Governor Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday signed an executive order formally establishing the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities, a move that will allow the council to better carry out its mission of promoting self-determination, independence, productivity, integration and inclusion in all facets of community life for people with developmental disabilities.
"The purpose for formally establishing the council through an executive order was to provide a more comprehensive framework for the council, so that it can more effectively and productively conduct its business as mandated by federal law," said Governor Malloy. "I wholeheartedly support the council's advocacy of promoting the full inclusion of all people with disabilities and want to ensure its mission can be achieved in the most productive way possible."
While the council is mandated by the federal Developmental Disabilities Act of 2000 and has existed in Connecticut since 1971, it has never been formally established by executive order or statute. It is fully funded by the federal government and receives approximately $724,000 per year to operate. Prior to today's executive order, Connecticut was the only state in the country not to have a comprehensive framework for the council set forth in state law.
"We are extremely pleased that Governor Malloy has signed an executive order officially establishing the Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities," said Molly Cole, the council's current executive director. "The Council appreciates the Governor's continued support of our efforts to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities into their communities."
Under the executive order, the council will consist of 24 members, 15 of whom are individuals with developmental disabilities or parents of children with developmental disabilities. The remaining members of the council will be made up of representatives from state agencies involved with providing services to people with developmental disabilities and advocates for such individuals. As required by federal law, all appointments to the council will be made by the Governor.
"The Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities is a strong partner in achieving the mission of the Department of Developmental Services and we are pleased to continue our collaboration as the designated state agency for the council," remarked Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Terrence W. Macy.
Governor Malloy's Executive Order No. 19 is effective immediately and the new members of the council will be appointed within 60 days.