What are Councils on Developmental Disabilities?
Councils on Developmental Disabilities were created through the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) in 1970 to “engage in advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change activities that are consistent with the purpose of the DD Act; and contribute to a coordinated, consumer and family-centered, consumer and family-directed, comprehensive system of community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that enable individuals with developmental disabilities to exercise self-determination, be independent, be productive and be integrated and included in all facets of community life.”
Councils are expected to work collaboratively with other entities funded under the DD Act, including the Protection and Advocacy systems, and the University Centers on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) in the State. There are 55 State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, one in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Marianas, and American Samoa.
Council members are appointed by governors to represent and advocate for people with developmental disabilities. Council Members serve in a volunteer capacity. More than 60% of these volunteers must be people with developmental disabilities or family members.
The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) provides information on finding the DD Council in your state! Go here for more information.
NACDD also works with Congress to represent the issues that are important to individuals with disabilities and their families, represents DD Councils at coalitions, and provides Councils with opportunities to share programs and resources that can lead to good outcomes for individuals and their families-including siblings! NACDD is committed to supporting siblings, especially as more states continue to form state SLN chapters.