President’s Committe For PID

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President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
During the week of May 5, 2014, President Barack Obama announced appointments to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. This expert group will provide advice and assistance to President Obama and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on a broad range of topics that impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.

The country is facing huge challenges right now with employment, community living, basic income, education, and community living supports for individuals with disabilities; it is clear we need to increase our efforts. There has been notable progress since this committee was first convened in 1961, but it is clear a greater impact needs to be made and work efforts in order to have a more inclusive society.

Much credit is offered to former President John F. Kennedy for his historical first appointees of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in October 1961. He selected the first panel to advise him on a broad range of topics relating to people with I/DD. This was a defining moment for the I/DD community, as President Kennedy shined a spotlight on the deplorable living conditions in institutions and limited opportunities for people with I/DD across the country. The panel produced a report with more than 100 recommendations for research into the causes and prevention of I/DD and for expanding opportunities for education, employment and community living and participation. President Kennedy pushed and signed into law major pieces of legislation that established the foundation for current civil rights protections and programs and services for people with I/DD.

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