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US State Advocacy Programs

Advocacy is the work of organizations or individuals to protect the legal, civil, and human rights of people with disabilities such as bipolar disorder (manic depression). An advocate serves as an intercessor, speaking on someone else's behalf to ensure against discrimination and loss of rights. Found here are links to US state advocacy programs.

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program
ADAP's mission is to provide quality, legally-based advocacy services to Alabamians with disabilities in order to protect, promote and expand their rights. ADAP's vision is one of a society where persons with disabilities are valued and exercise self-determination through meaningful choices, and have equality of opportunity.

Alaska Disability Law Center
The Disability Law Center works to increase the understanding of rights and responsibilities of consumers, legal professionals, service providers, families and advocates throughout Alaska.

Arizona Center for Disability Law
The Arizona Center for Disability Law advocates for the legal rights of persons with disabilities to be free from abuse, neglect and discrimination, to have access to education, health care, housing and jobs, and other services in order to maximize independence and achieve equality.

Arkansas Disability Rights Center
The DISABILITY RIGHTS CENTER (DRC) is a private non-profit agency with offices in Little Rock, Arkansas. Since 1977 the Governor of Arkansas has designated DRC the independent rights protection and advocacy system for persons with disabilities in Arkansas. DRC operates under authority outlined in Federal law and is funded primarily by the Federal government.

California Protection & Advocacy, Inc.
Protection and Advocacy, Inc., (PAI) is a nonprofit agency that advances the human and legal rights of persons with disabilities. PAI began protecting the rights of Californians with disabilities in 1978. We now provide services to people with disabilities under five federal programs

Colorado Legal Center
The Legal Center is committed to delivering the promise of the law to people with disabilities and older people in Colorado by using the legal system to protect and promote their rights through direct legal representation, advocacy, education and legislative analysis.

Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy
The Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (better known as "P and A") is an independent State agency created to safeguard and advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities in Connecticut.

Delaware Community Legal Aid Society, Inc.
"Community Legal Aid Society, Inc is a private, non-profit law firm dedicated to equal justice for all. We provide civil legal services to assist clients in becoming self sufficient and meeting basic needs with dignity. Our clients include members of our community who have low incomes, who have disabilities, or who are age 60 and over."

Florida Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities
The Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc., is a non-profit organization providing protection and advocacy services in the State of Florida. Our mission is to advance the dignity, equality, self-determination and expressed choices of individuals with disabilities.

Georgia Advocacy Office
The Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO) is a private non-profit corporation. Its mission is to work with and for oppressed and vulnerable individuals in Georgia who are labeled as disabled or mentally ill to secure their protection and advocacy. GAO's work is mandated by Congress, and GAO has been designated by Georgia as the agency to implement Protection and Advocacy within the state.

Hawaii Disability Rights Center
HDRC is the designated Client Assistance Program (CAP) and Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System for Hawaii's estimated 180,000 residents with disabilities. We strive to serve as many individuals with disabilities with as many different legal rights issues as our resources will allow.

Idaho Comprehensive Advocacy, Inc.
Assisting people with disabilities to protect, promote, and advance their legal and human rights, through quality legal, individual, and system advocacy.

Illinois Protection and Advocacy: Equip For Equality
We are a private, nonprofit organization that operates the federally mandated Protection & Advocacy System for Illinois, which safeguards the rights of children and adults with physical and mental disabilities (including developmental disabilities and mental illnesses).

Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services
IPAS was established to protect and promote the rights of individuals with disabilities, through empowerment and advocacy.

Iowa Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc.
Iowa Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc., is a federally funded program that will protect and advocate for the human and legal rights that ensure individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness a free, appropriate public education, employment opportunities and residence or treatment in the least restrictive environment or method and for freedom from stigma.

Kansas Advocacy And Protective Services
At our site, you will have an opportunity to see cases we are involved with, read our news letter, and email our staff with questions and concerns. You will also find extensive information pages. We hope this site will be valuable to you in your day to day challenges as consumers, as well as a resource for those working in similar fields.

Kentucky Protection and Advocacy
We are advocates working together with people who have disabilities to promote and protect their legal rights. Through our information and referral services, we try to answer questions about your rights under disability laws.

Louisiana Advocacy Center
The Advocacy Center (AC) is Louisiana's protection and advocacy system to protect the rights of persons with mental or physical disabilities. Among the diverse services offered are legal representation, information and referral, outreach and training.

Maine Disability Rights Center
DRC's mission is to advance and enforce the rights of individuals with disabilities. In working with and on behalf of people with disabilities, we are committed to the principles that people with disabilities can make choices and that they are entitled to enjoy life%u2019s benefits as full and equal members of Maine%u2019s communities.

Maryland Disability Law Center
The Maryland Disability Law Center (MDLC) is a private, non-profit organization staffed by attorneys and paralegals. MDLC is the Protection and Advocacy organization for Maryland. MDLC%u2019s mission is to ensure that people with disabilities are accorded the full rights and entitlements afforded to them by state and federal law.

Massachusetts Disability Law Center
Our Mission is to provide legal advocacy on disability issues that promote the fundamental rights of all people with disabilities to participate fully and equally in the social and economic life of Massachusetts.

Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc
Our goal is to advance the dignity, equality, self-determination, and expressed choices of individuals. Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) promotes, expands and protects the human and legal rights of people by providing them with information and advocacy.

Minnesota Disability Law Center
The Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC) addresses the unique legal needs of persons with disabilities. A statewide project, MDLC provides free civil legal assistance to individuals with disabilities on legal issues that are related to their disabilities.

Mississippi Protection and Advocacy System, Inc
MS P&A can help by providing individual advocacy, public information and education regarding the needs and rights of persons with mental illness, monitoring of state institutions and private and public psychiatric hospitals, identifying problems in the system of services delivery, and working to improve the system.

Missouri Protection & Advocacy
MO P&A provides eight federally funded programs to protect the legal rights of persons with disabilities. Due to limited funding in each program, the protection and advocacy system establishes specific service priorities and objectives on an annual basis.

Montana Advocacy Program
The mission of the Montana Advocacy Program is to protect and advocate the human, legal, and civil rights of Montanans with mental and physical disabilities while advancing dignity, equality, and self-determination.

Nebraska Advocacy Services, Inc
NAS investigates incidents of abuse and neglect and may provide legal representation to protect the legal and human rights of people with disabilities.

Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center
Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center (NDALC) is Nevada's federally mandated protection and advocacy system for the human, legal, and service rights for individuals with disabilities.

New Hampshire Disabilities Rights Center
The Disabilities Rights Center is dedicated to eliminating barriers existing in New Hampshire to the full and equal enjoyment of civil and other legal rights by people with disabilities.

New Jersey Protection and Advocacy, Inc
New Jersey Protection and Advocacy, Inc. (NJP&A) is the consumer-directed, non-profit organization that serves as New Jersey's designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in the state.

New Mexico Protection
The Protection and Advocacy System (P&A) is a private, non-profit organization which protects and promotes the rights of people with disabilities in New Mexico. P&A is the state's only legal rights center for people with disabilities. Each year, after public hearings and comment, P&A sets priorities for the cases and disability problems it will address.

New York Commission on Quality of Care
The mission of the Commission on Quality of Care is to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities in New York State and to protect their rights by ensuring and advancing programmatic and fiscal accountability, providing case-specific and systemic investigative and advocacy services, and offering impartial and informed advice and recommendations on disability issues.

North Carolina Governor's Advocacy Council
Purpose of GACPD is to provide a statewide protection and advocacy program; investigate complaints; pursue legal remedies for protection; review and recommend changes in laws; aid and assist local advocacy programs; and advise and assist on employment issues.

North Dakota Protection and Advocacy Project
The Protection & Advocacy Project is concerned with asserting the human, civil and legal rights of people with disabilities, especially those who are not able to protest deprivations on their own behalf. The Project operates in a manner which is consistent with the belief that people with disabilities have the same legal and constitutional rights and guarantees as every other American citizen.

Ohio Legal Rights Service
The Ohio Legal Rights Service (OLRS) is an independent state agency and the federally and state designated Protection and Advocacy system and Client Assistance Program for people with disabilities in the State of Ohio. The mission of the OLRS is to protect and guarantee the human, civil, and legal rights of Ohioans with disabilities.

Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc
The ODLC mission reflects a belief that people with disabilities are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect; to be free from abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination. The ODLC mission also reflects the belief that people with disabilities are entitled to equal rights and to equally effective access to the same opportunities as are afforded to other members of society.

Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy
PP&A should be considered a primary source of support to anyone in the state of Pennsylvania whose goal is to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Assistance may be provided to consumers, families of consumers, professionals, local service providers, county and state agencies, and any others that contact the agency.

Puerto Rico Ombudsman for Persons with Disabilities
La Oficina del Procurador de las Personas con Impedimentos ofrece diversos servicios para la población con impedimentos a través de toda la Isla de Puerto Rico.

South Carolina Protection and Advocacy
Our mission is to protect the legal, civil, and human rights of people with disabilities in South Carolina by enabling individuals to advocate for themselves, speaking on their behalf when they have been discriminated against or denied a service to which they are entitled and promoting policies and services which respect their choices.

South Dakota Advocacy Services
South Dakota Advocacy Services' Mission Statement: To protect and advocate the rights of South Dakotans with disabilities through legal, administrative, and other remedies.

Tennessee - Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee (DLAC)
Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee (DLAC) advocates for the rights of Tennesseans with disabilities to ensure they have an equal opportunity to be productive and respected members of our society.

Texas Advocacy, Incorporated
Advocacy, Incorporated: Working together to improve the lives of Texans with disabilities. The mission of Advocacy, Inc. is to advocate for, protect, and advance the legal, human, and service rights of people with disabilities.

Utah Disability Law Center
We envision a society where abilities, rather than disabilities are emphasized; all people have an equal opportunity to participate; and all people are treated with equity, dignity and respect for their expressed choices.

Vermont Protection and Advocacy
Vermont Protection and Advocacy defends and advances the rights of people with mental health and disability issues. We support human and civil rights by investigating: complaints of abuse and neglect and complaints of violations of individual rights.

Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy
The Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy (VOPA) helps with disability-related problems like abuse, neglect, and discrimination. We also help people with disabilities obtain services and treatment. All callers receive help with these problems. Individuals with problems, targeted in our program goals, may also receive advocacy services and/or legal representation.

Washington Protection & Advocacy System
The Washington Protection and Advocacy System (WPAS) is a private, non-profit organization that has been protecting the rights of people with disabilities in the state of Washington since 1972.

Washington DC University Legal Services
Services provided by ULS include information and referral; education and training; investigation of reported or suspected instances of abuse or neglect; legal counsel; technical assistance, and litigation services; and technical assistance regarding legislative and policy concerns. All services are offered free of charge to eligible individuals.

West Virginia Advocates, Inc
WVA provides information, referral and technical assistance on legal, civil and service rights to people with disabilities and their families, friends, advocates, guardians and representatives, service and support providers, and the public. WVA provides direct advocacy, including negotiation, mediation, investigation and legal representation as well as education and training.

Wisconsin Coalition for Advocacy
The Wisconsin Coalition for Advocacy provides protection and advocacy for people with disabilities throughout the state. WCA works throughout the state with individual consumers, their families, human service and other professionals, and policymakers who make and implement decisions on disability rights.

Wyoming Protection & Advocacy System
Wyoming Protection & Advocacy System's mission is to establish, expand, protect and enforce the human and civil rights of persons with disabilities through administrative, legal, and other appropriate remedies.

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