The Federal Definition of Developmental Disabilities
The current definition under the DD Act (adopted in 2000) defines “developmental disability” as a severe, chronic disability of an individual that:
- “(i) is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
- (ii) is manifested before the individual attains age 22;
- (iii) is likely to continue indefinitely;
- (iv) results in substantial functional limitations in 3 or more of the following areas of major life activity:
- (I) Self-care.
- (II) Receptive and expressive language.
- (III) Learning.
- (IV) Mobility.
- (V) Self-direction.
- (VI) Capacity for independent living.
- (VII) Economic self-sufficiency; and
- (v) reflects the individual’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.”