Good news for families with special needs: There is a wide variety of information, resources and products that can make your life a bit less complicated and more rewarding. Since the trick is knowing where to look, we’ve compiled a list of helpful links to the places on the Web that best address the needs of parents of kids with disabilities.
Internet Resource For Special Children http://www.irsc.org/ The Internet Resource for Special Children (IRSC) is a nonprofit Web site that provides parents, educators, medical professionals and caregivers with information regarding children with disabilities. Maintained by a parent of a disabled child, this superb online directory organizes hundreds of useful links into more than 40 categories, divided by medical condition (autism, muscular dystrophy, Tourette’s syndrome) and subject (adaptive clothing, legal resources, travel).
Exceptional Parent Magazine http://www.eparent.com/ Technology, mobility, healthcare, sports and recreation, organizations and finance — as they all relate to families with special needs — are the topics covered extensively and regularly in Exceptional Parent (EP) magazine. The magazine also offers a human touch with its “Children’s Page,” which gives voice to individual children with disabilities by allowing them to express their thoughts and feelings in an essay or a poem.
Brave Kids http://www.bravekids.org/ This site is dedicated to helping children with chronic, life-threatening illnesses and disabilities, their families and the healthcare professionals that serve them. In addition to offering links to medical organizations, this site features active discussion boards for parents and a frequently updated events calendar with information about classes, lectures, workshops and groups of interest to parents of children with disabilities.
Internet Special Education Resources http://www.iser.com/ Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) is a nationwide directory of professionals who serve the learning disabilities and special education communities. This well-organized site helps parents and caregivers find local special education professionals to help with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder assessment, therapy, advocacy and other special needs.
Americans With Disabilities Act http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm Your local bowling alley won’t build a ramp for wheelchairs? Your local school won’t allow your child to attend? This official site from the U.S. Department of Justice provides access to federal legal documents, state laws and regulations, and links to other federal agencies. There’s also information about the Americans With Disabilities Act Mediation Program, which has helped many people resolve such disputes without going to court.
American Medical Association http://www.ama-assn.org/ Though not specifically geared toward disabilities, this site supplies cutting-edge medical news and features a “doctor finder” that allows you to search for a physician by location and specialty.