What is DD? (And other terms you should know)

What are developmental disabilities?

Developmental disabilities originate at birth or during childhood and are characterized by impairments in both intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and adaptive behavior (social and practical skills). They are substantial and are likely to continue indefinitely.

The term includes diagnosed conditions of intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and others.

But most important, people with developmental disabilities are our family members, neighbors, friends, classmates and co-workers.


What is developmental disability advocacy?

For The Arc, it is a effort of individuals with developmental disabilities, their families, service providers and community to promote and protect the rights of people with developmental disabilities and actively support their full inclusion and participation in the community.

“DD advocacy” is based on the belief that having a disability is a normal part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the rights of the individuals to contribute to society.

"Ableism" defines people by their disability and as inferior to the nondisabled, which reinforces discriminatory attitudes, social prejudice, and sets unwarranted limitations.


What are habilitative services?

Habilitative services help you keep, learn, or improve skills and functional abilities that may not be developing normally and are needed for daily living. Examples include therapy for a child who isn't walking or talking at the expected age.

Access to habilitative services is an issue, with too few receiving services either through Washington's Department of Social and Health Services' Developmental Disability Administration programs, or through insurance coverage.