This guide is a breakdown of information, resources, and tools to support individuals diagnosed with a disability, their caregivers, guardians, families, friends, and community members.
Local & Community Resources
A free, confidential service that connects families and individuals to services that can help to stabilize them while meeting basic needs.
The residents of the state of Iowa have a number of Social Security field offices, 1 Disability Determination Services office and 2 Offices of Disability Adjudication and Review to help them with their Social Security disability application.
A comprehensive listing of human service resources in Linn County.
Organizations & Information
Alliance for the Mentally Ill provides education and support programs.
The center can connect you with strategy, training, and education programs. Families with children who have disabilities can access their F.I.N.D. database, which connects families with similar experiences and interests.
A comprehensive website dedicated to promoting awareness of major birth injuries and related childhood disabilities. Their goal is to give parents of children injured during childbirth access to the highest quality information on the web to enable them to make informed decisions.
The Brain Injury Association of America offers information about how to connect to supports and resources, including descriptions of the many symptoms and issues that may accompany a brain injury.
Camp Courageous of Iowa is a year-round respite care and recreational facility for individuals of all ages with disabilities. The camp was established in 1972 with the first 211 campers attending in the summer of 1974. Today, Camp Courageous serves nearly 7,000 individuals with disabilities annually.
Lee Mar is a private, innovative 7-week residential summer program for campers with special needs age 7 to 21.
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
The center works with people with disabilities, their family members, providers, state and local agencies, and others every day. Their goal is to improve the health and community participation of people with disabilities.
Cerebral Palsy Group provides educational information and support to those who have been affected by cerebral palsy.
This organization’s website features information ranging from cerebral palsy symptoms to financial assistance to daily living articles, covering all aspects of cerebral palsy.
Read a free educational guide with information for parents and children affected by cerebral palsy, including financial options and emotional support.
Visit drugwatch.com for more information on Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s Palsy, and other birth injuries.
The Children at Home program is designed to assist you and your family in securing the services and supports that you identify as necessary in helping your child remain at home. An underlying principle of the Children at Home program is that you and your family retain control of decisions which affect your child and family. Financial assistance is intended to enable you to obtain those services and supports which are not met by other programs.
Law Center of Protection and Advocacy
Disability Rights IOWA aims to defend and promote the human and legal rights of Iowans who have disabilities and mental illness. We promote safety, opportunity, access, and self-determination for all Iowans.
The organization helps adults with intellectual disabilities live successful, satisfying lives in the mainstream of the community and offers group home living.
An early literacy program that delivers one free, age appropriate book per month to children ages 0 to 5 in Cedar Rapids (zip codes 52401-6 and 52411) and Marion. The Library Foundation covers the costs of books and postage, an average of $25 per child per year. This FREE service provides 60 books for your child, all age-appropriate during the five years. To enroll, click here: www.crlibrary.org/imagination-library (if you are a resident of Marion, you can enroll here as well!).
Early Access is Iowa’s system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with or at risk for developmental delays, connecting families with free statewide information and referral services.
Foundation 2 is a not-for-profit human service agency that offers crisis prevention and intervention programs to people of all ages. We are committed to positive youth development, suicide prevention, and helping build the foundation for stronger and healthier families and safer communities for everyone.
The organization provides clients with specialized estate planning, financial planning, and benefits planning assistance to more favorably impact their lives and enhance their well-being.
The association’s goal is to provide education, support, and advocacy to those individuals, their friends, families, and professionals in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area that are blessed by Down Syndrome.
Iowa Compass has information about programs and services for Iowans with disabilities, their families and service providers. Access thousands of local, state and national programs for people with health-related conditions and disabilities. Call, email, chat, text or search the website for answers to your disability-related questions.
The department is a local Cedar Rapids agency dedicated to helping aging adults to remain independent in their homes, thereby reducing the risk of premature and unnecessary nursing home placement. The Iowa Department of Aging is the state-wide agency with some similar programs.
The program assists individuals with disabilities with employment and economic independence and determines eligibility of Iowa residents who apply for disability benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs, and their families.
The center assists with:
- Job applications
- Resume writing*
- Obtaining an education
- Applying for food stamps
- Family Investment Program or Child Care Assistance,
- Finding resources
- Healthcare Navigation*
- Financial Literacy assistance*
- Knowing if you qualify for energy assistance or other income-based support payments
- Transportation for work or school
- Feeding your family. *
Make an appointment in advance to receive services. .
Options of Linn County provides day habilitation and pre-vocational services to adults with disabilities as a department of Linn County Community Services.
REM Iowa serves adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other complex challenges, including brain injuries. The organization offers a range of programs, including residential services and day and vocational programs.
Tanager Place offers the clinically proven treatment option applied behavior analysis for autism spectrum disorders. The program delivers mental health diagnosis, assessment, and treatment by board-certified staff. Services are covered by private insurance, Medicaid, and a sliding fee scale for families who qualify.
The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. We serve all ages and individuals with more than 100 different diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and various other developmental disabilities.
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP)
UCP’s motto: “life without limits for people with disabilities.” UCP educates, advocates, and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. UCP works to advance the independence, productivity, and full citizenship of people with disabilities through an affiliate network that has helped millions.
Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk, and special needs children throughout the state. Since the inception of the Telethon in 1975, Variety has raised more than $113 million to support the children of Iowa. Variety is making a better future for our community by connecting people who care to programs that enable children to reach their full potential. Variety is helping create opportunities for children to fully share in the experiences of life.
The Wheelchair Ramp Accessibility Program (WRAP) provides timely home access to people in need. We are a coalition of volunteers and service organizations who work together to build custom wheelchair ramps giving people with limited mobility the freedom to easily enter and leave their homes.
Information & News
ADDitude is an on-line magazine that addresses issues and provides resources for people affected by or caring for those with ADHD.
A comprehensive list of common acronyms most likely to be heard or used in the field of special populations and related programs, agencies and legislation.
Located at the University of Iowa Hospital, the collection focuses on information regarding disabilities. Over half of the items can’t be found in any other library in Iowa.
Disability Scoop is a conglomerate of recent developmental disability stories in the news.
The blog offers a number of online special needs resources including over 1,000 articles on special needs parenting, products, therapy, and more. It also offers information about special needs apps.
Stay up to date on what is going on in Congress and how it impacts people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Advocates receive a weekly policy newsletter and get action alerts that give a direct course of action, talking points, and background on breaking policy related issues.
The essential guide to traveling with a medical condition or disability.