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Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
To create a Commonwealth that advances opportunities for independence, personal decision-making and full participation in community life for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Virginians with developmental and other disabilities direct their own lives and choose how they live, learn, work, and play. The Board serves as the 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"". Since 1992, the Board has been an executive branch state agency located within the Secretariat of Health and Human Resources. The Board has autonomy over the use of its federal funding and the hiring of its staff.
The Board advises the Governor, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, federal and state legislators, and other constituent groups on issues related to people with disabilities in Virginia. The Board's purpose is to engage in advocacy, capacity building, and systems change activities that contribute to a coordinated consumer and family centered, consumer and family directed, comprehensive system of services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that enable individuals with DD to exercise self-determination, be independent, be productive, and be integrated and included in all facets of community life.
This is accomplished through outreach, training, technical assistance, supporting and educating communities, barrier elimination, system design/redesign, coalition development and citizen participation, informing policymakers, and demonstration of new approaches, services, and supports to community-based service delivery.
The Governor appoints 31 of the Board's 40 members. The remaining nine members are state agency designees. Sixty percent of the Board's 40 members are people with disabilities or family members of people with disabilities. The Board meets at least 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."