Programs & Funding

Disability Rights Florida is a federally mandated agency, funded by the Administration for Children and Families, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Rehabilitation Services Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Social Security Administration.

As part of the nationally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System, Disability Rights Florida provides protection of the rights of persons with disabilities through legally based advocacy. Collectively, the P&A/CAP Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.

The following programs are designed to provide services to specific groups of individuals:

  • Client Assistance Program (CAP)
    authorized in the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §732, Pub. L. No. 105-220
    • established as a mandatory program by the 1984 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act
    • services include assistance in pursuing administrative, legal, and other appropriate remedies to ensure the protection of persons receiving or seeking services under the Rehabilitation Act
    • administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education
       
  • Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (PADD)
    authorized in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §15001, Pub. L. No. 106-402
    • created by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights (DD) Act of 1975
    • requires P&As to pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies under all applicable federal and state laws to protect and advocate for the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities
    • administered by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities of the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
       
  • Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI)
    authorized in the Protection and Advocacy for Mentally Ill Individuals Act, 42 U.S.C. §10801-10807, Pub. L. No. 106-310
    • established by the PAIMI Act of 1986, agencies mandated to
      • protect and advocate for the rights of people with mental illness; and
      • investigate abuse and neglect in facilities that care for or treat individuals with mental illness
    • administered by the Center for Mental Health Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
       
  • Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR)
    authorized in the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §794e, Pub. L. No. 106-402
    • established by Congress as a national program under the Rehabilitation Act in 1993
    • established to protect and advocate for the legal and human rights of persons not covered by other programs – such as those with visual or hearing impairments or those with physical disabilities acquired as an adult
    • administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education
       
  • Protection and Advocacy for [Individuals in Need of] Assistive Technology (PAAT)
    authorized in the Assistive Technology Act, 29 U.S.C. §3004, Pub. L. No. 105-394
    • created in 1994 when Congress expanded the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (Tech Act)
    • established 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
    • administered by the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education
       
  • Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS)
    authorized in the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, 42 U.S.C. §1320b-21, P.L. 106-170
    • created by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999
    • established to assist social security beneficiaries with disabilities in obtaining information and advice about receiving vocational rehabilitation and employment services; and to provide advocacy or other related services that beneficiaries may need to secure or regain gainful employment
    • administered by the Social Security Administration
       
  • Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI)
    authorized in the Children's Health Act of 2000, 42 U.S.C. §300d-53, Pub. L. No. 106-310
    • created by the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Act authorized as part of the Children’s Health Act of 2000
    • provides advocacy services, information and referral, and self-advocacy training to individuals who face a loss of legal rights as a direct result of TBI; and works to increase and improve systems of support for people impacted by TBI
    • administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
       
  • Protection and Advocacy for Voter Access (PAVA)
    authorized in the Help America Vote Act of 2002, 42 U.S.C. §15461-15462, Pub. L. No. 107-252
    • created in 2002 when Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
    • P&As seek to secure election access for a wide range of individuals with disabilities – including, but not limited to, individuals with mental, sensory, and physical disabilities – pursuant to Congress’ broad mandate to “ensure the full participation in the electoral process for individuals with disabilities, including registering to vote, casting a vote and accessing polling places”
    • administered by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities of the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and
      Human Services