nacdd people

What is NACDD?

The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) is the national membership association for the 56 State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD or DD Councils) across the United States and its territories. The DD Councils receive federal funding to support policy change and programs that promote self-determination, integration, and inclusion for all people in the United States with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

NACDD's Vision

People with developmental disabilities are fully included as valued members of their communities and have equal opportunities to achieve their potential, make their own decisions, and exercise their civil rights.


NACDD's Mission

NACDD’s mission is to work with our State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and allies to build welcoming and supportive communities through policy and practice ensuring that people with I/DD can live a self-directed life in the community.

The Role of NACDD

  • Provide leadership, education, and attention on national issues and policy affecting all people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities  (I/DD)
  • Advocate to Congress and federal government agencies on the public policy agenda that supports people with I/DD and federal regulations that govern the DD Councils
  • Secure strong funding for the State DD Councils through the Congressional appropriations process
  • Provide Technical Assistance to our member DD Council staff to ensure they properly support their Council for success

10 Ways NACDD is Shaping the Future

  • Timely Initiatives 
  • Drive a National Public Policy Agenda 
  • Advocate for Integrated Employment Opportunities
  • Serve as an Advisor to Corporate, Government, and Foundation partners 
  • Develop Collaborative Relationships 
  • Engage Dedicated Professionals and Passionate Volunteers Across the Country 
  • Provide Technical Assistance to Improve Outcomes within States 
  • Build Communities of Practice among State/Territorial DD Councils 
  • Expand Visibility for Developmental Disabilities 
  • Strategically Build our Organizational Capacity 

NACDD’s Non-Discrimination Policy

NACDD prohibits discrimination, harassment, and bullying against any person for any reason—for example, because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religion, gender, sexual or affectional orientation, gender identity, appearance, matriculation, political affiliation, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

NACDD’s Members Are:

The State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, commonly referred to as the DD Councils, are established in federal statute called the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 2000 (P.L. 106-402) and have been in existence since 1970. The DD Councils are one of three distinct national networks that are federally funded and provided oversight by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) within the Department of Health and Human Services. Together, these 3 national networks protect the rights and opportunities for people with I/DD to lives independently in their own communities. The SCDD focus on innovating solutions to barriers to community living, advocating for policies that empower individuals with I/DD to live the life they choose in their own community, and creating communities that are supportive and welcoming to ALL. Members of the SCDD are governor-appointed and representative of the breadth and scope of the population of the State therefore paying close attention to the full spectrum of diversity and unique backgrounds of individuals.

NACDD Is: governed by an elected Board of Directors that includes member program professionals and leaders, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and family members. NACDD’s organizational and program priorities are guided by a Strategic Plan developed and adopted by its Board of Directors.

The DD Act, the DD Network and the Role of DD Councils

DD Councils are part of the Developmental Disabilities Network as outlined by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 2000 (The DD Act). The DD Network works independently through federal funding provided by the Administration on Intellectual and Development Disabilities under the leadership of the Administration for Community Living in the Department of Health and Human Services.  DD Councils are made up of voluntary members appointed by the state’s governor.  By law, the majority of members must have a developmental disability or be a family member to a person with developmental disability. The DD Councils focus on creating programs and advocating policy that empower individuals with developmental disabilities and allows them to participate as an equal member of society. DD Councils work to create an environment of self-sufficiency, self-determination, inclusion, and acceptance. DD Councils also play a critical role in quality assurance and as innovators in the development of community programs and solutions.