Resources

In order to be successful, you need to have the right resources.  Below are several pages with information and links to help you find the resources you need.  If you have any questions about the resources you see listed or want any further information on Disability Resource Network services, please give us a call at 256-403-0033.

General Resources

Financial Services


Need help managing your finances or want more information about budgeting? This page is where you need to be! United Way of Madison County UWMC has several programs to help individuals gain financial stability. Programs can help you save for college, understand purchasing a home, learn to budget, and understand your credit. Depending on your income, UWMCalso offers free help with taxes. For more information, visit UWMC. *FREE TAX HELP: United Way works closely with the Internal Revenue Service and other partners to provide free income tax preparation to individuals earning $53,000 or less. Tax returns are prepared by IRS Certified Preparers and are filed on-line through secure IRS systems. United Way’s new Drop Off Services provide a convenient way for working individuals to get their taxes done around their schedules. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau The CFPB is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. Learn more at CFPB. Southern Disability Foundation The Foundation’s Mission is to allow individuals with disabilities and their family members, guardians, advocates, and authorized representatives to acquire and purchase assistive technology devices and services through the establishment and administration of Alabama’s Assistive Technology Alternative Financing Program. Alabama’s Alternative Finance Program for individuals with disabilities and their families allows applicants to borrow money at low interest or extended terms for the purchase of assistive technology, adaptive equipment and related services. Alternative financing needs may include but will not be limited to a means of paying for devices not covered by public programs, of providing a loan sooner than other public programs, and/or of having another funding source available. Learn more by calling 1-800-782-7656, email kate.wallace@rehab.alabama.gov, or visit their website at Southern Disability Foundation. Subsidized Housing Search Engine HUD multi-family subsidized housing search engine allows users to search available housing options in their area. Click HERE to reach the HUD search engine, or click HERE to reach the USDA Rural Rental search engine. Home Modifications & Tax Deductions (IRS Publication 502) Certain improvements made to your home to accommodate your disability, or that of your spouse or your dependents who live with you, don’t usually increase the value of the home and the cost can be included in full as medical expenses. These improvements include, but aren’t limited to, the following items.

  • Constructing entrance or exit ramps for your home.
  • Widening doorways at entrances or exits to your home.
  • Widening or otherwise modifying hallways and interior doorways.
  • Installing railings, support bars, or other modifications to bathrooms.
  • Lowering or modifying kitchen cabinets and equipment.
  • Moving or modifying electrical outlets and fixtures.
  • Installing porch lifts and other forms of lifts (but elevators generally add value to the house).
  • Modifying fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other warning systems.
  • Modifying stairways.
  • Adding handrails or grab bars anywhere (whether or not in bathrooms).
  • Modifying hardware on doors.
  • Modifying areas in front of entrance and exit doorways.
  • Grading the ground to provide access to the residence.
Only reasonable costs to accommodate a home to a disabled condition are considered medical care. Additional costs for personal motives, such as for architectural or aesthetic reasons, aren’t medical expenses. Basic Budgeting Tips
  • Save money each month by collecting you loose change. Simply tape the lid of an empty 2-liter bottle or milk jug and cut a whole in it. Each day, drop your loose change in the jug. At the end of the month or year, take the change to the bank. Instant savings without much effort!
  • Coupons are a GREAT way to save some money each month! If you live in St. Clair County, you can join our FREE Coupon Class! Each month, the class cuts coupons, learns how to use coupons, and reviews store policies related to coupons. Check out our calendar for the next meeting!
  • Spring Cleaning time!! As you clean out your house, look for items you might could sell, recycle, or donate. Consider having a yard sale or listing your items online. Put any money you make into a saving account. If you donate items, be sure to get a tax receipt. Let that JUNK work for you!
  • Be sure to shop around for the best prices. Many stores offer price matches. Check around before purchasing big ticket items. Ask about warranties or guarantees when purchasing large items or appliances. Make sure you know how your investment is protected.
  • Track your expenses for one month to see where you spend your money. You might be surprised at how those biscuits, coffees, or cokes add up! Take a look at the expenses at the end of the month and see where you might be able to save a little more!!




Healthcare Services


The Alabama Medicaid Agency, which began operations on January 1, 1970, is a state/federal program that pays for medical and long-term care services for low-income pregnant women, children, certain people on Medicare, disabled individuals and nursing home residents. The individuals must meet certain income and other requirements. Help with Prescription Drugs: NeedyMeds is a national non-profit organization that maintains a website of free information on programs that help people who cannot afford medications and healthcare costs. More than 1.3 million patients, family members, healthcare professionals, social workers, and patient advocates use NeedMeds each year. They also publish information about resources for specific diseases. Their phone number is 978-281-6666. The Kaiser Family Foundation has developed a tool that illustrates health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in new health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Beginning in October 2013, middle-income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can apply for tax credit subsidies available through state-based exchanges. Additionally, states have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all people making up to 138% of the federal poverty level (which is about $33,000 for a family of four). In states that opt out of expanding Medicaid, some people making below this amount will still be eligible for Medicaid, some will be eligible for subsidized coverage through Marketplaces, and others will not be eligible for subsidies. (The state of Alabama has elected not to expand their Medicaid program) With this calculator, you can enter different income levels, ages, and family sizes to get an estimate of your eligibility for subsidies and how much you could spend on health insurance. As premiums and eligibility requirements may vary, contact your state’s Medicaid office or exchange with enrollment questions. The Vision of Family Voices of Alabama is that every child and youth with a disability receives family-centered care. The resource link has a Healthcare Notebook that helps both individuals with disabilities & their health care providers. It is a great tool that has been provided to some clinics at Children’s. The mission of Family Voices of Alabama (FV of AL) aims to achieve family-centered care for all children and youth with disabilities. Through our national network, 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. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Are you or someone you know living with a mental illness? NAMI can help! Their website is full of resources and support groups for you or your loved one.




Home & Community Services


Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver Services are available to eligible Medicaid recipients who are at risk of needing care in a nursing home, hospital or other institutional setting. Clients must meet financial, medical, and program requirements and must be willing to receive services in their homes or community. Gateway to Community Living will provide services to individuals with disabilities or long term illnesses who currently live in a nursing facility and who desire to transition to the home and community setting. The waiver is operated by the Alabama Medicaid Agency. For more information call Ginger Wettingfeld, 1-800-362-1504 or e-mail ginger.wettingfeld@medicaid.alabama.gov Nursing Home Transition Tip Sheet. Moving out of a nursing home and back into the community can be difficult. The purpose of this Tip Sheet is to share with you suggestions for steps you can take to make your move go as smoothly as possible. These recommendations come directly from people who have already transitioned so you can learn from their experiences.
This Tip Sheet is designed to be used along with a checklist that takes you step by step through what you can do before, during and after your move in order to make your transition a success. The checklist is included with permission of the Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) and IL-NET. HUD Multi-family Subsidized Housing Rental Search Engine helps you locate subsidized housing in your area. How To Guide for State and Local Advocates: This How To Guide is intended to equip state and local advocates with information and tools to advocate for improvements to nursing home transitions. The recommendations found in the Quality Care, No Matter Where: Successful Nursing Home Transitions Report are elaborated on and examples are provided within this guide. Quality Care, No Matter Where: Successful Nursing Home Transitions Report: This report examines nursing home transitions nationwide and how they can be improved from the perspective of both the individuals who had moved back into the community and the programs that assist them. The findings from interviews and surveys with these individuals are presented, along with policy recommendations for making the transition process go more smoothly for consumers from beginning to end. Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) are part of a national initiative put in place by the Administration for Community Living to provide access to information and assistance for older adults, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers. The ADRC acts as a no wrong door for those needing assistance by providing benefits screening, education and options counseling on long term care services and supports. It is also an entry point for professionals, caregivers, and family members to seek resources and assistance on behalf of their clients, friends or family members. All callers are screened for assistance utilizing a universal screening tool that prevents the caller from having to give the information numerous times. Referrals are made on behalf of the individual needing assistance and follow-up is provided for quality assurance. The ADRC will offer extended assistance to those who choose an advocate to assist with application for services and benefits. ADSS strives to support individuals with the tools they need to make informed decisions and maintain their independence in the community of their choice. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) at 1-800-AGE-LINE (1-800-243-5463).




Educational Services (IEP/504)


Does your child have an IEP or 504? Here are some great resources that might help you prepare for the meeting. Our peer support staff is also available to help answer questions and help you advocate for yourself or your child. Alabama Parent Education Center The Alabama Parent Education Center (APEC) is a non-profit organized by parents, educators, and professionals serving families formed to provide parents with training and information to help them become meaningful participants in their children’s education. Visit APEC. Information Chart IEP Information Chart is an information chart you might find helpful. It was prepared by the Alabama Parent Education Center (APEC). The chart can help both you and the school staff prepare for an IEP or 504 meeting. Transition planning for youth is key to helping our youth reach their maximum potential. Alabama School Connection A great site that keeps many informed about educational matters and it is not biased. It is a great resource at this time to stay in the knowing.




Alabama Centers for Independent Living


For a map of CIL service areas visit www.drradvocates.org/contact: Disability Rights & Resources, Birmingham (205) 251-2223 www.drradvocates.org Independent Rights & Resources, Montgomery (334) 240-2520 www.independentrandr.org Disability Resource Network, Huntsville (256) 403-0033 www.drn256.org Mobile Independent Living Center, Mobile (251) 460-0301 http://ilcmobile.org/