The Council’s responsibilities are set forth in both federal and state law. Under the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, the Council and all the programs, activities and projects it funds, including the Community Program Development Grants and local Regional Offices on Developmental Disabilities, must adhere to the following principles (as amended in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000):
- Individuals with developmental disabilities, including those with the most severe developmental disabilities, are capable of self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life, but often require the provision of community services, individualized supports and other assistance;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have competencies, capabilities and personal goals that should be recognized, supported and encouraged, and any assistance to such individuals should be provided in an individualized manner, consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities of such individuals;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families are the primary decisionmakers regarding the services and supports such individuals and their families receive, including regarding choosing where the individuals live from available options, and play decisionmaking roles in the policies and programs that affect the lives of such individuals and their families;
- Services, supports and other assistance should be provided in a manner that demonstrates respect for individual dignity, personal preferences, and cultural differences;
- Specific efforts must be made to ensure that individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds and their families enjoy increased and meaningful opportunities to access and use community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance available to other individuals with developmental disabilities and their families;
- Recruitment efforts in disciplines related to developmental disabilities relating to pre-service training, community training, practice, administration, and policymaking must focus on bringing larger numbers of racial and ethnic minorities into the disciplines in order to provide appropriate skills, knowledge, role models, and sufficient personnel to address the growing needs of an increasingly diverse population;
- With education and support, communities can be accessible to and responsive to the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families and are enriched by full and active participation in community activities, and contributions, by individuals with developmental disabilities and their families;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities have access to opportunities and the necessary support to be included in community life, have interdependent relationships, live in homes and communities, and make contributions to their families, communities, State, and the Nation.
- Efforts undertaken to maintain or expand community-based living options for individuals with developmental disabilities should be monitored in order to determine and report to appropriate individuals and entities the extent of access by individuals with developmental disabilities to those options and the extent of compliance by entities providing those options with quality assurance standards;
- Families of children with developmental disabilities need to have access to and use of safe and appropriate child care and before-school and after-school programs, in the most integrated settings, in order to enrich the participation of the children in community life;
- Individuals with developmental disabilities need to have access to and use of public transportation, in order to be independent and directly contribute to and participate in all facets of community life; and
- Individuals with developmental disabilities need to have access to and use of recreational, leisure, and social opportunities in the most integrated settings, in order to enrich their participation in community life.
The federal law also allows additional requirements to be placed on Council funding to accomplish the mandates of the federal Act. These are accomplished through program instructions, information, or memoranda issued by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. Councils must also follow specific procedures to receive federal funding, and must attest to certain assurances regarding how the money is spent. The Council’s state-mandated functions are defined in California Welfare & Institutions Code (WIC) Sections 4540. The majority of the state statutes that govern services for individuals with developmental disabilities are found in WIC Sections known collectively as the Lanterman Act. For a complete list of governing statutes and regulations concerning services to individuals with developmental disabilities, visit the Department of Developmental Services web page entitled Laws and Regulations.