Directory of Advocacy Groups for Special Needs Families

Posted by Patricia Manko on Tue, Jul 17, 2012 @ 05:20 PM

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Please find below a list of national, regional and state organizations who advocate for families of and individuals with special needs. Although this list and links to websites may not be comprehensive, we hope you will find it helpful.

Massachusetts Advocacy Groups

The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC), established in 1983, is a non-profit organization made up of parents, professionals and anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of Down syndrome.

Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change (MFOFC) - A statewide, grassroots coalition of individuals with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses and their families. They advocate that supports for individuals and families can be more responsive, more comprehensive, more flexible, and designed to respond to the actual needs people have.

Massachusetts Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee was established in 1973 by the Massachusetts Legislature the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee (MHLAC) to secure and protect the legal rights of persons involved in mental health and developmental disabilties programs in the Commonwealth. The work of MHLAC is carried out by a small staff of lawyers who seek to make full use of the law to ensure that the rights of persons who are or may be regarded as mentally disabled are recognized and protected.

ARCMASS (ArcMassachesetts) is a statewide volunteer educational and advocacy organization dedicated to helping individuals with specific developmental disabilities. Their mission is to "enhance the quality of life for individuals with specific developmental disabilities by promoting quality community services and advocating for enlightened public policy." This is achieved via a local network of parents, professionals and friends joined together to advocate for better programs and supports for these individuals and their families.

The Federation for Children with Special Needs serves as a center for parents and parent organizations to work together on behalf of children with special needs and their families. Organized in 1975 as a coalition of parent groups representing children with a variety of disabilities, the Federation operates a Parent Center in Massachusetts with other Centers in various states.

National & Regional Advocacy Groups:

The Asperger's Association of New England (AANE)'s mission is to foster awareness, respect, acceptance, and support for individuals with AS and related conditions and their families.AANE offers a full array of educational events (conferences, seminars, & courses) for people with an interest in Asperger's Syndrome. - an incredible website for anyone looking for information about services, outreach, contacts and family supports throughout the U.S. It is designed for you to easily find information in your home state. Well worth looking at.

The Arc of the United States is the national organization of and for people with developmental and related disabilities and their families. Good resource of information.

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilites (AAIDD) - Promotes global development and dissemination of progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual disabilities

Parents of Galactosemic Children - a national, non-profit, volunteer organization whose mission is to provide information, support, and networking opportunities to families affected by galactosemia.

Autism Society of America - the official web site of the Autism Society of America.

Developmental Disabilities Council - This site will help you connect with your state chapter of the DDC.

Easter Seals - A general service provider for individuals with disabilities.

National Endowment for Financial Educations - General source for financial information

IDEA 2004 - Extensive Information on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning

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