Our Federal Authority

Most of the DRC’s funding comes from the federal government under the following grant programs:

Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PADD) is funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living. A developmental disability is a physical or mental impairment that is life-long and severely limits a person's ability to function independently. As the title implies, individuals with developmental disabilities of any age are eligible for legal information or advocacy from the DRC. See Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000. DRC's authority includes access to facilities to conduct monitoring activities, including site visits and speaking with residents of the facility.

Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) is also funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Individuals eligible under PAIMI include children and adults who have been determined to be mentally ill or emotionally disturbed and have experienced, or are at risk for, abuse, neglect or civil rights violations. DRC's authority includes access to facilities to conduct monitoring activities, including site visits and speaking with residents of the facility.

Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR) is funded by the Rehabilitative Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education. Individuals assisted under PAIR are those who are not eligible under either PADD or PAIMI or the Client Assistance Program administered by the Governor's Commission on Disability.

Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) is funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living. Individuals assisted under PAAT are children and adults who have difficulty accessing assistive technology devices or services.

Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) is funded by the Social Security Administration. Individuals assisted under PABSS must receive either SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and want to obtain, retain or regain employment. Eligible individuals may include students transitioning from school to work, clients of area agencies and mental health centers, or other persons with disabilities who have issues related to obtaining work or keeping their job.

Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI) began in September 2002. Funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, it provides services for persons with brain injury, including information and referral, individual assistance in self-advocacy, formal legal representation, and policy initiatives.

Voting Rights Protection and Advocacy is the DRC’s newest program and was enacted as part of the Help America Vote Act of 2002. It is funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living. Eligible individuals are any persons with disabilities who have registration or voting access issues. The purpose of the program is to ensure full participation in the electoral process for individuals with disabilities, including registering or casting a vote, and accessing polling places.

For more information about the above programs and the purpose and work of Protection and Advocacy agencies nationwide, see The National Disability Rights Network at www.ndrn.org.