is disability advocacy all about? Which organizations are the
key players in the disability rights arena? How can you keep
abreast of "hot" legislation and issues, and where
can you find up-to-date resources about them? Check these sites
for information and resources.
- Please note
that the following web sites cover a broad range of advocacy
issues. Resources for disability culture, news and legislation
can be found under related subjects. Web
sites that focus on advocacy for specific disabilities, legislation
or issues (e.g. Americans with Disabilities Act, children, housing,
education, personal care assistants) can be found under their
specific topics. Web sites that
focus on state or local advocacy can be found in The
DRM Regional Resource Directory.
- The following
websites provide information about how to advocate, advocacy
issues and advocacy services, as well as information about the
organizations that sponsor them.
- New in 2001,
"the ADA WATCH campaign is a nonprofit informational online
network designed to activate the disability community's grassroots
in response to threats to civil rights protections for people
with disabilities." The site features "see this"
and "do this" sections that highlight current events
in need or watching or action, a link to a great tool for finding
local and national media, and an opportunity to receive e-mail
Action Alerts about the ADA or IDEA.
- ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.
- Bazelon Center for Mental Health
- The Judge
David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is a nonprofit
legal advocacy organization for people with mental illness and
mental retardation. Its web site includes current advocacy "alerts"
as well as a wealth of advocacy resources relating to the Americans
with Disabilities Act, child welfare, children's mental health
services, choices in mental health treatment (advance directive),
community services for older people, custody relinquishment to
access mental health care, fair housing for people with disabilities,
managed behavioral health care, Medicaid, mental health care,
outpatient commitment, palliative care advocacy, and SSI for
Capital Idea! Successful Strategies for Getting What You Want
- An online
guide from the American Foundation for the Blind Governmental
Relations staff which takes you step-by-step through defining
your issue, identifying the players, planning your strategy,
forming alliances, meeting and communicating with legislators
or regulators, and following up on your contacts. Must reading
for serious advocates.
- Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
- CCD is "a
coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations
working together to advocate for national public policy that
ensures the self determination, independence, empowerment, integration
and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all
aspects of society." Its web pages highlight legislative
issues that concern its members and tasks forces, with related
announcements and links.
- The Council for Disability
- This straightforward
website includes an A.D.A. FAQ (for non-lawyers), "The CDR
Guide to Disability Rights (and dealing with the system),"
"A Parent's Guide to Special Ed / Special Needs," how
to take action against structural barriers, voting resources
& election information, and more.
- Disability Rights Education
and Defense Fund (DREDF)
- DREDF is
"a national law and policy center dedicated to protecting
and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities through
legislation, litigation, advocacy, technical assistance, and
education and training of attorneys, advocates, persons with
disabilities, and parents of children with disabilities."
Its web site includes legislative alerts and news bulletins as
well as information about the organization.
- Electric Edge
- This "online"
edition of Ragged Edge, a hard-hitting print magazine
for disability advocates, features selections from current and
- The New Civil
- This article
by the noted disability writer Joseph P. Shapiro describes the
birth and development of the disability advocacy movement. It
originally appeared in Modern Maturity and is reproduced
on the Polio Survivors' Page. [Editor's note: see our web
page on the History of Disability
for related resources.]
- Protection &
- The home
page of the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems
(NAPAS), an association of federally mandated programs ("P&As"
and "CAPs") that protect the rights of persons with
disabilities. The site provides a current listing of state programs
as well as information about the organization.
- Security Administration Protection and Advocacy Program
- The goal is to assist beneficiaries with disabilities in obtaining information and advice about receiving vocational rehabilitation and employment services. The program provides advocacy or other related services that beneficiaries with disabilities may need to secure, regain, or maintain gainful employment.
- The following
organizations are also key players in the advocacy arena. Their
websites are primarily devoted to information about themselves
and their services.
- American Association of People
with Disabilities (AAPD)
by five leaders in the disability rights movement, AAPD is "a
non-profit, non-partisan, cross-disability organization whose
goals are unity, leadership and impact." AAPD currently
seems to focus on helping people with disabilities "move
toward a consumer and economic power base" through financial
services to its members. The web site provides information about
- Disability Awareness in Action
- DAA "has
been providing information and resources to disabled people,
particularly those in developing countries, since 1992."
The organization focuses on disability as a human rights issue,
rather than a medical or welfare issue. It is currently supporting
a grassroots campaign to persuade the United Nations to pass
a Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. Its web site contains
information about the organization, the campaign, and related
People's Direct Action Network (DAN)
- The Disabled
People's Direct Action Network (DAN) is an activist civil rights
group for people with disabilities in Great Britain.
- National Disability Party [added 4/1/01]
about a newly formed political party.
- TASH (formerly
The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps) is "is
an international association of people with disabilities, their
family members, other advocates, and professionals fighting for
a society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of
society is the norm." TASH's web site focuses on information
about the organization and its chapters, although disability
news, government briefs, and related material are also included.
- Related Subjects
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Disability Culture
- Disability News
- Legal Rights
- Telethon Protests [added 8/2001]
- Resources in your state
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