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Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (PADD)

PADD is established to protect the legal and human rights of individuals with develomental disabilities, and has authority to:

  • Pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate remedies or approaches to ensure the protection of, and advocacy for, the rights of such individuals in the State who are or who may be eligible for treatment, services, or habilitation, or who are being considered for a change in living arrangements, with particular attention to members of ethnic and racial minority groups;
  • Provide information on and referral to programs and services addressing the needs of individuals with develomental disabilities;
  • Investigate incidents of abuse and neglect of individuals with developmental disabilities if the incidents are reported to the system or if there is probable cause to believe that the incidents occurred;
  • Have access at reasonable times to any individual with a developmental disability in a location in which services, supports, and other assistance are provided to such an individual;
  • Have access to all records as outlined in Section 143(2((I) and (J) of the Act; and
  • Educate policymakers.

PADD may provide services for the following individuals:

An individual with a severe chronic disability that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;


Is manifested before the individual attains age 22;


Is likely to continue indefinitely;


Results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activitiey:

  • Self-care
  • Receptive and expressive language
  • Learning
  • Mobility
  • Self-direction
  • Capacity for independent living
  • Economic self-sufficiency


Reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.


An individual from birth to age 9, inclusive, who has a substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition, may be considered to have a developmental disability without meeting three or more of the criteria described in 1 - 5 above, if the individual, without services, and supports, has a high probability of meeting those criteria later in life.

PADD is authorized in:

42 U.S.C. § 15001, P.L. 106-402
Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1975, as amended
(Last amendment and reauthorization: 2000)

PADD is administered and regulated by:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD)
HHS, Mail Stop HHH 453-G, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW
Washington DC  20447
Phone: (202) 401-6970, Fax: (202) 690-6904


Administration for Community Living

Montana Developmental Disabilities Division

Montana Developmental Disabilities Program

Questions about PADD? Contact Us: