The Board is dedicated to improving the independence, productivity, and integration of people with developmental disabilities.

  • Independence means having choices available, being able to choose, and exercising control over one’s own life.
  • Productivity means making a contribution to one’s own household, neighborhood and community. It means working in the community and earning a living.
  • Integration means being present in the community, participating in the life of the community and being valued as a person, friend, family member and neighbor.

Population Served:
The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities advocates for the independence and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in Wisconsin.

What is a developmental disability?

Under Wisconsin State Law, a developmental disability is defined as a list of conditions: brain injury, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, Prader-Willi syndrome, intellectual disability, or another neurological condition closely associated to an intellectual disability. The condition must be severe and permanent.

Because the Board is funded by the federal government, it uses the federal definition of developmental disability. The federal definition is based on the level of need, not the underlying condition. Under federal law, a developmental disability is a severe, chronic disability caused by a mental or physical impairment, or both. The impairment must occur before a person’s 22nd birthday result in serious limitations in three of the following areas:
self-care; receptive and expressive language; learning; mobility; self-direction; capacity for independent living; and economic self-sufficiency, and create a need for lifelong services and supports.