P&A’s Federal Programs

There are eight separate P&A programs all described briefly below, in chronological order based on when they were created.

PAIDD (Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities)

PADD is the first P&A program, created by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights (DD) Act of 1975. P&A agencies are required by the Act to pursue legal, administrative and other appropriate remedies to protect and advocates for the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities under all applicable federal and state laws.

CAP (Client Assistance Program)

CAP was established by the 1984 Amendments to the Rehabilitation (Rehab) Act. Services provided by CAPs include assistance in pursuing administrative, legal and other appropriate remedies to persons receiving or seeking services from state rehabilitation agencies under the Rehab Act. A CAP agency may provide assistance and advocacy with respect to services that are directly related to employment for the client or client applicant. The CAP program became part of P&A in September 2017.

PAIMI (Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness)

The PAIMI Program was established in 1986. The P&As are mandated to protect and advocate for the rights of people with mental illness and investigate reports of abuse and neglect in facilities that care for or treat individuals with mental illness. The Act was subsequently amended to allow P&As also to serve individuals with mental illness who reside in the community.

PAIR (Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights)

The PAIR program was established by Congress under an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act in 1993. PAIR programs provide for services to persons with disabilities who are not eligible for services under the three previously established P&A programs (PAIDD, PAIMI, and CAP). With PAIR, the P&As were thus authorized to serve persons with additional types of disabilities such as hearing, visual, and mobility based disabilities.

PAAT (Protection & Advocacy for Assistive Technology)

The PAAT 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 in the acquisition, utilization, or maintenance of assistive technology devices or assistive technology services through case management, legal representation and self-advocacy training.

PABSS (Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security)

The PABSS program was established in 1999 when the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act (TWWIIA) was enacted into law.  Under this Act, grants to the P&A programs provide advocacy and other services to assist beneficiaries of Social Security secure or regain gainful employment.

PATBI (Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury)

The PATBI program was created in 2002 to provide protection and advocacy services to individuals with traumatic brain injury. Although P&As often served such individuals under PAIDD, PAIR, CAP, or PABSS, this grant provides more resources specifically to address the unique needs of this population.

PAVA (Protection & Advocacy for Voting Accessibility)

The PAVA program was established in 2003 as part of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). Under this program, P&As have a mandate to help ensure that individuals with disabilities participate in the electoral process through voter education, training of poll officials, registration drives, and polling place accessibility surveys.