According to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) and other federal legislation, “disability is a natural part of the human experience...”. Prevention activities do not diminish the value of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)*, but rather strive to maximize the independence and enhance quality of life for people with IDD. The Nation must continue to investigate the causes, avoid those that are preventable, and limit negative effects of conditions that cause IDD through basic, applied, and clinical research, public awareness, education, advocacy, early intervention, and appropriate supports.
Knowledge about biomedical causes of disability, preventive health care options, and the consequence of exposure to environmental hazards is increasing rapidly, yet practical application of this information is lacking. Supporting the prevention of IDD and valuing the lives, diversity, and contributions of persons with IDD are compatible positions.
Despite dramatic advances in our Nation’s view of disability and supports and services for individuals with disabilities, quality of life remains elusive for far too many persons with IDD. When individuals with IDD do not receive adequate, comprehensive health care, including access to mental health, habilitative and dental health services across the lifespan, therapies, education, and access to assistive technology, preventable secondary conditions can occur.
The Nation must investigate the causes, avoid those that are preventable, and limit the negative effects of conditions that cause IDD through prevention programs, policies, and practices which must include:
Public Health Programs
Quality of Life
Investigating the causes, avoiding those that are preventable, and limiting negative effects of conditions that cause IDD will contribute to individual and family quality of life. It is also imperative that individuals with IDD engage in person-centered and self-directed services and supports that are appropriate and affordable in order to improve quality of life, as well as to address secondary conditions through the following:
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Board of Directors
March 16, 2016
The Arc of the United States
Board of Directors
April 10, 2016
Chapters of The Arc
October 28, 2016
Intellectual Disability (ID) is a lifelong condition where significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior emerge during the developmental period (before adulthood).
Developmental Disabilities (DD), first defined in 1975 federal legislation now known as “The DD Act,”, are a group of lifelong conditions that emerge during the developmental period and result in some level of functional limitation in learning, language, communication, cognition, behavior, socialization, or mobility. The most common DD conditions are intellectual disability, Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, fetal alcohol syndrome, and fragile X syndrome.
The acronym “IDD” is used to describe a group that includes either people with both ID and another DD or a group that includes people with ID or another DD. The supports that people with IDD need to meet their goals vary in intensity from intermittent to pervasive.
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