Our work is driven by a five-year plan, which offers a framework for Council members and staff as they choose projects, initiatives and activities to support Arizonans with developmental disabilities. A main highlight of the plan are specific goals, which guide and focus our work over the five-year period.
Our current plan focuses on three goal areas: inclusion, employment and self-advocacy.
A deeper look into how we plan on achieving these goals over the 2018 Fiscal Year can be found among our objectives.
Our goals for 2017-2021 are:
Goal 1 – Self-Advocacy/Self-Determination
We aim to establish, strengthen, and expand self-advocacy activities among people with developmental disabilities so they will become empowered to be self-determined.
Goal 2 – Employment
We will increase awareness of employment potential of people who have developmental disabilities, link them to resources needed to achieve their employment potential, and foster job creation, hiring, retention, promotion, and self-employment.
Goal 3 – Inclusion
We want to motivate communities to include people of all ages who have developmental disabilities in every aspect of community life.
How are the goals selected?
In 2015, Council staff began collecting data and interviews from people with developmental disabilities, along with family members and community partners, with the help of Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Public input from online surveys and community forums in nine cities and towns further rounded out the official plan.
Feedback from the forums helps the Council in its role of awarding money and contracts to launch innovative and new approaches to tackling problems and barriers facing Arizonans with developmental disabilities and the caregivers who support them.
Combined with a 173-page Comprehensive Review and Analysis report compiled from additional interviews and focus groups across Arizona, the comments helped identify three areas of focus: employment, empowering people to advocate for themselves, and full inclusion in the community.
Are there specific groups the Council hopes to reach?
There is a special focus in the 2017-2021 period on projects targeting Arizona demographic groups and rural communities identified in our research as particularly overlooked.