Often we need to call upon local resources to assist us in managing life issues that can arise from having a disability. Whether you have a disability related need, or you are assisting a loved one with such a need, the following resources may be helpful to you.
Independent Living Centers (ILCs) are agencies that help individuals with disabilities, including those with newly acquired disabilities, maintain independence in the community. ILC staff can provide a variety of services, including peer counseling, advocacy, job coaching, training, assistive equipment, and information and referral to other support services and agencies in your area. To find your local ILC, click on the hyperlink above
Phone | 1.800.772.1213
The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) website guides users through applying for Disability Benefits. The SSA Work Site explains Ticket to Work, a program which provides eligible beneficiaries access to vocational support from the Employment Network with the goal of long-term employment.
Questions regarding state Medicaid programs and eligibility requirements can be directed to the federal Medicaid program. Click on the hyperlink above to access their website.
The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) funds grants for programs that help individuals with disabilities to gain employment and live more independently. There are approximately 20 grant programs. For each program, there is information about the range of grant values previously awarded and a description of eligible project work. .
State Protection and Advocacy Agencies protect the rights of individuals with a disability by providing referral, administrative, and legal services. Protection and Advocacy (P & A) agencies are federally mandated to provide legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. Each state and U.S. Territory has a P & A Center. These centers have the authority to provide both advocacy services and legal representation to people with disabilities. They also monitor, investigate and attempt to make improvements to conditions in facilities where people with disabilities receive care (such as group homes or hospital facilities). These centers focus on issues such as access to education, financial entitlements, healthcare, housing and employment issues. The priorities for each P & A Center will vary according to local need. A list of National Protection and Advocacy Centers is available at http://www.ndrn.org/en/ndrn-member-agencies.html. The P & A Centers that serve Region 2 are listed below.
NJ Protection and Advocacy Agency
Disability Rights New Jersey
210 South Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, NJ 08608
Phone | 1.609.633.7106
Toll Free | 1.800.922.7233in NJ only
TTY | 1.609.633.7106
Email | firstname.lastname@example.org
NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs
161 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054-1310
Phone | 1.800.624.4143
General Phone | 1.518.549.0200
TTY/Relay | Dial 711 for the NYS Relay and give the operator the number
To report abuse | 1.855.373.2122 (2123 for TTY)
Office of the Governor- Ombudsman for the Disabled P.O. Box 41309 San Juan, PR 00940-1309
Phone | 1.787.721.4299
Toll Free | 1.800.981.4125
TTD | 1.787.725.2333
Email | email@example.com (Note: the website is in Spanish)
There can be a few different options for reporting disability related discrimination or accessibility problems, depending on the specific situation. Review the following options:
Each state has a Division or Commission of Human Rights which enforces state human rights laws. If you believe you have been discriminated against based on your
disability, you may have cause under state human rights law to file a complaint. The following are the websites for state Human Rights Commissions in the Northeast ADA
NYS Division of Human Rights
NJ Civil Rights Commission
Puerto Rico Commission on Civil Rights
United States Virgin Islands Department of Justice
According to Title II of the ADA, which covers state and local government public entities, public entities with 50 or more employees must designate an individual to oversee Title II compliance. Their duties would include coordinating the public entity's efforts to comply with, and fulfill responsibilities under, Title II, and investigate complaints. Sometimes this person will have the title of "ADA Coordinator". Other times, this role may be performed by a city employee who has a different title and performs other primary job responsibilities. If you need to report an accessibility problem, or disability related discrimination, within a Title II entity, you could try to contact your local ADA Coordinator to file a complaint/grievance. To find out who your ADA Coordinator is, you could contact your local city government/town hall to inquire.
If you choose to file a disability related federal complaint, there are different federal agencies that handle these complaints depending on what type of alleged violation it is and which disability related law it involves. Use the following list of federal agencies and their contact information to find out their complaint filing process:
HUD enforces the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in most housing situations. If you feel you are being discriminated against based on your disability within a housing situation, consider contacting HUD for more information on your rights under FHA and the process for filing complaints with HUD.
Department of Transportation (DOT)
DOT enforces certain transportation regulations of the ADA. Their Federal Transit Administration works to ensure equal access to transportation systems for individuals with disabilities. For information on DOT's ADA regulations, and how to file a complaint, visit the Department of Transportation's website using the hyperlink above.
The Northeast ADA Center does not provide legal assistance nor direct attorney referrals. The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). There is a P&A/CAP agency in every state and U.S. territory as well as one serving the Native American population in the four corners region. Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally-based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. To find your local Protection and Advocacy agency and Client Assistance Program in each state, go to http://www.napas.org/. Each state or territory may also have lawyers who are willing to provide services pro bono (free of charge) or who specialize in disability rights. While we cannot make any direct referrals, we might be able to assist you in searching online for an agency you can contact.
The Northeast ADA Center's parent organization, the Employment and Disability Institute (EDI), conducts research and provides outreach via training, technical assistance, and dissemination of disability statistics. EDI analyzes data and produces descriptive statistics from national surveys and administrative records of federal disability programs. EDI also works with organizations to help them maximize their use of disability statistics. To access relevant and timely disability related statistics for the United States, and for your specific state/territory, visit www.disabilitystatistics.org.