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 is a list of specific goals that guide and focus our work over the five-year period.
Check out our 2022 Workplan document
Our current plan focuses on three goal areas: community inclusion, employment, and self-advocacy.
Our goals and objectives for 2022-2026 are:
GOAL 1 – SELF-DETERMINATION
We aim to establish, strengthen, and expand advocacy among and for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/dd) so that they can live more self-determined lives, fully engaged, and included in all aspects of community life.
Objective 1: Annually, the Council will support or collaborate on at least three initiatives or policies that remove barriers and/or facilitate the ability of self-advocates to have their voices heard and acted upon, so that they are able to express themselves, make decisions for themselves, and live more self-determined lives.
Objective 2: By FFY 2026, the Council will expand Council-supported opportunities for families and other support persons to help self-advocates lead more self-determined lives.
Objective 3: By FFY 2026, the Council will increase participation of persons with I/DD in cross-disability, culturally diverse leadership coalitions and groups that address issues of importance to people with I/DD.
GOAL 2 – MEANINGFUL CAREERS
We will increase the career potential of people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/dd) and link them with resources needed to achieve their career goals.
Objective 1: By FFY 2026, the Council will support career outcomes of transition-aged youth (ages 14-22) with I/DD, increasing their awareness of and access to the education and training (e.g., credentialing, professional development, life, job, and technical skills training) required for integrated competitive, inclusive employment.
Objective 2: By FFY 2026, in collaboration with self-advocates, DD network partners, employment-related coalitions, professionals who provide support, employers, state agencies, and other key stakeholders, the Council will increase awareness of engagement in, and promotion of integrated, competitive, inclusive career opportunities for working age individuals (ages 22+) with I/DD.
Objective 3: Annually the Council will champion and support activities that increase awareness of families and caregivers of the career potential of individuals with I/DD and address systems change to ensure that career potential is an ongoing dialogue beginning in early childhood.
GOAL 3 – INCLUSION WITH ENGAGEMENT:
We want to support communities and agencies across Arizona to include and engage people of all ages and backgrounds who have intellectual and developmental (i/dd) disabilities.
Objective 1: By FFY 2026, in coordination with state agencies, the DD Network, and other key stakeholders, the Council will develop and strengthen more inclusive, engaging, culturally attuned, and linguistically competent (including plain language) processes, policies, and practices that support the inclusion and engagement of individuals with I/DD throughout Arizona.
Objective 2: By FFY 2026, in coordination with state and local agencies, community collaborators, tribal leaders, local community members, and other key stakeholders, the Council will champion or support at least one strategy or initiative to address transportation-related challenges impacting individuals with I/DD’s inclusion and engagement in rural and/or tribal communities.
Objective 3: Annually, the Council will champion or support and disseminate at least five promising or best practice projects and/or produce new information or data that promotes expanded inclusion and engagement of people with/DD in their communities.
GOAL 4 - SAFETY:
We will expose and reduce instances of abuse and neglect against individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) of all ages while working toward a systemic focus on prevention.
Objective 1: Annually, in collaboration with key stakeholders (e.g., state agencies, the legal system, law enforcement, domestic violence programs, schools, behavioral health stakeholders, community-based organizations) and self-advocates, the Council will strengthen, modify, or assist in the creation of at least two policies or practices that improve abuse response and prevention efforts.
Objective 2: Annually, the Council will champion and support, at least two initiatives that increase access to or utilization of research-based best practices and trainings that promote safety of individuals with I/DD.
Objective 3: By FFY 2026, in collaboration with key behavioral health stakeholders, the Council will champion and support at least one initiative, policy, or practice that strengthens trauma informed approaches or improves behavioral health access and delivery to individuals with I/DD.
GOAL 5 - SYSTEM ACCESS & NAVIGATION:
We will enhance, strengthen, and expand access to accurate and user-friendly information and the services needed for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to lead more self-determined lives.
Objective 1: Annually, the Council will champion and support at least one initiative to ensure individuals with I/DD and their families have access to pertinent information that assists them in navigating transition points (including ages3, 6, 18, 22, 50, 65, 75+, and end of life).
Objective 2: Annually, the Council will champion and support at least one initiative, policy, or practice that improves access to needed services and information for people with I/DD, their families, and their support systems within underrepresented communities (e.g., Spanish speaking, Native American, refugee, rural).
Objective 3: TARGETED DISPARITY** -: By FFY 2026, the Council will champion and support at least two initiatives designed to increase Native Americans with I/DD’s and their families’ access to the information and support needed to fully participate in all aspects of community life.
HOW ARE THE GOALS SELECTED?
In 2020, Council staff began collecting data and interviews from people with developmental disabilities, along with family members and community partners, with the help of Improvement Assurances Group (IAG). 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 2022-2026 period on projects targeting Arizona demographic groups and rural communities identified in our research as particularly overlooked.