Who We Are

Advocates was established 28 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.

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. No other agency located within Onondaga County and its surrounding counties provides comparable levels of individualized services. Advocates differs from other providers due to its ratio of employees to the number of individuals they serve allowing them to support people in their own communities with 1:1 staffing.  Advocates’ Self-Direction gives individuals with disabilities the flexibility to choose the mix of supports and services that are right for them so that they can live the life they want. With Self-Direction, the individual with the disability chooses their services, their staff, and a schedule that 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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