Reliable, trustworthy information about special needs planning topics can be hard to find — but we’re to guide you in the right direction. Use the following trusted planning resources for additional support in creating the quality of life your loved one with special needs deserves.
Condition-Specific Advocacy Groups
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) (opens new window) is the leading human rights organization working to improve inclusion for all people with Down syndrome. This advocacy group is an excellent resource for new and expectant parents of a child with Down syndrome.
Autism Speaks (opens new window) is dedicated to promoting solutions — throughout the lifespan and across the spectrum —for individuals with autism and their families through support and advocacy; increasing acceptance and understanding of people with autism; and advancing research into better interventions and causes for autism and other conditions.
The Autism Society of America (opens new window) has been improving the lives of those affected by autism for more than 50 years. As the national’s leading grassroots autism organization, they work to increase public awareness on the day-to-day issues of people across the spectrum, advocate for appropriate services for individuals of all ages and provide the latest information on research, education, treatment and advocacy.
The Brain Injury Association of America
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) (opens new window) is the nation’s oldest and largest brain injury advocacy organization working to advance research, awareness, education and treatment to improve the quality of life of those impacted by brain injury.
General Advocacy Groups
The Easter Seals (opens new window) have been helping people with special needs and disabilities as well as their families live better lives for over 90 years. This organization offers education, outreach, exceptional services and advocacy to help people living with autism and other disabilities best live, learn, work and play in communities.
The Arc (opens new window) is an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, Down syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and a range of other special needs. In addition to providing support and services, the Arc offers workplace inclusion programs, pooled special needs trusts and reliable information on ABLE accounts.
The Center for Parent Information and Resources
The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) (opens new window) is a helpful caregiver and parental resource providing information on education, employment, housing, accommodations, local advocacy groups and events.
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration (SSA) (opens new window) is an independent agency of the U.S. government that administers multiple social insurance programs, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) — the two of the largest federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities and special needs.
National Council on Disability
The National Council on Disability (NCD) (opens new window) is an independent federal agency tasked with advising the President, Congress as well as other agencies regarding programs, policies, procedures and practices that affect people with special needs and disabilities.
Financial & Legal Support
National Disability Institute
The National Disability Institute (NDI) (opens new window) is focused on driving social impact to create a better economic future for people with disabilities and their families. This organization offers a long list of financial resources, including tax preparation, benefits planning and more.
The Academy of Special Needs Planners
The Academy of Special Needs Planners (ASNP) (opens new window) is comprised of special needs planning professionals, such as attorneys, trust officers and financial planners who are focused on providing the highest quality of service and advice to people with special needs and to their families. The ASNP provides its member planning professionals with access to the latest information on legal developments and a venue for exchanging best practices in providing services to people with disabilities.
Special Needs Alliance
The Special Needs Alliance (SNA) (opens new window) is a national organization comprised of attorneys dedicated to the practice of disability and public benefits law. The SNA can advise parents and caregivers on special education, guardianships, establishing special needs trust and a long list of other related subjects.