P&A activities are governed by several federal laws and regulations. Some of the most significant are as follows:
The Protection & Advocacy for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Program was created by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1975. P&As 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. In 1994, amendments to the DD Act expanded the system to include a Native American P&A program.
The Client Assistance Program was established as a mandatory program by the 1984 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act. Client Assistance Program provides information and advocacy to persons receiving or seeking services under the Rehabilitation Act and provides information about benefits and services under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
The Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Program was established in 1986. Each state has a Individuals with Mental Illness program which receives funding from the national Center for Mental Health Services. Agencies are mandated to (1) protect and advocate for the rights of people with mental illness and (2) investigate reports of abuse and neglect in facilities that care for or treat individuals with mental illness.
The Protection & Advocacy of Individual Rights Program was established by Congress as a national program under the Rehabilitation Act in 1993. Protection & Advocacy of Individual Rights programs were established to protect and advocate for the legal and human rights of persons with disabilities. Although Protection & Advocacy of Individual Rights is funded at a lower level than Protection & Advocacy for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness, it represents an important component of a comprehensive system to advocate for the rights of all persons with disabilities.
The Protection & Advocacy for Assistive Technology Program was created in 1994 when Congress expanded the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (Tech Act) to include funding for P&As to “assist individuals with disabilities and their family members, guardians, advocates and authorized representatives in accessing technology devices and assistive technology services” through case management, legal representation and self advocacy training. Originally passed by Congress in 1988, the Tech Act set up a lead agency in each state to coordinate activities to facilitate access to, provision of and funding for assistive technology devices and services for individuals with disabilities.
The Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security Program offers services to current beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance age 14 through full retirement age who want to go to work, return to work, or maintain employment.
Here are some of the ways Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security can help:
Student Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries making the transition from school to work
Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries who have been notified by Social Security of work-related overpayments that are a barrier to employment
Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries needing appropriate vocational rehabilitation services from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or another Employment Network
Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries needing referral for benefits planning or information about work incentives under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Act
Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries facing other clearly work-related obstacles to employment
The Protection & Advocacy for Voter Access Program will help “ensure the full participation in the electoral process for individuals with disabilities, including registering to vote, casting a vote and accessing polling places.” None of the Protection & Advocacy for Voter Access funds provided to P&As may be used to “initiate or otherwise participate in any litigation related to election-related disability access, notwithstanding the general authorities that the protection and advocacy systems are otherwise afforded until subtitle C of Title I of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000.”
The Protection & Advocacy for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury Program provides advocacy services to individuals with traumatic brain injury through outreach, training, individual and systemic advocacy.
The major goal of this program is to assure that individuals with traumatic brain injury receive appropriate services and support within their own communities.
Protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Wyoming
The Protection and Advocacy System for the State of Wyoming