As declared by the UN, today was International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Started in 1992, the observance day aims to promote understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of those with disabilities. With one billion people worldwide experiencing some sort of disability, the day can have an important impact on many who experience difficulties every day. In honor with the international observance, we at NeedyMeds want to share the resources available for people with disabilities in the United States.

The UN theme for 2014 is “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology.” In a previous blog post, we covered state grants that are available to those in need of assistive technology. We also have information on over 20 national organizations offering financial assistance to those requiring assistive technology, and many more serving regional areas. For those less suited to technology, there are programs offering assistance dogs to those suffering from various disabilities and conditions.

As technology and assistance animals can improve the quality of one’s life, worthwhile

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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (also known as IDEA) is a federal program focused on providing financial aid for special education for children with disabilities. IDEA builds upon the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, which “intended to support states and localities in protecting the rights of, meeting the individual needs of, and improving the results for infants, toddlers, children and youths with disabilities and their families. IDEA takes things a step further and “requires that schools provide special education services to eligible students as outlined in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). IDEA also provides very specific requirements to guarantee a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE). FAPE and LRE are the protected rights of every eligible child, in all 50 states and U.S. Territories.” In short, the law guarantees that all children with disabilities have access to personalized and quality education.

What about Part C? Who Does it Serve?

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