The Governor's Developmental Disabilities Council

The Governor’s Developmental Disabilities Council (DD Council) identifies, develops and promotes public policy and support practices to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families are included in planning, decision making, and development of policy related to services and supports that affect their quality of life and full participation in communities of their choice.

The DD Council was created in response to a federal law, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. The purpose of that law is to assure that people with developmental disabilities and their families are involved in designing the system of services and supports, and have access to the services and supports that are necessary. The Council promotes the development of a coordinated system of services and supports that provide opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to be independent, productive, integrated and included in their communities. The Council does this with projects and activities that:

  • change laws, policies and attitudes that determine supports and services used by Iowans with disabilities, 
  • build the capacity of Iowans with disabilities to make choices and have control over their lives, and/or 
  • develop leadership skills and supportive service providers who will work effectively toward full participation of individuals with disabilities in their communities.

The Council's State Plan describes how the Governor's DD Council will carry out these responsibilities.  Development of the State Plan is ongoing. Council members and Council staff gather information from other organizations and from Federal, State and private reports that address the needs and status of Iowans with disabilities. The Council solicits input from a variety of sources, including state agency representatives, Iowans with disabilities, family members of Iowans with disabilities, service providers and other advocates. Input is used to determine needs of Iowans with disabilities in life goal areas identified by the federal Administration on Developmental Disabilities. Those life goal areas are education, employment, health, housing, community support, and self-determination.

The Council then determines Iowa's highest priority areas to address in the State Plan and writes goals and objectives and identifies strategies to achieve measurable results. Strategies may include the development of demonstration projects, advocacy training programs, public policy, public awareness campaigns and the dissemination of pertinent information. Strategies may also include activities for which no specific funds have been allocated. For example, Council members and staff participate in forums, on committees, and in work groups, and develop written materials and responses, meet with legislators, and collaborate with other organizations to yield positive results for Iowans with disabilities.

For more information visit the DD Council’s website:

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