- The President’s Proposed Budget would make drastic changes to several disability programs. Read the Summary Related to Programs for People with Disabilities for a break down of supports and services effected in the budget proposal. The entire budget can be found on the White House Office of Management and Budget homepage.
What DD Councils do:
Address the most pressing needs of people with developmental disabilities in their State or Territory. DD Councils address these needs through cost effective efforts that promote self-determination, integration and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities. They promote the independence and productivity of people with developmental disabilities to make sure their will and voice in areas such as education, community living, access to healthcare and employment are heard and respected. State Councils on Developmental Disabilities ensure people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are not only around the table, but making decisions that effect State and National issues that are important to them, because the DD Act mandates 60% of Developmental Disability Councils are individuals with I/DD or their family members.
If you want specific examples of what the NGCDD has done, visit our Projects and Activities Page.
How this new proposal effects DD Councils:
Cuts will eliminate all Council’s on Developmental Disabilities, Independent Living State Grants and Traumatic Brain Injury Partnership Grants across the County and create a new Partnerships for Innovation, Inclusion, and Independence (PIII) program that would combine ALL disabilities under a state system with NO autonomy (freedom from outside controls or influence) and cut the budget with $57 million less in funding. It would take DD Councils out of the DD Act and would take away the law that the majority of votes on the Council are individuals with I/DD and/or family members. With the new PIII program, there are no guarantees that self advocates or family members representing I/DD would be appointed, much less have a majority vote. See also Talking Points below.
What Can YOU Do?
Tell your representatives how you feel! Here’s how:
- Email your comments and concerns to the Administration on Community Living at P3Iemail@example.com by August 11th, 2017.
- Email the Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities, Melissa Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share your personal stories and photo’s and what DD Councils have meant to you.
- Call the main Capitol line at: (202) 224-3121 .You’ll be directed to an operator at the Capitol switchboard. This switchboard can direct you to both Senators as well as Representatives.) If leaving a voicemail: please leave your full street address and zip code to ensure your call is tallied.
- Write letters to your Senators, Representatives and Governor. Include personal stories. You can find direct contact information for your individual legislators below:
Talking Points – examples of what you could use to educate your representatives:
“This is [Name]. I’m a resident of [Town, State] and [I/my child/sister/friend/co-worker etc]. I am [writing/calling] to discuss the cuts in the White House proposed budget for disability programs and services. Specifically, the proposal to cut and restructure the State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (DD Councils).
- We need to slow it down. If you value the voice of people with I/DD and their families, there must be accommodations provided for the stakeholders involved who require additional time to collect their valuable feedback due to the complexities of the people the DD Act is intended to serve. Reform should be for the better not change just for the sake of change.
- DD Councils address the needs of people with disabilities through cost effective systems change and capacity building efforts that promote self-determination, integration and inclusion in society, helping [Me/my child/sister/friend/co-worker, etc.] to be a valued and productive member of society, which leads to a return on investment, allowing lesser dependence on other Federal and State systems
- DD Councils are part of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (The DD Act) whose purpose is to “assure that persons with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports…that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life.”
- Sixty percent of the DD Council is mandated to be individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. This makes sure people like [Me/my child/sister/friend/co-worker etc] with developmental disabilities are the majority voice in creating the state’s plan for addressing challenges through creating and funding innovative programs. This budget would remove that voice from the DD Act.
- DD Councils are a voice in state government to advocate for policies to promote self-determination and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
- Pairing the DD Councils with other groups that represent different parts of the disability community will result in a significant loss of focus on those with developmental disabilities. Under this new structure, DD Councils will not be able to meet the goals of the DD Act that have worked well for close to 50 years.
- DD Councils are the single pure advocacy agency that works with people with I/DD and their families, those who are the most unheard and at risk.
Personal stories are the most effective form of advocacy. Share those along with photo’s. Talk about what DD Services and/or DD Councils have meant to you. It is always helpful to give specific examples.