Protection & Advocacy for Individual Rights

Why the Program is needed

There are significant infringements on the legal and human rights of individuals with all types of disabilities, especially in the areas of education, employment, transportation, and housing. This program enables state protection and advocacy (P&A) systems to represent individuals with disabilities who do not meet eligibility criteria for P&A programs designed exclusively for individuals with developmental disabilities or mental illness.

What it does

The PAIR program supports the P&A system in each state to protect the legal and human rights of individuals with disabilities.  Each PAIR program must set annual priorities and objectives to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in each state. Although the objectives and priorities vary from state to state, most PAIR programs set priorities and objectives aimed at reducing barriers to education, employment, transportation, and housing.  In addition, PAIR programs advocate on behalf of individuals with significant disabilities to promote community integration and full participation in society. Eligible systems have the authority to pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies. Protection and advocacy systems may be housed in public or private entities as designated by the governor.

Authorizing Legislation

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (U.S.C. 794(e))

Recent Funding

Please see the table on the Funding for Federal Disability-related Programs page.

For More Information

Department of Education Information Page