Frequently asked questions


Assisted Living Research Institute is an industry-leading research organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of older adults by compiling comprehensive research, the latest studies, and real-world insight from experts, caregivers, and seniors into easy-to-understand, actionable guides, and resources. Assisted Living is a community organization that prioritizes helping those who are disabled and the elderly fully enjoy their healthy years and age gracefully. Our organization creates and publishes comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources. We have been featured on the Parkinson’s Foundation, US Department of Health and Human Services – Health Finder, Global Healthspan Policy Institute, and is referenced by many governmental agencies and organizations across the web. Learn more by clicking here.


The Autism Source™ Resource Database, created in 2004, is the most comprehensive database of its kind. The Autism Society strives to offer only credible and reliable resources to their constituents, therefore they have employed their nationwide network of affiliates and collaborated with other autism organizations and professionals throughout the U.S. It is because of these collaborative relationships that the Autism Source™Resource Database continues to grow and is kept current with comprehensive resource listings. Learn more by clicking here.


Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Autism Speaks enhances lives today and is accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. Learn more by clicking here.


The Arc of Virginia promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. The ARC of Virginia promotes self-advocacy, which equips people with I/DD from across the state with the tools and resources to advocate for themselves. They work to ensure that self-advocates have a seat at every table where I/DD policy is discussed and that they have the support needed for meaningful participation. They meet with legislators and policymakers to explain what is needed to achieve the A Life Like Yours vision, such as: ending the Medicaid Waiver waitlist, which has surpassed 10,000 individuals; improving services offered in the Waiver program; ensuring institutions are closed and community integrated housing and employment is available to all Virginians with I/DD, and expanding access to early intervention services and quality education for youth with I/DD. The Arc of Virginia is a state chapter of The Arc of the United States and is comprised of 24 local chapters from across the Commonwealth. Joining a local chapter gives you automatic membership to The Arc of Virginia and The Arc of the United States.
Learn more by clicking here.


For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. As the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18, in communities across the country. They develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. Their unique brand of one-to-one mentoring, in which a child facing adversity is carefully matched with a caring adult mentor in a relationship supported by professional Big Brothers Big Sisters staff members, changes lives for the better forever. Learn more by clicking here.


Center for Parent Information & Resources: CPIR is a central “hub” of information and products created for the network of Parent Centers serving families of children with disabilities. All the materials found on the CPIR Hub have been created and archived for Parent Centers around the country to help them provide support and services to the families they serve. There are nearly 100 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI’s) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRC’s) in the US and Territories, and CPIR provides easy and convenient access to all of them in one place. These centers work with families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities, birth to 26, help parents participate in their children’s education and development, and partner with professionals and policy makers to improve outcomes for all children with disabilities. Click here for more information.


September of 2015, The Children’s Guild Public Charter School will open its doors in Washington, DC with the goal of recruiting 450 scholars. Our school values the unique talents of your child. We offer a personalized learning environment. The Children’s Guild’s philosophy of TranZed develops caring, committed and contributing young people for a cause bigger than themselves. The culture of our school is reinforced throughout our school goals, curriculum, environment and systems. At the heart is our student centered approach to teaching and learning where our principles are guided by the way we Think, Act, Care and Reflect.


DC Partners in Transition is a resource designed for young adults with disabilities in the DC area to help them answer questions about their future and begin planning for it. They provide local resources as well as success stories of young adults in similar positions. Their helpful resources span a number of topics including Education, Employment, Health, Legal and Advocacy, Transportation, Recreation, Social Development, Independent Living, Government, and Technology. Please click here for more information.


Easterseals provides opportunities for people of all ages with a range of disabilities to achieve their full potential. Together, we’re changing the way the world defines and views disability. With a network nationwide, they’re proud to serve approximately 1.5 million people with disabilities and their families. From therapy and early intervention services, to camps and employment placement, they help children and adults with disabilities, caregivers, veterans and seniors be at their best as they live, learn, work and play. For more information, please click here.


Edge Ed is an SAT preparation course for students with diverse learning needs, designed for students with attention, processing, or anxiety issues. EDGE Ed is NOW offering a summer camp that dives into various interests – including media production, photography, and more! For more information, please click here.


ewish Social Service Agency: Specialized Employment Program: Nationally, those with a disability face an unemployment rate of 70%. JSSA’s Specialized Employment team has been highly successful in helping individuals with disabilities defy the odds and gain competitive employment. JSSA also works with local organizations to provide competitive, high quality employment services. This past year, JSSA’s team of vocational counselors and coaches served and supported hundreds of clients through a variety of services and programs ideal for those whose goal is meaningful community-based competitive employment. These services and programs included career assessment, job training and job development, job coaching and retention, and socialization/social support. JSSA’s staff of experienced vocational evaluators, employment specialists proficient in Spanish and ASL, job coaches, and job developers offer interview and resume guidance, job development and job coaching, often making the difference between a life time of relying on others and one of self-sustainability. Their job placement services are offered at no cost.
For more information, please click here.


This site offers information on Estate Planning for Parents of Children with Autism, Renters’ Rights and Housing Assistance for People with Disabilities. Living independently is a goal for many adult children with disabilities. It’s an important part of having a fulfilling life, and the drive for freedom exists regardless of ability.
For more information, please click here.


KEEN Greater DC is a nonprofit volunteer-led organization that provides one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities at no cost to their families and caregivers. KEEN’s mission is to foster the self-esteem, confidence, skills and talents of its athletes through non-competitive activities, allowing young people facing even the most significant challenges to meet their individual goals. Visit KEEN’s website here.


Madison Fields is a fully functional farm that offers an inclusive environment where adults and children -with special needs, or not – can play, learn and work together. Located in Dickerson, MD, Madison Fields features a state-of-the-art riding stable, bank barn, corn crib, chicken coop, tenant housing, a guest house, a historic farmhouse, and two fully-enclosed out buildings. Their goal is to build a thriving agricultural community that embraces diversity, acceptance, and inclusion. Learn more by clicking here.


The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council (Council) is an independent, self-governing organization dedicated to advancing the inclusion of Marylanders with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life. The Council is 100% federally funded. Council members are appointed by the governor and are similar to a board of directors in that they establish the priorities of the Council and help guide the Council’s work. Council members include people with developmental disabilities, family members, local and non-profit organizations, state agency representatives, and representatives of Disability Rights Maryland and the Maryland Center on Developmental Disabilities. The majority of Council members are people with developmental disabilities and family members. The Council is in a unique position to bring together people with diverse perspectives, experiences and knowledge in meaningful partnerships. This work is led and supported by a staff of five. Council meetings are open to the public. Learn more by clicking here.


The Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes (MWABA) is a 501(c)(3) organization of blind athletes and their sighted peers who believe that recreational and competitive sports opportunities should be open to everyone, regardless of their ability to see. We hold programs for blind and visually impaired youth and adults from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia to discover new sports or practice familiar ones in an open and welcoming environment. Our mission also includes teaching blind athletes the physical techniques and body movements that they may not have had a chance to learn through physical education classes. We also share the best way to teach athletic and kinesthetic skills to the blind and visually impaired population with educators in our area. MWABA events are all about trying new things, meeting new friends, staying or becoming fit, and having fun! We support one another in achieving a fit and active lifestyle. Learn more about Linden by clicking here.


The National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities (NCPEID)’s mission is to promote research, professional preparation, service delivery, and advocacy of Physical Education for individuals with disabilities. Membership is open to all persons who are or have been involved in professional preparation, demonstration, or research activity related to physical education and recreation for individuals with disabilities. University faculty in adapted physical education as well as public school and residential facility personnel are encouraged to become members. Visit the NCPEID Web site here.


The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) builds positive futures for Virginia’s children by working collaboratively with families, schools and communities in order to improve opportunities for excellence in education and success in school and community life. Our special focus is children with disabilities.


Researchers have found that autism can affect the body’s ability to produce melatonin at the correct times, causing autistic children and adults to experience daytime fatigue and difficulty falling asleep at night. Sensory issues in the bedroom can also make it difficult to fall asleep and sleep well throughout the night. Sleep Help’s guide covers these issues in detail and gives some simple, non-prescription options for getting a better night’s sleep. Learn more by clicking here.


The Special Olympics mission was founded in 1968 and is now the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics’ ultimate goal is to help persons with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large, by offering them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition, and increasing the public’s awareness of their capabilities and needs. Special Olympics provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. They also provide health screenings as well as host fundraising events. Special Olympics offers 30+ Olympic-style individual and team sports that provide meaningful training and competition opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities. They have events and competitions happening in places all around the world, but the headquarters are located locally in Washington D.C. Learn more by clicking here.


Sunflower Bakery prepares young adults with learning differences through professional on-the-job training for employment in pastry, baking and related food industries. Sunflower Bakery is an inclusive workforce-training organization guided by Jewish values and engaged in community building. Learn more by clicking here.


That’s A Wrap Deli is a venture established by Community Support Services, Inc. (CSS), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing a wide range of services benefiting people with disabilities. A long standing goal of the organization has been to establish a community business of interest to people directly supported by CSS as well as to the general public. That’s a Wrap is a dynamic project that combines healthy food products people want with inclusive employment opportunities for people with disabilities. That’s a Wrap offers healthy food for sale including wraps, salads, soups, casseroles, fruits and healthy snacks and drinks. The deli will primarily sell ready made packaged foods for carry out business.
Please click here for more information.


TOPSoccer is a national program offered by United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) for players with special needs. TOPSoccer Buddies are invaluable volunteers who assist the trainer and participate directly with individual players or within a team with several players to enable participation in soccer activities. The Buddies are not players and do not score goals, they help the TOPSoccer player succeed and keep them as safe as possible. Buddies can be a same-aged peer, a teenager or an adult. They can be a soccer player, someone who works with special needs children or someone who has no soccer experience, but a strong desire to enable children to have fun. Please click here for more information.


VirginiaNavigator – Disability and Employment: Information and Resources: VirginiaNavigator is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of providing helpful, free resource information associated with aging, disabilities, post-military life, and overall well-being. VirginiaNavigator offers a comprehensive list of resources available in the state of Virginia for individuals with disabilities. In addition, they offer the website disAbility Navigator, which provides a search engine for individuals with disabilities to navigate through local services, helpful tips, and answers to a variety of questions. Please click here for more information.


Being disabled should not be a reason for anyone to be excluded from getting an education. Many disabled individuals find it difficult to access programs which cater for their unique needs, especially in the vocational training space. This site identifies the best vocational training programs for disabled in 2018.Please click here for more information.


The city you live in can have an enormous impact on your quality of life – especially if you have a disability. From wheelchair accessible sidewalks to employment options to the weather itself, there are a variety of characteristics that can determine whether your hometown is a good place to live. So how disability-friendly is your city? This could depend on the kind of special needs you have. A lot of city features just might not be as important for you as others. State and local laws will also be a factor. As a minimum, the American with Disabilities Act requires that state and local governments make their programs and services easily accessible to people with disabilities. Please click here for more information.

Cerebral Palsy Group

Cerebral Palsy is a name given to a set of nerve disorders which affect muscle coordination and body movement. Each year roughly 10,000 babies are born with cerebral palsy. We are an online resource for anyone who has been affected by cerebral palsy, brain injuries, or birth injuries. Our team of world-class doctors and healthcare professionals are here to provide you with the information you need. You can rest assured that we will provide high quality, medically-reviewed data on everything related to cerebral palsy as well as birth injury topics. Learn more here: