Who We Are

Advocates was established 30 years ago by parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Today, Advocates continues its mission as a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization, overseen by a Board of Directors. We currently serve over 1,000 children and adults in New York.

Advocates is dedicated to empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with information and resources to lead full and meaningful lives in their communities. Advocates provides information, support, training, and services to help individuals with disabilities and their families achieve their goals.

Advocates is the leading provider of person-centered, self-directed services in Central New York. Advocates differs from other providers with our ratio of employees to the number of individuals we serve. We support people with disabilities to hire family, friends and neighbors in addition to recruiting staff. This model allows us to support people in their own communities with 1:1 staffing.  We are 1,000 employees strong!

Self-Direction gives people the flexibility to choose the mix of supports and services that are the best fit for them and their family so that they can live the life they want. Advocates partners with the person and their Circle of Support including their Care Manager to ensure that they have the level of support that they need to choose and co-manage their services, staff, and schedule based on what works best for them.

Last year, Advocates:

  • Provided more than $1.7 million in financial assistance to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families
  • Helped hundreds of young people transition out of school with individualized supports
  • Offered family reimbursement, family training, service access, and medical advocacy to individuals with disabilities in Central New York
  • Provided approximately 4,000 hours of inclusive recreational activities for individuals and their families. 

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