Advocacy: Raising Awareness and Influencing Service Delivery


Americans with Disabilities Initiative: Kentucky

The purpose of this web site is to inform people with disabilities of their rights and available programs.

The ARC (National)

The Arc is the world's largest community based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It provides an array of services and support for families and individuals and includes over 140,000 members affiliated through more than 730 state and local chapters across the nation. The Arc is devoted to promoting and improving supports and services for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Autism Society of America (ASA)

The Autism Society of America (ASA), the nation's leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. ASA is the leading source of trusted and reliable information about autism. (Search: advocacy)

Autism Speaks

At Autism Speaks, our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals. Autism Speaks aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle.(Search: advocacy) "Connecting the Disability Community to Information & Opportunities

This site features comprehensive information from 22 federal agencies, as well as educational institutions, non-profit organizations and state and local governments. Topics covered on the site include: benefits; civil rights; community life; education; emergency preparedness; employment; health; housing; technology; and transportation.

National Information Center for Children and Youth

The provides a PDF version of "Parenting a Child with Special Needs".

NICHCY is very pleased to offer you a wealth of information on disabilities! NICHCY stands for the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. We serve the nation as a central source of information on:

  • Disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth,
  • IDEA, which is the law authorizing special education,
  • No Child Left Behind (as it relates to children with disabilities), and
  • Research-based information on effective educational practices.

TASH The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps Disability Advocacy Worldwide

TASH is an international association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and professionals fighting for a society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of society is the norm. TASH is an organization of members concerned with human dignity, civil rights, education, and independence for all individuals with disabilities. (Look for chapter information for Kentucky chapter)

National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The mission of the National Organization on Disability (NOD) is to expand the participation and contribution of America's 54 million men, women, and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. Our current focus is on improving employment prospects for America's 33 million working-aged Americans with disabilities. The vision of the organization is as follows, as employers increasingly place disability as a top diversity priority, persons with disabilities are actively recruited for a broad range of jobs and careers, and employers make reasonable accommodations to address their needs. Employers are rewarded by the skills, high productivity, and retention rates of workers with disabilities. In turn, persons with disabilities have positive financial incentives to work; are assured of continuing health benefits appropriate to their needs; are provided with the education and training to prepare them for productive careers; and enjoy the dignity, responsibility, and economic independence resulting from gainful employment.

Association of University Centers on Developmental Disabilities- American Association of University Affiliated Programs for persons with Developmental Disabilities

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs. These programs serve and are located in every U.S. state and territory and are all part of universities or medical centers. They serve as a bridge between the university and the community, bringing together the resources of both to achieve meaningful change.

Family Voices

Family Voices aims to achieve family-centered care for all children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities. Through our national network, we provide families tools to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among professionals and families, and serve as a trusted resource on health care.

Autism National Committee

Welcome to the web page of the Autism National Committee (AUTCOM)! This is the only autism advocacy organization dedicated to "Social Justice for All Citizens with Autism" through a shared vision and a commitment to positive approaches. Our organization was founded in 1990 to protect and advance the human rights and civil rights of all persons with autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and related differences of communication and behavior.


Parents, advocates, educators, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, up-to-date information about special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities. (Search: advocacy)


Kentucky Protection and Advocacy

To protect and promote the rights of Kentuckians with disabilities through legally based individual and systemic advocacy, and education.

Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities

The mission of the Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities is to create change through visionary leadership and advocacy so that people have choices and control over their own lives.

Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network, Inc.

KY-SPIN, Inc. (Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting programs which will enable persons with disabilities and their families to enhance their quality of life. KY-SPIN, Inc. has a Board of Directors comprised of parents and professionals who provide guidance and assistance to the various programs. The mission of KY-SPIN, Inc. is to empower and support individuals with disabilities and their families to effectively advocate for and access needed information, resources and support networks in order to enhance the quality of their lives. SPIN PTI (SPIN Parent Training & Information Project) is funded by the US Department of Education

United Partners in Kentucky (UP in KY)

UP in KY members are committed to work together, and share information and expertise in order to enhance and improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and their families. We are dedicated to providing accurate, timely, and pertinent information to children, youth, and young adults with disabilities and their families so they can make informed decisions. UP in KY is a functional, non-compensated partnership to enhance each others' work on behalf of children, youth and young adults with disabilities and their families. The intention is to collaborate with each other, reduce duplication of effort and help determine and influence policies. UP in Kentucky is led by a group of statewide consumer and family leadership organizations, private and public agencies, and federally or state funded projects. In the future, membership will be expanded.

University of Kentucky Human Development Institute

The Human Development Institute is Kentucky's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service. We focus our efforts on improving lifelong opportunities and services for individuals with disabilities, their families and the community. The Institute provides a strong foundation for more than 40 research, training and service projects, addressing a wide range of topics and issues in areas such as early childhood, education and alternate assessment, transition across the lifespan, employment, community living, and personnel preparation.

Arc of Kentucky

The Arc of Kentucky holds a Vision of a positive future for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a future of communities with services and supports that will promote lives of value for Kentuckians with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc of Kentucky believes that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are contributing members of schools, work places, churches, synagogues, neighborhoods, and their communities. The Arc values services and supports that enhance the quality of life through interdependence, friendship, choice, and respect for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit citizens' organization that mobilizes Kentuckians to improve public schools.

Disability Coalition of Northern Kentucky

The Disabilities Coalition of Northern Kentucky (DCNKY) has been in existence since 1993. We are presently serving three counties in the Northern Kentucky area including Boone, Campbell, and Kenton. OUR MISSION: "Empowering People with Disabilities Through Education, Networking, and Positive Attitudes.

The Council on Mental Retardation

Since 1952 The Council on Developmental Disabilities, a private non-profit association of families and friends of persons with mental retardation, has been advocating for persons with mental retardation in Jefferson County since 1952. The Council is a member agency of Metro United Way. Additional funding sources include: private, state, and federal grants; self-generated and program fees; foundation gifts and grants; and donations from the general public.

FIND (Family Information Network on Disabilities) of Louisville

The Family Information Network on Disabilities (FIND of Louisville) is a non-profit organization that provides free information, training, referral, and advocacy to parents and professionals working with children with disabilities and special needs. We serve families of children of ages birth to 26 years old and all disabilities (i.e., physical, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional).

Guidelines & Resources - For Getting The Life You Want

A publication intended to help consumers and their families navigate Kentucky's Developmental Disabilities Service System.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

We are the center that provides information to the nation on:

  • disabilities in children and youth;
  • programs and services for infants, children, and youth with disabilities;
  • IDEA, the nation's special education law;
  • No Child Left Behind, the nation's general education law; and
  • research-based information on effective practices for children with disabilities.

House Bill 296: Kentucky Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders

This is a website within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services that describes House Bill 296 which established the Kentucky Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders and the work that the commission did, which has been turned over to the Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Kentucky State Legislature: "Who's my Legislator?"

The website providing information about the Kentucky State Legislature. This site includes a search tool for determining who your state senator or state representative is and how to contact them.