Many of the services provided by these organizations are available to every person with a disability, regardless of citizenship. Community-based and state-based disability organizations are especially helpful to international visitors who will not have access to disability services through a U.S. university or college.
Educational Services and Disability Offices – U.S. schools are required by law to provide students with disabilities equal access to classes and class materials. Colleges, universities, primary, and secondary schools have staff or offices that work specifically to provide this access.
Independent Living Centers (ILCs) – ILCs in the United States work for the full participation and independence of people with disabilities in U.S. society through advocacy and support services such as providing local information on accessible housing, support groups, assistive technology services, or public transportation.
Disability-Specific Organizations – Many organizations existing at local, state, regional and national levels provide information and services to people with specific disabilities and cultural, recreational, and sports opportunities. Learning Disabilities Association of America and Lighthouse for the Blind, for example, have many services available to non-U.S. citizens.
Cross-Disability Organizations – There are many cross-disability organizations that represent the interests of all people with disabilities in the United States. For example, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and the American Association of People with Disabilities both advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and full inclusion in society.
Online Sources –Websites created by federal agencies or blogs by people with disabilities often have lots of information about rights, employment, health care and other topics while others offer a way to connect and share resources with other disabled people.
If you are are soon to arrive or already in the U.S. and having trouble finding the right U.S. organization to ask your questions, let us know through our Free Information and Referral Service.