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Advocacy & Legal Rights

ADA (American with Disabilities Act) National Network

Provides information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and supports the mission of the ADA to “assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”
(800) 949-4232
adata.org
ASL video explaining disability laws and rights: youtube.com/user/DisabilityLawLowdown/videos

American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

The country’s largest cross-disability membership organization that organizes the disability community to be a powerful voice for change. They also offer internships for college students and recent graduates with all types of disabilities. They do not provide direct services, but can refer people to someone who may be able to help.
2013 H Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20006
(800) 840-8844
aapd.com

Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)

A coalition of national disability organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the independence and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.
820 First Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20006
(202) 567-3516
c-c-d.org

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)

A national civil rights law and policy center directed by individuals with disabilities and parents who have children with disabilities whose goal is to advance the rights of people with disabilities. Their website has information about access to healthcare, special education, transportation and more.
3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley, California 94703
(510) 644-2555 and (510) 841-8645 TTY
dredf.org

Disability Rights Ohio

Provides legal advocacy and rights protection throughout Ohio to a wide range of people with disabilities. This includes assisting individuals with problems such as abuse, neglect, discrimination, access to assistive technology devices, special education, housing, employment, community integration, voting and rights protection issues within the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
200 Civic Center Drive, Suite 300, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 466-7264 or (800) 282-9181
disabilityrightsohio.org

Down Syndrome Achieves (DSA)

Focuses on research and funding, political advocacy and education. They also offer resources for parents who have a child with Down Syndrome. Visit the website or their Facebook page to receive DSA updates and news.
PO Box 1596, Dublin, Ohio 43017
(614) 362-3441
dsachieves.org
facebook.com/DSachieves

Epilepsy Legal Defense Fund

Works to end epilepsy-related discrimination through education and increased access to legal services for individuals with epilepsy. They refer discrimination cases to attorneys who have agreed to provide some level of free legal services.
Columbus office: 3857 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214
(800) 332-100, press 2 or (614) 725-1015
epilepsy.com/living-epilepsy/legal-help
Application for Assistance: epilepsy.com/node/2013161

JAN (Job Accommodation Network)

Offers free advice on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.
(800) 526-7234 Voice or (877) 781-9403 TTY
askjan.org
benefits.gov/benefit/5894

Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC)

Provides free civil legal assistance and guidance to low income residents and senior citizens of Columbus and Central Ohio. Legal Aid attorneys may be able to help you with the following types of cases or legal problems: consumer law, family law, housing, foreclosure, public benefits, reentry, seniors, tax, veterans, education and “Brief Advice” clinics.

  • Columbus Office: (serves Franklin and Madison county)
    1108 City Park Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43206
    Intake: (614) 241-2001 or (888) 246-4420 Toll-free
    General Inquiries: (614) 224-8374 or (877) 224-8374 Toll-free
  • Marion Office: (serves Delaware, Marion, Morrow and Union county)
    150 Oak Street, Marion, Ohio 43302
    (740) 383-2161 or (888) 301-2411 Toll-free

columbuslegalaid.org

Long Term Care Ombudsman Program

Helps individuals and families resolve problems related to mental health and alcohol/drug services. They can assist with many problems, including access to treatment or denial of services, medication access, medical benefits, guardianship and incarceration. Services are free and confidential.
3830 Trueman Court, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
(614) 345-9198 or (800) 536-5891
easterseals.com/centralohio/our-programs/senior-services/long-term-care-ombudsman.html

National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)

Represents the largest provider of legally based advocacy services for people with disabilities. They guard against abuse and advocate for basic rights. Their website has an extensive list of national disability organizations. NDRN does not provide direct legal services or advice to individuals. Visit the website for contact information.
820 First Street Northeast, Washington, DC 20002
ndrn.org

National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC)

Offers information for new parents and professionals, speech and language resources, health care information, education, behavior tips and more.
30 Mansell Court, Roswell, Georgia 30076
(800) 232-6372
ndsccenter.org

National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)

Their website provides a lot of resources and information about Down syndrome and a free helpline to answer questions about Down syndrome.
Headquarters: 8 East Forty-first Street, New York, New York 10017
National Advocacy & Public Policy Center: 1100 H Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20005
National Helpline: (800) 221-4602
ndss.org

Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (OACBDD)

Represents the 88 county boards of developmental disabilities throughout Ohio and monitors legislation at the state and national level. On their website they list information and tools for people with developmental disabilities, parents, and family members.
73 East Wilson Bridge Road, Worthington, Ohio 43085
(614) 431-0616
oacbdd.org/familyresources

Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD)

Provides information and resources for parents of children with disabilities; parents can call to get one-on-one assistance. They offers resources for parents of children with disabilities and parents can call to get one-to-one assistance.
165 West Center Street, Marion, Ohio 43302
(740) 382-5452
ocecd.org

Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Dispute Resolution

Situations may arise where parents or other family members believe a school has violated federal or state law. The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Office for Exceptional Children (OEC) and Office of Early Learning & School Readiness (EL&SR) encourage parents, family members and schools to work together to resolve differences for free. The website provides information about mediation services and more.
25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 466-2650 or (877) 644-6338 Toll-free
education.ohio.gov/Topics/Special-Education/Dispute-Resolution

Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (DD Council)

Promotes community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.
899 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205
(614) 466-5205 or (800) 766-7426
ddc.ohio.gov

Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA)

Represents a statewide association of service providers for Ohioans with developmental disabilities. Their online service provider directory offers vital information for individuals with developmental disabilities, caregivers, and support professionals.
1152 Goodale Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 224-6772
opra.org

Ohio Self Determination Association (OSDA)

Promotes self-determination and independence for people with disabilities and their families throughout Ohio.
6155 Huntley Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(614) 562-1375
osdaohio.org

People First of Ohio

Helps people with disabilities, who are self-advocates, talk about their needs and rights with people in their communities. People First of Ohio is a statewide organization that works with state legislators and builds relationships with other advocacy groups and state agencies. Visit the website for contact information.
1335 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215
peoplefirstohio.org

Respect Ability

A non-profit organization that educates and advocates to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. They list a lot of resources for families and professionals.
11333 Woodglen Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20852
(202) 517-6272
respectability.org

The Arc of Ohio

Advocates for the rights of individuals with disabilities through legislative action, information and education, local chapter support and family involvement. Their website contains helpful information about benefits, insurance information, social security disability insurance, tax credits, funding and other financial resources for children with special needs.
1335 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 487-4720
thearcofohio.org

U.S. Department of Justice Disability Rights Section

The Disability Rights Section implements the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Their website has a helpful guide to disability rights laws.
950 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20530
Talk to an ADA Specialist: (800) 514-0301 Voice or (800) 514-0383 TTY
justice.gov/crt/disability-rights-section

Wrightslaw

Started by an attorney who has a learning disability, Wrightslaw has become one of the most widely known websites to help families with special education problems and issues. Their website has helpful information about a variety of topics, such as tips to help your child get off to a good start when school begins, Individualized Education Program (IEP) frequently asked questions, and more.
PO Box 1008, Deltaville, Virginia 23043
wrightslaw.com