History

The Advocacy Center of Louisiana (AC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization organized in 1977 to protect, empower and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and senior citizens in Louisiana.

AC protects, empowers, and advocates for the human and legal rights of people with disabilities and seniors living in Louisiana, in order that they may live an integrated life in the community, free from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. AC does this through direct legal representation, information and referral, education and training, and systems advocacy.

The agency was founded pursuant to a federal law establishing protection and advocacy systems in each state and territory in the U.S. The mandate of the protection and advocacy systems is "to pursue legal, administrative, and other appropriate means to ensure the rights of persons with development disabilities in the state." Since 1977, we have added other populations to our client base including persons with other mental and physical disabilities and senior citizens.

Since its inception, AC has sought to advocate for people in three major ways: through direct one-on-one representation; through systems advocacy (changing the systems that serve our clientele); and through education and training so that people are capable of advocating for their own rights.

Starting with a budget of $64,000, a staff of four, and one office in New Orleans, the Advocacy Center has grown to an agency with a budget of $3.8 million, and a staff of fifty who work out of offices in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette, and out of field offices throughout the state.