When it comes to working with, advocating for or learning about disabilities there is both too much and too little information. For all the information that is available at your fingertips, the mass amounts of websites can be overwhelming. What is even harder than diving into site after site? The answer is figuring out who to connect to and who will have the right information for your needs. For this reason, PATH has put together the best sites to follow about disability.
PATH Employment Services – www.pathemployment.com
First and foremost, PATH is a specialized employment service that focuses on helping people who face barriers find and keep jobs. What this means for you is that if you are looking for work, trained employment coordinators will sit down with you and find out exactly what your abilities and interests are. From there, employment coordinators connect you to employers that are inclusive, accommodating and most importantly, fit your interests.
PATH’s website is easy to use and has tons of useful information about looking for a job if you have a disability. If you are looking for a job, PATH is the site to stay connected to.
JAN (Job Accommodation Network) – https://askjan.org/
JAN is a great site for two reasons. First, it gives employers out there a better understanding of what accommodations can be made in the workplace to help people with disabilities. On the flip side of that, it helps people looking for work bring ideas to the table that might help them be more efficient employees. Secondly, JAN can be a great all around research for publications, it has a large database and the site is accessible.
The only downside is that it is an American focused organization so some of the legal references, like the Americans with Disabilities Act, don’t always align with Canadian law. That said a lot of the information the site gives on accommodations definitely makes it worthwhile to check out.
ODSP: Employment Supports – http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/odsp/employment_support/
It’s always touch to put government websites on a featured list because 1. A lot of people with disabilities get directed here already; 2. Government websites can be difficult to navigate. However, as a lot of people with disabilities in Ontario receive ODSP, it makes sense to get the information right from the source.
A major positive of this website is that it breaks some of the myths about working while on ODSP. It also features interesting videos and is an easy to use website. Just know going into the site that it does give a lot of information so take each page slowly; it really does have great information about working while receiving ODSP.
Top Pick for Ontario Law:
Again, here is another government website on the list but for very good reason. When it comes to the law and disability, it is best to get the information from the original source and not secondhand postings. AccessON goes through information on Employment, Communications, Transportation and Public Space Design.
As with the last recommendation, AccessON also comes with a disclaimer. It can be a little overwhelming to navigate. It is designed for if you have a specific question, you can find the answer, so keep that in mind when going through the site. However, if you’re a policy buff, this is a great site to go through all of the nitty-gritty when it comes to accessibility policy.
Top Picks for Support and Information:
Scope – http://www.scope.org.uk/
Scope is an amazing UK organization. Enough cannot be said about how much easy-to-access information there is on the site.
Two things make Scope stand. First, the online community is a great way to become connected with people all over the world. Conversations range from education to information for parents and everything in between.
Second, the videos that Scope produces are amazing. The organization is not afraid to discuss topics that matter in the disability community but are often overlooked by other websites. That and the videos are as entertaining as they are informative.
Scope’s site and YouTube page cannot be more recommended. If you are going to pick one site to follow besides PATH, Scope should be considered. However, as with JAN, it is not a Canadian based organization so keep that in mind when reading about accessibility and disability laws.
Disability Horizons – http://disabilityhorizons.com/
Disability Horizons is a great all around mix of disability focused news on employment, politics, lifestyle and travel. If you are just looking to browse through entertaining information, Disability Horizons is a great place to start.
The information regarding travel is where the site really stands out from the rest as a great source of information. If you are looking to travel with a disability, definitely check out to see if there is a write up from Disability Horizons first. From Ibiza to Barcelona to general top travel tips, there are great and informative write ups. As well, every article on the site has an audible feature which is a great way to tackle the tips.
Disability Scoop – http://www.disabilityscoop.com/
Disability Scoop is a huge source of information for all developmental disabilities. With a particular focus on Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and other Intellectual Disabilities, Disability Scoop is really a one stop shop for development disability news.
What really stands out and got a recommendation are the featured hot topics on the site. Guardianship, wandering prevention, housing and special ed training are all topics that many parents and people living with a disability look for and they are front and centre on the website.
Great information paired with a wide scope of news coverage makes Disability Scoop an easy to recommend site to visit.
Top Blogs about Disability:
TD (The Disability Network) – http://disabilitynetwork.ca/185/100/1721/TDN-blog
BBC Ouch Blog – http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs/ouch
Overall, TDN and Ouch are great general information websites and could easily be recommended under the information and support category. What really makes them stand out though are the blogs of each site.
TDN is a Canadian website that entertainingly covers a lot of different categories. It is a relatively new blog compared to some of the other sites on this list but that shouldn’t hold you back from checking out the site. The Close-Up features are great and would get TDN a recommendation alone. The Close-Up features in combination with all of the other posts make this a great site to follow.
BBC’s Ouch is one of the best sources on the internet right now for disability stories. Between the blog posts and monthly radio talk show, it is easy to understand why the journalist team of Emma Tracy and Damon Rose has won awards. The blog is a great source of entertaining takes on news stories with a disability perspective. You will definitely find yourself reading article after article after article, every single one just as awesome as the last.
Kelle Hampton – http://kellehampton.com/
Kelle’s website is on this list because of the real and insightful information she provides on being a mother of a daughter with Down Syndrome. The blog posts are written amazingly, the design of the site is beautiful and you can tell within five minutes of being on the site that she actually cares about sharing her experience and knowledge with the world.
Being a parent of a child with a developmental disability is not easy and it helps to know others that are experiencing similar things as you are. That is what makes this site an easy recommendation; it gives a human and emotional element that makes it easy to connect with. Kelle’s posts follow her real journey, she has an amazing source of knowledge and most of all, and the posts are fun to read.
Do you have a favourite site that you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below and we will check it out!