Advocacy can be many different things – you can advocate for direct care resources and programming for your brother and sister (medical care, funding support, access to activities, etc.) and/or you can advocate for changes to public policy and access to lawmakers who will directly impact the service delivery system budgets and programming initiatives.

Both advocacy avenues are equally important and can make a significant difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters.

As a sibling, you know what makes your sibling tick – use what you know to advocate for them and with them. You may get frustrated, and you will definitely need energy, time, and support. But rather than viewing the advocacy role as a burden, look upon it as an opportunity to make a difference in the life of your brother or sister.

Website Resources:

With the help of legislation and strong advocacy, airlines and airports are making it more accessible for travelers with disabilities. We’ve created a fully accessible guide to help you navigate the airports, with tips and tricks to make flying with a disability an easier, more enjoyable process.  The fully accessible guide to flying for people with disabilities.

In 2011, 11% of all students enrolled in higher education reported having a disability, and this growing number indicates that more students with disabilities are enrolling than ever before. While this is cause for celebration, these students face additional financial challenges in achieving their educational goals. To address these needs, Affordable Colleges has created a guide to financial aid for students with disabilities.

This guide includes valuable resources for students with disabilities, such as:

  • A curated list of more than 85 disability-specific scholarships
  • Strategies for utilizing state and local financial aid resources
  • An overview of loan forgiveness and reduction options APSI (Advocacy & Protective Services, Inc.) is a private, non-profit agency dedicated to protecting the rights of Ohioans with developmental disabilities. We advocate for the people we serve by helping to make their desires and needs known, especially when they cannot speak for themselves or if they have no other advocate. We do this by providing a full array of guardianship and protective services to individuals age 18 or older. The Arc of Ohio is a statewide membership association made up of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, friends, interested citizens and professionals in the disability field. Together with our individual members and local chapters, we represent more than 330,000 Ohioans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Ohio Law recognizes The Arc of Ohio as the organization to represent families in legislative decisions.

The Arc Future Planning
Information and resources to plan for the future. Planning ahead can help guide a person with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) to lead a good life as independently as possible. A plan is important throughout all stages of life and especially in the future after the parent or caregiver is no longer able to provide support.

In an effort to ease the fears of and provide encouragement to all people with individuals with autism in their lives, Autism Speaks has created 4 support tool kits, each designed specifically for the following groups: Parents, Siblings, Grandparents, and Friends.   Autism Speaks – Family Tool Kits

Cerebral Palsy Group is a national organization that was created so that it may serve the individuals and families who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We are here to provide information and support so that we may help provide resources and education to those affected by CP.  Learn more at

DODD Communications  Refer to the Department Of Developmental Disabilities Communication page to access periodic communications on topics such as Family Connection, Health & Welfare Alerts, Guidance Memos and much more. Disability Rights Ohio is a non-profit corporation with a mission to advocate for the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities in Ohio.  In October of 2012, Disability Rights Ohio replaced Ohio Legal Rights Service as Ohio’s Protection and Advocacy (P&A) system and Client Assistance Program (CAP). It is governed by a Board of Directors, primarily consisting of people with disabilities and family members of people with disabilities. Founded in 2008, Disability Scoop is the nation’s premier source for developmental disability news. With daily coverage of autism, intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and more, no other news source offers a more timely and comprehensive take on the issues that matter to the developmental disability community.

Guiding People through Systems- is an online care notebook to help families, children, teens and adults with disabilities organize important medical and school records into one convenient, online resource.  With this tool, users can build a binder of commonly used forms, and download or email forms that can be shared with schools and healthcare or service providers. This online community is dedicated to facilitating statewide and local, cross system collaboration and learning, with a focus on promoting best practices in community development and inclusion for people with disabilities. Loop Ohio provides a platform for community members and professionals to share ideas and resources, solve problems, break down barriers, connect across distance, and engage in ongoing learning. The National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making is dedicated to protecting EVERYONE’s Right to Make Choices: the principal prerogative we ALL have to express our own preferences, make our own decisions, and direct our own lives, free from overbroad or undue guardianship. The Ohio Association of County Boards Serving People with Developmental Disabilities (OACB) is a non-profit organization specializing in providing information, continuing education, and legislative liaison to Ohio’s 88 County Boards of Developmental Disabilities since January of 1984. This website has been designed as part of a commitment to people with developmental disabilities, their families, the professional staff who support them, their neighbors, their friends, and anyone committed to supporting and advocating for individuals with special needs. This website provides news and commentary about pertinent disability issues drawn from news organizations around the United States and elsewhere. Contact information for all 88 County Boards The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council (ODDC) is a planning and advocacy body committed to community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities. As a statewide association of service providers, OPRA is a leader in efforts to collaboratively build a statewide service system to meet the needs of our ultimate customers – Ohioans with developmental disabilities. OSDA believes that individuals with disabilities should have the freedom to plan their own lives and to pursue things that are important to them with the support of independent planning and support coordination. We believe that all people with disabilities should be treated as equal and be able to speak up for what they want by serving as leaders and working together as a team with all members of the community.

The Columbus Recovery Village  The Columbus Recovery Village launched a grassroots program in Columbus, OH to support local non-profits. The campaign had two goals- to identify and give back to non-profits in the area that were creating a sense of community in their towns and to create more awareness for state-wide resources available to those who may be personally struggling or have a family member struggling with addiction.

A true healing community, the village encourages connections with support groups and continuous treatment. With results-based programs and tested methods, The Recovery Village offers one of the nation’s leading comprehensive treatment programs, right in the heart of Ohio. Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE). The United State’s national self-advocacy organization. We are a national board of regional representatives and members from every state in the US. The Sibling Leadership Network is a national organization of siblings dedicated to the promotion of family support and empowerment for people with disabilities across the lifespan.  Ohio SIBS is a state chapter of the SLN. Founded in 1990, the Sibling Support Project is the first national program dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of millions of brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health concerns. The Community of Practice for Supporting Families of Individuals with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities involves working with six states to develop systems of support for families throughout the lifespan of their family member with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).