About the DD Council

Iowa’s Developmental Disabilities Council was created in response to a federal law, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. The purpose of the law is to assure that people with developmental disabilities and their families help design and have access to necessary services, supports and other assistance.

The DD Council is a federally funded state agency that advocates for the development of services and supports so that Iowans with developmental disabilities can make choices and take control of their lives. The Council is made up of 20+ volunteers who represent Iowans with disabilities, family members, service providers, state agencies and organizations concerned with developmental disability issues.

The DD Council promotes the development of a coordinated system of services and supports that provide opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to be independent, productive, integrated and included in their communities. The DD Council does this with projects and activities that:

  • influence changes to laws, policies and attitudes that affect supports and services used by Iowans with developmental disabilities
  • build the ability of Iowans with disabilities to make choices and have control over their lives; and/or build the capacity of communities to create welcoming accommodations for people with developmental disabilities
  • assist Iowans with developmental disabilities to be advocates and leaders involved in the decision-making processes that affect them.



To create change with and for persons with developmental disabilities so they can live, work, learn and play in the community of their choosing.



Iowans with disabilities and their families are fully included in communities of their choice.


Legislative Priorities

The Iowa DD Council is urging lawmakers to support policies that increase community options and services, while also building the capacity of the community to support all individuals with disabilities. The Council’s 2021 legislative priorities are in response to that. 

Legislative Priorities 2020 Annual Report