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American Association on Health and Disability. AAHD's mission is to support health promotion and wellness initiatives for people with disabilities at the federal, state and local level, reduce the incidence of secondary conditions in people with disabilities, as well as reduce health disparities between people with disabilities and the general population. AAHD achieves its mission through research, education, public awareness and advocacy. www.aahd.us.


American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Since 1876, AAIDD has been providing leadership in the field of mental retardation. AAIDD is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals and others concerned about mental retardation and related disabilities. AAIDD promotes progressive policies, sound research, effective practices, and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. www.aaidd.org.

American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP is an organization of 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. www.aap.org.

Architectural Barriers Act. The ABA requires that buildings and facilities be accessible if, since 1968, they were designed, built, or altered with certain Federal funds, or leased for occupancy by Federal agencies. Buildings and facilities covered by the law must meet standards for accessibility issued by four Federal agencies. Accessibility standards cover such things as: walks, ramps, curb ramps, entrances, elevators, and rest rooms. They indicate how many of a certain item, such as accessible parking spaces, are required, where they must be located, and how they must be built or installed so they can be used by everyone. More information here.

The Administration for Children and Families. ACF is a federal agency responsible for some 60 programs that promote the economic and social well-being of children, families and communities. ACF funds state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance (welfare), child support, child care, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs relating to children and families. Actual services are provided by state, county, city and tribal governments, and public and private local agencies. ACF assists these organizations through funding, policy direction, and information services. ACF is a division of DHHS. www.acf.hhs.gov.

Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities. ACLD, Inc. is a not-for profit, private, educational organization. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life of children and adults with specific learning disabilities and related neurobiological disorders by facilitating self-sufficiency and financial independence. www.acldonline.org.

Americans with Disabilities Act. The Americans with Disabilities Act gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications. More information here.

Activities of Daily Living. The term "activities of daily living," or ADLs, refers to the basic tasks of everyday life, such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and transferring. When people are unable to perform these activities, they need help in order to cope, either from other human beings or mechanical devices or both. Although persons of all ages may have problems performing the ADLs, prevalence rates are much higher for the elderly than for the non-elderly. Find out more here.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. AHRQ supports research on health care systems, health care quality and cost issues, access to health care, and effectiveness of medical treatments. It provides evidence-based information on health care outcomes and quality of care. Established: 1989. AHRQ is a public health agency of DHHS. www.ahrq.gov.

American Medical Association. Founded in 1847, the AMA helps doctors help patients by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues.www.ama-assn.org.

Association of Maternal Child Health Programs ("am-chip"). AMCHP has worked for over 60 years to protect the health and well-being of all families, especially those who are low-income and underserved. AMCHP represents state public health leaders who promote the health of America's families. Members come from the highest levels of state government and include directors of maternal and child health programs, directors of programs for children with special health care needs, adolescent health coordinators and other public health leaders. Members of this national nonprofit organization also include academic, advocacy and community-based family health professionals, as well as families themselves. www.amchp.org.

American Network of Community Options and Resources. ANCOR is a nonprofit trade association representing private providers who provide supports and services to people with disabilities. ANCOR's mission is to empower providers and people with disabilities to celebrate diversity and effect change that ensures full participation. www.ancor.org.

Administration on Aging. AoA supports a nationwide aging network, providing services to the elderly, especially to enable them to remain independent. AoA supports some 240 million meals for the elderly each year, including home-delivered "meals on wheels." It helps provide transportation and at-home services, supports ombudsman services for elderly, and provides policy leadership on aging issues. AoA is a part of DHHS. www.aoa.dhhs.gov.

American Occupational Therapy Association. AOTA is the nationally recognized professional association of more than 35,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students of occupational therapy. Practitioners work with people experiencing health problems such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, cancer, congenital conditions, developmental problems, and mental illness. Occupational therapy helps people regain, develop, and build skills that are essential for independent functioning, health, and well-being. www.aota.org.

American Psychological Association. The APA is a scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States. With 150,000 members, APA is the largest association of psychologists worldwide. The mission of the APA is to advance psychology as a science and profession and as a means of promoting health, education, and human welfare. www.apa.org.

American Physical Therapy Association. APTA is a national professional organization representing more than 66,000 members. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapy practice, research, and education. www.apta.org.

The Arc
Founded in 1950 by a small group of parents and other concerned individuals, the Arc of the United States [formerly the ARC: the Association for Retarded Citizens] is the 140,000 member national organization of and for people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It also improves systems of supports and services, connects families, inspires communities and influences public policy. www.thearc.org.

Autism Society of America. Founded in 1965, the ASA is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families and the professionals with whom they interact. The Society and its chapters share a common mission of providing information and education, and supporting research and advocating for programs and services for the autism community. https://autismsociety.org

American Speech-Language Hearing Association. ASHA is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 123,000 members and affiliates who are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally. Founded in 1925, the mission of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is to promote the interests of and provide the highest quality services for professionals in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech and hearing science, and to advocate for people with communication disabilities. www.asha.org.

Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health ("at-match"). ATMCH aims to provide leadership in education, research, and service in the field of maternal and child health. ATMCH offers an interdisciplinary forum through which MCH faculty from schools of public health and other institutions of higher learning can share the knowledge, ideas, and skills essential to educating students, advancing MCH research, and applying research results to MCH policies, programs, and services. www.atmch.org.

Association of University Centers on Disabilities. AUCD [formerly AAUAP, or the American Assiociation of University Affiliated Programs] is a non-profit organization that promotes and supports the national network of university centers on disabilities, which includes UCEDDs, LENDs and IDDRCs. Founded in 1967, the mission of AUCD is to advance policy and practice for and with people living with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities by supporting its members to engage in research, education, and service that support independence productivity, and a satisfying quality of life. www.aucd.org.


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