'Quick picks' from librarians at the National Rehabilitation Information Center.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act guides states and school districts in providing special education and related services to more than six million eligible children with disabilities. Whether they are in special education classes or part of the mainstream, every child has the right to free appropriate public education. The agencies and organizations listed here can help children achieve their full potential as first-graders, high school seniors, or college freshmen.
For more resources, visit our Ready Reference page for Resources for Education or search the Knowledgebase. You may also download the brochure in PDF format at the bottom of this page. Disponible en español.
US Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs
Phone: 800/USA-LEARN; 202/245-7459
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) supports research and programs that assist in educating children with special needs. OSEP offers publications and information on current programs, legislation, and federal policy.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs’ (OSEP’s) IDEA website
Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center
Provides technical assistance and support to states and territories for early child-hood implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Offers publications, research and reference materials, topic-specific resources, and links to state-level special education programs for families and advocates of young children with special needs to help understand their rights under IDEA. The “Families” webpage helps families to connect with other families and find resources related to caring for infants and toddlers.
Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER)
Toll Free: 800/838-9000
The mission of PACER Center is to 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. Through more than 30 projects, PACER provides individual assistance, workshops, publications, and other resources to help families make decisions about education and other services for their child or young adult with disabilities.
Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)
The ERIC database is the world's largest source of education information. The database contains more than 1 million abstracts of education-related documents and journal articles. ERIC resources also include a calendar of events and a directory of educational resources and organizations.
Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA)
Phone: 412/341-1515 (V)
LDA is a nonprofit volunteer organization with over 100 state and local affiliates throughout the United States. The state and local chapters, through their affiliation with the National LDA, work continuously for individuals with learning disabilities, their parents and the professionals who serve them. LDA offers resources, publications, and referral on a wide array of learning disabilities.
Understood.org is a collaboration of 15 nonprofit organizations, operated and managed by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Their goal is to empower parents of children ages 3-20 struggling with learning and attention issues to understand their children’s issues and relate to their experiences so they can make effective choices that propel their children from simply coping to truly thriving. Parents can create a personalized profile to receive recommendations geared toward their interests, connect to an online community to share experiences and trade tips with other parents, ask an expert questions and get advice, find resources on how to work with schools, and use the “Parent Toolkit” section to view videos and use game like simulations to get a better sense of what it feels like to have learning or attention issues.
Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
AHEAD is a professional membership organization for people involved in providing services to persons with disabilities in all areas of higher education. They produce a wide variety of publications that address disability challenges and solutions in higher education and beyond and publish the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability. Their website includes information for students with disabilities and their parents.
The College Database
onlinecollegesdatabase.org/online-collegelearning-for-students-with-disabilities. The College Database, started in 2012, is an online directory of U.S. Colleges and Universities. Their mission is to provide accurate information about colleges to make the decision making process for post-secondary education easier for individuals, either with or without disabilities, when considering where and what type of college to attend.
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
NCSET works with a wide range of national, state and local agencies and organizations to ensure that youth with disabilities leave high school prepared to successfully participate in postsecondary education, enter meaningful employment, and live independently within their communities. In addition, NCSET provides information and referral to interested parties and provides information briefs, policy updates, and brochures available to download on their website.
HEATH Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center
The HEATH Resource Center is a web-based clearinghouse that serves as an information exchange of educational resources, support services and opportunities. The HEATH Resource Center gathers, develops and disseminates information in the form of resource papers, fact sheets, website directories, newsletters, and resource materials.
Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving research and practice in inclusive higher education for people with intellectual disability. The website includes a searchable college directory, a resource library that includes published research as well as fieldcreated tools and resources, and a state-bystate listing of what’s happening in that state.
Learning Disabilities Information and Resources
National Association of Private Special Education Centers
National Disability Rights Network