The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. P&As and CAPs work to improve the lives of people with disabilities by guarding against abuse; advocating for basic rights; and ensuring accountability in health care, education, employment, housing, transportation, and within the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States. Read more about the creation and work of the P&A/CAP network here.
As the national membership association for the P&A/CAP network, NDRN has aggressively sought federal support for advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities, and expanded P&A programs from a narrow initial focus on the institutional care provided to people with intellectual disabilities in facilities to include advocacy services for people with mental illnesses, clients of vocational rehabilitation agencies, and finally to all people with disabilities not covered by the other P&A programs.
In the 1990s, NDRN was able to secure funding for Assistive Technology projects to each P&A to provide legally based advocacy services to individuals with disabilities on assistive technology issues. Later, an effort was launched by the disability community to pass the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Implementation Act (TWWIIA), which assists beneficiaries of Social Security in returning to work. In 2002, the Protection & Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA) program was created when Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). PAVA enables P&As to secure election access for a wide range of individuals with disabilities.
NDRN grew as a leader in the disability movement and became a force for positive change in the national disability community, not only playing a major role in the expansion of the Protection and Advocacy system but also conveying the need to keep federal laws for people with disabilities robust.
NDRN’s mission is to promote the integrity and capacity of the P&A and CAP national network and to advocate for the enactment and vigorous enforcement of laws protecting civil and human rights of people with disabilities.
NDRN has a vision of a society where people with disabilities have equality of opportunity and are able to participate fully in community life by exercising choice and self-determination.
Training and Advocacy Center at NDRN
Through the delivery of state-of-the-art training, technical assistance and networking, the Training & Advocacy Support Center (TASC) is designed to enhance the advocacy functions of the Protection & Advocacy agencies (P&As) and Client Assistance Programs (CAPs) in their efforts to protect the civil rights of persons with disabilities and prevent and/or remedy abuse and neglect of those who reside in institutions, other facilities and the community.
TASC is a federal interagency project by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA).