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NJ State Statute
Fifty-Six State Councils on Developmental Disabilities in the United States are federally funded, self-governing organizations working to address identified needs of people with developmental disabilities in their state or territory.
By conducting advocacy, systems change, and capacity building efforts that promote self-determination, integration, and inclusion councils are committed to advancing public policy and systems change that help these individuals gain more control over their lives.
Activities include conducting outreach, providing training and technical assistance, removing barriers, developing coalitions, encouraging citizen participation, and keeping policymakers informed about disability issues.
- The State Council on Developmental Disabilities, established pursuant to Executive Order Number 20 of 1971, as amended by Executive Order Number 49 of 1973 and Executive Order Number 42 of 1976, is hereby established and continued in the Executive Branch of State Government.
- For the purpose of complying with the provisions of Article V, Section IV, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities is hereby allocated within the Department of Human Services, but, notwithstanding said allocation, the council shall be independent of any supervision or control by the department or any board or officer thereof, or any other cabinet-level department, board or officer thereof. The council shall operate in a manner that shall assure compliance with State and federal administrative, fiscal, legislative, procedural and personnel requirements.
- In addition to the powers and duties herein provided, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities shall constitute the planning entity authorized in the “Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000,” Pub.L.106-402, 42 U.S.C. s.15001 et seq., and shall exercise all the powers and duties as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes and provisions thereof.
1.The Legislature finds and declares that:
- Disability is a natural part of the human experience that does not diminish the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to live independently, exert control and choice over their own lives, and fully participate in and contribute to their communities through full integration and inclusion in the economic, political, social, cultural and educational mainstream of United States society;
- Recent studies indicate that individuals with developmental disabilities comprise between 1.2 and 1.65% of the United States population, and individuals whose disabilities occur during their developmental period frequently have severe disabilities that are likely to continue indefinitely;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities often encounter discrimination in the provision of critical services and are at greater risk than the general population of abuse, neglect, financial and sexual exploitation, and the violation of their legal and human rights;
- A substantial portion of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families do not have access to appropriate support and services, including access to assistive technology, from generic and specialized service systems, and remain unserved or underserved;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities often require lifelong community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that are most effective when provided in a coordinated manner;
- There is a need to ensure that services, supports and other assistance are provided in a culturally competent manner, which ensures that individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds are fully included in all activities provided under P.L.2003, c.54 (C.30:1AA-1.1 et al.);
- Family members, friends and members of the community can play an important role in enhancing the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, especially when the family members, friends and community members are provided with the necessary community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance;
- Current research indicates that 88% of individuals with developmental disabilities live with their families or in their own households, and many service delivery systems and communities are not prepared to meet the impending needs of the adults with developmental disabilities who are living at home with parents who are 60 years of age or older and serve as the primary caregivers of these adults;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities are waiting for appropriate services in their communities, and the public needs increased awareness of the capabilities and competencies of individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly in cases in which the individuals are provided with necessary services, supports and other assistance;
- As increasing numbers of individuals with developmental disabilities are living, learning, working and participating in all aspects of community life, there is an increasing need for a well trained workforce that is able to provide the services, supports and other forms of direct assistance that are required to enable the individuals to carry out those activities;
- There needs to be greater effort to recruit individuals from minority backgrounds into professions serving individuals with developmental disabilities and their families;
- The goals of the State properly include providing individuals with developmental disabilities with the information, skills, opportunities and support to: make informed choices and decisions about their lives; live in homes and communities in which these individuals can exercise their full rights and responsibilities as citizens; pursue meaningful and productive lives; contribute to their families, communities, the State and the nation; have interdependent friendships and relationships with other persons; live free of abuse, neglect, financial and sexual exploitation, and violations of their legal and human rights; and achieve full integration and inclusion in society, in an individualized manner, consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities and capabilities of each individual;
- As the nation, states and communities maintain and expand community living options for individuals with developmental disabilities, there is a need to evaluate the access to those options by individuals with developmental disabilities and the effects of those options on those individuals; and
- Therefore, the purpose of this act is to assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of, and have access to, needed community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance which promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life, through culturally competent advocacy, capacity-building and systemic-change activities conducted by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities, as required by the “Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000,” Pub.L.106-402, 42 U.S.C. s.15001 et seq. These activities shall:
(1)be consistent with the purpose described in this subsection and the public policy described in section 2 of P.L.2003, c.54 (C.30:1AA-1.2); and
(2)contribute to a coordinated, consumer- and family-centered and consumer- and family-directed comprehensive system which includes needed community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
2.It is the public policy of the State that all programs, projects and activities conducted by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities shall be carried out in a manner consistent with the following provisions:
- Individuals with developmental disabilities, including those with the most severe developmental disabilities, are capable of self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life, but often require the provision of community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have competencies, capabilities and personal goals that should be recognized, supported and encouraged, and any assistance to these individuals should be provided in an individualized manner, consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities and capabilities of these individuals;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families are the primary decision-makers regarding the services and supports they receive, including services and supports for choosing, from available options, where the individuals live, and they should play decision-making roles in policies and programs that affect their lives;
- Services, supports and other assistance should be provided in a manner that demonstrates respect for individual dignity, personal preferences and cultural differences;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds and their families need specific efforts to ensure that they can enjoy increased and meaningful opportunities to access and use community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance available to other individuals with developmental disabilities and their families;
- Recruitment efforts relating to pre-service training, community training, practice, administration and policymaking must focus on bringing larger numbers of racial and ethnic minorities into these disciplines in order to provide appropriate skills, knowledge, role models and sufficient personnel to address the growing needs of an increasingly diverse population with developmental disabilities;
- With education and support, communities can be accessible and responsive to the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, and they are enriched by the contributions and full and active participation in community activities by individuals with developmental disabilities and their amities;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities should have access to opportunities and the necessary support to be included in community life, have interdependent relationships, live in homes and communities and make contributions to their families, communities, the State and the nation;
- Efforts undertaken to maintain or expand community-based living options for individuals with disabilities must be monitored in order to determine and report to appropriate individuals and entities the extent of access by individuals with developmental disabilities to those options, and the extent of compliance with quality assurance standards by entities providing the options;
- Families of children with developmental disabilities need to have access to, and use of, safe and appropriate child care and before- and after-school programs in the most integrated settings in order to enrich the participation of the children in community life;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities need to have access to, and use of, public transportation in order to be independent and directly contribute to, and participate in, all facets of community life; and
- Individuals with developmental disabilities need to have access to, and use of, recreational, leisure and social opportunities in the most integrated settings in order to enrich their participation in community life.
2.For the purposes of this act, a “developmental disability” means
- A severe, chronic disability of a person which(1)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 functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, or economic self-sufficiency; and
- Reflects the need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, or other services which are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.
b. Other disabilities requiring services and treatment similar to that required by those who meet the criteria defined above.
L.1979,c.105,s.2; amended 2003, c.54, s.4.
3.The council shall consist of a minimum of 25 members, but shall not exceed 30 members, of whom:
- seven shall be representatives of State agencies who shall serve ex officio at the pleasure of the Governor in accordance with the qualifications established in section 4 of P.L.1979, c.105 (C.30:1AA-4);
- a minimum of 15 shall be public members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate;
- one each shall represent a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service in the State and the State’s designated protection and advocacy system; and
- one shall be a representative of local and non-governmental agencies or private nonprofit groups concerned with services for individuals with developmental disabilities, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The appointed members shall serve for a term of three years and until their respective successors have been appointed and have qualified.
Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Public members shall receive no compensation, but shall be entitled to reimbursement for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. Members serving on the council at the time of enactment of P.L.2003, c.54 (C.30:1AA-1.1 et al.) shall continue to serve until the expiration of their current terms, and until their respective successors are appointed and have qualified.
L.1979,c.105,s.3; amended 2003, c.54, s.5.
4.The public members shall be representative of the diverse social, economic and geographical interests in the State, and shall include at least 15 persons who are consumers or immediate family members of consumers of services for persons with developmental disabilities. The seven State members shall be official representatives of State agencies, as follows: five representatives, each of whom shall administer funds provided under at least one of the following federal laws related to individuals with disabilities: the “Rehabilitation Act of 1973” (29 U.S.C. s.701 et seq.), the “Individuals With Disabilities Education Act” (20 U.S.C. s.1400 et seq.), the “Older Americans Act of 1965” (42 U.S.C. s.3001 et seq.) and Titles V and XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. s.701 et seq. and 42 U.S.C. s.1396 et seq.); one representative from the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Human Services; and one representative from the Division of Disability Services in the Department of Human Services.
L.1979,c.105,s.4; amended 1994, c.58, s.48; 2003, c.54, s.6.
The Governor shall appoint a chairperson from among the public members to serve in such capacity at the pleasure of the Governor. The members shall elect annually from among themselves a vice-chairperson and other such officers as may be necessary, and may appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the council.
L.1979, c. 105, s. 5, eff. May 31, 1979. Amended by L.1981, c. 115, s. 15, eff. Jan. 12, 1982.