In every state and territory in the United States, 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 U.S. Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 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:
- Council: Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council
- P&A: Disability Rights Ohio
- UCEDDs: Cincinnati Children's Medical Center at the University of Cincinnati and Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University
Although each program has its own requirements through the DD Act, all collaborate with each other for the same overall purpose. A representative from each of the Ohio DD Network partner organizations serves as a voting member on DD Council.