There are many programs and resources to help people with disabilities live independently and be active within the community.
Due to the volume of resources, we can't list them all. Below are just a few.
If you're looking for a certain resource or you have questions, please contact the UPMC Disabilities Resource Center.
Community resources on this page:
Centers for Independent Living (CIL) can provide people with disabilities with services in the area of advocacy, skills training, information and referral, peer support, and transition. Other services may include housing, transportation, and other community supports all with the goal of helping people with disabilities to live as independently as they choose.
To find your local CIL, visit your state’s Independent Living Council.
Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council
Phone: (717) 364-1732
Maryland Statewide Independent Living Council
Phone: 240-599-7966 and 240-599-7965
New York State Independent Living Council
Phone: (518) 427-1060
The center's mission is to provide a diverse and affordable program to address the problems that people who are deaf or hard of hearing often face.
The Center for HDS:
HealthBridges offers social programs and health education to people who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing, in a format accessible to all.
HLAA represents people with hearing loss. It offers support and resources to help them — and their loved ones — learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss.
The Pennsylvania ODHH provides advocacy, facts, and referrals for Pennsylvanians who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing.
Main Office Phone: 717-783-4912 (voice/TTY).
Main Office Toll-Free (Pa. Only): 1-800-233-3008 (voice/TTY).
The OID provides support for people with intellectual disabilities living in Allegheny County.
This agency offers education, events, and support to people with autism and their families.
Mirage is a joint effort of the OID and the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging (AAA).
It provides resources to older adults who have an intellectual disability and those who care for them.
PACC provides services to meet the diverse needs of people with all types of special needs, including intellectual disabilities and autism.
Highlights of PACC services include:
This ODP provides support programs and services to Pennsylvanians with developmental disabilities. Its mission is to help them achieve greater independence, choice, and opportunity in their lives.
ACHIEVA has built a lifelong support system for children with disabilities and their families.
Phone: 412-995-5000 or 1-888-272-7229 (toll free).
This guide helps families in Allegheny County find information and support for children with:
The U.S. DOJ enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on their disability.
The ADA Home Page provides tools to assist the public in learning their rights and obligations.
ADA Info Phone Line: 1-800-514-0301 (toll free) or 1-800-514-0383 (TTY).
PA211's statewide information and referral resources can help people with disabilities find:
Search online or by phone (dial 2-1-1).
PMHCA is a statewide member organization. It offers advice, referrals, and support to people who are receiving mental health services or recovering from a mental illness.
NAMI is a grassroots mental health organization committed to building better lives for the millions of Americans who suffer from mental illness.
NAMI promotes access to:
Southwestern Pa. chapter phone: 412-486-0691.
Southwestern Pa. chapter email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accessible transportation is often hard to find.
Throughout Pennsylvania, there are a few programs — based on geographic location — that provide fee-for-service transportation for people with special needs.
Visit the websites below for details.
ACB works to educate the public and inform blind and visually-impaired people of their right to equal service delivery.
ACB staff provides training on the most effective ways to advocate for quality programs and services for the blind community.
BVRS of Pittsburgh helps blind or vision-impaired people become independent. It offers custom rehab programs tailored to meet the goals of each client.
PAB provides all types of resources for people with vision problems.
Some of PAB's vision impairment services include:
The mission of the PEAL Center is to educate and empower families to ensure that children, youth and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs lead rich, active lives as full members of their schools and communities.
Phone: 412-281-4404 (Pittsburgh), 215-567-6143 (Philadelphia), 866-950-1040 (toll-free), or 412-281-4409 (TTY).