Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 2000
Purpose - to assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to culturally competent services, supports, and other assistance and opportunities that promote independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion into the community, through --
The following text was prepared by :Bobby Silverstein, Director of the Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy 1730 K Street, N.W. Suite 1212 Washington, D.C. 20006 (202) 223-5340 (V/TTY) or email
The text is reprinted here with permission from the author.
On October 30, 2000 President Clinton signed into law the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (Public Law No.106-402). The legislation (the DD Act) reauthorizes the Developmental Disabilities Councils (renamed the Councils on Developmental Disabilities), the Protection and Advocacy Systems, the University Affiliated Programs (renamed University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service), and programs of national significance. In addition, the legislation authorizes separate grants for family support and a program of direct support for workers who assist individuals with developmental disabilities.
The major themes of the reauthorization include:
The 1970 reauthorization established funding for Developmental Disabilities Councils to coordinate and integrate the provision of services for persons with developmental disabilities in the least restrictive environment.
In 1975, Congress created and authorized funding for Protection and Advocacy Systems in each state to ensure the safety and well being of individuals with developmental disabilities. The 1975 reauthorization also established and authorized funding for projects of national significance to address national needs
FINDINGS, PURPOSES, AND POLICY OF THE DD ACT,
The legislation updates the terminology regarding the forms of assistance individuals with developmental disabilities require to live in the community by specifying that such individuals often require "lifelong community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance, that are most effective when provided in a coordinated manner."
The legislation emphasizes that many service delivery systems and communities are not prepared to meet the impending needs of adults with developmental disabilities who are living at home with parents who are 60 years old or older and who serve as the primary caregivers of the adults.
In addition, the legislation points out that in almost every state, individuals with developmental disabilities are waiting for appropriate services in their communities.
Further, the legislation recognizes that there is an increasing need for a well-trained workforce that is able to provide services, supports, and other forms of direct assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities living and working in the community and participating in all aspects of community life.
The goals of the Act are updated to include providing individuals with disabilities with the information, skills, opportunities and supports to live free of abuse, neglect, financial and sexual exploitation, and violations of their legal and human rights.
The overall purpose of the Act is updated to assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that not only promote independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion [prior law]) but also self-determination ([new] through culturally competent programs.
With respect to State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, the DD Act updates the purposes to focus on advocacy [now listed first] as well as capacity building and systemic change that, among other things, contribute to coordinated, consumer and family-centered, consumer and family directed, comprehensive systems that include community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
With respect to protection and advocacy systems, the DD Act restates the long-standing purpose to protect the legal and human rights of individuals with developmental disabilities.
With respect to University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service, the legislation focuses on continuing education as well as pre-service education the provision of community services, the conduct of research and the dissemination of information. The purpose is also to provide funding for national initiatives to collect necessary data and the provision of technical assistance.
The statement of purpose of the legislation is updated to ensure that programs, projects, and activities receiving assistance under the Act are carried out consistent with the principles that individuals with developmental disabilities, including those with the most severe developmental disabilities, are capable of self-determination. Additional updates include the following principles:
Principles guiding the Amendments of 1996