Connecticut State Agencies

Board of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB) 

BESB is responsible for the confidential registry of people who are blind in Connecticut and provides, within available resources, comprehensive low vision services, specialized education services, life skills training, case management, and vocational services to individuals of all ages who are legally blind and to children who are visually impaired. The agency provides assistance in acquiring the skills and support services necessary to be independent.

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), Department of Social Services 

The Bureau’s mission is to create opportunities, through the provision of individualized rehabilitation services, which enable persons with disabilities to live and work independently. The Bureau provides a wide array of services, including vocational guidance, counseling, training, supported employment, rehabilitation engineering, indepenedent living services and job placement. The Bureau also administers a program to determine the eligibility of applicants for benefits under the Social Security Act of 1954, as amended.  Visit the BRS website for an extensive list of contact names and phone numbers by area/region.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Department of Rehabilitation Services 

CDHI was created in 1974 to advocate, strengthen, and implement state policies affecting individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and their relationship to the public, industry, health care, and educational opportunities. There is no charge to individuals who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing for any of the services provided by CDHI.

Connecticut Clearinghouse, Department of Mental Health and Addition ServicesConnecticut Clearinghouse is the state’s resource center for information about alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and related issues affecting mental health and wellness. The Clearinghouse is part of Connecticut’s Prevention Infrastructure and is designated by the national Center for Substance Abuse Prevention as the state’s Regional Alcohol and Drug Awareness Resource (RADAR) network center. Funded by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, services are limited to those living and working in Connecticut.
Connecticut Community CollegesThe twelve, two-year public colleges that comprise the system of Connecticut Community Colleges share a mission to make educational excellence and the opportunity for lifelong learning affordable and accessible to all Connecticut citizens. The colleges seek to enrich the intellectual, cultural, and social environments of the communities they serve. The colleges support the economic growth of the state and its citizens through programs that supply business and industry with a skilled, well-trained work force.
Council on Developmental DisabilitiesThe Council is a Governor-appointed body of people with disabilities, family members, and professionals who work together to promote the full inclusion of all people with disabilities in community life. The Council speaks out on issues and educates policymakers, communities, and service providers.
Department of Developmental Services (Formerly Department of Mental Retardation)The mission of the Department of Developmental Services is to join with others to create the conditions under which all the people they serve experience: presence and participation in Connecticut town life; opportunities to develop and exercise competence; opportunities to make choices in the pursuit of a personal future; good relationships with family members and friends; and respect and dignity.
Department of Higher EducationThe Board of Governors is Connecticut’s coordinating agency for higher education. The Connecticut Department of Higher Education carries out the Board’s administrative responsibilities. Visit their website to learn more about Connecticut’s higher education system.
Department of LaborThe Department of Labor’s website provides links related to jobs, unemployment, training, data and publications, tax information, safety/wages/labor relations, disability related sites, veterans’ services, welfare information, and workforce investment.
Department of Mental Health and Addiction ServicesThe Department promotes and administers comprehensive recovery-oriented services in the areas of mental health treatment and substance abuse prevention and treatment throughout Connecticut.
Department of Social ServicesThe Department provides a broad range of services to the elderly, people with disabilities, families, and individuals who need assistance in maintaining or achieving their full potential for self-direction, self-reliance, and independent living.
Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, Department of LaborThe Committee’s mission is to improve and increase the employment opportunities for qualified people with disabilities.
Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with DisabilitiesThe mission of the Office of Protection and Advocacy is to advance the cause of equal rights for persons with disabilities and their families by: increasing the ability of individuals, groups, and systems to safeguard rights; exposing instances and patterns of discrimination and abuse; seeking individual and systematic remediation when rights are violated; increasing public awareness of unjust situations and of means to address them; and empowering people with disabilities and their families to advocate effectively.
State Department of Education, Division of Teaching & Learning Programs and ServicesBureaus within the Division of Teaching & Learning Programs and Services include the Bureau of Special Education; Bureau of Early Childhood, Career, and Adult Education; and Bureau of Health and Nutrition Serivces, Child/Family/School Partnerships.
State Library for the Blind and Physically HandicappedThe Library for the Blind and Physically handicapped is a network library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress. The Library provides free mail loan of recorded and Braille books and magazines and necessary playback equipment to eligible state residents unable to read conventional print because of a visual or physical disability.
State Education Resource Center (SERC) (formerly the Special Education Resource Center) 

Effective 7/1/05, SERC became the State Education Resource Center according to a change in State statutes. The agency continues to maintain the Special Education Resource Center in addition to its broader responsibilities, including early childhood education and school improvement. SERC is known for providing high-quality, research-based professional development to educators, service providers, families, and community members as part of its commitment to improve the achievement of Connecticut’s children and youth. SERC provides professional development through both statewide programming activities, such as those announced through professional development booklets viewable on their site, or increasingly, through on-site, job-embedded learning opportunities in Connecticut public schools and programs.