Celebrating 53 Years of the Developmental Disabilities Act

October 31, 2016, by Jennifer G. Johnson, Ed.D., Deputy Director, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

ACL logo

Fifty three years ago today, President John F. Kennedy signed a historic piece of legislation that we now know as the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act).

At the time, people with developmental disabilities (DD) faced exclusion from many spheres of public and private life, including most schools and community spaces. Many spent nearly their entire lives in large, state-run institutions that were often grossly underfunded and where reports of systemic abuse and neglect were common.

Speaking in Montgomery, Ala. this summer, Administration on Disabilities Commissioner Aaron Bishop explained how he came to see the parallels between the segregation and discrimination faced by people with DD and his family’s experiences of racial segregation and discrimination.

Bishop also describes the evolution of DD Act programs and their impact in Alabama and across the country over the last 53 years.

Read the rest of the article by Administration for Community Living.



2017

  • About the Council

    The Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council is a Federal-State partnership working to plan for and with people with developmental disabilities and their families.

  • Partnerships & Initiatives

  • What We're About

    Developmental Disabilities Council is a Federal-State partnership working to plan for and with people with developmental disabilities and their families.

    Join The Council

    If you are passionate about public policy, and dedicated to improving the lives of persons with I/DD in Washington State, we welcome your application.

    Access For Members

    Council meeting materials, agendas, and forms. You’ll find everything you need to prepare for the next meeting (or review the previous year) right here.