As Diversity Best Practices recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we’d like to provide you with a list of key organizations serving the disability community. Information about additional disability organizations is available in WOW! Facts.
ACCSES (formerly the American Congress of Community Supports & Employment Services)
ACCSES is a national, nonprofit organization of vocational rehabilitation service and community supports committed to maximizing employment opportunities and independent living for individuals with mental and physical disabilities.
ADAPT focuses on promoting services in the community instead of warehousing people with disabilities in institutions and nursing homes. ADAPT is working to get 25 percent of the Medicaid long-term care funds redirected to pay for a national, mandated attendant services program.
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The American Association of People with Disabilities purports to be the largest national nonprofit cross-disability member organization in the United States, dedicated to ensuring economic self-sufficiency and political empowerment for Americans with disabilities. AAPD works in coalition with other disability organizations for the full implementation and enforcement of disability nondiscrimination laws, particularly the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
American Council of the Blind (ACB)
Founded in 1961, the American Council on the Blind is the nation’s leading membership organization for blind and visually impaired people. Its publication, The Braille Forum, is a free monthly national magazine with a readership of approximately 26,000. It is available in braille, audio cassette, CD-ROM, large print, and by email and contains articles on employment, legislation, sports and leisure activities, new products and services, human interest, and other information of interest to blind and visually impaired people.
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
The American Foundation for the Blind is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB’s priorities include broadening access to technology, elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss, and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources.
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF)
The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund is one of the leading national law and policy centers in disability civil rights. DREDF was founded in 1979 by a unique alliance of adults with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. DREDF’s name was chosen to associate and align with the tradition of other civil rights legal defense funds, starting with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
The Hearing Loss Association of America is the nation’s largest organization for people with hearing loss. HLAA exists to open the world of communication for people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy, and support. HLAA has 14 state organizations and HLAA Chapters and state organizations across the country.
Inter-National Association of Business, Industry & Rehabilitation (I-NABIR)
The Inter-National Association of Business, Industry & Rehabilitation is an association of businesses, rehabilitation service providers, schools and universities, trade unions and associations who are placing people with disabilities into employment using a model of partnership with community business and employers.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
The Job Accommodation Network is a toll-free information and referral service for job accommodations for people with disabilities; employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and resources for technical assistance, funding, education and services related to the employment of people with disabilities. In addition, JAN analyzes trends and statistical data related to the technical assistance it provides.
Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
The Learning Disabilities Association of America is the largest nonprofit volunteer organization advocating for individuals with learning disabilities and has more than 200 state and local affiliates in 42 states and Puerto Rico. LDA’s international membership of more than 15,000 includes people from 27 countries around the world.
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with serious mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has become the nation’s voice on mental illness, with organizations in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country joining together to meet the NAMI mission through advocacy, research, support and education.
National Association for the Deaf (NAD)
The National Association for the Deaf aims to promote, protect, and preserve the rights and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States.
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD)
NACDD is a national organization consisting of 55 state and territorial councils. NACDD places high value on meaningful participation and contribution by council members and staff of all member councils and advocates and works towards positive system change on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
National Council on Disability (NCD)
The National Council on Disability is an independent federal agency making recommendations to the President and Congress to enhance the quality of life for all Americans with disabilities and their families. NCD is composed of 15 Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees, an Executive Director appointed by the Chairman, and eleven, full-time professional staff.
National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)
The National Disability Rights Network is a nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
Founded in 1940, the National Federation of the Blind is a membership organization of blind people. With 50,000 members, the NFB has affiliates in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico and more than 700 local chapters. As a consumer and advocacy organization, the NFB is considered the leading force in the blindness field today.
National Organization on Disability (NOD)
The National Organization on Disability aims to expand the participation and contribution of America’s men, women, and children with disabilities in all aspects of life.
Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH)
The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality is a nonprofit educational organization that has actively represented travelers with disabilities since 1976.
U.S. Department of Labor: Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
The Office of Disability Employment Policy provides national leadership by developing and influencing disability-related employment policy and practice affecting the employment of people with disabilities. The ODEP website provides one-stop online access to resources, services, and information available throughout the federal government. The site also seeks to promote awareness of disability issues to the general public.