Council Membership

The Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council is a 24-member body appointed by the Governor to advise the Governor and General Assembly on matters impacting persons with developmental disabilities. The Council actively seeks members who represent the diversity of our state and a variety of lived experiences.

The DD Act requires that 60% of Council members must be individuals with developmental disabilities; parents or guardians of children with DD or guardians of adults with DD who cannot advocate for themselves. The Council centers the lived experience of people with disabilities, their families and caregivers in decision-making and in the development and implementation of the state plan. In addition, the DD Act requires that Council composition includes representation and subject matter expertise from several different entities to ensure effective collaboration and coordination across the network.

The Council has four committees and workgroups that meet between full Council meetings:

  • Executive Committee
  • Planning and Grants Committee
  • Legislative and Public Policy Committee
  • Membership Committee

Community Representation

The Act requires that 60% of Council members are people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and caregivers. Community members go through the same application and appointment process as professional members. 

  • One third of community member representatives must be self-advocates 
  • One third of community member representatives must be a parent/family or caregiver of a person with IDD
  • One third of community member representatives may be a self-advocate OR a family role


Based on the Act, people with developmental disabilities must meet the three-part definition in the law, namely:

  • A condition that happens before age 22;
  • Causes a substantial limitation in three or more life areas; and
  • A person will need supports or services over the life course.

Professional Representation

Professional membership seats are required by the Act and are fulfilled by the following agencies in Colorado. Professional members go through the same application and appointment process as community members. Most also have lived experience as self-advocates, family members or caregivers of a person with IDD.

  • Special Education:  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
    • Colorado Department of Education (CDE)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    • Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
  • Aging: Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA)
    • Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), Office of Adult, Aging and Disability Services (OAADS)
  • Maternal and Child Health Program:  Title V of Social Security Act (SSA)
    • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
  • Medicaid:  Title XIX of Social Security Act (SSA)
    • Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF)
  • Protection and Advocacy Agency (P&A)
    • Disability Law Colorado
  • University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)
    • JFK Partners, University of Colorado, Anschutz Campus

Council Application Process

Residents of Colorado interested in applying to be members of the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council apply for membership through the office of Boards and Commissions, and are appointed by the Governor. If you are interested in joining the Council, the first step is to complete the online application, selecting “Developmental Disabilities Council” in the drop down menu on the application form.

March 1 Council Vacancies Announced
April Interviews of Applicants
May Appointments Submitted to Governor's Office
June New Council Members Notified
July 1 Council Member Terms Begin
August TBD New Council Member Orientation

Prospective council members are interviewed by current members to assess the interests and qualifications and how they align with the Council’s strategic priorities and vision. Once the Council selects finalists, the recommendations are submitted to the Governor’s Office for review and approval. All applicants will receive a final communication about the decision.