Learn about online communities and resources for people with disabilities and those caring for them.
Whether you have a disability or care for someone who does, life can quickly feel both overwhelming and isolating. Scheduling doctor’s appointments, dealing with medical billing and insurance companies acquiring the skills necessary to care for yourself or your loved one, and simply adjusting to “your new normal” takes its toll, and the feeling that you no longer have anything in common with friends and loved ones can cause people to withdraw.
But although life with a disability is different than it was before, it doesn’t have to be any less fulfilling. And it is important to remember that you are not alone. There’s a vast community of people with disabilities, their caregivers and loved ones, and disability rights activists who are online and talking. They are going through, or already gone through, the same struggles. You just need to reach out and find them.
Here then are 10 websites that provide disability news and resources. You will find information on a variety of disability issues and websites and online communities that offer hope for living your life to its fullest.
Access Living is a Chicago-based disability advocacy group that works to foster inclusiveness for Chicagoans with all disabilities to that they can lead full, active and independent lives. The website provides information on independent living skills, legal advocacy, legislative outreach, and an online reference library to help people with disabilities find employment, housing and personal care services.
Access Living’s blog, Lead On, offers a more in-depth view of the work staff, the majority of whom have disabilities themselves, and focuses on local, state and national legislation that could impact the lives of people with disabilities.
American Association on Health and Disability
People with disabilities often have complicated health needs that require numerous appointments with doctors and rehabilitation experts, making access to quality healthcare a top priority. The American Association on Health and Disability works to advance health promotion and wellness initiatives for people with all disabilities through advocacy and education. Their site offers information on legislation that could negatively impact access to healthcare for people with disabilities, as well as a variety of other health topics, from practical advice to research papers.
The official blog of Disability.gov, which is managed by the United States Department of Labor, Disability.blog features weekly posts from experts in their specific field – including people with disabilities – who address topics of interest to people with disabilities and their families. From benefits and assistance programs to transportation, employment and community issues, the goal of Disability.blog is to promote full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life.
Started in May 2004, Disabled World provides news and other information on disability related issues through a mixture of stories, articles and educational videos written by in-house staff, news pieces submitted by government organizations and collected from the web. You can also sign-up to receive Disabled World’s weekly newsletter.
Family Caregiver Alliance
Those who care for a person with a disability are impacted almost as much as the disabled person themselves. Providing constant care for a family member with a disability can quickly consume the caregiver’s life to the point where they forget to take care of themselves. The Family Caregiver Alliance is a national organization that arms caregivers with information on caring for a loved one, as well as news and legal updates on issues that directly affect caregivers. The Caregiver Connect section of the site allows caregivers to connect not only with staff, but caregivers across the country to share their stories and offer, and receive, support.
Real Work Stories
Part of the Institute for Community Inclusion out of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Real Work Stories highlight the employment success of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities around the country, and offers suggestions for workplace supports that can help all people, regardless of disability, make contributions to the workplace.
The Arc Blog
The Arc is a national non-profit organization that has been advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1950. The Arc Blog provides readers with up-to-date information on issues relevant to people with disabilities across the nation, from legislation that could have an impact on their lives to information on planning for the financial future through estate planning.
The Disability Law Lowdown Podcast
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) grants specific rights to people with disabilities, and imposes certain obligations and businesses in terms of accommodation and accessibility. The Disability Law Lowdown Podcast works to help people with disabilities understand those rights through podcasts. Available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language, each podcast focuses on a specific aspect of the ADA and other disability laws. Podcasts are also available as a written transcript.
United Cerebral Palsy is a nationwide organization that seeks to educate, advocate and provide support to people with disabilities in order to “ensure a life without limits”. The UCP advocates on behalf of people with a broad spectrum of disabilities, not just cerebral palsy. The site has information on health care reform, employment of people with disabilities, assistive technology, travel and housing for the disabled. Newsletters keep readers updated on legislation and court decisions that affect people with disabilities and their families.
With the look of Buzzfeed and the style of Huffington Post, Verve, a blog “about all things disability”, is written by and about people disabilities, their caregivers and their family. The site includes articles on a variety of topics, including advocacy, health, employment and relationships, with insights from people living with disability and those who care for (or about) them.
If you have a disability and need assistance in obtaining social security disability benefits, please consider Attorney Neil H. Good’s office for your legal needs. Our firm has over 25 years helping people obtain SSD benefits. You can contact us online or call #(847) 577-4476.