NDRN is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.
The Protection and Advocacy (P&A) network was created by Congress after the Willowbrook scandal unearthed the horrible conditions in that institution. Read more about the Network's history here. The newly created P&A agencies began to realize that in order to be able to advocate for their clients, they needed a national voice in Washington, DC for their own protection, survival and growth. This was especially true, as soon after the creation of the system, the Reagan Administration came into power and began to disassemble federal programs.
NDRN, then called the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS), was established in 1980. NAPAS functioned as a traditional trade association, representing the interests of the P&A/CAP network on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
NDRN has three main priorities:
NDRN's top priority is to obtain increased appropriations for the programs that fund the P&A/CAP network. NDRN also monitors the administration of these programs by the various federal agencies in the areas of timely grant awards, policies, oversight activities, data collection, etc.
NDRN works to keep federal laws for people with disabilities robust, as P&As must enforce those statutes at the state level.
NDRN provides training and technical assistance to its members on a broad range of topics including legal, fiscal, governance, leadership, communications and organizational development of the P&A/CAP system. Find out more about the Training and Advocacy Support Center at NDRN.
All of NDRN's goals and activities are based on its understanding of the needs and capacities of the P&A/CAP network