Advocacy Strategies for School

Who can I contact if I am having problems getting or staying in school?

Your State Protection and Advocacy (P&A)

Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. The National Disability Rights Network serves a wide range of individuals with disabilities – including, but not limited to, those with cognitive, mental, sensory, and physical disabilities – by guarding against abuse; advocating for basic rights; and ensuring accountability in health care, education, employment, housing, transportation, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

You can call your State Protection and Advocacy (P&A) about education when:
  • You want to know what help is available to get or keep a job.
  • You have transportation problems getting to and from work.
  • You believe you were not hired or given a different job because of your disability.
  • You were not given the help you needed to do your job.
  • You think people at your job are bothering you or not treating you fairly because of your disability.
  • You want to know what will happen to your benefits if you go to work. Benefits may include: (Social Security, Medicaid, TANF, Medicare, Housing, Food Stamps, Transportation).

Your State Client Assistance Program (CAP)
Client Assistance Program helps in many paths to reaching employment goals including school assistive technology and more. You can call your Client Assistance Program (CAP)for help when:
  • You need help getting services from VR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services).
  • You have been told you cannot get help from VR to go to school or get a job.
  • No VR plan has been developed because you and your counselor disagree about your education or job goal or other help you need.
  • VR services have been denied or delayed.
  • VR is not helping you find a job.
  • Your VR counselor will not return your calls.
  • You got a new VR counselor and she/he wants to change your plan to get a job.

Your Regional Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC)
The Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC) is a national network of 10 regional DBTAC: ADA Centers that provide the most complete and experienced services for up-to-date information, referrals, resources, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to businesses, employers, government entities, and individuals with disabilities, as well as media and news reporters.

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W Washington, D.C. 20201
Hot line: 1-800-368-1019 (v)
TDD: 1-800-537-7697

Your Local Center for Independent Living
A Step Toward Independence Centers for Independent Living (CIL) can help you achieve independence. Whether you are searching for a support system, looking for assistance in making your new home accessible, need help finding a job or just need to hire a PCA, your local CIL can help. A Center for Independent Living, or CIL as it is more commonly referred to, is just what the name implies: a center that helps individuals with disabilities to live as independently as possible. There are CILs all over the country, making finding one in or near your area a relatively easy task. To simplify this task even further, visit Virtual CIL, a comprehensive listing of Centers for Independent Living in all 50 states.

You can also contact the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
2111 Wilson Blvd., #406, Arlington, VA 22201
NCIL coordinates national support efforts to the independent living centers by providing technical assistance, public education, and other services. To locate the independent living center nearest to you, look in the telephone directory under Independent Living Center or call NARIC (National Rehabilitation Information Center).

Your Local ADAPT Chapter
ADAPT is like no other organization of which you may be a member. From the national to the local level, ADAPT has an informal structure. ADAPT is an activist organization. ADAPT's primary focus relates to access and community-based attendant services. Groups cover cities, states, regions but there are many lone warriors out there too. Look at the National ADAPT Contacts to get in touch with the group nearest you.

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