It is estimated that between 7 and 8 million Americans of all ages, or three percent of the general population, experience intellectual disabilities. Nearly 30 million, or one in ten families in the United States, are directly affected by a person with intellectual disabilities at some point in their lifetime.
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson established The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID), formerly The President's Committee on Mental Retardation, to ensure the right of a “decent, dignified place in society” for people with intellectual disabilities. Since that time, PCPID has served as a federal advisory committee to the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on matters relating to persons with intellectual disabilities.
PCPID promotes policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their respective communities. The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities provides oversight and support for PCPID.
As an advisory committee, PCPID does not receive an appropriation from Congress to administer Federal funds and thus is not an agency that administers grants or provides financial and technical assistance to individuals, groups, agencies, or organizations.
The mission of PCPID is to provide advice and assistance to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on a broad range of topics that impact people with intellectual disabilities and the field of intellectual disabilities. Undergirding the Committee’s mission is the goal to improve the quality of life that is experienced by people with intellectual disabilities, by upholding their full citizenship rights, independence, self-determination, and life-long participation in their respective communities.
PCPID is comprised of 34 members, including 19 citizen members and thirteen ex officio (Federal Government) members; a maximum of 21 citizen members is allowed. Citizen members are appointed by the President and serve for a maximum of two years. A variety of individuals are appointed as citizen members, including parents of individuals with intellectual disabilities, scientists and professionals employed in the field of intellectual disabilities, community and business representatives, and systems advocates.
The 13 ex officio members include the secretaries of Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Transportation, Interior, and Homeland Security; the U.S. Attorney General; the President and CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service; the Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; the Chair of the National Council on Disability; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. PCPID is also supported by a team of federal employees.
PCPID holds formal meetings at least twice within a fiscal year and convenes informally throughout the year. In addition, PCPID is mandated to submit an annual report to the President. This report is the vehicle through which members provide advice to the President regarding issues and recommendations pertaining to intellectual disabilities.
For additional information, please contact:
Madjid (MJ) Karimi, Program Analyst
President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities