There are a lot of disability related organizations out there that do strong work. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it’s a good starting point, if you want to find non-profits to financially support.
Here are some more organizations that I think are fantastic, and that are 501 (c) 3’s:
Disability Related Organizations:
1. DREDF – which is always at the top of my list, as it goes across the disability spectrum, helping to protect all of us with disabilities.
2. Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates: I just found out about this organization! Holy cow, where have I been?! Super awesome. Check it out.
4. Disability Rights Advocates: These guys are wonderful. They are the ones who sued Target over access – and won.
5. HEARD – Helping to Educate and Advance the Rights of the Deaf – Their mission to help facilitate communication between the d/Deaf/hard of hearing community and the justice system. They are also committed to d/Deaf prisoners, correcting wrongful convictions and ending deaf prisoner abuse.
6. ASAN – Autistic Self-Advocacy Network – an American organization by and for Autistic adults advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of Autistics are heard.
7. Language Acquisition and Equality Project for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K): as a deaf woman, I absolutely must mention this. There is a crisis in the deaf community over deaf-education and our kids learning ASL (or rather, not learning ASL, not having exposure to language they can understand). Nyle DiMarco is also trying to raise awareness over this and funds to help LEAD-K with it’s work.
8. Senior and Disability Action: organize and empower seniors and people with disabilities on housing, health care, transit justice, and more.
9. Bookshare: an accessible online library for people with print disabilities. Like my friend who recommended this said, “I can’t get far without information.”
10. Learning Ally: a national organization “dedicated to bringing parents, teachers and the community together to empower students who are dyslexic, blind or visually impaired to succeed.”
11. Sins Invalid: Social change through the arts: “A performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized.”
and disability related organizations you should bookmark:
12. WID: World Institute on Disability
13. CIL: Center for Independent Living – where it all started. fantastic information on housing, benefits, rights and more
14. Through the Looking Glass: for parents with disabilities as well as children with disabilities
15. Disability Rights California (formerly Protection and Advocacy, Inc): CA specific but still with excellent cross-disability and cross-state information
16. Mobility International: for travel/disability/exchange/education information
17. JAN: Job Accommodation Network – A-Z of disability and accomodation
18. ODEP: Office of Disability Employment Policy: disability and job information (for a government site, this is actually pretty good)
19. disability.gov: Also a good, cross-disability site with a ton of information
20. Center for Parent Information and Resources: serving families of children with disabilities in every American state and territory
21. National Council on Independent Living: disability-led organization that “advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities” by working with policy, advocacy and supporting member Centers for Independent Living.
22. Association of University Centers on Disability: “A network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities.”
But there are more disability related organizations
Most people want to donate to an actual non-profit, with legal non profit status, but some of the most cutting edge projects are not certified 501 (c) 3’s .
23. ADAPT – they are the people who saved Medicaid in 2017. Not a certified non-profit but without question a fantastic home for your coin.
24. Disabled Parents Rights is another one. “Disabled Parents Rights is a small organization dedicated to combating discrimination that impacts parenting for parents with disabilities. We provide direct representation, advocacy, and technical assistance to disabled parents, as well as their advocates and attorneys.” As a deaf mother (with TBI and PTSD), this hits home.
25. The Disability Visibility Project Alice Wong is doing fantastic work with the #CripTheVote project and in gathering people across the disability spectrum under her fold. That project isn’t “certified” but it’s very worthy, and something worth contributing to. Here’s where you can donate.
26. Southerners on New Ground (SONG) – they seem to be an organizing-for-change group, and are led by disabled people of color. They have a toolkit for change and work on advancing the rights of some very vulnerable people in the south right now. They are going to need help in the coming future.
27. Disability, Community, Career & Website Development with Meriah Nichols: I’m going to put my own site here too because I am fantastic at connecting people and pulling together resources and serve as a middle-point between disability communities. I do a lot of great work already without pay, on my own dime, but that’s not sustainable and it’s also not even the tip of what I could accomplish with funding. Here’s where you can contribute.
There are also some very deserving disability-specific and parent-led organizations out there. Here’s a short list of a few that I have connections to:
28. Lettercase: I’ve loved them forever (remember this post?!) You know why? Because my husband and I were once literally sitting at a table with a doctor telling us that we should abort our unborn child because she was going to be coming with Down syndrome. When my husband and I asked him for more information about lives lived with Down syndrome – a brochure? meet someone? See what Down syndrome is like? The doctor said, “we don’t do that.”
Lettercase is trying to change that all-too-common scenario by putting accurate and up-to-date information in the hands of medical practitioners. It’s fabulous and very worthy of your money. Donate here.
29. Down syndrome Diagnosis Network: A grassroots parent-led group that connects and supports. Good people, good work.
30. Down syndrome Adoption Network: Fantastic work connecting families who want to adopt a child with Down syndrome with a child with Down syndrome. Shoe-string budget, run mostly on the sweat of a couple of women.
31. Ruby’s Rainbow: “dedicated to the higher educational needs of adults with Down syndrome.” They provide scholarships to adults with Down syndrome who are seeking post-secondary education, enrichment or vocational classes. This is fantastic since so few programs do that.
32. Parents Education Network: “Parents Education Network (PEN) is a coalition of parents collaborating with educators, students and the community to empower and bring academic and life success to students with learning and attention differences.”
My friend Andrew wrote a great post on “How to Choose a Disability Charity” – he’s got some great suggestions on things to think about as you move forward and select the disability related organization (s) that you would like to support.
If you know of more great disability related organizations or movements to bookmark, know about and/or support, PLEASE leave the link in the comments of this post so that everyone can benefit.