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Guide to Legislative and Public Policy Websites
for Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs/Disabilities
Getting Involved Current Issues Laws Tracking Action Alerts Links

Getting Involved in the Legislative Process

About this Guide / How Can We Participate? / Listservs / Your Elected Representatives

The Guide to Legislative and Public Policy Websites

This website is meant to provide families, professionals and the community with resources to navigate the maze of legislation that governs the delivery of services to children with special health care needs/disabilities. It is divided into four sections:

Current Issues
Learn about what's happening right now.

This section has been developed to alert families to issues that need immediate attention. It includes links to Action Alerts sent by other organizations and to sites that provide information about the issue (for example -- IDEA reauthorization). You can write letters to your representatives to let them know how you feel by visiting some of the sites on this page. This page is updated every other week, or as events dictate .

Learn about the laws

Services to children with disabilities and the programs that deliver them are governed by laws. This part of the website provides links to sites where you can actually read the law itself (where available). There are also links that provide information about the various laws. If you want to know about IDEA or the Lanterman Act in detail, you can start here.

Tracking Action Alerts
Keep up on legislative action.

Many organizations track legislation and post Alerts on their websites. Some of these alerts recommend that letters be written or phone calls made to elected officials, and some enable the visitor to easily send a letter via email. There may one or more organizations whose interests parallel your own. You can visit their Action Alert site on an ongoing basis to see where areas of concern may lie and when action may be needed.

Links by category

This page features a long list of links to advocacy and/or legislative action center sites. It is divided according to subject categories. In addition to Action Alerts and Legislative Action Centers, some of these sites provide information about law-making in general and allow visitors to track bills as they work their way through the legislative process.

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How Can Families, Professionals and the Community Participate in the Legislative Process?

There are many laws that affect children with special health care needs/disabilities and their families. It can be difficult to find out what those laws are, what kinds of rights they ensure, who is eligible for protection under them and which agencies are responsible for enforcing which laws.

Laws change. They are updated, re-authorized, rescinded. The services that these laws are meant to deliver are sometimes affected by federal, state and local budgets. Trying to keep up with these changes can be overwhelming. Because things can change quickly, the internet is an ideal place to track current legislative action.

Despite the demands of daily life, many families welcome the opportunity to speak out on issues that concern themselves and their children. What are some of the actions that families, professionals and the community can take to let their voices be heard?

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Listservs to Join

The following are some listservs you can sign up for and receive updates and alerts about issues of interest and concern.

About this Website

The listings included here are not comprehensive or exhaustive. Instead this site is meant to be a selective compilation of internet resources considered to be of value to families of children with disabilities seeking information. Although there are many websites not included here, that does not reflect their worth or value, only the limited time and resources of the compiler. If you know of any resources that we have overlooked or would like to offer comments or sugestions, please contact us.

The resources on these pages are for your information. These listings are not necessarily comprehensive, nor are they an endorsement. If you find that any information is incorrect, if you would like to offer feedback or if you know of additional resources that may be helpful to include, please contact us.

This page was last updated: February 15, 2013

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