Independent Living


AbleData provides information on assistive products and rehabilitation equipment for people with disabilities. AbleData's most significant resource is the AbleData database of assistive technology, which contains objective information on over 40,000 assistive products. Each product listing provides a detailed description of the product's functions and features, price information (when available), and contact information for the product's manufacturer and distributors. AbleData also offers information on non-commercial prototypes, customized and one-of-a-kind products, and do-it-yourself designs. All of AbleData’s information resources are available for free at Staff are available to respond to telephone, email or written requests, 8:30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. AbleData is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education.

Review Date: Thursday, December 23, 2010

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Clearinghouse on Disability Information, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

The Clearinghouse provides information to people with disabilities, or anyone requesting information, by doing research and providing documents in response to inquiries. The information provided includes areas of federal funding for disability-related programs. Clearinghouse staff is trained to serve as experts in referring requests to other sources of disability-related information, if necessary. This office is in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) which is divided into three areas: the Office of Special Education Programs, the rehabilitation Services Administration, and the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Information provided may be useful to disabled individuals and their families, schools and universities, teacher's and/or school administrators, and organizations which have persons with disabilities as clients.

Review Date: Sunday, September 11, 2011

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National Council on Disability

The National Council on Disability (NCD) is a small, independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities. First established as a small advisory Council within the Department of Education in 1978, NCD was transformed into an independent agency in 1984 and is comprised of a team of fifteen Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees, an Executive Director appointed by the Chairman, and eleven, full-time professional staff.

Review Date: Wednesday, September 07, 2011

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National Information and Referral Support Center

The National Aging Information and Referral Support Center provides information and referral systems design and management, service delivery and professional staff development support to state and local aging networks. Training, technical assistance, product development and consultation are provided to build capacity and promote continuing development of aging information and referral services nationwide.

Review Date: Thursday, April 03, 2014

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National Rehabilitation Information Center, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

National Rehabilitation Information Center, funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, was established in 1977 and provides information on rehabilitation and disability-related materials. NARIC prepares bibliographies tailored to specific requests, and assists in locating answers to questions such as places, names, addresses, and statistics. NARIC's collection includes materials relevant to disability and rehabilitation. The collection contains more than 200 periodical titles and more than 60,000 research reports, books, and audiovisual materials. Coordination and information exchange with other information resources is maintained. The public can use the NARIC collection or order materials from the Center. DATABASE: REHABDATA, an online computerized database, includes bibliographic information and abstracts for the entire NARIC collection, including materials produced from 1950 to the present. Direct access to the database is through the NARIC Web page. Customized searches are available for nominal fees. There is a charge for photo duplication.

Review Date: Wednesday, February 03, 2010

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Office of Disability Employment Policy

ODEP acts as a catalyst for job formation for people with disabilities through policy analysis and grants, outreach and education, technical assistance, and the promotion and development of best practices. The office works with other government agencies, the disability community, and employers, to coordinate policies and programs designed to increase employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities.

Review Date: Friday, November 21, 2008

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AARP is the nation's leading organization for people age 50 and older. It serves their needs and interests through information and education, advocacy, and community services provided by a network of local chapters and experienced volunteers throughout the country. The organization also offers members a wide range of special benefits and services, including Modern Maturity Magazine and the monthly Bulletin.

Review Date: Friday, October 24, 2014

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Assistance Dogs International

This is a membership coalition representing organizations and individuals training and placing Assistance Dogs. The purpose of ADI is to improve the areas of training, placement, and utilization of Assistance Dogs. ADI's mission is to promote standards of excellence in all areas of Assistance Dog programs; facilitate communication and learning among member organizations; and educate the public to the benefits of these programs. Membership in the organization is extended to 501 (c)(3) organizations (or the equivalent as in the case of other countries), that train and place Assistance Dogs.

Review Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2008

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Canine Companions for Independence, Inc.

Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. CCI is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. The result is a life full of increased independence and loving companionship.

Review Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015

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Center for Research on Women with Disabilities

The mission of the Center for Research on Women with Disabilities is to promote, develop, and disseminate information to improve the health and expand the life choices of women with disabilities. CROWD was established in 1993 in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine, under the direction of Margaret A. Nosek, Ph.D. Its formation was inspired by the outpouring of support from women with disabilities around the nation in response to the announcement of the team's first federally-funded study of women's issues.

Review Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015

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Dogs for the Deaf, Inc.

Dogs for the Deaf, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that rescues and professionally trains dogs to assist people and enhance lives. The organization selects Hearing Dogs -- usually mixed breeds, small to medium in size, and 6 to 36 months of age -- from adoption shelters, trains them and places them with qualified individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Dogs are also trained and placed with children and families living with autism and people who are in need of emotional support or have other special needs. All dogs rescued are trained, placed and followed up on free of charge.

Review Date: Wednesday, June 01, 2011

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Easter Seals Inc.

Easter Seals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for nearly 90 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easter Seals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals. Easter Seals offers help, hope and answers to more than a million children and adults living with autism and other disabilities or special needs and their families each year. Services and support are provided through a network of more than 550 sites in the U.S. and through Ability First Australia. Each center provides exceptional services that are individualized, innovative, family-focused and tailored to meet specific needs of the particular community served. Easter Seals also advocates for the passage of legislation to help people with disabilities achieve independence, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Passed in 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against anyone who has a mental or physical disability, guaranteeing the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Review Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc.

The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind provides trained dogs for qualified blind persons. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization incorporated under the Membership Corporation Laws of New York. It is supported entirely by voluntary contributions. There is no charge for its service, which includes a guide dog, four weeks of training in the dog's use and care, board and lodging while the student is in residence at the Foundation's training center, transportation costs within the continental U.S., and a follow up program. The Foundation aims to give blind persons better mobility, and to contribute to the rehabilitation progress of able citizens so that they can gain social integration and increased job opportunity for self-sufficiency.

Review Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2008

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Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.

Guide Dogs for the Blind provides enhanced mobility to qualified individuals through partnership with dogs whose unique skills are developed and nurtured by dedicated volunteers and a professional staff. Established in 1942, Guide Dogs for the Blind is dedicated to quality student training services and extensive follow-up support for graduates. Programs are made possible through the teamwork of staff, volunteers and generous donors. Services are provided to students from the United States and Canada at no cost to them.

Review Date: Thursday, July 09, 2015

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Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Guiding Eyes is an internationally accredited, nonprofit guide dog school with a 50-plus year legacy of providing the blind and visually impaired with superior Guiding Eyes dogs, training, and lifetime support services. Guiding Eyes for the Blind is dedicated to enriching the lives of blind and visually impaired men and women by providing them with the freedom to travel safely, thereby assuring greater independence, dignity and new horizons of opportunity.

Review Date: Friday, January 13, 2012

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Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults

The mission of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and Adults (HKNC) is to enable all those who are deaf-blind to live and work the community of their choice. It provides comprehensive vocational rehabilitation training at its headquarters in New York and assistance with job and residential placements when training is completed. Services in the field include 10 regional offices, over 40 affiliated agencies, a National Training Team and an Older Adult Program. HKNC is a partner in the National Technical Assistance Consortium for Children and Young Adults Who are Deaf-Blind and with DB-LINK, a clearinghouse for information on deaf-blindness. HKNC also maintains a national registry of individuals who are deaf-blind.

Review Date: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

The International Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) is a cross disability group which educates and supports people with disabilities who have canine assistants do such things as guide people with visual disabilities, alert people with hearing disabilities to sounds in their environment, and service dogs that facilitate people with all other sorts of disabilities. The mission of this non profit organization is to (1) provide assistance dog partners with a voice in the assistance dog field; (2) enable those partnered with guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs to work together on issues of mutual concern; (3) to foster the disabled person / assistance dog partnership. The organization is run by a Board whose members are drawn from the population of disabled people partnered with guide dogs, hearing dogs and service dogs.

Review Date: Tuesday, June 07, 2011

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International Ventilator Users Network

The mission of Post-Polio Health International, including International Ventilators Users Network is to enhance the lives and independence of polio survivors and home mechanical ventilator users by promoting education, networking, and advocacy among these individuals and healthcare providers. IVUN is a forum for ventilator users, their families, pulmonologists, pediatricians, respiratory therapists, ventilator manufacturers, and vendors to discuss unique problems of home ventilation and to cooperatively seek solutions.

Review Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2011

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Job Accommodation Network

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace. JAN is one of several services provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Its development has been achieved through the collaborative efforts of ODEP, West Virginia University, and private industry throughout North America.

Review Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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Leader Dogs for the Blind

Leader Dogs for the Blind is one of the largest guide dog organizations in the world. Established in 1939, the organization is recognized for its fine training of dogs, stellar education of its clients and its ability to work with clients who are legally blind and some who have additional physical limitations. Clients receive the services free of charge and are provided room and board during their 26-day stay on the Leader Dog campus. Leader Dog is one of only two organizations in the world with a specially designed course to train people who are both Deaf and blind to work with a Leader Dog. Additionally, Leader Dog offers an accelerated orientation and mobility program to train people on how to use a white cane and to prepare them to train with a Leader Dog if they choose. Leader Dogs for the Blind also runs a Summer Experience Program for kids 16 and 17 years old.

Review Date: Wednesday, October 06, 2010

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National Council on Aging

Founded in 1950, the National Council on the Aging is the nation's first charitable organization to serve as a national voice and powerful advocate on behalf of older Americans. NCOA is an innovator, developing programs such as BenefitsCheckUp, Foster Grandparents and Family Friends. NCOA is an activator, working with thousands of its community organization members nationwide to provide needed services to older people. NCOA is a private, nonprofit association of some 3,500 member organizations and individuals that include senior centers, area agencies on aging, employment services, congregate meal sites, faith congregations health centers, and senior housing. NCOA also includes a network of more than 17,000 organizations and individuals including its members, professionals and volunteers, service providers, consumer groups, businesses, government agencies, religious groups and voluntary organizations.

Review Date: Wednesday, July 09, 2008

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National Education for Assistance Dog Services, Inc.

National Education for Assistance Dog Services, Inc. is a nonprofit organization which provides trained guide dogs to people who are deaf and physically disabled, so they may live more independent lives. Established in 1976, the program has place dogs primarily in the New England-Mid-Atlantic states. Hearing dogs are trained to respond to sounds (i.e. doorbell, telephone, smoke alarm, etc.) and lead the person to the sound, while service dogs are able to pick up anything that is dropped, pull wheelchairs, turn on light switches and carry items. Service Dogs for the classroom are trained to assist special educators and therapists who work with physically, mentally, or emotionally disabled children.

Review Date: Sunday, October 17, 2010

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National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification

The main purpose of the National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification is to: promote aging in place; help states, communities, the private sector and service providers improve supportive housing and home modification; maximize single family and multi-unit housing as a long-term care resource; equip families and individuals with the knowledge to plan for their housing, health and supportive service needs; and increase accessible and supportive housing that promotes healthy, independent living.

Review Date: Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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National Spinal Cord Injury Association

The National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA) Resource Center provides information and resources to meet the needs of over one million individuals who have spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D); their families and friends; the medical and scientific community; service and business professionals; the media; students; government; elected officials; and the public. Staffed by Information Specialists (including specialists with spinal cord injuries and a spinal cord injury nurse), the Resource Center provides access via our toll free Help Line (800-962-9629) and via email to the most current community living and medical information.

Review Date: Friday, October 21, 2011

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Pet Partners®

Pet Partners®, formerly Delta Society®, was established in 1977. The mission of the organization is to improve human health through therapy, service and companion animals. Pet Partners provides INFORMATION about service dogs and a directory of service dog trainers on their website; they do not train or place service dogs. Pet Partners also provides training for HANDLERS, evaluation and registration for people/animal teams who want to provide animal-assisted activities/therapy in their communities through their Therapy Animal Program. Pet Partners provides information about research done on the health benefits of pets and animal-assisted therapy on their website.

Review Date: Thursday, August 30, 2012

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Psychiatric Service Dog Society

The Psychiatric Service Dog Society is dedicated to responsible Psychiatric Service Dog (PSD) education, advocacy, research and training facilitation. The organization provides essential information for persons disabled by severe mental illness, who wish to train a service dog to assist with the management of symptoms. In addition, the Society consults regularly with mental healthcare providers in their efforts to learn more about PSD and hosts an online community of service dog handlers veteran and new.

Review Date: Wednesday, March 03, 2010

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TASH: Equity, Opportunity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities

TASH is an international grassroots leader in advancing inclusive communities through research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1975 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, TASH advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with the most significant disabilities and support needs-those most vulnerable to segregation, abuse, neglect and institutionalization. The inclusive practices they validate through research have been shown to improve outcomes for all people.

Review Date: Thursday, August 20, 2015

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The Seeing Eye, Inc.

The Seeing Eye was founded in 1929 with the purpose of helping blind persons achieve independence and mobility through the use of properly trained guide dogs. The Seeing Eye teaches dogs to guide blind persons, breeds and raises dogs for this purpose, teaches instructors the science and techniques of training dogs as guides, instructs blind persons in the proper use and handling of the dogs, and informs the public about the role of guide dogs and the capabilities of blind persons. The Seeing Eye maintains a training center in Morristown, New Jersey. Information on the training program and applications for dogs are available on request.

Review Date: Thursday, August 21, 2008

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