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Helpful Links

The Arc Minnesota: Health Care Assistance

It can be difficult and confusing to apply for Minnesota Health Care Programs, like Medical Assistance. The Arc can give you information to help you choose and apply for the health care program you need. Advocates can talk to you about the application process and send you application guides.® lists over 10,000 agencies providing human services across all demographics and across the entire state. Regardless of your location, the Navigator can help guide you to the closest programs that serve your community. families and professionals connect with information and services for children with special health needs:

Bright Futures for Families

Bright Futures for Families is a national initiative for families and communities to promote and improve the health and well-being of children of all ages. We offer resources for families based on the award winning, federally supported Bright Futures initiative, developed through the support of public health, non-profit, and corporate organizations.

To access the Bright Futures publications:

Hope Kids

HopeKids provides ongoing events, activities and a powerful, unique support community for families who have a child with cancer or some other life-­threatening medical condition. We surround these remarkable children and their families with the message that hope can be a powerful medicine.

If you have a child age 0-18 with cancer or a life-threatening medical condition – a progressive, degenerative, or malignant condition that may jeopardize the child’s life – your child is eligible to become a HopeKid. We would love for your family to be a part of our program.

The first step is to submit an application. We determine a child’s medical eligibility with the help of the treating physician. Please allow up to four weeks for your application to be processed. Once accepted into the program, you will receive email invitations to our free events each month. We look forward to meeting your family soon, seeing you at many events, and helping provide hope to your family during your child’s medical journey.

Centers for Disease Control

Information for Parents:

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities is dedicated to helping people live to the fullest. Much of our work focuses on  protecting people who are especially vulnerable to health risks – babies, children, people with blood disorders, and people with disabilities:

Disability Specific Organizations

Attention Deficit Disorder, To identify an ADD group in your state or locality, contact either: Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) 8181 Professional Place, Suite 150, Landover, MD 20785, (301) 306-7070, (800) 233-4050(Voice mail to request information packet), Web:

Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) P.O. Box 543, Pottstown, PA 19464-0543, (484) 945-2101, Web:

Autism Society of Minnesota, 2380 Wycliff Street, Suite 102, St. Paul, MN 55114, (651) 647-1083, E-mail:,

Blind/Visual Impairments
National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota, 100 E. 22nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55404-2514, (612) 872-0100,

American Foundation for the Blind – Midwest, 401 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 350, Chicago, Il 60611, (312) 396-4420,

American Council of the Blind of Minnesota, P.O. Box 7341 Minneapolis, MN 55407, (612) 730-8100, Web:

Brain Injury
Brain Injury Association of Minnesota, 34 13th Avenue, NE, Suite B001, Minneapolis, MN 55413,(800) 669-6442(in MN),

Cerebral Palsy: United Cerebral Palsy of Minnesota:, and United Cerebral Palsy of Central Minnesota:, CP Parent:

Cystic Fibrosis:  Minnesota Department of Health web -site, other Resources:

Diabetes:  Juvenile Diabetes Foundation

Down Syndrome, Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota 656 Transfer Road, St. Paul, MN 55114, (651) 603-0720; (800) 511-3696,Web:

Epilepsy, Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota 1600 University Avenue West, Suite 205, St. Paul, MN 55104, (651) 287-2300; (800) 779-0777, Web:

Food Allergy Support Group of Minnesota:  Empowers families affected by food allergies by providing support, education and a community to build personal connections:

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Proof Alliance,, 651-917-2370

Gastrointestinal Disorders:  The Oley Foundation provides information to families and individuals receiving nutrition via intravenous or G or J tube feeding:, other resources:  Short Bowel Syndrome Foundation:,  Crohns and Colitis Foundation: Ostomy Associations of America, Inc.:,

Hearing Loss, Minnesota Hands and Voices:, 709 University Avenue W, St. Paul, MN 55104-4804,, Voice:(651) 265-2435, Toll Free: 1-866-DHOHKID

Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities Program – Children’s Home Society & Family Service 2230 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108,(651) 222-0311; (800) 982-2303(in MN) Web:

Learning Disabilities Association of Minnesota, 5354 Parkdale Drive, Suite 200 St. Louis Park, MN 55416, (952) 922-8374,

Mental Health, Mental Health Association of Minnesota 2021 E. Hennepin Avenue, Suite 412, Minneapolis, MN 55413 (612) 331-6840,Web:

NAMI-Minnesota (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill), 800 Transfer Road, Suite 7A St. Paul, MN 55114, (651) 645-2948; (888) 473-0237, Web:

Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health, 165 Western Avenue, Suite 2 St. Paul, MN 55102, (651) 644-7333; (800) 528-4511,

Speech and Hearing, Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing Association P.O. Box 26115, St. Louis Park, MN 55426, (952) 920-0787;(800) 344-8808,

Spina Bifida Association of Minnesota, P.O. Box 29323 Brooklyn Center, MN 55429-0323, (651) 222-6395, Web:

Tourette Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome Association of Minnesota, Inc. Web:, Andrea Robinson: 612-481-8635

Center for Inclusive Child Care (CCIC)

The CICC is a statewide network, funded by the MN Departments of Education and Human Services, which promotes and supports inclusive early childhood and school age programs and professionals. It provides training and consultation to child care professionals around a wide variety of inclusion support topic areas, including behavior challenges, disability perceptions, and specific disabilities. The website contains links to hundreds of disability specific sites and is a central resource for materials, products and information that promote and support inclusive care. It helps educators, trainers, and parent’s access information about early intervention, disability law, and state and national resources. The page is available in: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Mailing address: CCIC, Concordia University, 275 North Syndicate Street, St. Paul, MN 55104. Phone

Child Care Assistance Programs (CCAP)

Minnesota’s CCAP can help income-eligible families pay child care costs for children up to age 12 and for children with special needs up to age 14. These costs may be paid for qualifying families while to go to work, look for work, or attend school. Child Care assistance may be available to: 1) Families participating Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP); 2) Families that had an MFIP case close within the last 12 months; 3) Low-income families that may be eligible for the Basic Sliding Fee program. To qualify for CCAP, families must comply with child support enforcement if applicable for all children in the family. Care must be provided by a legal child care provider over the age of 18. All families will have a copayment based on their gross income and family size.

Families should fill out an application to find out if they qualify for help with their child care costs. Contact your county’s Department of Human Services (DHS) or the Child Care Resources and Referral (CCRR) Agency in your area to begin the application process. There is a fact sheet called “Do You Need Help Paying for Daycare (DHS-3551) on the DHS Website

Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAPs)

These are accounts set up by an employer allowing employees to contribute money through payroll deductions to pay for child care costs. The deduction lowers your taxable income. The maximum amount you can deduct per year is $5,000 per family.   It is important to carefully estimate child care expenses when deciding the annual amount to you direct to a DCAP, since any money you do no use by the end of the year is forfeited to the employer to offset administrative expenses. Minnesota Child Care Resource and Referral Network; 380 Lafayette Road, Suite 103; St. Paul MN 55107. To connect to your local Resource and Referral Agency: 888-291-9811; Twin Cities Area: 651-665-0150

Minnesota Child Care Resource and Referral Network

The Minnesota Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies help parents find and select quality childcare that fits their individual needs. They also support quality child care in the state by offering comprehensive training to child care professionals. To find out more about child care in your county, contact the Minnesota Child Care Resources and Referral Network, Statewide Information and Referral Line (888-291-9811; Metro area: 651-665-0150) or go online at:

Post-Secondary Child Care Grant Program

This helps students who do not get MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program) with child care costs so parents can attend public colleges and universities, technical and community colleges, private colleges and some vocational schools. For more information, check with your school’s financial aid office. Minnesota Office of Higher Education; 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350; St. Paul, MN 55108-5227; 651-642-0567; 800-657-3866.

Person First Language links Article:

The DBTAC Great Lakes ADA Center:  A Disability & Business Technical Assistance Center

The Great Lakes ADA Center staffs a toll-free information line providing informal guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other related disability laws.  Spanish is also available on this site. University of Illinois at Chicago, Institute on Disability & Human Development (MC 728), 1640 West Roosevelt Road, Room 405, Chicago, IL  60608, 312-413-1407 (V/TTY), or 800-949-4232 (V/TTY), Email:

Disability Information offers clear information about how to apply for Social Security and veterans benefits, as well as disability benefits for children. There is also information for people thinking about returning to work while receiving disability benefits. For information about more than 1,000 benefit and assistance programs, including many that can benefit people with disabilities visit:

Disability Linkage Line

Do you have a disability? Are you on Medicare? If so, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars every year by enrolling in the Medicare Savings Programs. That’s money you can use for medical bills, utilities, groceries or other necessities. The Disability Linkage Line is a free, statewide, information, referral and assistance service to help people with disabilities, chronic illnesses and their representatives connect to community services. Disability Linkage Line TM Resource Specialists will provide one-to-one assistance to help people learn about their options and connect with the supports and services they choose. To ask how to apply, call 1-866-333-2466. Further information on this site is available at

Disability Minnesota

The purpose of this website is to provide a single entry point to over 100 Minnesota state agency programs, products, and services that are devoted to the range of disability issues. This website also provides access to laws, statutes, and regulations in pertinent disability-related areas.

Disability Scoop

Disability Scoop is the premier source for developmental disability news. It provides a central, reliable source for news, information and resources, including original content and series, taking an in-depth look at the day’s news as it pertain to developmental disabilities.

Disability Specialists, Inc.

Disability Specialists, Inc. works with Social Security Disability Claimants at no cost. They offer complete assistance from application to subsequent appeals, including all paperwork and forms required by the Social Security Administration. 1-800 642-6393 (toll-free) 218-666-3136 (fax)

NORD, National Organization for Rare Diseases, Inc.

NORD is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service. NORD has an excellent Rare Disease Database and works closely with humanitarian-minded pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to ensure that certain vital medications are available to those individuals whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to pay for their prescribed medications.

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) Medical Foods Assistance Program for Patients with Phenylketonuria (PKU) is now accepting applications for financial support. The program is a new safety net that provides financial support for PKU patients without benefit coverage to obtain their preferred medical food. (203) 744-0100 (800) 999-6673 (voicemail only)


CCR is a volunteer organization that assists people with disabilities (hearing, vision or physical) to purchase adaptive equipment. Eligibility is individually determined and based on the CCR Board’s decision. They do not pay for the purchase of vans (new or used) but may be able to assist with van adaptations such as hand brakes or a lift. They also do not pay for computers, software or computer adaptations. They may provide funding for hearing aids, glasses, and wheelchairs for example. They encourage collaborative funding from a variety of resources. For an application or more information contact Anne Marie Hennen, 5742 Rhode Island Ave. North Minneapolis, MN 55428 Phone: 763-550-0176. Further information on this program may be obtained on the Minnesota Star Program site:

Used Equipment Referral Service (UERS)

The Used Equipment Referral Service, also known as “UERS,” is a free assistive technology listing service. We connect buyers and sellers of assistive technology. Anyone may use our services — we do not screen out who may contact us or who may use our website. However, our services are intended to benefit Iowans with disabilities and their families, friends and service providers.

Examples of some Minnesota agencies with used equipment information include:

IMED Mobility (sales, service and rental of accessible vans). 1-800-570-0236.

Telephone Equipment Distribution Program 1-800-657-3663.

Goodwill Industries/Easter Seals Loan Closet 651-379-5800

PACER Center 1-800-537-2237 or 952-838-9000. email:

Southeast Minnesota Center for Independent Living.   507-285-1815

The ARC of Minnesota

The Arc of Minnesota is a private, non-profit, statewide voluntary organization; local chapters of The Arc span the state of Minnesota. The Arc serves people of all ages with many kinds of developmental disabilities including, but not limited to, intellectual disabilities, Down Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. ARC is concerned with the total life of an individual, from birth to death, and with all services or needs an individual and his or her family may have.  ARC provides crucial information for people with developmental disabilities and their families, connects them with resources, and stands with them when they need an advocate. Workshops, information and referral, one-on-one advocacy for families and their children with developmental disabilities, public policy advocacy, and support services are provided across the state by The Arc of Minnesota or local affiliated chapters of The Arc. The Arc fights for persons with developmental disabilities so they can reach for a brighter, more inclusive future.

Contact: The Arc of Minnesota, 800 Transfer Road, Suite 7A, St. Paul, MN 55114. Phone: 651-523-0823 or

1-800-582-5256. Website: or e-mail:

Catholic Charities

It is one of the Twin Cities’ largest private providers of social services, working to strengthen families, reduce poverty and build stronger communities in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area through their advocacy efforts. They serve those most in need through four divisions: Children, Families, Housing, & Emergency Services and Advocacy. St. Joseph’s Home for Children specializes in assessment, crisis intervention and residential programming, especially for children with severe emotional and behavioral problems. Offer supports and services for children, families, and the homeless. 612-204-8500.

Community Action Agency

Offices are located throughout the state, with varying names.  They often know what is available in the area for a variety of resources, including emergency food shelves, housing and energy assistance, Head Start, low-cost medical care, county offices, and more.  You can find a Community Action Agencies in your area by going to their Website at 100 Empire Drive, Suite 202; St. Paul, MN 55103. 651-645-7425

Community Services Locator

The Community Services Locator is an online directory for finding services for children and families in the communities in which they live. The locator, produced by the MCH Library, may be used by service providers and families to find available health, mental health, family support, parenting, child care, and other services. Topics include education and special needs, health and wellness, mental health and well-being, family support, parenting, child care and early childhood education, and financial support. A new A-Z Resources and Services Index offers another avenue for navigating the locator and the library’s Web site. The locator along with all appropriate 1/800 numbers for all agencies is available at

Family Voices

Family Voices of Minnesota is a grass roots non-profit organization and network of families whose children, youth and young adults have special health care needs and/or disabilities.   Family Voices connects families with trained veteran Support Parents who provide support and information to help navigate systems of care.

Family Voices of Minnesota is the State Affiliate Organization of National Family Voices and the Minnesota Alliance Member of Parent to Parent USA.  Through our state and national networks, we provide families tools to make informed decisions, advocate for improved public and private policies, build partnerships among professionals and families, and serve as a trusted resource on health care. is a centralized Internet entry point that contains information about services provided by both public and private entities throughout the state. The site is easy to use for both the beginner and the more experienced internet-savvy consumer or professional. The site contains information links for all ages. Information on many topics is available by County and may be accessed by zip codes or city and state. It includes shelters, crisis nurseries and vouchers for lodging. There is a Spanish information page and access to Minnesota Northstar government website.

The Minnesota State Council on Disability (MSCOD)

MSCOD is an agency that collaborates, advocates, advises and provides information to expand opportunities, increase the quality of life and empower all persons with disabilities. Services are provided to individuals with disabilities and their families, the Governor and Legislature, government and private agencies, employees, and the general public. Services include: (1) Review of disability issues, programs and policies and advise the Governor, Legislature and State agencies; (2) Promote coordinated, collaborative, interagency efforts. (3) Provide information and referrals regarding disability issues, services and policies. (4) Collect, conduct and make disability related research and statistics available. (5) Advocate for policies and programs that promote the quality of life for people with disabilities. Address: The Minnesota State Council on Disability (MSCOD), 121 East Seventh Place, Suite 107, St. Paul, MN 55101. Phone: 651-361-7800 or 1-800-945-8913 (Voice or TTY)

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

This is the national information center that provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues. Anyone can use our services—families, educators, administrators, journalists, and students. Our special focus is children and youth (birth to age 22). NICHCY shares information about disabilities in children and youth. You can explore their Website, read their publications and share them with others, let them connect you with resources in your state and in the United States, and call them free of charge to talk with their information staff about your special concerns. They’re bilingual, too! Address: NICHCY, 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20009. Phone: 1-800-695-0285 (Voice or TTY).

PACER Center, Inc. (Parents’Advocacy Coalition for Education Rights)

PACER offers individual advocacy and workshops for parents and professionals on special education law. They have many free publications. Address: PACER Center, Inc., 8161 Normandale Boulevard, Minneapolis, MN 55437. Phone: 952-838-9000 or 1-800-537-2237 (Voice) 952-838-0190 (TTY).

Patient Advocate Foundation

The Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization that seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability relative to their diagnosis of life threatening or debilitating diseases.

Respite Care “Our Family: A Respite Workbook for Families and Care-Providers” is available at the Child Neurology Foundation. This workbook is to be completed by families to provide all personal health information for temporary caregivers to ensure the best care for your child while in respite care. Copies are available from on this site under “Advocacy,” or call Toll Free: 1-877-263-5430.

Minnesota Father’s and Families Network enhances healthy father-child relationships by promoting initiatives that inform public policy and further develop the field of fatherhood practitioners statewide. 763-473-7432

National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse is designed to help you as a father or family member learn about the importance of being actively involved with your children and to learn creative and effective strategies for getting involved and staying involved in the lives of your children.

Angel Food Ministries

By buying food from first rate suppliers at substantial volume discounts, Angel Food Ministries is able to provide families with approximately $65 worth of quality nutritious food for $30.

Bridge to Benefits

Bridge to Benefits is a multi-state project by Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota to improve the well-being of families and individuals by linking them to public work support programs and tax credits. A section is included on the School Meal Program (Free/Reduced-Price School Breakfast and Lunch) explaining who is eligible for free/reduced school breakfast and lunch: Children attending public and private schools grades K-12. All foster children can get free meals. If your family is getting help from Food Support (stamps), MFIP, or FDPIR (Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations), you can get free meals. Otherwise, if you are not on these programs, your family has to have an income below the limits to get help. Some families can get free meals and others can get a reduced (lower) price on their meals. The most you currently pay for a reduced-price lunch is 40 cents. You may also be eligible for busing, field trips, after school enrichment classes, athletics and summer programs sponsored by the school district.

Emergency Foodshelf Network

The mission of the Emergency Foodshelf Network is to provide high quality food and essential support services to hunger relief programs in the community. Search by county.

FARE For All (formerly Fare Share)

Fare For All stands for Food And Resource Exchange and is a non-profit volunteer-based cooperative food-buying program that allows people to stretch their food purchasing power. Two hours of community service, benefiting someone else or your community entitles you to purchase a monthly food package consisting of fresh meats, fruits and vegetables and other grocery items. The savings is up to 40% to 50% one would pay at their local grocery store. This program is in several states. There are no income requirements. Phone: 763-450-3880 or 1-800-582-4291.

Food Coop

The Coop Directory Service is an online source of information about natural food co-ops.

Food Support (Previously called food stamp program)

Food support is a program that helps people with lower incomes pay for nutritious food, which helps kids to grow up strong and helps adults to stay healthy. Food Support does not pay for all the food that a person or a family needs each month, just some of it. The Food Support program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services but eligibility and case management is done by county human services departments. Food Support is the name of Food Stamps in Minnesota. We don’t call the program “Food Stamps” anymore because you don’t get stamps to buy food. You get a card. As of October 1, 2008, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program.

Food Shelves

On the top of the page is a path “Click Here to Find Emergency Food.” This will take you to Hunger Solutions: A Statewide Partnership of Organizations Fighting Hunger.

You can look up locations of Foodshelf, Meals on Wheels, Summer Feeding, Food Support Office, WIC. Use the search criteria to find a location near you. Phone: 651-486-9860

Minnesota Food Helpline

Launched in June 2009 by Hunger Solutions Minnesota (HSM), the Minnesota Food Helpline provides a vital service to Minnesotans at risk for hunger. The multilingual staff will help enroll low-income Minnesotans in the Food Support (Food Stamps) program and help callers find emergency food assistance in their area. No one in Minnesota should go hungry. If you, your family or someone you know are having difficulty making ends meet, please call the helpline at 1-888-711-1151.

Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF-MN)

CDF-MN provides a low-cost health care directory including dental care that is available at Click on “low-cost health care directory” on the lower rightside of the home page. Call 651-227-6121 to be referred to affordable medical, dental or mental health services in Minnesota for people who are uninsured or underinsured.

Children’s Dental Services

Providing low-cost or free dental care to pregnant women and children 0-18 years whose families cannot pay for dental care or have no insurance. Clinic staff assists families in completing applications for public assistance programs. Children with challenging behaviors or needing emergency care are also seen. Clinic staff is multilingual, speaking at least 13 languages. There are 13 clinic sites throughout the metro area available to people living anywhere in Minnesota or the United States. 612-746-1530 for scheduling.

National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped

There are dentists in Minnesota who have volunteered to provide comprehensive dental care to people of all ages, who, because of a serious disability, advanced age or medical problems, lack adequate income to pay for needed care. 888-471-6334; (direct) 866-242-6290.

University of MN Pediatric Dental School

The University dental school provides care for children 16 years old and younger; including general anesthesia or sedated dentistry as needed for special needs children; 24 hour emergency care is available; treatment is provided by two year fellows and graduate dental students, under the supervision of the dental faculty. 612-625-2495.

Hibbing Community College: pediatric through adult dental care is provided by UH dental students. For more information or appointments, call 218-262-7200 or 1-800-224-4422.

Rice Regional Dental Clinic in Willmar: located in Wilmar is also staffed by UH dental students, under the supervision of an experienced dentist and will pediatric through adult dental care is provided by UH dental students. For more information call 320-214-2620 or 877-214-2611.

Give Kids A Smile Day

The first Saturday of February each year, all dentists across the state are asked to provide free dental care to children. Minnesota Dental Association 612-767-8400.

Bridge to Benefits Minnesota

This is a multi-state project by Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota to improve the well-being of families and individuals by linking them to public work support programs and tax credits. By clicking on the link below, a person can use the Eligibility Screening Tool to see what services they may be eligible for. 555 Park Street, Suite 410; St. Paul, MN 55103; Phone: 651-227-6121; Fax: 651-227-2553.

Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota / Minnesota Low Cost Health Care Directory

This directory was compiled to help uninsured or underinsured families understand what health care options are available to them. Low-cost health care options are listed by

Find a Health Center

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) has a web based tool called, Find a Health Center, which lists federally-funded health centers providing care for people, even if they have no health insurance. Individuals pay what they can afford, based on there income. Health centers provide a wide range of services including: checkups for individuals who are well or sick, pregnancy care, immunizations, dental care, and mental health and substance abuse care. Health centers are in most cities and many rural areas.

This is an easy-to-use, centralized Internet entry point that contains information about services provided by both public and private entities throughout the state. This English/Spanish site contains information links for all ages. Use the Search feature to find free and reduced health care services by County. www.minnesotahelp.inf

The Neighborhood Health Care Network

This is a health care consortium of community clinics in Ramsey, Hennepin and Washington Counties serving economically and ethnically diverse populations such as immigrants and refugees or others who have limited incomes and may not have health insurance. Callers are directed to affordable primary health care centers in their area, are screened for possible eligibility for Minnesota State Health Care Programs, and offered assistance completing applications. Interpreters are available. Call 651 489-CARE (2273), or 1-866-489-4899 (toll free).

Portico Health Net

This program helps individuals and families living in Ramsey, Washington, or Dakota County to connect with a health care program. It helps people fill out applications for Minnesota Health Care Programs (such as MinnesotaCare, Medical Assistance, or General Assistance Medical Care). It also has provided its own health access program for people without health insurance. It also can help identify other community resources that may be helpful for you. To find out if you may be eligible for a low cost or even free health care program call (651) 603-5100 or 866-430-5111. You can also check out their website at: . For a fact sheet describing the Portico Health net coverage program, go to:

Shriner’s Hospital for Children Twin Cities

A 40-bed children’s hospital facility providing high quality pediatric orthopedic care.  The hospital provides comprehensive medical, surgical and rehabilitative care for children with orthopedic conditions. Children up to age 18 are eligible for care if, in the opinion of Shriner’s Hospital physicians, there is a reasonable possibility they can benefit from the specialized services available. There is no charge for any care or services provided within Shriners Hospitals for Children facilities. Twin Cities Shriner’s Hospital, 2025 East River Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55414. Metro Phone: 612-596-6100;

For a listing of all Shriner’s hospitals and services in the U.S.:

Free or Low-Cost Women’s Health Care Resources in Minnesota

The Minnesota Family Planning Program (MFPP)

Family planning and related health care services for people who are NOT enrolled in Minnesota Health Care Programs. Check the site for services offered. This program is administered by the Department of Human Services. For more information call the Minnesota Family Planning Hotline 800-783-2287 or visit the website

Primary Care Resources

A list of providers who serve persons even if they do not have insurance. These providers may charge a fee based on a persons ability to pay. This list was updated as of July 2009. It is organized by County and may or may not include all of the providers in a specific County

Health Care Services

Courage Center

The mission of Courage Center is to empower people with physical disabilities to reach for their full potential in every aspect of life. They are guided by the vision that one day, all people will live, work, learn and play in a community based on abilities not disabilities. They provide rehabilitation services for people with physical disabilities and/or sensory impairments, parent support groups, recreational and camping programs, and transitional rehabilitation programs. Their Website lists classes, tips, publications and more. Address: Courage Center, 3915 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN. 55422 Phone: 763-588-0811 or


Shriners Hospitals for Children

Shriners Hospitals is an international health care system for children to the age of 18. It provides specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate. Eligible children receive care in a family-centered environment at no financial obligation to patients or families. In the U.S.: 1-800-237-5055.

“Uncompensated Care”

Some large clinics and/or hospitals may have internal “charity” funds to help some families reduce their outstanding payments.  Families should contact the business office or social services office at the clinic/hospital to discuss past due bills, or “holds” on getting future appointments due to the outstanding bill.  The decision is often based on a combination of family circumstances (making it difficult to pay the bills – not just because they just don’t want to pay) and the type of care the patient needs.  If families have a new funding source (ex: just became eligible for a MN Health Care Program such as Medical Assistance), the business office may “reconsider” what was due before that eligibility began, to help reduce the outstanding balance.  The business office often has a “financial questionnaire” for families to complete, regarding income coming into the family, expenses going out, and assets.  Sometimes families can talk with their doctor, nurse, or a social worker at the clinic/hospital where they are receiving the care. These people may be able to help as “advocates” for families in working with the business office.

Bright Futures for Families is a national initiative for families and communities to promote and improve the health and well-being of children of all ages. We offer resources for families based on the award winning, federally supported Bright Futures initiative, developed through the support of public health, non-profit, and corporate organizations.

Bright Futures for Families offers a variety of materials and resources developed specifically for families to complement the Bright Futures publications and materials used by health care professionals. Families want and need materials that have the same information used by their health care providers, written in a way that they can understand and easily refer back to when needed. Through the support of our public, non-profit and corporate partners we will be developing new materials. These existing and new family friendly materials:

  • Provide valuable information about child development and what to expect, from infancy through adolescence.
  • Help families form partnerships with their providers.
  • Empower families to advocate for the health care needs of their children.
  • Encourage families to help their children gradually assume responsibility for their own health care.

Access the information and resources of Bright Futures for Families:

Health Care Visit Checklist for all Children Including Children with Special Health Care Needs

Your child’s health care provider expects to work with you as a partner to keep your child safe and healthy. You’ll want to work together to develop trust and easy communication. This takes time and doesn’t usually happen in just one visit. Share information – each of you has knowledge the other needs to provide the best care for your child.

The Health Care Visit Check List covers topics such as:

  • Choosing a Health Care Provider
  • Preparing for a Health Visit and After the visit is over
  • During the Visit
  • Emergencies
Health Care Visit Check List for all Chi[…]
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Northland Food Allergy Support Group

Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota

Food Allergy Support Group of Minnesota

Food Allergy Awareness Supporters

West Metro Food Allergy Connection

Lakes Area Food Allergy Support



Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)

Kids with Food Allergies (KFA)

Food Allergy Initiative (FAI)

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD) at the Department of Human Services offers information about hearing loss, available referral services including interpreters and legal services, assistive technology, publications and other resources for individuals, families and professionals. Their website This web site also provides information on alternative communication accessibility options including Sign language interpreters, CART services, Cued language transliteration, services for deaf and blind consumers, and information on job coaches fluent in sign language for deaf and hard of hearing employees.

651-431-5940 (Voice)1-888-206-6513 (TTY).

Hearing Aids

Minnesota law requires a health plan, including those issued by Health Maintenance Organizations, to cover hearing aids for children age 18 or younger for hearing loss due to functional congenital malformation of the ears that is not correctable by other covered procedures. Coverage is limited to one hearing aid per ear every three years. A plan may apply deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments generally applicable to other covered services to the hearing aid coverage (Minn. Stat. Ann. §§ 62Q. 675 and 62A. 011). This bill does not apply to employers who are self-insured [ERISA]. Contact your employer’s Human Resource Department to determine if your health plan is self-insured. For assistance with coverage under an ERISA plan, call the Minnesota Department of Commerce at 651-296-2488 or 1-800-657-3602.

Lions Infant Hearing Program

The Lions Infant Hearing Program established a hearing instrument loaner bank for Minnesota’s newly identified infants and young children with hearing loss. New and reconditioned behind-the-ear hearing aids are available to loan for a six-month period of time. The loan period is designed to provide families with adequate time to investigate and purchase amplification for their child without delaying intervention. Each device will carry a warranty. However, audiological services, batteries and ear molds will need to be obtained through the dispensing audiologist at the families’ expense.

To request a hearing aid list and request form, the audiologist should contact the Lions Infant Hearing Screening Program. Upon receipt, complete the request form and return via fax or mail. The instrument(s) will be mailed to you within one week and may be used for a maximum of six months. Please email or phone if you have any questions about the Lions Infant Hearing Program Loaner Hearing Instruments Bank. Email: Fax: 612-625-8901 Phone: 612-626-0946

Financial Resources for Parents with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

If your insurance company is not responsible for providing hearing aids for your child under legislation enacted in 2003, you can get a list of organizations to determine eligibility for assistance at:

Minnesota DeafBlind Technical Assistance Project

The Minnesota DeafBlind Technical Assistance Project is federally funded under the Individuals with Disabilities, Education Act (IDEA). The Project provides technical assistance which supports Minnesota children and youth, birth to 21 years, who have BOTH a vision and hearing impairment. These services are in addition to those provided by schools, and other state and local agencies. Minnesota DeafBlind Technical Assistance Project; 3055 Old Highway 8, Suite 302, St. Anthony MN.55418. Telephone: 612.638.1525 or 1526; or 1531

Fax: 612.706.0811; Toll Free: 800.848.4905; TTY: 612.706.0808.

Minnesota Hands & Voices – Life Track Resources

Minnesota Hands and Voices is a state-wide organization that provides parent-to-parent support to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Services include speech, occupational, and physical therapies, deaf mentors, educational workshops, seminars and social events. For more information, call 651-227-8471 (voice), 651-227-3779 (TTY) or go to:

Newborn Hearing Screening – is now mandated in the state of Minnesota. For more information on the mandate and other hearing resources for children, go to the MDH web site at:

Spare Key

Spare Key’s housing grant program is designed to provide a housing grant during the crisis period of a child’s illness or injury. Spare Key’s mortgage and rent grant application is easy to use, and can be done quickly and with a minimal amount of paperwork for the social worker or the family. Our goal is to help families without putting an additional burden on them during their child’s medical crisis. This is reflected in both our application process and our guidelines.  Spare Key requires that applicants have a dependent child (18 years of age or younger) who has been hospitalized for 14 or more days in the past 90 days. The program is open to families homeowners in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin who are current on their mortgage or rent.

Applicants must have exhausted all paid leave or demonstrate a significant reduction in income as a result of their child’s hospitalization; OR applicants must demonstrate that their child’s medical care has resulted in a significant increase in expenses. If the application is approved, the mortgage or rental grant is made directly to the mortgage lender, landlord or rental property manager.

To learn if Spare Key could help your family or someone you know, review the Program Guidelines or call: (952) 406-8872. Web-site:

The Arc of Minnesota Housing Resources

Persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families or representatives are offered help with minor or major housing issues. Information is available at Support is offered through three programs:

Housing Information and Assistance: Individualized help with housing questions, information and referrals. Topics can cover any housing issue but generally cover items such as: housing options, social service supports, trusts, licensing, roommates, and other residential questions.

Housing Access Services (HAS): Housing Access Services helps adult Minnesotans, 18 and older, who want to move to homes of their own and have been assessed as eligible or currently receiving certain Minnesota Medicaid home care services.
Housing Access Services (HAS) is a contract between The Arc Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Housing Division. The contract allows The Arc Minnesota to assist adults with disabilities find and move to independent housing. HAS has helped more than 2,000 people with disabilities in moving to homes of their own.

Housing Access Coordination (HAC): HAC is an approved service within the MR/RC WaiverThe cost for this service is paid by the Waiver. HAC service allows an authorized consultant to provide direct housing support to an individual or their representatives, to assist them with housing decisions or the implementation of their housing plans. For example, this service might help with: 1) seeking subsidized rental programs; 2) locating an available apartment: 3) obtaining mortgage financing; 4) finding a home to purchase; 5) constructing a home; 6) deciding on house mates; 7) maintenance planning; and other housing needs.

Catholic Charities offers a variety of housing and emergency services for the homeless and those in need of food. Phone: (612)-204-8500.

Centers for Independent Living (CIL)

Minnesota’s eight Centers for Independent Living (Centers or CIL) are non-residential, consumer-controlled non- profit organizations serving people of all ages with physical, sensory, mental or other disabilities. The philosophy guiding all Centers and CIL services is people with disabilities have the right to control their own lives and fully participate in all areas and aspects of society.

The services offered by Minnesota’s Centers are designed to assist individuals with disabilities to live with greater independence, to contribute their talents and creativity, to expand their options and secure their basic rights in areas such as housing, transportation, education and employment. Centers are located in St. Cloud, Rochester, Mankato, East Grand Forks, Marshall, Moorhead, Hibbing and St. Paul.

Consumer control is the key element of the Independent Living (IL) philosophy. A majority of every Center’s governing board, managers and staff are people with disabilities. Each CIL in Minnesota offers differing ancillary services. All of Minnesota’s Centers, however, are mandated to provide the following services: IL Skills Evaluation and Training, Peer Counseling, Advocacy, and Information and Referral.

For additional information on Minnesota’s Centers and/or State IL Services, please contact Bradley Westerlund, Department of Employment and Economic Development at 651-259-7351.

Heat Share (1-800-842-7279)

Heat Share is a statewide energy assistance program available through the Salvation Army. Families call the 800 number and enter their zip code to be transferred to the Heat Share office closest to them. This is a program of “last resort” (i.e.: the household has received a shut off notice). There are income guidelines. Families must first apply for emergency assistance through their county and to the Energy Assistance Program and show proof of these program acceptances or denials. Heat Share pays the electric or heat provider directly. The link below lists phone numbers specific to your service area: 

HousingLink provides affordable-housing, waiting list, and section 8 voucher information to the Twin Cities metropolitan area and selected regions of Greater Minnesota. 612-522-2500;

Housing Resources ToolBox

The Housing Resources ToolBox provides information on: 1) housing options in Minnesota; 2) services to help keep you in your home; 3) affordable housing programs; and 4) searchable databases for locating housing. Individuals and their families, county staff, and housing and services providers may access information to address the unique needs of older adults, refugees, people with disabilities, and the homeless. Included are descriptions of living arrangements, homelessness prevention and programs, housing information for refugees, information and resources on housing rights, innovative housing options for people with disabilities, resources for relocation/nursing home transition, services and programs to keep individuals in their own homes, vacancies lists and public housing waiting list information, and web resources to locate housing services. and click on the Economic Supports tab.  

Minnesota Energy Assistance Programs

Minnesota Department of Commerce (MDC) This website is dedicated to Minnesota energy information. The Energy Info Center, Utility Information and Energy Assistance information are all included on this site.

1-800-657-3710 (MN only)  

Minnesota Help Info

The website contains searchable databases and up-to-date lists for locating housing and service providers in Minnesota according to zip codes or city and state. Includes shelters, crisis nurseries and vouchers for lodging.

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA)

Financial and advance affordable housing opportunities for low and moderate income Minnesotans. Address: MHFA, Home Improvement Division, 400 Sibley St., Suite 300, St. Paul, MN 55101. Phone: 651-296-7608 or 1-800-657-3769 outside Metro area.

National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses, Inc

A caring association of more than 150 nonprofit organizations located throughout the U.S. that provide family-centered lodging and support services to families and their loved ones who are receiving medical treatment far from their home communities. 800-542-9730

Rebuilding Together – Twin Cities

An affiliate of the national non-profit Rebuilding Together organization, Rebuilding Together Twin Cities works with volunteers and partners in the metro area to preserve and revitalize low-income homes.

Access to Telework

This is a finance program supporting employment for people with disabilities. This project will support the purchase of employment equipment and support to establish or expand home based self employment.

Website: Phone: 763-479-8239, Toll Free 866-535-8239, Minnesota Relay service 1-800-627-3529.

AmeriCorps and ServeMinnesota

People with disabilities who have a desire to give back to the community, gain career skills and experience and earn financial support for education are urged to consider joining AmeriCorps. ServeMinnesota, is the nonprofit agency that administers the AmeriCorps program in Minnesota. Often referred to as the “domestic Peace Corps,” AmeriCorps offers opportunities for people age 17 and older from all walks of life to serve their communities. Minnesota is recognized as a national leader in its efforts to include people with disabilities in AmeriCorps. Currently, 23 percent of Minnesota AmeriCorps members report having a disability. AmeriCorps members are serving community needs from building affordable housing and tutoring children to securing employment for individuals with disabilities and mentoring at-risk teens. Some funds are set aside to provide reasonable accommodations to help provide equal access to AmeriCorps service positions. Individuals who join AmeriCorps commit to part-time or full-time service for one or two years. AmeriCorps is open to U.S. citizens, nationals or lawful permanent residents. AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance. At the successful completion of their term of service, they are awarded an Education Award, which may be used to pay future education costs or repay qualified college loans. To learn more about AmeriCorps or ServeMinnesota call (612) 333-7740 or go to their website at:

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

JAN’s mission is to facilitate the employment and retention of workers with disabilities by providing employers, employment providers, people with disabilities, their family members and other interested parties with information on job accommodations, self-employment and small business opportunities and related subjects. JAN’s efforts are in support of the employment, including self-employment and small business ownership, of people with disabilities. JAN represents the most comprehensive resource for job accommodations available. 800-526-7234 (Voice); 877-781-9403 (TTY)

Minnesota Work Incentives Connection

It helps people with disabilities understand how work affects their government benefits. Services provided include: a hotline to answer questions about how work affects government benefits and benefits analysis. Specifically, the Minnesota Work Incentives Connection can help you understand how work effects SSI – Supplemental Security Income, SSDI – Social Security Disability Insurance, Health Insurance – Medical Assistance, Medicare, other health programs, Food Support , Subsidized housing and Other Government benefits. Appointments are necessary. Minnesota Work Incentives Connection, (800) 976-6728 or (651) 632-5113, TTY (651) 632-5110.


There is information pertaining to becoming a U.S. citizenavailable from Minneapolis Legal Aide. or

Getting Child Support Metro Office: Mid Minnesota Legal Assistance; 430 First Avenue North, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1780; 612-332-1441. Information on all the state offices is listed on this site. This particular fact sheet requires a little bit of exploring.

LawHelp Minnesota

Information for low income Minnesotans to solve civil legal problems. The website is available in English and Spanish with services in several other languages and can help you answer to legal questions, find a legal aid office and get court information. Topics include issues related to housing, education, public benefits, family and juveniles, employment and others. There is also a wide variety of important Fact Sheets, such “MFIP for Parents Under Age 18,” “Unemployment Benefits,” “Becoming a US Citizen,” “Public Benefits for Non-citizens” and “Guardianships and Conservatorship.” The website has links to several publications regarding domestic violence, such as: “How Do I Apply for Immigration Benefits as a Battered Spouse or Child” (from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) These documentscan be accessed by going to:, then click on Immigration/Immigrants, then click on Battered Women / Domestic Violence

Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC)

MDLC is a statewide project of the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis. It addresses the unique needs of people with disabilities in Minnesota and provides legal assistance and advocacy on disability-related matters. Address: Minnesota Disability Law Center, 430 First Avenue North, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401. Phone: 612-332-1441.

The Fact sheets can be found at

Minnesota Legal Services Coalition (MLSC)

Founded in 1981, The Minnesota Legal Services Coalition (MLSC) is an association of seven Minnesota regional legal services programs. Formed to enhance cooperation and coordination, MLSC supports the regional programs that help low-income Minnesotans with a broad range of civil legal matters. Minnesota Legal Services Coalition; Midtown Commons – Suite #101B; 2324 University Avenue West, St. Paul,MN 55114; Telephone: 651-228-9105

Minnesota Organizations Offering Pro Bono Services to Clients

From the American Bar Association Directory. Click on “find legal help” or use the interactivemap.

Free Medicine Program

Most drug manufacturers help people in financial need, regardless of their age. However, in order to qualify you need to meet the following three basic requirements: (1) You do not currently have insurance coverage for outpatient prescription medicines; and (2) Your income is at a level that causes hardship when prescription medicines are purchased at retail price; and (3) You do not qualify for a government or third party programs that provides for prescription medicine coverage.

Medication Therapy Management for People Who Suffer from Chronic Health Conditions and Are on a State Health Care Program This is a new service provided by pharmacists for people enrolled in State Health Care Programs (MA, MinnesotaCare, Home and Community Based Waivers, etc.) Local pharmacists, enrolled with the Department of Human Services (DHS), will provide individualized, face-to-face health care and medication advice. Clients who are taking four or more prescriptions to treat or prevent two or more chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease can qualify to receive the service. Pharmacists give the client an individualized medication plan that can identify unneeded medications as well as opportunities to select less expensive alternatives or new medications. Important information on the proper use of medications and other advice on lifestyle choices from diet to exercise are also offered.

Minnesota Rx Connect

This website provides Minnesotans information on issues related to prescription medicine, safety and cost-saving tips, and programs to help low-income Minnesotans pay for prescription drugs. This site also provides Minnesotans with information about accessing lower-cost prescription medication from Canada.


Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

This is a nationwide program (with a Minnesota Chapter) bringing together pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and others to help qualifying patients who lack prescription assistance get the medicines they need through the public or private programs that are right for them. Each prescription assistance program has its own eligibility criteria. To contact PPA, call toll free at 1-888-477-2669. or the Minnesota Chapter at

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

This website offers information for families including: 1.) Up-to-date information on issues affecting children, teenagers and their families. 2.) Definitions of major mental disorders in easily understandable language along with a resource list, 3.) The latest information on children and psychiatric medications.

Children’s Mental Health Collaboratives

Children with emotional disorders and their families frequently seek services from many agencies because no one agency offers all the services they need. Children’s Mental Health Collaboratives strive to be a local, integrated system of care providing a cohesive array of services. Communities bring together representatives from at least one county, school or special education cooperative, corrections and local mental health organization. Parents and representatives from other agencies are also typically part of their local Children’s Mental Health Collaborative. You will find a list of contacts by county at:

Children’s Mental Health Network: Minnesota Statewide Family Netowrk (MSFN)

MSFN is a statewide non-profit parent-directed organization in Minnesota whose mission is to expand opportunities and enhance the lives of children with mental health disorders and their families. MSFN helps connect parents with other parents and resources. It provides individual advocacy, workshops on a variety of topics (including accessing the children’s mental health system, Positive Behavior Intervention and understanding the special education system for children with mental health needs), written materials and a website with children’s mental health information and links to other related sites. A unique part of this organization is the Youth Advisory Board, whose mission is to create a youth leadership presence in Minnesota as self-advocates, share ideas on existing services, present at conferences and maintain a web site specific to adolescents and teens with a mental health need. Address: 8161 Normandale Blvd, Minneapolis MN 55437. Voice: 952-838-1360. Toll-free for MN parents: 855-750-1360

Involuntary Commitment and Court-Ordered Treatment

Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; 121 7th Place East, Suite 420; St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-2117; 651-757-1800 or 1-800-657-3506 (Voice) TTY/voice-Minnesota Relay Service 711.

Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health (MACMH)

MACMH provides information, education, advocacy and materials for families with children with emotional/behavioral disorders and mental health needs. Address: MACMH, 165 Western Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102. Phone: 651-644-7333 or 1-800-528-4511. This site includes a Spanish language information

Minnesota Parent Leadership Network (MPLN)

The Minnesota Parent Leadership Network (MPLN) is a parent driven organization made up of parents of children with mental health needs. The structure of the network consists of a Board of Directors, regional and ethnic community representatives, and our parent leaders from across the state. Beyond the structure of this grassroots organization, it is the passion, dedication and commitment to the work before us in developing a strong voice for children in our mental health system of care. For more information MPLN; 369 Wendell Street; Paynesville, MN 56362; phone: 1-866-837-3393 or

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. NAMI offers support, education and legislative advocacy. There are NAMI organizations in every state and in over 1100 local communities across the country. There are 21 affiliates in Minnesota (see State website). NAMI, 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203; Main: (703) 524-7600; Information Helpline: 800-950-NAMI (6264). National website:
(the national website is offered in English and Spanish and the toll free line offers more than 150 languages). Minnesota phone number: 651-645-2948 or 1-888-626-4435 and website:

Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities

An ombudsperson is an official who is designated to assist you to overcome the delay, injustice or impersonal delivery of services. The Minnesota Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities performs in the following three areas: (1) client services (or general ombudsman services); (2) medical review (death and serious injury reporting); and (3) civil commitment training. Call for culturally specific ombudsperson. For more information you can go to: or call 651-757-1800 or 1-800-657-3506. Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; 121 7th Place E, Ste 420, St. Paul, MN 55101

The Wilder Research Report titled “Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health” can be found on the Wilder Research website . Click on “Find a Report” and type in “immigrant” or the entire title to access this document.

True Friends:

True Friends is a non-profit organization serving people with disabilities at five camp locations throughout Minnesota.  True Friends offers resident and day camp opportunities, respite weekends, travel services, adventure trips, hippotherapy services, adaptable ropes courses, and much more.  Learn more at their website: 

Access Tours

A non-profit organization packaging all-accessible tours of the American West, including national parks, etc. Access Tours is a service of the Access Institute. For more information contact Access Tours at 1-800-929-4811 or

Travelers with Disabilities

This site offers a comprehensive listing of businesses specializing in disability travel, including travel agents, accessible cruises, accessible van rentals and equipment, access guides and more.

The Guided Tour, Inc.

This organization offers supervised travel and vacation programs in the US and overseas for individuals with developmental and physical challenges. They accommodate individuals, ages 17 and up and it is staffed by professionals who have experience working in the field of mental retardation and developmental disabilities. For more information call 1-800-783-5841 or

Therapeutic Horse Back Riding Programs in Minnesota:

The Open Directory Project

The Open Directory Project is a volunteer-edited directory on the internet with a large volume of information, including camps nationwide for handicapped children.

Wilderness Inquiry (WI)

This is a non-profit organization that focuses on getting people from all walks of life to personally experience the natural world through outdoor adventures in a variety of geographic locations such as the Boundary Waters Canoe Adventure, Mexico’s Cooper Canyon or the Kenyan Safari Adventure.  The trips are integrated to include older people, younger people, people with and without disabilities, physicians, veterans, accountants and people who live in large cities and in the country.  WI staff are skilled wilderness guides and also come from a variety of professional backgrounds.  WI also conducts a variety of activities including community events, research, equipment designs and trail and facility assessments.

Summer Camp opportunities: Go to the Summer Camp Guide provided
by the Star Tribune to learn more about almost 200 different summer camps
offered in Minnesota and the Metro Area. This guide allows the camper and his
or her family to search for camps by type or price, as well as register for
camps online.  Visit these links to learn more about area camps and enjoy
your summer!

Child Care Programs for Military Families

There are a number of child care programs for military families, some specific to a branch of service, others for all branches of services. These programs include: Military Child Care In Your Neighborhood; Operation Child Care; Operation Military Child Care; and Quality Family Child Care. For more information contact the Child Care Aware hotline at (800) 424-2246 or go online for help with applying for the subsidy and location help.

Military OneSource is a 24/7 (365 days) online service for Military Members, including National Guard, and their families. 1.800.342.9647 is the telephone number for the U.S., but the site has telephone numbers for most countries. This site supplements existing installation services, provides free help and information by phone with professionally trained consultants on a wide range of issues that affect you and your family, from budgeting and investing to relationships and deployments.

The Minnesota National Guard has pioneered a program in hopes of changing how Soldiers and Airmen are reintegrated back to their communities. Called Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, the program is named as a reminder that the support of Soldiers cannot end when they return from deployment and the yellow ribbons are untied.

 National Military Family Association. NMFA is an organization dedicated to serving military families. They recognized the need for more resources to support military children. The Operation Purple Program was created as a way to help military children struggling with the stresses of war. These free, week-long, overnight camps are open to all military children ages 7-17 and aims to help military kids experience carefree fun while also learning coping skills to deal with deployment-related stress and fostering relationships with other children who know what they are going through.

Alternate Finance Program (AFP), Managed by Assistive Technology of Minnesota (ATMn*)

ATMn provides low interest loans to consumers, their families, and employers for the purchase of assistive technology devices and services. Federal funding is now available to assist ATMn* with the restructuring of it AFP. The current model is being restructured by adding a revolving loan program and a loan guarantee to increase the options available for individuals with disabilities in need of financial support, thus providing funding opportunities for people who previously were ineligible for a traditional loan.

The STAR Program, Minnesota’s AT Act Project will oversee the project through its contractual arrangement with ATMn*. Contact ATMn* for more information” ATMn*, P.O. Box 310, Maple Plain MN 55359-0310, 763-479-8239, Toll Free: 866-535-8239, Minnesota Relay Service: 1-800-627-3529; 
Web site:

The Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD)

“The Family Center is a resource designed to support organizations and programs that work with families of children and youth with disabilities. FCTD offers a range of information and services on the subject of assistive technologies.” FCTD has a regular newsletter called “News and Notes”, which can be found at:  Phone: 202-884-8068.

Assistive Technology and Modifications Toolkit

The toolkit from the Department of Human Services contains products, services and a list of organizations and resources people may use to plan independent lives. Twice a year, the Disability Services Division updates the resources to reflect newly identified products, services and organizations.

“Really Useful” (Technology for Students with Learning Disabilities”:
This downloadable 30 page booklet contains brief descriptions of software and assistive technology devices that have been successfully used by students of all ages with learning disabilities. Type in “Really Useful” at

System of Technology to Achieve Results (STAR) Program

A System of Technology to Achieve Results (STAR) is Minnesota’s Assistive Technology Act program. STAR publishes a Directory of Funding Resources for Assistive Technology. This directory lists national and state funding resources, as well as, provides a 10-step Funding Strategy Plan. An online version of this directory is available in English and Spanish at

To request a free copy of the directory, call 651-201-2640, Minnesota Relay Service at 7-1-1 or 1-800-627-3529 or email

Minnesota Telephone Equipment Distribution Program (TED)

This program can provide telephone equipment at NO CHARGE to Minnesota residents of all ages. Eligibility requirements do apply. The equipment includes amplified (corded or cordless) phones, speakerphones, captioned telephones, telephone ring signalers, deafblind equipment and other special equipment. To learn more, visit their web site at or contact them at 1-800-657-3663, 1-888-206-6555 TTY

Telephone Assistance

Minnesota local service providers are authorized to provide two federally-funded and one state-funded telephone service discount programs. The Link-Up program provides a discount on new service connection charges when installing new telephone service. The Lifeline and Telephone Assistance Plan programs provide a monthly discount on your local telephone service. To be eligible, the telephone service must be in your name and you must participate in at least one of the qualifying public assistance programs (such as Medical Assistance, Food Support, SSI, etc.) or one of the qualifying programs for persons living on a reservation (such as Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance) or be below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines to be eligible. To apply go to the website for an application to complete. Mail the application, along with proof you are on one of the qualifying programs or proof of your income, to your local phone company. (Click on Consumers, and go to Telephone Discounts). Consumer Assistance: 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782.

Open Access Connections

Open Access Connections is a program to provide free voice mail for up to 6 months for people who are looking for a job, looking for a place to live, are in an abusive situation, or need a way for their medical contacts to leave messages for them. To learn more call 651-643-0883 or

State Department of Education: Special Education

Minnesota Department of Education Special Education Policy 1500 Highway 36 West Roseville, MN 55113-4266 (651) 582-8590, (651) 582-8201(TTY), Web:

Telecommunications Relay Services for Individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or with Speech Impairments (800) 627-3529, (877) 627-3848 (Speech to Speech) (877) 627-5448 (Spanish) (900) 246-3323, Minnesota Department of Education 1500 Highway 36 West Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 582-8268, Web:

Regional ADA & IT Technical Assistance Center: Great Lakes ADA and Accessible IT Center Department of Disability and Human Development 1640 W. Roosevelt Road Chicago, IL 60608 (312) 413-1407 (V/TTY); (800) 949-4232 (V/TTY)Web:

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities:

Institute on Community Integration (UCE) University of Minnesota, 102 Pattee Hall 150 Pillsbury Drive SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612) 624-6300, Web:

Technology-Related Assistance:

Minnesota STAR Program 50 Sherburne Avenue, Room 309 St. Paul, MN 55155 (651) 201-2640; (888) 234-1267 (800) 627-2527 (TTY) E-mail: Web:

State Mediation System: Minnesota Special Education Mediation Service (MNSEMS) 1500 Highway 36 West Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 582-8222;

(866) 466-7367, Web:

Special Format Library: Minnesota Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped 388 S.E 6th Avenue Faribault, MN 55021-6340 (507) 333-4828, (800) 722-0550

Office of Minority Health has a list of community resources in Minnesota related to cultural competency in health care: l

Programs for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities: Ages Birth through 2: Minnesota Department of Education 1500 Highway 36 West Roseville, MN 55113-4266 (651) 582-8883, (800) 728-5420, Web:

Programs for Children with Disabilities: Ages 3 through 5: Early Learning Services, Minnesota Department of Education 1500 Highway 36 West Roseville, MN 55112 (651) 582-8343, Web:

State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency: Rehabilitation Services Branch Department of Employment and Economic Development First National Bank Building 332 Minnesota Street, #E200 St. Paul, MN 55101 (651) 296-7510; (800) 328-9095, Web:

Coordinator for Transition Services: Office of Federal Programs/Special Education Policy Minnesota Department of Education 1500 Highway 36 West Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 582-8515

State Mental Health Agency: Chemical and Mental Health Services Department of Human Services P.O. Box 64988 St. Paul, MN 55101-0988 (651) 431-2368, Web:

State Mental Health Representative for Children and Youth: Children’s Mental Health Division Department of Human Services Elmer Anderson Human Services Building P.O. Box 64985 St. Paul, MN 55164-0985 Web:

Programs for People with Developmental Disabilities: Disabilities Service Division Department of Human Services 540 Cedar Street P.O. Box 64967 St. Paul, MN 55164-0967 (651) 431-2381, Web:

Council on Developmental Disabilities: Colleen Wieck, Executive Director Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities 370 Centennial Office Building 658 Cedar Street St. Paul, MN 55155 (651) 296-4018; (877) 348-0505, (800) 627-3529, (MN Relay service)
Web: Web:

Protection and Advocacy Agency: Minnesota Disability Law Center 430 First Avenue, North, Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55401-1780 (612) 746-3711, (800) 292-4150, (612) 334-5970 (New Clients) (612) 332-4668 (TTY),Web:

State CHIP Program (health care for low-income uninsured children): MinnesotaCare P.O. Box 64838 St. Paul, MN 55164-0838 (651) 297-3862 ; (800) 657-3672, (800) 627-3529 (TTY) Web:

Programs for Children and Youth who are Blind or Visually Impaired: State Services for the Blind Department of Employment and Economic Development 2200 University Avenue, West, Suite 240 St. Paul, MN 55114-1840 (651) 642-0500; (800) 652-9000, Web:

Minnesota Resource Center: Blind/Visual Impairments Minnesota Department of Education P.O. Box 308 Faribault, MN 55021-0308 (507) 332-5510; (800) 657-3859 (in MN).

Programs for Children and Youth who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing or Deaf-Blind: Department of Human Services Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (also serves people who are deaf/blind) P.O. Box 64969 St. Paul, MN 55164-0969 (651) 296-3980 (V); (651) 297-1506 (TTY)
Web: Web: Web:

Family Voices National is a grass roots network of families and friends which advocates for health care services and provides information for families of children and youth with special health care needs:

Family Village is a global community of disability-related resources: is the federal government’s one-stop Web site for people with disabilities, their families, employers, veterans, workforce professionals and many others:

The National Center for Cultural Competence’s (NCCC) mission is increase the capacity of health and mental health programs to design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems:

The Catalyst Center is a national center dedicated to improving health care insurance and financing for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN)

Bright Futures for Families offers a variety of materials and resources developed specifically for families to complement the Bright Futures publications and materials used by health care professionals. Families want and need materials that have the same information used by their health care providers, written in a way that they can understand and easily refer back to when needed. Here is a link to their web-site and materials:

The Center for Medical Home Improvement:

Medical Home represents the standard of excellence for pediatric and adult primary care in the 21st Century.  CMHI defines the medical home as a community-based primary care setting which provides and coordinates high quality, planned, family-centered health promotion, acute illness care, and chronic condition management – across the lifespan.  Care in a medical home is rewarding for clinical teams to provide and satisfying for patients and families to receive.

National Center for Medical Home Implementation:

The National Center for Medical Home Implementation (NCMHI) is a cooperative agreement between the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The NCMHI is housed in the AAP Division of Children with Special Needs.

NICHCY is pleased to connect you with sources of information and assistance in Spanish on specific topics. This page is presented in English to help those who are looking for information in Spanish to share with their Spanish-speaking families.

The list below isn’t intended to be exhaustive of the Spanish-language resources on disability conditions and concerns available—but it will get you started!

If you are looking for NICHCY publications and products in Spanish, please visit Nuestros Productos y Publicaciones.

We also invite you to share the news of NICHCY’s Spanish website | NICHCY en español. Then your Spanish-speaking families can explore our Spanish website for other topics of interest.