Council adopts five-year plan to empower Arizonans with developmental disabilities
Oct. 5, 2016
PHOENIX—The Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council has released its official Five-Year State Plan for 2017-2021 after gathering ideas from Arizonans impacted by developmental disability through 11 public forums in communities ranging from Sierra Vista to Tuba City this spring.
Every five years, the federally-funded Council develops focus areas as part of its role awarding grants and contracts to launch innovative and new approaches to tackling problems and barriers faced by individuals with developmental disabilities.
The plan reflects a massive statewide research effort, dubbed the Comprehensive Review and Analysis, discovering the state’s successes and obstacles that residents face every day living with a developmental disability.
“I’m looking forward to brainstorming with our many community partners to create new ideas and concepts that may be useful in adding to the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities and their families,” said Larry Clausen, executive director for the Council.
The Council’s state plan identifies a new goal as Council members look ahead to the future for Arizonans with developmental disabilities—creating inclusion in all aspects of community life.
That goal joins two others the organization has worked towards during the previous five-year period: increasing employment opportunities and encouraging individuals to advocate for themselves.
Moreover, the new plan calls for the Council to consider projects targeting underserved groups such as children with disabilities in foster care, Native Americans and the aging.
“I feel a heavy responsibility to kick-start our new plan,” Clausen said. “Taking the words off the page and transforming them into action is what our Council stands for and I’m looking forward to being a part of that effort.”
The new guidelines took effect October 1, 2016 after approval by the federal agency, Administration on Community Living, Administration on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities.