1996 — Voices and Visions: Building Leadership for the 21st Century
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
- Publications, Annual Reports to the President
- Annual Reports
The mission of the President's Committee on Mental Retardation (PCMR) is to act in an advisory capacity to the President and to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on matters relating to policy and programs affecting services and supports for people with mental retardation.
Approximately one in ten families are directly affected by a person with mental retardation at some point in their lifetime. Many more are involved as neighbors, classmates, co-workers and friends. Despite many advances in the field, mental retardation continues to present a major challenge to the social, educational, health and economic systems within the United States.
The President's Committee on Mental Retardation was formally established in 1966 to focus on this critical subject of national concern. Since 1974, the Committee has organized national planning, stimulated the development of plans, policies and programs, and advanced the concept of community inclusion and participation for individuals with mental retardation.
To continue to best fulfill its purpose, the Committee has adopted several national goals. These goals recognize and uphold the right of all people with mental retardation to create for themselves a life that reflects independence, self-determination, and participation as productive members of society. They include the assurance of full citizenship rights of people with mental retardation, the provision of all necessary supports to individuals and families, the reduction of the occurrence and severity of mental retardation, and the promotion of the widest possible dissemination of information on policies, programs and service models that foster independence, self-determination and social and economic participation.
The mid-1990s have been a time of renewed activity and commitment for the Committee. For the first time in the Committee's history, President Clinton appointed two leaders in the self-advocacy movement, people who themselves have mental retardation. These individuals are participating actively with the other 19 citizen members and nine public members to address these goals. The Committee is justifiably proud of its recent accomplishments, as well as its major contributions over the past 30 years.
Looking ahead to the 21st Century, the Committee recognized an obligation to identify the next generation of leaders in mental retardation, and to begin actively supporting them in their efforts. The Committee therefore convened the Next Generation Leadership Symposium on September 27, 1996, bringing together future leaders from a wide range of service and advocacy communities. Their recommendations form the heart of this report.