The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 ( DD Act ) states that the purpose of State Councils is to engage in advocacy, capacity building and systemic change activities that are consistent with the purpose of the DD Act and; contribute to a coordinated, consumer and family centered, consumer and family directed, comprehensive system of community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that enable individuals with developmental disabilities to exercise self-determination, be independent, be productive and be integrated and included in all facets of community life.
DD Councils are encouraged to promote the involvement of their members and staff, especially persons with developmental disabilities and their families. Councils on Developmental Disabilities are located in every State and Territory. Council members are appointed by governors to represent and advocate for people with developmental disabilities. At least 60% of the Council must be persons with developmental disabilities or family members.
The DD Act charges Councils to identify the most pressing needs of people with developmental disabilities and to develop innovative and cost-effective ways to meet these needs in a manner that uphold that human and civil value of people with developmental disabilities.
Each Council develops a 5-Year State Plan identifying goals relating to all or some of the following priority areas: Self-Advocacy, Community Supports, Education, Employment, Health, Transportation, Early Intervention, Recreation, Housing and Quality Assurance. Activities may include: outreach, training, technical assistance, supporting and educating communities, interagency collaboration and coordination, barrier elimination, systems design and redesign, coalition development and citizen participation, informing policy makers, and demonstration of new approaches to services and supports.
The New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Council also is charged with duties and responsibilities under the State DD Act: [CHAPTER 28 ARTICLE 16A Developmental Disabilities]