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California - Where to Find Disability Assistance in California

State Disability Resources for California


Updated February 09, 2011

If your child has a disability, and you do not know where to find help, check out this list of essential resources available in your state. These essential contacts offer the most commonly needed services and can provide you with referrals to other appropriate services as well. If you have difficulty contacting any of these resources, please feel free to email me at: learningdisabilities@aboutguide.com.

1. Department of Education - Special Education - Ages 3 - 21

The California Department of Education Special Education Division oversees disability education services to children. It monitors school districts for compliance with IDEA and state special education regulations. The Department of Education handles formal complaints, due process hearings, and mediation on special education issues.

California Department of Education
Special Education Division

1430 N Street, Suite 2401
Sacramento CA 95814
Telephone: (916) 445-4602
Website: Department of Education Special Education Programs - Family Involvement and Partnerships

2. Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers with Disabilities

The Department of Developmental Services Children and Family Services Branch provides services to infants and young children with disabilities such as developmental instruction, and speech, physical, and occupational therapies.

Birth to Age Two:
Department of Developmental Services
Children and Family Services Branch
1600 9th Street, Room 330, MS 3-8
Sacramento CA 95814
Telephone: (916) 654-2773
Toll Free: (800) 515-2229
Website: Early Start
Ages Three to Five:
California Department of Education Special Education Division Administrative Services Unit
1430 N Street, Suite 530
Sacramento CA 95814
Telephone: (916) 327-3547
Website: Family Involvement and Partnerships

3. State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

The California Department of Rehabilitation helps people with disabilities live more independent lives by providing education, support, and services to assist them with becoming employed. The department works with middle schools, high schools, and higher education to help students with disabilities access appropriate supports for employment and independence such as job coaching, teaching skills, support in job placement, assistive and adaptive supports, and more.

Department of Rehabilitation
2000 Evergreen Street
Sacramento CA 95815-3832
Telephone: (916) 263-8987
TTY - Telephone: (916) 263-7477
Website: Vocational Rehabilitation

4. Mental Health Services Agency

Mental health services agencies provide services to individuals and families dealing with mental illness, mental retardation, and substance abuse. Services include advocacy, nursing home screening, psychiatric services, intervention, coordination of treatment, case management, and more.

California Department of Mental Health
1600 9th Street, Rm. 151
Sacramento, CA 95814
Telephone: (501) 296-1775 (Voice and TTY)
Toll Free: (800) 482-1174 (Voice and TTY)
Website: Division of Behavioral Health Services

5. Disability Advocacy Services

The Office of Protection and Advocacy offers information and referrals relating to disability issues, a resource database for self-advocacy, education and training in disability rights, and individual case advocacy.

Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
Inc. 100 Howe Avenue, Suite 185N
Sacramento CA 95825-8219
Telephone: (Sacramento CA 95825-8219
Telephone: (916) 488-9950
Toll Free: (800) 776-5746 (In California)
Website: Protection and Advocacy

6. Department of Developmental Services

The California Department of Developmental Services provides services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities. These disabilities include mental retardation*, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism and related conditions. The regional centers help clients find and access services and supports available to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Department of Developmental Services
California Health and Human Services Agency
1600 9th Street, Room 240
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 654-1897

*See article on mental retardation and person-first language.

7. Council on Developmental Disabilities

The council advocates, promotes and implements policies and practices that achieve self-determination, independence, productivity and inclusion in all aspects of community life for Californians with developmental disabilities and their families. California State Council on Developmental Disabilities
1507 21st Street, Suite 210
Sacramento, CA 95814
(866) 802-0514
(916) 322-8481
Council on Deveopmental Disabilities

8. Department of Rehabilitation Client Assistance Program (CAP)

A CAP advocate can provide you with information, advice and representation, including assistance in pursuing legal, administrative or other appropriate remedies to ensure the protection of your rights and to facilitate access to appropriate services.

Client Assistance Program
Department of Rehabilitation
2000 Evergreen Street, 1st Floor
Sacramento, CA 95815
(800) 598-3273 (TTY)
(916) 263-7372
(866) 712-1085 (TTY)
Client Assistance Programs

9. Programs for Children with Special Health Care Needs

California Children's Services (CCS) is a state program for children with certain diseases or health problems. Through this program, children up to 21 years old can get the health care and services they need. CCS will connect you with doctors and trained health care people who know how to care for your child with special health care needs. Programs for Children with Special Health Care Needs

Children's Medical Services Branch
1515 K Street, Room 400
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 327-1400
California Children's Services

10. State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Healthy Families is low cost insurance for children and teens. It provides health, dental and vision coverage to children who do not have insurance and do not qualify for free Medi-Cal. State CHIP Program
(health care for low-income uninsured children)

Healthy Families Program
P.O. Box 138005
Sacramento, CA 95813-8005
(800) 880-5305 (in CA)
www.healthyfamilies.ca.gov/>Children's Health Insurance Program

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