Developmental Disabilities Act

Originally authorized in the year of 1963, the Developmental Disability Act focused primarily on the establishment of University Affiliated Facilities (UAFS). These University Affiliated Facilities were charged with expanding the number of professionals to address the requirements of persons with developmental disabilities.

Reauthorization established funding for Developmental Disabilities Councils in the year of 1970, to coordinate and integrate the provision of services for persons with developmental disabilities in the least restrictive environment.

Congress formed and authorized the funding for Protection and Advocacy Systems in each state in the year of 1975, to make sure the well being and safety of individuals with developmental disabilities. Reauthorization also established in the same year and authorized funding for projects of national significance to address national needs

Originally authorized in the year of 1963, the Developmental Disability Act focused primarily on the establishment of University Affiliated Facilities (UAFS). These University Affiliated Facilities were charged with expanding the number of professionals to address the needs of persons with developmental disabilities. The year of 1970 reauthorization established funding for Developmental Disabilities Councils to integrate and coordinate the provision of services for persons with developmental disabilities in the least restrictive environment.

In the year of 1975, Congress created and approved funding for Protection and Advocacy Systems in each state to ensure the safety and well being of individuals with developmental disabilities. The year of 1975 reauthorization established also and authorized funding for projects of national significance to address national needs purposes, findings and policy of the University Affiliated Facilities as revised in 2000. The legislation continues to distinguish the basic principle of disability policy that disability is a natural and normal part of the human experience that does not diminish the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities to exert control and choice over their own lives and to fully participate in and contribute to their communities through full integration and inclusion in the mainstream.

The legislation updates the terminology of the policies regarding the forms of assistance individuals with developmental disabilities require to live in the community by specifying that such individuals often require lifelong community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance, that are most effective when provided in a coordinated manner. The legislation of the act accentuates that many service delivery systems and communities are not prepared to meet the impending needs of adults with developmental disabilities who are living at home with parents who are 60 years old or older and who serve as the primary caregivers of the adults.

The legislation, in addition, points out that in almost every state, individual people with developmental disabilities are waiting for appropriate services in their communities. Also the legislation recognizes that there is an increasing requirement for a well-trained workforce that is able to provide supports, services, and other forms of direct assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities living and working in the community and participating in all aspects of community life. The goals of the Developmental Disability Act are updated to include providing individuals with disabilities with the information, skills, opportunities and supports to live free of abuse, neglect, financial and sexual exploitation, and violations of their legal and human rights.