Julie Michaels Keegan, Esq.


Bill Flynn
Supervising Attorney

Jennifer Feeley              Michael Fiske
Staff Attorney                  Staff Attorney

Michael Gadomski

Staff Attorney

Alyssa Galea                 Jonathan Garvin      Staff Attorney                Staff Attorney         

Kathryn Mayer          Sara Mendicino
Staff Attorney 
            Admitted in PA & NJ


Prianka Nair                Brooke Sartin 

Staff Attorney                Staff Attorney

Kim Weisbeck 
Staff Attorney               

Lara Weissman
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.


​​Priority I

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.


  • Investigate allegations of abuse and neglect of individuals receiving care or treatment from entities licensed, certified, funded, or operated by the state, city or localities of New York;


  • Investigate allegations of abuse and neglect in schools due to improper or excessive use of restraint or seclusion;

  •  Advocate for individuals subject to abuse or neglect to ensure proper care and treatment.

Priority II

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 reform of guardianship and other surrogate decision-making processes for people with ID/DD;

  • Represent individuals with ID/DD who are at risk of or subject to guardianship to retain or restore decision-making authority;

  • Foster supported decision-making and the ability for individuals with ID/DD to exercise their own wishes in New York through education, direct advocacy, and coalition building.

Priority III

Advocate for individuals with ID/DD to receive meaningful access to integrated employment, free from discrimination, and paid at least minimum wage.


  • Monitor New York State’s plan to downsize the number of segregated work settings and advocate for individuals in segregated settings to receive pre-vocational and vocational services to transition to employment;

  • Advocate for individuals with ID/DD to be free from discrimination, receive reasonable workplace accommodations and needed supports and services to access competitive employment.

Priority IV

Advocate for individuals with disabilities to receive appropriate supports and services in the most integrated setting appropriate with maximum autonomy for self-direction.


  • Monitor the closure of state operated Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) to ensure that individuals with ID/DD are transitioned to the most integrated settings;

  • Advocate for adults and children in institutional facilities, residential schools, or nursing homes to transition to the most integrated in-state setting;

  • Ensure that individuals with ID/DD have timely access to all needed supports and services to remain in their communities, live independently, and to prevent unnecessary institutionalization to facilities or nursing homes;

  • ​Advocate for individuals who are dually diagnosed and eligible for OPWDD, OMH or DOH to receive cross-system services and supports.

Priority V

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.


  • Advocate for students who are out of school or at risk of being placed in restrictive educational setting to receive appropriate supports and services to remain in school;

  • Advocate for students to have access to appropriate services, reasonable accommodations, and high standards in the least restrictive environment;

  • Ensure that students are provided with transitional supports, including access to post-secondary supports and services, to achieve independent living, post-secondary instruction and/or competitive employment.

Priority VI

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.


  • Advocate to reduce and eliminate segregation or solitary confinement for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;

  • Advocate for access to reasonable accommodations, services and supports;

  • Address systemic failures to implement appropriate therapeutic programs and other crisis intervention services.

Priority VII

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


  • Foster the creation of local regional groups to provide training and resources on supports and services to individuals with ID/DD;

  • Create publications and brochures that educate under-served communities about the rights of people with ID/DD;

  • Conduct outreach/trainings and educate policymakers regarding DRNY, the P&A System and issues impacting individuals with ID/DD.


Padd priorities

OCTOBER 1, 2015 to SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Who is Eligible for PADD 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.     

What does PADD do?     

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.