The Virgin Islands Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (VIDDC) has received public comment on its proposed 2017-2021 State Plan. Under federal law, each state and territory DD Council receive funds to carry out advocacy, capacity building and systems change initiatives.
Through these activities, DD Councils improve and expand opportunities for the independence, productivity, inclusion and integration of people with developmental disabilities in their communities. Federal law further requires DD Councils to develop five-year state plans that guide their activities and ensure that they optimally fulfill their missions on behalf of people with developmental disabilities, their family members, service providers and other disability stakeholders.
A DD Council’s state plan provides a basic framework for its principal funding initiatives, staff work priorities, and Council member activities. Council members and staff may undertake other activities not included in the state plan as resources permit; however, federal law requires that the primary focus for a Council’s use of federal resources comply with its five-year state plan. DD Council five-year state plans are reviewed and updated as needed on an annual basis.
Achievements of stated goals and objectives are reported in December of each year for the previous federal fiscal year. In accordance with federal requirements, the accompanying draft of the VIDDC’s 2017-2021 State Plan goals was being released for a 45-day public comment period. Public comment was accepted through August 4, 2016. The proposed plan will be circulated for public comment again, with incorporated public comments considered, later this year.
Goal 1: The DD Network and other collaborating organizations will provide support for the Territory self-advocacy organization of individuals with developmental disabilities so they can actively engage in efforts that will increase their leadership skills to improve their independence, productivity, self-determination, integration, and inclusion within their communities.
Goal 2: The Council in partnership with the DD Network and other collaborating organizations will provide support to establish and maintain a public transportation advisory board comprised of self-advocates and other individuals with disabilities to monitor ADA compliances in the VI to assure accessibility and accommodations for the disabilities population.
Goal 3: The Council in partnership with the DD Network and other collaborating organizations will support and promote initiatives so that parents/caregivers of children with developmental disabilities will increase their skills and abilities to effectively advocate for their educational, social, emotional and health needs.
Goal 4: The Council and other collaborating organizations will support employment initiatives so the individuals with developmental disabilities have increased access to training and skill development.
Goal 5: The Council will raise public awareness through community outreach, and partner with other organizations to promote public policy to ensure individuals with developmental disabilities participate in significant ways and are valued and supported in all facets of community life in the Territory.