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Resources by Topic >> Legal & Advocacy

General Resources

DC Department on Disability Services
250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024
202-730-1700 (voice) | (202) 730-1843 (fax) | (202) 730-1516 (TTY)

The DC Department on Disability Services (DDS) provides the residents of DC with information, oversight, and coordination of services for people with disabilities and those who support them, such as service providers and employers. DDS has two Administrations ( Rehabilitation Services Administration & Developmental Disabilities Administration ) that oversee and coordinate services for residents with disabilities through a network of private and non-profit providers.

REHABILITATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (RSA) - focuses on employment, ensuring that persons with disabilities achieve a greater quality of life by obtaining and sustaining employment, economic self-sufficiency and independence. RSA’s program is designed to assess, plan, develop, and provide vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and informed choice, in order to prepare for and engage in gainful employment 34 C.F.R. § 361.1

  • The RSA Youth in Transition Services Units provide transition services, as defined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 amended, to coordinate a set of activities for students designed around an outcome-oriented process that supports their movement from school to post-school activities including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, and independent living. Vocational rehabilitation transition services link students with disabilities, while still in school, with the vocational rehabilitation program to create a continuum of services leading to long-term employment outcomes for eligible students.
  • To learn more about RSA’s vocational rehabilitation process for youth with disabilities, refer to the RSA Youth in Transition Toolkit: “Explore the World of Work, Discover Your Career”. It provides the specific steps and activities that youth, schools, and parents need to understand to apply for services and work through the RSA process to receive services and find employment.

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES ADMINISTRATION (DDA) - public agency responsible for the oversight and coordination of all services and supports provided to qualified persons with intellectual disabilities in the District of Columbia.

  • DDA supports individuals with intellectual disabilities to have the most independence and choice and control over their own lives through person-centered service planning and delivery and increased provider capacity. DDA coordinates home and community services for over 2,000 individuals so each person can live and work in the neighborhood of his or her choosing, and promotes health, wellness and a high quality of life through service coordination and monitoring, clinical supports, and a robust quality management program.

DC Department of Employment Services
4058 Minnesota AVE NE, Washington, DC 20019
202-724-7000 (voice)

The Department of Employment Services (DOES) provides a wide variety of services to job seekers through its One-Stop Career Centers. A vocational rehabilitation counselor who works for the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) is also available at the One-Stop Career Centers. Please note that in order to receive services from an Employment Specialist at the One-Stop Career Center, job seekers must complete an assessment that includes a reading test. Residents who test below an eighth grade reading level will be referred to other agencies for assistance.

Abilities Network
8503 LaSalle Road, Towson, MD 21286
410.828.7700 (voice) | 410.828.7708 (fax) | 711 (TTY)

Provides customized services to children, adults, and families of differing abilities that focus on one-on-one supports to foster broadened, more inclusive communities through education, training, and advocacy.

Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc.
1200 G Street NW, Suite #725, Washington, DC 20005
202-678-8060 (voice) | (888) 327-8060

As the federally designated Parent Training and Information Center for Washington DC, AJE’s mission is to empower families, youth, and the community to be effective advocates to ensure that children and youth, particularly those who have special needs, receive access to appropriate education and health services.

AJE provides:

  • FREE monthly trainings and workshops for parents and professionals in navigating special education systems and supports (including assisting families to prepare for IEP meetings and understanding educational services and parent and student rights); youth leadership and self-advocacy trainings;
  • individual assistance and legal representation to address educational issues; assistance with accessing health services for children and youth with special health care needs; referral support for families to obtain housing, child care and other social services;
  • legal services for school discipline issues;
  • a resource library with information on various disabilities and treatment options

American Association of People with Disabilities
2013 H Street, NW, 5th Floor, Washington , DC 20006
202-521-4316 (voice) | 800-840-8844

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) works to increase the political and economic power of people with disabilities.

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
501 3rd Street, NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20001
202-387-1968 (voice) | 202-387-2193 (fax)

AAIDD promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

AAIDD's goals are to:

  • Enhance the capacity of professionals who work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Promote the development of a society that fully includes individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Sustain an effective, responsive, well managed, and responsibly-governed organization.

AAIDD's principles* (or core values) that guide the achievement of its goals relative to its mission are to:

  • Cultivate and provide leadership in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities that encompasses a diversity of disciplines, cultures, and perspectives.
  • Enhance the skills, knowledge, rewards, and conditions of people currently working in the field and encourage promising students to pursue careers in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Advance basic and applied research to prevent or minimize the effects of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Advance the assurance of all human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including equality, individual dignity, choice, and respect.
  • Promote genuine accommodations to expand participation in all aspects of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, opportunities for choice and self-determination, and access to quality health, education, vocational, and other human services and supports.
  • Influence positive attitudes and public awareness to contributions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Establish partnerships and strategic alliances with organizations that share our values and goals.

American Youth Policy Forum
1836 Jefferson Place NW, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 775-9731 (voice) | (202) 775-9733 (fax)

AYPF’s mission is to broaden the awareness and understanding of policymakers and to strengthen the youth policy-making process by bridging policy, practice, and research. We do this by identifying the most pertinent high-quality information on youth issues available and providing a forum for prominent leaders in government, programming, and research, as well as the youth themselves, to share their viewpoints and expertise about the policies and practices that improve outcomes for all youth.

The Arc of Frederick County
620-A Research Court, Frederick County, MD 21703
301-663-0909 (voice)

The Arc of Frederick County provides advocacy, access to resources, and assistance in increasing individual and family connections for people with developmental disabilities. The organization seeks creative solutions to help people with developmental disabilities attain their goals.

Programs and Services Provided by the Arc Include...

  • Information and Referral services for anyone who contacts The Arc and needs connections to community resources
  • Residential Supports for children and adults in their family's home, their own home, and to learn the skills to transition to their own home
  • Employment supports for adults and transitioning students to locate careers based on their passions, talents, and personal interests
  • Futures and Estate Planning to help parents plan for their child's needs and where they will live, when parents are no longer around to help.
  • Sibling Supports including workshops and support groups for brothers and sisters of children and adults with developmental disabilities
  • Service Coordination for children with autism
  • Hispanic Outreach to further our efforts among the growing Spanish speaking population in Frederick County
  • Educational advocacy to partner with families and schools to promote effective education for each child
  • Training seminars for self-advocates, parents, siblings, professionals, and other community members covering topics such as school advocacy, creative employment options, and navigation through social service systems
  • Real World weekends to support adults with independent living skills challenges that will prepare someone to move into their own home
  • Funding Conduit Services where people are in charge of hiring their own staff
  • Parents Day Out program that gives parents a few hours of respite each month knowing their children are being cared for in a safe, supervised environment.
  • Support Groups for self-advocates and families
  • Classes at FCC, Delaplaine Arts Center, Adult Basic Education, etc.

Community Education...
The Arc publishes The Link, a bi-monthly newsletter for members. A library is available to the public which includes publications and training materials. A speakers bureau is also available upon request.

The Arc of Northern Virginia

Provides effective advocacy and indispensible direct services for families, children, and adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Arc of Southern Maryland

Promotes community involvement, independence, and personal success for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Southern Maryland.

The Arc of the District of Columbia - Advocacy and Public Policy
415 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20017
202-636-2950 (voice)

 The Arc of DC's advocacy and community supports promote public policy initiatives, family empowerment, and self actualization for District residents with intellectual disabilities. By advancing new policies, programs, and laws, we help persons with disabilities obtain greater independence and help ensure they have the opportunity to live, work, and play alongside their neighbors as valued members of the Washington, DC community.

ASAN's Toolkit for Advocates on Health Care and the Transition to Adulthood
PO Box 66122, Washington , DC 20035

ASAN is proud to announce the release of a comprehensive toolkit to empower people with disabilities and their families to manage their own health care as they transition to adulthood.

Transition to Adulthood: A Health Care Guide for Youth and Families provides people with people with disabilities and their families with information on how to choose a source of health care coverage, create a health care support network, integrate health care transition goals into their educational plans, and manage their health care. It includes useful guides and worksheets for keeping track of health care records, making doctor's appointments, and talking to doctors about health concerns.

The toolkit also includes Model Supported Health Care Decision-Making Legislation and its accompanying Questions and Answers resource. The model legislation, which ASAN developed in collaboration with the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, would enable people with intellectual or developmental disabilities to name a trusted person to help communicate with doctors, understand health care information, make informed decisions about health care, and/or carry out daily health-related activities. Advocates can use this model legislation when talking to their state legislators about ways to support people make independent health care decisions.

ASAN's policy brief, The Transition to Adulthood for Youth with ID/DD: A review of research, policy, and next steps, discusses the range of challenges facing youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they approach adulthood, including potential loss of health care coverage, barriers to obtaining adult-oriented care, and lack of support in making health care decisions. It outlines several policy recommendations to eliminate these barriers, including expanding access to income-based Medicaid coverage, increased education and awareness of the importance of transition and decision-making supports, and increased research on best practices in transition planning.

Autism Society of Northern Virginia

Promotes the general welfare of children and adults with autism and provides support for their families; supports the education, vocational training and recreation of those with autism; aids in the collection and dissemination of information to parents, professionals and the general public and fosters and reinforces awareness and respect for the rights of parents as the prime case managers in their autistic family member’s life.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
PO Box 66122 , Washington , DC 20035

ASAN was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the Autistic community, and does so by advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of Autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power while working to educate communities and improve public perceptions of autism. ASAN’s members and supporters include Autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators and friends.

Bread for the City Legal Clinic NW
1525 7th St, NW, Washington, DC 20001
202-265-2400 (voice)

Volunteer and staff attorneys represent clients in landlord-tenant disputes, represent claimants who have been denied Social Security disability benefits, advocate in fair hearings for other public benefits, and represent clients in family law matters including child custody, civil protection orders, child support and divorce.

Business Opportunity Workforce Development Center
2311 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE, Washington, DC 20020
202-645-8620  (voice) | 202-645-0366 (fax)

Through the financial support of the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, DDOT administers two federal programs aimed to fulfill its mission to help small business entrepreneurs successfully compete for procurement contracts in transportation construction. 

The Catholic University of America, Disability Support Services
620 Michigan Ave NE, 207 Pryzbyla Center, Washington, DC 20064
202-319-5211 (voice) | 202-319-5126 (fax)

Answers questions concerning accommodations and services available and provides information about and give referrals to admissions, registration, financial aid, and other services within the university. DSS can help assess needs in such areas as housing accommodations, attendants, interpreters, readers, transportation, classroom and course accommodations, tutors, notetakers, and adaptive equipment.

Consumer Action Network
1300 L ST Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005
202-842-0001 (voice)

Consumer Action Network (CAN) empowers mental health consumers by promoting recovery and self-advocacy.     Our website has information about the many services CAN provides and about your rights as a consumer. We also have included a list of community resources in the DC area and some other locations. 

The Coordinating Center
8258 Veterans Highway, Suite 13, Millersville, MD 21108

Provides multiple services for individuals with complex medical needs and disabilities, their families, and others who support them, as well as providers of services. Supports a six-month program called “Leaders in Disability Policy,” which teaches individuals with disabilities the leadership skills to effectively advocate for themselves and others with disabilities.

Council for Disability Rights (CDR)

On national, state, and local levels, the Council for Disability Rights advances the rights of people with disabilities. The Council promotes public policy and legislation, public awareness through education, and provides information and referral services.

DC Center for Independent Living
1400 Florida Ave, NE, Suite 3, Washington, DC 20002
202-388-0033 (voice)

The DCCIL is managed by and for persons with a variety of disabilities. The DCCIL is a community based, private non-profit organization that promotes independent life styles for persons with significant disabilities in the District of Columbia. DCCIL has four core independent living services: (1) Independent living skills training including travel training, (2) Peer counseling, (3) Advocacy and legal services, and (4) Information and referral to community services.

DC Developmental Disabilities Council
441 4th Street, NW, 729 North, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 724-8612 (voice) | 202) 727-9484 (fax) | 711 (TTY)

The DC Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) advocates for the inclusion, empowerment, and independence of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

DC LEARNs (D.C. Literacy Education, Advocacy and Resource Network)
1612 K St, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006
202-331-0141 (voice) | 202-331-0143 (fax)

DC LEARNs is a nonprofit citywide coalition of organizations providing adult, family, and children’s literacy services to the residents of Washington, DC. Their work includes: training, policy work and analysis, pilot projects, volunteer recruitment, and gathering and providing information on literacy programs.

DC Supporting Families Community of Practice (SF CoP)
1125 15th Street, NW , Washington, DC 20005
202-870-9640 (voice)

The DC Supporting Families Community of Practice (SF CoP) is a group of family members, advocates with disabilities, government leaders, disability advocacy and services professionals, and other interested community members who are thinking together about how to create policies, practices and systems that better support families that include a member with an intellectual or developmental disability across the life course.

DeafBlind Citizens in Action

DeafBlind Citizens in Action is an independent and emerging organization led by young adults who are DeafBlind. Their mission includes advocacy, education, and outreach to empower other young adults globally.

Department of Housing and Urban Development District of Columbia Field Office
820 1st St, NE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20002
202-275-9200 (voice) | 202-275-6381 (fax) | 202-275-6388 (TTY)

Housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability is illegal by federal law. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, you can file a fair housing complaint.


Disability.gov connects people with disabilities, their families, and the organizations that support them to important information about:
  • Disability benefits (guides, programs, applications, etc.)
  • Civil rights (ADA information, accessibility guidelines, employment rights, complaint procedures, etc.)
  • Community life (history of the independent living movement, personal care assistance services, sports and leisure activities, etc.)
  • Education (IDEA and IEP information, teaching materials and strategies, classroom supports, college prep, etc.)
  • Emergency preparedness (inclusive emergency planning, disaster recovery assistance, emergency service accessibility, etc.)
  • Employment (career planning, workforce development, internship programs, hiring and recruiting information, etc.)
  • Health care (disability and condition information, services and providers, caregiving options, financial assistance, etc.)
  • Housing (housing laws, home buying guides, supportive housing options, home modification, etc.)
  • Technology (accessible technology guidelines and standards, assistive information technology, assistive educational technology, financial assistance, etc.)
  • Transportation (laws, travel guides, providers, vehicle modification, safety and complaint procedures, etc.)

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

We are dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. We accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.

  • Providing free, professional assistance to veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services earned through military service and provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other agencies of government.
  • Providing outreach concerning its program services to the American people generally, and to disabled veterans and their families specifically.
  • Representing the interests of disabled veterans, their families, their widowed spouses and their orphans before Congress, the White House and the Judicial Branch, as well as state and local government.
  • Extending DAV’s mission of hope into the communities where these veterans and their families live through a network of state-level Departments and local chapters.
  • Providing a structure through which disabled veterans can express their compassion for their fellow veterans through a variety of volunteer programs.

Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF)
(202) 737-0522 (voice)

The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to provide critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom.

We achieve this mission by:

  • Providing an online resource database that allows veterans to navigate the complex process of seeking benefits that they are entitled to as a result of their military service, as well as additional resources they need.
  • Offering direct financial support to veteran organizations that address the unique needs of veterans, and whose missions align with that of DVNF.
  • Providing supplemental assistance to homeless and low-income veterans through the Health & Comfort program and various empowerment resources.
  • Serving as a thought leader on critical policy issues within the veteran community, and educating the public accordingly.

District of Columbia Housing Authority
1133 N. Capitol St, NE, Washington, DC 20002
202-535-1000 (voice)

The District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) manages subsidized housing programs, with a separate waiting list for each program. These housing programs are: 1) Public Housing, 2) Housing Choice Voucher-Tenant based Vouchers, 3) Housing Choice Voucher-Moderate Rehabilitation, and 4) Project Based Vouchers. Rental assistance is provided to low-income teens, young adults, and families through each housing program, and the assistance is based on household income. For complete details on these housing programs and renting assistance, contact the DCHA office.

DMH Access Help Line
1-888-7WE-HELP (voice) | 1 (888) 793-4357 | 202-727-3363 (TTY)

The DMH Access Help Line is the best way to access mental health rehabilitation services and its certified mental health service providers. Mental health professionals staff this 24-hour telephone line. Call the Access Help Line to: Get help with solving problems, share concerns, obtain emergency services, and decide whether to seek mental health or other types of services.

Dreams for Kids

Dreams For Kids DC empowers youth living in poverty and those with disabilities by uniting them with their peers, recognizing their abilities, and allowing their voices to be heard. The most isolated young people from every community in the metropolitan area are reminded they have something to give. While fearlessly pursuing their dreams, they are leading others to their own and compassionately changing the world.

Easter Seals Project Action
1425 K St, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005
202-459-4003 (voice) | 202-448-1458

Project ACTION!, is the District's self-advocacy coalition for adults with developmental disabilities. Members of Project ACTION! are powerful advocates who work individually and together to let their voices be heard. They work to break down barriers, create partnerships, and change their communities so they are inclusive and supportive of people with disabilities. Members are residents of the District and suburban Maryland. During their meetings, members learn and practice advocacy skills, including how to testify before City Council, how to serve on boards and committees, what current issues affect them, and more. Project ACTION! members facilitate training for local and national self-advocates, DDA staff, and service provider staff. They mentor new self-advocates and youth advocates. They are often sought out by City Council and other government leaders for their opinion and thoughts on different legislation and initiatives. Project ACTION! meetings are normally held on the second Saturday of each month in an accessible location in northeast DC. Please call to confirm the next meeting date. For more information about Project ACTION!, meeting dates, training, conferences, etc., call Victor Robinson at 202-459-4003 or e-mail him at vrobinson@dcqualitytrust.org. Or you can call Phyllis Holton at 202-448-1458 or e-mail her at pholton@dcqualitytrust.org. You can check out their link at www.dcqualitytrust.org/pages/page06b.shtml.

Fair and Affordable Housing: The Activist's Blueprint for Action

Mortgage Calculator's "Fair and Affordable Housing: The Activist's Blueprint for Action" is a resource guide designed to help those fighting for fair and affordable housing in their communities have an even greater impact. The guide includes links to:

  • National housing organization websites, research, and publications
  • Brief summaries of housing laws and executive orders
  • Options for reporting housing discrimination
  • And more

Gallaudet University, Office for Students with Disabilities
Jordan Student Academic Center, Rm 1220, 800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002
202-651-5256 (voice) | 202-651-5887 (fax)

The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSWD) provides individually tailored, comprehensive, support services and programs for students with disabilities. OSWD empowers eligible students to succeed in their pursuit of higher education by striving to assure equal access and opportunity to curricular and extra-curricular activities. Supporting the ideal of life-long learning, OSWD encourages and provides experiences and opportunities to build confidence beyond the classroom. Student autonomy is encouraged through the provision of reasonable accommodations, academic support groups, self-advocacy, and compensatory training. OSWD employs a student-centered interactive model in which collaboration among professionals and OSWD students results in a nondiscriminatory academic environment. In addition, OSWD provides professional development services and programs for faculty and staff and for community-based professionals.

George Mason University, Office of Disability Support
Student Union Bldg I, Rm 211, MSN 5C9, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030
703-993-2474 (voice) | 703-993-4306 (fax) | 703-993-2476 (TTY)

The Office of Disability Services at George Mason University offers a variety of services for students with documented disabilities, including learning disabilities, deaf/hard of hearing, blind/low vision, mobility limitations, attention deficit disorders (ADD/ ADHD), psychiatric disorders, and medical disabilities. We encourage both prospective and current students to learn more about our services by going to our web site at and/or calling our office to make an appointment with an ODS coordinator.

George Washington University, Disability Support Services
Marvin Center, Suite 242, 800 21st St, NW, Washington, DC 20052
202-994-8250 (voice) | 202-994-7610 (fax)

The George Washington University believes in the equality of people, the value of individual differences, and the unending possibilities for growth and the development of the human spirit. With that philosophy, the University established Disability Support Services (DSS) in 1978 to support students with disabilities so that they may participate fully in university life, derive the greatest benefit from their educational experiences, and achieve maximum personal success. DSS currently serves over 700 GW students with a wide variety of disabilities, as well as those temporarily disabled by injury or illness.

Georgetown University, Academic Resource Center
Leavey Center, Suite 335, Box 571235 , Washington, DC 20057
202-687-8354 (voice)

Georgetown University is committed to providing academic support for all students and to integrating students with disabilities as fully as possible into all aspects of University life. The Academic Resource Center fulfills this mission by providing assistance in study skills necessary for academic achievement through individual consultations or workshops; accommodations to students with disabilities under the ADA and Section 504; facilities and support services to help ensure access for students with disabilities.

Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital
4301 Connecticut Ave NW, , Washington, DC 20008
202-237-1670 (voice) | 202-274-2161 (fax)

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital (GSCNC) helps girls to promote diversity, gain practical life skills, and connect with their community through a variety of artistic, educational, and environmental events. Some of these events include:

  • Photography expos
  • College and career conferences
  • Nature workshops

Health Services for Children with Special Needs, Inc.
1101 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005
202.467.2737 - CARE (voice) | 202.580.6485 - OTRCH

Community-based care management network coordinating health, social, and education services for the pediatric Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and SSI- eligible populations of Washington, DC. Provides support through the Therapeutic Recreation Fund to introduce various sports and fitness classes that offer the much-needed physical activity that is lacking in many programs for children and youth with disabilities. Through the Family Circles Program, supports families with children and youth who have disabilities by proving a series of services designed to meet training and education, advocacy, and emotional wellness needs.

Howard University, Special Student Services
Howard Center, Suite 725, 2225 Georgia Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20059
202-238-2420 (voice)

All students attending the Howard University with a documented disabilities are eligible and encouraged to register for services.

Jenny Hatch Justice Project
202-448-1448 (voice)

Sponsored by Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, The Jenny Hatch Justice Project (JHJP) supports the right of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities to make decisions about their lives. JHJP provides access to:

  • Recent research publications on independent living services and alternatives to guardianship
  • Informative brochures on decision-making
  • A sample training program
  • Legal, educational, and transition resources

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
(800) 526-7234 (voice) | (877) 781-9403 (TTY)

AskJAN.org is an online resource center designed to provide employers, people with disabilities, their family members, service providers, educators, and others with technical assistance on job accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The site offers a number of ways to find this information, including:

  • Search
  • Information by Disability
  • Information by Topic
  • Site Map

Latin American Youth Center
1419 Columbia Road, NW, Washington , DC 20009
202.319.2225 (voice) | 202.462.5696 (fax)

LAYC provides multi-lingual, culturally sensitive programs in the following areas:

  • Educational Enhancement
  • Social Services
  • Workforce Investment
  • Community Wellness
  • Art + Media
  • Advocacy

M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC
1050 Connecticut AVE NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 248-7113 (voice)

Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Life Plans -Families retain M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC to create a custom comprehensive special needs financial plan. We conduct a series of meetings in which we identify and prioritize the family's goals and objectives; the goals and objectives of the special needs individual; analyze the present financial situation with respect to both of these goals, review family resources, legal documents, investments, insurance and other related issues. From this information we create a plan with recommendations and steps to maximize and protect family and government resources. If the recommendations are acceptable to the family, we work with the family to implement the recommendatons and set up periodic reviews. In addition to the Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Life Planning we have created a series of workshops to assist in understanding the complexities and nuances of special needs financial planning.

M&L Special Needs Resources Webpage
5603 Potomac Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016
855.344.9771 (voice) | 855.344.9771

At M&L Special Needs Planning, we feel that access to the right information is the key to planning a successful future. In keeping with our goal to keep you informed, and to provide you with the tools to enable you to plan a happy and successful future for your family, we have compiled a list of special needs resources.

The Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health
10632 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 234 , Columbia , MD 21044
410.730.8267 (voice) | 410.730.8331(fax)

A grassroots coalition of family and advocacy organizations dedicated to improving services for children with mental health needs and their families and building a network of information and support for families across Maryland.

Montgomery College, Developmental Education and Workforce Access Program (includes Challenge Program)
51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, MD 20850
240-567-5000 (voice)

This is a custom-tailored learning community program for students with special needs exiting high school. GTP is a two-year, tuition-based, credit-free certificate program. The overall objective is to enable students to transition to greater independent living through functional education, residential, vocational, and life-skills services. The Challenge Program provides unique courses for adults with developmental disabilities to help them function more independently in their homes, at work, and in the community. Of equal importance, students will have the opportunity to increase their social and community awareness by learning at Montgomery College.

Montgomery College, Disability Support Services
Counseling and Advising Bldg, Rm CB122, 51 Mannakee St , Rockville, MD 20850
240-567-5058 (voice) | 240-567-5097 (fax) | 301-294-9672 (TTY)

Disability Support Services (DSS) is dedicated to assisting students with disabilities accomplish their personal, scholastic and career goals. We do this by teaching academic and advocacy skills; eliminating the physical, technical and attitudinal barriers that limit opportunities; and promoting an awareness of the experience of persons with disabilities within social, political, and economic constructs.

The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health
750 17th St, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20006
202-223-1500 (voice) | 202-496-9067 (fax)

Our mission is to enhance the physical and emotional well-being of adolescents, especially low-income and minority adolescents, by promoting access to comprehensive, interdisciplinary physical, behavioral, and reproductive health care. The National Alliance supports models of care that incorporate a positive youth development philosophy and operate in collaboration with schools and community-based health promotion initiatives. We also seek to ensure that all adolescents have insurance for the services they require.

National Center for Autism Resources & Education (nCARE)


  • RESEARCH related to Autism and related neuro-developmental disorders,
  • PUBLIC AWARENESS about incidence of disorders and effective treatment,
  • ACCURATE INFORMATION dissemination of up to date, research based information to families, educators and medical professionals, and
  • EDUCATION of parents, advocates, clinicians, educators, lawyers and the community as to best practices and appropriate treatment. Promoting a collaborative, cross training approach.


  • BEING A SOURCE of accurate, up to date, research based information,
  • TRAINING families, educators and clinicians and lawyers, through community training programs,
  • SUPPORTING community programs that promote awareness about disabilities and support families and individuals with disabilities,
  • PROMOTING INDEPENDENCE through education advocacy, self advocacy, independent living and home and community based services for children and adults with Autism and related neuro-developmental disorders,
  • FUNDING of research that addresses the quality of life for parents and their children with Autism, and
  • SPONSORING quality Special Education Advocacy trainings through NSEAI, which provides on-site, on-line training, and conferences.

National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness and Partners’ Transition Toolkit: Enhancing Self Determination for Young Adults Who Are Deaf-Blind

The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness and Partners’ Transition Toolkit contains all of the resources needed for planning and hosting a Transition Institute that will create a memorable, high quality learning experience for deaf-blind teens. The Toolkit is a repository of information, tools and resources that serve as a model for hosting a workshop for deaf-blind teens ages 14-22 and their families.

National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
2013 H St.,NW, 6th Floor, Washington , DC 20006
202.207.0334 (voice) | 202.207.0341(fax) | 202.207.0340 (TTY)

NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
820 1st Street NE, Suite 740, Washington, DC 20002
202-408-9514 (voice) | 202-408-9520 (fax) | 202-408-9521 (TTY)

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) works to improve the lives of people with disabilities by guarding against abuse; advocating for basic rights; and ensuring accountability in health care, education, employment, housing, transportation, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems. NDRN is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN)
PO Box 5908 , Bethesda , MD 20824
1-301-915-0353 (voice)


  • Promotes youth leadership development.
  • Values inclusion, interdependent support systems, and disability pride.
  • Works to create access to the resources youth need to be leaders.
  • Supports work being done by youth activists with disabilities on the local level.
  • Trains youth with disabilities.
  • Connects youth leaders with opportunities to serve and be active members of their communities.

Native American Parent Technical Assistance Center (NAPTAC)
1600 San Pedro Dr.NE , Albuquerque, NM 87110
(888) 499-2070 (voice) | (505) 767-6631(fax)

NAPTAC is a project within Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs (EPICS) to provide training and technical assistance to Parent Training Information Centers (PTI’s) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRC’s) nationwide on providing effective, culturally responsive services to Native American families of children with disabilities, as well as youth with disabilities. The NAPTAC will also provide differentiated, targeted and intensive technical assistance to parent centers requesting additional support to build their capacity to provide services to Native American parents of children with disabilities, as well as youth with disabilities. The staff and consultants of the NAPTAC are experienced professionals who are ready to provide each Parent Center with high quality services and supports. A Technical Assistance Specialist will be assigned a region as organized by the Regional Parent Technical Assistance Centers (RPTACs). EPICS is a non-profit entity providing training, advocacy and supports to families of Native American children with disabilities and special healthcare needs. EPICS houses the Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC) and the NAPTAC.

New View, LLC
966 Hungerford Dr, Suite 7, Rockville, MD 20850
240-535-4036 (voice)

New View, LLC establishes relationships with children, young adults, adults, and their families and/or educational support team to determine relevant, individualized, and client-centered recommendations related to education, work, self-care, and leisure. We provide quality therapeutic services across the lifespan to create meaningful life experiences that help to improve independence and confidence in education, work, self-care, and leisure activities. We provide occupational therapy treatment and evaluation in addition to vocational, career guidance, and assessment.

Office of Disability Rights
441 4th St, NW, Suite 729N, Washington, DC 20001
202-724-5055 (voice) | 202-727-3363 (TTY)

The mission of the DC Office of Disability Rights (ODR) is to ensure that DC programs are fully accessible to people with disabilities. ODR is committed to inclusion, community-based services, and self-determination for people with disabilities. ODR is responsible for making sure that the DC government satisfies the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability rights laws. ODR (1) looks into discrimination complaints and other issues made by community members, (2) provides ADA training and other help to DC agencies to ensure that all people with disabilities are treated with respect and integrity, and (3) works with community members and government partners to ensure that people with disabilities have opportunities to become productive citizens within their communities with appropriate supports.

1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
(202) 727-6436 (voice)

Sets statewide policies, provides resources and support, and exercises accountability for ALL public education in DC.

Paralegal Institute of Washington, DC
5101 Wisconsin Ave, NW Suite 210, Washington, DC 20016
202-955-4562 (voice)

Welcome to the Paralegal Institute of Washington, DC (PIW). PIW is a licensed higher-education learning center, committed to training paralegals.

Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center
100 N Washington St. Suite 234 , Falls Church, VA 22046
703-923-0010 (voice)

Virginia’s parent education, support, training, and information center committed to helping children with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who serve them by offering services and support for families and professionals; experienced-based program development and training curriculum; and easy-to-understand, research-based disability education, information, training and support.

Parents Anonymous
Children’s National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20010
1-888-884-2327 (voice)

Group for parents to freely share questions, concerns, problems, and solutions about parenting in a safe, supportive atmosphere. Free meetings with family-style meal every Monday, 5:30-7 pm.

SchoolTalk, Inc
1301 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20036
202-907-6887 (voice)

Works with parents, schools, and the school system to improve communication and dispute resolution processes that are associated with the delivery of special education services. SchoolTalk works to develop models that can be replicated in school systems nationwide. Partnership: Creation of an online clearinghouse of resources related to secondary transition for youth with disabilities in the District of Columbia metropolitan area.

Securing a Future for Your Child with a Disability: A Parents Guide to Adult Services in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Falls Church

This guide, written by the Arc of Northern Virginia, will help you answer the following questions:

  • Who’s in charge of key life decisions.
  • Whether your adult child is eligible for government support.
  • What kind of jobs and day support programs are available.
  • Which recreational activities are best.
  • How he or she will get around.
  • Where they’ll live.

The Social Security Administration
1-800-772-1213 (voice)

The Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits or money based on disability: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The Social Security Administration, Anacostia
2041 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE, Suite 130, Washington, DC 20020
202-755-0672 (voice) | 202-673-5168 (fax)

The Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits or money based on disability: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The Social Security Administration, M Street Office
2100 M St, NW, Washington, DC 20037
202-653-5040 (voice) | 202-233-2012 (fax)

The Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits or money based on disability: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The Social Security Administration, Postal Plaza (Brentwood)
1905-B 9th St, NE, Washington, DC 20018
202-376-5049 (voice) | 202-755-0630 (fax)

The Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits or money based on disability: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The Social Security Administration, Shepard Park
7820 Eastern Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20012
202-673-5159 (voice)

The Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits or money based on disability: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Special Ed COOP
1488 Newton St, NW, #2, Washington, DC 20010
202.232.2288 (voice) | 202.450.3571

Charter school leaders created the cooperative because implementing special education services can be a challenge. Our member schools want to get it right‚ from compliance to parent engagement to innovative practice. Through guidance, information, and resources, our schools get what they need to build and maintain high-quality special education programs. With the cooperative, there is power in numbers, value in a common vision, and results through cooperation. TOOLS: The cooperative is a trusted source for information about special education in DC. Member schools can access our weekly newsletter, discussion groups, blog, helpline, and collection of links to state and federal policies, national, and local resources on disabilities, and best instructional practices and online tools. ADVOCACY: The cooperative helps to ensure the voices of the member schools are heard and their issues are addressed at the state level.

Student Veterans of America
1625 K Street NW, Suite 320 , Washington , DC 20006
(202) 223-4710 (voice)

Student Veterans of America envisions a nation where all student veterans succeed in post-secondary programs and contribute to civilian society in meaningful ways. SVA provides the resources and support to do so through five major initiatives. We maintain a commitment to Support Chapters through leadership training, grants, and networking opportunities that facilitate the development of successful student-run organizations. An essential component of chapter work is advocating for supportive campus services and programs. At the national level, SVA’s Advocacy efforts ensure policies are not only supportive for veterans in their transition to school and employment, but also for the entire military community. To best serve this large community, SVA Develops Partnerships with other organizations to provide scholarships, mentorships, employment, and benefits counseling. Yet, our support doesn’t end at graduation. Student Veterans of America is developing a networking program that will Connect Alumni veterans with even more professional opportunities. These initiatives are designed to bring veterans closer to their degrees, yet little data exists on student veterans' academic performance. By Investing in Research, SVA hopes to fill that void and showcase student veteran success.

1025 Vermont Ave, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005
202-540-9020 (voice) | 202-540-9019 (fax)

TASH is a civil rights organization for, and of, people with mental disability, autism, cerebral palsy, physical disabilities and other conditions that make full integration a challenge. Although TASH 's work is often on a global level, equally, if not more significant, is the direct support we provide individuals with disabilities and their family members. We serve as a clearinghouse for the daily reporting of treatment that is unjust or that limits opportunity. We provide information, linkage with resources, expert assistance toward fighting inequities, legal expertise, and targeted advocacy. We bring to the assistance of individuals in need, the backing of our thousands of members worldwide and the support of a national organization committed to social justice for all people.

Tax Tips for the Deaf

One in five Americans has a severe hearing loss, yet may not be aware of the special tax deductions and credits allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. Knowing about these deductions and credits can help you know which receipts and paperwork to save so you can claim them on your taxes.

Telecommunicating and Accessibility Issues for the Deaf

This webpage offers a series of educative articles, compiled by Five 9 Call Center Software, on hearing impairment and accessibility issues. These articles provide specific information about:

  • The history of telecommunications devices
  • Telephone relay services
  • Using a TTY system
  • Accessing 9-1-1 emergency services
  • Ongoing efforts to improve telecommunication
  • Overcoming isolation through social media
  • Making distance learning courses more inclusive
  • The challenges of communicating in the workplace
  • Accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act

This webpage also offers informative resources related to hearing impairment. These resources include:

  • Webpages devoted to deaf culture
  • Reviews of assistive technology products
  • A database of closed-captioned, educational DVDs

TransCen, Inc.
401 N. Washington Street, Suite 450, Rockville, MD 20850
301-424-2002 (voice) | 301-251-3762 (fax) | 301-217-0124 (TTY)

Organization dedicated to improving educational and employment outcomes for people with disabilities by developing, implementing, and researching innovative practices regarding school-to-adult life transition, career and workforce development, and inclusive community participation.

The Treatment and Learning Centers, Inc.

Works to improve lives and expand possibilities for individuals with special needs, specializing in services for children and adults with learning disabilities, helping them reach their full potential. Supports the Family Circles program, designed to support families with children and youth who have disabilities by providing a series of services designed to meet training and education, advocacy and emotional wellness needs.

Trinity DC, Disability Student Services
Academic Service Center, Library, 1st,
202-884-9358 (voice)

If you are a student with a psychological, cognitive, and/or physical disability, Disability Student Services (DSS) is here to ensure that you receive support services that will equalize your access for your courses and campus activities. In contrast to high school, where students with disabilities are entitled to certain services, in college, you must become approved or eligible for services based on the guidelines set forth by your college/university (Read "Disability in Higher Education"). At Trinity, this means that you must first register with DSS before you can request support services.

U.S. Business Leadership Network

Recognizes and supports best practices in the employment and advancement of people with disabilities, the preparedness for work of youth and students with disabilities, marketing to consumers with disabilities, and contracting with vendors with disabilities through the development and certification of disability-owned businesses. Created four toolkits and associated dissemination, training, and technical assistance to USBLN affiliates to create a strong Youth Programs arm and increase affiliates’ capacity to work with students with disabilities.

U.S. International Council on Disabilities
1012 14th St. NW, Suite 105, Washington, DC 20005
(202) 347-0102 (voice) | (202) 347-0351 (fax)

The U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) is a non-profit that promotes the inclusion of disability perspectives in U.S. foreign policy and aid and provides opportunities for domestic disability rights organizations to interface with their international counterparts.

David A. Clarke School of Law, Bldg 38, 2nd Floor, 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20008
202-274-7400 (voice)

UDC School of Law students and faculty supervisors in the Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic represent children and parents (or guardians) primarily in special education matters. Over the past sixteen years, the clinic faculty pioneered and developed a nationally-acclaimed approach to addressing the problems of delinquency by supplementing traditional delinquency representation with, where appropriate, advocacy to address the special education needs of the children who are the subject of those delinquency proceedings.

University Legal Services
220 I Street, NE, Suite 130, Washington, DC 20002
202-547-0198 (voice)

University Legal Services (ULS) is a private, non-profit organization that serves as the District of Columbia's federally mandated protection and advocacy system for the human, legal, and service rights of people with disabilities. Our services include information and referral; education and training; investigation of reported or suspected instances of abuse or neglect; individual advocacy; systemic litigation; and technical assistance regarding legislative and policy concerns. All services are offered free of charge to eligible individuals in accordance with ULS' available resources and policies.

University of Maryland College Park, Disability Support Services
4th Floor, Susquehanna Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
301-314-7682 (voice)

The mission of the Disablility Support Service is to coordinate services that ensure individuals with disabilities equal access to University of Maryland College Park programs.

University of the District of Columbia, Disability Resource Center
4200 Connecticut Ave, NW, Bldg 44, Rm A-39 , Washington, DC 20008
202-274-6417 (voice) | 202-274-5375 (fax) | 202-448-7213 (videophone) (TTY)

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is an urban land grant institution. UDC is a comprehensive public institution offering affordable post-secondary degrees at the associates, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. The Disability Supports Services Offices provides accommodations and assistance to students with documented disabilities. It is the student’s responsibility to request accommodations. Students will also need to provide recent documentation of their disability and recent testing and evaluations of their disability.

Wounded Warrior Project

Honors and empowers wounded warriors and seeks to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women; help severely injured service members aid and assist each other; and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members. Support of a family caregiver summit to provide a positive sharing and learning experience for attending caregivers, introduce caregivers to members of Congress, to capture demographic data to inform WWP programmatic efforts, and to produce a post-summit white paper to inform key national decision makers on caregiver problems and recommended solutions.

The Youth Action Council on Transition (Youth ACT)
(202) 907- 6887 (voice)

Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT)

The Youth Action Council on Transition (Youth ACT) is a national initiative to get more youth involved as leaders and partners with adults and youth-serving organizations to improve youth transition outcomes. YouthACT is led by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

For more information about the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) at the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) visit http://www.ncwd-youth.info/ .

For more information about the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) visit http://www.dol.gov/odep/ .

YouthACT State Teams

YouthACT has supported the creation of 5 state teams: District of Columbia, Tennessee, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California.

We are very excited that DC has been selected to participate in the Youth Action Council on Transition (YouthACT)! YouthACT Team DC is comprised of two youth, an adult partner (SchoolTalk) and a sponsoring organization (Quality Trust). YouthACT Team DC received letters of support from the DC Department on Disability Services (DDS), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), and the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS).

To get in contact with YouthACT Team DC, please contact Sarah Grime with SchoolTalk at (202) 907-6887 or sarah.grime@schooltalkdc.org .

More Information

YouthACT works with youth, ages 12-25, to develop skills and knowledge in leadership and advocacy so they can speak up about what all youth need to be successful during transition to adulthood. YouthACT also supports youth to learn how to partner with adults and work with peers as a team to advocate for improving youth opportunities and services in their local community.

YouthACT aims to improve the capacity and engagement of youth with disabilities and their allies as leaders and partners in efforts to improve transition policies and practices within and across systems serving youth. YouthACT will accomplish this goal by:
1. Supporting the creation of local YouthACT teams consisting of two emerging youth leaders and one adult partner.
2. Providing the emerging youth leaders the training and mentoring necessary to: increase their knowledge about the transition process and policies in various systems; and increase their leadership and advocacy skills.
3. Supporting the youth leaders, as part of their YouthACT team, to participate in leadership opportunities related to informing their peers and the various systems about improved transition for all youth.
4. Engaging the youth leaders in developing materials and tools for youth, families, professionals, and policy makers.
5. Engaging the youth leaders in identifying transition barriers youth are experiencing across systems and developing a national change agenda that is youth-driven.
6. Developing the capacity of organizations/agencies to effectively engage youth as leaders and partners in efforts to improve youth transition outcomes.

Youth Empowered to Succeed
1400 Florida AVE NE Suite 3A, Washington, DC 20002
202-280-6882 (voice) | 202-280-6883

Are You Between The Ages Of 18-26 With A Disability Who Wants To Help Other People With Disabilities? Are You Looking For Services To Help You Solve Everyday Issues? Do You Want To Learn About Advocacy?

Come discuss issues that affect you and others like yourself. The DCCIL Youth Peer Support and Group will provide you with an outlet to talk about issues that not only affect you, but others with disabilities. Connect with others and make a difference together.

Supported by a grant from The HSC Foundation. Developed and maintained by SchoolTalk, Inc. and Inclusion Research Institute in collaboration with DC Partners in Transition.
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