Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Disabilities
Authored By: GLSC-Disability Law Center
In 1999, GLSC-DLC became the designated Protection and Advocacy Office for Guam. As such, GLSC-DLC Disability Law Center (DLC) is Guam's Protection and Advocacy agency mandated to promote and protect the legal and human rights of individuals with physical and/or mental disability.
To qualify for any of the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) programs in the GLSC-DLC DLC, a person must have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the legal issue for which help is sought must be related to the disability. Likewise, the issue cannot be raised for financial gain and cannot be fee-generating. The issue must fall within certain priorities and may be limited by available resources, the existence of other programs that can address the applicant's issue, and the potential effect on the person's life, health, and safety. These eligibility factors apply across all P&A programs. In addition, there cannot be a conflict of interest applicable to the parties involved.
Under the Protection and Advocacy programs, there is no charge to clients for legal services. However, clients are responsible for paying fees associated with their case (for example: court-filing fees, notice publication fees, and documents recording fees with government agencies). If a client is unable to pay these fees, GLSC can work with the client to determine if the fees can be waived.
Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI)
The first of such programs is the program for the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI), which assists individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness or emotional impairment. The PAIMI program monitors and investigates abuse and neglect in facilities and group homes that care for or treat individuals with mental illness and provides representation at fair hearings for government benefits and adult legal guardianships.
Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (PADD)
The program for the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (PADD) assists individuals who have a developmental disability. A developmental disability is a life-long disability that manifests itself before age 22 and is attributed to mental and/or physical impairments. The PADD program priorities include legal advocacy for appropriate special education services and care and treatment in the least restrictive environment. Many of the same services with PAIMI are available for PADD clients.
Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR)
The program for the Protection and Advocacy for Individual Rights (PAIR) assists individuals with disabilities who are not eligible for services under the PADD or PAIMI programs, such as those with physical disabilities acquired as an adult. Services include advocacy in regards to personal decision making powers and assisting in delegating these powers when appropriate.
Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT)
The program for the Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT) assists individuals with disabilities in accessing technology devices and assistive technology services through advocacy and legal representation.
Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI)
The program for the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI) provides information, referral and advocacy services to individuals who face a loss of legal rights as a direct result of TBI.
Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS)
The program for the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) assists beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with issues related to securing or regaining gainful employment. This includes information and referral, consultation and legal representation when necessary, and advocacy related to the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Implementation Act (TWWIIA).
Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA)
The program for the Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access (PAVA) is meant to ensure that individuals with disabilities can have full participation in the electoral process. This includes registering to vote, casting a vote, and accessing polling places. The priorities under the PAVA program include educational outreach and advocacy.
The GLSC-DLC is one of the three (3) organizations that make up the Guam Developmental Disabilities (DD) Network. Guam DD Network partners include:
Guam Legal Services Corporation - Disability Law Center
Guam Developmental Disabilities Council
University of Guam Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UOG-CEDDERS).