[photo, 217 East Redwood St., Baltimore, Maryland] By Executive Order, the Governor created the Maryland State Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities in 1971 to carry out provisions of the federal Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Act (P.L. 91-517). That federal law now is the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (P.L. 98-537; P.L. 103-230; P.L. 106-402). To protect State eligibility for certain federal grants, a new council - the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council - was appointed in 1973 to meet revised criteria of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) for consumer members.

Formerly housed in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Council moved for administrative purposes to the Office for Individuals with Disabilities (now Department of Disabilities) in 1987 (Executive Order 01.01.1987.08). The Council received its present name in June 1993.

217 East Redwood St., Baltimore, Maryland, January 2003. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council advocates policy and practices that promote the full inclusion of persons with developmental disabilities in community life. To this end, the Council funds projects and grants which provide opportunities and support in communities. Projects concern employment, child care, education and early intervention, recreation, health, housing, self-advocacy and self determination, transportation, and community supports. Funds are distributed annually to priority areas identified in the Council's Five-Year State Plan. The Plan is submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and amended annually.

Funded by federal monies, the Council is an independent, self-governing body. It reports directly to the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. Code, Title 42, sec. 6024; Council Bylaws, Art. III).

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