How is the PA Developmental Disabilities Council Structured?
There are 20 members of the Council, supported by 10 to 15 Committee members and 10 staff. Of the Council members, 13 are appointed by the Governor, five are the designees of Cabinet members, and two are representatives of the other organizations funded under the federal Developmental Disabilities Act. All of the members appointed by the Governor must be persons with developmental disabilities or their family members. The Council's work happens through meetings, phone conferences and ongoing communication of all forms. Council meetings are often held in Harrisburg, but are also planned for other areas of the state, including western and eastern Pennsylvania. Committees, each of which has a chairperson, are organized around various target funding areas identified by the current state plan. In 2012 the Council restructured its committees into the following three:
In addition, there are four Work Groups:
3. POLICY INFORMATION EXCHANGE
4. MULTICULTURAL OUTREACH
Each Work Group consists of members from the three "Content" Committees.
Operationally, most of the work of the Council is done in the three Content Committees and the four Work Groups. Participation and voting in these eight groups is open to both Council and Committee members. The formal Council meeting is held at the end of our two-day quarterly meetings and accepts reports from these eight groups. Acceptance of a report by the Council is the required authority to engage in the activity proposed by the committees. While alI meetings of the Council, its committees and workgroups are open to the public and are subject to the state's Sunshine Law, only the Council has the authority to recommend expenditures or changes to the state plan. Only the Council members appointed by the Governor sit at the table to participate in the official actions of a formal Council meeting.