About Us

The Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Council is authorized by the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, and in New Jersey State government by NJSA 30:1AA 1.2 and is codified in Title 10 of the State Administrative Codes. State law places the Council “in but not of” the New Jersey Department of Human Services.

Many public and private agencies are involved in the lives of people with developmental disabilities. The Council provides a platform for these agencies, together with consumers, family members, and advocates, to develop a coordinated social policy. To this end, the Council commissions research on policy issues and funds model programs. The Council also funds projects to educate and inform decision-makers, legislators, and the general public about developmental disabilities.

The purpose of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-402)

;is to assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design and have access to needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self determination, independence, productivity, integration and inclusion in all facets of life through culturally competent programs.

The purpose of the Developmental Disabilities Councils, according to federal law, is to engage in advocacy, capacity building and systemic change that contribute to a coordinated, consumer and family-centered, consumer- and family-directed comprehensive system that includes needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self determination for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

The Vision of the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities

is that all individuals with developmental disabilities are contributing members of their neighborhoods and communities; make real choices and have control over their own lives; have the freedom to strive, excel, and make mistakes; are in a position to achieve personal goals, are in a position to affect policy and process decisions that affect their lives; and have the same rights, privileges, responsibilities, and opportunities of citizenship as does any other New Jersey resident.

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY is a condition that:

  • Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental or physical impairments;
  • Is manifest before age 22;
  • Is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • Results in substantial function limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity, that is, self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction and capacity for independent living or economic self-sufficiency; and
  • Reflects the need for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services which are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.
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