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:


Protection and Advocacy Bulletin

In early 1979, the P & A Division began distributing a P&A Bulletin to a selected mailing list of less than 100 individuals. During FY-80, the Bulletin was published nine times and its mailing list grew to 1400 individuals. In addition to addressing both state and federal legislation and regulations, the Bulletin contained reports on important litigation throughout the country, listed the availability of educational materials, contained schedules for workshops and meetings, and followed the early organization of a People First of Iowa group.


The commitment of the P & A Division to the concept of Self Advocacy - disabled people speaking for their own needs and concerns - is no better evidenced than by the project undertaken to encourage and support the development of a new consumer organization, which has come to be known as People First of Iowa.

On August 15 through 17, 1980 the first convention of People First of Iowa was convened. One hundred fifty (150) people, again, with all types of disabilities and from all parts of Iowa. participated in workshops dealing with rights, voting, human relations, employment accessibility and starting local self-advocacy groups. Regional caucuses were held at which representatives were elected to sit on a new state planning committee.


During the fiscal year, the P & A Division received a grant of $5,000 (#790213) from the Office for Planning and Programming for the purpose of.

1 . Providing inform-nation concerning due process and legal rights to consumers.

2. Educating and training the public, professionals and consumers on the legal rights of the developmentally disabled.

3. Reviewing and analyzing pertinent agency regulations or legislation having an impact on developmentally disabled persons.


During the year 1980, the P & A Division staff conducted, sponsored, or participated in training activities at which over 700 people attended. These activities ranged from a Department of Social Service sponsored long-term care workshop at which the P & A staff gave a presentation on the right to treatment before 150 people; to a presentation on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for seven Equal Opportunity personnel in an Affirmative Action workshop.

Information Dissemination

The P & A Division is compiling a library of resources and media materials concerning the area of rights, advocacy, laws, regulations, programs, and services in the field of developmental disabilities.

In FY 80, the Division loaned its two films, Toughest Barrier and People First to 30 individuals throughout the State of Iowa. The following chart (Chart 7) of some of the more common resources indicates the extent to which materials are used and distributed. A total of 128 requests were received for materials of the Division.

Chart 7

FY 1980

Title No. Of Requests
D. D. Program 1
What is D. D. 29
Legal Rights 14
Mental Disability 6
Miscellaneous 3
Parents Guide to Special Education 30
Spanish IEP 2
Guide to Monitoring Settings 19
D. D. Regulations 8
Immunizations 4
Title XX 3
Medical Services 3
Protect Rights 3
Estate Planning 1
Family Resource 1
Pilot Parent 1
Total 128


Two hundred eleven cases were filed with the P & A Division during FY 80; 125 were closed and 86 remain open. A problem of uniformity exists with these figures. At the start of the year, disability cases filed with the Civil Rights Commission under 601 A of the Code of Iowa were included in P & A statistics. By the end of the year, however, intake procedures of the Commission and the use of the rapid charge processing system made it extremely difficult and time-consuming to track these cases after their initial filing.

An additional problem resulted from the implementation of the Congressional definition of developmental disability. In changing from the previously used categorical definition to the new functional one, it became apparent that the vast majority of disability cases alleging discrimination with the Commission are not being filed by developmentally disabled people, as newly defined. Many of the cases which had been included under New Cases will not be investigated by P & A and their eventual disposition will not be noted on P & A records. Of cases initiated with the P & A Division, only 6 remain opened at the end of the year. Beginning with FY 81 records, P & A cases and ICRC cases will not be added together for reporting purposes unless the Division is actually assigned a case filed by a developmentally disabled person.

Looking Forward

Fiscal Year '80 saw the continued growth and development of the Protection and Advocacy program in Iowa, particularly in the areas of outreach and public education. Fiscal year '81 will see a further refinement of the basic program components. As there is no anticipation of increased funding for the program, it is necessary to devise even more creative activities and strategies in order to insure the most effective use of limited resources.


1980 Annual Report Main Page