What is the State Council on Developmental Disabilities

The State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) is established by federal law (Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act) and state law (Lanterman Act at Welfare and Institutions Code, section 4520 et. seq.).SCDD is to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the planning, design and receipt of the services and supports they need which promote increased independence, productivity, inclusion and self-determination.Federal law requires SCDD to identify methods to improve and increase services for individuals and their families and to submit these to the federal government in the form of a State Plan.The State Plan is approved by the federal Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD). AIDD is the funding source for SCDD and its State Plan Activities. SCDD and its regional offices’ primary work is achieving the State Plan goals, objectives, and strategies.

The Council is comprised of 31 members appointed by the Governor, including individuals with disabilities, their families, federally funded partners and state agencies.

In addition to headquarters in Sacramento, the Council supports 12 regional offices that provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families including, but not limited to, advocacy assistance, training, monitoring and public information. By providing these services, regional offices ensure that appropriate laws, regulations and policies pertaining to the rights of individuals are observed and protected. Each regional office participates in the development and implementation of the Council’s goals and objectives.

Councils on Developmental Disabilities are established in each state through the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. This Act also creates state protection and advocacy systems, university centers for excellence, and projects of national significance (see Council Links and Resources page). Each entity has a federally-assigned responsibility designed to improve services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, and enhance independence, productivity and inclusion.