Important Resources for People With Disabilities
People with disabilities (PWD) can face obstacles and barriers in their lives due to their disabilities. These can make certain things more difficult, like getting around, accessing the necessary healthcare services, communicating with others, and more.
Fortunately, there are resources, tools, and other types of support available to help provide assistance to PWD. But it’s not always easy to know where to find these resources, how to access them, or be aware that they even exist and is an option. That’s why we’ll share some of the most important resources for people with disabilities in this article.
Helpful Resources Available to Individuals With Disabilities
There are many resources, tools, and pieces of information that can provide support and assistance to people with disabilities. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Federal Government Resources
- The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) – This federal law is not so much a resource as an important piece of information to be aware of. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications. The ADA also requires that public buildings and facilities be accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities should understand the protections they have under the ADA so they can take action if they are ever discriminated against.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – These programs provide financial assistance to people with disabilities who are unable to work. To be eligible for SSDI, a person must have a severe disability and have paid into the Social Security system through payroll taxes. SSI is for people with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or over 65.
- VA Disability Compensation – In addition to other benefits that veterans receive from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs—like healthcare, housing assistance, and more—individuals who became sick or were injured during their service may receive monthly compensation due to their disabilities. This includes both physical and mental health conditions and can help provide assistance to veterans in need.
- The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) – This federal agency provides funding and support to state vocational rehabilitation programs, which help people with disabilities find and maintain employment. RSA also administers programs that provide assistive technology, such as wheelchairs and adapted computer equipment, to people with disabilities.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – This federal agency provides funding for housing programs for people with disabilities, including Section 8 vouchers, which help low-income people with disabilities afford housing in the private market.
- The Department of Education (ED) – The ED provides funding to schools to help them serve students with disabilities. The ED also enforces laws that protect the rights of students with disabilities, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. This helps to ensure that students with disabilities have access to an education just like everyone else.
- State and Local Government Resources – Like the federal government, state, and local government agencies also provide resources for people with disabilities. The specific organizations and programs available to people with disabilities will depend on the state that they live in, but they generally provide further assistance similar to federal government agencies.
These community resources for people with disabilities provide additional, local support for individuals, so they are always able to get the assistance they need where they are at. Often, these agencies and programs—like state vocational rehabilitation programs—are funded primarily by the federal government. The agencies that will be useful will also depend on the specific individual and the disabilities they have.
- Nonprofit Organizations and Charities – Many nonprofit organizations and charities—like AbleGamers Charity—serve people with disabilities and their families. These organizations provide information and support, advocate for the rights and inclusivity of people with disabilities, and offer services such as job training, housing assistance, socialization opportunities, direct support and care, and more.
- Online Communities – There are many online communities for people with disabilities, including forums, social media groups, and blogs. Since there are many different types of disabilities, every person with a disability cannot be lumped into one, singular group. These individuals are unique and have many different hobbies, interests, and activities that they enjoy. These communities provide a place for people with disabilities to connect with people similar to them, share information, socialize, support each other, and feel a sense of belonging.
One of the best hobbies for PWD to get involved with a community is video games. While video games may not seem like a resource, they offermany benefits to people with disabilities, including reducing social isolation, helping to develop motor skills, and more. Similar to other online communities, playing video games online provides a forum for people with disabilities to interact while taking part in an activity that they enjoy. Gaming can also be done in person, too, offering people with disabilities even more opportunities to socialize and bond with others.
While people with disabilities may face barriers because of their disabilities, they deserve to have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. That’s why knowing about and utilizing these resources is so important to helping achieve independent and fulfilling lives. With the help of these resources, people with disabilities can overcome many of the challenges they face, improve their quality of life, and achieve their goals.
At AbleGamers, our mission is to create opportunities that enable play in order to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities, and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. We know that video games can be the perfect gateway to community participation, lifelong friendships, and unforgettable shared experiences. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure these experiences are developed with accessibility as a priority and inclusion as the goal.
We are working every day to make sure people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else for positive experiences through play. With our nearly two decades as pioneers in inclusive play, thousands of hours working with people with disabilities, and leading developers and engineers, we create opportunities for players to find inclusive places to play and connect with family and friends. Learn more about what we do here, or help continue our crucial work by making a monetary donation orpurchasing something from our shop!
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