Advocating and advancing the human, civil and legal rights of persons with disabilities


PADD Program

What is PADD?

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

Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) in the federal Department of Health and Human Services administers the PADD program.

PADD Services

The PADD program offers the following services to people with developmental disabilities:

  • information and referral regarding available programs and services for people with developmental disabilities;

  • legal representation and non-legal advocacy to enforce rights under federal and state laws and to ensure access to services to which people with developmental disabilities are entitled;

  • technical assistance and advocacy services to assist individuals in accessing appropriate programs and services, and;

  • education and training programs on disability rights and laws.

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.

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.

Useful Links

NJ Supporting Community Lives for People with Developmental Disabilities http://njsupportingcommunitylives.org/

Graduates Aging Out of the School System

Your Personal Rights

Evaluating Your Support Coordination Services

Family Crisis Handbook (pdf)

Supports Program Policies and Procedures Manual: A Quick Guide for Families (pdf)

New Jersey Department of Human Services http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/

New Jersey Disability Determination Services http://www.state.nj.us/labor/dds/ddsindex.html

New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/ddd/

The Arc of New Jersey

Selecting a Support Coordination Agency

Making Choices, Becoming Empowered A Guide for People with Disabilities


Traumatic Brain Injury Resources

Grievance and Appeal Policy












New Jersey's designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities

Disability Rights New Jersey
210 S Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
1.800.922.7233 (in NJ only) • 1.609.292.9742 (Voice)
1.609.777.0187 (Fax) • 1.609.633.7106 (TTY)
Email Us

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DRNJ is an Equal Opportunity Employer and provides services to all persons with disabilities regardless of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual or affectional orientation, ancestry or disability. Any concerns regarding the agency’s compliance with these non-discrimination efforts may be brought to the attention of the Executive Director.

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