NDRN’s mission is to promote the integrity and capacity of the P&A/CAP national network and to advocate for the enactment and vigorous enforcement of laws protecting civil and human rights of people with disabilities.

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.