Resources: Parenting and Planning for a Child With a Disability

Note: The resources listed here are national unless otherwise indicated. Many of the sites listed provide links to state chapter or additional state-specific resources.

General Resources

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

The Arc
The Arc’s purpose is to carry out the mission and vision of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their parents and siblings.

Beach Center on Disabilities
The Beach Center on Disability focuses research, training, and advocacy on promoting abilities of people of all ages who experience disability, in order to assure a self-determined, goal-driven, and self-selected quality of life within communities where everyone lives.

Center for Parent Information and Resources
Provides a central hub of information and products created for the network of Parent Centers serving families of children with disabilities.

Council for Exceptional Children
The Council for Exceptional Children provides information and resources about special education.

Federation for Children with Special Needs
The focus of the Federation for Children with Special Needs is on the parents and providing support for them, which in turn benefits the child with special needs.

Family Resource Center on Disabilities
Training, assistance, and information are given to parents of children with disabilities by the Family Resource Center on Disabilities.

National Center for Learning Disabilities
Children and adults with learning disabilities will benefit from the information and resources available from the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

National Council on Disability
NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.
National Council on Independent Living: NCIL promotes social change and strives to do away with disability driven discrimination.

Pacer Center
The Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights utilizes the idea of parents helping parents and provides support and resources for children and youth with disabilities and their families.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) understands the many challenges still facing individuals with disabilities and their families. Therefore, OSERS is committed to improving results and outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. OSERS supports programs that serve millions of children, youth and adults with disabilities.

Selected Disability-Specific Organizations

National Center on Disability and Journalism
Maintains a list of national disability organizations by type of disability or limitation.

Autism Society
Since 1965, the Autism Society has been providing information for individuals on the spectrum, family members, and professionals.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

National Association for the Deaf
The NAD is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the U.S.

National Down Syndrome Society
The NDSS supports people with Down Syndrome by providing resources such as wellness, education, and research.

National Federation of the Blind
Information and advocacy for blind individuals and their families.


Autism Housing Network
The Autism Housing Network is a platform for sharing housing options and resources for autistic adults and others with intellectual or developmental disabilities. One-on-one support is available via telephone consultations to help with a variety of issues, including finding housing opportunities and project planning.


Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
COPAA’s mission is to protect and enforce the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families. COPAA does not provide direct services, individual advocacy or representation to parents or to children with disabilities.

National Disability Rights Network
The national association of state protection and advocacy organizations.

Special Education (Pre-School, K-12)

National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education (NAPCSE)
Parents of Special Education students can learn how to be their child’s best advocate.

National PTA/Special Education Toolkit
This is a compendium of information and links to state and national organizations concerned with special education.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts.

Higher Education

College Resources for Students with Disabilities
Specific information and resources on a variety of different disabilities, how to make the transition into the workforce easier, and the legal rights of students with disabilities on college campuses.

HEATH Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center
The HEATH Resource Center is as a national clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities. It is managed by The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development.


National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability
NCWD for Youth provides strategies and development systems for youth with disabilities to join the workforce.

United States Business Leadership Network
USBLN is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace.

U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration
The RSA is the principal federal agency authorized to carry out Titles I, III, VI, and VII, as well as Section 509 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy

Financial Education/Financial Planning

Disability Advisor
The mission of Disability Advisor is to provide clear, accessible ,and unbiased information topics such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans benefits, workers’ compensation, financial literacy and money management, and dealing with injuries & illnesses.

Possibilities (Pacer Center/National Center for Financial Education)
This publication was created for parents of children under the age of 18 who have disabilities, providing straightforward information on money management and long-term planning for a child’s financial future and overall well-being.

Support Groups/Self-Care

Federation for Children with Special Needs
The focus of the Federation for Children with Special Needs is on the parents and providing support for them, which in turn benefits the child with special needs.

Family Caregiver Alliance
Family Caregiver Alliance is the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care for loved ones at home.

Parent to Parent USA
Parent to Parent USA offers support to parents of children with special needs.


Disabled Sports USA
Disabled Sports USA’s mission is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs.

Exceptional Parent Magazine
The mission of Exceptional Parent magazine is to develop, translate, and share information as tools for positive change for the special needs community.

Internet Resources for Learning Disabilities (U.S. Department of State)
This is a compilation of Web-based resources on learning disabilities.

The Mighty
Publishes real stories by real people facing real challenges. “We are building a brand and a community around them. Having a disability or disease doesn’t have to be isolating.”

Parenting Special Needs Magazine
Provides parents of children with special needs of all ages and stages of life with both “information and inspiration.”

Special Olympics
Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities.