Protect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by investigating allegations of abuse and neglect and advocating for individuals receiving care or treatment from state, city, local or private agencies or schools.
Ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are free to exercise their own expressed/known wishes, retain or restore decision-making authority and make their own decisions.
Advocate for individuals with ID/DD to receive meaningful access to integrated employment, free from discrimination, and paid at least minimum wage.
Advocate for individuals with disabilities to receive appropriate supports and services in the most integrated setting appropriate with maximum autonomy for self-direction.
Advocate for students to receive a free appropriate public education in their least restrictive environment to ensure independent living and secondary schooling or employment upon graduation.
Ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in prison, jails, the juvenile justice system, or under civil confinement are free from abuse and neglect and receive appropriate services in the most integrated environment.
Conduct outreach to ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout New York State, including those in underserved communities, know about the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) system, know their rights and can access appropriate supports and services
PADD clients must meet the definition of developmental disabilities in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act as a severe and chronic disability, attributing to a mental and/or physical impairment that must be evidenced prior to the age of twenty-two. The impairment must be expected to be life long and result in substantial limitations in three or more of the major life areas: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living and economic self-sufficiency.
The PADD program advocates for the rights of people with developmental disabilities to receive services and support that enable them to make informed choices and decisions; live in homes and communities in which they can exercise their full rights and responsibilities as citizens; pursue meaningful and productive lives; contribute to their family, community, State, and Nation; have independent friendships and relationships with others; and achieve full integration and inclusion in society, in an individualized manner, consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities of each individual.
Julie Michaels Keegan, Esq.
Michael Fiske Michael Gadomski
Staff Attorney Staff Attorney
Kathryn Mayer Sara Mendicino
Staff Attorney Admitted in PA & NJ
Jemeli Tanui Lara Weissman
Staff Attorney Staff Attorney
The Protection and Advocacy for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (PADD) Program provides a wide range of services including: advice/counsel; support in pursuing administrative remedies; technical assistance; investigation and monitoring; negotiation/mediation; direct legal representation; training; and information/referral. The program places a priority on serving individuals who reside in facilities that provide some kind of care and treatment to assist these individuals in obtaining access to community integration. There is no charge for our services.