View all text of Part A [§ 15001 - § 15009]

§ 15001.
Findings, purposes, and policy
(a)
Findings
Congress finds that—
(1) disability is a natural part of the human experience that does not diminish the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to live independently, to exert control and choice over their own lives, and to fully participate in and contribute to their communities through full integration and inclusion in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of United States society;
(2)
(3) individuals whose disabilities occur during their developmental period frequently have severe disabilities that are likely to continue indefinitely;
(4) individuals with developmental disabilities often encounter discrimination in the provision of critical services, such as services in the areas of emphasis (as defined in section 15002 of this title);
(5) individuals with developmental disabilities are at greater risk than the general population of abuse, neglect, financial and sexual exploitation, and the violation of their legal and human rights;
(6) a substantial portion of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families do not have access to appropriate support and services, including access to assistive technology, from generic and specialized service systems, and remain unserved or underserved;
(7) individuals with developmental disabilities often require lifelong community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance, that are most effective when provided in a coordinated manner;
(8) there is a need to ensure that services, supports, and other assistance are provided in a culturally competent manner, that ensures that individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds are fully included in all activities provided under this subchapter;
(9) family members, friends, and members of the community can play an important role in enhancing the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, especially when the family members, friends, and community members are provided with the necessary community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance;
(10) current research indicates that 88 percent of individuals with developmental disabilities live with their families or in their own households;
(11) many service delivery systems and communities are not prepared to meet the impending needs of the 479,862 adults with developmental disabilities who are living at home with parents who are 60 years old or older and who serve as the primary caregivers of the adults;
(12) in almost every State, individuals with developmental disabilities are waiting for appropriate services in their communities, in the areas of emphasis;
(13) the public needs to be made more aware of the capabilities and competencies of individuals with developmental disabilities, particularly in cases in which the individuals are provided with necessary services, supports, and other assistance;
(14) as increasing numbers of individuals with developmental disabilities are living, learning, working, and participating in all aspects of community life, there is an increasing need for a well trained workforce that is able to provide the services, supports, and other forms of direct assistance required to enable the individuals to carry out those activities;
(15) there needs to be greater effort to recruit individuals from minority backgrounds into professions serving individuals with developmental disabilities and their families;
(16)
the goals of the Nation properly include a goal of providing individuals with developmental disabilities with the information, skills, opportunities, and support to—
(A) make informed choices and decisions about their lives;
(B) live in homes and communities in which such individuals can exercise their full rights and responsibilities as citizens;
(C) pursue meaningful and productive lives;
(D) contribute to their families, communities, and States, and the Nation;
(E) have interdependent friendships and relationships with other persons;
(F) live free of abuse, neglect, financial and sexual exploitation, and violations of their legal and human rights; and
(G) achieve full integration and inclusion in society, in an individualized manner, consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities of each individual; and
(17) as the Nation, States, and communities maintain and expand community living options for individuals with developmental disabilities, there is a need to evaluate the access to those options by individuals with developmental disabilities and the effects of those options on individuals with developmental disabilities.
(b)
Purpose
The purpose of this subchapter is 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 authorized under this subchapter, including specifically—
(1)
State Councils on Developmental Disabilities in each State to engage in advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change activities that—
(A) are consistent with the purpose described in this subsection and the policy described in subsection (c); and
(B) contribute to a coordinated, consumer- and family-centered, consumer- and family-directed, comprehensive system that includes needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families;
(2) protection and advocacy systems in each State to protect the legal and human rights of individuals with developmental disabilities;
(3)
University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service—
(A) to provide interdisciplinary pre-service preparation and continuing education of students and fellows, which may include the preparation and continuing education of leadership, direct service, clinical, or other personnel to strengthen and increase the capacity of States and communities to achieve the purpose of this subchapter;
(B)
to provide community services—
(i) that provide training and technical assistance for individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, professionals, paraprofessionals, policymakers, students, and other members of the community; and
(ii) that may provide services, supports, and assistance for the persons described in clause (i) through demonstration and model activities;
(C) to conduct research, which may include basic or applied research, evaluation, and the analysis of public policy in areas that affect or could affect, either positively or negatively, individuals with developmental disabilities and their families; and
(D) to disseminate information related to activities undertaken to address the purpose of this subchapter, especially dissemination of information that demonstrates that the network authorized under this part is a national and international resource that includes specific substantive areas of expertise that may be accessed and applied in diverse settings and circumstances; and
(4)
funding for—
(A) national initiatives to collect necessary data on issues that are directly or indirectly relevant to the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities;
(B) technical assistance to entities who engage in or intend to engage in activities consistent with the purpose described in this subsection or the policy described in subsection (c); and
(C) other nationally significant activities.
(c)
Policy
It is the policy of the United States that all programs, projects, and activities receiving assistance under this subchapter shall be carried out in a manner consistent with the principles that—
(1) 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 forms of assistance;
(2) 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;
(3) 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 policies and programs that affect the lives of such individuals and their families;
(4) services, supports, and other assistance should be provided in a manner that demonstrates respect for individual dignity, personal preferences, and cultural differences;
(5) specific efforts must be made to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities 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;
(6) 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;
(7) 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;
(8) 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, and States, and the Nation;
(9) efforts undertaken to maintain or expand community-based living options for individuals with 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;
(10) 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;
(11) 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
(12) 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.
(Pub. L. 106–402, title I, § 101, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1678.)