State Agencies Addressing Disabilities

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Alert! Alert! 
Because NICHCY’s website will only remain online until September 30, 2014, most of its rich content has moved to a new home, the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR), where it can be kept up to date.

The new address of State Agencies Addressing Disabilities at the CPIR is:
http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/stateagencies/

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February 2010 | Links checked, February 2013

So you’re looking for the resources in your state that can help you address disability issues. Great idea. There are a lot, in fact. At least there are a lot of possibilities for help that can be explored.

We’ve organized this page by the types of help people seem to be looking when they call or write NICHCY, and what we might suggest in response.

 

What’s Available in Your State?

A graphic image of the continental United States, broken into separate states.Subtitled: The State Disability World—As NICHCY Knows It. Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa…NICHCY offers a state organizations list for each state and U.S. territory. Find them all at:
http://nichcy.org/state-organization-search-by-state

At the link above, use the drop-down menu to select your state. The State Organizations List will automatically appear. Use your state’s sheet to connect with state agencies serving children and youth with disabilities. These will be listed first on the state sheet. The listing will include important contact information for such resources as:

  • The official state website
  • The state office for services to children with delays or disabilities, birth to their third birthday
  • The state office in charge of special education for children with disabilities
  • Programs for people with developmental disabilities
  • State agencies responsible for services to individuals with specific disabilities (e.g., deaf-blindness, visual impairments, hearing impairments)
  • Much much more!

Read our Guide to the State List to learn more.

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Find Help for Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs

Do you have an infant or toddler with special needs, or are you concerned about your little one’s development? Get in touch with the early intervention system in your state.

Early intervention is a system of services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities (birth to the third birthday). It’s incredibly helpful to very young children—so if you are concerned about your little one’s development, you’ll want to take advantage of the services available in early intervention programs. Those will start with a thorough and individualized evaluation to see if your child does, indeed, have a developmental delay or disability. This evaluation is provided free of charge to families.

The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) is a project in the TA&D network. It’s also the place to go to identify where to enter the system in your state. Your early intervention contacts include the coordinators for early intervention itself (known as Part C coordinators), the coordinators for preschool programs (known as Section 619 coordinators), and the ICC (Interagency Coordinating Council) contacts for the state. Use NECTAC’s Contact Finder, at:
http://www.nectac.org/contact/contact.asp

If you’d like to know the OSEP-funded early childhood projects in your state, visit NECTAC’s Projects Finder, at: www.nectac.org/search/projfinder.asp

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Health Care for Uninsured Children

Did you know that each state has a health insurance program for children? Children who don’t have health insurance right now are very often eligible for state medical coverage. The insurance is available to children in working families, including families that include individuals with a variety of immigration status. To find out what your state’s policies are, what’s covered, and how to apply, call 1.877.543.7669 or visit:
http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/index.html

The same information is available in Spanish, too! Find all at:
http://espanol.insurekidsnow.gov/index.html

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Need a Place to Stay While Your Child is in the Hospital?

Visit the website of the National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses, which can help patients and their families find lodging and other supportive services when confronted with medical emergencies.
http://www.nahhh.org/lodging/

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Looking for a Private Special Education Facility?

Visit the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC). Use NAPSEC’s Directory to identify a center with the services you need.
http://www.napsec.org/parents.html

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State Resources for Youth with Special Health Care Needs

The Healthy and Ready to Work (HRTW) project provides information and connections to health and transition expertise nationwide for youth with special health care needs. Use the “site search” on the home page to find a wealth of information, including what resources are available in your state. 

You’ll find HRTW at:
http://www.syntiro.org/hrtw/

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Having Trouble With Reading? Find a Literacy Program in Your Community

Visit NIFL, the National Institute for Literacy. Its site overflows with resources, including a database of literacy programs that you can search to find one in your neck of the woods.

Find the directory of programs at:
http://literacydirectory.org/

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Independent Living

One of the most useful resources in the independent living area are the nationwide network of independent living centers (ILCs). ILCs are nonresidential, community-based agencies that are run by people with various disabilities. ILCs help people with disabilities achieve and maintain self-sufficient lives within the community. Operated locally, ILCs serve a particular region, which means that their services vary from place to place. ILCs may charge for classes, but advocacy services are typically available at no cost.

To find out more about ILCs in your area, here are two national-level organizations that can put you in touch with state and local info:

Independent Living Research Utilization Project
(where you can find contact info for your Statewide Individual Living Council (SILC)
http://www.ilru.org

National Council on Independent Living
(to find contact info for local-level ILCs)
http://www.ncil.org

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Looking for Vocational Rehabilitation Services?

By contacting your local vocational rehabilitation office, you can tap into a wealth of resources related to employment options for people with disabilities. To identify the VR office in your vicinity, visit:
http://askjan.org/cgi-win/TypeQuery.exe?902

Vocational rehabilitation is a nationwide federal-state program for helping eligible people with disabilities to define a suitable employment goal and become employed. Each state capital has a central VR agency, and there are local offices in most states. VR provides medical, therapeutic, counseling, education, training, and other services needed to prepare people with disabilities for work. VR is an excellent place for a youth or adult with a disability to begin exploring available training and support service options.

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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.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at http://www.parentcenterhub.org/resources. This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to http://www.parentcenterhub.org.