Organizations to support, disability version

A lot of people have published “how to help” posts after the election. It’s a great idea — there isn’t much for a single person to do, so a lot of these lists focused on getting donations to charities and advocacy groups already doing good work. Here’s one example, and here’s another. And these lists have clearly worked, with many organizations seeing big surges in donations.

Unfortunately almost all of these leave out organizations for people with disabilities. A Trump presidency will be a disaster for PwD too — this Vox article does a good job piecing together what policies Trump will likely have and what they’ll mean for PwD. In short, drastically reduced aid and insurance for healthcare (which can be a significantly higher cost for PwD), possibly reduced privacy rights, and regressions in policies that support education & services over institutionalization.

So… how can you help? I’ve collected my own list of organizations you can support:

National Council on Independent Living: “NCIL advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities.” They support state councils, and Centers for Independent Living, too. CILs enable disabled people to live on their own, by advocating for and offering the supports they need in the community. Use this site to find your local CIL, and you can donate directly to your community – for example, in Cambridge, MA, my local CIL is this one: Boston CIL.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network: This org has chapters nationwide (and a few outside the US, too). They provide resources for autistic people, and also advocate for better public policies — often working with other disability orgs, or LGBTQ orgs, etc. You can check out their 2016 report for some of the work they’ve done this year.

ADAPT “is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.” I heard about this group when they protested in Boston and at the JRC, to increase funding for Community First Choice and to transition people out of nursing homes and institutions (like the JRC).

Asperger/Autism Network: A statewide (Massachusetts) org which provides services for autistic people and their families, from social and support groups for all ages, job and life coaches for autistic adults, even couples counseling for ND couples! Considering that most autism organizations & charities focus on children, I love that this one has so much for adults too.

Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf (HEARD) “is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that promotes equal access to legal system for individuals who are deaf and for people with disabilities” Their facebook page has more recent updates.

Perkins School for the Blind: In addition to the school, they also have an international arm, programs for assistive devices, and a library of braille & audio books, magazines, and more.

American Association of People with Disabilities, “a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.”

I hope at least one of these organizations captured your attention enough to set up a donation! If you can’t afford to donate, but do buy things on Amazon, a few of the above also use Amazon Smile (which donates a small portion of your purchase to the charity you choose, as long as you buy through smile.amazon.com).

Edited to add: I’ve just found this tumblr, What is ableism, which includes an ableism primer, a “how to unlearn ableism” post, and their own list of organizations to donate to.

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