Missouri Protection & Advocacy Services
Susan K. Eckles is the Managing Attorney of Missouri Protection & Advocacy Services (“Mo P&A”), where she oversees ten staff attorneys statewide. Mo P&A, part of the National Disability Rights Network, is the state-designated, federally mandated and funded, non-profit protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in the State of Missouri. Areas of practice include guardianship, benefits appeals, education, ADA and Section 504 issues, Olmstead issues, supported decision making, and housing and employment discrimination.
A native Nebraskan, Susan graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1985 with a dual degree in history and political science. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, Susan spent 12 years with the Missouri State Public Defender in appellate and trial practice in St. Louis, followed by 3 years in private civil appellate and litigation practice, before joining Mo P&A as Managing Attorney in July 2007.
Susan’s work with Mo P&A includes serving as Mo P&A's representative on the Missouri DD Council since 2008, where she serves on the Home and Community Living, and Employment and Transportation Committees; co-developing the 2008-2010 statewide guardianship demonstration project with the DD Council and UCEDD, to identify best practices and systemic guardianship issues throughout the state; and co-developing and serving on the MO WINGS guardianship reform task force, which developed proposed legislation resulting in the 2018 updates to the state guardianship code. Susan continues to be involved with MO WINGS, as well as a Supported Decision Making statewide consortium. As of 2020, Susan also serves on several different workgroups addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her spare time, Susan serves on the Advisory Board for Miracle Horse Rescue & Sanctuary, gardens, works on animal welfare and rescue issues, and participates in civic engagement.