Frequently Asked Questions

The following are frequently asked questions about the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. 

What is the role of DD Council members and how can you become a member?

The Ohio DD Council is made up of over 30 members, with the majority being people with developmental disabilities; parents and guardians of people with developmental disabilities; and representatives of private agencies serving people with developmental disabilities. These people are appointment by the Governor of Ohio. Representatives from various state agencies also serve on Council.

The role of Council members is to help the Ohio DD Council achieve its mission to create change that improves independence, productivity and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families in community life in Ohio. The DD Council meets throughout the year to discuss disability-related issues and to identify grant projects that can improve supports and services for Ohioans with disabilities.

Being a member of the Ohio DD Council not only helps Council to achieve its goals, but also helps Council members learn how to be stronger advocates and to stay informed about issues that affect people with developmental disabilities. It’s a great way to advocate for disability-related issues, meet agency leaders and other community leaders across the State.

But don't take our word for it! Instead, listen to what our members have to say. Visit our YouTube channel to view videos of many of our past and current members talking about what being a Council member means to them and what they have learned from their experience as a member.

People interested in becoming a member need to complete applications to both the Ohio DD Council and the Governor. Applications are reviewed and a Nominating Committee of the Ohio DD Council will meet to discuss the applications and make recommendations to the Governor. The Governor has the final decision in choosing who he will appoint as a member of Council. Learn more about the process and get the applications here:

When does DD Council offer new grants?

The majority of the Ohio DD Council’s grants are offered at the beginning of Council’s Five-Year State Plan cycle. Council makes a concerted effort at the beginning of the planning stage for each cycle to find out from the public what they think are the pressing issues for Ohioans with developmental disabilities. It is from that effort, as well as input from Council members, the Council decides what the priority areas are and ultimately the focus of the grant projects that will be offered.

Our current state plan started in 2017, so the majority of our grants began in 2017 and will end in 2021. However, there are times during the five-year cycle when we offer new grants based on new and emerging issues. There are also grants awarded for terms less than five years. The Ohio DD Council currently administers more than 25 grant projects.

When a grant is offered, the Ohio DD Council issues a Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) which describes the purpose and expectations of the grant, and includes a link to the application. Grant review panels follow a formal, detailed process for scoring applications and awarding projects to the best proposal. Also, multi-year grants are subject to an annual review to ensure the grant activities are on-target and in compliance before funding is approved for another year.

To be notified of new NOFAs, please subscribe to receive email notifications for NOFAs.

Another source of funding Council offers is through a Discretionary Fund. Applications for this fund are available for people and organizations who send Council specific funding requests. Requests are reviewed and go through an approval process. Not all requests are awarded. There is an annual limit of $60,000 to the fund, so all requests may not be approved if the funding is used up before the end of the year. Discretionary Fund requests are accepted throughout the year. The application is found at

What is the Ohio DD Network?

In every state and territory, programs authorized by the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) empower individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to help shape policies that impact them. The Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, which is under the Administration on Community Living, oversees these programs. The programs are:

  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities (Councils)
  • State Protection and Advocacy Systems (P&As)
  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDDs)

The Council, P&A, and UCEDD programs are often referred to as a state’s “DD Network.” The Network works together to improve outcomes for people with developmental disabilities and their families to access needed services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and inclusion in all areas of community life.

The following programs make up Ohio’s DD Network:

Although each program has its own requirements through the DD Act, all collaborate with each other for the same overall purpose. For example, a representative from each of the Ohio DD Network partner organizations serves as a voting member on DD Council.

Learn more about the DD Act and its programs from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

What is the purpose of Council's Committees?

The Ohio DD Council operates through committees that focus on issue areas identified in the DD Council's State Plan. The committees meet during the two-day DD Council meetings which are held throughout the year. Council's issues committees include:

Each committee sets priorities and advocates for people with developmental disabilities in the committee's area of concern. They make recommendations for projects and activities that impact systems change, funding, legislation, public awareness, position statements, and public policy to carry out the priorities of the committee.

Members of the Ohio DD Council are required to serve on at least two committees. The Council chairperson appoints the chair and vice-chair for each committee. The responsibilities of the chairperson include leading the meetings; working with staff to plan agendas; facilitating discussion to include all committee members; providing leadership to the committee in setting priorities; and reporting out to the full DD Council during the Business Meeting.

Each committee is assigned a Council staff person to support the committee’s work. Council staff handle day-to-day operations, administration, planning, advocacy, and project monitoring for the committees.