Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

inclusion. integration. independence.

Join the

Goals &

Work Plan


Arkansas Developmental Disabilities Network

Disability Rights Arkansas

Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

Partners for Inclusive Communities

Disability Rights Arkansas (DRA) is the independent, private, nonprofit organization designated by the Governor of Arkansas to implement the federally funded and authorized Protection and Advocacy systems throughout the state. DRA services include information and referral, short-term assistance, technical assistance, legal representation, systemic advocacy, monitoring, and training. DRA services are provided free-of-charge. DRA is independent from state and local government. Through the leadership of its Governing Board and Advisory Councils, DRA staff provides services to children and adults with disabilities throughout Arkansas. DRA is a member of the National Disability Rights Network.

400 West Capitol Ave, Suite 1200
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

Tom Masseau, Executive Director

Toll Free: 800-482-1174
Phone: 501-296-1775
Fax: 501-296-1779

Partners for Inclusive Communities (Partners) is Arkansas’ University Center on Disabilities. Administratively located within the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions. Partners is a member of the nationwide Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

10809 Executive Center Drive
Searcy Building, Suite 316
Little Rock, AR  72211

Karan B. Burnette, Director

800-342-2923 (V)
501-682-5678 (TTY)
501-682-5423 (Fax)

Are you a parent of a child with intellectual or developmental disabilities or a person with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) in Arkansas? Do you need services and supports and are not currently receiving services and supports? The DDS Intake and Referral Unit is the best place to start. Call the helpline at 501-683-5687

or complete this form

Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) 

DDS helps ensure Arkansans with developmental disabilities and delays get access to services to help them learn and thrive.

For Children with IDD          For Adults with IDD

Arkansas Adaptive/Assistive Technology

Increasing Capabilities Access Network (iCAN)

Assistive Technology is a broad term that refers to any piece of equipment or device that helps an individual to complete a task and to do so as safely and independently as possible.  iCAN is connecting Arkansans with the technology they need to help them learn, work, communicate and live more independently.

900 W 7th Street
Little Rock, AR 72201

Phone 501-666-8868
Toll Free 800-828-2799
Fax 501-666-5319


Arkansas Autism Resource & Outreach Center (AAROC)

The mission of the AAROC is to provide Hope, Direction & Support to families of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. For more information about AAROC:
call (501) 454-8542 or email . You can download a booklet about AAROC at

Arkansas Department of Human Services, Developmental Disability Services Autism Resources

Arkansas Autism Foundation (AAF)

AAF helps individuals and families with autism across their lifespan and provides autism-friendly events and relevant workshops and training opportunities.

11610 Pleasant Ridge Road
Suite 103, #112
Little Rock, AR 72223

(501) 951-0115

Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is there to help individuals and families connect to the resources and the services they need and deserve!  Their Resource Guide is just the right navigation tool to help you find the answers to the many questions you may have about disabilities and services available in your community. Just follow the links for more in-depth information on a variety of topics.

UCP Arkansas
9720 North Rodney Parham Rd | Little Rock, AR
UCP Arkansas serves people with other disabilities too, not just people with cerebral palsy.

Community Living

Living in the Community / Home and Community Based Services

All people, regardless of age or disability, should be able to live independently and participate fully in their communities. This includes the right to receive supports and services in their own community. This also includes the right for a person with disabilities to move into, or remain in, their own home or their family home, and still receive the services they need to live their best life.

Why community living? Find out more on this page from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living:

What are home and community based services? Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) are types of person-centered care delivered in the home and community. A variety of health and human services can be provided. HCBS programs address the needs of people with functional limitations who need assistance with everyday activities, like getting dressed or bathing. HCBS are often designed to enable people to stay in their homes, rather than moving to a facility for care. HCBS programs generally fall into two categories: health services and human services. HCBS programs may offer a combination of both types of services and do not necessarily offer all services from either category. Find out more about these services using the links below.

Down Syndrome

Arkansas Down Syndrome Association (ADSA) 

ADSA is dedicated to advocating for healthy, inclusive, and productive lives for people with Down syndrome (DS).

PO Box 55675
Little Rock, Arkansas 72215
501-223-DOWN (3696)

Resources Page

New Parent DS Resources

GiGi’s Playhouse

GiGi’s was created to change the way the world views a Down syndrome diagnosis and send a global message of acceptance for all. It is a place for Arkansans with Down Syndrome to develop independence and push boundaries.

GiGi’s Playhouse Little Rock
301 N Shackleford Suite D2
Little Rock, AR 72211
(501) 246-5654

Down Syndrome Connection of Northwest Arkansas (DSCNWA)

DSCNWA works to facilitate inclusion and respect for individuals with Down syndrome within the Northwest Arkansas Community, ensuring that they have access to the support and the resources necessary to reach their full potential at all stages of life.

Down Syndrome Connection of Northwest Arkansas
Center for Nonprofits at St. Mary’s
1200 W. Walnut St. Suite 1424
Rogers, AR 72756
Contact Us: 479-282-3639


Local Education Agencies (LEAs) = School Districts / Inclusive Elementary and Secondary (High School) Education

Arkansas Department of Education, Division of Elementary & Secondary Education, Division of Learning Services, Special Education Unit

The Special Education Unit in the Division of Learning Services collaborates with local school districts, educational service cooperatives, and other state agencies to ensure that all children with disabilities (ages 3 to 21) in Arkansas receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The Special Education Unit is committed to improving educational results for students with disabilities through statewide leadership, support, and service to schools, educators, students, families, and other stakeholders.

Family Guide to Special Education in Arkansas v2019


Transition planning is a process to help students with disabilities decide what they want to do after high school. It also helps them figure out how to get there. The purpose is to help teens prepare to be independent young adults. Transition planning should start in late elementary school to middle school, by the age of 12-14 years old so that the student has the best chance to succeed.

Arkansas Transition Services serves all 75 counties in Arkansas in an effort to improve transition outcomes for students with disabilities. Their mission is to effectively assist students with disabilities, educators, parents, agency personnel and community members in preparing students to transition from school to adult life and reach positive post-school outcomes.

Other Transition Resources

National Parent Center on Transition and Employment (from PACER)

PACER is the Minnesota Parent Training and Information Center, however, its work affects and encourages families not just in Minnesota, but also across the nation.

Middle & High School Transition Planning  (from PACER)

Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Career Development Services – Pre-Employment Transition Services

Transition Exploration and Mentoring Program – Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in the trades or healthcare?  How much money can you make? What skills are necessary?  How can you grow in the field and much more?  Through ACDC’s Exploration and Mentoring Program, you decide which to explore.

Institutes of Higer Education (IHEs) = Inclusive Post-secondary Education / Universities and Colleges, Trade and Vocational Schools

Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities can and do attend college, university, trade and /or vocational schools. Students with IDD have substantial, protected rights to continue their education. However, there are several significant differences in the rights and responsibilities of individuals with disabilities who are college bound compared to those of elementary and secondary school students. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandate equal access to postsecondary institutions for students with disabilities. This includes public universities, vocational schools, community colleges, and private institutions. Almost all institutions are affected by either the ADA or Section 504.

Think College provides resources, technical assistance and training related to college options for students with intellectual disability, and manages the only national listing of college programs for students with intellectual disability in the United States.

Inclusive College/University Search Choose state to search.

Arkansas Inclusive College/University Search Displays 5 options in Arkansas (as of 10/28/2022)

Think College is a national initiative dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving research and practice in inclusive higher education for students with intellectual disability. It is based at the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston.

College Bound Arkansas is a camp for high school juniors, seniors, or current graduates with disabilities who are considering college or university. The camp is sponsored by Arkansas Transition Services and the University of Central Arkansas.


Check out our resource page all about Competitive, Integrated Employment

ThinkWork! ThinkWork is the hub for an array of programs related to employment for people with IDD.

Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Career Development Services

Vocational Training – Want to work? Train for positions needed by Arkansas employers! Training is the first step toward a satisfying work experience and advancement opportunities.

Facility Based Living, Supports and Services

Facility based services are when medical and support professionals help with daily living tasks in a facility designed to provide long term supports and services (LTSS) to patients who live in a facility (not in a person’s own home or family home). Services are provided by onsite caregivers who work at the facility. The caregivers are professional medical staff who work at or visit the facility.

Some examples of facility-based care are: 
Adult family homes (Group Homes): offer home-like environments with small numbers of residents.
Assisted living centers: help residents with daily activities, like bathing and grooming, but allow them to be fairly independent.
Intermediate Care Facilities: offer 24 hour residential care.
Nursing homes: provide constant medical supervision to residents.

Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division Of Developmental Disabilities Services operates 5 residential, institutional care facilities across the state. They are called Human Development Centers, or Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF). These facilities provide 24-hour care to Arkansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

 Independent Living

What is Independent Living? Independent living can be considered a movement, a philosophy, or specific programs. What are Centers for Independent Living? Designed and operated by individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) provide independent living services for people with disabilities. 

Arkansas State Independent Living Council

The Arkansas State Independent Living Council (ARSILC) is a non-profit organization promoting independent living for people with disabilities. The ARSILC has a Board of Directors comprised of Governor appointed Arkansans, the majority with disabilities. ARSILC is an education, advocacy, and referral agency that works to provide information to the public throughout the state about the Independent Living Philosophy, civil rights, technology and services.

10 Corporate Hill Drive, Suite 240
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205

Dr. Fransha ‘Sha’ Anderson, Executive Director

Office Phone 501-372-0607
Toll Free Phone: 800-772-0607
Fax 501-372-0598

The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living

The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) is a national grassroots, nonprofit membership organization consisting of over 260 members from centers for independent living, their satellites and branch offices, statewide independent living councils, other organizations and individuals concerned with the independent living issues of people with disabilities living in rural America.

Position Vacant, Executive Director 

Dan Kessler, Interim Executive Director

11324 Arcade Drive, Suite 9
Little Rock, AR  72212
Call 501-753-3400
Fax 501-753-3406

Legal Aid Resources

Legal Aid of Arkansas
9 Locations Across Arkansas

Center for Arkansas Legal Services
8 Locations Across Arkansas
(501) 376-3423

Disability Rights Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Toll Free: 800.482.1174
Phone: 501.296.1775
Fax: 501.296.1779

Parent Training, Information and Community Resource Centers in Arkansas

The national Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) is made possible through funding from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education. OSEP supports the Parent Center network and the role that Parent Centers play in educating parents and improving outcomes for children with disabilities across our country. There are nearly 100 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) in the US and Territories.

Arkansas Parent Training and Information Centers

Purpose:  The purpose of the parent training and information center is to ensure that parents of children with disabilities receive training and information to help improve educational results for their children. The following web site provides further information on the work of currently funded PTIs:

The Center for Exceptional Families
Headquartered in Jonesboro, AR

Shelby Knight, Executive Director

(870) 336-3012

Serving families statewide through Regional Parent Mentors. Find your region’s parent mentor here:

Arkansas Community Parent Resource Centers

These centers are designed to meet the specific needs of parents who experience significant isolation from available sources of information and support in the geographically defined communities served. These parents include low-income parents, parents of limited English proficient children, and parents with disabilities.

Northwest Arkansas Community Parent Resource Center
aka ASN Family Support Office

614 E. Emma, Suite 219
Springdale, AR, 72764

The Community Parent Resource Center is a program of Arkansas Support Network‘s Children and Family Services division, Family Support Program.

Isis Trautman, Director of Children and Family Services is now

(479) 927-4100 or (479) 927-1194

Serving Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington Counties

Person-Centered Planning (What does a good life look like for you?)

Person-centered planning is a planning process that is directed by the person who receives the support. Below are some links to information and tools for person-centered planning.

US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Person-centered Planning Information

Charting the LifeCourse is a person-centered planning system that can be used by people with disabilities and their families or support persons to plan their best life. Find out more and download free planning tools at the link below. LifeCourse Person Centered tools are FREE, flexible and can be used by anyone. Get started on exploring or planning your “Good Life” now!


Respite (RESS’-pit): Respite is temporary or short break for caregivers and care recipients through planned or emergency services. This provides scheduled time apart, which results in some measurable improvement in the well-being of the caregiver, care receiver, and/or family system. Everyone needs a break sometimes.

You can find information about respite from the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Program.

Respite Search Locator (Registry)

If you have additional questions about the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Search Locator, please contact the Choices in Living Resource Center at 1-866-801-3435 or by email at

Free Online Respite Care Provider Training

Visit this Department of Human Services webpage to register and access free training courses. The DHS Division of Provider Services and Quality Assurance (DPSQA), in partnership with the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Coalition, created customized training modules specific to Arkansas law, regulations and programs.

The certification course contains one introductory course and ten respite specific skill courses. Courses are self-paced and free of charge. Interested individuals will create a login ID and password to the training system to gain access. Upon completion of the training, trainees will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the availability to place themselves and the respite services they choose to provide on the Arkansas Lifespan Respite Search Locator for caregivers searching and seeking available respite opportunities.

Spina Bifida

The mission of the Spina Bifida Association is to build a better and brighter future for all those impacted by Spina Bifida.

Arkansas Information

Telecommunications Access / Telecom Company Disability Services

Most telecommunications (telecom) companies have programs to support people with disabilities.  Registering with your telecom company as an individual with disabilities may put you on a priority repair list. If you call for support, be sure to tell the person you are speaking with about your functional limitations and/or access needs. The more you share, the better they can support you!


Accessibility Plans & Supports

Wireless customers can contact AT&T’s National Center for Customers with Disabilities (NCCD) to get answers to questions regarding equipment, accessories, features and services. Want to learn more about accessibility plans? The NCCD is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

AT&T Support Options for People with Disabilities webpage

Voice Calls 866-241-6568
TTY Calls 866-241-6567

AT&T Wireless does offer Free 411 (directory assistance) to customers who qualify for the service. To learn more, call 866-241-6568.

Wireline/Landline (or LAN) customers can contact AT&T’s Disability and Aging Center for help, including answers to questions about account and information on discounts for directory assistance or local toll calls. Contact the Disability and Aging Center from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Call 800-772-3140


Accessibility Support Center for Customers with Disabilities

Xfinity Customers who rely on accessibility services – including Closed Captioning, video description and voice guidance – now have direct access to a specially trained customer support team via Comcast’s Accessibility Support Center for Customers with Disabilities, dedicated to resolving issues of importance to our customers with disabilities. Customers can reach the center between the hours of 8:00 AM and 12:00 AM ET, seven days a week.

Call 855-270-0379


Verizon Wireless National Accessibility Customer Service Center

The Verizon Wireless National Accessibility Customer Service is a team with trained staff to support wireless customers with disabilities. They can be reached Mon – Fri, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM EST.

For Wireless Customers
Call 1-888-262-1999

Verizon Wireless does offer Free 411 (directory assistance) to customers who qualify for the service. To learn more, call 855-270-0379 and/or visit the Free 411 resource page.

Verizon Center for Customers with Disabilities (for Traditional Phone Customers)

The Verizon Center for Customers with Disabilities is a team with trained staff to support wireline/landline customers with disabilities (Fios Fiber-optic network & Traditional Phone Customers). They can be reached Monday – Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST.

For Wireline/Fios Customers
Voice Calls 1-800-974-6006
TTY / Videophone Calls 1-508-251-5301

Arkansas Relay Service

Arkansas Relay Service is a statewide service that connects standard (voice) telephone users with deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, speech-disabled, or late-deafened people who use text telephones (TTYs) or voice carry-over (VCO) phones. This service allows TTY or VCO users to communicate with standard telephone users through specially trained Communication Assistant.

Visit the Arkansas Relay website

Find Arkansas Relay Toll Free Numbers and Customer Support Information here

Arkansas Relay provides services at no cost that enables people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind to place and receive phone calls. Relay calls can be made to anyone, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Relay operators are specially trained to facilitate the calls. All calls are completely confidential.

There are many types of relay services available through Arkansas Relay Service:

  • TTY (text telephone) Relay
  • Standard Phone User
  • Voice Carry-Over
  • TeleBraille Relay
  • Hearing Carry-Over
  • Speech-to-Speech
  • CapTel
  • IP Relay
  • International Relay

Contact the Arkansas Relay Team:
501-238-3698 (Voice)
800-676-3777 (TTY)

711 for TTY-Based Telecommunications Relay Service

TTY-based Telecommunications Relay Services permit persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system via a text telephone (TTY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities.

To make using TRS as simple as possible, you can dial 711 to be automatically connected to a TRS communications assistant. It’s fast, functional and free. Dialing 711, both voice and TTY-based TRS users can initiate a call from any telephone, anywhere in the United States, without having to remember and dial a ten-digit access number.

Other Resource Links

More Coming Soon.  We are adding links all the time, if you would like to have your organization/resource listed, please call the Council office at 501-682-4431.