About the Council


About the Michigan DD Council
Our Vision | The vision of the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council is that all citizens of Michigan have the opportunities and supports to achieve their full potential. (Adopted June 9, 1998)

Mission Statement | To support people with developmental disabilities to achieve life dreams.

The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council operates under the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, also known as the "DD Act," and Michigan Executive Order 2006-20.

Among the council's tasks and activities are:





  • to act as an advocate for people with developmental disabilities, as a strong voice working on behalf of those citizens; and to increase access to appropriate treatment, services and habilitation for such disabilities. Objectives of this advocacy include supporting and encouraging people to take control of their lives through community-wide, results-oriented action.
  • to channel federal funds, in the form of grants, where they can do the most good and carry out the Five-Year Strategic State Plan. The grants are awarded to state and local agencies and organizations (grantees) in Michigan. These state and local groups create programs and services that support people with developmental disabilities and the objectives of the DD Council. Programs and services that receive council grants are monitored for their productivity and results. These programs lead to independence, community inclusion, and productivity for Michigan citizens with developmental disabilities.
  • to maintain and financially support a very effective network of self-advocates called the Self-Advocates of Michigan or SAM board.  
  • to work together with other human service agencies to assist people with developmental disabilities and to help carry out Council responsibilities set forth in the Developmental Disabilities Act.



Core Values

The council’s core values are:

1. Including People with High and Complex Support Needs in all Activities.
2. Self-Direction and Self-Determination.
2. Consumers’ Voice at the Policy Table.
4. Economic Justice and Addressing Poverty.
5. Community Inclusion.
6. Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities

Council Structure

 The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (DD Council) is a group of 21 Michigan citizens. Members are appointed to the Council by the governor. They come from across the state and are: 

  • people with disabilities;  
  • family members, mentors, guardians and advocates of people with disabilities; and  
  • professionals from state and local agencies who assist people with developmental disabilities. 

Members operate the Council by providing advice and consent to its committees and staff. People throughout Michigan depend on the DD Council getting results, and its members work diligently on behalf of those people. 

The Council holds public meetings throughout the year, generally in the Lansing area. To learn more about the Council, call the office at (517) 335-3158.  If interested in becoming a member please fill out form.

Defining Developmental Disabilities

A developmental disability, as defined by state and federal law, is a severe, chronic disability: 

  • attributable to a mental or physical impairment, or a combination of such impairments;  
  • manifested before the person is age 22;   
  • likely to continue indefinitely; and resulting in substantial functional limitations in three or more of these major life activities: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.  





Position on Inclusion
It is the position of the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council that disability is a part of the human experience. People with disabilities have specific rights as well as responsibilities. Disability is an ongoing factor in people's lives, occurring at any age, on a temporary or permanent basis.

Fundamental concepts regarding the rights of individuals with disabilities, indeed for all individuals, include, self-determination and choice-making; independent living; and the opportunity to be fully included in the social, educational, political, economic and cultural mainstream of society.



People with disabilities and their families are capable and creative. They must have key decision-making roles in policies, programs, and services that affect their lives.

Our challenge is to ensure that true choices exist and barriers to full inclusion are eliminated.