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Indiana Disability Services: Everything You Should Know

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Abby Care
Find help with Indiana disability services. This guide shares important resources for Indiana residents facing challenges.

Indiana disability services are programs that serve as lifelines for families and individuals in the Hoosier state. These services offer support and a helping hand to Indiana residents facing unique challenges and seeking assistance and resources.

Many Indiana residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) often face various barriers and health challenges. But it’s really important to find the right support for your loved one with a disability. Indiana residents with IDD and their families are vital members of the community and deserve access to equal opportunities. 

Helping your loved ones find the right support for their disability promotes their growth, independence, and dignity and enables them to fully participate and contribute as valued members of the community.

Whether you’re a parent seeking support for your loved one or an individual navigating the complexities of healthcare, Indiana’s disability services offer vital support and resources.

Let’s explore these services.

Government Disability Services in Indiana

Indiana provides various government resources to help people with disabilities. These include financial assistance, legal services, and community-based support.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA)

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) is the main state agency providing social services to Indiana residents.

FSSA has different programs for assistance depending on the specific program.

The application process for FSSA programs varies depending on the specific program you or your loved one is seeking to apply for. For example, to access the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), you can apply online, by mail, fax, phone, or in person. 

You can apply for SNAP (Food Assistance) online after checking if you qualify. You can also apply online for Health Coverage, SNAP, and/or Cash Assistance benefits through the Benefits Portal.

Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS)

The Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) is a division of FSSA that helps children and adults with developmental disabilities. The BDDS program covers various aspects of daily life for people with developmental disabilities.

With the help of BDDS services, people of all ages with developmental disabilities can enjoy more independence in their communities rather than having to live in group homes or other institutions.

To apply for BDDS programs, you have a couple of options. You can go online through the BDDS Gateway or use a paper application. If you need assistance, feel free to reach out to your local BDDS office.

Disability Employment Services

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR)

Disability Employment Services are programs and resources designed to help Indiana residents with disabilities find and keep jobs. Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR) is one important program in this service. VR counselors work closely with individuals to help them become more independent at work and in their everyday lives.

With personalized support, VR enables those with disabilities to get ready for and find the right jobs. Beyond employment support, VR offers training so that people with disabilities can keep their jobs.

To get help from VR, you need to live in the state and be allowed to work in the United States. If you get SSI or SSDI because of your disability, you’re usually eligible for VR services if you want to start working. To get VR services, reach out to your local office or call VR services at 800-545-7763.

WorkOne Indiana

Another resource that helps people with disabilities find jobs is WorkOne Indiana. Here’s what WorkOne does:

  • Helps with things like making a resume, preparing for interviews, and applying for jobs.
  • Offers training to help people learn the skills they need for work.
  • Assists with special tools like adjustable desks and large print keyboards to make job search a bit easier for people with disabilities.

Legal Aid and Advocacy Services

Dealing with legal matters can be overwhelming, especially when you have a disability. Thankfully, the Indiana Disability Rights and Indiana Legal Services are two organizations ready to support you in Indiana.

Indiana Disability Rights

Indiana Disability Rights is an organization that advocates for people with disabilities. It offers various services to ensure their rights are protected. These services include legal advocacy, which involves assisting with legal issues like accessibility, discrimination, abuse, and neglect and ensuring their rights are upheld.

Indiana Legal Services

If you need legal assistance related to your disability, Indiana Legal Services has you covered. They offer guidance on disability benefits and rights, and it’s all free to eligible Indiana residents with low income.

To access their services, you can contact them online, by phone, or visit their office. They cover a range of areas, including housing, employment, healthcare, and family matters.

Educational Resources and Support

When it comes to education and support for individuals with disabilities in Indiana, there are two key resources to turn to: the Indiana Department of Education - Special Education and the Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA).

Indiana Department of Education - Special Education

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is a lifeline for students with disabilities through its Special Education programs and resources. Here’s what they offer:

  • Support for Students: They provide crucial support specifically designed to meet the educational needs of students with disabilities. For example, the IDOE ensures schools use universal features, designated features, and accommodations for students with disabilities during statewide assessments. This way, the department makes sure these students have equal access to education.
  • Special Education Programs and Resources: The IDOE also offers a range of programs and resources designed to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities. The IN*SOURCE Special Education Parent Support and Science of Reading Special Educator Training Series are two examples of special education programs for students in Indiana with disabilities.

The IDOE helps families and teachers navigate the special education system, such as ensuring that students with disabilities get what they need in school. They advise on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and ensure that kids have what they need to learn.

Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA)

The Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA) is a real help for people with autism and their families. Besides all the resources and support they offer, IRCA also has training programs and educational materials to help out people across the autism spectrum, no matter their age. 

For example, the IRCA offers a guide from the Organization for Autism Research that helps teachers understand how to teach kids with autism. These evidence-based resources are designed to give the right information and effective support services.

In addition to Indiana disability services, you or your loved one may also benefit from programs like Structured Family Caregiving, Aged and Disabled Waiver, and Attendant Care. These programs offer extra support tailored to the needs of people with disabilities in the state and provide financial and practical help for caregivers.


Indiana disability services are crucial lifelines that make sure those who need help get the support they need to succeed. If you or your loved one has a disability, remember that you’re not alone. 

Reach out to resources like Abby Care for help finding the support you need. Let’s keep striving for a more inclusive and accessible Indiana where everyone has the chance to thrive and contribute fully.


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