The Protection and Advocacy (P&A) division is responsible for the implementation of a system to advocate for and protect the rights of Iowa's developmentally disabled citizens.

What is the legal definition for a developmentally disabled individual? It is defined as an individual having a severe chronic disability which:

A. Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;

B. Is manifested before such person attains age twenty-two.

C. Is likely to continue indefinitely.

D. Results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity:

E. Reflects the need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment, or other services to be individually planned and coordinated during the lifetime of such person or for an extended period of time.

There are three (3) basic program components to the P & A Division:

1) individual advocacy; 2) information and 3) referral; public awareness and education and training.

Individual Advocacy

The cases brought to the P & A Division during the first 3 quarters of the federal fiscal year 81 (October 1, 1980 through June 30, 1981). The numbers are significantly different than previous years' due to the exclusion of disability cases filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the Information and Referral cases.

Once again the majority of cases brought to the division involves disputes over the appropriate educational program for children with disabilities. The 2 main distinctions within this area are those problems regarding appropriate services for infants and preschoolers and the transition of the older child into a vocational training program.

Information and Referral

During these 3 quarters, 142 calls for information were logged in the P & A Division. The use of the incoming toll-free hotline facilitates requests for information regarding rights or programs and services.

The P & A Division Bulletin continues to be distributed, although a P & A staff shortage necessitated cutting back on the bimonthly schedule. The mailing list has grown to over 1600 listings.

A new newsletter is being published combining the efforts of the DD Program, the University Affiliated Program and the P & A Division. It is hoped to be a more timely, advocacy-oriented publication than the previous newsletter which was a joint effort of the Developmental Disabilities Program and University Affiliated Program.

Public Awareness, Education and Training

From July 1, 1980 to June 30, 1981, the P & A Division presented 25 workshops from basic presentations (general rights and overview of P & A) to specialized topics.

1981 Annual Report Main Page