GovBenefits.gov and DisabilityInfo.gov Commemorate the 17th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

On July 26, 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and Local government services, and telecommunications. As communities across the nation hold celebrations commemorating the 17th anniversary of this important legislation, DisabilityInfo.gov, the federal government's one-stop source for people with disabilities, has unveiled a new feature designed to provide citizens with greater access to available resources.

DisabilityInfo.gov now offers a new state and local resources map to make it easier for visitors to find information in the states and communities where they live. While DisabilityInfo.gov is known as a comprehensive source for information at the federal and national level, this new tool enables visitors to search for, and subscribe to receive, disability-related information in their states and territories. To access the new state and local resources map, simply select one of the nine subject tabs - Benefits, Civil Rights, Community Life, Education, Employment, Health, Housing, Technology or Transportation - at the top of any DisabilityInfo.gov page. Then click on the State and Local Resources map on the right-hand side bar to find information on that subject in your state and you will be directed to a wealth of resources and contacts in your community.

DisabilityInfo.gov also offers a free subscription service allowing users to sign up to receive DisabilityInfo.gov Connection, the site's quarterly newsletter, as well as e-mail alerts on new information in their states. To subscribe, visit http://service.govdelivery.com/service/user.html?code=USODEP. The site also features an online press room that contains news releases, links to research and statistics, and ready-to-publish news briefs and articles.

Managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the site is a collaborative effort among 22 government agencies dedicated to making DisabilityInfo.gov the leading, one-stop federal resource for disability-related information. The site offers the nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities the information they need to actively participate in the workforce and in their communities.

In addition to the resources found on DisabilityInfo.gov, GovBenefits.gov has several benefit and assistance programs for citizens with disabilities. A sample of the programs available include:

Assistance for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
Early intervention services, including at a minimum child find, evaluations and assessments, service coordination and the development and review of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP, are available at no cost for eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth to 3 years of age) and their families. Infants and toddlers who meet their state's eligibility requirements will receive a comprehensive evaluation and assessment and be assigned a service coordinator who will assist them. An IFSP will also be developed outlining the child's needs up to age 3. Other early intervention services designed to meet the unique needs of the child may be provided on a fee-for-service or sliding fee scale on a state-by-state basis. For more information, visit the Assistance for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities Program.

Centers for Independent Living for Individuals with Disabilities
The Centers for Independent Living program provides grants for consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agencies that are designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provide an array of independent living services. For more information, visit the Centers for Independent Living for Individuals with Disabilities Program.

Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights
The Program of Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights provides grants for States to Support systems for protection and advocacy for the rights of individuals with disabilities who are ineligible for services from the Protection and Advocacy for Developmental Disabilities (PADD) program and the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program, or whose problems fall outside the scope of services available from the Client Assistance Program (CAP). For more information, visit the Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights Program.

Vocational Rehabilitation for Individuals with Disabilities
Vocational rehabilitation services are available for persons who are unable to prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment due to a mental or physical disability, but wish to pursue meaningful careers. VR assists such individuals secure employment corresponding with their abilities, through local job searches and awareness of self-employment and telecommuting opportunities. Services vary by state but may include: vocational evaluation, medical assistance, psychological and psychiatric intervention, counseling and guidance, personal and work adjustment, job training and placement, interpreter and reader services, transition services for students with disabilities, rehabilitation technology services and devices, and supported employment. For more information, visit the Vocational Rehabilitation for Individuals with Disabilities Program.