The Governor appoints 31 people to the Board. This is required by the Virginians with Disabilities Act. The other nine members are agency heads, most required by the Act. These agency heads can choose someone to take their place on the Board. The 31 citizens can’t choose someone else to take their place. When you become a Board member, you accept your role’s responsibilities. For more information about responsibilities, you may want to review the Council Member Guide.

Board members have an important job. They help plan, carry out and oversee activities in the State Plan. The goal is to improve services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

We welcome applications. We usually have spots open every year. The Governor picks members from the applications. Members serve for four or eight years. At least 60% of our members must be people with developmental disabilities or family members. The rest of the members come from state agencies and other groups that we work with. We want our Board to have people from different backgrounds and places in Virginia.

To apply for the chance to become a Board member, you must use the Commonwealth’s Online Application System.

If you need help filling out the online application, call the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office at (804) 786-2441 or use the TTY/TDD line at 1-800-828-11200, or 711.

A developmental disability, as defined in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, is severe and constant. A DD is often lifelong. It can be mental, emotional, sensory or physical. A person has a DD before age 22. It affects a person’s ability to:

  • take care of oneself,
  • understand language,
  • communicate,
  • learn,
  • move,
  • self-direct,
  • live independently
  • and earn money and support oneself.

People with DD often need services and supports. They may need services and supports their whole lives.