ATTENTION DDS INDIVIDUALS, PARENTS AND FAMILIES
Do you want to have a voice advising the Regional Director on the needs of individuals with intellectual disability? Would you like an opportunity to ask questions about DDS? Would you like the opportunity to speak directly with your Regional Director? Have you heard about the DDS Regional Advisory and Planning Councils (RACs)? Maybe we can help!
History of the RACs
Section 17a-273 of the Connecticut General Statutes allows for the establishment of three RACs. Per statute, “The Commissioner of Developmental Services shall appoint at least one advisory and planning council for each state developmental services region operated by the Department of Developmental Services, which council shall have the responsibility of consulting with and advising the director of the region on the needs of persons with intellectual disability in the region, the annual plan and budget of the region and other matters deemed appropriate by the council.”
Section 17a-273 further requires the following Council membership and meetings: Each such council shall consist of at least ten members appointed from the state developmental services region. No employee of any state agency engaged in the care or training of persons with intellectual disability shall be eligible for appointment. At least one member shall be designated by a local chapter of the Arc of Connecticut in the region. At least one member shall be an individual who is eligible for and receives services from the Department of Developmental Services. At least two members shall be parents of persons with intellectual disability. Members shall be appointed for terms of three years. No member may serve more than two consecutive terms, except a member may continue to serve until a successor is appointed. Each council shall appoint annually, from among its members, a chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary. The council may make rules for the conduct of its affairs. The director of the region shall be an ex-officio member of the council without vote and shall attend its meetings.
The RACs engage in education and advocacy on issues regarding individuals and their families in the region. Members facilitate good communication for dialogue and feedback between the RAC, advisory groups, individuals, family members, local citizens, and other organizations. RAC members often engage in legislative advocacy, foster family-to-family connections, and spur grassroots initiatives. Each region may have a different focus area based on the needs of the individuals in that region.
Schedule of Meetings
The RACs meet at least six times annually. All meetings are open to the public. For a schedule of meetings or to review minutes of past meetings, choose the appropriate region on DDS’s webpage. For more information, please contact the Office of the Regional Director: