CODI: Cornucopia of Disability Information

Cornucopia of Disability Information

From: Jamal Mazrui

                         POCKET GUIDE
                              TO
                         FEDERAL HELP
               for Individuals with Disabilities

                       [Graphic Omitted]

                       Produced by the:

           CLEARINGHOUSE ON DISABILITY INFORMATION
   OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES

                  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
                   ROOM 3132 SWITZER BUILDING
                 WASHINGTON, DC 20202-2524 1993

          For sale by the Superintendent of Documents,
                U.S. Government Printing Office
                     Washington, DC 20402


FOREWORD


     For more than eighteen years, the POCKET GUIDE TO FEDERAL
HELP FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES has been one of the most
widely distributed publications produced by the U.S. Department
of Education and its predecessor, the Office of Education in
the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Since its
inception in 1980, the Department of Education has committed
itself to ensuring that all individuals with disabilities
achieve their full potential as productive, fully-contributing
members of our society. The publication of this booklet is part
of this continuing effort.

     Written for people with disabilities, their families, and
service providers, this publication contains information on
government-wide benefits and services for which individuals
with disabilities may be eligible. As we publish this new
edition, it is our sincere hope that it will reach the wide and
varied audience for which it is intended, and that it will
increase awareness and provide useful information.

     Knowledge is often the first step toward empowerment. We
believe that the information contained in this POCKET GUIDE
will begin to empower those who read it with the knowledge they
need to achieve independence, which is not a privilege in our
country, but every person's right.

The Clearinghouse on Disability Information
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services


TABLE OF CONTENTS


PROGRAMS FOR SPECIFIC DISABILITY GROUPS

VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION

EDUCATION

EMPLOYMENT

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE

CIVIL RIGHTS

HOUSING

TAX BENEFITS

TRANSPORTATION

THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT


PREFACE


     This booklet is meant to make you, an individual with
disabilities, or the parent/guardian of a child with
disabilities, aware of the principal government services for
which you or your child may be eligible. This revised edition
describes benefits applicable specifically to those who are
blind, deaf, or developmentally disabled. These persons are
also eligible for the general benefits as outlined in this
booklet.

     Because so much of the federal contribution to services
for individuals with disabilities is made to states -- and the
states determine how to spend the money, within certain
guidelines -- it would be impossible to pinpoint exactly what
you will find in your own state or locality. What we have tried
to outline for you in this guide is the general scope of
federal support for services to individuals with disabilities.
Included are the names and addresses of the various federal
agencies that can steer you to their state and/or local
counterpart offices. You may also wish to contact us for a
listing of key agencies in your state. These agencies should be
your starting point for exploring the services available to you
where you live. Write to the Federal Headquarters if you are
unable to reach your state service agencies directly.

     States and localities may provide services which are
financed out of their own resources. These are not discussed in
this guide. To find out about any of these special programs,
contact an information and referral center in your vicinity to
help put you in touch with the array of services for which you
may qualify.

     We hope this guide will alert you to the variety of
services which may be of benefit to you and that it will get
you started on the road to contacting those that are pertinent
to your needs. Every time you call a state or local agency, we
suggest that you ask for the names of other people or agencies
that might also be helpful. You may accumulate a number of
useful and helpful contacts in this way.


VETERANS


     If you are a veteran with disabilities and want to know
about the many programs available to you, apply to your nearest
Department of Veterans Affairs field office, or write to:

Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, DC 20420


PROGRAMS FOR LOW INCOME, INDIAN, OR ELDERLY POPULATIONS


     If you are an American Indian, a person over 65, or a
person with little or no income, you may qualify for additional
programs based on factors other than your disability. For leads
on tracking these down, call your local welfare office, your
local public housing authority, or your Indian tribal housing
authority. If you are elderly, you may be eligible for special
nutrition programs such as Meals on Wheels, or for other
special services. The federal government provides funds for
area resource centers for the aging, usually listed in the
Yellow Pages under "Aged" or "Elderly" or "Social Services."


A WORD OF ADVICE


     Use this booklet to help you track down the appropriate
agencies nearest you. Remember, not every service is available
and not every person can be helped 100 percent. Keep in mind
that every year new programs begin and some old ones end,
particularly at the state and local levels. Keep in touch with
your contacts and stay as aware as you can, through reading and
talking to knowledgeable people about what is happening in the
area of services to individuals with disabilities. There are
many excellent voluntary organizations, as well as state,
local, and federal offices that can help you. Numerous
newsletters are produced by groups of and for individuals with
disabilities.

     We hope you will take advantage of all these avenues and
that your search for assistance will be a fruitful one.


PROGRAMS FOR SPECIFIC DISABILITY GROUPS


     Special programs and benefits for blind and deaf
individuals are listed in the appropriate section (e.g.,
vocational rehabilitation or education). Since the Program for
Developmental Disabilities encompasses medical assistance, job
training, and social and other services, and is administered by
a special state agency, it is described below.


PROGRAMS FOR DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED INDIVIDUALS


     The developmental disabilities (DD) program makes use of
existing services in health, welfare, education, and
rehabilitation to provide for the long-range needs of people
with developmental disabilities. These disabilities are defined
as severe, chronic disabilities attributable to mental or
physical impairment, which are manifested before age 22, result
in substantial functional limitations in several areas of life,
and require services over an extended period.

     Availability of services will vary in all communities, and
services can include diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of
the disabling condition, personal care, day care, and special
living arrangements, training for jobs, education, and
sheltered employment, recreation programs, social and legal
services, information and referral to services, and
transportation.

     Under the law, people with disabilities have a right to
"appropriate treatment, services, and habilitation." A major
component in the DD program is the basic state grant -- a
formula grant to states for planning, administration, and
services. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of
services through comprehensive planning, coordination of
resources, and developing programs to fill gaps in services.

     Each state has a designated agency to administer the
developmental disabilities program. Also in each state is a
protection and advocacy office where people with developmental
disabilities or their parents can turn if they cannot find help
in their communities. At the national level, the address is:

Administration on Developmental Disabilities
Department of Health and Human Services
Room 329D Humphrey Building
Washington, DC 20201


VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION


     In each state, there is an agency responsible for the
administration of the programs of vocational rehabilitation,
supported employment, and independent living for persons with
disabilities. Each of these programs has different eligibility
criteria and purposes. The vocational rehabilitation program is
designed to assist eligible persons with disabilities to
achieve suitable employment; the supported employment program
works with individuals with severe disabilities who require
ongoing support services to enter or maintain competitive
employment; and the independent living program is focused on
working with persons with severe disabilities to enable them to
live independently in the community and in the home.

     All of these programs are state-federal programs in that
the federal government provides the bulk of the funds for their
operation, leadership in program development, technical
assistance in program implementation, and monitoring of program
administration. Each state has designated an agency to be
responsible for the day-to-day administration of the programs.
This agency is responsible for both the determination of
eligibility of persons for the programs and the provision of
services.

     Services are tailored to the unique needs of the
individual and are guided by an individualized written
rehabilitation program (IWRP) which is developed by the
eligible person and a representative of the state agency. The
services available under these programs are quite varied and
may include the following:

   * medical, psychological, vocational, and other types of
     assessments to determine the functional strengths and
     limitations of the individual as these relate to the
     program eligibility criteria and the development of
     appropriate rehabilitation programming with suitable
     objectives and goals;

   * counseling and guidance to assist an eligible person in
     selecting suitable rehabilitation programming, including
     the types of services needed to achieve the person's
     choice of a goal;

   * referral to secure necessary services from other agencies;

   * physical and mental restoration services necessary to
     correct or substantially modify a physical or mental
     condition which is stable or slowly progressive;

   * vocational and other types of training, including
     on-the-job training, trade schools, and training in
     institutions of higher education;

   * interpreter and reader services;

   * services to family members when necessary to achieve the
     rehabilitation programming objectives;

   * rehabilitation technology services;

   * placement in suitable employment;

   * post-employment services necessary to maintain or regain
     other suitable employment; and

   * other goods and services necessary to achieve
     rehabilitation objectives.

     The state agency can provide some of these services, such
as, counseling and guidance, referral, and placement directly
to an eligible person; while for other services, the agency may
arrange for their provision by a vendor such as a hospital or
educational institution. For many of the services, the state
agency will participate with the eligible person in sharing the
costs connected with the services. The extent of financial
participation will vary depending on the needs and resources of
both the eligible person and the agency's policies.

     Since the programs are administered by the states within
the broad framework of federal requirements, the states have a
good deal of flexibility in the administration of these
programs. Thus it is important to seek information on these
programs from the state agency. In some states, the agency will
be an independent agency; in other states, the agency may be
part of a larger agency such as one devoted to education,
employment, or human services.


FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED


     In 25 states, a separate commission (and in all other
states a special vocational rehabilitation unit) deals
specifically with services to people with visual impairments.
Staff of these units limit their caseloads to clients who are
visually impaired or serve as consultants to regular vocational
rehabilitation counselors. They are trained to assist these
clients in learning skills of daily living, in mobility
training, in filling out job application forms, and in other
rehabilitation needs. These units also provide funding for
reader services for college students who are visually impaired.


FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING


     Special emphasis on rehabilitation services to people who
are hearing impaired has its origin at the federal level within
the Rehabilitation Services Administration at the:

Deafness and Communicative Disorders Branch
Switzer Building 3221
Washington, DC 20202-2736
(202) 205-9001
(202) 205-8298 (TDD)

     This office provides leadership and consultation to state
agencies in developing rehabilitation programs and services for
persons with deafness and communicative disorders.

     The Rehabilitation Services Administration maintains a
liaison staff person in deafness rehabilitation in each of the
ten RSA regional offices, and sponsors numerous rehabilitation
counselor training programs to prepare persons for working with
clients who are deaf. The agency also funds several projects
around the country to train interpreters to assist individuals
who are deaf.


FOR DEAF/BLIND PEOPLE


     The federal government provides funds that help support
the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youth and
Adults. To explore your or your family member's eligibility for
the Center's rehabilitation programs, write:

Helen Keller National Center
111 Middle Neck Road
Sands Point, NY 11050
(516) 944-8900 (Voice or TDD)


EDUCATION


     The federal government provides assistance at many levels
to enable children, youth, and adults to receive education and
training. People with disabilities share the same right to
educational opportunities and services as everyone else.


YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW


     Under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA), formerly the Education of the Handicapped
Act (EHA), your state and local school district must provide a
free appropriate elementary and secondary education for all
children with disabilities from ages 6 through 21. States
receiving funds under Section 619 of IDEA must provide services
to all 3 through 5 year olds. In addition, states receiving
funds under Part H of IDEA must serve infants from birth
through 2. Eligibility requirements for infants and toddlers
and their families under the Part H program are determined by
the states.

     All parents have the right to participate in and approve
the individualized education program (IEP) developed for their
child. When children are placed in private schools by state or
local education systems to receive an appropriate education, it
must be done at no cost to the parent. Additional services such
as transportation and special aids must also be provided at
public expense.

     Final responsibility for implementing the special
education and related services for 3 to 21 year olds under IDEA
rests with the state education agency. For further information
on specia
information in the education field is available from:

National Information Center for Children and
  Youth with Disabilities
P.O. Box 1492
Washington, DC 20013-1492
1-800-999-5599


HEAD START


     In 1965, Project Head Start was developed by state and
local education systems with federal assistance. It is a child
development program which provides comprehensive educational
and social services, parent involvement, and health services,
including medical, dental, nutrition, and mental health
services, to preschool children, age 3 to 5, 90 percent of whom
must be from low-income families. Migrant Head Start programs
serve children from birth, and 35 Parent and Child Centers
serve children from birth to age 2.

     Beginning in 1982, federal law has required that at least
10 percent of the total number of placements in Head Start
programs in each state must be available to children who are
disabled and require special services. Head Start is a
mainstream placement option for children whose individualized
education program (IEP) calls for placement with nondisabled
children.

     For more information about eligibility and available Head
Start programs in your area, look under "Project Head Start" in
your telephone directory, contact your local school board, or
write to:

Head Start Bureau
P.O. Box 1182
Washington, D.C. 20013


SCHOOLS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED


     There are approximately 55 special schools for children
who are blind or visually impaired throughout the country that
provide specific educational and training curricula for grade
levels K through 12. Examples of courses include: braille,
skills of daily living, orientation and mobility, plus the full
range of regular academic curricula offered in other schools.
Many of these schools will also accept blind students with
multiple disabilities. For further information on schools in
your area, contact your local school district.


LIBRARY SERVICES FOR SPECIAL GROUPS


     The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically
Handicapped has a network of cooperating regional libraries
throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin
Islands. Together they produce and distribute -- on free loan--
an extensive collection of books, magazines, bibliographies,
directories, and reference circulars. These are made available
in braille and recorded form., along with the necessary
playback equipment.

     Eligible persons are U.S. citizens (here or abroad) who
cannot read standard printed matter. These include individuals
who are blind, some individuals with physical disabilities, and
those who are learning disabled. Certification by a competent
authority (usually a physician) as to the nature of the
disability is all that is needed to apply for services. For
further information on any of these services, or to locate the
regional library in your area, write to the:

National Library Service for the Blind and,
  Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20542

     The Department supports the work of the American Printing
Home for the Blind (APH) which produces and distributes
educational materials adapted for students who are legally
blind and enrolled in formal education programs below the
college level. These materials include educational tools such
as braille typewriters, textbooks in braille and large type and
other supplies. The Printing House also uses a portion of its
annual appropriation to conduct research related to developing
and improving products and to provide advisory services to
consumer organizations. For more information, write to the:

American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Avenue
P.O. Box 6085
Louisville, KY 40206-0085


FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING


     The U.S. Department of Education supports postsecondary
education of individuals who are deaf and hard of heating
through four regional postsecondary education centers and 49
single and multi-state projects serving deaf-blind children and
youth. For
Washington, DC 20002

     The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in
Rochester, NY, was created by public law as a special technical
college for students who are deaf from all states. NTID is a
residential facility for postsecondary technical training and
education for individuals who are deaf whose purpose is to
promote the employment of persons who are deaf by providing
technical and professional education. For more information,
write to:

National Technical Institute for the Deaf
One Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623

U.S. Department of Education Special Institutions
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Washington, DC 20202


POSTSECONDARY INFORMATION AND RESOURCE CENTER


     The HEATH Resource Center, the national clearinghouse for
postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities,
operates under
     which do not have to be repaid.

     To learn more about the various federal student aid
programs, see your high school guidance counselor or the
financial aid officer at any college or vocational school, or
write to:

Office of Student Financial Assistance
P.O. Box 84
Washington, DC 20044


EMPLOYMENT


     There are currently more than 2000 local Employment
Service (ES) offices located throughout the United-States. More
commonly referred to as State Employment Services or State Job
Services, these public employment centers exist to help
employers find workers, and workers to find jobs. Helping job
seekers with disabilities is a specific responsibility of the
ES, and each office is mandated by law to employ a specialist
trained to work with persons with disabilities.

     For more information or for help in finding a job, look in
your telephone directory under "employment services" or under
state government listings which will refer you to the state
agency responsible for the ES program in your area.


FEDERAL JOBS


     All federal jobs for regular appointment must be announced
to the public and are filled on a competitive basis. There are
a small number of special schedule "A" appointment positions
for individuals with disabilities which are not competitive
under the following conditions:

   * individuals who are mentally retarded referred by their
     vocational rehabilitation counselor;

   * individuals with severe physical disabilities referred
     through vocational rehabilitation counselors and who are
     taking a trial appointment.


FEDERAL JOB INFORMATION CENTERS


     For more information about federal employment
possibilities, you should contact the nearest Federal Job
Information Center. The Office of Personnel Management
maintains many centers to provide federal job information and
to help you apply for federal employment. Special arrangements
are available for individuals with disabilities. Federal Job
Information Centers are listed under "U.S. Government" in area
phone directories. Federal employment information will also be
posted in all State Job Service agencies.

     Some of the tests used in screening federal job applicants
can be taken by a person who is blind or visually impaired in
braille, large type, or in recorded form. If the test is not
available in any of these formats, the Job Information Center
is required to provide reader assistance to ensure that the
same standards are used in screening all applicants.

     In addition, all federal agencies have selective placement
coordinators who provide assistance to individuals with
disabilities.


STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT JOBS


     State, county, and local governments have their own civil
service systems which can also be explored for possible job
opportunities. In addition, most states have a Governor's
Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities which works
with employers to open up job opportunities for individuals
with disabilities.


JOB TRAINING PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM (JTPA)


     The Job Training Partnership Program (JTPA) was created to
prepare youth and unskilled adults for entry into the labor
force and to afford job training to economically disadvantaged
individuals and others facing serious barriers to employment
who are in special need of training to obtain productive
employment. Many individuals with disabilities will fit the
eligibility criteria. Your local State Employment Security
Service or Mayor's Office will be able to give you more
information about JTPA programs in your area.


SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION


     People with disabilities who are interested in going into
business for themselves may qualify for federal assistance and
low cost loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). If
there is no listing in your phone book for an SBA office in
your area, write to:

Small Business Administration
Financial Assistance Division
Handicapped Assistance Loan Program
Suite 8300
409 3rd Street, S.W.
Washington, DC  20416


FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE


     There are two basic federal programs providing direct and
continuing financial assistance to people with disabilities.


SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INSURANCE BENEFITS


     Social Security disability insurance benefits may be paid
to a worker who is disabled and is under age 65 and his or her
family when earnings are lost or reduced due to the worker's
disability.

     You may be considered "disabled" if you have a physical or
mental impairment which (1) prevents you from working and (2)
is expected to last for at least 12 months or to result in
death. A person is considered "blind" when he or she has a
central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with
the use of corrective lenses or a visual field reduction of 20
degrees or less.

     Before a worker with a disability and his or her family
can apply for benefits, the worker must have credit for a
certain amount of work under social security. The exact amount
of work credit depends on the worker's age.


     Monthly disability benefits can be paid to a disabled
worker's:

   * unmarried children under age 18 (or under age 19 if
     full-time high school or elementary school students);

   * unmarried children age 18 or older who were severely
     disabled before age 22 and continue to be disabled;

   * wife or husband age 62 or older;

   * wife under age 62 if she is caring for the worker's child
     who is under age 16 or disabled and receiving benefits
     based on the disabled worker's earnings.

     NOTE: Children age 18 or older who were disabled before
age 22 also can receive monthly benefits when either parent
becomes entitled to retirement payments or dies after having
worked long enough under social security. A disabled widow or
widower or disabled surviving divorced wife age 50 or older may
be eligible for monthly survivors payments when a worker dies.

     For additional information, contact your local social
security office which is listed in the telephone directory
under "Social Security Administration."


SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME


     Supplemental security income (SSI) makes monthly payments
to people who are aged, disabled, or blind and have limited
income and resources (assets).

     To receive SSI payments on the basis of disability or
blindness, you must meet the social security definition of
"disabled" or "blind." You do not need social security work
credits to get SSI payments. People may be eligible for SSI
even if they have never worked. People who receive SSI benefits
can also qualify for social security if they are eligible.

     Children who are disabled or blind, as well as adults, may
qualify for SSI payments. To be eligible for SSI, you must have
limited income and resources and be a citizen of the U.S. or
its territories.

     States may add to the federal SSI payments. The states
also provide Medicaid, food stamps, and various social and
rehabilitation services.

     For more information about SSI, contact your local social
security office.


MEDICAL ASSISTANCE


     The primary sources of federal medical assistance for
people with disabilities are Medicare and Medicaid, Maternal
and Child Health Programs, and the Early Periodic Screening,
Diagnosis and Treatment Program.


MEDICARE


     The health insurance program is designed to serve everyone
over 65 years of age and people with disabilities under 65
years of age who:

   * have been entitled to receive Social Security disability
     benefits for a total of 24 months; or

   * who need dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant
     because of permanent kidney failure.

     The program is not based on income and is available
regardless of financial need.

     The Medicare program has two parts:

     Part A: Hospital insurance at no premium that helps pay
     for care while in the hospital and for related health care
     services after leaving the hospital. Certain deductibles
     and coinsurance amounts apply.

     Part B: Voluntary medical insurance at a monthly premium
     that helps pay doctor bills and other approved medical
     services.

     More information about Medicare is available from your
local Social Security Office, or by writing to:

Health Care Financing Administration
Inquiries Staff
Room GF-3, East Lowrise Building
Baltimore, MD 21207


MEDICAID


     Medicaid (Medical Assistance Program) is a joint
federal/state program to provide physical and related health
care services to persons with low incomes. People with
disabilities may be eligible for Medicaid on the basis of their
income.

     Because eligibility is determined by your state program of
public assistance (welfare) on the basis of broad federal
guidelines, there are geographic differences between
eligibility requirements and types of services covered.
Generally, persons may be eligible for Medicaid if they are
receiving welfare or other public assistance benefits or
Supplemental Security Income or are blind or disabled. Medicaid
services are available in all states.

     Individuals with higher incomes may be eligible for
Medicaid, Supplemental Medical Care Assistance, or their
children may be eligible if medical expenses exceed a given
percentage of their annual income. Each state establishes its
own eligibility requirements for Medicaid.

     Further information on Medicaid is available from your
local or state welfare or public assistance office.

     If you cannot get information locally, write to:

Health Care Financing Administration
Inquiries Staff
Room GF-3, East Lowrise Building
Baltimore, MD 21207


MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH PROGRAMS


     The federal government awards special grants to states for
projects that contribute to the advancement of maternal and
child health. At least 30 percent of the federal awards must be
used for services for children with special health care needs,
including diagnostic services, early intervention training, and
services development.

     Up until 1981, this program was entitled, "Maternal and
Child Health and Crippled Children's Services." This program is
a joint federal/state program to provide medical and related
services to children with disabilities from birth to age 21.
The program affords states great flexibility in using the funds
to address the unique health needs of their populations and in
the selection of priority health programs.

     All states must provide medical diagnosis and evaluation
free for all children. No state residence period is required
before such services are provided. The range and cost of
additional treatment or hospital care services vary from state
to state. All programs accept third party payments such as
Medicaid, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and other medical
insurance.

     For further information on what is available to your child
with a disability, contact your local, county, or state health
department.


EARLY PERIODIC SCREENING, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT PROGRAM
(EPSDT)


     The Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment
Program (EPSDT) screens children from economically
disadvantaged families to identify whether health care or
related services may be necessary, and to provide preventive
and remedial care.

     Children receiving state Aid to Families with Dependent
Children benefits, and children whose parents or guardians are
receiving Medicaid and/or state or local public assistance
benefits are eligible for EPSDT. EPSDT programs vary from state
to state and are administered by either state public assistance
(welfare) or health departments.

     For more information on EPSDT contact your local or state
health department or public assistance office.


CIVIL RIGHTS


OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS


     A person with a disability has rights guaranteed by law to
education, employment, health care, senior citizen activities,
welfare, and any other public or private services in programs
or activities that receive federal assistance.

     It is the responsibility of the Office for Civil Rights in
the U.S. Department of Education and the Office for Civil
Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to
enforce federal laws prohibiting discrimination against persons
on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or
disability in federally assisted programs or activities, and to
investigate discrimination complaints brought by individuals
under these statutes. If you feel your rights have been
violated, because of your disability or your child's
disability, by a hospital, school, or any other institution in
any of their federally-funded programs or activities, write to
the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S Department of Education
(ED) about schools and postsecondary institutions, and to the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about
hospitals or social services in your region.

     The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of
Education (ED) enforces federal laws that prohibit
discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin,
sex, age, or disability in programs and activities receiving
federal funding from the Department of Education. OCR also
enforces Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which
prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in state
and local government entities, in public elementary and
secondary educational systems and institutions, public
institutions of higher education and vocational education
(other than schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and other
health-related schools), and public libraries. OCR investigates
complaints filed by individuals, or their representatives, who
believe that they have been discriminated against. OCR also
offers technical assistance to help recipients voluntarily
comply with civil rights laws and to inform citizens of their
rights under these laws. OCR maintains a headquarters office in
Washington, DC, and ten regional offices.

     For more information about the civil rights laws enforced
by OCR, how to file a complaint, or how to obtain technical
assistance, contact the OCR regional office that serves your
state or territory.


REGION I

CONNECTICUT, MAINE, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW HAMPSHIRE,
RHODE ISLAND, VERMONT

Office for Civil Rights, ED
J.W. McCormack Post Office and Courthouse
Room 222
Boston, MA 02109-4557
(617) 223-9662
TDD (617) 223-9695

Office for Civil Rights, HHS
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
Room 1824
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 565-1340


REGION II

NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, PUERTO RICO, VIRGIN ISLANDS

Office for Civil Rights, ED/HHS
26 Federal Plaza, 33rd Floor
Room 33-130
New York, NY 10278-0082
ED: (212) 264-4633/TDD (212) 264-9464
HHS: (212) 264-3313


REGION III

DELAWARE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MARYLAND, PENNSYLVANIA,
VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA

Office for Civil Rights, ED/HHS
3535 Market Street
Room 6300, 03-2010
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3326
ED: (215) 596-6772/TDD (215) 596-6794
HHS: (215) 596-1262


REGION IV

ALABAMA, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, NORTH CAROLINA,
SOUTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE

Office for Civil Rights, ED/HHS
101 Marietta Street
Post Office Box 2048
Atlanta, GA 30301-2048
ED: (404) 331-2954/TDD (404) 331-7236 - 27th Floor
HHS: (404) 331-2779 -- 15th Floor


REGION V

ILLINOIS, INDIANA, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, OHIO, WISCONSIN

Office for Civil Rights, ED
401 South State Street
Room 700C
Chicago, IL 60605-1202
(312) 353-2520/TDD (312) 353-2540

Office for Civil Rights, HHS
105 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 886-2359


REGION VI

ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS

Office for Civil Rights, ED/HHS 1200 Main Tower Building
Dallas, TX 75202-9998
ED: (214) 767-3959/TDD (214) 767-3639 - Suite 2260
HHS: (214)767-4056 - Suite 1360


REGION VII

IOWA, KANSAS, KENTUCKY, MISSOURI, NEBRASKA

Office for Civil Rights, ED
10220 North Executive Hills Boulevard
8th Floor
Kansas City, MO 64153-1367
(816) 891-8026/TDD (816) 374-6461

Office for Civil Rights, HHS
601 East 12th Street
Room 248
Kansas City, MO 64106
(816) 426-6367


REGION VIII

ARIZONA, COLORADO, MONTANA, NEW MEXICO, NORTH DAKOTA,
SOUTH DAKOTA, UTAH, WYOMING

Office for Civil Rights, ED/HHS
Federal Building
1244 Speer Boulevard
Denver, CO 80204
ED: (303) 844-5695/TDD (303) 844-3417 - Suite 310
HHS: (303) 844-2024 - Suite 804


REGION IX

CALIFORNIA

Office for Civil Rights, ED/HHS
50 United Nations Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94102-4102
ED: (415) 556-7000/TDD (415) 556-6806 - Room 239
HHS: (415) 556-8592/TDD (415) 556-8586 - Room 322


REGION X

ALASKA, IDAHO, OREGON, NEVADA, AMERICAN SAMOA, TRUST TERRITORY
OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS, WASHINGTON, HAWAII, GUAM

Office for Civil Rights, ED
Jackson Federal Building
915 2nd Avenue, Suite 3310
Seattle, WA 98174-1099
ED: (206) 442-1636/TDD (206) 553-6419

Office for Civil Rights, HHS
Blanchard Plaza Building, Suite 900
2201 Sixth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121-2500
(206) 553-0473


OFF
such a contractor because of your disability, a complaint can
be filed with the:

Office of Federal Contract Compliance
Department of Labor
Washington, DC 20210


ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD


     The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-480)
decreed that all buildings constructed, leased, or altered with
federal funds since the passage of the Act must be accessible
to individuals with disabilities.

     The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance
Board (ATBCB) is the federal agency created to enforce the
standards. If you have a complaint about an inaccessible
building or you woul
against possible loss. For further information contact your
nearest HUD office, or write to:

The Assisted, Elderly, and Handicapped Program
Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street, S.W.
Room 6116
Washington, DC 20410


     Low income individuals may be eligible for loans from the
Farmers Home Administration to purchase or repair a home which
is located on a farm or in a very rural area. For more
information, write to:

Farmers Home Administration
Department of Agriculture
Washington, DC 20250


RENT ASSISTANCE


     Low income families (including those with disabilities)
may be eligible for housing assistance payments from HUD.
Payments by HU
   * payments for the installation of special equipment in the
     home or for similar improvements made for medical
     purposes, such as ramps, or elevators for heart patients.
     If these improvements increase the value of the property,
     expenses incurred will only be deducted to the extent that
     they exceed the increase in property value. Also, capital
     expenditures that are incurred by a physically disabled
     individual for the removal of structural barriers in his
     or her personal residence qualify as a medical expense
     deduction where the expenditure is necessary to
     accommodate the disability;

   * payments to a special school for an individual who is
     mentally or physically disabled, if the principal reason
     for attendance is the institution's resources for
     alleviating the disability;

   * under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, there is no longer an
     additional personal exemption for people who are blind.
     However, an individual who is blind is entitled to a
     higher standard deduction amount.

     In addition, the IRS allows tax credits for the cost of
disabled dependent or disabled spouse care. Payment to
relatives who provide this care can be included if the relative
is not your dependent or your child under age 19.

     For additional information, contact the "Federal Tax
Information and Forms" number listed under "Internal Revenue
Service" in your telephone directory.


TRANSPORTATION


     In recent years, the federal government has stepped up its
efforts to make transportation systems more accessible to
travelers with disabilities. New regulations have been passed
and better information is now available to assist individuals
with disabilities in planning trips and using public
transportation systems.

     Barriers still exist, however, and those with physical
disabilities must plan ahead and prepare trips more carefully
than the average traveler.


AIR


     The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) now requires
each U.S. airline to have a national company policy (approved
by the FAA)
"Access Amtrak," for travelers with disabilities. To request a
copy, write:

Amtrak Distribution Center
P.O. Box 7717
Itasca, IL 60143


THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT


     The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 guarantees
equal rights for people with disabilities in employment, public
services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

     For more specific information about ADA requirements
affecting employment contact:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
1801 L Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20507
(202) 663-4900
(800) 800-3302 (TDD)
(202) 663-4494 (TDD)

     For more specific information about ADA requirements
affecting transportation contact:

Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20590
(202) 366-9305
(202) 755-7687 (TDD)

     For more specific information about requirements for
accessible design in new construction and alterations contact:

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
1331 F Street, N.W.
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004
800-USA-ABLE
800-USA-ABLE (TDD)

     For more specific information about ADA requirements
affecting telecommunications contact:

Federal Communications Commission
1919 M Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20554
(202) 632-7260
(202) 632-6999 (TDD)

     For more specific information about ADA requirements
affecting Public Services and Public Accommodations contact:

Office on the Americans with Disabilities Act
  Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66118
Washington, DC 20035-6118
(202) 514-0301
(202) 514-0318 (TDD)
(202) 514-0383 (TDD)

     The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation
Research (NIDRR) of the U.S. Department of Education has funded
a network of 15 grantees to provide information, training, and
technical assistance to businesses and agencies with duties and
responsibilities under the ADA and to people with disabilities
who have rights under the Act. There are ten regional
Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers, three
Materials Development Projects (two for employment and one for
public accommodation/accessibility), and two National Training
Projects, a peer and family training network and a local
capacity-building program for independent living centers.


DISABILITY AND BUSINESS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTERS (DBTAC)


     The ten regional Disability and Business Technical
Assistance Centers (DBTAC) focus on providing, within their
respective regions, information and technical assistance to
employers as well as people with disabilities, to facilitate
appropriate implementation of the ADA, successful employment
outcomes for individuals with disabilities, and greater
accessibility in public accommodations. In addition, the DBTACs
will develop information resources, databases, reference
guides, and expert consultant pools that will serve as
resources for implementation of the technical assistance
programs.


NATIONAL PEER TRAINING PROJECTS (NTP)


     The two National Peer Training Projects (NTP) conduct
training to enhance the capacity of people with disabilities
and their organizations and to facilitate the implementation of
the ADA. One NTP is focused on peer training of Independent
Living Center staff, associates, and volunteers. The other NTP
is focused on developing a peer and family training network in
which individuals with disabilities or their parents or other
family members will provide training to their peers throughout
the country.


MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS (MDP)


     These three projects develop and test technical assistance
and training materials and programs for use by the DBTACs and
NTPs. Two of the MDPs are focused primarily on employment
issues, developing training programs, materials and resources,
or repackaging existing materials. The focus of the other MDP
is on accessibility and public accommodation, developing or
identifying and adapting self-administered survey guides,
checklists, materials with information on design alternatives
that can be used by the target audiences to evaluate and create
accessible environments.

     For additional information on the DBTACs, NTPs, and MDPs,
please call 1-800-949-4232 (Voice/TDD) or the National
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) at
(202) 205-8123/TDD (202) 205-5479.