Realizing the Intent of the DD Act
How the DD Network Advances the Independence, Productivity, and Integration of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
- Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDDs), State Protection and Advocacy Systems, State Councils on Developmental Disabilities
- DD ACT
- DD ACT, Statute
- DD Act, Disabilities Law
The DD Network's Central Role in Advancing the Field of ID/DD
The past four decades have seen the DD Network lead transformative changes away from the old model of people with developmental disabilities living in institutions towards systems that support the independence and integration of people with developmental disabilities in communities. The DD Network has been integral to the development and change of service systems across the country, providing resources, research, and training on cutting edge service strategies, and providing legal advocacy for people with developmental disabilities. As described later in this document, the efforts of the DD Network partners are essential in helping states meet the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Olmstead decision.
The DD Network partners engage in critical functions that would otherwise be a gap in the development of service systems, as they are not within the scope, capabilities, or responsibility of the publically funded state services system whose main goal is to provide funding for, and oversight of, services to individuals. The DD Network partners fulfill a critical role in moving the entire field of intellectual and developmental disabilities forward through conducting research, developing new programs, testing of new ideas, and education and training that enhances the lives of individuals with disabilities and improves the capacity of those providing supports.
- DD Councils have been trailblazers in establishing the now nationally adopted practice that assures that the voices of people with developmental disabilities and their families are included as essential stakeholders in determining policy. Through their policy training programs, inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and their families in planning efforts as council members, and support of self-advocacy, councils serve as a model for the inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities in decisions affecting their lives.
- The DD Councils provide training in policymaking to family members through the Partners in Policymaking efforts in 30 states, bringing the voices of families and individuals with disabilities into the policymaking arena.6
- All DD Councils support goals establishing and strengthening self-advocacy groups, offering training and support to help develop and promote self-advocacy which allows individuals with ID/DD to speak for themselves in every state and territory.
- The councils provide seed grants to fund 'best practice' projects and initiatives, demonstrating their effectiveness and working with stakeholder and partners to have practices adopted by service systems. For example, 24 DD Councils have invested in the training of direct support professionals, enhancing the quality of services to people with developmental disabilities and leading to the adoption of these training programs as part of the state's qualifications for all providers.
- The UCEDDs provide a laboratory for demonstrating emerging and promising positive practices such as working with provider agencies on using positive behavioral supports and providing training to professionals on cutting-edge approaches to serving children with autism.
- The UCEDDs develop and provide services demonstrating promising new and emerging practices that serve as models for the greater provider community.
- The UCEDDs engage in research that advances the field of intellectual disabilities including such diverse areas as genetics to helping individuals with ID/DD develop relationships to assessing the efficacy of technology in assisting individuals with ID/DD.
- The UCEDDs train the next generation of professionals working in a wide range of disciplines that impact people with disabilities by providing additional research and educational opportunities to approximately 2000 undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students each year.
- The P&A agencies play a pivotal role in assuring that the civil rights of individuals with ID/DD are upheld through both advocacy and litigation.
- The P&A agencies are engaged in numerous litigation activities, many of which relate to individuals with ID/DD.
- The P&A agencies successfully litigate cases that have resulted in the expansion of community services for people with ID/DD including litigation around waiting lists, access to services and upholding the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Realizing the Intent of the DD Act (756.03 KB)