Legal Authorization

Authorization through the DD Act

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities is one of 56 state councils on developmental disabilities in the United States and its territories created through the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act).

Developmental disability councils work to ensure that people with developmental disabilities have opportunities to:

  • live in the community of their choice,
  • be independent,
  • have jobs, and
  • have other services and supports needed for full participation in community life.


State councils on developmental disabilities receive federal funds through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and are funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities on a formula basis, mostly related to a state’s population.

Each year, the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities awards nearly 70% of funds received to about 50 projects around the state that address a variety of topics, such as:

  • employment
  • education
  • positive behavioral intervention and supports
  • family support
  • transportation
  • health care
  • self-determination
  • accessible housing
  • leadership and advocacy training

Governor Designates TEA to Provide Administrative Support to TCDD

Federal law allows each state to designate a state agency to provide administrative support to the state developmental disabilities council. In Texas, state law delegates the administrative support responsibility to the Governor. Consistent with those requirements, Governor Rick Perry issued an Executive Order on Sept. 9, 2004, designating the Texas Education Agency as the Designated State Agency to provide administrative support to TCDD, including:

  • fiscal and accounting services,
  • human resources services, and
  • other administrative supports as requested by the Council.

State of Texas Human Resources Code

Legislature finds that persons with developmental disabilities have a right to appropriate treatment, services, and habilitation for their disabilities within the funds available for those purposes and that the treatment, services, and habilitation for a person with developmental disabilities must be designed to maximize the developmental potential of the person and must be provided in the setting that is least restrictive of the person’s personal liberty.