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Developmental Disabilities (DD) Network Statement on the 60th Anniversary of the DD Act

November 2, 2023

From Jill Jacobs, Commissioner of ACL’s Administration on Disabilities:

October 31st marked 60 years since President John F. Kennedy signed the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act). The DD Act advanced a fundamentally different vision of what it means to live with a developmental disability. The law empowered people with developmental disabilities and their families to help shape policies that impact them, and it served as the blueprint for many subsequent laws that both protect the rights of people with disabilities and promote independence, integration, and inclusion throughout life.

Much of the progress to advance disability rights since the passing of the DD Act was made because people with disabilities worked together to advocate for themselves. In fact, many activities throughout the DD network are focused on training and supporting the next generation of disability rights advocates. ACL is committed to engaging with grassroots advocates and collaborating with our stakeholders in pursuit of our common goal of independence for all people with disabilities. We look forward to seeing more progress in ensuring disability rights in the next 60 years.


Please read the statement from ACL’s DD network partners:

The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) honor the 60th Anniversary of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights (DD) Act.

The DD Act established the DD Network, which includes State Councils on Developmental Disabilities; University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Services (UCEDDs); and Protection & Advocacy Systems (P&As). These entities work to identify and solve issues that individuals with developmental disabilities face in their communities. The three DD Act programs provide training and technical assistance to policymakers, and work to remove barriers that prevent individuals with developmental disabilities from having their voices heard. The 56 Councils, 57 P&As, and 67 UCEDDs across the United States also work with local, state, and federal governments to develop robust policy solutions aimed at empowering these individuals and promoting self-determination. 

Read the full statement on the NACDD website.

Last modified on 11/02/2023

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