Other Supports & Services

If you are looking for supports to help with a specific disability, please contact one of the agencies listed below. Note that the Institute does not provide direct services to individuals with disabilities or their families. Thank you.


Disability.gov - Connecting the Disability Community to Information and Opportunities
Disability.gov is an award-winning federal government Web site that provides an interactive, community-driven information network of disability-related programs, services, laws and benefits. Through the site, Americans with disabilities, their families, Veterans, educators, employers and many others are connected to thousands of resources from federal, state and local government agencies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations. New resources are added daily across 10 main subject areas – benefits, civil rights, community life, education, emergency preparedness, employment, health, housing, technology and transportation.

Specific to Minnesota

Disability Minnesota
This Web site provides a single entry point to over 100 Minnesota state agency programs, products, and services that are devoted to the range of disability issues. It also provides access to laws, statutes, and regulations in pertinent disability-related areas.

Minnesota Department of Human Services
The Minnesota DHS offers social service programs and financial assistance programs to families with or without developmental disabilities. There are specific eligibility criteria for each program.

Children and Youth with Special Health Needs (CYSHN)
Children and Youth with Special Health Needs is a program administered by the Minnesota Department of Health to improve population health through building the capacity of all systems that serve families of children and youth with special health needs. CYSHN provides diagnostic services, educational and referral programs for professionals and parents, some types of medical services, as well as various support services. In addition, they pay for some medical evaluations and can be another source of insurance if needed. These services are available at a variety of health care facilities. Staff consultation is also available to assist families in health care coordination.

Advocacy and Self-Advocacy Organizations in Minnesota

The following organizations provide information, advocacy, education, support, and technical assistance to individuals and families who have an interest in developmental disabilities. Most are non-profit and some are membership organizations. Many publish newsletters and journals. This is a non-exhaustive list. Disability-specific organizations can be identified by contacting organizations such as Arc MN and PACER.

Advocating Change Together (ACT)
ACT is a grassroots disability rights organization run by and for people with developmental and other disabilities. ACT's mission is to help people across disabilities to see themselves as part of a larger disability rights movement and make connections to other civil and human rights struggles.

Arc Greater Twin Cities
Arc Greater Twin Cities aims to secure all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families the opportunity to realize their goals of choosing where and how they live, learn, work and play.

Arc Minnesota
The Arc of Minnesota is a state organization that promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, actively supporting them and their families in a lifetime of full inclusion and participation in their communities. It works with local chapters to provide public policy development, technical assistance, training and support to families, monitoring of compliance and implementation of regulations and laws, advocacy for local services, and training and orienting of leaders and volunteers. The local and state chapters are participating members of the national organization, ARC-US.

Institute for Minority Development (IMD)
IMD is a non-profit organization whose goal is to elevate the status and resources of African American children with physical and mental health disorders and their families. The Institute provides in-home and community-based family support services for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Services are designed to keep individuals in their homes and teach them to work, play and attend school in their communities. Vocational education, leisure, recreation and life skills training are used to improve each client’s quality of life.

Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL)
MCIL is dedicated to the full promotion of the Independent Living (IL) philosophy by supporting individuals with disabilities in their personal efforts to pursue self-directed lives. MCIL provides services for people with disabilities, their families and friends, service providers, and interested community members. Services include information and referral, independent living skills, peer programs, advocacy and support services, and personal assistance service programs.

Minnesota Assistive Technology Loan Network (MATLN)
MATLN is a lending library containing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, and other items to meet the individual communication needs of people with disabilities. MATLN lends devices to anyone, regardless of age or disability, for a trial of 30 days. This program assists individuals who are sampling an AAC device for a future purchase, or when a device is out on repair. A program of United Cerebral Palsy of Minnesota, the MATLN mission is to empower people with speech, language and communication disabilities through the use of assistive technology education, support and equipment access.

Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA)
Established in 1976, MCHA is a state-funded organization that provides an insurance plan to Minnesota residents who have high risk medical conditions, have been denied health insurance coverage, or who have restrictive riders which limit benefits for specific categories. This program is available to children and adults. MCHA will close on December 31, 2014 because insurance companies can no longer deny coverage or charge more because of pre-existing health conditions. As a result, MCHA no longer accepts new enrollees and encourages site visitors to look for a plan on MNsure, Minnesota's online insurance marketplace.

Minnesota Disability Law Center
The Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC) addresses the unique legal needs of Minnesotans with disabilities. A statewide project, MDLC provides free civil legal assistance to individuals with disabilities on legal issues that are related to their disabilities. Examples of legal problems include: special education issues, assistive technology issues, residential programming/placement, vocational training/supported employment, day training and habilitation services, county care/personal care attendants, Medical Assistance, and abuse and neglect.

Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
The Council provides information, education and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self-determination, integration, and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER)
PACER is a statewide parent coalition of Minnesota disability organizations that expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents. With assistance to individual families, workshops, materials for parents and professionals, and leadership in securing a free and appropriate public education for all children, PACER's work affects and encourages families in Minnesota and across the nation.

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