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
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
Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing
Center for Hearing and Deaf Services (HDS)
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:
- Offers quality diagnostic, rehabilitative, and support services for children and adults.
- Serves as a learning and referral source for the deaf, hard of hearing, and public.
Learn more about the Center for Hearing and Deaf Services.
HealthBridges offers social programs and health education to people who are deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing, in a format accessible to all.
Visit HealthBridges for programs for the deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing.
Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
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.
Learn more at the Hearing Loss Association website.
Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH)
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).
Find deaf and hard of hearing services at the ODHH.
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Developmental, Cognitive, and Intellectual Disabilities
Allegheny County Department of Human Services Office of Intellectual Disability (OID)
The OID provides support for people with intellectual disabilities living in Allegheny County.
See OID's resources for people with intellectual disabilities.
Autism Connection of Pa.
This agency offers education, events, and support to people with autism and their families.
Get details at the Autism Connection of Pa. website.
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.
PA Connecting CommunitiesTM (PACC)
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:
- Day center.
- Community integration and skill building.
- Job coaching.
- Behavioral support.
Find more services for people with disabilities at PA Connecting Communities.
Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs (ODP)
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.
Learn about the world of disability in Pennsylvania at the ODP website.
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General Disability Resources
ACHIEVA has built a lifelong support system for children with disabilities and their families.
- Advocacy and public awareness.
- Day and overnight recreational activities.
- Early intervention programs.
- Home care.
- Training and educational webinars.
- Preschool readiness programs.
- Young adult transition services.
- Residential living options.
- Special needs Family Trust.
- Job training and support.
Phone: 412-995-5000 or 1-888-272-7229 (toll free).
Get details on ACHIEVA's support services for people with disabilities.
Family Resource Guide
This guide helps families in Allegheny County find information and support for children with:
- Developmental delays.
- Special health care needs.
- Learning and other disabilities.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) — ADA Home Page
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).
Visit ADA.gov for disability topics, news, and more.
PA211's statewide information and referral resources can help people with disabilities find:
- Medical care
- And more
Search online or by phone (dial 2-1-1).
Search for disability agencies and services at PA211.
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Mental and Behavioral Health
Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association (PMHCA)
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.
Find support for mental illness from the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
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:
- Mental health services and support.
- Mental illness research.
Southwestern Pa. chapter phone: 412-486-0691.
Southwestern Pa. chapter email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania for mental illness support programs.
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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.
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American Council of the Blind (ACB)
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.
Learn more about the American Council of the Blind.
Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services (BVRS) of Pittsburgh
BVRS of Pittsburgh helps blind or vision-impaired people become independent. It offers custom rehab programs tailored to meet the goals of each client.
Get details about programs at the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation website.
Pennsylvania Association for the Blind (PAB)
PAB provides all types of resources for people with vision problems.
Some of PAB's vision impairment services include:
- Training, workshops, and seminars.
- Transportation help.
- Job and life-skills training.
- Social events and recreational activities.
Find more services from the Pa. Association of the Blind.
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Transition to Adult Care
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).
Get information on resources offered through PEAL Center on Transition to Adult Care.
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