This page explains how to use NICHCY’s State Organizations search feature to find the organizations and agencies in your state that address disability-related issues.
Table of Contents
- Purpose of NICHCY’s state lists
- Organization of the typical list
- Generating your state list online
- Finding what you need: NICHCY recommends
Purpose of NICHCY’s State Lists
When disability touches your life, it’s important to connect with agencies and organizations that offer information, support, and services related to disability. NICHCY has compiled lists of such organizations in every state and territory in the United States. This info is available to you online, on our State Organizations page, where you can use the search feature to generate a State List of agency resources for your state. The State Organizations page is online at: http://nichcy.org/state-organization-search-by-state
The State List for your state identifies the range of help available in your state, region, and community. This guide (the one you’re reading right now) is meant to help you use the State List to find the help that you need, given your disability-related concerns and questions.
Organization of the Typical State List
In general, every State List has four sections:
I. State Agencies concerned with disabilities
The list of your state resources begins with the state agencies that are responsible for making services available to:
- babies and toddlers with disabilities
- children 3-5 years old
- school-aged children with disabilities
- adults with disabilities
In this section, you’ll also find the contact info for state agencies that focus on specific disabilities, such as programs for children with visual impairments, hearing impairments or deafness, special health care needs, or something else.
2. Disability-Specific Organizations
Typically, this section of the State List identifies private organizations that focus their work on a particular disability. For example, if you’re looking for an association that offers information and guidance on autism or a group concerned with learning disabilities, this is the section of the State List where you’ll find it.
3. Organizations for Parents
Are you the parent of a child with a disability? This section of the State List is an excellent place for you to look and connect with resources especially for parents, such as your state’s:
- Parent Training and Information (PTI) Center
- Parent-to-Parent chapter
- the PTA (the education-related association of parents and teachers)
4. Other Disability Organizations
In this section of the State List, you’ll find a variety of organizations that are involved in issues related to people with disabilities but that don’t fall under the other categories. Examples include the Independent Living network in your state or the state chapter of VSA arts, an organization that helps individuals with disabilities participate in the arts, including dance, drama, creative writing, music, and visual art.
Generating Your State List Online
As mentioned, NICHCY’s State Lists are available online, and they’re organized according to the categories just discussed. Visit the page called State Organizations (it’s listed in the side menu bar of every page on our site). There, you can select among the categories to get the most current State List for your state.
See this box?
Click on the down arrow, and the following menu will appear:
- State Agencies
- Disability-Specific Organizations
- Organizations for Parents
- Other Disability Organizations
Select “ALL” to get a list of all the disability agencies and organizations we’ve compiled for your state. Or simply select one of the other categories to get a list of organizations in that category alone.
Finding What You Need: NICHCY Recommends
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for on the State List, here are a few questions you might have and our suggestions for where to look on the State List to find the answer. Skip the questions that don’t apply to your search.
Are you a parent who’s new to disabilities and just starting to navigate the help that might be available?
Using the menu of categories, select “Organizations for Parents.” You’ll find parent groups that can help you with the disability experience. These groups offer information about disabilities, special education law, state and local services, how to have your child evaluated to see if he or she has a disability, and much more.
NICHCY especially recommends getting in touch with your state’s Parent Training and Information Center—the PTI. Some states also have what’s known as a CPRC (a Community Parent Resource Center), which is similar to a PTI except that it’s dedicated to helping parents in a given region (say, a city) or with a particular characteristic (e.g., parents who live in a specific high-poverty area or who speak a language other than English). Your state’s PTI will be listed under the category of “Organizations for Parents.” If your state has a CPRC, it’ll be listed there as well.
Are you wondering where to have your baby or toddler evaluated to see if he or she has a disability or developmental delay?
Using the menu of categories, select “State Agencies.” Scroll down the list of agencies until you find the title “Early Intervention.” That is where you’ll find the agency responsible for conducting evaluations of babies and toddlers with disabilities or delays and for providing early intervention services to those who are eligible.
Call the agency. Say that you’re concerned for your little one and ask how to get in touch with the early intervention program nearest you, to have your baby or toddler evaluated.
Are you wondering where to have your preschooler evaluated to see if he or she has a disability?
Using the menu of categories, select “State Agencies.” Scroll down the list of agencies until you reach the title “Preschool, Disabilities.” That’s where you’ll find the agency responsible for evaluating preschool children (ages 3-5) to see if they have a disability and for providing special education services to those who are eligible. Usually, the evaluation process is handled through the public school system (even if your child isn’t enrolled in school yet).
Call the agency. Say that you’re concerned that your preschooler may have a disability or delay. Ask where, in your area, to call to arrange for an evaluation of your child.
Are you wondering where to have your school-aged child evaluated to see if he or she has a disability?
Services for children of school age (6-21), including initial evaluations, are the responsibility of the public school system. Talk to the staff at your child’s school. Say that you’re concerned about your child’s progress and that you’d like them to evaluate your child to see if he or she has a disability. The school staff will explain the process for having your child evaluated.
Are you looking for info about a specific disability?
Using the menu of categories, select “Disability-Specific Organizations.” This section of the State List identifies organizations that focus on specific disabilities, in alphabetical order by disability. If you see the disability you’re looking for in the list, you’ve likely found the state affiliate of the organization that’s dedicated to that disability. An example might be a state chapter of a national-level organization such as the Learning Disabilities Association or United Cerebral Palsy. A great deal of help, support, and connections to other resources may be at your fingertips. Give the group a call or visit its website.
Note: NICHCY has free information available about some specific disabilities. Our Organization Gateway can help you find national organizations that focus on providing information and guidance about a specific disability. Search for such disability organizations at the Gateway online at: http://nichcy.org/org-gateway
Would you like to connect with another parent whose child has the same disability as yours?
Using the menu of categories, select “Organizations for Parents.” See if there’s an organization listed under the title “Parent to Parent.” This group can put you in touch with other parents in similar situations to your own.
Want to know more about Parent to Parent? Read our publication on the subject, at: http://nichcy.org/wp-content/uploads/docs/bp2.pdf
And that’s NICHCY’s State Organizations search that will give you a State List of disability-related organizations and agencies in your state!