Seeking Nominations

The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council seeks nominations for membership of its committees.

Committee members are appointed for one year terms by the Chairperson of the Council and form the group from
which nominees for full Council membership are normally drawn.  Committees include Achievement, Empowerment and Engagement. Council began operating under a new structure as of January 2012 and now functionally operates as a “Committee of the Whole,” where all Council and Committee members are present for all Committee meetings.

The Council is a 20 person body appointed by the Governor, authorized by federal law to engage in advocacy, systems change and capacity building on behalf of people with developmental disabilities.  We achieve this through direct action and by making grants to non-profit, advocacy and other bodies to carry out the requirements of our State Plan.  The Council does this work with a focus on its statement of values- seen below.  For more information please visit our website at

We seek to reflect the composition requirements of our federal authorizing legislation in our committee membership, and to reflect a range of disability interests and the geographical and racial diversity of the state.  We are particularly interested at this time to increase our committee membership of people with developmental disabilities as well as family members of people with developmental disabilities- both parents of young children as well a family members of adults who cannot speak for themselves.  Membership involves a commitment to five two-day meetings a year and to participation in a variety of review and writing teams, task forces, and other responsibilities.  Costs for travel, lodging, subsistence and personal assistance and child care are met.  We endeavor to meet all reasonable accommodations.

To submit a nomination for committee membership, please complete the form available on our website (Click Here for Form). Complete the form and mail to us at the address indicated.

PA DD Council Statement of Values

Generic Change.
The Council has a responsibility to change communities in the broadest, most generic sense. Our work improves the lives, not only of people with disabilities, but of all Pennsylvanians. Our energy is increasingly directed at ensuring that the systems and supports that are available to the community in general are made equally available, with appropriate
accommodation, to Pennsylvanians with disabilities. We prefer to improve disability services by making them available in the context of the systems and supports that exist for all people.

Systems Change.
The Council has a responsibility to change the systems that impact people with disabilities in Pennsylvania. We are less and less interested in models of accommodation which rely on the person with the disability being the person doing the changing, or which provide temporary help in the context of systems that are broken. All our work, viewed over time and in the context of our interlocking strategies and approaches, must contribute to our broad view of systems change. We do not believe that we can change Pennsylvania one sub-system at a time. We view systems in a wide-reaching way; not just as human service systems, but as the broader and generic social systems and cultures which have an effect on people with disabilities in Pennsylvania.

Natural Part of the Human Condition.
The Council believes that disability is a natural part of the human condition.  We are not sympathetic to medical models of understanding disability. While we do not deny the importance of medical treatment and medical need, we are more sympathetic to understandings of disability as a social construct imposed on people with disability labels rather than as a quality inherent in the person with a disability. We are not impressed by the model of trying to “help” people with disabilities by making them more like people without disabilities.

The Council is deeply committed to inclusion and integration. We do not like approaches which are segregated, and will not fund “special programs for special people.” We prefer activities to be alongside and integrated with people without disabilities, in regular and generic settings in regular communities. Groups of people with different disabilities congregated together do not constitute “inclusion.”

The Council is cross-disability in nature; we try to fund approaches that affect all people with disabilities in common areas of their lives, such as housing, health, employment, community inclusion, etc., and we are especially interested in the cross-disability impact of shared stigma and segregation. Having said this, we are acutely conscious of the vital and important differences in priorities and emphases between different disability communities, and seek to provide opportunities for communication and the sharing of different disability experiences.

Cultural Competence.
The Council believes that the skills involved in understanding disability are closely related to the skills which lead to other forms of cultural competence.  We believe that disability competence cannot take place in isolation from the embrace of all human diversity. Therefore we seek alliances with all those who are excluded or dispossessed on the grounds of poverty, race, ethnicity or sexuality.

The Council seeks to engage in activities which meaningfully involve people with disabilities, or, if they cannot speak for themselves, their chosen family members, in all areas of their conception, preparation and implementation. We oppose activities which could be construed as doing things for, to, or on behalf of people with disabilities rather than under their direct leadership. We do not fund projects which portray people with disabilities as deserving pity; which, even unconsciously, endorse stigmatization of people with disabilities, or which incorporate portrayals of people with disabilities as the objects of charity or “the least of these”.

Thank you,

Sheila R. Hunter l Project Officer

DPW l PA Developmental Disabilities Council

Room 561, Forum Building l Hbg PA 17120

Phone: 717.772.4129 l Fax: 717.772.0738