Overview of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council

This section describes the makeup and responsibilities of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council.

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The Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) is an independent agency funded by the federal government through a federal grant authorized under Subtitle B of the federal Public Law 106-402 (the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000). MDDC was established in accordance with state Executive Order 512. It is made up of citizen members appointed by the Governor as well as representatives from state agencies and the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Network.1 According to its website,

MDDC's goal is to help make sure people with developmental disabilities lead successful lives in their communities, have greater employment opportunities, support for inclusive education, and choose where and with whom they live.

During our audit period, MDDC had a budget of approximately $1.9 million for fiscal year 2017 and $1.8 million for fiscal year 2018. MDDC has an executive director and an additional 15 employees at 100 Hancock Street in Quincy.

Sub-Recipient Program

According to Section 122(b) of Public Law 106-402, MDDC receives an annual federal allotment for the following purpose:

To be used to pay for the Federal share of the cost of carrying out projects in accordance with State plans approved under section 124 for the provision under such plans of services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Commonwealth must provide a waiver of a portion of MDDC’s fringe benefits and indirect costs to match the award. These costs are absorbed by the Commonwealth.

MDDC selects partnering entities (called sub-recipients) to carry out the projects described in its plan. The projects performed by the sub-recipients include, but are not limited to, self-advocacy training, special education, leadership forums, and health insurance training (these are performed in various languages, such as Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic). The intent of these projects is to provide information in various languages to people with developmental disabilities and their families to enhance their independence, productivity, and inclusion in the community.

1.    This network consists of MDDC, the Institute for Community Inclusion, the University of Massachusetts Medical School Shriver Center, and the Disability Law Center. According to its website, the network provides “advocacy, education, research, and dissemination of information.”

Date published: February 7, 2019