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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance
and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act)

Since 1963, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) has made a crucial difference in the lives and futures of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Through the DD Act, federal funds support the development and operation of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, Protection and Advocacy Systems, University Centers (formerly known as university affiliated programs), and projects of national significance.

This crucial investment has provided the structure to assist people with developmental disabilities to pursue meaningful and productive lives. These programs have made community living possible for individuals with significant disabilities across our Nation. The DD Act has led to further federal legislation in support of all people with disabilities.

When the DD Act was first conceived by President Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and Dr. Robert Cooke, the primary emphasis was on the advancement of scientific understanding, professional education, and ensuring access to, and safety of, institutional facilities. Later changes, as conceived by Dr. Elizabeth Boggs, Dr. Elsie Helsel, and others, focused on the efforts of families, professionals, and state agencies to improve supports for all people with developmental disabilities. Today, the programs emphasize fundamental systems change, including legal services, advocacy, and capacity building at the state and local levels. The focus is on listening to people with developmental disabilities as self advocates, and helping people with developmental disabilities and their families obtain the information, assistive technology, and supports they need in order to make more informed choices about how and where to live and work, and be active and involved citizens in their communities.

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000

The text of The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 can be read online at Administration for Community Living (US Department of Health and Human Services) Web site.

Index of DD Act-Related Documents:

Year Description Author/Publisher File Name
1963 Mental Health: Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce House of Representatives Committee of Interstate and Foreign Commerce 63-MHH-CIF.pdf
1970 Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Act of 1970 Mr. Kennedy, The Committee on Labor and Public Welfare 70-DDS-MKT.pdf
1971 Secretary's Committee on Mental Retardation: Programs for the Handicapped National Advisory Council on Services and Facilities for the Developmentally Disabled 71-SCM-NAC.pdf
1974 DD Act of 1974 and Committee Report Mr. Randolph, Committee on Labor and Public Welfare 74-DDA-MRC.pdf
1975 DD Act of 1975 US House and Senate 75-DDA-USH.pdf
1978 DD Act of 1978 US House and Senate 78-DDA-USH.pdf
1978 Identification of the New Developmental Disabilities Act, Memo to Marjorie Kirkland, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Robert A. Dublin, Attorney, US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare 78-IND-RAD.pdf
1981 DD Act of 1981 US House and Senate 81-DDA-3.pdf
1983 Study Regarding Reauthorization of the DD Act Howard Shapiro, Susan Ames-Zierman, National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils 83-SRR-HSS.pdf
1984 DD Act of 1984 US House and Senate 84-DDA-USH.pdf
1987 DD Act of 1987 US House and Senate 87-DDA-USH.pdf
1990 DD Act of 1990 US House and Senate 90-DDA-USH.pdf

©2019 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.