Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council - We're Up & Running!

AZ DD Planing Council Logo - One Community Working Together

What is the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC)?
The DDPC is a state affiliated organization that was created to meet the charter set forth in the 2004 Public Law 106-402, also known as the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (referred to as the “Act”). 

The impact of the Act is far reaching, creating organizations in each state and territory of the United States to “assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life, through culturally competent programs.”

Is the DDPC a State Agency?
The DDPC was created on September 3, 2009 by Executive Order of Governor Brewer. The DDPC replaces the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities which was allowed to sunset and not be renewed on July 1, 2009 by the State Legislature.

Federal law requires that the DDPC be housed in a “Designated State Agency” or DSA. Through a written Memorandum of Understanding, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) and DDPC have agreed to mutual terms, where DES will provide essential support and guidance. 

The Council membership is appointed by the Governor of Arizona who has absolute authority to designate representatives as long as appointments meet guidelines set forth in the Act.

What Role Does the Federal Government Play?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) serves as the federal administrative agency for the DDPC. As such, ADD maintains the following authority:

  • ADD has the authority to approve grant funding for activities carried out by the DDPC. The DDPC is almost 100% funded though federal dollars.

  • Approve and authorize implementation of the Five Year State Plan. While the DDPC prepares and submits the plan based on comprehensive analysis of needs within the state, the ADD maintains full authority to approve, modify or disapprove the State Plan. Approval of the Plan is necessary for the DDPC to expend federal dollars allocated by federal grant.

  • Monitor and audit DDPC administrative, program and financial activities related to compliance with the approved Five Year State Plan.

  • Serve as resource in providing support and direction to the DDPC.

How Does the DDPC Collaborate with Other Organizations?
The Act repeatedly stresses the importance of DDPC collaboration with other agencies and organizations. The DDPC achieves collaborative goals in three primary ways:

  1. Council membership: The Act specifies what interests may be represented on the Council by actual number. This requirement assures that those persons with developmental disabilities, their family members, professionals and representatives from pertinent state agencies are members of the Council. Bringing together a mixture of interests is the first step in building collaborative efforts.
  2. The Developmental Disabilities Network: The Act supports collaboration of the three organizations created under its auspices (Planning Councils, University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and Protection & Advocacy) to form a network to effectively identify needs and develop and implement remedies. To this end, the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Network has been formed and is working together to achieve shared goals.
  3. Goal Driven Outreach: As noted earlier, the DDPC develops and implements a Five Year Plan on a regular cycle. In doing so, the DDPC conducts exhaustive research and assessment of needs and uses the data to develop goals and objectives. These goals and objectives serve as the principle road map for DDPC activities during the five-year grant period. In order to develop strategies to address goals, the DDPC relies on extensive outreach to consumers and service providers to collaborate on activities to be pursued and funding amounts to allocate.

What Types of Programs is the DDPC Engaged in Now?
The DDPC is pursuing the following goals and objective topics in the current Five Year State Plan:woman in a wheelchair working at her desk

  • Employment

  • Education

  • Health Care

  • Transportation

  • Housing

  • Quality Assurance

As a part of fulfilling these goals and objectives, the DDPC is involved in a number of special projects, including:

  1. In joint collaboration with the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging, DDPC is developing strategies for dental services oriented to instruct consumers on oral self-care to prevent the development and progression of oral disease.

  2. DDPC has joined a collaborative effort including the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Network and other organizations located in southern Arizona to develop and present a Border Conference in early 2011. This conference will be aimed at persons with developmental disabilities and their families residing on both sides of the border.

  3. In an effort involving the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the Arizona Health and Disability Partnership and a variety of State and non-profit organizations, DDPC is participating in the “Think Beyond the Label” national campaign. This project is designed to support employers in considering and selecting persons with disabilities for employment by thinking outside of the labels normally associated with disabilities.

  4. In a collaborative effort with, the Life Development Institute and multiple other organizations, the DDPC is involved with planning the EmployAbility Rally that will be held at the Arizona State Capital on October 28, 2010. This event intended to bring potential employers and persons with disabilities together, will provide opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities to gain exposure to options and support systems that may enable them to gain employment.