Moments in Disability History 10
"DD Act - Protection and Advocacy"
The establishment of the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) title in the 1975 amendments to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) was a civil rights achievement of several leaders including the late Elizabeth Boggs, Ph.D. A forerunner to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the P&A system was originally created to address and protect the legal, civil and human rights of people with disabilities residing in institutions.
The influence of Dr. Boggs, a parent, nuclear physicist, President of the then NARC, and member of President John F. Kennedy's President's Panel, is described by Allan Bergman, a nationally recognized leader in influencing the development of federal and state policy relating to best practice services and supports for persons with disabilities.
In 1973, Senator Jacob Javits, serving as Senator Pro Tempore of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Subcommittee on the Handicapped, held a hearing regarding an extension of the DD Act to establish, among other things, standards to protect individuals
Cliff Poetz, self advocate, Donald Bartlette, director of Outreach Community Center, and Dennis Haggerty, member of the National Advisory Council on Developmental Disabilities testified in support of this legislation. Here are highlights of their testimony.
Please note: The language and terminology used here goes back to the 1970s, and is now outdated and considered offensive. At the time, however, it was acceptable and is retained for its historical significance.
Video: Allan Bergman on the DD Act:
Q6: Why was the Protection &
Advocacy System added to the DD Act
when it was reauthorized in 1975?