Disability Resources

Disability Services Links--General

 

MassResources.org

http://www.massresources.org/about-us.html

This web site was developed by Community Resources, Inc., an independent non-profit organization to provide information to Massachusetts residents in need of housing, food, health care and other basic services. The Disability Resources section links to a large number of resources, mostly state agencies and non-profit organizations in Massachusetts. This is a well organized site, nicely designed for ease of use. Gives contact information including TTY telephone access.

 

Massachusetts Office on Disability

http://www.mass.gov/anf/employment-equal-access-disability/oversight-agencies/mod

This state agency advocates for people with disabilities, making sure that disabled people are informed of their rights and services to them under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Serves people of all ages.

 

Disability Law Center

http://www.dlc-ma.org/index.htm

A private non-profit agency for Massachusetts offering assistance on legal matters to people with all types of disabilities with problems such as discrimination, abuse or neglect, or denial of services, when they are related to a person’s disability. 

 

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/mrc

This state agency assists individuals with disabilities (except those who are blind, who are served by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind) to live and work independently.

 

Disabled Persons Protection Commission

http://www.mass.gov/dppc

This state agency offers a training program for persons with disabilities and their families and supporters about how to recognize and respond to abuse of people with disabilities.

 

Disabilityinfo.org

https://www.disabilityinfo.org

An index website which may be searched by type of disability, services needed, and location. There are also fact sheets with information on hundreds of specific health issues and disability types. Fact sheets provide basic information as well as links to professionals and organizations who offer help.

 

Easter Seals Massachusetts

http://ma.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=MADR_homepage

As their web site states, “Easter Seals provides services to ensure that children and adults with disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play.” These include assistive technology, employment and training services, rehabilitation services, disability resource information, camps, advocacy, youth leadership programs, and youth transition services.

 

MassMatch.org

http://www.massmatch.org

Helps individuals with disabilities to find assistive technology, coordinates services in Massachusetts. Includes information about loans and other funding options. According to the United States Assistive Technology Act of 1998, assistive technology (also called adaptive technology) refers to any "product, device, or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is used to maintain, increase, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."

 

Boston Center for Independent Living

http://bostoncil.org/index.htm

Promotes independence for people with disabilities; this organization was created by people with disabilities and provides information and referral, peer support, skills training, and a personal care program.

 

Blind and Visually Impaired

 

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/mcb

This is the Massachusetts agency concerned with rehabilitation and social services to help blind individuals to be independent and to fully participate in their communities. Programs include vocational training, in home services, and assistive technology.

 

Massachusetts Early Intervention Program

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/disability-services/services-by-type/blind-services/specialized-services-to-children.html

Information about statewide service available to families with children between birth and three years old with disabilities, including blindness.

 

Perkins School for the Blind

http://www.perkins.org

Provides education and services for children and adults around the world who are blind, deafblind or visually impaired, based in Watertown, Massachusetts.  Offers resources for teachers, in-home outreach for infants, and special classes and programs for the community.

 

Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library

http://www.perkins.org/community-programs/btbl

Provides free audio books and Braille materials to Massachusetts residents of any age who are unable to read traditional print materials due to a visual or physical disability.

 

Worcester (Massachusetts) Talking Book Library

http://www.worcpublib.org/talkingbook

Provides free services to Massachusetts residents of any age who are unable to read traditional print materials due to a visual or physical disability. Provides mail-order service by telephone.

 

Perkins Scout: An Information Clearinghouse on Blindness and Visual Impairment

http://www.perkins.org/resources/scout

A searchable database of online resources related to blindness and visual impairment which have been evaluated by Perkins School for the Blind professionals. Well organized, easy to use, includes information on making everyday activities easier.

 

American Foundation for the Blind

http://www.afb.org

An advocacy group dedicated to helping people with vision loss to overcome barriers to living a full life. Their activities include education, publications, and helping businesses to develop and market technology to assist people with vision loss. There is a Find Local Services feature on every page of the website. Sponsors a “family” of web sites, including, listed below:

  • FamilyConnect for parents of children with visual impairment:   http://www.familyconnect.org
  • Career Connect, an employment information resource for job seekers who are blind or visually impaired:   www.afb.org/ctib
  • VisionAware, which has information to help with everyday life for people with vision loss:    http://www.visionaware.org
  • Braille Bug, a website that introduces children to Braille through games and other fun activities:    http://braillebug.afb.org

 

Massachusetts Accessible Instructional Materials Library

http://www.aimlibrary.org

Lends educational materials for use by blind or visually impaired individuals to school districts and educators on a school year basis, including Braille writers, tape recorders, slate and styluses, pre-braille and literacy kits, tactile tools, raised lined maps, some assessment tools, and other educational materials

 

Bookshare

https://www.bookshare.org

A large online library of copyrighted content (Ebooks, audiobooks and other technology) for people with a physically-based disability that makes it difficult or impossible to read a printed book. Free for U.S. students and schools serving them. Non students can join and pay an annual fee.

 

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

 

Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/mcdhh

This is the principal state agency serving and advocating for people of all ages who are deaf and hard of hearing. It provides interpreter services; technology services, including telecommunication and assistive listening devices; information services, and public education.

 

Massachusetts Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Information

http://www.infanthearing.org/states/state_profile.php?state=massachusetts

All babies born in Massachusetts hospitals are screened for hearing loss, and this state agency works to ensure that early intervention begins as soon as possible and that families are connected with other families for support and education.

 

Beverly School for the Deaf/The Children’s Center for Communication

http://www.beverlyschoolforthedeaf.org

Located in Beverly, MA, this school educates students from ages 3-22; provides community education, including signing classes for babies through adults, outreach to schools, businesses, interpreter services; has an extensive list of resources for deaf and hard of hearing people.

 

American Society for Deaf Children

http://www.deafchildren.org

This organization is a good source of information for parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. It advocates for early bilingualism (English and visual language) and sponsors conferences. Its site has links to articles and other resources.

 

Gallaudet University Science of Learning Center Visual Language & Visual Learning

http://vl2.gallaudet.edu/educator.php

This page from Gallaudet’s web site has information for educators and parents about recent research on education for deaf and hard of hearing children.

 

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

http://www.rid.org

Find an interpreter or learn about education and opportunities for those interested in becoming interpreters

 

WGBH MoPix (Motion Picture Access

http://ncam.wgbh.org/mopix/#settlement

Lists current movies and movie theaters which have closed captions and/or descriptions.

 

National Association for the Deaf

http://www.nad.org

The national civil rights organization for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States, advocating for the rights of the American deaf community since 1880.

 

Hearing Loss Association of America

http://www.hearingloss.org

Provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss.

 

Minuteman ARC Hearing Loss Program

http://www.minutemanarc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=127&Itemid=101

This local resource provides early intervention for hearing loss. Family centered services include parent/baby playgroups for children from birth to 18 months led by a Teacher of the Deaf and a Developmental Specialist, community playgroups, parent groups, and individual therapy.

 

Developmental Disabilities

 

Minuteman  ARC

http://www.minutemanarc.org

This agency serves Acton and other area towns with many programs to support people of all ages with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Programs include after school and school vacation programs, recreation for children and adults, Special Olympics, trainings, adult family day care, residential services, and employment services.

 

Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (Formerly known as Department of Mental Retardation)

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dds

This agency works to create opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in the lives of their communities. It provides services for children and adults and family support

 

Eliot Community Human Services

http://www.eliotchs.org

The Developmental Disabilities Division operates residential homes, independent and family support services, shared living services, employment supports, and day programs.

 

Advocacy Network, Inc.

http://theadvocacynetwork.homestead.com/index.html

A Massachusetts based association of families and friends of people with developmental disabilities concerned with promoting their health, rights and safety. They act as advocates, helping families to work with the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and its privately contracted agencies, provide legal assistance and information, and work to prevent abuse and neglect of the developmentally disabled.

 

VOR (formerly Voice of the Retarded)

http://www.vor.net

A national organization that advocates for high quality care and human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their work includes providing action alerts and toolkits to inform legislators and families of pertinent issues and situations.

 

CCMR: Advocating for People with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities

http://ccmradvocates.org

This organization is a Massachusetts based advocacy group affiliated with the national organization VOR (see above).

 

Mental Illness

 

National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts

 http://www.namimass.org/

The mission of this organization is to improve the quality of life of people with mental illness and their families through education, peer support, and advocacy. Free educational programs are taught by volunteers, trained by NAMI Mass staff, peers who have the experience to relate to class participants. The site provides information on what to do in a crisis, advice on housing, youth in transition, legal matters, access to education, web sites offering mutual support for those suffering from mental illness. There is a network of local affiliates and an extensive resource listing. The affiliate for Acton is NAMI Central Middlesex http://www.nami.org/MSTemplate.cfm?Site=NAMI_Central_Middlesex

 

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dmh

This state agency is charged with assuring that the mental health needs of individuals of all ages are met, enabling them to live, work, and participate in their communities.

 

Eliot Community Human Services

http://www.eliotchs.org

Offers outpatient programs for children, adults, families and elders at their clinic in Concord, Massachusetts.

 

Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition

http://www.massclubs.org

An organization dedicated to helping people with long term mental illness find employment, housing, education, services, and support in their communities. There are 32 recovery and rehabilitation centers in Massachusetts with more than 15,000 members.

 

Mental Health Information Network

http://mhin.bu.edu/index.cfm

This site, created by Boston University School of Medicine Alumni Medical Library, has a link to the National Library of Medicine data base, MedlinePlus, a tool for finding information on mental health and other health topics and a tutorial for using it effectively. There are also links to other good sources of information on mental illness. The site itself is a bit out of date and some of the links don’t work, but most do provide current information.

 

National Institute of Mental Health

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

Their primary mission is research on mental illnesses; their web site also has easy to understand information about all mental health topics and information about participating in clinical trials.