Developmental Disabilities Act: What It Is and Why We Should Care

Many may not know about the Developmental Disabilities Act, and in fact, some may only vaguely know what a developmental disability is. Understanding the DD Act is important for people with disabilities and their families because of all the benefits the act offers. Even if you don’t have a developmental disability or know anyone with one, it’s important to empower individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to help shape policies that impact them.

What Is the Developmental Disabilities Act?

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 is designed to improve conditions and expand opportunities for people who historically have faced exclusion from schools, jobs, and other community activities because of developmental disabilities. A developmental disability is one that pertains to mental or physical impairments that are a result of a genetic defect or many other factors. The act mainly focuses on advocacy and giving families the power to change their involvement in society.

How Does It Affect Me?

The DD Act puts specific programs in place in order to aid people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Act does not directly fund services; rather, it aims to put services in the hands of the community. If the programs are utilized, the DD Act could have a great effect on your family. The programs encourage advocacy, promote awareness and acceptance, and unite communities.

Some of the programs include:

  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities
  • Family Support Programs
  • Direct Support Workforce
  • State Protection & Advocacy Systems
  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service
  • Projects of National Significance

Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities (ACDD) falls under the DD Act’s State Councils program category. ACDD offers a number of resources and advocates for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Contact us to learn more about how ACDD can aid you or a family member.