Community Resource List

The following are resources that may be helpful to your family as you look for information, programs, or services to meet you and your child’s unique needs.

Advocacy and Support

ADA Project: Great Plains Center

Offers information on the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability laws.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Federal government website with detailed information about the ADA.

Arc of Iowa

Federal government website with detailed information about the ADA.

The Arc of Story County

The Arc of Story County has been a leader in advocating on behalf of individuals with disabilities in Ames and Story County. Programs include Active lifestyles, Children at Home funding options for equipment or services, Respite funding options, Faith Fellowship and more.

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center

Supports quality respite and crisis care programs across the United States.

Autism Society of Iowa

A leading autism science and advocacy organization.

Care Pages

Free patient blogs to connect friends and family during a health challenge.


Personal, protected blogs to keep family and friends informed during health complications.

Center for Disabilities and Development

University of Iowa offers a wide range of services and programs for individuals with disabilities.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S.

Families of Iowa Network for Disabilities

Connect with individuals whose family members have a disability with this family directory.

Family Voices

Connects veteran parents with families who are just starting to raise a child with special needs.

Family to Family Iowa

Helps families navigate supports and services in Iowa for their children and for themselves.

Genetic Alliance

Locate support groups and advocacy information specific to a child’s genetic disorder.

Gigi's Playhouse

Down’s Syndrome awareness, educational, and program centers.

Greater Des Moines Area Shelter & Services Book

A listing and contact information of Food, Shelter/Housing, Health Care, General Assistance, Legal/Advocacy, and Clothing services available in the Des Moines metro area.

ID Action

Seeks to increase participation of Iowans with disabilities in political and civic opportunities and includes the Iowa Governor’s Developmental Disabilities Council.

Sibling Support

The Sibling Support Project is a national effort dedicated to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental, or mental health concerns.


Provides information about being an effective advocate for individuals with disabilities in Iowa.

Iowa 211

Call 211
Iowa’s free hotline for confidential access to health and human services resources.

Iowa Concern Hotline

24/7 hotline that offers support for anyone dealing with stressful situations.

Iowa Department of Education

Assists in arranging the best education for your child in the Iowa school system.

Iowa Department of Human Rights

Protects basic rights, freedoms, and opportunities, especially for underrepresented Iowans.

Iowa Department of Human Services

Facilitates programs that help individuals live stable, healthy lives, including Medicaid, childcare, food assistance, and mental health programs.

Iowa Department of Public Health

Promotes and protects the health of Iowans through partnerships and education.

ISU Extension and Outreach

Iowa State University’s program to educate children and families about healthy lifestyles.

National Council on Disability (NCD)

Federal agency that advises government officials about the needs of individuals with disabilities.

National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)

Promotes independent living and equal rights of people with disabilities.

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)

Dedicated to helping people with rare diseases and disorders.

Network of Care: Polk County

Helps locate information and services in Polk County related to an individual’s specific situation.

Next Step in Care

Describes the transition into and out of hospitals, rehab units, and home care agency services.

Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights

Focuses on “parents helping parents” to enhance the quality of life of children with disabilities.

Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access

Protects equal voting rights and accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Ronald McDonalds House of Des Moines

A safe and inexpensive house for families to stay at when their children are being treated.

Voting Rights: U.S. Department of Justice

Describes the Voting Rights Act and state requirements for accessible voting.

Woodward Resource Center

Provides services that enable people to live in the community of their choice through Iowa DHS.

World Institute on Disability

Aims to eliminate barriers for individuals with disabilities across the world.

Education and Work

Educational Services


Association on Higher Education and Disability, focuses on the transition to college.

Center for Partnering for Student Success

Engages and inspires parents and schools to help children develop and learn successfully

Exceptional Educational Services

Helps youth with Acquired Brain Injury with school reintegration and behavior intervention.

Head Start and Early Head Start

Federally funded child development program for children of all abilities, 0-5 years old.

Heartland Area Education Agency

Partners with public and private Iowa schools to improve the learning of youth in Iowa.

Iowa Department of Education

Assists in arranging the best special education for your child in the Iowa school system.

Learning Disabilities Association of Iowa

Enhances quality of life for all individuals with learning disabilities and their families.

Metro West Kids Learning Center

Provides individualized, developmentally appropriate instruction through groups and tutoring.

Office for Civil Rights

An office of the U.S. Department of Education that ensures equal access to quality education.

Parent Educator Connection (PEC)

Run by Heartland AEA, promotes positive partnerships between parents and educators.

Resolution Facilitator

Run by Heartland AEA, a designated individual can help mediate conflicts related to education.

Students with Disabilites: Preparing for Postsecondary Education

A guide created by the Department of Education to explain the rights of students with disabilities.

University of Iowa Reach Program

Two-year program with a campus experience for students with multiple disabilities.

Entering the Workforce

Federal government website for comprehensive information on disability services nationwide.

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Assists individuals with disabilities in achieving employment, financial, and independence goals.

Job Accommodation Network

Expert confidential guidance on disability employment issues from the U.S. Department of Labor.

National Organization on Disability (NOD)

Focuses on enabling people with disabilities to enter the workforce successfully.

Social Security: Work/Transition

Ticket to Work program helps people with disabilities prepare and enter the workforce.

Social Security Administration

Official site for Social Security providing information as it relates to children, disabilities, etc.

Emergency Preparedness

Access Board

Lists resources on disaster preparedness and emergencies, including proper ADA procedures.

American Red Cross Serving Greater Iowa

Serves those in need post-disaster and offers classes on CPR, first aid, and AED.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Resources on emergency preparedness, response, and recovery for individuals of all abilities.

National Safety Council

Provides education on safety at work, home, and on the road.

Polk County Emergency Management

Describes Polk County’s methods of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.


FEMA’s campaign to educate/empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies.



Provides objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment.

Advanced Rehab Technologies

Specializes in mobility equipment and located in Iowa.

ALS Associaton: Iowa Chapter

Offers free equipment, including wheelchairs, bathroom accessories & communication devices.

Apria HealthCare

Provides home medical equipment out of Urbandale and Creston.

Assistive Technology Center: Easter Seals Iowa

Loans medical equipment, has a demonstration center, and rents out assistive technology.

CarePro Health Services

Helps individuals choose and obtain the proper home medical equipment.

Hammer Medical Supply

Offers assistive technology and medical equipment from eight locations in Iowa.


Provides training, resources, and services related to home modification.

IowaAble Foundation

Offers loans to Iowans who need to pay for assistive technology or vehicle/home modifications.


Large directory of locations throughout Iowa that help meet adaptive equipment needs.

Iowa Health Home Care

Provides home medical equipment services, including training and equipment maintenance.

Iowa Program for Assistive Technology

Helps Iowans locate and obtain assistive technology to improve their quality of life.

Mercy Home Respiratory Care and Medical Supply

Offers medical equipment and supplies, staffed by respiratory therapists for assistance.


Booklet describing assistive technology options for people with hidden disabilities in Iowa.

UI Community HomeCare

BFull-service home infusion and medical equipment services provider, run by University of Iowa.

Financial Assistance

Medicaid Assistance

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Describes Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance programs in detail.

Exception to Policy

Iowa Medicaid recipients may receive an exception to Iowa DHS policies if proven beneficial.

Health Insurance Premium Payment (HIPP) Program

Helps Medicaid recipients get insurance or keep current insurance by reimbursing premium cost.

Medicaid, Title 19

Medicaid program is managed by the Iowa DHS; search DHS website for more information.

Medicaid for Kids with Special Needs Program

Helps pay medical bills for children with special needs, must fall under specific income level.

Medicaid for the Medically Needy

Program eligibility based on income and medical bills; search DHS website for more information.

Medicaid HCBS Waivers

Waivers include brain injury, handicapped, intellectual disability, and children’s mental health. They assist with costs, giving families freedom and choices. Search the web for more details.

Medicaid Health Services Application

Application for Medical Assistance, Food Assistance (FA), Family Investment (FIP), and Child Care Assistance (CCA).


Children with chronic kidney disease may qualify.

Mothers and Children Program (MAC)

Medicaid is available to pregnant mothers and to children if criteria are met.

Child Care Assistance

Run by Iowa DHS, helps pay for child care if parent or caretaker meets criteria.

Children-at-Home Program

Run by Iowa DHS, provides time-limited, as-needed financial assistance for a child’s services.

State Supplementary Assistance

State-funded program, may help pay for in-home health care services if criteria are met.

Other Financial Assistance

Federal Lifeline Subsidy Program

Government benefit program, provides discounts on telephone services if criteria are met.

Food Assistance

Run by Iowa DHS, provides access to healthy food through programs like EBT cards or WIC.

Medication Assistance Programs

Helps people in need find programs to assist with medication and health care costs.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Federal program that provides money to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

Health Services

Child Health Specialty Clinics

Serves children in Iowa with chronic conditions with care coordination and affordable ideas.

Dental Care for Persons with Disabilities

Coordinated by University of Iowa, free dental care for children with disabilities that meet criteria.


Free services for children under 3 years old with a disability or development delays.


Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program, identifies/supports children with hearing loss.



Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment for kids, free for children using Medicaid.




Affordable health/dental insurance for uninsured children that aren’t on Medicaid and fit criteria.



Iowa Department of Public Health

Promotes healthy families through multiple programs.



Polk County Health Department

To create the conditions for all people to live healthy lives by engaging residents, reducing health disparities and attending to the needs of our most vulnerable families.


Home Nursing

CarePro Home Health Nursing

Located in Cedar Rapids, 24/7 skilled nursing care for all ages.

Heartland Home Care

Located in Oskalooska, provides 24/7 pediatric nursing services to Southeastern Iowa.

Iowa Alliance in Home Care (IAHC)

Lists all providers in Iowa that have been certified by IAHC, can search for a provider near you.

Iowa Health Home Care

Lists all providers in Iowa that have been certified by IAHC, can search for a provider near you.

Mercy Home Health Services

Serves individuals within 50 miles of Des Moines, provides specialized pediatric care in homes.

National Association of Home Care & Hospice

Offers an agency locator which will list most of the home care providers in your area.

Recover Health

Locations across Iowa, 24/7 skilled nursing services and in-home therapies.

UI Community HomeCare

Affiliated with University of Iowa, trained in IV therapy, pediatric nutrition, oxygen, and more.

Ultimate Nursing

In-home health care and private-duty nursing for children with serious medical conditions.

Visiting Nurse Associaton

Advocates for nonprofit home health providers that care for all people regardless of condition.

Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa

Provides services from home visits to transportation; community resource directory on website.

Injury-Specific Resources

Brain Injury

Acute Brain Injury: A Guide for Family and Friends

Booklet created by the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, published online

Advisory Council on Brain Injuries

Created by Iowa Department of Public Health, studies needs of individuals with brain injuries.

AEA (Area Education Agency) Brain Injury Resource Teams

Run through local school districts; provide support for students with acquired brain injuries.

American Stroke Association

Educates the public about strokes and advocates for individuals who have experienced strokes.

Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa

Focuses on brain injury education, advocacy, and support; local support groups in Iowa.

Brain Injury Association of America

Largest nationwide brain injury advocacy organization.

Brain Injury Information Network

Offers email support groups, chat rooms, and resources related to brain injury.

Brain Injury Peer Support Chat Room

Safe chat room for people living with brain injury to meet for support and information.

Brain Injury Resource Center

Lists and categorizes many other websites related to brain injury.

Exceptional Educational Services

Helps youth with brain injury understand assessments, return to school, and work on behaviors.

National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury

Provides practical and relevant information about brain injury.

Neuropsychology Central

Resources, forums, and links related to neuropsychology and brain injury.

The Perspectives Network

Information about brain injury, outside resources, and stories from survivors and caregivers.

Education, advocacy, research, and support for brain injury survivors and their families.

Traumatic Brain Injury Program (PATBI)

Run by Disability Rights Iowa, informs people of their civil rights related to traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor Guide

Online book by a clinical neuropsychologist for survivors of brain injury and their caregivers.

Understanding Brain Injury: A Guide for Employers

Published online by Mayo Clinic, helps employers understand brain injury.

Understanding Brain Injury: A Guide for the Family

Published online by Mayo Clinic, helps families understand brain injury.

The Waiting Room: Coma Support

Answers questions individuals may have if a loved one is in a coma.

Limb Loss

American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists

Professional organization with current research articles on their website.

Amputee Coalition

National organization on limb loss; website includes a Limb Loss Resource Center.

Amputee Empowerment Partners

Place for people to connect and discuss topics related to the life of amputees.

Limbs for Life Foundation

Provides prosthetic care for those who cannot afford; website has lists of other helpful resources.

Spinal Cord Injury

American Spinal Injury Association

Organization for medical professionals; offers learning tools and advocacy information.

Apparelyzed: Spinal Cord Injury Peer Support

Peer support and discussion forums for those affected by spinal cord injuries.

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Foundation for people with spinal cord injury; extensive online Paralysis Resource Center.

Cleveland F.E.S. Information Center

Offers potential solutions to those with neural muscular disabilities and their families.

Iowa Legal Aid

Free legal help with civil law problems for eligible low-income Iowans.

Iowa State Bar Association

Provides consumer legal information on many topics, including guardianships in Iowa.

National Guardianship Association

Education and professional development for guardians.

National Health Law & Policy Resource – Iowa Substitute Decision Maker Initiative

Offers information on Maternal and Child Health, Conflict Management Institute, and more.

State Insurance Commissioner

Protects consumers by regulating insurance in Iowa; may contact them to submit complaints.

Mental Health

Alcoholics Anonymous

Fellowship of men and women seeking to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety.

Alzheimer’s Association

Information about Alzheimer’s, current research, being a caregiver, message boards, and more.

Division of Mental Health and Disability Services: Iowa DHS

Run through Iowa DHS, promotes high quality disability related services and supports.

Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health

Focuses on children with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families.

Magellan Behavioral Health of Iowa

Behavioral health services, including mental health services and peer supports.

Mental Health America

Address the full spectrum of mental and substance use conditions, hosts local support groups.

Mental Help Net

Promotes mental health, wellness education, and advocacy; many resources listed on website.

Narcotics Anonymous

Vision is that every addict can find a new way of life; website has resources and support groups.

Substance Abuse Resources & Disability Issues

Program for people who want freedom from substance abuse; website lists outside resources.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Run by Iowa Department of Public Health; lists treatment programs and resources in Iowa.


Adapted Sports Camp: UNI

An adapted sports camp for youth with lower limb disability at University of Northern Iowa.

Ames Parks and Recreation

The city maintains a variety of parks and facilities for public use. Visit the website for a listing of recreational opportunities such as; open gym, ice skating, swimming, and youth classes and facility hours of operation.

ASPIRE Therapeutic Riding Program

Animal-assisted activities, primarily with horses, for individuals with disabilities.

Best Buddies of Iowa

Provides opportunities for one-to-one friendships in high schools, colleges, and via email.

Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.

Camp Courageous

Year-round respite care and recreational facility for individuals with disabilities in Monticello, IA.

Courage League Sports

Adaptive sports gym in West Des Moines designed fro children with disabilities or challenges.

Des Moines Area Recreational and Leisure Activities

The site provides recreational and leisure activity ideas for children and their families in the Greater Des Moines area.

Easter Seals Iowa

Resident and day summer camps in Des Moines for individuals of all ages with any disability.

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Special Olympics Iowa

Empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities through sports training and competition.

SportAbility of Iowa

Provides opportunities for people with disabilities to play sports throughout eastern Iowa.

VSA Arts of Iowa

Hosts art workshop and classes that are accessible to people of all abilities.


The Y ensures that everyone has the opportunity to become healthier, more confident, connected and secure.

Resource Centers

Ames Public Library

The library connects you to the world of ideas through a variety of programming for infants to teens, families and adults. All programs are free. Get calendar of events online.

ASK Family Resource Center

One-stop-shop for disability resources; provides a broad range of information and resources.

Disability Resource Library

Run by University of Iowa; provides materials on disability-related topics from books to DVDs.

Disability Resources

Provides easy access to up-to-date publications and materials for people with disabilities

Johnston Public Library

The library connects you to the world of ideas through a variety of programming for infants to teens, families and adults. All programs are free. Get calendar of events on line.

Iowa COMPASS Disability Resources

For Iowans with disabilities and their families; information, referral, equipment & advocacy.

National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families

Promotes health and development of infants and toddlers with practical tools and information.

National Rehabilitation Information Center

Search engine for resources on the web and research database called REHABDATA.

Story County Resource Guide

This comprehensive guide will provide information on organizations that help people in need. The guide includes food pantries, housing options, transportation services, services and supports.

World Health Organization

Provides leadership on global health by setting standards and describing current research

Therapy Providers

Blank Children’s Hospital: Pediatric Therapy

Inpatient and outpatient therapy services, including physical, occupational, and speech therapy

Great River Center for Rehab and Clinics

Located in West Burlington, IA; provides PT, PT, and speech; emphasizes family involvement.

JET Physical Therapy

Located in Washington, IA; provides orthopedic and post-surgery rehab & occupational therapy.

Mercy: Pediatric Rehab

Specialized pediatric rehab at Mercy Riverside in Des Moines and through homecare services.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Locations throughout Iowa; provide PT, OT, speech, aquatics, dysphagia therapy and more.

Witwer Children’s Therapy Center

Located in Cedar Rapids at St. Luke’s Hospital; one of the largest pediatric therapy centers in IA.