Parents Helping Parents (PHP) – PHP is one of the most important resources for parents who are new to special education. PHP organizes free seminars and trainings for parents of children with disabilities, including special education symposiums to update parents on new law or guide new parents through old law. PHP also has an extensive resource directory.
Special Parents Information Network (SPIN) – SPIN is a non-profit parent-to-parent support and information network located in Santa Cruz. SPIN serves parents, guardians and families in Santa Cruz and San Benito counties who have a child or children with special needs of any age.
Legal Assistance for Children and Youth (LACY) – LACY advances the legal rights of children and youth, empowering them to lead healthy and productive lives.
Association of Regional Centers for Developmental Disabilities (ARCA) – ARCA represents CA’s 21 independent, non-profit regional centers, and promotes, supports, and advances the centers in providing community-based services that enable individuals with developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential and highest level of self-sufficiency.
California Private Special Education Schools (CAPSES) – CAPSES is a non-profit organization that promotes the delivery of quality special education and services in both the non-public and public sectors of education.
California Education Code – This is the education law in California. It works in conjunction with the federal education laws.
Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act – The Lanterman Act is a California law that outlines the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, how the regional centers and service providers can help these individuals, what services and supports they can obtain, how to use the individualized program plan to get services, how to address violations of the Act, and how to improve the system.
California Department of Education Guidance:
AB 1369, Statutes of 2015, requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop program guidelines for dyslexia. The guidelines will be used to assist regular education teachers, special education teachers, and parents to identify and assess pupils with dyslexia, and to plan, provide, evaluate, and improve educational services to pupils with dyslexia.
Additional information is available through the following national resources:
Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA) – COPAA is a non-profit organization that protects the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families. The COPAA community is available to anyone who works primarily from the family perspective.
Wrightslaw – is a national resource that provides information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. Wrightslaw has extensive resources available on its site and also offers training programs throughout the year.
U.S. Department of Education (ED) – ED provides many resources and guidance documents on its site. Information specific to the rights of children with disabilities can be found easily through the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
Easter Seals – Easter Seals provides services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work, and play in our communities. Click here to find a local group.
Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) – ASAN is a non-profit run by and for people who have Autism, and advocates for systems change to ensure that the voices of people with Autism are heard in policy debates.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – This is the federal special education law that outlines the rights of students and parents in the special education process.
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – This is the most recently authorized version of the national education law that applies to all students in every state. You can find links to the law and regulations, as well as frequently asked questions, here.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all aspects of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all private and public places that are open to the general public.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) – Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and ensures that a child with a disability has equal access to an education through accommodations and modifications.
Disaster and Emergency Safety for People with Disabilities
Emergencies and disasters can strike quickly and without warning, forcing people to quickly leave or be confined in their home unexpectedly. For the millions of Americans who have disabilities, emergencies, such as fires, floods and acts of terrorism, present a real challenge.
Preparing for Disaster for People with Disabilities and other Special Needs is a booklet from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross that helps people with disabilities prepare for all kinds of emergencies.\
Disaster Preparedness for Families of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs: This guide takes parents through the basic steps of creating an emergency kit and developing a family communication plan.
This emergency power planning checklist is for people who use electricity and
battery dependent assistive technology and medical devices. Electricity and
battery-dependent devices include:
• breathing machines (respirators, ventilators),
• power wheelchairs and scooters, and
• oxygen, suction or home dialysis equipment.