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VA Board for People with Disabilities


Virginia Board for People with Disabilities logoThe Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (the Board) serves as the State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, addressing the needs of people with developmental disabilities as established under the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act and the state Virginians with Disabilities Act. The Board advises the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Governor on issues related to people with disabilities in Virginia.

You may read through this topic in sequence or jump directly to one of the sections listed below.


               Mission Statement

               The Developmental Disabilities Council State Plan

               Sponsored Programs

               Contact Information

               Additional Information


The Governor appoints 31 of the 40 people to serve on the Board, the majority of whom are individuals with disabilities and parents of individuals with disabilities. The remaining nine members are state agency designees. The Board is organized into an Executive Committee and four standing committees: Education/Outreach, Community Integration, Community Living/Transportation, and Employment. The Board meets quarterly in Richmond, Virginia.

The Board encourages public comment on its planning activities and at Board meetings, and encourages individuals to contact the Board with needs, information or concerns about disability-related issues.

Mission Statement

To enrich the lives of Virginians with disabilities by providing a VOICE for their concerns.

V ision of communities that welcome people with disabilities

O utreach to individuals, families and advocates

I nnovation through grant projects and sponsored programs

C ollaboration with providers of disability services

E ducation of policymakers on disability issues

The Developmental Disabilities Council State Plan

Under federal law, each state has a Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. In Virginia, the Board serves as the DD Council, which receives funds to carry out systems-change, capacity building, and advocacy initiatives. Through these activities the Board seeks to impact the independence, productivity, inclusion and integration of people with disabilities in their communities.

All DD Councils are required to develop five-year state plans to enable them to fulfill optimally their mission and roles on behalf of people with disabilities, family members, service providers, and other disability stakeholders. The state plan provides the "framework" for each council's funding initiatives, staff work priorities, and Board member activities. State plans are reviewed on an annual basis and achievement of stated goals and objectives are reported. In Virginia, the five-year state plan as well as annual updates are made available for a 45-day public review and comment period prior to their final approval by the Board.

The most recently updated version of the 2007-2011 Developmental Disabilities State Plan may be found in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) online on the VBPD website at:

Sponsored Programs

Partners in Policy Making

Partners in Policymaking participants are people who live in Virginia, have a developmental disability or are parents of young children with developmental disabilities. Individuals attending the program will participate in advocacy skill workshops, resource development, and leadership training.

Application and selection as a participant for the program requires a substantial commitment of time, motivation and energy. Participants meet competencies by agreeing to complete homework, class assignments and one major project.

The group of selected participants will build networks with state and national leaders as well as one another. Participants will be educated on current issues, state-of-the-art approaches and best practices in many areas.

Youth Leadership Forum

The YLF-VA program seeks to empower young people with disabilities to further develop their leadership skills. Students, serving as Delegates from communities throughout Virginia, participate in a wide range of activities and learning experiences during the four day Youth Leadership Forum set on a university campus.

The YLF curriculum includes training and development of individual career and life-goals, leadership skills, social skills, and self-esteem. Delegates benefit from sharing the experience of an energetic and socially enriched environment with other delegates, distinguished guests, mentors, and highly motivated volunteer staff.

Eligible candidates include rising high school juniors and seniors from Virginia who have a disability, are highly motivated, and have demonstrated leadership potential.

Disability Policy Fellowship

The Disability Policy Fellowship was established in 1994 in response to a critical need for improved decision-making concerning issues affecting people with disabilities. The fellowship not only promotes scholarly research and work but offers a graduate or doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University an opportunity to engage in the practice of public policy and administration and to develop skills in a variety of areas including Data Collection and Analysis, Quantitative/Qualitative Research, Program Evaluation, Policy Analysis, Legislative Tracking & Analysis and Need Assessment.

One policy fellow is selected each year and is supervised by the Director of Research, Policy and Evaluation. The Policy Fellowship program is competitive and candidates are selected on the basis of several factors including academic achievement and professional or personal experience related to the mission of the Board.

Contact Information

Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
Washington Building
1100 Bank Street, 7th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219

800-846-4464 (TTY/voice)
804-786-1118 (fax)


Additional Information

Developmental Disabilities Councils (DD Councils) are required to submit annual performance reports to the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) which is the federal agency that funds DD Councils throughout the United States and its territories. The purpose of the Program Performance Reports (PPRs) is to document DD Council activities that occurred during the previous fiscal year for government reporting purposes. Reporting on activity-specific outcomes is intended to capture, on an annual basis, the results of initiatives funded by ADD and administered by DD Councils including those conducted by grantees, Council members, and policy and program staff. You can see the most recent report in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) online at:

In conjunction with the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities created Access Virginia, an online housing registry designed to help Virginians with disabilities find accessible, affordable apartments and learn more about accessibility requirements. See the Access Virginia topic for comprehensive information.

See Also

VA Office for Protection and Advocacy (VOPA)

Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act)

State Councils on Developmental Disabilities

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD)


Information for this topic was drawn from the VBPD website at:

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