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Developmental Disabilities Resources

?There are a variety of federally-funded programs that help people with developmental disabilities learn to cope with their conditions and improve the quality of their lives.

People with developmental disabilities often need some help finding meaningful work and launching successful careers due to chronic conditions of mental or physical impairment. Many people with developmental disabilities face challenges dealing with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living today.

Developmental problems like intellectual disabilities, autism disorders, cerebral palsy, hearing loss and visual impairments can begin anytime during development up to 22 years of age and will often last throughout a person’s lifetime. Fortunately, there is help available through a wide variety of federal and federally-funded programs that help people learn to cope with a disability and improve the quality of their lives. Many agencies are available to provide direct services to people with developmental disabilities or to their families today. People with disabilities can live healthy lives and many agencies are working to study how common developmental disabilities are and who is likely to have them along with finding the causes of developmental disabilities and the factors that increase the chance that a person will have one. However, the most important function that these groups provide is helping people with developmental disabilities to improve the quality of their lives.

Here is a list of the government programs and online resources available today for people affected by developmental disabilities:

Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) -
Providing support and services in areas including education, employment, health, child care, housing, protection and advocacy, recreation, transportation, and quality assurance.

Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) -
Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program both help children and adults with disabilities to get health care coverage. -
Information on federal resources covering jobs, education, housing, transportation, health, income support, technology, community life, and civil rights.

Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) -
Provides programs for children with special health care needs, newborn hearing screening, child health and safety, and genetics.  
MEDLINEplus Health Information, National Library of Medicine -
An online service of the National Library of Medicine that provides information on autism, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, mental retardation, and vision impairment.

National Council on Disability (NCD) -
The council promotes policies and programs that help people with disabilities live on their own, support themselves, and take part in all aspects of society.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) -

The NIH conducts and funds research on developmental disabilities and offers information to the public and educational programs for health professionals.

National Eye Institute (NEI) -
Presents ways to prevent and treat eye diseases and vision problems to improve the lives of people with these conditions.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) -

The institute studies the impact of autism and mental retardation, as well as causes and treatments of those disabilities.

Office of Disability Employment -

Working to increase job opportunities for people with disabilities by promoting access to education, training, assistive technology and other support so that people with disabilities can get and keep jobs.

Office on Disability -
Working to remove barriers facing people with disabilities so they can participate more fully in their communities by fostering interactions between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies, state agencies, local agencies, and private sector groups.