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General Disability Issues

  • The National Organization on Disability, As stated on their website: “Our Mission: The National Organization on Disability, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2002, promotes the full and equal participation and contribution of America’s 54 million men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life.
  • The United States Department of Justice, the official website of the U.S. Attorney General is a gateway to a wealth of legal and practical information.  A link on this home page leads to the disabilities committee.
  • The Association on Higher Education and Disabilities (AHEAD), AHEAD is “an international, multicultural organization of professionals committed to full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities. The Association is a vital resource, promoting excellence through education, communication and training.”
  • Michigan Association of Protection & Advocacy, The Mission Statement of MPAS: “Our goal is to advance the dignity, equality, self-determination, and expressed choices of individuals. Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) promotes, expands and protects the human and legal rights of people by providing them with information and advocacy.” This agency offers many different services. People with disabilities have to deal with a wide variety of issues. Trained advocates and attorneys answer questions you may have relating to disability. MPAS is experienced with discrimination in education, employment, housing, and public places; abuse and neglect; Social Security benefits; Medicaid, Medicare and other insurance; housing; Vocational Rehabilitation; HIV/AIDS issues; and many other disability-related topics.  They can also be reached at 800-288-5923 (in Michigan, voice/TTY) or 517-487-1755 (in Lansing, voice/TTY). 
  • The Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns, “The Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns (MCDC) is the only STATE agency that speaks on behalf of all 1.7 million people with disabilities in Michigan. The Commission has 21 members appointed by the Governor who represent all areas of the state. Commission membership includes people with disabilities, parents and advocates. The Commission keeps the Governor, legislators, and the director of the Family Independence Agency informed about the concerns of people with disabilities.”
  • The Great Lakes ADA & IT Center.  “The Great Lakes ADA & IT Center is one of 10 regional centers funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), a division of the U.S. Department of Education.  Its purpose is to provide technical assistance and training to businesses and people with disabilities regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).  The Great Lakes Center is a program of the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago.” This Center serves Michigan as well as other adjoining Midwestern states.
  • Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC), “Communities of Power is a source of information about issues of importance in Michigan's Disability Community! It is also an invitation to you to participate in making our communities accessible, integrated, and supportive - to make full citizenship for seniors and people with disabilities an expectation, not a goal. Communities of Power is a gathering place for Michigan citizens with disabilities and our allies to join together in discussion on the issues that impact our lives. Check it out and find out how to get involved! Communities of Power is maintained by the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC).”
  • ICan! Online community, “About - As encompassing as the Internet has become, the disability community has yet to find a central community online to call home. Until, a place where people affected by disabilities can take advantage of the community building power of the Internet. A one-stop resource for information, guidance, conversation and companionship."
  • The National Association for Protection & Advocacy, “The Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System and Client Assistance Program (CAP) comprise the nationwide network of congressionally mandated, legally-based disability rights agencies.  P&A agencies have the authority to provide legal representation and other advocacy services, under all federal and state laws, to all people with disabilities (based on a system of priorities for services).  All P&A's maintain a presence in facilities that care for people with disabilities, where they monitor, investigate and attempt to remedy adverse conditions.  These agencies also devote considerable resources to ensuring full access to inclusive educational programs, financial entitlements, health care, accessible housing and productive employment opportunities.  CAP agencies (many of which are housed within P&A offices) provide information and assistance to individuals seeking or receiving vocational rehabilitation services under the Rehabilitation Act, including assistance in pursuing administrative, legal and other appropriate remedies."

Selected Categories

  • The Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University. The mission statement: “To contribute to the development of inclusive communities and quality of life for people with disabilities and their families through a culturally sensitive statewide program of interdisciplinary education, community support and services, research and dissemination of information. The Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University is Michigan's Center for Excellence in Disabilities. DDI provides statewide programs designed to enhance the lives of persons with disabilities. DDI provides -Education to individuals, professionals, paraprofessionals, parents and persons with disabilities, support to communities, systems and service providers, evaluation of programs and services, research on disability issues and information that contributes to training and application of knowledge.” 


  • Deaf CAN! “Deaf Community Advocacy Network is a private not for profit social service organization serving the Deaf and Hard of hearing communities in Southeastern Michigan. The agency was established in 1981 when a group of concerned citizens in the North Oakland county area recognized a need for comprehensive services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. A Board of Directors was formed and funding sought.”
  • Michigan Association for Deaf Hearing and Speech, This service agency, located in Lansing, MI provides information, referrals and advocacy for a variety of issues impacting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • The National Association for the Deaf, “The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), established in 1880, is the oldest and largest constituency organization safeguarding the accessibility and civil rights of 28 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans in education, employment, health care, and telecommunications.  A private, nonprofit organization, the NAD is a dynamic federation of 51 state association affiliates including the District of Columbia, organizational affiliates, and direct members. Programs and activities include grassroots advocacy and empowerment, captioned media, certification of American  Sign Language professionals; certification of sign language interpreters; deafness-related information and publications, legal assistance, policy development and research, public awareness, and youth leadership development."
  • Sonic Alert equipment supplier, “For 25 years, Sonic Alert has been committed to helping provide peace of mind to you and your loved ones.  Our visual alerting systems are designed to keep you in touch with the world around you. When you are assisted by an alerting system from Sonic Alert, you will rest assured knowing that you will never miss someone at the door, a call on the telephone, the ring of your alarm clock, or your baby’s cry. Everyone at Sonic Alert is dedicated to providing you with reliable, economical, and easy-to-use products that can make a positive impact on your life.”
  • Statewide Services for the Hearing Impaired, “Statewide Services for the Hearing Impaired, Inc. (SSHI), a private, nonprofit United Way Agency, has been providing services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 1965. It was one of the first such service agencies to be established within the United States. Because of its success, SSHI developed similar agencies within Michigan. Over the years, SSHI has expanded its programs and service areas to meet the growing demand. SSHI has been and continues to be devoted to the concerns of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons and their families.”
  • Michigan Division on Deafness, "Mission: The Division on Deafness with the guidance of the Advisory Council shall affirm the indisputable right of Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons to effective communication.  DOD is a state office that concentrates on helping improve the lives of Michigan's one million Deaf and Hard of Hearing citizens. DOD receives input from its 13-member citizens Advisory Council appointed by the Governor. This DOD Web page is established for those who need information from the field of deafness. Services are listed. News and Calendar from the Michigan Deaf and Hard of Hearing community is updated as often as needed. Readers are welcome to send news, calendar of events and messages by email.”
  • Gallaudet University, "The mission of Gallaudet University is to serve as a comprehensive, multipurpose institution of higher education for deaf and hard of hearing citizens of the United States and of the world. In addition to its undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the University also offers national demonstration elementary and secondary education programs. The University extends its activities to a worldwide audience through a network of regional centers, international agreements, and public service and advocacy efforts. Gallaudet University is the only liberal arts university in the world designed exclusively for deaf and hard of hearing students. Communication among faculty, staff, and students, whether in or out of the classroom, is through the use of both sign language and written and spoken English. As a result, students are able to participate fully in all aspects of campus life and thereby acquire the comprehensive education and experience that is the goal of a liberal arts education.  Gallaudet University is committed to providing instruction in the arts and sciences that is vital to the development of the intellect; to conducting research aimed at enhancing the lives of deaf and hard of hearing individuals; and to serving deaf and hard of hearing people, their families, and the professionals who work with them."


  • Michigan Vocational Rehabilitation, “We are so glad you are visiting Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS). We are the vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency for the State of Michigan and a division of the Michigan Department of Career Development. Please browse through our pages to learn about the vast array of disability-related services available in the Great Lakes State. If you have comments or questions, please contact us. You can also call us toll free at 800-605-6722(voice) or 888-605-6722 (TTY)."

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