We work to make sure things are fair for everyone with developmental disabilities and their families. We do this by speaking up on issues that matter. We want to make sure everyone can access the support they need, get the services that make sense for them and that their rights are protected.

Policy Values

Our policy values help ensure the inclusion, dignity and empowerment of people with disabilities. We use these values to advocated for the following:

Color image of a young woman with cerebral palsy in college class.

Community Supports: People with disabilities have a civil right to receive services and supports in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs and desires. We support options and services that help people live, work, learn, and engage in all parts of community life. 

Education: We believe all people should receive equitable, person-centered, and inclusive education appropriate to their needs. We support the use of evidence-based practices, starting with early childcare settings and continuing through postsecondary education, that are necessary to assist Virginians with developmental disabilities in reaching their full potential. 

Employment: VBPD believes in the dignity of work and, with appropriate supports, everyone can work in a competitive paying job that suits their skills.  We support policies that create and promote competitive, integrated employment options for Virginians with developmental disabilities. 

Color photograph of a young physically-impaired boy spending time with his mother at home. He is happy.

Healthcare: VBPD believes that healthcare includes mental, physical, and holistic wellness. We support accessible, affordable, evidence-based healthcare that is responsive to the unique needs of every individual with a disability. 

Housing: VBPD believes that all Virginians have the right to affordable, accessible, appropriate housing of their choosing.  VBPD supports policy solutions that provide the infrastructure and funding necessary to address and expand accessible, affordable housing options for people with developmental disabilities. 

Self-determination: VBPD believes people with disabilities are experts in their own needs and desires. They, and their chosen support network, must be included in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. VBPD believes everyone is entitled to the “dignity of risk” 1 and should have the freedom and supports they need to make their own decisions. We support policies and practices that give self-advocates a voice.

  1. “Dignity of risk” means being able to make choices that could have negative consequences and getting to experience those consequences. For more information, see Self-Determination & Dignity of Risk, published by The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities National Training Center. ↩︎

Policy Positions

Community Integration



Healthcare / Medicaid


Each year, we review two important service areas. We propose how to make services better for people with disabilities.

The assessments focus on topics like housing, education, jobs, Medicaid, health and more.

View Assessments

Information Access

Virginians with disabilities and their families have trouble finding useful service info. They say that info is hard to understand or wrong. Our goal is to solve that problem.

Family with child looking at laptop screen