The Special Needs Alliance

The Special Needs Alliance is a national, non-profit organization comprised of attorneys who are respected authorities with regard to public benefits, guardianships/conservatorships, special needs plannning and special education. The average member has nearly two decades of relevant legal experience. Many of them have family members with special needs, enabling them to bring additional insight to their work.

Growing Up Online: A Must Have Guide for Parents, Teachers and Kids

The More You Know in collaboration with NBC News has partnered with leading non-profits Common Sense Media and NetSmartz Workshop to produce the first eBook in The More You Know Learning Series on digital literacy and Internet safety. The eBook provides an informative, interactive, media-rich learning tool for parents and teachers of children ages six and older about responsible Internet behavior including topics like filtering and parental controls, how to find safe sites and cyberbullying.  Also included are four video comic books for kids focused on real-life situations that may arise when they go online.

Growing Up Online: A Must Have Guide for Parents, Teachers and Kids

National Policy Matters – The Chained CPI Cuts Social Security and SSI: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

With Congress gearing up for more “fiscal cliff” battles this year, The Arc is concerned about threats to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These lifelines provide essential financial security for millions of Americans, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Arc believes that Social Security and SSI should not be part of deficit reduction, and that any changes to these systems must be carefully evaluated in terms of their effects on beneficiaries. This issue of National Policy Matters looks at one major threat to Social Security and SSI, the chained Consumer Price Index (“chained CPI”).

  • The chained CPI cuts Social Security and SSI benefits by reducing annual cost of living increases. Cuts add up significantly over time and would disproportionately harm people with disabilities.
  • The chained CPI also cuts veterans pensions and certain military and civilian retirement benefits, and would limit eligibility for over 30 vital programs such as Head Start and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
  • The chained CPI has been considered as part of most major deficit reduction proposals over the last several years, and has at different times been supported by Members of Congress from both political parties and by the White House.
  • The public strongly opposes cutting Social Security, including through the chained CPI.

National Policy Matters – The Chained CPI Cuts Social Security and SSI: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

National Policy Matters – The Affordable Care Act: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the disability community must work to better understand the law and the many benefits it can provide to people with disabilities. This will be critical to the community’s role in helping to move states forward with implementation.

Numerous ACA provisions related to both acute care and long term services and supports hold great promise for improving the health and well-being of people with disabilities. This issue of National Policy Matters provides information about the major provisions and the status of their implementation.

National Policy Matters – The Affordable Care Act: What Disability Advocates Need To Know

School Days to Pay Days

This publication was written by staff from the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services and the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston. It is informed and enriched by the experiences of individuals with intellectual disabilities, family members, school personnel, employment providers and others, who are all committed to creating a workforce that includes individuals with intellectual disabilities. As part of Work Without Limits, this publication is one of many tools designed to provide individuals and family members with the information and resources they need to achieve their employment goals.

Find Youth Info – Transition Resource Directory

This directory, focused on transition-age youth with disabilities, was compiled at a national meeting hosted by the Federal Interagency Partners in Transition Workgroup, at which federally-supported projects and center staff submitted descriptions. The references in this directory are not intended to be exhaustive of the investments in transition made by federal, state, or local entities. For corrections or additions, please e-mail Judy Shanley at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at View a list of agencies and organizations that members of the Federal Interagency Partners in Transition Workgroup represent.

School to Work Transition Services Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services

Transition Services assist students in the movement from school to the world of work and adult life. The Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) works together with students, families, schools and community agencies to provide services to support this transition.

DRS reccommends that students and families begin to make transition plans at least three years prior to exiting school. DRS provides information and outreach through:

  • Presentations to groups such as families and teachers
  • Technical assistance and individualized consultation
  • Education and training for schools and families

Transition Planning

Transition planning is a gigantic topic and a very important one for youth with disabilities, their families, and IEP teams. NICHCY has devoted an entire section of its website to the subject, including articles written expressly for students themselves, school personnel, and parents. Here, in this article, however, we’ll keep it short and focused on what IDEA requires in the IEP for transition-aged students.

Parents’ Guide to the Transition of Their Adult Child to College, Career, and Community

This module will increase your knowledge and give you the tools to prepare you for your child’s transition from public school to postsecondary education and his or her emerging adulthood.

Website: Empower The Village



Elizabeth Villanueva created this website after the state of California has continued to make budget cuts to children and families in the Early Start Program for the past three years. The website is free and a continuation of the vendor program Niños Del Cielo.


Submitted by Elizabeth Villanueva.