Providing parents of children with disabilities
with information, training, assistance, and support
* If you are looking for "Disability-Specific" organizations, please click on the "Organizations" tab above.
State Agencies Related to Disability Issues
[For a more complete listing of State Agencies, click on link above.]
Agency for Persons with Disabilities
In October 2004, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) became an agency separate from the Department of Children and Families, to provide services to Floridians with developmental disabilities. Prior to that time, it existed as the Developmental Disabilities Program. The APD works in partnership with local communities and private providers to assist people who have developmental disabilities and their families. APD is the state agency that administers the Developmental Disabilities and Family and Supported Living Waivers, and the Consumer Directed Care program. See the home page of their website for information on enrolling in Tier Waivers. http://www.apd.myflorida.com/
Proposed Area Redesign as of 4/15/12: http://waiverprovider.com/APD%20Proposed%20Area%20Redesign.html
Division of Blind Services
The Division of Blind Services is Florida's state agency responsible for ensuring that people of all ages in the state whoare blind or visually impaired can live independently and achieve their goals. Also, its Bureau of Braille and Talking Book Library administers a free library program of Braille and recorded materials for eligible readers.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is a state agency that provides job training and employment services for eligible persons with disabilities. If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for your disability, you are presumed eligible for VR services if you intend to secure employment. See Florida's DVR website below for a variety of information and handbooks related to VR services. www.rehabworks.org
Family Care Councils
Established in 1993 by Florida Statute, the Family Care Council (FCC) advises the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) on the needs of self-advocates and their families. The 14 local Family Care Councils work with APD in educating, advocating, and empowering families of persons with developmental disabilities (DD). They also assist APD with the delivery of services to persons receiving Med-Waiver funds.
Statewide Website: www.fccflorida.org For your local FCC just click your area on the map.
Florida Commission on Human Relations
State Agency charged with enforcing state civil rights laws. The Florida Commission on Human Relations serves as a resource in addressing and resolving discrimination issues which impact each and every one of us. It is against Florida law to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status or familial status. http://fchr.state.fl.us/fchr
Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc.
Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI) is a statewide non profit 501(c)3 organization that administers the Specialized Telecommunications Equipment Distribution Program for citizens of Florida who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind and Speech Impaired. www.ftri.org
Florida's state-funded mental health system is complex and accessing mental health treatment and support can be an important step toward recovery. For information on who is eligible, types of mental health services available, and state-funded providers see website: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/mentalhealth/. Click on "Mental Health Transformation".
Other Resources Related to Disability Issues
Planning training, meetings, and conferences that are accessible to people with disabilities involves focusing on the accessibility of all aspects of the meeting from choosing a site through promotion, registration, presentations, and handouts. Provided by the CDC: [Adobe pdf document] [Microsoft Power Point Slide Show]
Educational resource site for moms living with autoimmune diseases.
Disability Rights Florida (formerly the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities)
Florida’s protection and advocacy system, is
a not-for-profit organization. The Advocacy Center is
authorized by federally-mandated programs to help protect the legal, human and civil rights of individuals with disabilities. The Advocacy Center provides information on Tier Notices and what to do if you disagree with your Tier Assignment. www.disabilityrightsflorida.org
American Sign Language
Site allows you to see finger-spelling and to access an on-line dictionary, both with embedded video so you can actually see the words/letters being signed.
ASL Browser: http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm
Angel Flight Southeast, Inc.
Located in Leesburg, FL , Angel Flight Southeast, Inc. is a non-profit volunteer pilot organization involved in "public benefit flying." We provide a variety of services to the community, but mostly we arrange free air transportation by private aircraft to distant medical facilities when commercial service is not available, impractical or simply not affordable. www.angelflightse.org
The Arc of Florida is a nonprofit charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. The ARC FL website provides information on the Tier Waivers and appealing your Tier Assignment. www.arcflorida.org
Assistance With Child Health Related Costs
The United Healthcare Children's Foundation has announced that new grants are available (May 2008) to help children who need critical health care treatment, services, or equipment not covered or not fully covered by their parents' health benefit plans. http://www.uhccf.org/
Autism Research - the Organization for Autism Research (OAR)
Founded and led by parents and grandparents of children and adults on the autism spectrum, OAR sets out to use applied science to answer questions that parents, families, individuals with autism, teachers and caregivers confront daily. OAR’s programs revolve around funding new research and disseminating evidence-based information in a form that translates the technical into layman’s terms for the non-scientific consumer. www.researchautism.org
Blueberry Shoes Productions
Short inspirational films highlighting children and adults with Down Syndrome.
Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center
Creative Clay’s mission is to make the arts accessible for every interested member of the community regardless of age, gender, ability and/or race. Since 1995, Creative Clay has been providing local artists with developmental, physical and/or emotional disabilities an opportunity to pursue their passion for art making. Our arts programs consist of studio and community based activities for exploring unique personal realities in an inventive, professional environment. Located in St. Petersburg. Website: www.creativeclay.org
D.A.D.S. - Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome
National organization of fathers of children who happen to have Down syndrome. They do not yet have a Florida chapter, however they do offer a blog and an "Ask A D.A.D." service where fathers can ask questions and get support from other Dads who have "been there." www.dadsnational.org
Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.
Deaf Service Bureau of West Central Florida
The Deaf Service Bureau provides a large range of services including interpreting, employment services, advocacy, help with hearing aids, American Sign Language classes, obtaining clothing and food and assistance with buying a house. The Deaf Service Bureau provides services in 13 counties. www.deafservicebureau.org
The federal government's one-stop Web site for people with disabilities, their families, employers, veterans, workforce professionals and many others. www.disability.gov
Discount Drug Card Program (State of Florida)
The Florida Discount Drug Card is designed to lower the cost of prescriptions for Florida residents who are:
Age 60 and older and without prescription drug coverage or who fall into the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage gap; OR
Under age 60, without prescription drug coverage, and with an annual family income of less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. See Website for details: http://www.floridadiscountdrugcard.com/
Family Cafe 2007 Questions & Answers Book
Every year The Family Cafe puts together a resource guide called the Questions & Answers Book. The idea behind this publication is to take actual questions from real families and pass them along to the state agencies that can answer them. The entire 2007 Questions & Answers Book is available online in pdf format, at the website, www.FamilyCafe.net. You can also view the Questions & Answers Book from every year since 2004 by visiting Family Cafe's online publication library at: http://www.familycafe.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=7&Itemid=34
Family Support Center on Disabilities Knowledge & Information Network (KIN)
A centralized resource on the full range of options available to individuals with disabilities and their families. Loads of information and resources. http://www.familysupportclearinghouse.org/Pages/Home.aspx
The Family Village is a web site for children and adults with disabilities, their families, and their friends and allies. Family Village brings together thousands of online resources in a organized, easy-to-use directory. The centerpiece of Family Village is the library, where visitors can find information on over 300 diagnosis. Visitors can also learn about assistive technology, legal rights and legislation, special education, leisure activities and much more. www.familyvillage.wisc.edu
Federation for the Blind 2009 Convention Highlights
Topics include Policies to Enhance Employment, Inclusion, Safety, and Productivity; The Value of a Coin, of a Communication System, and of a Class of Human Beings; Expanding Access to Digital Information for the Blind and much more! http://www.nfb.org/nfb/National_Convention_Highlights.asp?SnID=679394514
Florida Disabled Outdoors Association (FDOA)
It is well known that getting close to nature can be very therapeutic, inspirational, and motivational. Leisure activities provide social interaction and give us a welcome break from our jobs and the routine of our lives. Since it’s inception in 1990, the FDOA has promoted accessible recreation to persons with disabilities as well as the general public through special events, newsletters and community education. www.fdoa.org
FL Medicare Prescription HelpLine
A free source of advice and information to help ensure that Medicare patients get the medications they need. Provided by FL Legal Services. 1-800-436-6001
Free Cell Phone for SSI & Medicaid Recipients
SafeLink Wireless is a government supported
program that provides a free cell phone and airtime each
month for income-eligible customers.
Harvard Project on Disability
Works to promote the human rights of people with disabilities worldwide. We empower all people to use the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to develop fully equitable societies.
As a global disability law and policy center, HPOD undertakes and encourages teaching and ground-breaking scholarship on disability rights. www.hpod.org
International Wheelchair Aviators
A worldwide organization of disabled and able-bodied pilots. Members have many different disabilities including paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputee, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, polio and other problems. IWA helps disabled persons in their quest to fly by providing valuable information about FAA medical requirements, hand control availability and flight schools that work with the disabled. www.wheelchairaviators.org
I Can - On-Line Disability News
A web site designed to improve the lives of the half-billion people with disabilities in the world. It provides information on adaptive sports, job search, independent living, relationships, self-discovery, social security, public health insurance benefits and more. The topics are approached from the perspective of those living with disabilities and aim to address their specific needs. www.icanonline.net
IRIS Online Dictionary
This glossary of terms related to the field of special education has been fully updated with new definitions and now includes a cross-referencing feature that makes the resource easier to use and more informative than ever. To get started using the IRIS Online Dictionary, go to http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/onlinedictionary.html
or visit the IRIS Resource Locator http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/resources.html
and click on the dictionary icon.
Kaiser Family Foundation - Medicaid Information
A leader in health policy and communications, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. For resources and many articles concerning access to healthcare for people with disabilities go to: http://www.kff.org/medicaid/disabilities.cfm
For resources and articles related to covering children go to: http://www.kff.org/medicaid/children.cfm
Paddling for persons with disabilities. We have the paddling skills and technical knowledge to give you a safe and memorable experience. We carry adaptive equipment designed to make you fit in your boat comfortably. We offer individual and group services. www.kayakjacksonville.com
Kids As Self Advocates (KASA)
A national, grassroots project created by youth with disabilities for youth. We are teens and young adults with disabilities speaking out. Includes lots of resources, as well as articles, poetry, and artwork by young adults with disabilities. Also an extensive section of resources on dating and relationships for teens with disabilities. www.fvkasa.org
Living With Autism and Related Disabilities in Central FL
Published by the Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (CARD) this 105 page guide provides information that helps families learn about their children’s disabilities, local service systems, and community resources. After leaving a doctor’s office many parents wonder where to turn. This guide, originally developed with input from parents, is designed to help answer that question. It will be updated regularly on the CARD website, http://www.ucf-card.org. To download from here (Nov. 07 Edition) choose Word or pdf version below:
MetLife's Division of Estate Planning for Special Kids (MetDESK) was established in 1998 to help families plan for the future of their children or other dependents with special needs, including preserving government benefits and providing insurance and other financial solutions which can help provide lifetime quality care. www.metlife.com/desk
Call Kevin Manning (813) 383-5202 or (800) 724-7518, ext. 5202 OR
Tom Nurse (813) 383-5216 or (800) 724-7518, ext. 5216
The mission of Mobility Golf is to increase opportunities for those who can't walk, to play golf. A survey conducted by the Paralyzed Veterans of America indicated that 21% of its members would play golf if it were accessible. www.mobilitygolf.com
National Forestry & Wildlife Division
Free lifetime access pass to all National Parks, for any person with a disability or for caregivers of a person with a disability. Requirements: letter from physician stating the disability, taken to local National Forestry & Wildlife Division Office. Each pass admits up to 4 adults, children under 16 are free. For more information see website: http://store.usge.gov/pass/access.html.
Outdoors Without Limits (OWL)
OWL is all about education and opportunities! Nearly 250,000 people each year stop pursuing outdoor passions due to illness or accident. Many thousands more, born with disabilities, have never had the opportunity to experience the woods and water. We want to educate those with disabilities about activities in the outdoors and offer the opportunity to participate. www.outdoorswithoutlimits.org
Sumter County Chapter: Ron Berry, Chairman, 352-303-1000.
Poseidon Handicap Scuba Adventures
A non-profit organization, dedicates itself to improving the physical and social well being of people with disabilities by teaching underwater educational programs to disabled individuals utilizing the Handicap Scuba Association guidelines. http://phsa.us/website/
Virtual Museum to Showcase the History and Achievements of People with Disabilities
The Museum of disABILITY History, located in Buffalo, N.Y., has launched an innovative and interactive website to showcase the historical contributions of Americans with disabilities. http://www.museumofdisability.org/.
WaiverProvider.Com is a directory of medicaid waiver providers. We provide much more than just names and phone numbers. We provide detailed information about each provider including: services provided, areas covered, special skills, and experience. Website offers a message board, as well as a Live Discussion Room every Thursday night. www.waiverprovider.com
We are continuing to add information to this portion of the website. If you would like to suggest an article, resource, helpful website or publication, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.