Georgia Tech Research Institute

Disability-Related Associations

Associations focused on specific disabilities are valuable sources of information. Although there are hundreds of disability-related associations, the following represent some of the most active associations with regard to electronic and information technology:

  • Adaptive Environments
    Founded in 1978 to address the environmental issues that confront people with disabilities and elderly people, Adaptive Environments promotes accessibility as well as universal design through education programs, technical assistance, training, consulting, publications and design advocacy. Its mission is to promote, facilitate, and advocate for international adoption of policies and designs that enable every individual, regardless of disability or age, to participate fully in all aspects of society.

  • Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
    The association is a non-profit membership organization that was established in 1890 to empower people who are deaf or hard of hearing to function independently by promoting universal rights and optimal opportunities to learn to use, maintain, and improve all aspects of their verbal communications, including their abilities to speak, speechread, use residual hearing, and process both spoken and written language.

  • American Association of People with Disabilities
    The American Association of People with Disabilities is the largest non-profit, non-partisan, cross-disability organization in the United States.

  • American Council of the Blind
    ACB is a national organization advocating on behalf of persons who are blind or have low vision. ACB also publishes "A Guide to Making Documents Accessible to People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired".

  • American Foundation for the Blind
    The mission of the American Foundation for the Blind is to enable people who are blind or visually impaired to achieve equality of access and opportunity that will ensure freedom of choice in their lives.

  • The Arc
    The Arc (formerly Association for Retarded Citizens of the United States) is the country's largest voluntary organization committed to the welfare of all children and adults with mental retardation and their families.

  • The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work
    The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work is a Canada-wide network of organizations and individuals that promotes and supports meaningful and equitable employment of people with disabilities.

  • Deaf Initiative in Information Technology (DIIT)
    The Deaf Initiative in Information Technology (DIIT) is a project of the Applied Computer Technology Department (ACT) of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This project provides retraining workshops to deaf and hard of hearing adults already in the national workforce or preparing for employment in the information technology field, clusters these workshops into a certificate program, and modifies the workshops into undergraduate courses.

    A one-stop interagency portal for information on Federal programs, services, and resources for people with disabilities, their families, employers, service providers, and other community members.

  • Disability Resources, Inc.
    Disability Resources, Inc. is a national non-profit organization that provides information about resources for independent living.

  • Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
    Founded in 1979 by people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc. (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.

  • Disability Statistics Center
    The Disability Statistics Center produces and disseminates statistical information on disability and the status of people with disabilities in American society, and establishes and monitors indicators of how conditions are changing over time to meet their health, housing, economic, and social needs.

  • Disability Studies Quarterly
    Disability Studies Quarterly (DSQ) is the journal of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS). It is a multidisciplinary and international journal of interest to social scientists, scholars in the humanities, disability rights advocates, creative writers, and others concerned with the issues of people with disabilities.

  • Disabled American Veterans
    DAV is a national organization advocating on behalf of veterans with disabilities.

  • Easter Seals
    Easter Seals serves children and adults with disabilities, their families, and communities through early intervention and child development services, vocational training and employment services, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Easter Seals has more than 400 service sites across the country, including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

  • Environmental Health Network
    EHN's focus is on issues of access and developments relating to the health and welfare of the environmentally sensitive, and to promote public awareness of environmental sensitivities and causative factors.

  • Hearing Loss Association of America
    The HLAA is a national consumer organization representing people who are hard of hearing and provides technical assistance for selecting Assistive Listening systems.

  • Independent Living Centers
    ILCs are typically non-residential, private, non-profit, consumer-controlled, community-based organizations providing services and advocacy by and for persons with all types of disabilities. There are nearly 500 ILCs in the United States. Many are state supported. Their goal is to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum potential within their families and communities. Also, Independent Living Centers serve as a strong advocacy voice on a wide range of national, state and local issues. They work to assure physical and programmatic access to housing, employment, transportation, communities, recreational facilities, and health and social services. This site provides a list, arranged by state.

  • Independent Living Institute
    The Institute serves self-help organizations of disabled people who work for self-determination and equal opportunities; provides information, training materials and technical assistance on accessibility, personal assistance, advocacy, legislation, and peer support; publishes articles, reports, manuals, or comments and other materials related to Independent Living.

  • International Commission on Technology & Accessibility
    ICTA initiates, facilitates, and provides information regarding technology and accessibility through the World Wide Web. This information is available to people with disabilities, advocates and professionals in the field of disability, researchers, legislative bodies, and the general community.

  • National Association of the Deaf
    NAD is a national consumer organization representing people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • National Disability Rights Network
    The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the 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 is a national organization advocating on behalf of persons who are blind or have low vision.

  • National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
    The Center is a clearinghouse for information on disabilities and disability-related issues concerning children and youth (birth to age 22).

  • National Organization on Disability
    The National Organization on Disability promotes the full and equal participation and contribution of America's 54 million men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life.

  • Paralyzed Veterans of America
    PVA is a national advocacy organization representing veterans.

  • TASH
    TASH (formerly the Association for the Severely Handicapped) is an international advocacy association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and people who work in the disability field.

  • TDI
    TDI's (formerly known as Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc.) mission is to promote equal access in telecommunications and media for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, late deafened, or deaf blind.

  • Through the Looking Glass
    Through the Looking Glass (TLG) is a nationally recognized non-profit agency that provides direct services, training, materials and research concerning families in which a child, parent, or grandparent has a disability or medical issue.

  • United Cerebral Palsy Association
    UCP's mission is to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, through our commitment to the principles of independence, inclusion, and self-determination.

  • United Spinal Association
    United Spinal Association is a membership organization serving individuals with spinal cord injuries or disease. Formerly known as the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, the organization expanded its mission to serve people with spinal cord injuries or disease regardless of their age, gender, or veteran status.

  • World Institute on Disability
    WID is an international public policy center dedicated to carrying out research on disability issues and overcoming obstacles to independent living.

In addition to becoming familiar with disability associations, attending major disability technology conferences can also be very educational. Two of the biggest conferences are the Closing the Gap Conference and the CSUN Technology Conference: