Disability Resources

for Washtenaw County, Michigan

Education Resources

Michigan Alliance for Families

Michigan Alliance for Families provides information, support, and education for families who have children (birth through 26 years of age) who receive (or may be eligible to receive) special education services.

Parent Mentor: Amy Sanderson
Lenawee, Monroe, and Washtenaw Counties

Washtenaw Intermediate School District

The WISD Special Education Department provides services and programs to support the efforts of 9 local school districts, 14 private school academies and 20 private schools.

1819 S. Wagner Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1406

Washtenaw ISD – Parent Advisory Committee

The Parent Advisory Committee is a group of parents of children with disabilities. Members are recommended by their public school agency for appointment by the WISD School Board. We discuss special education programs, issues and ideas on how to be of assistance to parents.


Michigan Department of Education (MDE)

Office of Special Education (OSE)

Do you have questions about special education?


Information Line: 1-888-320-8384

Email: mde-ose@michigan.gov

Disability Rights Michigan

Formerly Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS), Disability Rights Michigan’s services include information and referral, short-term assistance, selected individual and legal representation, systemic advocacy, monitoring, and training.


P: 517-487-1755, 800-288-5923(Voice)
TTY: 517-374-4687

Special Education Manual: https://www.drmich.org/resources/special-education/ 

Each chapter includes a brief summary, a list of “Advocacy Hints,” detailed descriptions of state and federal rights, sample letters, and resources for more information. 

Client Assistance Program: https://www.drmich.org/services/client-assistance-program-cap/ It is designed to assist individuals with disabilities in understanding and using rehabilitation and independent living services. .


Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities.


Government Resources


Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS)

Developing customized workforce solutions for businesses and individuals with disabilities.

3810 Packard St

Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Learn more about Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) for youth students with disabilities who are ages 14-26 years.


Bureau Of Services For Blind Persons (BSBP)

The Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) believes in the capacity of people who are blind or visually impaired to achieve employment and independence. BSBP provides training and other services that empower people to achieve their individual goals.

Follow: https://www.michigan.gov/leo/bureaus-agencies/bureau-of-services-for-blind-persons/broad-overview 

Call: 517-241-1100

Community Living

Washtenaw Community Mental Health (WCCMH)

We provide mental health services to adults with a severe and persistent mental illness, children with a severe emotional disturbance, and individuals with a developmental disability, residing in the county.

734-544-3050 or 800-440-7548 at any time.

Family Services

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)

MDHHS administers financial assistance programs such as:

  • Childcare assistance
  • Medicaid
  • SER utility assistance
  • SNAP food benefits

22 Center St
Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Visit: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/assistance-programs 

Family Matters

Our fact sheets explain special education laws and practices. https://www.michigan.gov/mde/services/special-education/parent-resources/family-matters


Housing Alliance of Washtenaw County (HAWC)

HAWC is Washtenaw County’s central intake for individuals and families who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The central intake is the single point of entry for all emergency shelters and housing resources that are available to serve people experiencing homelessness in the county. Residents of Washtenaw County may call HAWC for housing assistance, information and/or referral. Please note: there is a severe shortage of housing resources in Washtenaw County and HAWC is not able to help all people who are experiencing a housing crisis.



Avalon Housing

Avalon Housing is a nonprofit services provider, real estate developer and property manager. We own and manage 288 rental units in over 20 properties in Washtenaw County. We provide support services to our tenants and to individuals and families living in public housing and in units owned by private landlords.



Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living


Social Security

Social Security Administration (SSA)

Disability Benefits:

3971 Research Park Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48108


Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services

Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) Division On Deaf, Deafblind And Hard Of Hearing

This state office concentrates on helping to improve the lives of Michigan’s Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing citizens.

VP: 313-437-7035
Toll-Free Voice/TTY: 313-437-7035

Advocacy Resources

Arc United States

The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.



Arc Michigan

The mission of The Arc Michigan is to ensure that people with Developmental Disabilities are valued in order that they and their families can participate fully in and contribute to their community.


Tax Guide: The Arc MI provides a yearly tax guide for individuals and their families with disabilities.


ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom.

Visit: https://adapt.org/ 

Minnesota Developmental Disabilities Council – Parallels in Time

A History of Developmental Disability

Link: http://mn.gov/mnddc/parallels/index.html

Minnesota Developmental Disabilities Council – Partners in Policymaking Online

5 Online Courses:

  • Partners in Living
  • Partners in Time
  • Partners in Education
  • Making Your Case
  • Partners in Employment

Visit: https://partnersonlinecourses.com/ 

Minnesota Developmental Disabilities Council – App – Telling Your Story

The app, “Telling Your Story,” helps you create and practice your personal story with tips on how to best present yourself, to help inform and educate your elected public officials about issues that are important to you.

  • iPhone/iPad
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Android tablet & phone

Developmental Disabilities Institute – WSU – Possibilities

View 5-6 minute videos telling the story of people with developmental disabilities leading their lives.

Karen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGWu4cu_cfQ
Abby: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELUbi2zhUNk
Liz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IREiWxNeI7g
Emily: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wdNPlXsfCc
Alex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6n66w575a0&t=2s

The ARC Michigan Michigan History of Our State Institutions for People with Developmental Disabilities

This video documents this regretful history and celebrates the hard work of families and advocates with the final closure of our last institution in Michigan in 2010.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlg-g7l-MBg 

Living My Own Life: Adults with Disabilities (2000)

Washtenaw ACA and DDI video showing people living in their community. (2000)

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sIs2VQ3GFQ 

Michigan Partner in Freedom “What Does Freedom Mean”

Video of individuals with I/DD expressing what “Freedom” means to them.

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt2e-4pSEP8 

Center for Self Determination

Offers disability accommodations for the children of their parishioners in their Religious Education program.

Visit: http://www.self-determination.com/ 

Transportation Resources

Accessible Downtown Parking

You can find accessible parking in downtown Ann Arbor at the Downtown Development Authority website:



Amtrak offers a 10% rail fare discount to adult passengers with a disability. Amtrak also offers a 10% discount for persons traveling with a passenger with a disability as a companion.


Michigan Flyer

Michigan’s Premier Motorcoach Connection between East Lansing, Brighton, Ann Arbor & Detroit Metro Airport



ARide is a shared ride, advanced reservation, ADA paratransit service intended to provide a comparable level of transportation to that which is provided by a TheRide fixed-route bus. A-Ride riders share trips if they are generally traveling in the same direction at the same time. Trips are scheduled without regard to the purpose of the trip. A-Ride trips are provided in lift-equipped buses and sedan type vehicles.



Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

TSA Cares is a helpline that provides travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances additional assistance during the security screening process.


Call: 855-787-2227

Federal Relay: 711
Weekdays: 8 am – 11 pm ET
Weekends/Holidays: 9 am – 8 pm ET

Western-Washtenaw Area Value Express (WAVE) Bus

Western-Washtenaw Area Value Express (WAVE) is a non-profit service organization that exists to provide affordable transportation to older adults, persons with disabilities, and other transit-dependent individuals in western Washtenaw County. Show your ARide card for reduced rate on WAVE.


Monday – Friday, 8am – 4:15 pm
Call: 734-475-9494

Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority (AAATA)

Travel Training
Learn how to use public transportation and travel independently through our Travel Training program. TheRide offers Travel Training at no cost, designed to help those who may require further assistance before riding our buses. For more information or to register for training, call Tracy Byrd 734-794-1721.

Services and accommodations are available for individuals with a disability and seniors.


Office hours:
Monday-Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 – 11:00 am & 12:00 – 5:00 pm
Sunday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 – 5:00 pm


MyRide is a Mobility Management service that provides transportation coordination to transit dependent individuals. Transportation coordination is based on the individual’s trip needs in Washtenaw County and select areas in Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, and Wayne Counties. MyRide does not provide direct transportation services; Information Specialists/Call Takers coordinate transit services through a network of existing public, private, and non-profit human service transportation providers in order to offer a seamless system of service for transit users.


MyRide has two (2) part time Information Specialists/Call Takers that answer calls Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 11:30am and 12:30pm to 5:30pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 1:30pm, toll free at 1-866-977-9423.

Savings, Income, Finance


The Michigan Able Act was signed into law in October 2015, following passage in December 2014 of the federal Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which authorized states to establish tax-advantaged savings programs for individuals with disabilities.
The goal is to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving funds that help individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence and quality of life without jeopardizing benefits provided through private insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, the beneficiary’s employment and other sources.

Visit: https://savewithable.com/mi/home.html

Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) National Resource Center

Is a collaborative whose supporters share the goal of accelerating the design and availability of ABLE accounts for the benefit of individuals with disabilities and their families.


Michigan Individual Development Account Partnership

IDA participants are at, or below, 200% of the poverty level ($33,820/yr for family of two in 2019). The goal is for participants and their families to change their attitude and relationship to money. Participants complete financial management classes and training related to their asset goal while saving regularly in their IDA. Their savings of up to $1,000 are matched at a typical ratio of 3:1 for a home purchase and 2:1 for post-secondary education/job training or to start/expand a small business. Rates may vary depending on program site and funding sources.


Alexander W. Hermanowski Hermanowski Law, PLLC

Estate planning, probate, and criminal defense

(734) 887-6079

Jessica L. S. Kelly, Attorney Stimpson & Associates P.C.

Jessica has assisted students, children, and families since 2002. Working in areas of K-12 special education advocacy, higher education regulation and policy, and public service, she developed a full range of skills before becoming an attorney. In her legal practice, Jessica uses her experience to assist families in the areas of probate, estate planning (including wills, trusts, special needs trusts, and powers of attorney), guardianship/conservatorship and alternatives, and general family law matters. As an attorney who serves individuals with special needs, and as a mother who has advocated for the rights of her own children, she understands that extra attention needs to be paid when an estate plan, divorce or custody, and other matters include people with disabilities.

455 E. Eisenhower Pkwy
Suite 40
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 707-9455 x 204

Community Resources

Food & Nessessities

Food Pantries

Food Gatherers works with more than 150 partner programs throughout Washtenaw County. Many of these programs are open to the public and make food available to eligible community members.

Available Food Map – search for food pantries, distributions, and free meals available in your community.

Available Food List – a list of all food pantries, distributions and free meals available to the public in Washtenaw County.


Faith In Action

Faith In Action, with the help of many businesses, community groups, and congregational supporters, works to provide essential support to alleviate the effects of hunger and poverty in western Washtenaw County.


Faith in Action
603 S. Main St.
Chelsea, MI 48118
Telephone Number: 734-475-3305

FIA Dexter Food Pantry
7275 Joy Rd.
Dexter, Michigan 48103
Tel: 734-426-7002

Argus Farm Stop  – Ann Arbor


Weekly Produce Subscription box
They have grant programs that make this very affordable for those with an EBT. https://www.argusfarmstop.com/weekly-produce-box.
Email for more info:

Amazon Prime

Prime is lowered to $6.99/Month for qualifying customers with an EBT or Medicaid Card




DTE Energy’s Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP) is a low, affordable payment plan for eligible low income families. This program allows you to make affordable monthly payments based on your income. The remaining portion of your bill is paid monthly with your energy assistance funds. As a State Emergency Relief (SER) recipient you may be eligible for additional assistance.


Consumers Energy

If you need assistance managing your energy bill, the Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy (CARE) Program may help.

CARE is a two-year affordable payment plan that helps you stay on top of your energy bills. As a CARE member, you will receive the following benefits:

  • A portion of your monthly bill will be paid by the program
  • Any past due balance you might have will be gradually forgiven as a reward for on time payments

As a CARE member, you may also be eligible to receive no-cost, in-home energy efficiency upgrades to help reduce you energy costs through our Helping Neighbors Program. To learn more, call 877-448-9433 or visit consumershelpingneighbors.com.


Affordable Connectivity Program 


The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.

The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2fpIQPCMpU


Internet Essentials from Comcast. Affordable Internet at Home for eligible households


Healthcare & Medical Equipment

Dr. Susan Ernst: Obstetrics & Gynecology at Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital

Clinic for girls and women with Disabilities.



Ramps.org is here to help you decide what type of wheelchair ramp is right for your specific situation.


Link has local project contact information.

Medical Equipment Loan Closet

A medical equipment donate and share program.

Link: https://loanclosets.org/michigan/washtenaw 

Bethlehem United Church of Christ

Used canes, walkers, bath chairs, wheelchairs, etc. when available. No hospital beds. Please call to check for availability.

423 S. Fourth Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI

Phone Number: 734-665-6149

Website: http://www.bethlehem-ucc.org

Monday – Friday 9:00am – 3:00pm

Emmanuel Lutheran Church

Durable Medical equipment that is donated to the church such as Wheelchairs, Tub Seating, Crutches, Canes, Walkers and Bedside Commodes.

201 North River
Ypsilanti, MI 48198

Email: emmanuel@provide.net

Phone Number: 734-482-7121

Website: https://www.emmanuelypsi.org

Family Support

St. Luke Lutheran Church

FREE respite program for parents who have children with special needs (Parents Night Out).  The program is offered from 6-9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month from October-June at St. Luke Lutheran Church – Ann Arbor, MI.  Click here for more information.

St. Francis of Assisi Parish

Offers disability accommodations for the children of their parishioners in their Religious Education program.

Contact Ellen Ward (734-821-2130, ward@stfrancisa2.org) or the teacher of the class, Lucia Rondon-Cardone at luciacb70@hotmail.com to learn more.

Disability-Specific Resources


Autism Alliance of Michigan

We are leading collaborative efforts across the state that will improve the quality of life for individuals with autism through education, access to comprehensive services, community awareness, inclusion efforts, and coordinated advocacy.

Visit: https://autismallianceofmichigan.org


Autism Collaborative Center

The Autism Collaborative Center at Eastern Michigan University is a therapeutic learning environment designed from the ground up with your child’s success in mind. We provide our clients with a wide variety of therapeutic and behavioral services all under one roof.



Mon – Thur 8:30am – 5:30 pm
Fri 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Michigan Hands and Voices

Michigan Hands & Voices is a chapter of the nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, as well as the professionals who serve them.
Guide By Your Side™ (GBYS)* is a program for families of children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
GBYS gives families an opportunity to meet with another parent of a Deaf or Hard of Hearing child, called a Parent Guide. The program is free to all Michigan families.

Visit: http://www.mihandsandvoices.org


Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) Division On Deaf, Deafblind And Hard Of Hearing

This state office concentrates on helping to improve the lives of Michigan’s Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing citizens.

VP: 313-437-7035
Toll-Free Voice/TTY: 313-437-7035

Fetal Alcohol

University of Michigan
CS Mott Children’s Hospital

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Testing (FAS)

The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Clinic at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital specializes in the diagnosis of children who have behavioral and cognitive problems related to prenatal alcohol exposure. We offer a comprehensive evaluation with an expert team of doctors.

Visit: http://www.mottchildren.org/FASD


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. FASDs are preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Visit: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/index.html 

Michigan Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Task Force

The Michigan FASD Task Force is a collaboration of self-advocates, family members, disability researchers, and policy makers who come together to address FASD through awareness, prevention, and greater access to services.

Link: https://ddi.wayne.edu/fasd 

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

Visit: http://www.fascenter.samhsa.gov/ 


Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center (CTAC)
Western Michigan University

The goal of the center is to assess the impact to children following exposure to traumatic events or suspected fetal alcohol exposure.
Established to provide assessments for children who have experienced trauma and adverse childhood experiences. The CTAC team also provides professional training and coordinates projects in order to create trauma-informed systems and services.

Visit: https://wmich.edu/traumacenter


Connect With Washtenaw ACA

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