The Protection and Advocacy for individuals with Developmental Disabilities (PADD) was the first P&A program, created by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights (DD) Act of 1975. P&A agencies are required by the Act to pursue legal, administrative and other appropriate remedies to protect and advocate for the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities under all applicable federal and state laws.
PADD serves individuals with developmental disabilities, which is defined by federal legislation as: (A) a mental or physical impairment, or combination of both; (B) beginning before the person reaches age twenty-two; (C) likely to continue indefinitely; (D) resulting in substantial limitations in three or more of the following vital activities: 1) self-care, 2) speaking and understanding, 3) learning, 4) mobility, 5) self-direction, 6) capacity for independent living, and 7) economic self-sufficiency; and (E) reflecting the person’s need for a combination of special care, treatment or other services which are individually planned and coordinated.
PADD services are also provided to individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and neurological impairments.
DRA provides a wide range of services to persons with developmental disabilities, including:
- Investigating abuse and neglect complaints
- Advice/professional assistance
- Support in pursuing administrative remedies
- Technical assistance
- Legal assistance