Disability-related Groups

Groups on campus, and in the general Berkeley area, that deal with disability-related topics and concerns.

[Note: These groups are not sponsored by DSP/TRIO; we're providing this list as a service. For more information about individual groups, see the links in each listing.]

If you know of other local disability-related groups, please contact us.

On this page:

AASCEND (Autism Asperger Syndrome Coalition for Education, Networking and Development) | Active Minds | AUTASTICS | Autism Speaks U at UC Berkeley | Axis Dance Company | Berkeley Bipolar | Berkeley Fibromyalgia Support Group | Body Peace at Cal | Disabled Lesbians & Bisexual Women Peer Support Group | DSP/TRIO Social Support Group | DSU (Disabled Students' Union) | Every Body Every Mind Sangha meditation group | Eye to Eye | Gluten X at Cal | Living with a Disability Support Group | Living with Low Vision Support Group | Psychotherapy Support Group for Adults with Physical Disabilities | SF Bay Area Crohn's & Colitis Meetup Group | Sexuality and Disability Support Group | Sins Invalid | Spinal Cord Injury Support Group

AASCEND (Autism Asperger Syndrome Coalition for Education, Networking and Development)

AASCEND is an ASD advocacy organization based in San Francisco.

Active Minds:

Do you believe in the power of peer advocacy, and the strength that students have to break down the walls of silence created by the stigma that surrounds mental illness? Do you want to be one of the "helping hands" in assisting your fellow students with the startup of a campaign whose goal is cultivating an open, vibrant, and comfortable environment where students can collaborate?

The Active minds at Berkeley chapter is here and needs your help.

Active Minds is a national organization that develops and supports student-run mental health awareness, education, and advocacy groups on the college campus. Each peer group works to:

  • Increase students' awareness of mental health issues
  • Provide information and resources regarding mental health and mental illness
  • Encourage students to seek help as soon as it is needed
  • Serve as liaison between students and the mental health community

By planning campus-wide events that promote awareness and education, the group aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental illness and create a comfortable environment for open discussion of mental health issues.

Active Minds website

Active Minds Facebook group

AUTASTICS (Autistics United Together and Showing They Indeed can Succeed)

Based in San Francisco, AUTASTICS is a support group for people with ASD.

Autism Speaks U at UC Berkeley

"Autism Speaks U is a program designed for college students who host awareness, advocacy and fundraising events. It is an exciting and collaborative way for students to raise funds and awareness for Autism Speaks, while supporting their local autism communities.

"Our meetings are held every Tuesday from 7-8pm in 20 Wheeler. If you're looking to become a member, check out our private Facebook group, or email aspeaks@autismspeaksucb.org.

Public Facebook page

Axis Dance Company

"AXIS Dance Company, one of the world's most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities, will change the way you think about dance and the possibilities of the human body forever. Founded in 1987, AXIS has become a jewel of contemporary dance and disability culture. AXIS has paved the way for a powerful contemporary dance form - physically integrated dance- performing in over sixty cities nationwide, as well as in Europe and Siberia."

Berkeley Bipolar

Berkeley Bipolar meets every Thursday night from 7 - 9pm, and every Saturday from 11am - 1pm. Anyone over 18 years old is invited to come. You don't need to sign up. Just come when you can.

The address is 2001 Dwight Way.

We meet in the auditorium of Alta Bates, Herrick Hospital Campus. Everyone with a mood disorder (depression, bipolar disorder, etc. may attend. We usually break up into groups of 7 - 10 people, led by trained peer facilitators to help maintain a safe and accepting place to share. In addition, we have a group on Thursdays for family and friends of people with mood disorders, for information and support.

For more information, call Jenna, (510) 653-2959.

Berkeley Fibromyalgia Support Group

Third Tuesdays, 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Herrick Campus of Alta Bates Medical Ctr., 2001 Dwight Way, Berkeley

Phone: 510-644-3273 (Facilitator) Afternoons and early evenings best.

Email: fibro.biz@gmail.com

Meetings are generally from 12:30-2:30pm in the Maffly Auditorium Conference Center (either the Maffly Room or CC Conference Rm), Level A. Watch for destination signs or ask at Security/Info Desk in the valet parking entrance lobby.

Every other month we have speakers. The alternative months are either open forum or focus topic rap sessions.

Body Peace at Cal

Body Peace is a student group at UC Berkeley dedicated to promoting positive body image, body acceptance, and raising awareness for body image issues.

Email | Facebook

Disabled Lesbians & Bisexual Women Monthly CIL Peer Support Group

First Wednesday of the month
2:00-3:15 pm

  • A space to connect with other lesbians & bisexual women with disabilities
  • A space to share stories and support
  • A space to discuss issues and topics that concern us

At The Ed Roberts Campus
Koret Room
3075 Adeline Street, Berkeley CA 94703

For more info please contact:
Robin Earth, Center for Independent Living
(510) 841-4776 ext 3153

DSP/TRIO Social Support Group

Ever feel like everyone is adjusting to Cal, but you are being left behind? Want to learn to connect and communicate with students, staff, and others? Want to improve your Cal experience?

A series of 9 group meetings will help with:

  • Connecting with others and making friends
  • Reduce stress response
  • Balancing social and academic needs
  • Organizing your time
  • Academic planning
  • Using campus resources

For more information, contact Jean Franco, Ph.D..

DSU (Disabled Students' Union)

The Disabled Students' Union seeks to preserve and expand financial resources and programs to welcome students with disabilities. We assist in accessing academic resources and reaching the educational goals of all students at Cal. In addition, DSU works to increase awareness among the campus body and within the community around disability-related topics and inequalities.

In conjunction with the Bonner Leader program, DSU facilitates communication and knowledge of disability rights and issues through the annual Disability Awareness Week events held in the spring semester. Past events have included guest speakers, campus games and movie nights. Moreover, DSU hosts free workshops to all students, faculty, staff, and community members on a monthly basis. Topics have previously included attendant management, navigation of the Medi-Cal health coverage program and classes in wheelchair maintenance and repair.

The Disabled Students' Union (DSU) is ASUC sponsored.

DSU Facebook group

Every Body Every Mind Sangha meditation group

Every Body Every Mind Sangha is a weekly sitting group for people living with disabilities, limitations, differences and chronic illnesses.

Please come and take part in this time to meditate, share our lives and support with each other, and learn more about the dharma. There is no need to register for these weekly meetings, just come and share this path together!

Meets every Sunday from 6 pm - 7:30 pm at EBMC.

Eye to Eye

Mentor students with learning disorders at Berkeley High School

Eye to Eye is the only national mentoring movement that pairs kids with learning disabilities and ADHD with high school and college students who have been similarly labeled. Using an arts-based curriculum, mentors help their mentees to value their own unique minds by building their self-esteem and giving them the skills to become self-advocates.

To learn more about Eye to Eye:

Eye to Eye's Website

Facebook fan page

YouTube channel

Gluten X at Cal

The Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Alliance at UC Berkeley.

Email | Facebook

Living with a Disability support group

Addressing the everyday issues; supporting each other in the journey

Every 1st Monday of the Month
From 2:30—4:00pm
@ ERC-3075 Adeline St. Berkeley

Light refreshments

Our Mission is to educate, empower, and enjoy each other's lives. By doing so, you make your life better and theirs as well. We hope you will come and participate in our ongoing events.

For More Information, please contact:
Center for Independent Living
3075 Adeline Street, Suite 100
Demetrius Johnson
(510) 841-4776 ext 3122

Living with Low Vision Support Group

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm PDT
At the Ed Roberts Campus
3075 Adeline St., Berkeley, CA 94703

Last Tuesday of the month

Presented by The Center for Independent Living Services for the Blind & Low Vision

Facilitator Armando Garcia has a Master's of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and has been serving and educating the Low Vision and Blind of the Berkeley Community for the past six years.

(510) 841-4776 ext. 3123

Psychotherapy/Support Group for Adults with Physical Disabilities

Aspects of the group include:

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Coping with anxiety, depression, and stress
  • Decreasing isolation
  • Sharing joys and successes

in a supportive group environment. Group meets in Berkeley, Friday afternoons from 2:30–4:00pm. Participants should be interested in making a long term commitment to the group process. Sliding Scale fee or Medical/Medicare accepted

Questions? Call the Berkeley Therapy Institute, (510) 841-8484 x1136

SF Bay Area Crohn's & Colitis Meetup Group

Meetings are listed at Crohnology.

"We are a patient-organized group of people with IBD who meet monthly for coffee/drinks/dinner in the SF Bay Area. We all have Crohn's or Colitis. We meet to share friendship and knowledge."

Sexuality and Disability Support Group

2nd Wednesday of the Month
6:00 - 7:30 PM

Sponsored by: Center for Independent Living
Ed Roberts Campus, Osher Room A & B
3075 Adeline Street Berkeley, CA 94703

Facilitator: Rafe Eric Biggs, Ph.D. is the founder of Soma Evolution an organization committed to generating transformative change. He earned his doctorate in Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University and is a Master Somatic Coach from the Strozzi Institute. In 2004 Rafe had a life altering experience. While traveling on spiritual retreat in India, he fell from a building and broke his neck. In an instant, he became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down. He has spent the last seven years learning how to take trauma and transform it into evolutionary growth. Rafe has been studying Tantra and other forms of sacred sexuality for over 12 years. His commitment is that people of all abilities develop intimate loving relationships and be fully self-expressed their sexuality.

All CIL Meetings are conducted in wheelchair-accessible locations. Please do not wear scented products to this meeting. If you need accommodations such as Sign Language interpretation, assistive listening devices, printed matter in alternative format, please call 415-377-9098 or email rebiggs@mac.com or www.somaevolution.org. We will try to accommodate all requests, but need at least 3 business days notice.

Sins Invalid

"Sins Invalid is a performance project on disability and sexuality that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized from social discourse."

Spinal Cord Injury Support Group

First Thursday of the month, at the Herrick Campus of Alta Bates in the basement in the Maffly Conference Room. For more information, email scipeersupport@gmail.com