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.
a. 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;
b. Investigate allegations of abuse and neglect in schools due to improper or
excessive use of restraint or seclusion;
c. Advocate for individuals subject to abuse or neglect to ensure proper care and
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.
a. Advocate for reform of guardianship and other surrogate decision-making
processes for people with ID/DD;
b. Represent individuals with ID/DD who are at risk of or subject to guardianship to
retain or restore decision-making authority;
c. 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
Advocate for individuals with ID/DD to receive meaningful access to integrated
employment, free from discrimination, and paid at least minimum wage.
a. Monitor New York State’s plan to downsize the number of segregated work
settings and advocate for individuals in segregated settings to receive prevocational
and vocational services to transition to employment;
b. Advocate for individuals with ID/DD to be free from discrimination, receive
reasonable workplace accommodations and needed supports and services to
access competitive employment.
Advocate for individuals with disabilities to receive appropriate supports and services in
the most integrated setting appropriate with maximum autonomy for self-direction.
a. Monitor the closure of state operated Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) to
ensure that individuals with ID/DD are transitioned to the most integrated
b. Advocate for adults and children in institutional facilities, residential schools, or
nursing homes to transition to the most integrated in-state setting;
c. 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;
d. Advocate for individuals who are dually diagnosed and eligible for OPWDD, OMH
or DOH to receive cross-system services and supports.
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.
a. 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;
b. Advocate for students to have access to appropriate services, reasonable
accommodations, and high standards in the least restrictive environment;
c. Ensure that students are provided with transitional supports, including
access to postsecondary supports and services, to achieve independent living,
post-secondary instruction and/or competitive employment.
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.
a. Advocate to reduce and eliminate segregation or solitary confinement for
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
b. Advocate for access to reasonable accommodations, services and supports;
c. Address systemic failures to implement appropriate therapeutic programs
and other crisis intervention services.
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.
a. Foster the creation of local regional groups to provide training and resources
on supports and services to individuals with ID/DD;
b. Create publications and brochures that educate underserved communities
about the rights of people with ID/DD;
c. Conduct outreach/trainings and educate policymakers regarding DRNY, the
P&A system and issues impacting individuals with ID/DD.
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.
Jennifer Feeley Michael Fiske
Staff Attorney Staff Attorney
Kathryn Mayer Sara Mendicino
Staff Attorney Staff Attorney
Prianka Nair Brooke Sartin
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.