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DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES, STATE COUNCIL ON
[Authorized:  NDCC Section 25-01-01.1]

In 1963 (S. L. 1963, Ch. 219) a Coordinating Committee on Mental Retardation was created.  The Committee consisted of one or more representatives from North Dakota departments, divisions, or institutions. This included representatives from the departments of Health, Public Instruction, and Public Welfare. It also included representatives from the Vocational Rehabilitation Division, and Grafton State School. A non-voting consultant was selected to represent the Association of Retarded Children. The Committee chose officers to serve one year terms. The chief duties were to provide for studies and surveys relating to the needs of retarded citizens in North Dakota and to coordinate state departments, divisions, agencies, and institutions within the state who were responsible for programs relating to mental retardation*.

A public law [Pub. L 91-517] was authorized under a federal act in 1970 to assist states in developing a plan for the provisions of comprehensive services to persons affected by mental and developmental disabilities originating in childhood. In order to qualify for federal funds a state had to submit a plan on how facilities would be constructed for such purposes. A state advisory committee was established to represent principle state, local, and non-government agencies involved with strengthening programs and services for the developmentally disabled. 

In 1971 the Governor signed an Executive Order to create the Planning and Advisory Council on Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities. The Council was composed of representatives of state agencies with responsibility for administering federal aid programs for the developmentally disabled. Other members included local and non-governmental organizations concerned with services for the developmentally disabled. 

In 1979 the Legislature created the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (S. L. 1979, Ch.332) and the Council was maintained by the State Department of Health. The membership consisted of representatives from the State Department of Health, Department of Public Instruction, Social Service Board of North Dakota, the Employment Security Bureau, and the Director of Institutions. Other representatives were from the Grafton State School, the Community Mental Health, Retardation, and Human Services Center, and a consumer representative from an organization that met the federal regulations guidelines. All members were appointed by the Governor and chosen from a list provided by agency heads. Members served two year terms and met at least twice a year. The chairman called two meetings and additional meetings could be held by a written request from three members of the Council.  The Council assisted in the development of state plans, monitored and evaluated the implementation of the plans, and reviewed and commented on all state plans as they related to programs affecting the developmentally disabled. It provided protection and advocacy to developmentally disabled individuals when requested by a state department, division, institution, or organization. The Council established a committee on professional standards and certification to develop rules and regulations for the certification of developmental disability professionals. The Council also did a needs study for the state and facilitated coordination of activities involving state departments, divisions, agencies, and institutions having responsibilities in the field of developmental disabilities.

In 1981 the legislature enacted laws that specified rights of the developmentally disabled (S. L. 1981, Ch. 294). Other legislation included replacing the Department of Social Services by creating the Department of Human Services. The Council was maintained by the Department of Human Services. Legislation also removed the Community Mental Health, Retardation, and Human Service Center representative from the Council (S. L. 1981, Ch. 486). In 1983 legislation required schools to have educational plans for students with developmental disabilities (S. L. 1983, Ch. 312). 

Legislation in 1989 required that the Council be moved to the office of the Governor. The Council could appoint, with the approval of the Governor, a full time director. The Department of Human Services was required to provide administrative support for the Council. The Council was given authority to secure and administer available federal funding through the Developmentally Disabled and Bill of Rights Act (S. L. 1989, Ch. 333).

Legislative changes in 1991 included moving the Council back from the office of the Governor to the Department of Human Services, making changes to Council membership appointment procedures, and removing the responsibility of protection and advocacy from Council duties.  The Council was no longer required to maintain a committee on professional standards or to certify professionals in the field of the developmentally disabled (S. L. 1991, Ch. 508).

Since 1991 membership on the Council has included representatives from the departments of Health, Human Services, and Public Instruction. Job Service North Dakota and the Westwood Park Developmental Center in Grafton also had representatives. Others represented entities that conformed to the requirements of federal law. The Council continued to facilitate coordination of the activities of state departments, divisions, agencies, and institutions and remained responsible for administering federal developmental disabilities basic state grant funding allocated to North Dakota.
   
* Legislation in 2011 replaced the term mental retardation with “intellectual disability”.

According to the Century Code the State Council on Developmental Disabilities is required to be maintained within the Department of Human Services.  Appointments to the Council are made by the Governor including designated state agency representatives from the departments of Public Instruction, Health, and Human Services.  Also included is a representative from Job Service North Dakota and the Life Skills and Transition Center (formerly Westwood Park Development Center). The Governor has the authority to appoint a full-time director for the Council. The Council has responsibility to assist in the development of a state plan for developmental disabilities, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the plan, and review and comment on plans relating to programs affecting individuals with developmental disabilities.  Responsibilities also include studies and surveys concerning the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and coordination of the activities of all state departments, divisions, agencies, and institutions having responsibilities in the field of developmental disabilities are to be carried out by the Council [NDCC 25-01-01].  Legislation in 2011changed the term mental retardation to intellectual disabilities (S. L. 2011, Ch. 207) and added a statement for the purpose of advancing employment opportunities for the intellectually and physically disabled. Also included in the legislation were contracts for work activity centers (S. L. 2011, Ch. 209). Legislation also required the inclusion of a grant program to support early childhood service to caregivers for children with special needs  as established by the DHS (S. L. 2011, Ch. 361). Legislation also concerned developmentally disability provider reimbursement for developmental disabilities system projects (S. L. 2011, Ch. 353). It expanded service payments for the elderly and disabled and included eligibility requirements and criteria for assessing functionality in delivering basic care assistance and personal care services (S. L. 2011, Ch. 368).   In 2017 an amendment to the Century Code included downs syndrome as a developmental disability (S.L. 2017, Ch. 208).  Legislation also concerned the definitions of eligible beneficiaries for the aged, blind, and disabled persons (S.L. 2017, Ch. 339) and a new section was added to the Century Code relating to the financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. It defined the term financial exploitation (S.L. 2017, Ch. 342). A new subsection of Century Code was created relating to collaboration between agencies to coordinate early intervention services for children from birth to age three who are at high risk for developmental delay or disability. Legislation also provided for a Legislative Management study (S.L. 2017, Ch. 365). 

CHRONOLOGY

1963       Creation of a coordinating Committee on Mental Retardation (S. L. 1963, Ch. 219).

1970       A federal act assisted states in developing and authorizing a plan for comprehensive services to individuals affected by mental or developmental disabilities originating in childhood.

1971       The Planning and Advisory Council on Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities was formed by an executive order from the Governor.

1979       The State Council on Developmental Disabilities was created and maintained by the  
State Department of Health (S. L. 1979, Ch. 332).

1981       Legislation established laws specifically for the rights of the developmentally disabled (S. 
L. 1981, Ch. 294). A representative from the Community Mental Health, Retardation, and Human Service Center no longer served on the Council. The Social Service Board was renamed the Department of Human Services and the Employment Security Bureau was renamed Job Service North Dakota. The Council was maintained by the newly created Department of Human Services (S. L. 1981, Ch. 486).

1983       Schools were required to have an educational plan for students who were  
developmentally disabled (S. L. 1983, Ch. 312).

1989       The Council was moved from the Department of Human Services to the office of the Governor.  The Council member from State School at Grafton was renamed the representative and the State School at Grafton was renamed the Developmental Center at Grafton. The term abuse was defined (S. L. 1989, Ch. 333).

1991       The Council was maintained by the Department of Human Services. Appointments to the Council were no longer selected from a list provided by agency heads to the Governor. The Council member who served as the consumer representative had to meet the requirements as stated in the federal law (S. L. 1991, Ch. 508). The office of the Director of Institutions was dissolved and Director of Institutions membership was to be transferred either to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  The Employment Bureau was renamed Job Service North Dakota (S. L. 1991, Ch.592).

1995       The Developmental Center at Grafton was renamed the Developmental Center at Westwood Park, Grafton (S. L. 1995, Ch. 34). The Department of Health was the name chosen to replace the State Department of Health and Consolidated Laboratories or any previous name that had been used to indicate the Department of Health (S. L. 1995, Ch. 243).

2011       State law changed the term mental retardation to intellectual disabilities (S. L. 2011, Ch. 207). A loan program was repealed for use by developmentally disabled facilities and for the sale of loans and the transfer of proceeds to common school districts (S. L. 2011, Ch. 81).

2013       Legislation allowed for a pilot program for independent home community based services and case managers (S.L. 2103, Ch. 374).

2015       Amendments to sections of the Century Code related to a change in statutory references from "developmentally disabled persons" to "individual(s) with developmental disabilities" (S.L. 2015, Ch. 200).  A new section of Century Code concerned service animals or assistance animals in rental dwelling units.  Reliable supporting documents from a physician or medical professional must be presented to the landlord to confirm the disability (S.L. 2015, Ch. 313). 

2017  The Legislative Assembly requested DHS to provide case management services to individuals with a developmental disability as defined in the [Administrative Code 75-04-05]. If case management services for individuals with a developmental disability exceeds the ratio requirement  the DHS has the authority to hire temporary staff or propose a change to North Dakota Administrative Code (S.L. 2017, Ch. 11). Several sections of Century Code concerned definition updates and language identification and changes reflecting the rights of the developmentally disabled individual  including any restrictions on individuals or clarifying inspection of facilities  (S.L. 2017, Ch. 207).

SERIES
31834 Human Services, Department. State Council on Developmental Disabilities, Files. 1975-2003.

SOURCES
Gray, David P.  Guide to the North Dakota State Archives, 1985.
North Dakota Century Code.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.
Bismarck Tribune. Wetzel, Dale, “The 2011 State Legislature, from A to Z.” May 7, 2011, pp. B5-6.

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