Abilities Expo is the leading event for 54 million Americans with disabilities, their caregivers and health care professionals to receive education and view the latest life-altering technologies, products and services. Under new management in 2009, this three-day expo will now have even more to offer the community.
Able-Disabled Advocacy (A-DA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1975 that provides employment and training services to individuals with all types of disabilities and other barriers to employment. Able-Disabled Advocacy’s mission is “to provide vocational skills training and educational advancement for youth and adults with disabilities and to assist them in finding employment and overcoming barriers to personal and financial self-sufficiency.”
AMBUCS™ is dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities by performing community service, providing AmTryke® therapeutic tricycles to children with disabilities and providing scholarships for therapists.
American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
The American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine is a multidisciplinary scientific society devoted to the study of cerebral palsy and other childhood onset disabilities, to promoting professional education for the treatment and management of these conditions, and to improving the quality of life for people with these disabilities. A reading list is available on line for parents.
ARC of San Diego
The Arc of San Diego empowers persons with disabilities and their families by working in partnership to create opportunities to achieve their individual goals within the community.
Beach and Country Guild
The Beach and Country Guild is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to raise money in support of United Cerebral Palsy San Diego with a spectacular single annual fundraising event. Please view the following website and YouTube video to learn more about the Beach and Country Guild and their annual fundraising event:
Building Blocks for Kids
Building Blocks for Kids envisions a community where the needs of all children, regardless of their challenges, are being met. Our mission is to provide support, resources, scholarships, and hope to families who have children with physical, emotional, and/or developmental challenges. Since 2003, BB4K has assisted more than 650 children with a variety of needs including therapy, therapy equipment, hearing aids, communication devices, home modifications, vans with wheelchair lifts, special beds, displacement costs when needing to see a specialist in another city, adaptive bikes, adaptive strollers, seizure dogs, and so much more!
California Children Services Medical Therapy Program (CCS MTP)
The Medical Therapy Program (MTP) is a special program within California Children Services that provides occupational therapy and physical therapy for children with eligible conditions. Therapy services are provided at rehabilitation units located in six public schools throughout San Diego County. These units are called Medical Therapy Units. Eligible conditions that qualify a child for the Medical Therapy Program services include, but are not limited to, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injuries, arthrogryposis, and osteogenesis imperfecta. For more information on medical eligibility for the Medical Therapy Program, please call the number below or visit the website.
California State Parks
California State Parks offer 50 percent discounts or free entrance to disabled persons and their entire party. There is a $3.50 fee, but the card is a lifetime membership.
Caroline’s Cart is a shopping cart created for special needs children. It provides parents and caregivers a viable option to transport a child through a store while grocery shopping, without having the difficult task of having to maneuver a wheelchair and a traditional grocery cart at the same time.
Cecily’s Closet is a San Diego based nonprofit created with the simple premise of spreading stories of hope, love and encouragement to children with special needs and their families. We strive to provide awareness for early intervention services, local and government programs, and access to equipment for children with disabilities. Through collaboration with local designers, agencies, businesses, friends and family, we provide children with special needs clothes, toys and sweet dream room makeovers.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
This website has useful information about cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Foundation
The Cerebral Palsy Foundation’s process is to find, define and address Moments of Impact – the times at which interventions and insights, if properly implemented, have the power to improve lives. The organization then works to better understand what is needed to effect change and the best ways to implement it. Its Collaborative Networks bring together many of the country’s most prestigious medical institutions, as well as innovative thinkers in diverse areas such as technology and media, in order to accelerate not only the development of critical advances, but also their delivery.
Cerebral Palsy Now
Cerebral Palsy Now creates educational resources, initiates wellness campaigns and funds research focused on addressing the early problems in brain development that can lead to cerebral palsy. The organization also highlights and supports research for associated conditions that may interfere with learning or participation in society. Together with cerebral palsy centers, clinicians, researchers and the cerebral palsy community, it will work to advance neurological recovery, wellness and lifelong support for people with cerebral palsy. Check out the CP Diagnosis Tool Kit.
Children’s Disability Information
Articles and resources empowering parents of children with disabilities and special needs.
CoachArt creates a transformative arts and athletics community for families impacted by childhood chronic illness.
Commit to Inclusion
The Guidelines for Disability Inclusion and its resources can be used by any entity including government, private, and non-profit organizations to ensure new and existing program initiatives and policies in the areas of physical activity, nutrition, and obesity are appropriate and accessible for people with disability.
The Cerebral Palsy Collaborative provides a unified voice of cerebral palsy-related organizations to strategically affect mutually agreed upon research, education, awareness, support and public policy initiatives for the benefit of individuals with cerebral palsy across their lifespans.
Department of Rehabilitation
The San Diego District of the Department of Rehabilitation serves people with disabilities in all of San Diego County and Southern Orange County. With offices in North, East, Metro and South Counties, there is an office close to every major population center. The San Diego District supports the overall mission of the Department, and has developed our own specific vision statement as well.
Our vision reads: “The San Diego District of the Department of Rehabilitation will be the lead agency in the provision of services to people with disabilities in the community. We will be an integral, invaluable partner with other agencies in our area that are committed to increasing employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities. Our staff will be dedicated to our mission, and empowered to positively affect the lives of our consumers.
In partnership with our consumers, we will develop and implement plans which result in employment outcomes consistent with the unique interest, abilities and priorities of those we serve. Trust, kindness, respect, creativity, a commitment to excellence and the exercise of professional judgment will mark our work environment.
DMV/Disabled Parking Pass
You can download an application at Disabled Person Parking Placards & Plates – California DMV or visit your DMV office for an application. NOTE: This requires a doctor’s signature.
The Foundation provides information on dystonia, treatment options, support services, healthcare referrals and research programs for dystonia patients and there families.
Easter Seals of San Diego County
Easter Seals provides exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities or other special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.
European Academy of Childhood Disability
Our aim is to ensure the development of high-quality research and teaching in the field of childhood disability; improve the care these children receive; and to raise professional standards throughout Europe.
Exceptional Parent provides information, support, ideas, encouragement, and outreach for parents and families of children with disabilities and the professionals who work with them.
Exceptional Family Resource Center
The mission of the Exceptional Family Resource Center is to provide support, information and education for families of children with disabilities and the professionals who assist these families. This website has a wonderful listing of summer camps for children with disabilities.
Expressive Arts is a discipline of helping and healing that uses the arts as its basis for discovery and change. All five disciplines of the arts: visual, dance/movement, music, drama/theater, and writing/poetry can give you a richer vocabulary to work, play and grow a life you love living.
Wonderful website for students with disabilities and health issues, their families and health care providers with information on issues that may make going to college more challenging. Also offers video training to assist in the preparation process.
Home of Guiding Hands
Home of Guiding Hands encourages individuals to dream and pursue fulfillment. This is accomplished by offering many living choices so that people can direct their own lives by choosing the housing arrangement or services that best suits their needs. Home of Guiding Hands also offers a free support group for parents of children with developmental disabilities on Fridays in El Cajon. Please contact them for details.
Icing Smiles is a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child. We understand that the simple things, like a birthday cake, are luxuries to a family battling illness. Our goal is to create a custom cake for the ill child, or their sibling, that provides a temporary escape from worry and creates a positive memory during a difficult time.
Established in 2015, Infinite Flow is an award-winning Los Angeles-based nonprofit and professional dance company composed of dancers with and without disabilities. Infinite Flow’s mission is to dismantle biases, promote inclusion, celebrate intersectionality and encourage people to learn something new about themselves and the world around them.
Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. Pro Bono Program-CONSERVATORSHIP CLINIC
A free clinic is open to members of the public who need assistance in a conservatorship of the person action or information about alternatives to conservatorship. A legal aid representative will provide community education to clinic participants individually on a first come, first served basis.
Offered Monday from 11:30 to 3 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Probate Courthouse, Fifth Floor, 1409 Fourth Avenue.
Magic Wheelchair is a nonprofit organization that makes “epic” costumes for children in wheelchairs, at no expense to their families.
Medical Waiver Program
Some children with medical issues will qualify for state medical assistance to help pay for prescriptions, medical bills, etc. Although you must report your income, income will not prevent your child from otherwise being eligible. Call Roy Carrol at San Diego Regional Center 858-576-2996. (He will start the Medical Waiver for your child and reclassify their status.) MediCal enables you to use this as a secondary insurance (or primary, if needed). You will not be charged any co-pay for prescriptions, office visits, therapies or hospital stays once you are on MediCal. MediCal starts the day of application.
Merlin’s Magic Wand
Merlin’s Magic Wand is a worldwide charity for children, aiming to provide magical experiences for those who are seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged.
When it celebrated its grand opening on April 10, 2010, Morgan’s Wonderland became the world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment. The completely wheelchair-accessible park features more than 25 elements including rides, playgrounds and other colorful attractions. From the very beginning, anyone with a special need has been admitted free of charge, no questions asked.
The M.O.R.G.A.N. Project is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to promote awareness and facilitate support of parents caring for their children with special health care needs, and to enhance the quality of life for these special families.
MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Education)® helps children and MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Experience)® helps adults with disabilities:
1. Acquire increased independence in sitting, standing and walking,
2. Learn and gain more mobility, and
3. Experience better health and enhanced personal dignity.
America the Beautiful – Access Pass – Free.
This is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. The pass provides access to and use of Federal recreation sites that charge an entrance fee or standard amenity. Documentation is required to obtain the pass. Acceptable documentation includes a statement by a licensed physician; a document issued by a Federal agency, such as the Veteran’s Administration, Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income; or a document issued by a state agency, such as a vocational rehabilitation agency. A local San Diego National Park is Cabrillo National Monument.
Website: Access Pass – Accessibility (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
North County Transit District (NCTD)
NCTD’s SPRINTER light rail trains, fixed-route BREEZE & FAST buses, the ADA Paratransit LIFT buses, and the COASTER commuter train are all accessible to persons with disabilities. LIFT is the ADA paratransit service for passengers with disabilities in North County, who, because of their disability, are not able to access the fixed route services. NCTD contracts with Laidlaw Transit Services to operate LIFT. The law requires LIFT riders to be certified for ADA paratransit eligibility.
Room to Dream Foundation
Room to Dream Foundation is to create healing environments in bedrooms for children and adolescents who are facing chronic illnesses.
SDG&E (San Diego Gas & Electric Company)
SDG&E offers a medical base line for energy usage for qualifying consumers. Qualifying consumers must have a medical condition requiring energy usage, such as nebulizer for asthma, air filters for allergies, and air conditioning for heart problems or heat exhaustion. There is also a part on the application that offers a discount of gas for medical conditions.
San Diego Regional Center
The San Diego Regional Center (SDRC) serves as a focal point in the community through which a person with a developmental disability and his or her family can obtain services and be linked to other community resources within San Diego and Imperial counties.
Sharp Healthcare Rehabilitation Services
Sharp Healthcare Rehabilitation Services has a number of resources available in support of an active lifestyle, including support groups, exercise programs, field trips, a newsletter, an adaptive driving program, and community resources.
Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego
The foundation’s mission is to help parents. It advocates in the special needs community by bringing together people, information and resources.
St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center
We are an incomparable organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities. Our reputation for excellence rests on a foundation of high-quality programming and well-trained staff. The mission of St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center is to empower adults with developmental disabilities to discover, experience and realize their full potential as members of the greater community.
Starlight Children’s Foundation
Starlight has maintained its leadership in helping families with hospitalized children cope with the challenges of a medical journey through programs such as Starbright World®, the first-ever online social network for teens with chronic and life-threatening medical conditions and their siblings, and the newly debuted Starlight Wish Lists, a cutting edge technology platform that enables donors to fill specific unmet hospital needs directly and efficiently.For more than 30 years, Starlight has been a leading global charity improving the life and health of kids and families. We partner with experts and innovators in healthcare, entertainment and technology to create a unique blend of family-centered services from hospital to home.
Website: Homepage | Starlight Children’s Foundation
Stephen J. Wampler Foundation
The Stephen J. Wampler Foundation was established by Steve Wampler to give children with physical disabilities the kinds of outdoor wilderness experiences Steve was fortunate to have as a child at at Camp Nejedly located at Hawley Lake.
The Superhero Project interviews kids and teens with serious illnesses, disabilities and complex mental health and physical medical needs about who they are beyond their diagnosis and how they want to make a positive difference in the world. The storytelling collaboration continues when artists design the superhero alter egos the children have described, creating a visual representation of their strength, courage, creativity and resilience. Families receive inspiring posters of their superheroes to treasure forever.
TASH is an organization of members concerned with human dignity, civil rights, education and independence for all individuals with disabilities.
TASK-Team of Advocates for Special Kids
Team of Advocates for Special Kids (TASK) is a nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to enable individuals with disabilities to reach their maximum potential by providing them, their families and the professionals who serve them with training, support, information, resources and referrals, and by providing community awareness programs.
Initially, the primary focus was on children three to 21 years of age, but services evolved to include all ages, especially in the TASK Technology Center. TASK serves families of children aged birth to 26 years of age under IDEA and other systems mandated to provide services to individuals with disabilities. As a federally-funded Parent Training and Information Center, TASK is part of a national network of centers providing similar services. TASK provides advocacy information, workshops and information in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
TERI specializes in serving individuals who have needs which cannot be met by other existing programs, including services to persons who have profound mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, brain trauma, severe behavioral disorders, dual diagnoses and learning disabilities.
tHAIRapy Hair Salon
tHAIRapy Hair Salon is a family salon specializing in and catering to our clientele with AUTISM and SPECIAL NEEDS. From our sensory wall, to our wheelchair accessible shampoo bowl & station, to our specially trained therapy dog arriving in December. We are continuously striving to offer the best of the best to each and every one of our clients. tHAIRapy Hair Salon is here to change the way parents and kids feel about haircut day.
Together We Grow
Together We Grow is the recognized leader in pediatric care, the place where medically fragile and typical children grow together in an inclusive environment. In a developmentally appropriate setting, these children play and learn together, focusing on fun and learning activities.
United Cerebral Palsy of San Diego County
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is the leading source of information on cerebral palsy and is a pivotal advocate for the rights of persons with any disability.
Contact: Rhonda Van Ekelenburg
Website: www.ucp.org or local program website: www.ucpsd.org
Offices are located throughout the United States.
Western Wishes has turned dreams into lasting memories for countless kids faced with adversity and who love the western way of life.This award-winning program rewards kids for their fighting spirit and communicates their stories of courage, faith and determination to get back in the saddle again. Western Wishes has created a program to put these inspiring kids in the spotlight, if just for a moment, and encourages them to reach for the stars and have their dreams come true.
Traveling with Wilderness Inquiry can help you create opportunities for others to share the adventure. As a nonprofit organization, it provides opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to experience the great outdoors. People can build meaningful connections with each other and the natural world.
Wylie Center serves over 450 children, youth, and families each year in the Inland Empire. The center provides high quality educational programs and therapeutic services to meet the needs, goals and hopes of individuals with special learning, emotional and developmental needs.
Xcite Steps-Mentorship/Sport/Social and Summer Camp Program