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Over 6 million individuals in the United States have developmental disabilities. A developmental disability, according to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, is defined as a severe, chronic disability which:
More specifically, a developmental disability is a severe, chronic disability which:
Examples of developmental disabilities include:
People with developmental disabilities benefit from comprehensive long-term services. With such services, people with disabilities are often able to be more active, productive, and independent, which benefits their communities as well.
For more information, visit the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.
"We all want the same basic things out of life: a decent and comfortable place to call 'home', something meaningful to do during the day, some close friends with whom to share the good times and from whom we receive support in difficult times, and the opportunity to make our own decisions about things that will affect our personal lives. People with disabilities want these same basic things and are increasingly speaking up for themselves about what they want. And staff, family and State agency professionals are beginning to really listen."
Excerpted from "Home, Sweet Home" by Susan L. Babin, IMPACT: Feature Issue on Supported Living (1995), published by the Institute on Community Integration.
The Institute is committed to preventing and reducing the limiting effects of disabilities. Its mission is based on the belief that all persons with developmental disabilites should live as valued members of our communities while receiving the services and supports they need to fully develop their potential.