Public Comment: Elimination of DD Councils
In May, the White House released the President’s budget proposal. It contained unexpected and significant impact to State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, including Tennessee’s Council.
Specifically, the President’s Budget proposed the following:
- To eliminate funding to the State Councils on Developmental Disabilities
- To eliminate funding to State Advisory Boards on Traumatic Brain Injury (TN's TBI Advisory Council website), and Statewide Independent Living Councils (TN's SILC website)
- To create a new federal office called “Partnerships for Innovation, Inclusion, and Independence”. Councils on Developmental Disabilities would be moved into this office along with the two other advisory and planning councils.
- To cut funding to all 3 programs in half. The overall funding level proposed for the new Office of Partnerships for Innovation, Inclusion and Independence is $45 million nationwide for FY 18. For perspective, the current year Council budget nationally is $73 million. The three programs combined currently have a budget of $102 million nationally.
Your comments are critical to the effort to save Councils on Developmental Disabilities. Submit your comments by 8/11/17 here.
The federal agency that oversees State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), is providing a short window (through Aug. 11) for public comments on the budget proposal that would eliminate Councils.
Please help by submitting your comments that demonstrate how much the DD Council is needed in Tennessee.
Include information on how we may have helped you or a loved one in the past, or how the Council has partnered with your agency over the years. Be specific about the impact of the Council in our state.
Below are just a few examples of Council initiatives and activities that you, your family or your agency may have benefited from:
- Hosting the annual Partners in Policymaking Leadership Institute, as well youth leadership trainings, for individuals with disabilities and families
- Funding Tennessee Disability Pathfinder, the state’s central information and referral source for disability services
- Developing and providing funding to support inclusive higher education programs for students with disabilities on college campuses in Tennessee (i.e., Next Steps at Vanderbilt, Lipscomb IDEAL, Union EDGE, etc.)
- Launching Project SEARCH in TN to provide internship and job training opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities
- Launching the “Person Centered Organizations” initiative with the Dept. of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their providers
- Creating a Leadership Academy for state employees working in government disability programs
- Providing scholarships to individuals and families to attend disability training, conferences and events
Learn more about the Council’s unique role in the state in the video below.
We hope you will submit your comments to ACL by Aug. 11. The direct email inbox is P3Ifirstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be grateful if you copy ("CC") or blind copy ("BCC") the Council when you do so, so we can be aware of your comments: email@example.com.
Questions? Call Council Communications Director at 615-253-5368.