About Us

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council was established in 1971 to help plan individual and family-centered supports for persons with disabilities in Florida. The Council also guides the development and administration of services for people with developmental disabilities by planning and funding research, innovations, and programs designed to improve the quality of their lives.

To address system-wide issues affecting people with developmental disabilities, the Council engages in state and national advocacy activities in support of legislation, policies, and programs responsive to the needs of people with developmental disabilities. As a member of the Consortium of Developmental Disabilities Councils, the Council is also committed to representing the diverse interests of Developmental Disabilities Councils and the people with disabilities that the councils were created to serve.

The Developmental Disabilities Council is a non -profit organization that receives federal assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Developmental Disabilities.

More about the Council

Mission Statement

To advocate and promote meaningful participation in all aspects of life for Floridians with developmental disabilities.


The purpose of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council is to engage in advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change activities that contribute to a coordinated, consumer and family centered, consumer and family directed, comprehensive system of community services and individualized supports that enable individuals with developmental disabilities to exercise self-determination, be independent, be productive, and be integrated and included in all facets of community life.

The federal law that created the Council states that the purpose of the Council 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 title.

The Council will accomplish its mission by supporting innovative initiatives that demonstrate new approaches to enhance the independence, productivity, inclusion and self-determination of individuals with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life.

Our Guiding Principles

Woman and Globe

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council serves as an advocacy and planning body to influence the direction of programs and policies for individuals with developmental disabilities. These guiding principles give direction to all of the Council's efforts and a greater understanding about the supports needed for individuals with developmental disabilities.


The Council believes that all individuals, including individuals with disabilities and their families, have the same basic rights associated with the status of citizenship. All individuals have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; the right to be treated with respect and dignity; and the right to direct one's own life, to control one's own destiny.


The Council believes that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families should be the primary decision makers in the management of their lives including determining how the limited amount of public funding available to support them is spent. Individuals and families should be able to direct their supports to the extent they desire.


Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have the right to make such essential decisions as where to live, with whom to live, where to work and with whom, and how and where to spend their time. Individuals should have the freedom to choose the individuals or agencies supporting them.


Increasing independence for individuals with developmental disabilities is balanced by emphasizing the interdependence of individuals upon one another and the reality that we all depend upon one another for survival, love, laughter, comfort, and support when life becomes difficult or challenging.


Full inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities, into their schools and communities, is the cornerstone of a good and safe quality of life. By developing meaningful relationships with friends, peers, families, and fellow citizens, individuals with developmental disabilities will live a full and rewarding life.


Passage through life includes continuous transition and adaptation. The lifespan approach focuses on flexible, individualized positive supports, and an understanding of the life stages experienced by all individuals from birth, through childhood, adulthood, and old age. While any person's capacities and needs change through a lifetime, all individuals rely on their families, friends, and community for their sense of belonging and identity.


The Council recognizes the strengths of all individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, from all races, ethnicities, cultures, and socioeconomic circumstances. The goal of diversity is to support individuals and their families in a culturally competent manner, which is responsive to their beliefs, interpersonal styles, attitudes, language and behaviors, and ensures effective and meaningful opportunities for full participation in their communities.

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