The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) is charged under the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act with advocacy, capacity building, and systems change to improve self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life for people with developmental disabilities. This is the role and mission of the board.

The role of state councils is to seek continuous improvement across all systems—education, transportation, health care, employment, etc.—that touch the lives of people with disabilities. Our work requires us to have a long-term vision of public policy that not only sees current systems as they are, but how these systems could be made better for current and future generations of people with disabilities. BPDD is charged with advising the Governor and Legislature on public policies that effect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In keeping with other federal laws and policy—including the Americans with Disabilities Act—our charge is to work towards the people with disabilities being equal to and having the same responsibilities as people without disabilities.

  • Examples of Independence: this means maximizing the amount of control an individual has over things like managing personal finances, the ability to live independently, to choose where to live and with whom, ability to get to events/appointments/shopping and other activities in the community whenever needed or desired, and employment in jobs just like people without disabilities.
  • Examples of productivity: engagement in income producing work and maximizing that income to align with compensation earned by people without disabilities.
  • Examples of Integration and inclusion: expectation of the same educational outcomes as students without disabilities (knowledge of core content, ability to work in diverse teams, development of social skills, and being ready for a community job or to continue education upon graduation); expectation to access and participate in the community including civic events and having a community job just as people without disabilities do.
  • Examples of Self-determination: ability to explore interests, develop skills, and experiment with new experiences; ability to make mistakes and learn from them; ability to choose support staff, who is and is not involved in decision-making or the person’s life; ability to have relationships.