Accessing Home and Community-Based Services: A Guide for Self Advocates is a tool designed to help people with disabilities, families, and friends find and use available resources. This may include family and friends, community-based services, state funded waivers and programs, and other resources to help empower people with disabilities to live as independently as possible and make our own choices about what we need. It is a tool to inform about various resources and how to access them. It is also a reference about resources that, although you may not need or want them now, you can use in the future.
It is important that students and their advocates become knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities in postsecondary education. Although protections exist, the students have considerably more responsibility in postsecondary education to request their own accommodations. This responsibility is ongoing. For many students with disabilities, good self-advocacy skills are the key to success, and knowing their rights is one essential element of effective self-advocacy.
The Arc has compiled a series of brief, two-page fact sheets for family members, advocates, professionals, media, researchers, policymakers and others that provide an overview of a specific topic related to intellectual disability. A wide variety of topics are covered, from the causes of intellectual disability to various types of syndromes to criminal justice/victimization issues.
Family Peer Advocates are valuable professionals within the child serving system. They are uniquely qualified to work with families based on their first-hand experience as the parent/caregiver of a young person with a social, emotional, behavioral, health, or developmental disability. This experience, combined with additional Parent Empowerment (PEP) training, allows them to provide peer support to parents of children with similar challenges.
The primary role of each Regional Parent Advisor is to build a relationship with all of the family support services within their region. Parent Advisors provide a forum for local family support services to network with one another. They serve as liaisons, facilitating communication between the New York State Office of Mental Health and the families in the community.
View FTNYS Parent Advisors using our MSNavigator Mapping Tool.
The Individual and Family Support Unit (IFSU) of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs is a resource for victims of abuse or neglect, their families, personal representatives and guardians. IFSU advocates provide assistance in a variety of areas, including:
All services are offered free.
Advocates for Children of New York (AFC)’s Jill Chaifetz Education Helpline is your resource for information and guidance on all education-related matters in New York City.
Parents can spend an enormous amount of time researching different programs or simply trying to understand their child’s education-related rights. If your child is struggling in school or experiencing school discrimination of any kind, our education specialists will assess your problem and provide you with free assistance, ranging from information you can use to advocate successfully on your own to assigning an education specialist or attorney to work with you directly.
This website provides a directory of self-advocacy groups by state and/or zip code. Contact information and a description of products and services offered as well as the mission statement is listed for each program.
This website also contains many stories from self-advocates, as well as a section to help individuals learn about self-advocacy.
A toolkit that provides easy-to-use tips and strategies to help individuals find, choose and keep high quality direct support professionals is also provided.