Disability and Special Needs Resources

NORTH CAROLINA SPECIFIC

With NC ABLE, disabled North Carolinians or their benefactors can set aside money for most living expenses without loss of eligibility for certain assistance programs, like SSI and Medicaid.

Guardianship – LIFEguardianship is a program of The Arc of NC designed to help advocate for and protect the health and safety of individuals to ensure that their civil and human rights are not violated.

Alternatives to guardianship should be pursued before the beginning of guardianship of the person, of the estate, or both. Alternatives include:

• Power of Attorney
• Durable Power of Attorney
• Health Care Power of Attorney
• Declaration Regarding Natural Death (DNR or Living Will)
• Advance Instruction for Mental Health (AIMHT)
• Social, Habilitation, Case Management, and Advocacy Supports
• Circle of Friends
• Representative Payee for Social Security and other pensions/benefits; and/or Trust.

Find out more by calling The Arc of NC’s toll-free number: 800-662-8706

Disability Rights & Resources is a consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, non-residential, private, non-profit Center for Independent Living. They advocate and serve as mentors for people with disabilities in a four-county service area comprised of CabarrusGaston, Mecklenburg, and Union Counties in North Carolina.

The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) is a state and federally funded program that provides assistive technology services statewide to people of all ages and abilities. NCATP leads North Carolina’s efforts to carry out the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004 by providing device demonstration, short-term device loans, and utilization of assistive technology. We promote independence for people with disabilities through access to technology.

The North Carolina Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults (CAP/DA) is for adults with disabilities who prefer to remain in their primary private residences rather being placed in a nursing home.

Housing The Arc of North Carolina provides assistance to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families in locating housing that meets their needs.  In an effort to provide alternatives to large institutions, The Arc of North Carolina has developed over 342 residences that are operated in partnership with local organizations. These residences include group homes, small apartment buildings, duplexes, and condominiums, together serving more than 2200 residents. Through the housing program, The Arc of North Carolina has helped countless individuals with I/DD move from housing that is more restrictive to homes where they can achieve greater independence and have more opportunities.

Information on Section 8 Housing in NC

The North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services provides counseling, training, education, transportation, job placement, assistive technology and other support services to people with disabilities.

Everybody Works NC – People with disabilities – young and old – are benefitting from pre-employment training opportunities and new job placement services offered by North Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation (NCVR). Others are enrolling in one of the many inclusive post-secondary educational programs (IPSE) being offered by state technical and community colleges and universities. In addition, a broad range of assistive technologies is available to improve accessibility, better equip you to perform job functions and support independent living. Learn more about the many services and opportunities available through NCVR and how people with disabilities are succeeding in employment.

Supported Employment – The Arc of NC helps connect employment opportunities for adults with disabilities. This process, with the support of a trained Employment Specialist, involves matching the right person with the right job by:

• Assessment 
• Planning 
• Job Development 
• Job Coaching 
• Long-term support

Advocacy and Education – The Arc provides advocacy and education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and assists them in locating resources, navigating systems of support and making community connections. Resource Advocates provide advocacy and education, assistance with developing plans, and help link people to services they need in the community.

Here are some of the ways The Arc of NC can help connect the dots:

• Accessing services
• Housing and transportation
• Financial planning and assistance
• Various sources of benefits
• Information regarding legal help
• Information on guardianship and alternatives
• Opportunities to meet people and build relationships
• School meetings/IEPs
• Finding community activities and volunteer placement
• Creating relationships
• Problem-solving

When supported, individuals will learn to better:

• Promote self-determination
• Increase independence
• Interact with and contribute to your community

To qualify for this service, an individual must qualify for Medicaid and have an I/DD diagnosis. Find out more by calling The Arc of NC’s toll free number: 800-662-8706

Signposts Ministries helps families that have children with disabilities or chronic health problems by connecting them with local resources, providing educational materials, and supporting them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

North Carolina Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources and Treatment (NC START) is a statewide community crisis prevention and intervention program for individuals age 6 and above with intellectual/developmental disability and co-occurring complex behavioral and/or mental health needs.  The model works to improve the lives of the individuals served and their families by providing services and supports using a person-centered, positive, multidisciplinary, cost-effective, systemic and evidence-informed approach.

Cheap Internet for those with Low Income

Free Cell Phone and Service for Those who Qualify

The North Carolina Weatherization Assistance Program is designed to help low-income citizens save energy and reduce expenses through the installation of energy conservation materials and the implementation of energy efficiency measures in their homes.  Priority is placed on providing assistance to the elderly, individuals with disabilities and families with children. A household’s income must be under 150 percent of poverty to be eligible to participate in the program. Agency staff conduct an energy audit and perform diagnostic testing to determine air infiltration, heat loss, levels of carbon monoxide and identify recommended energy conservation, safety, and health measures. Local agency staff and private contractors complete the work.

Two Hearts One Language provides equine assisted learning to at-risk youth, victims of domestic violence, veterans with PTSD, dysfunctional families, children with mental, emotional or physical disabilities and more. No one is turned away for lack of ability to pay. They are a 501c3 and will find you a sponsor.

Misty Meadows Mitey Riders provides equine-assisted therapy to special needs children, ranging in age from 5-17, with varying conditions including autism, cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome, and more. Riders experience a variety of activities which challenge them cognitively, physically and socially, all while developing a long-term relationship with horses.

Disability Services at South Piedmont Community College

Disability Services at Central Piedmont Community College – Personal Note: My son has a chronic illness. He has been taking online classes from CPCC.  This ensures that he won’t miss anything by being absent from class, as all the class materials (aside from textbooks) are online and can be seen 24/7.  Classwork does have to be turned in on time, however. He’s also gotten credit for some classes without taking the college class by taking CLEP exams.

NATIONAL

Morgan’s Wonderland is one of many initiatives of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation to promote inclusion and to help those with special needs.   Encompassing 25 acres, the unique, colorful, safe and affordable theme park offers fun for all ages and abilities.  It’s located in Northeast San Antonio in what once was the Longhorn limestone quarry.  Non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland is the very first theme park of its kind.  Admission for those with special needs is free; admission fees for accompanying family members, friends, caregivers, and the general public are nominal. On June 17, 2017, Morgan’s Wonderland unveiled the world’s first ultra-accessible splash park – Morgan’s Inspiration Island. Click here for a list of rides and attractions.

APPLYING FOR DISABILITY

SSI and SSDI are two different programs

SSDI – For People Who Worked. SSDI is for people who have paid Social Security tax. Whether or not you qualify for SSDI also depends on how old you are, how much you worked, and how recently you worked.

SSI – For People Who Are Poor. SSI is for people who don’t qualify for SSDI or for people who get a very low SSDI check. To get on SSI you must be low income and low assets. If you are married, they will also consider your spouse’s income and assets. 

An Explanation of the Rules of SSI

How To Apply For Disability Without a Lawyer

Things to Know Before Applying for SSI

Be Prepared Long Before Filing for Disability Benefits

32 Support Documents that Can Help Your Disability Case

How To Describe Your Activities When You Apply for Disability

How to Stay In Touch with Your Disability Examiner

How to Survive Financially While Waiting for Disability Approval

How to Greatly Increase Your Chances of Disability Approval

Section 8 Secrets for People with Disabilities

What Are Disabled Adult Child Benefits?

DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT

Social Security Administration Rules for Working While Disabled

How You Can (and can’t) Make Money While on SSI

Employment Options for People Receiving SSI or SSDI

CareerACCESS, a career-building alternative to the Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI), examines policies that impact adults, age 18-30, seeking long-term employment. WID houses the project and collaborates with PolicyWorks and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) as members of the CareerACCESS Executive Committee.

Job Accommodation Network– JAN’s trusted consultants offer one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related legislation, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities. Assistance is available both over the phone and online.

Find Work-at-Home Jobs through NTI@Home NTI provides job opportunities for Americans with disabilities who require home-based work.

The Campaign for Disability Employment Resources for Job Seekers
& Employees

Job-Hunting Tips for Adults With Disabilities

Job Idea for the Artistic: Make Money Editing Photos

How to Determine Rent if You Live with the Homeowner (SSI Regulations)

How Much Rent You Pay Affects Your SSI If you do not pay your share of household expenses, your SSI check is lowered by up to one-third. This is called “In-Kind Support and Maintenance.” See link for details on how to determine which household expenses count, and how to determine your share.

MISCELLANEOUS DISABILITY ISSUES

How to Pay Rent While Waiting for an SSI Approval or Redetermination

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.

SNAP/EBT/Food Stamps Elderly or Disabled Rules

Resources for the Homebound

How State In-Home Care Works & How to Apply

Facebook Groups Focusing on Housing for Those with Disabilities

What Counts as a Medical Expense for Different Programs

How to Get an Assessment for Medical Equipment

Insta-cart Grocery Delivery Service

SNAP/EBT and Medicaid cardholders get a discount on Amazon Prime. As an Amazon Prime member, you receive a free 30-day trial that includes Free Two-Day Shipping on over 100 million items, exclusive shopping deals, and discounts on diapers and baby food. With Prime, you get access to thousands of movies, TV shows, and music to stream online or download for offline, plus unlimited access to over a thousand top Kindle books, and more! After your trial ends, customers who verify with a valid EBT or Medicaid card receive access to all Prime benefits, discounted to just $5.99 per month. 

FOR STUDENTS

Tips for Students With Fibromyalgia & ME/CFS

Documenting Disabilities for Standardized Tests

Accommodations for CLEP Exams– CLEP exams are an excellent way to get college credits without actually taking the college class.  If you do well enough on the exam, it shows that you understand the subject well enough that you don’t need to take the class.

Many College Degrees Can be Completed Entirely Online

College and College Prep with a Learning Disability

Helps to Succeed in College as a Learning Disabled Student

College Students and Disability Law