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Disability Awareness

The IRIS Center

Supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs and located at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, the IRIS Center Resource Locator develops and disseminates free, engaging online resources about evidence-based instructional and behavioral practices to support the education of all students, particularly struggling learners and those with disabilities. These resources, designed to bridge the research-to-practice gap, are intended for use in college teacher preparation programs, in professional development (PD) activities for practicing professionals, and by independent learners. 

The Indiana Resources and Advocacy Organizations page links to government agencies and disability rights organizations in Indiana. They may be able assist you with:

  • disability advocacy
  • home health services
  • home care
  • nursing aide services
  • Medicaid
  • accessing other community resources to help people with disabilities.

Many of these organizations work to address the unique needs associated with different disabilities, including but not limited to physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities, and mental illness. Others focus on issues such as access to housing and legal assistance based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 


Two little boys sitting at a table in a colorful classroom, working together on a puzzle

AccessABILITY is a Disability Rights organization serving Indianapolis and the seven surrounding counties.  They provide individual consumers, governmental agencies, corporations, and other non-profits with the tools necessary to ensure the acceptance, respect, and inclusion of everyone.  The result is that communities are enriched through the full participation of ALL PEOPLE.


Born This Way - Faces

RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization that works collaboratively with employers, elected officials, policy makers, educators, self-advocates, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, philanthropists, and the entertainment and news media to fight stigmas and advance opportunities. Led by diverse people with disabilities and allies, RespectAbility knows that people with disabilities and their families have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else.

RespectAbility accomplishes its mission with a three-part strategy:

  1. Fighting stigmas by promoting diverse, authentic and accurate portrayals of people with disabilities.
  2. Advancing opportunities by identifying and promoting best practices in education, employment, civic engagement, and access.
  3. Leadership development to strengthen a talent pipeline of people with disabilities.


*Each of the videos on this Library Guide is equipped with closed captioning. Click on "CC" or the settings button to turn on the closed captioning.

Indiana Disability Awareness Month



Ivy Tech Resources: Recognizing International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Presented by the PTK Alpha Phi Pi of Kokomo



During this ADA30 celebration in 2020, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leaders discussed the the progress HHS has made as a department – and that America has made as a nation – in the years since the ADA established a clear expectation of accessibility and full participation. They also discussed the work that still remains to remove barriers to inclusion and equal access to all facets of American life.



Footage from the 1990 Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990

Celebrating Disability Awareness Month

Get educated!

Spread the word!

Be an advocate!

  • Commit to making your community accessible to people with different disabilities
  • Support artists with disabilities
  • Participate in protests and demonstrations on disability issues
  • Join and/or donate to disability organizations you like
  • Talk about disability issues with friends, family, classmates, and coworkers



61 million adults in the United States live with a disability


26% of adults have some type of disability


People living in the South are more likely to have a disability


2 in 5 adults 65 years and older have a disability


1 in 4 women have a disability


2 in 5 Non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaskan Natives have a disability