Search Penny Hill Press

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Developmental Disabilities Act

Umar Moulta-Ali
Analyst in Disability Policy

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (commonly known as the DD Act) provides federal financial assistance to states and public and nonprofit agencies to support community-based delivery of services to persons with developmental disabilities. The DD Act defines developmental disabilities (DD) as severe, life-long disabilities attributable to mental and/or physical impairment. The aim of the DD Act is to help individuals with DD maximize their potential through increased independence, productivity, inclusion, and integration into the community.

Title I of the DD Act authorizes appropriations for (1) State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (SCDDs) that are tasked with developing state-wide plans on delivering services to individuals with DD; (2) Protection and Advocacy (P&A) systems, which investigate reported incidents of abuse and neglect of individuals with DD; (3) University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) that engage in applied research on DD; and (4) Projects of National Significance (PNS), which fund public nonprofits focused on enhancing the independence, productivity, and social inclusion of individuals with DD.

Title II of the DD Act authorizes competitive grants to help states strengthen their family support programs for families with a severely disabled family member. Title III of the DD Act authorizes one scholarship program to provide vouchers for post-secondary education for direct support workers who assist individuals with DD either through an institution of higher education or state agency. Title III also authorizes a grant program for the development, evaluation, and dissemination of a staff development curriculum.

Authorization of appropriations for the DD Act programs expired at the end of FY2007, although Congress has continued to provide appropriations for the programs. The 111
th Congress has not considered legislation to reauthorize the DD Act. This report provides background and funding information on DD Act programs, discusses evaluation activities, and summarizes recent legislative efforts related to the DD Act.

Date of Report: November 12, 2010
Number of Pages: 31
Order Number: RL34507
Price: $29.95

Follow us on TWITTER at or #CRSreports

Document available via e-mail as a pdf file or in paper form.
To order, e-mail
Penny Hill Press  or call us at 301-253-0881. Provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.