The Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council was established in 1971 to help coordinate the efforts of state agencies and private organizations in Oklahoma in meeting the needs of Oklahomans with developmental disabilities and their families.
State Councils on Developmental Disabilities are authorized by the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (currently P.L. 106-402); the Oklahoma Council was established by an Executive Order of Governor David Hall. Although an independent agency, the Council is administratively located within the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the Council’s designated state agency.
Role of the Council
The Council promotes systemic change and helps build community capacity so persons with developmental disabilities can live, work, play and learn in the communities of their choice. This is accomplished by planning and implementing innovative service or support model programs, funding research, training advocates, and educating policymakers.
State Councils on Developmental Disabilities were formerly known as “Planning Councils.” “Planning” referred to the Council's responsibility to the Administration on Developmental Disabilities: to submit a State Plan. These plans outline the goals, objectives and activities each Council will undertake over the course of five years. Upon approval of the State Plan, Councils are provided with a federal grant to implement the activities listed in the plan.
The mission of the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council is to lead and advocate for systems change in the field of Developmental Disabilities, leverage collaborations and partnerships toward improved services and supports for Oklahomans with developmental disabilities, and promote positive perceptions and attitudes toward people with developmental disabilities.
As part of this mission, the Council has as its mandate in concert with P.L. 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, to promote, through systemic change, capacity building, and advocacy activities, the development of a consumer- and family-centered comprehensive system and a coordinated array of services, supports and other assistance designed to achieve full community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities.
The Council is charged with the task of developing a Five Year State Plan and setting forth an agenda of goals and objectives to be achieved over this time period.
The Oklahoma State Plan for persons with developmental disabilities was developed to:
1. Provide assistance to State Councils on Developmental Disabilities and other State officials involved in the review and preparation of a State Plan under the requirements of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, “Federal Assistance to State Councils on Developmental Disabilities;”
2. Advise the citizens of Oklahoma about the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council, its goals, objectives, activities, programs and procedures, to enable them to participate in the planning process and to be knowledgeable about the manner in which the Council operates; and
3. Provide the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services with reliable, useful information upon which to base current and future national policy regarding the Basic State Grant Program and the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families.
Developmental Disability Defined
The term “developmental disability” means a severe, chronic disability of an individual five years of age or older that:
a) is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of
physical and mental impairments;
b) is manifested before the person attains the age of 22;
c) is likely to continue indefinitely;
d) results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity:
2. receptive and expressive language;
6. capacity for independent living;
7. economic self-sufficiency; and
e) reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, supports or other assistance that is of lifelong or extended duration and is individually planned and coordinated; except that, such term, when applied to infants and young children means individuals from birth to age five, inclusive, who have substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired conditions with a high probability of resulting in developmental disabilities if services are not provided.
About the Members
The Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council is composed of volunteer members, all of whom are appointed by the governor. In accordance with federal law, at least 60 percent of the Council members are individuals with developmental disabilities, their relatives or guardians.
The Council also includes representatives of the principal state agencies which provide services to persons with developmental disabilities: the Aging Services Division and Developmental Disabilities Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, and the Special Education Section of the Oklahoma Department of Education.
Representatives of the Council's sibling organizations, the Oklahoma Disability Law Center and the Center for Interdisciplinary Learning and Leadership (formerly the University Affiliated Program of Oklahoma), also have seats on the Council. The remaining members of the Council represent service providers, advocacy organizations, universities, public agencies or associations.
Chair: Mark Liotta, Tulsa
Vice Chair: Brett Cunningham, Oklahoma City
Secretary: Michelle Hoffman, Tulsa
Parliamentarian: Janet Borden, Broken Arrow
Dee Banta, Tecumseh
Kaleb Bennett, Oklahoma City
Lisa Copeland, Kingfisher
Eric Dysart, Oklahoma City
Helen Kutz, Norman
Wanda Felty, Norman
Mindy Littlefield, Kellyville
Blair Schoeb, Oklahoma City
Trevin Lawson, Goodwell
Terry Trego, Woodward
Donny McCulloch, Duncan
Brian Maughan, Oklahoma City
Ben Sherrer, Chouteau
ReJeana Wiebener, Alva
Nathaniel Waters, Tulsa
Department of Rehabilitation Services:
State Department of Education:
Department of Human Services Aging Services:
Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services:
Department of Health:
Oklahoma Disability Law Center:
Center for Learning and Leadership:
Planning & Grants Management Director:
Public Education Coordinator:
Advocacy and Training Coordinator Adult Programs:
Advocacy and Training Coordinator Youth Programs:
The Governor's Office accepts applications to serve on many boards and commissions. If you are interested in serving on the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council please contact the Governor's Office. For more information and an application Click Here.