Disability Advocacy Organizations

If you are looking for organizations that help disabled people, you’re at the right place. This will give you a starting point.

Some day I’ll tell you the story about how the guy at the Office of Civil Rights put us on hold while he took his lunch break. Yep, he did. He called me to follow up on a complaint we filed. And it was such a lengthy call he needed a lunch break.

organizations that help disabled people

But I digress. Here is a list of 61 State and Federal Agencies and Organizations that help disabled people. Also, for parents: pay attention! Every state has a Parent Training Center. That is, a designated agency to train and educate parents on Special Education. Rather than retype the list, you can find it at Parent Center Hub.

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History of the State P&A Agencies

In the early 1970s, Congress created a nationwide system of state-level, independent Protection and Advocacy (P&A) organizations. This was in response to the many TV documentaries that showed the horrors of how disabled people were being treated.

These organizations are a good place to start if you cannot find a Special Education Advocate or Attorney. Like many other non-profits, they are under-resourced and their help and efficacy varies. But it’s a good starting point if you need help.

Protection and Advocacy Disability Agencies

What do these groups do? By federal law, these groups:

  • Are required to be independent; they may not be providers of disability services, public and private (including guardianship services)
  • Are given broad powers to safeguard people’s rights, including the right to take legal action, to enter public and private facilities to talk with service recipients, and to make unannounced visits
  • Are given access to records of a service recipient with the individual’s or guardian’s consent, as well as when the P&A has probable cause to believe the someone was subject to abuse or neglect (then consent is not required)
  • Have the ability to access to abuse and neglect investigations conducted by state investigators and facility investigators
  • Have the authority to investigate abuse and neglect at public and private institutions, facilities, and programs
  • Involvement of the general public in development of their advocacy plans and priorities.

Each State has a Protection and Advocacy Agency.

  • A legally-based advocacy group providing advocacy and legal services and investigating abuse and neglect.
  • Will address a wide range of issues that prevent people with disabilities from fully participating in their communities and leading productive and independent lives.
  • Now for all disabilities-people with any type of mental and physical disability, including developmental disabilities and mental illnesses
    will advocate for people of all ages, including children and seniors
    helping people no matter where person with disability resides does not matter-includes those living with their parents, independently in the community, in group homes, nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, and state-run institutions.

Federal Organizations that Help People with Disabilities.

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
1331 F Street, N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20004-1111
(800) USA-ABLE (872-2253)

If you are having an access issue, and I mean actual, physical access to a building as pertains to ADA, then this is one group to contact. They provide technical assistance on architectural, transportation, and communications accessibility issues and they issues specific ADA Accessibility Guidelines.

Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Room S-1303
Washington, DC 20210
1-866-ODEL-DOL (633-7365)
The Office of Disability Employment Policy provides national leadership by developing and influencing disability-related employment policy as well as practice affecting the employment of people with disabilities.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
1801 L Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20507
(202) 663-4900; (800) 669-4000
(800) 669-6820 (TTY); (202) 663-4494
This is the agency that officially announces or declares regulations and enforces ADA Title I provisions prohibiting discrimination in employment. They also provide technical assistance to employers and persons with disabilities.

Internal Revenue Service
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20224
(800) 829-1040
(800) 829-4059 (TDD)
The IRS? What are they doing on this list? They provide information on tax credits and tax deductions available to businesses for costs of providing reasonable accommodations. They provide specifici tax information for people with disabilities. They also can give you information on the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit Program, which offers incentives for hiring individuals with disabilities referred by state vocational rehabilitation or Veterans Administration programs.

The National Council on Disability
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20004
202-272-2004 (Voice)
202-272-2074 (TTY)
The NCD is a small, independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. NCD is comprised of a team of fifteen Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees , an Executive Director appointed by the Chairman, and eleven, full-time professional staff. This is actually a group I’m going to start following and see what recommendations they make.

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Mailstop PCP-6058
Washington, D.C. 20202-2572
(202) 245-7640 (V/TTY)
Administers the principal federal disability research programs and ADA technical assistance centers. To reach the regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC) closest to you, call (800) 949-4ADA (voice and TTY). The DBTACs act as “one-stop” central sources of information, direct technical assistance, training, and referral on ADA issues, and provide individualized responses to information requests, referrals to local sources of expertise, and training on ADA provisions and disability awareness.

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section–NYA
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 514-0301; (800) 514-0301;
(800) 514-0383 (TTY)
This agency also formally announces regulations and enforces antidiscrimination provisions under Title II involving public services and under Title III involving public accommodations. Also enforces employment provisions under Title II of the ADA affecting state and local government entities. They provide technical assistance on compliance with ADA Titles II and III. You can also file an official complaint with OCR, if you feel your school has denied your child access to their education or has violated their civil rights as a protected class.

Department of Justice’s ADA Information Line and technical assistance
800-514-0301 (voice)
800-514-0383 (TTY)

Have questions about ADA? This is a good place to start.

200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Room S-1303
Washington, DC 20210
202-693-7921; 1-866-633-7365
1-877-889-5627 (TTY)

DisabilityInfo.gov is a comprehensive online resource designed to provide people with disabilities and many others with the information and resources they need to live full and independent lives in the workplace and in their communities. With 21 federal agencies contributing content to the site, DisabilityInfo.gov provides access to disability-related information and programs available across the government on numerous subjects, including benefits, civil rights, community life, education, employment, housing, health, income support, technology and transportation. Easy to navigate, users are directed to valuable information covering state and local resources, news and events, grants and funding, laws and regulations and more.

Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Rd.
240-276-1320 (fax)
Rockville, MD 20857

Coordinates independent agencies in each state to provide technical assistance, information, and referrals on the ADA and other disability laws.

State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program-Rehabilitation Services Administration
Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-2800
(202) 245-7488 (phone)
Assists employers in recruiting, training, placing, and accommodating people with disabilities. Offers information on state and local agencies providing rehabilitation services, training, and job-related assistance to people with disabilities.

Disability Protection and Advocacy-All 50 States

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP)
The University of Alabama
500 Martha Parham West
P.O. Box 870395
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0395

(800) 826-1675
(205) 348-4928 (V/TTY)
Disability Law Center of Alaska
3330 Arctic Boulevard, Suite 103
Anchorage, AK 99503

(800) 478-1234
(907) 565-1002 (V/TTY)
Arizona Center for Disability Law
100 N. Stone Avenue, Suite 305
(520) 327-9547 (V/TTY)
Tucson, AZ 85701
Disability Rights Center
1100 N. University, Suite 201
Little Rock, AR 72207

(800) 482-1174 (V/TTY)
(501) 296-1775 (V/TTY)
Disability Rights California
100 Howe Avenue, Suite 185N
Sacramento, CA 95825-8219

(800) 776-5746 (In CA)
(916) 488-9950
(800) 719-5798 (TTY)
The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People
455 Sherman Street, Suite 130
Denver, CO 80203

(303) 722-0300
(800) 288-1376 (in CO only)
Office of Protection & Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
60 B Weston Street
Hartford, CT 06120-1551

(800) 842-7303 (V/TTY in CT)
(860) 297-4300
(860) 297-4380 (TTY)
Disabilities Law Program
Community Service Building
100 W. 10th Street, Suite 801
Wilmington, DE 19801

(800) 292-7980 (in DE)
(302) 575-0660
(302) 575-0696 (TTY)
District of Columbia-Washington, DC
University Legal Services: Protection and Advocacy
220 I Street, N.E., Suite 130
Washington, DC 20002

(202) 547-0198
(202) 547-2657 (TTY)
Disability Rights-Florida
Disability Rights Florida
2728 Centerview Drive
Suite 102
Tallahassee, Florida 32301
800-342-0823 Toll Free
850-488-8640 Fax
The Georgia Advocacy Office
150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 430
Decatur, GA 30030

(800) 537-2329 (in GA only)
(404) 885-1234 (V/TTY)
Hawaii Disability Rights Center
900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1040 Honolulu, HI 96813
(800) 882-1057 (V/TTY) (in HI)
(808) 949-2922 (V/TTY)
DisAbility Rights Idaho
Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Disabilities
4477 Emerald Street, Suite B-100
Boise, ID 83706-2066

(208) 336-5353 (V/TTY)
(800) 632-5125
Equip for Equality, Inc.
20 N. Michigan, Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60602
(800) 537-2632
(V)(312) 341-0022
(V)(800) 610-2779 (TTY)
Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services
4701 N. Keystone Avenue, Suite 222
Indianapolis, IN 46205

(800) 622-4845
(317) 722-5555
(800) 838-1131 (TTY)
Iowa Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc.
950 Office Park Road, Suite 221
West Des Moines, IA 50265

(800) 779-2502
(515) 278-2502
(866) 483-3342 (TTY)
(515) 278-0571 (TTY)
Disability Rights Center of Kansas
635 SW Harrison Street, Suite 100 Topeka, KS 66603
(785) 273-9661
(877) 776-1541 (in KS only)
Protection and Advocacy
100 Fair Oaks Lane, Third Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601

(800) 372-2988 (V/TTY in KY)
(502) 564-2967
The Advocacy Center
1010 Common Street, Suite 2600 New Orleans, LA  70112
(800) 960-7705 (in LA)
(504) 522-2337
Disability Rights Center
24 Stone Street
P.O. Box 2007
Augusta, ME 04338-2007

(800) 452-1948 (V/TTY in ME)
(207) 626-2774 (V/TTY)
Maryland Disability Law Center
1800 N. Charles, Suite 400 Baltimore, MD 21201
(800) 233-7201
(410) 727-6352
Disability Law Center, Inc.
11 Beacon Street, Suite 925
Boston, MA 02108

(800) 872-9992 (V)
(617) 723-8455
(800) 381-0577 (TTY)
(617) 227-9464 (TTY)
Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc.
4095 Legacy Parkway, Suite 500
Lansing, MI 48911-4263

(517) 487-1755 (V/TTY)
(800) 288-5923 (V/TTY)
Minnesota Disability Law Center
430 First Avenue, North, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55401-1780
(612) 746-3711
(800) 292-4150
(612) 334-5970 (New Clients)
Mississippi Protection and Advocacy System
5305 Executive Place
Jackson, MS 39206
Jackson, MS 39206

(601) 981-8207
(800) 772-4057
Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services
925 S. Country Club Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65109

(573) 659-0678
(800) 392-8667
Disability Rights Montana
1022 Chestnut Street
Helena, MT 59601

(800) 245-4743 (V/TTY)
(406) 449-2344
Nebraska Advocacy Services, Inc.
134 South 13th Street, Suite 600
Lincoln, NE 68508

(800) 422-6691
(402) 474-3183
Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center
6039 Eldora Avenue, Suite C – Box 3
Las Vegas, NV 89146

(888) 349-3843 (toll-free)
(702) 257-8150
(702) 257-8160 (TTY)
New Hampshire
Disabilities Rights Center, Inc.
18 Low Avenue Concord, NH 03301
(603) 228-0432
(800) 834-1721 (V/TTY)
New Jersey
Disability Rights New Jersey
210 S. Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608

(800) 922-7233 (in NJ)
(609) 292-9742
(609) 633-7106 (TTY)
New Mexico
Protection and Advocacy System, Inc.
1720 Louisiana Boulevard, N.E., Suite 204
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(800) 432-4682 (In NM)
(505) 256-3100
New York
Division of Protection and Advocacy Program Administration
New York State Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
401 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305-2397

(518) 388-2892
(800) 624-4143 (Voice/TTY/Spanish)
North Carolina
Disability Rights North Carolina
2626 Glenwood Avenue
Ste. 550
Raleigh, NC 27608

(877) 235-4210
(919) 856-2195
North Dakota
North Dakota Protection and Advocacy Project
400 E. Boulevard Avenue, Suite 409 Bismarck, ND 58501
(701) 328-2950
(800) 472-2670 (in ND)
Ohio Legal Rights Service
50 W. Broad Street, Suite 1400
Columbus, OH 43215-5923

(614) 466-7264
(614) 728-2553 (TTY)
(800) 282-9181 (in OH)
(800) 858-3542 (TTY in OH)
Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc
2915 Classen Boulevard
300 Cameron Building
Oklahoma City, OK 73106

(800) 880-7755 (V/TTY, in OK)
(405) 525-7755 (V/TTY)
Oregon Advocacy Center
620 S.W. 5th Avenue, Suite 500
Portland, OR 97204-1428

(503) 243-2081
(503) 323-9161 (TTY)
(800) 452-1694
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
1414 N. Cameron Street, Suite C
Harrisburg, PA 17103

(800) 692-7443 (in PA)
(717) 236-8110
(877) 375-7139 (TTY)
Rhode Island
Rhode Island Disability Law Center
275 Westminster Street, Suite 401
Providence, RI 02903

(800) 733-5332 (in RI)
(401) 831-3150
(401) 831-5335 (TTY)
South Carolina
Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc.
3710 Landmark Drive, Suite 208
Columbia, SC 29204

(803) 782-0639
(866) 275-7273
(In SC)(866) 232-4525 (TTY)
South Dakota
South Dakota Advocacy Services
221 S. Central Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501

(800) 658-4782 (in SD)
(605) 224-8294
Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee
2416 21st Avenue South, Suite 100
Nashville, TN 37212

(901) 458-6013
(800) 342-1660 (Toll-free in TN only)
(888) 852-2852 (TTY)
Advocacy, Inc.
7800 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Suite 171-E
Austin, TX 78757

(512) 454-4816
(800) 252-9108 (In TX)
Disability Law Center               
205 North 400 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
(801) 363-1347
(800) 662-9080
Vermont Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
141 Main Street, Suite 7
Montpelier, VT 05602

(800) 834-7890 (In VT)
(802) 229-1355
(802) 229-2603 (TTY)
Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy
1910 Byrd Avenue, Suite 5
Richmond, VA 23230

(800) 552-3962 (In VA)
(804) 225-2042 (V/TTY)
Disability Rights Washington
315 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 850
Seattle, WA 98104

(206) 324-1521
(206) 957-0728 (TTY)
(800) 562-2702
(800) 905-0209 (TTY)
West Virginia
West Virginia Advocates
1207 Quarrier Street, 4th Floor
Charleston, WV 25301

(800) 950-5250 (in WV)
(304) 346-0847 (V/TTY)
Disability Rights Wisconsin
131 W. Wilson Street, Suite 700
Madison, WI 53703

(800) 928-8778 (in WI only)
(608) 267-0214
(888) 758-6049 tty
WY Protection & Advocacy System
7344 Stockman Street
Cheyenne, WY 82009

(307) 632-3496
(800) 624-7648 (in WY)

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