empowerment • opportunity • inclusion


The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council envisions a state where all people with developmental disabilities exercise control over their lives, reach their full potential, and lead healthy, fulfilling lives with enriching relationships.


The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council’s mission is to advance the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life by eliminating barriers, creating opportunities, empowering people, and promoting innovation.

To accomplish our mission, the Council:

  • Educates and informs policymakers about issues of importance to people with developmental disabilities and their families.
  • Advocates for policies, practices, laws and services that support people with developmental disabilities to exercise control over their lives, reach their full potential, and lead productive, meaningful lives.
  • Designs & funds initiatives that increase community inclusion, improve services and supports, and increase opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to pursue their hopes, dreams and aspirations.
  • Promotes innovative approaches to supporting people to live, learn, work and enjoy community life.
  • Advocates for the elimination of barriers that create separation and segregation and limit opportunities for full inclusion and community participation.
  • Raises public awareness about people’s contributions and capabilities so differences are respected, attitudes change, and inclusion and equality become an expectation.
  • Supports people with developmental disabilities and their family members to develop advocacy and leadership skills to affect change in their own lives and the lives of others.

The Council works in partnership with people with developmental disabilities and their families, as well as other individuals and organizations, to bring about lasting change. We develop a five year State Plan that establishes our priorities and serves as a roadmap for accomplishing our goals.

Legal Authorization

The Maryland DD Council is an independent self-governing organization established in 1971 and funded through the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act). The Council receives an annual federal funding allocation administered through the Office of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (OIDD). Disability Rights Maryland (formerly Maryland Disability Law Center) and Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) are also funded through the DD Act and the three organizations work collaboratively on shared priorities.