CHANCES exists to help you and your family more easily navigate the world around you–which can be a challenge when you are faced with so much information! Below is a collection of our “best sites” to get you started on your journey or to help you out along the way. Please let us know if you don’t see something you think would be useful (contact us here).

Stone County Developmental Disability Board

Providing resources for Stone County individuals with developmental disabilities to thrive, connect with others and achieve their goals.
Phone: 417-449-5160  Mailing address: P. O. Box 2383, Branson West, MO  65737

The Ultimate Guide to Home Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

Whether you’re in an older home that needs significant changes or are looking for ways to make your newer home even more accessible to disabled needs, this guide is for you.

American Association of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (AAID)
Founded in 1876, AAIDD, and formerly known as AAMR, AAIDD, is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals (and others) concerned about mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

Epilepsy Foundation
This web site provides information about epilepsy and its effects on peoples lives.

 The Missouri Association of County Developmental Disabilities Services (MACDDS)
MACDDS is a statewide association of county boards for the developmentally disabled dedicated to local control and provision of supports and services.

The Arc of the Ozarks
The Arc is a national association of and for people with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities and their families.

Disability Programs-Disability Starter Kit
The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application.

Missouri People First
People First of Missouri is a statewide organization that promotes equality for people with disabilities so they can live the life they want in the community.

Ability Transportation
Transportation specializes in non emergency transportation for healthy individuals and thoses with special needs.  Serving all ages from infant to the elderly.

Brain and Spinal Cord Injury
Our mission is to be the most reliable, timely and complete resource on the internet for brain injury and spinal cord injury survivors. Our hope is that the site will be relied upon as a trustworthy resource for the community and for those who are searching for information. If you feel you have a case, we would love to lend you a hand.

Missouri Autism Spectrum Disorder Transition
Provides information for preparing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders for adulthood.

Missouri Autism Report 
A monthly newsletter for individuals, parents, caregivers, therapist, physicians and educators who are a part of the Missouri Autisim Community.

Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks offers a wide spectrum of services and information from Family Services, Advocacy and Understanding The IEP Process

Autism Society of America (ASA)
ASA is a national association for people with autism. The site connects individuals with autism and their famlies to reliable information and referral resources.

United Cerebral Palsy Association (UCPA)
UCPA is a national association dedicated to research and information dissemination.

Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
The DESE provides information concerning Missouri’s public schools and special education services.

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
NORD is a unique federation of more than 140 organizations serving people with rare disorders and disabilities.

Project Linus
Provides weighted blankets which are beneficial for those in the autism spectrum

Securing a Home Loan with a Disability
If you have a disability and wish to buy your own home, this guide is designed to help you and your family during the process. It will help you confirm that buying your own property is the right decision for you and guide you through the steps of buying a home. You will also learn about the financial assistance available when you have a disability to help you secure home ownership.

Disabled Children’s Relief Fund
Provides disabled children with assistance in obtaining wheelchairs, braces, glasses and more!

Maryville University
Free guide covers educational opportunities, preparation steps, knowing your rights, different types of disabilities, and would be a great informational resource for any student, family member or educator preparing for higher education regarding disabilities.

Missouri Family to Family
Within 48 hours of receiving your contact information, one of the Family Information Specialists will respond to you to hear your story so they can help you determine what information would be most helpful for your family.

MO Guardianship
Before pursuing guardianship, it is important that you consider whether guardianship will achieve the outcome you desire. Guardianship is not a quick fix, it is a legal action that limits or denies a person the right to make their own decisions. It is important to consider the individual’s needs for support and/or protection and then ask, “How will having a guardian address each specific need?”

The MODDRC/Health Information Center is charged with providing information to individuals with disabilities and their families.  They do this by providing 1:1 customized information via phone, email, or live chat with trained Family Information Specialists, and development of informational materials and tools you can view or browse on your own.

Social Security Administration

Express Medical Transporters (EMT)
Whether you need a ride to the local grocery store or your loved one needs assistance getting to or from an appointment, EMT is there to help. EMT drivers are medically certified, trained to assist with special needs and highly professional — their FSRs arrive in-uniform and take the utmost pride in providing quality service.

MO Department of Mental Health – Autism
The Office of Autism Services was established in 2008 to provide leadership in program development for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, to include establishment of program standards and coordination of program capacity.

MO Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Within the Division of Learning Services, the Office of Special Education administers state and federal funds to support services for students and adults with disabilities.

Autism Speaks

A Sporting Chance
Giving A Sporting Chance to any person with any disability, by developing and providing amateur sports training, competition, and recreational programs.  Any person with any disability can participate in any program offered by A Sporting Chance. The athletes must be ages 3 or older to participate. There is no upper age limit and adults are welcome to participate in all programs.

Camp Barnabas
Camp Barnabas is a unique ministry providing Christian camping experiences to people with special needs and chronic illnesses, along with their siblings. The program exists to offer life-changing experiences to campers and to the people who serve them.

Champion Athletes of the Ozarks
Building self esteem, self-confidence and everyday life skills therefore enhancing the lives of children and adults with disabilities through education, sports competition and new opportunities.

The Children’s Smile Center
Providing the finest preventive and primary dental health services possible to low-income children and pregnant mothers residing in Christian, Stone, Dade, Barry, Lawrence, and Taney Counties.

Down Syndrome Group of the Ozarks (DSGO)
The only Down syndrome specific group providing education, advocacy and awareness in the Ozarks.

Dynamic Strides Therapy
Dynamic Strides Therapy (DST) is the one place where children with special needs can experience the therapeutic benefits of equine movement, a unique sensory gym and the compassionate support of skilled, certified therapists. DST is dedicated to one goal: delivering transformational outcomes for every child.

Fordland Clinic – Tri-Lakes Community Health Center
Fordland Clinic and Tri-Lakes Community Health Center offer family practice, dental and mental health services with a focus on prevention. We have a variety of providers to meet our patients’ needs – doctors and nurse practitioners, along with dentists, dental hygienists, and social workers.

The H.O.P.E. Foundation
HOPE Foundation provides financial and emotional support to families whose children are battling pediatric emergencies. Through fundraisers and the generous donations of our supporters we are able to provide financial assistance to families in 22 counties in southwest Missouri.

Legal Services of Southern Missouri (LSSM) (main) (guardianship info) (Medicaid info)
Legal Services of Southern Missouri (LSSM) is a private, not-for-profit corporation created by an Act of Congress to ensure low-income people have equal access to the courts nationwide.

Music Therapy of the Ozarks
Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

Shriner’s Dads
Committed to providing the best care for children in specialty areas of OrthopaedicsBurn CareSpinal Cord Injury, and Cleft Lip and Palate, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

Southwest Center for Independent Living (SCIL)
Social Club in Branson meets monthly, 4th Thursday, contact
SCIL offers choices and empowerment for people with disabilities to live independently in the community in the least restrictive environment. By providing home and community based supports, programs and services that allow people with disabilities to choose how and where they live, they believe the community will become more diverse and inclusive while improving the quality of life of all consumers.

Special Olympics Missouri
Promoting acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities through year-round sports.

White River Valley Electric Foundation

Developmental Center of the Ozarks
Through the services that DCO provides, lives are being changed. Babies are able to start early intervention therapy as early as birth. Therapy can be provided in the most natural setting for the individual – home, day care, etc. Parents can send their children to a day care that is fully inclusive – some have special needs, others do not. Adults with disabilities can spend time with other adults doing activities such as dancing and drawing, take classes on subjects such as photography or science, or they can even pursue employment and receive the necessary training.

Children and Youth with special health care needs program
The CYSHCN Program provides assistance statewide for children and youth with special health care needs from birth to age 21. The program focuses on early identification and service coordination for children and youth who meet medical eligibility guidelines. As payer of last resort, the program provides limited funding for medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services for children whose families also meet financial eligibility guidelines.

Special Health Care Needs
1414 W. Elfindale, Springfield MO 65807

Springfield Regional Office

LinkAbility Inc.
Providing Case Management for people with developmental disabilities. Case Managers assist eligible individuals in accessing the services they need, like Autism services, respite care, crisis intervention, self-directed services, and Medicaid Home & Community Based Waiver programs.

Vocational Rehabilitation Office – South
If you want to work but have a disability that keeps you from finding, keeping or advancing in a job, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) may be able to help you. VR specializes in employment and training services that can assist you in becoming employed. A VR counselor will determine your eligibility for services. To be eligible, you need to have a physical or mental impairment that causes problems with working and need VR services to be successfully employed. Once eligible, you will work with a counselor who will help you develop a plan for your rehabilitation. We will give you vocational information and guidance allowing you to make informed choices about your vocational plan.

Burrell Autism Center
1300 Bradford Parkway Springfield, MO 65804 ~ Phone: 417.761.5000 ~ TTY: 417.761.5002    Email:
The staff at the Burrell Autism Center is committed to:
• Recognizing and helping further develop the strengths in each individual child.
• Identifying the barriers that may prevent the child from reaching their highest potential.
• Bringing together the necessary resources to assist the child, family and community in moving beyond those barriers.

How to make flying with disabilities less stressful:

Red Cross Special Needs Emergency Preparedness

Midwest Special Needs Trust
Providing grants to families.  Must meet a family household salary requirement which is listed on the website and the funds need to go directly to the 3rd party (i.e. doctor, equipment provider, etc.).

Cerebral Palsy Group
Cerebral Palsy Group is an online resource for anyone who has been affected by cerebral palsy, birth injuries, or brain injuries.
Information about becoming a teacher, as well as great resources for parents.

Disability Benefits Center
Information on how children can qualify for Social Security Disability.

Rental Housing Rights for Disabled Tenants
Information on Fair Housing.

Stair Lift Information
Information on stair lifts.

Consumer Safety Guide
Information to keep you informed about dangers and safety issues associated with products currently on the market that can cause harm.

Guide to Paying For College with Disabilities
There are plenty of resources for those who need help to apply and pay for it.  This guide, designed to work with assistive technology, can help find these resources. Aspiring students with disabilities can use our table of contents to find the best scholarships for them. At the bottom of the page, we also list some tips on how to get federal and private aid.

Cerebral Palsy Guide
Cerebral Palsy Guide is a national support organization dedicated to educating individuals and families about cerebral palsy. We strive to provide answers and guidance to ensure that families receive the assistance that they need to help improve their overall quality of life.

Help Advisor
A centralized guide on Medicaid.