The Council

The Council


The Council is composed of 25 members appointed for three-year terms with a maximum of three consecutive terms. Each member is appointed by the Governor from among Virgin Islands   residents. The Act requires each state council to include representatives of state agencies responsible for administering federal funds that support programs and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Council members represent the Disability Rights Center of the Virgin Islands (Protection and Advocacy system). University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD) (University Center), Center for Independent Living (private nonprofit organization), VI Department of Human Services: Medical Assistance Program Commission on Aging, Vocational Rehabilitation, VI Department of Health: Child and Maternal Health are also represented.

Council Structure:

  • At least 60% must be people with developmental disabilities, or parents / guardians.
  • Of this 60 percent, one-third must have developmental disabilities; and at least one-third must be relatives or guardians of people with developmental disabilities.
  • Another one-third must be immediate relatives or guardians of people with mentally impairing developmental disabilities, one of whom must be an immediate relative of an institutionalized or previously institutionalized person with a developmental disability;
  • None of these individuals can be an employee of a state agency, nor managing employee of other organizations receiving funds or providing services under the Act.
  • The state provides assurances that the federal membership requirements have been met.

Federal Definition of Developmental Disability:

Developmental disabilities result from severe chronic mental and/or physical impairments which occur at an early age. The impairments are likely to continue indefinitely, and have a pervasive effect on an individual.

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-230), defines a developmental disability as:

A severe chronic disability of an individual 5 years of age or older that:

  • is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
  • is manifested before the individual attains age 22;
  • is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency:
  • reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, supports, or other assistance that are lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated, except that such term, when applied to infants and young children means individuals from birth to age 5, inclusive, who have substantial delay or specific congenital or acquired conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental disabilities if services are not provided. [DD Act, Section 103(8)]

Yvonne D. Petersen, Executive Director
Phone: (340) 773-2323 Ext. 2137

Download Membership Application

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