One of the best resources for finding help for your child with a disability is your local school district (sometimes called Local Education Agency).
If your child has already begun school and you think your child needs special services, we suggest that you begin by discussing your concerns with your child’s teacher or school principal. If your child is an infant, we suggest that you refer to your State Resource Guide and contact the office listed for Programs for Children with Disabilities: Ages birth through 2 years, or programs for ages 3 through 5 years. Ask for the Child Find Coordinator in your community.
State Education Department
The State Department staff can answer questions about special education and related services in your state. Many states have special manuals explaining the steps to take. Check to see if one is available.
State Department officials are responsible for special education and related services programs in their state for preschool, elementary, and secondary-age children. Each state sets eligibility ages for services
to children and youth with disabilities. For current information concerning this, please contact the office listed under STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: SPECIAL EDUCATION.
State Developmental Disabilities Council
Assisted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Developmental Disabilities, state councils plan and advocate for improvement in services for people with developmental disabilities.
University Affiliated Programs (UAPs)
A national network of programs affiliated with universities and teaching hospitals, UAPs provide interdisciplinary training for professionals and paraprofessionals and offer programs and services for children with disabilities and their families.
Individual UAPs have staff with expertise in a variety of areas and can provide information, technical assistance, and in-service training to agencies, service providers, parent groups, and others.
You can obtain information about University Affiliated Programs, as well as a listing of all UAPs, by contacting:
American Association of University Affiliated Programs for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
8630 Fenton Street
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 588-8252 27.73
Protection and Advocacy Agency and Client Assistance Program
Protection and Advocacy systems are responsible for pursuing legal, administrative, and other remedies to protect the rights of people who have developmental disabilities or mental illness, regardless of their
age. Protection and Advocacy agencies may provide information about health, residential, and social services in your area. Legal assistance is also available.
The Client Assistance Program provides assistance to individuals seeking and receiving vocational rehabilitation services. These services, provided under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, including assisting in the pursuit of legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies to insure the protection of the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities.
RESOURCES FOR FINDING EMPLOYMENT
Some agencies/ organizations in your state which may be helpful in your search are:
Your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation or “VR Department” is a public agency that assists individuals with disabilities in obtaining employment. You can find your state Vocational Rehabilitation agency in our state search, or in the government pages of your local phone book.
If your child is still in school and you want to investigate vocational education, you may contact your state’s Office of Vocational Education for Students with Disabilities. This office is within the Department of Education and can give you information on current vocational programs.
Many universities operate federally funded programs called UAPs or University Affiliated Programs that provide information and services to persons with disabilities and their families. Each program is different.
If you can’t find your area UAP in our search, contact:
American Association of University Affiliated Programs,
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 410 Silver Spring, MD 20910-3803
(301) 588-8252 (Voice)
Developmental Disability Planning Councils can provide you with detailson existing disability-related organizations in your state. Available information offered by the DD Council will vary state-to-state.