Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council?

The Council's Mission is: "To assist the community to include all people with developmental disabilities in every aspect of life." The Council is consumer driven and the members are appointed by the governor to plan, advocate for, and give advice concerning programs and services for persons with developmental disabilities that will increase their opportunities for independence, productivity, and integration into communities.

How would a person go about becoming a member of the Council?

The membership requirements are outlined in P.L. 106-402. The law requires that 60 percent of the council's membership consist of individuals with developmental disabilities and family members, with the remaining 40 percent made up of key representatives from state agencies that provide services and supports to people with developmental disabilities. These strict membership requirements allow individuals and families to drive the work of the council and to follow the council's mandate. Our bylaws and practices provide additional guidance in requiring diversity based on state regions, types of disabilities, ethnic background, etc. If you are interested in applying, please contact us.

Are you part of a state agency?

No, the Council operates as an autonomous organization although we are housed in the Department of Mental Health. The law enacting the Council, requires the state to provide a 1/3 match for the federal funds. In Missouri, the match comes from in-kind funds through our office space and certain administrative supports such as accounting, contracting, legal advice, and facility assistance.

Do you provide direct services or provide funds for equipment, housing or adapting a home?

No, the Council does not provide direct services or purchase equipment or supplies for individuals. The DD Councils throughout the United States and territories are mandated in federal law P.L.106-402 to engage in planning, advocacy, and capacity-building efforts contributing to persons with developmental disabilities leading more self-determined, inclusive, and productive lives in their community. The Missouri Planning Council releases Projects or grants called "Calls for Investments" grants several times each year that challenge the system to change or improve.

Can people apply to the Council for services or to obtain funds to attend a training or conference?

No. Unfortunately, the Council is unable to meet the tremendous demand for support for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to attend conferences and training other than those selected to participate in specific Council projects. We do however provide limited funding to conferences that address key issues for individuals with developmental disabilities and family members so that they may offer stipends to advocates and family members.

What is a developmental disability?

Federal Definition: The term "developmental disability" means a severe, chronic disability of a person five years of age or older which (A) is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments; (B) is manifested before the person attains age 22; (C) is likely to continue indefinitely; (D) results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency; and (E) reflects the person's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment, or other services which are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated. Such term when applied to infants and young children means individual from birth to age five, inclusive, who have substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental disabilities if services are not provided.

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