The DDC was established in 1976 through an executive order from the Governor. We are funded by the federal government, are independent of the state government, and are guided by a federal law called the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, often called the “DD Act” for short. There is a Developmental Disabilities Council in every state and territory across the country.
We collaborate and coordinate with other agencies and organizations, train leaders and advocates, and advocate for better policies, programs, and practices. Everything we do is based on our core values of self-determination, independence, inclusion, integration, and productivity for people with developmental disabilities.
To advocate, promote, and implement policies and practices to create pathways to meaningful, integrated, and productive lives for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities over the life course.
In other words, our job is to understand the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families, and to figure out ways to improve the system so that it supports people to live successfully in the community.
Council members are appointed by the Governor to serve three-year terms. At least 60% of our members are required to be people with developmental disabilities and family members of people with developmental disabilities. Other members are representatives from state agencies and other organizations we work with. Council membership must reflect the diversity of communities across Washington State.
This includes geographic location, disability identity, and racial/ethnic identity. Each year there are openings on the Council and we are always accepting applications. If you are interested in applying, please click here to learn more about becoming a member of the Council.
There are many ways to become involved with council activities, from joining council, attending a meeting, or becoming involved in advocacy.