionals, adults with LD, and parents of children with LD. LDA has state and/or local affiliates in every state. Membership in LDA includes membership in your state and local affiliate, giving you access to an array of services and supports. Find your state-level chapter and local affiliates at:
There are many other fine organizations focusing on LD as well, each contributing a particular element to the body of knowledge on LD and the services and insights available to address the unique concerns of the disability. The two we’ve mentioned above illustrate how different kinds of assistance may be available from organizations interested in the same disability, so it’s a good idea to investigate what each individual group has to offer.
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How to Find Organizations and Resources Focused on Your Disability of Interest
The best way to identify organizations, publications, and resources that focus on the disability of concern to you. is to use NICHCY’s search box. It’s at the top of every page on our website. Enter the disability’s name—-for example, autism, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, TBI. The search engine will return a list of results. These will include articles and products on that disability (if available) and disability organizations that focus on your disability of interest.
NICHCY’s Disability Fact Sheets
As mentioned in the page on Parent Groups, NICHCY offers fact sheets on a range of disabilities. Most are available in English and Spanish. At the end of each sheet, there’s a resource listing of national-level organizations specializing in that disability. If you contact those groups, by phone or via the Web, they can put you in touch with state or local chapters of their group (if they operate chapters, that is).
Fact sheets in English are located at:
There, you’ll find fact sheets on these disabilities:
- Cerebral Palsy*
- Deafness/Hearing Loss*
- Developmental Delay
- Down Syndrome*
- Emotional Disturbance*
- Intellectual Disabilities (formerly Mental Retardation)*
- Learning Disabilities*
- Other Health Impairment*
- Rare Disorders
- Severe/Multiple Disabilities
- Speech-Language Impairments*
- Spina Bifida*
- Traumatic Brain Injury*
- Visual Impairments*
The fact sheets marked with an asterisk above (*) are available in Spanish. Find the Spanish versions at:
Would you like to explore one of the other resource pages in this section?
If so, use these quick-jump links to hop to the page of your choice.
- State Agencies Addressing Disabilities
- Parent Groups
- Disability Groups (you’re already here!)
- Meet the TA&D Network
- Mental Health Resources
- Resources within the Medical and Healthcare Community
- Services for adults with disabilities