Steering Committee Organizations


ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom. To learn more visit ADAPT's website at

American Association of People with Disabilities

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the country's largest cross-disability membership organization, organizes the disability community to be a powerful force for change – politically, economically, and socially.  AAPD was founded in 1995 to help unite the diverse community of people with disabilities, including their family, friends and supporters, and to be a national voice for change in implementing the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To learn more, visit the AAPD website at

American Council of the Blind

Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living

The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) is a national grass roots, consumer controlled, nonprofit membership organization consisting of 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.

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement in the world of autism. Drawing on the principles of the cross-disability community, ASAN seeks to organize the community of Autistic adults and youth to have our voices heard in the national conversation about us.  ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which Autistic people enjoy the same access, rights, and opportunities as all other citizens. We hope to empower Autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community. Nothing About Us, Without Us!

Hearing Loss Association of America

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation’s leading grassroots organization representing the 36 million people with hearing loss.  The HLAA mission is to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy, and support. HLAA impacts accessibility, public policy, research, public awareness, and service delivery related to hearing loss on a national and local level. HLAA’s national support network includes 200 local chapters nationwide and 14 state organizations. HLAA provides information to consumers, family members, policy makers, health and business professionals through, Hearing Loss Magazine, HLAA ENews, and annual conventions.

Little People of America

LPA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with dwarfism throughout their lives while celebrating with great pride Little People's contribution to social diversity.  LPA strives to bring solutions and global awareness to the prominent issues affecting individuals of short stature and their families.

National Association of the Deaf

National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery

The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery ensures that consumer/survivors have a major voice in the development and implementation of health care, mental health, and social policies at the state and national levels, empowering people to recover and lead a full life in the community.  Mental health consumers/survivors are leading the transformation of the mental health field through our authentic voice and vision for self-directed recovery. Our vision of recovery goes far beyond treatment, because it is about all the elements that go into good lives–housing, education, jobs, social relationships, and full participation in the community.

National Council on Independent Living

The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities. Founded in 1982, NCIL represents thousands of organizations and individuals including: Centers for Independent Living (CILs), Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILCs), individuals with disabilities, and other organizations that advocate for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.  As a membership organization, NCIL advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities through consumer-driven advocacy.  NCIL envisions a world in which people with disabilities are valued equally and participate fully.

National Federation of the Blind

With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.

National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities

NOND is an all volunteer organization welcoming anyone who would like to join in their mission of being the voice of disability in nursing.

Not Dead Yet

Not Dead Yet (NDY) is a national grassroots organization of people with disabilities formed in 1996. Not Dead Yet’s mission is to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities by advocating against legalization of physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, and other forms of medically or socially sanctioned killing of people with disabilities. NDY brings a disability rights perspective to the public debates around euthanasia and assisted suicide, arguing against policies that are based on the assumption that the lives of people with disabilities have less value than the lives of others. In recent years, Not Dead Yet has also taken a leading role in opposing “futility” policies that empower doctors and hospitals to deny treatment to severely ill people against the express wishes of their families, advance directives or even their own current clearly expressed wishes.

Self Advocates Becoming Empowered

United Spinal Association

United Spinal Association is a national nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans who pioneered the disability rights movement.  Our mission is to improve the quality of life of all Americans living with spinal cord injuries and disorders, including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), and post polio.  The core belief of United Spinal is that, despite living with a disability or mobility impairment, a full, pro-active, and rewarding life is not only possible, it is within the reach of anyone with the strength to believe it and the courage to make it happen. For over 60 years, we have been an active voice in the disability community and a leading provider of outstanding programs and services for individuals with disabilities.

Steering Committee membership and activities are conducted under agreed Operating Guidelines.  National disability run organizations may apply to become members of the NDLA Steering Committee by submitting an Application to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .