Top 10 Promising Practices on DICLC
Information to assist State/Territory Council’s overall efforts to address the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families of diverse cultures through state plan supported activities.
This product was developed through services funded by contract #HHSP233201600068C from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201 and administered by the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, 1825 K Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006.
Download a PDF copy of this resource: DICLC Top 10 Promising Practices 2021
Background and Purpose
The DD Council Program Performance Report (PPR) requires information on the overall efforts of Councils to support individuals with developmental disabilities and families from diverse backgrounds through its state plan activities. To increase the capacity of Councils to support this work, an Emerging Practices Group on Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural and Linguistic Competence (DICLC) was formed. This resource is the result of subject matter experts, Council staff, and Council members working together to compile a list of promising practices to be considered by all Councils.
Since each Council varies by staffing, resources, and funding, the practices should be considered or adapted to meet the unique needs of each state and territory. The DICLC practices range from a focus on internal operations, such as staffing, Council membership, and procedures to external operations, such as Council projects, initiatives, and policy work.
DICLC can be a confusing term, with organizations holding different understandings of what it should include and how it should be implemented. Consequently, the road to cultural and linguistic competency can be long and winding with many obstacles along the way. The experiences shared by other Councils of “what’s worked” will help you and your Council gauge whether you are moving in the right direction, if course corrections are necessary, or if you need to set a new direction altogether. Specifically, this resource will offer the following benefits:
- If your Council is experienced at incorporating DICLC into all aspects of the Council’s work, this resource provides practical tips and strategies to help you improve, strengthen, or expand your efforts.
- This resource includes successful tools that will help other Councils save time and prevent them from making missteps or having to “reinvent the wheel.”
- And finally, this guide spells out the different considerations, populations, and vocabulary that should be considered when fully practicing DICLC.
- The Definitions and Terms section will inform DD Council members and staff on how DICLC relates to the work of the Councils.
- The Top 10 Practices section will help guide Councils in their DICLC work and identify what areas need to be added or improved upon. Each practice includes a bulleted description with example(s), a tip from our subject matter experts, and when applicable, a link for more information (FMI). The FMI links will connect you to ITACC resources and outside sources of information to support the practice listed.
- The Resources section provides additional information for DD Councils to continue their learning.
Definitions and Terms
The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (DD Act) definitions related to DICLC
INCLUSION—The term ‘‘inclusion’’, used with respect to individuals with developmental disabilities, means the acceptance and encouragement of the presence and participation of individuals with developmental disabilities, by individuals without disabilities, in social, educational, work, and community activities, that enables individuals with developmental disabilities to (A) have friendships and relationships with individuals and families of their own choice; (B) live in homes close to community resources with regular contact with individuals without disabilities in their communities; (C) enjoy full access to and active participation in the same community activities and types of employment as individuals without disabilities; and, (D) take full advantage of their integration into the same community resources as individuals without disabilities, living, learning, working, and enjoying life in regular contact with individuals without disabilities.
CULTURAL COMPETENCE—The term cultural competence means services, supports, or other assistance that are conducted or provided in a manner that is responsive to the beliefs, interpersonal styles, attitudes, language, and behaviors of individuals who are receiving services, and in a manner that has the greatest likelihood of ensuring their maximum participation in the program. DD Act, Sec. 102 (7)
UNSERVED AND UNDERSERVED—The term ‘‘unserved and underserved’’ includes populations such as individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, disadvantaged individuals, individuals with limited English proficiency, individuals from underserved geographic areas (rural or urban), and specific groups of individuals within the population of individuals with developmental disabilities, including individuals who require assistive technology to participate in and contribute to community life. DD Act, Sec.102 (32)
MINORITY PARTICIPATION—The plan shall provide assurances that the State has taken affirmative steps to assure that participation in programs funded under this subtitle is geographically representative of the State and reflects the diversity of the State with respect to race and ethnicity. DD Act, Sec. 124 (C)(5)(I)
REPRESENTATION—The membership of the Council shall be geographically representative of the State and reflect the diversity of the State with respect to race and ethnicity…DD Act, Sec. 125 (1) (C)
SEC. 101. FINDINGS, PURPOSES, AND POLICY—…specific efforts must be made to ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds and their families enjoy increased and meaningful opportunities to access and use community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance available to other individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
DD Act Section 101(c )(5)
Below are some key DICLC terms based on research and input from DD Councils. We understand that language is an important side of advocacy efforts and that terms evolve over time based on changing understanding and input from stakeholders. Therefore, the meanings of these terms should be updated on a regular basis. This is not a full list of all the terms related to DICLC, but it is a representation of terms that could be useful for Council members, staff, and subrecipients. Be aware that you may find other meanings from other sources that are more acceptable to the populations in your State, Territory, or region and that engaging your Council in a discussion of terms could be a good first step in getting a DICLC conversation started.
The practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, religious beliefs, and disabilities.
“Diversity, inclusion and cultural and linguistic competence are so important for realizing the ideals of full inclusion and person-centeredness for people with IDD and their families.” Jacqueline Hayes, Diversity & Inclusion Program Specialist, NY DDPC
Culture is the learned and shared knowledge that specific groups use to generate their behavior and interpret their experience of the world. Culture is an integrated pattern of human behavior which includes, but is not limited to, communication, rituals, beliefs, relationships, expected behaviors, customs, courtesies, languages, manners of interacting, practices, roles, and thought.
Culture applies to racial, ethnic, religious, political, professional, and other social groups. It is transmitted through social and institutional traditions and norms to succeeding generations (National Center for Cultural Competence Data Source: Gilbert, J. Goode, T., & Dunne, C., 2007).
Tuesdays with Liz: Culture and Diversity with Tawara Goode
Liz chats with Tawara Goode, director of the Georgetown UCEDD, about what culture and diversity mean, how culture influences perceptions and beliefs about disability, and cultural considerations in healthcare. Video link.
CULTURAL BROKER (Also known as Cultural liaison, Community Developer, etc.)
A trusted leader or gatekeeper to the community. This individual assists in bridging, linking, or mediating to work toward an intended understanding or improvement for the community being served.
Cultural brokering is defined as the act of bridging, linking, or mediating between groups or persons of different cultural backgrounds for the purpose of reducing conflict or producing change.
Cultural competence requires organizations have a clearly defined, congruent set of values and principles, and demonstrate behaviors, attitudes, policies, structures, and practices that enable them to work effectively cross-culturally.
Linguistic competence is the ability of organizations and their staff to communicate well and share information, both written and oral, in an easily understood way. This information should be understood by diverse groups including persons of limited English proficiency, those who have low literacy skills or are not literate, individuals with disabilities, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Services and supports are delivered in the preferred language and mode of delivery of the population served. NCCC Georgetown University.
LIMITED ENGLISH-SPEAKING HOUSEHOLDS
Limited English-speaking households (formerly linguistic isolation) refers to households in which no member 14 years old and over: 1) speaks only English or 2) speaks a non-English language and speaks English “very well.”
Equality is treating all people with disabilities the same. Equality is the even distribution of tools and assistance. Equality ensures that everyone has the same opportunities, but it does not account for the unique needs of each individual to access and thrive from those opportunities. Equality is not the same as equity.
Equity is ensuring all people with disabilities have the service they need and that those services are provided in the way they prefer to be fully included, productive, and valued members of their communities.
Equity is the customization of tools and assistance that names and addresses the uneven distribution of opportunities. In other words, equity recognizes the injustice that exists within certain intersects of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and other factors.
IMAGES THAT SHOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EQULITY AND EQUITY
Disparities are neither good nor bad. It is just a way of describing something:
- Not equal
- Lack of similarity
A health disparity is defined as a specific type of health difference closely linked with social or economic disadvantage – people who have experienced barriers based on their race or ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, geographic location or “place,” mental health, socioeconomic status, cognitive, sensory, physical disability, or other characteristics linked to discrimination or exclusion. (Carter-Pokras & Baquet, 2002).
Disparity in services and supports reflects any difference in the quality of services and supports not due to differences in needs or preferences. This includes discrimination, bias, and differences in insurance, eligibility, access, or quality.
Disparity in disability status are differences in the incidence, prevalence, burden of disability, mortality, or other unfavorable conditions that exist among specific population groups. This refers to differences between individuals or groups, generally when one is better-off and the other worse-off which are often attributed to differences in resource allocation perceived as unfair and avoidable. Disparities are characterized by measurable differences in access to services, quality of services received, or outcomes experienced in developmental, health, functional, and inclusion status. These are often due to social, economic, ethnic, demographic, or geographic factors. Disability disparities are at the institutional, systemic, and experiential levels (Carter-Pokras & Baquet, 2002).
Link for more information. (National Center for Cultural Competence: Disparities in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services and Supports | En Español)
LANGUAGE ACCESS PLAN
The goal of all language access planning and implementation is to ensure that organizations, agencies, or programs communicate effectively with individuals who have limited English.
Inclusion is ensuring that all individuals have the same opportunities to take part in every aspect of life and to achieve their full potential. This includes the meaningful representation and consideration of diverse needs and perspectives. (AUCD Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit, n.d.)
Intersectionality is the concept of how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different experiences with discrimination and privilege. (To hear more about intersectionality, view this video by Kimberle’ Crenshaw.) Link to video
DISABILITY CULTURE (Definition based on the work of Dr. Steven E. Brown)
People with disabilities share a similar culture and identity defined by oppression and a common bond of resilience, which is referred to by Dr. Steven Brown as “disability culture.” Disability culture changes the perception of disability from devaluation to pride; from institutionalization to integration; and from “inability to act normally” to “a new way of doing things.”
However, the positive attributes of disability culture have not found its way in the organizational practice of overall cultural and linguistic competence. While states have been targeting cultural and linguistic competence for years, strategies to include disability culture have not been shared, resulting in barriers to accessing services, especially among individuals with complex disabilities or communication needs. We still lack information on how we as a society can be more inclusive in our approaches towards the disability community. The goal is to change the dialogue from a negative to a positive perception of disability culture and help other agencies learn how to be more inclusive of people with all disabilities.
Dr. Steven E. Brown
LEP (LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY)
Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English can be limited English proficient or “LEP.” These individuals may be entitled to language assistance with respect to a particular type or service, benefit, or encounter. Links for more information.
GENDER EXPRESSION AND GENDER IDENTITY
“The ways in which a person identifies and/or expresses their gender, including self-image, appearance, and embodiment of gender roles. One’s sex (e.g., male, female, intersex, etc.) is usually assigned at birth based on one’s physical biology. One’s gender (e.g., male, female, genderqueer) is one’s internal sense of self and identity. One’s gender expression (e.g., masculine, feminine, androgynous) is how one embodies gender attributes, presentations, roles, and more.” Link for more information.
- Gender Expression: The ways in which one’s gender plays a role in their self-identity and their outward portrayal of their gender to others.
- Gender Identity: How an individual internally views and defines their gender.
Describes to whom a person is sexually attracted. Some people are attracted to people of a particular gender; others are attracted to people of more than one gender. Some are not attracted to anyone. Link for more information.
Lesbian – a woman who is emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to other women
Gay – a person who is emotionally, romantically, or sexually attracted to members of the same gender
Bisexual – a person who feels a sexual and/or romantic attraction to people of a different gender or gender identity, as well as their own
Transgender – a person whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex assigned at birth
Queer – a person who expresses shifting identities and orientations
Questioning – a person who are exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity
Intersex – an individual born with biological sexual anatomy different from the traditional definitions of female and male bodies
Intersex anatomy may show up at birth, but may also be found during puberty, throughout adulthood, or even after death during an autopsy. “Some people live and die with intersex anatomy without anyone, including themselves, ever knowing,”. Link for more information.
Allies – any individual who supports equality and fairness for the LGBTQ+ community
Link for more information.
To understand “non-binary” one must first understand the “gender binary”–the idea that there are only two genders: male and female. Therefore, “non-binary” is a term describing those that do not identify as male or female, whether because their gender blends elements of male and female or their gender is outside the binary (neither male nor female). Related terms include “genderqueer”, “agender”, and “bigender.” None of these terms are direct synonyms of each other, but all refer to genders that are not simply male or female.
Link for more information.
MORE INFORMATION ON GENDER IDENTITY AND PRONOUNS
National Public Radio resource on Gender Identity and Pronouns
Link for resource.
Top 10 Promising Practices on Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural and Linguistic Competence (DICLC)
Office of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (OIDD) definition of Promising Practice.
Promising Practice: A practice with an innovative approach that improves upon existing practice and positively impacts the area of practice. The practice should demonstrate a high degree of success and the possibility of replication in other agencies or settings but has not been tested.
1. Staffing the DICLC Council Work.
- Dedicate all or part of a staff member’s role to advancing the Council’s cultural and linguistic competency and cultural diversity activities. The ability to do this is affected by the size of Council staff and budget based on each individual Council’s resources. To ensure CLC is embedded, Councils can determine what would be a reasonable portion of a staff member’s time to coordinate, monitor, and report on Council cultural diversity efforts.
- Other ways could include hiring a cultural liaison or community engagement staffer to lead overall Council efforts on DICLC, including its targeted disparity goals or objectives.
Tip: In some capacity, the practice of using culturally and linguistically competent strategies is the responsibility of the entire Council staff, members, and subrecipients.
2. Establish a Diversity Council Committee or Work Group.
Potential roles/responsibilities could include but are not limited to:
- Review and provide input on the Council’s Five-Year State Plan.
- Serve an advisory role in overseeing the Council’s grants and initiatives to ensure cultural competency throughout the grants process.
- Identify and advocate for the removal of barriers that prevent people from diverse populations from being included.
- Increase the diversity of Council membership by engaging unserved/underserved communities.
- Create and utilize a language access plan to increase diversity and inclusion in all aspects of Council work.
- Establish and monitor a Council goal or measure to increase the diversity of the Council’s membership. Track the measure internally and report to the full Council on its progress. Reassess this measure over time to determine if new or different recruitment strategies are needed. Diversifying Council membership is not a Five-Year State Plan goal or objective.
Tips: Consider assigning term limits to membership on diversity/cultural committees so members can rotate to keep the ideas and perspectives diverse and new.
FMI: DICLC Strategies Document/Internal Council Operations
See examples from NY, CO, MI, SC and GA.
3. Conduct an organizational self-assessment of the Council.
There are tools available for cultural diversity/cultural and linguistic competency organizational self-assessments. Councils can implement them as intended or collaborate with advocacy organizations and others to use them as a guide to develop their own assessments.
The assessment can include but is not limited to a review of your Councils’:
- Mission/vision, policies, and practices.
- Employment practices.
- Grantee/in-house and contracts process.
- Professional development (for Council members and staff).
- Collaborations and partnerships with diverse communities.
- Culturally and linguistically competent communications with populations that speak a language other than English.
Tips: Review the assessment results on a regular basis to create a plan to improve work in a particular area. Adopt lessons learned from other organizations engaged in similar assessments.
FMI: DICLC Strategies page (Assessing Cultural and Linguistic Competence)
See examples from VT, AZ, and PA
4. Develop and implement a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan (DEI).
- The organizational self-assessment should prepare a Council to develop a DEI or similar cultural diversity action plan to address its efforts in DICLC.
- The plan should align with the principles of the DD Act, the Council’s vision and mission and its commitment to implementing internal operations and state plan activities in a culturally and linguistically competent manner.
- Identify the Council’s core functions: State Plan & Staff, Council, Self-Advocacy/Advocacy, Grants/Initiatives.
- Conduct a self-assessment asking stakeholders about DEI status in each core function area.
- Set concrete and achievable goals under each core function.
- Incorporate DEI principles within your State Plan and activities and Annual Work Plans, i.e., “The DD Council will include best practices for DEI in its self-determination training of individuals with DD and families.”
- Set up a process to track progress and update the full Council.
Tip: Review the plan on a regular basis to evaluate its usefulness and adapt its content as needed.
FMI: See example: WI Diversity Action Plan
5. Developing and implementing a Language Access Plan (LAP).
- LAP’s can be developed to support Title VI – Civil Rights Act of 1964 that ensures that people with limited English proficiency (LEP) have meaningful access to Federally Assisted programs.
- To being the LAP process, DD Councils can use the LEP Four-Factor Analysis “Quick Guide” to assess its LAP needs. The analysis could include but is not limited to.
- In-house and sub-grantee project/initiative work.
- Dissemination of communications and vital documents.
- Strategies for community engagement.
TIP: Documents should be in plain language and free of jargon before being translated, as jargon is difficult to translate. When possible, translated materials should be reviewed by a native speaker for accuracy.
FMI: DICLC Archived webinars page (Developing a Language Assistance and Implementation Plan’ What DD Councils Should Know)
Other resources and examples:
- LAP Four Factor Analysis
- AUCD Equity Diversity and Inclusion (DEI) Plan
- NY Language Access Plan
- Cultural Competency & Diversity Plan (ddadvocates.org)
6. Engage Diverse Communities.
At a minimum, Councils should use focus groups, listening sessions, and community conversations with culturally diverse individuals with I/DD and families to develop the Comprehensive Review and Analysis (CRA) for the Five-Year State Plan. Do not limit this strategy to every five years; support similar opportunities throughout the State Plan cycle to inform advocacy activities, policy and systems change work, capacity building initiatives and to educate other state and community entities. Strategies for this practice can include but are not limited to:
- Actively taking part in organizations’ meetings and forums that support diverse communities to identify barriers and develop solutions.
- Building relationships with different groups by attending their celebrations and cultural events and meeting with community, faith-based and other organization leaders.
- Collecting and maintaining demographic data about your State or Territory to inform staff, members, potential grantees, and policymakers.
- Developing a process to offer small grants to meet the crucial needs identified by diverse community leaders, members, and organizations.
- If feasible, hiring or contracting with a cultural liaison that is a trusted member of the diverse communities the Council is working to impact. The liaison can help lead targeted disparity and other Council work related to DICLC.
Tip: When possible, share opportunities with Council staff and members to take advantage of low cost to no cost virtual events to learn more about the different cultures in your states and territories.
FMI: See multiple examples and tools, visit the DICLC Strategies Page, Engaging Diverse Communities and Members.
Community Needs Assessment with Spanish-speakers and the Chinese American communities (NY Community of Practice (CoP) on Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Developmental Disabilities team)
DICLC Strategies/Relationship Building (PA DD Council Community Alliance Summits)
Relationship Map (This relationship map provides a structure for organizing current and potential partners to further the Council’s work in DICLC.)
7. Support Diversity in Self-advocacy (SA) Groups and Council Advocacy Activities.
In the area of advocacy/self-advocacy, it is important to support organizations to incorporate DICLC into their policies and practices as well. This will ensure that people of all backgrounds have opportunities to receive education, training and be a part of systems change efforts in their States and Territories.
Strategies to support this work include but are not limited to:
- Funding/providing logistical support for the statewide SA organization to conduct a CLC self-assessment and develop their own Diversity Strategic Plan. The plan could include a goal for meaningfully engaging advocates that represent multiple intersects of culture and disability.
- Providing strategies to SA organizations on engaging unserved/underserved culturally diverse communities, civil rights organizations, and faith-based communities to expand upon their partners and stakeholders.
- Sharing recruitment strategies to diversify participants in programs such as Partners In Policymaking (PIP) and other self-determination and leadership training opportunities.
Tip: Community-based organizations are often staffed by people who share the cultural and linguistic background of the people they serve. Foster partnerships between these organizations and advocates to increase their capacity to strengthen the self-determination and leadership skills of diverse individuals with I/DD and families.
FMI: NY Grant: Building Capacity for Spanish and Chinese-Speaking Advocates
NY Council Feasibility Study to strengthen the cultural and linguistic competence of its PIP program.
8. Establish Grants/Contracts/In-house projects that incorporate DICLC.
- Engage diverse groups to identify what the Council in your State or Territory could fund or provide support for in the community.
- Utilize a diversity workgroup to oversee the Request for Proposal (RFP) process or in-house initiatives to ensure cultural and linguistic needs are met when conducting State Plan activities.
- Include language that encourages and supports diverse applicants to apply, clearly state the Council’s principles and expectations for CLC and require projects to address those principles in their proposal.
- Request grantees or partners to include a plan on how they will recruit, involve and/or engage people with I/DD and families from diverse backgrounds to participate in activities funded by the Council. For State Plan activities that are conducted in-house, Council staff should develop similar plans through their internal process.
- If managing in-house projects or policy work, ensure that Council staff develop a CLC plan for the implementation, monitoring and evaluating of State Plan activities. (i.e., self-advocacy, policy and systems change, work around specific areas of emphasis work and capacity building)
- Establish DICLC questions and grading criteria to assess proposals. When grading proposals from potential grantees, include a system that awards points to applicants that include cultural and linguistic philosophies and methods.
- Share the Council’s funding opportunities/announcements in the language(s) most frequently spoken in your State or Territory. Provide technical assistance to support diverse groups to complete the application. Translate materials and/or offer interpreters as needed.
Tip: Include DICLC at every step of this process, from proposal development to creating technical assistance documents, to project implementation to monitoring and evaluation (i.e., surveys and reporting) to sustainability.
FMI: For multiple examples, including but not limited to language for procurement documents/statements of work, strategies for engaging diverse organizations for Targeted Disparity work, questions for potential grantees to answer to build capacity, a comprehensive RFP packet with required activities/expected outcomes for DICLC and more, visit the DICLC Strategies Page, Council grants and Requests for Proposals.
9. Use the diversity of the Council Members and Staff as a Resource
When applicable, use the diverse community connections of Council members and staff to engage cultural groups that are representative of your State or Territory.
- Conduct an assessment to identify the number of languages spoken by Council members and staff and any other cultural diversity aspects of importance.
- Create a form for Council members and staff to document their connections to diverse groups, memberships, faith-based organizations etc. The form could be optional and filed along with conflict-of-interest documentation. Be sure to update the form on an annual or bi-annual basis.
- During State Plan development and throughout the State Plan cycle, members may be able to share public input surveys with their diverse contacts to inform the Council about emerging needs.
- Encourage members to share their unique perspectives and lived experiences with service systems to identify potential gaps in services and supports.
- Find ways to incorporate the topic of culture in all Council meetings. (Share events and opportunities to learn more about different cultures and the intersects of cultural aspects and disability, such as LGBTQ+ communities and gather information on needs and gaps in services etc.)
Tip: Exploring and celebrating the diversity of Council members and staff can be incorporated during a retreat, teambuilding activity, or meeting by providing opportunities to get to know one another. Think about other ways to incorporate diverse perspectives of Council members to oversee, inform, and contribute to the work of the Council.
10. National Policy and Assurances
DICLC is also a matter of compliance. All Councils should acknowledge the Findings, Purposes and Policy section of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 and its Assurances (DD Act).
Section 101, C. (4) services, supports, and other assistance should be provided in a manner that demonstrates respect for individual dignity, personal preferences, and cultural differences;
Section 101, C. (5) specific efforts must be made to ensure that individuals
with developmental disabilities from racial and ethnic minority
backgrounds and their families enjoy increased and meaningful opportunities to access and use community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance available to other individuals with developmental disabilities and their families;
Section (5) Assurances (I) MINORITY PARTICIPATION—The plan shall provide assurances that the State has taken affirmative steps to assure that participation in programs funded under this subtitle is geographically representative of the State and reflects the diversity of the State with respect to race and ethnicity.
- Assess how your Council is complying with, tracking, and evaluating these requirements of the DD Act.
Tip: REMEMBER: Councils should report on these items as part of the cultural diversity section of the Program Performance Report. Each year, Councils show how work in these areas is progressing through reporting on its overall efforts to conduct State plan supported activities in a manner that is culturally and linguistically competent.
Tips for Reporting on Cultural Diversity in the Program Performance Report (PPR)
The reporting tips can be used to ensure that DD Councils are providing comprehensive information about how it addresses DICLC in all aspects of its work. Collecting, evaluating, and properly reporting this information in the PPR is an ongoing process and must be considered throughout the Council’s Five-Year State Plan implementation process.
OIDD Guidance from the PPR: Describe the Council’s overall efforts to address the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families of a diverse culture through its state plan supported activities.
- Describe the overall efforts the Council made to conduct State plan supported projects and activities in a manner that is culturally and linguistically competent. Include what was done and what resulted from the effort.
- Include internal Council operations, such as staff/member training, policies/procedures, adopting a language access or diversity plan, grant making policies and committee work.
- Include external activities, such as building relationships/partnerships and collaborating with diverse organizations and communities, attending cultural events and other promising practices related to DICLC.
- Consider including a progress “summary” of the overall efforts along with the activities.
- Include project specific information in this section (such as information about the targeted disparity objective).
- Cut and paste cultural diversity content from previous Program Performance Reports.
- Include blanket statements that provide little to no update on progress or results of the overall efforts.
Other ideas and tips…
- DD Councils are most likely engaging in more activities around cultural diversity and activities that promote cultural and linguistic competence than they are reporting.
- If possible, designate one staff member to chart the diversity and CLC activities of the Council. This staffer could meet regularly with staff to request updates on activities on a monthly or quarterly basis. This will keep the information central, organized, and ready for reporting in the PPR.
- Create a sharable document that everyone edits on a regular basis. When it is time to complete the PPR, all updates will be in one document so they can be summarized for the report.
Including DICLC in all aspects of Council work is something that Councils continuously learn about, observe, analyze, implement, evaluate, and adjust. There are best and promising practices to follow, but there is no “check box”, “quick fix”, or “one size fits all” approach to this work. Acknowledge the continuum in which this work exists and continue to work toward equity in the representation of and access to all facets of community life of culturally diverse individuals with I/DD and their families.
Additional Resources and Information
ITAAChelp.org website DICLC Pages
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Diversity Toolkit
National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University
Article on Cultural Competence – Towards a culturally competent system of care: A Monograph on Effective Services for Minority Children Who Are Severely Emotionally Disturbed: Volume 1. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Child Development Center. Cross, T., Bazron, B., Dennis, K., & Issacs, M. (1989).
Language Map App – The Civil Rights Division’s Language Map App is an interactive mapping tool that helps users find out the concentration of and languages spoken by LEP individuals in a community. Click on your state or county to identify the number or percentage of LEP persons, download language data, or visually display LEP maps for presentations. https://www.lep.gov/maps
Diversity Statements and Principles used by Developmental Disabilities Councils
The statements below were collected from DD Councils as examples of how they express their commitments to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. This is not an exclusive list.
If your DD Council has or will develop something similar, consider the following:
- Did the statement include input from a diverse group of people with and without I/DD?
- Is the statement written in plain language?
- Is the statement accessible in multiple formats upon request? (Is it on your website, included in grants and in-house initiative language etc.)
- Do you periodically revisit your statements to ensure they include current language, references, and information?
The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council’s Position: Missouri public and private agencies and organizations should value and reflect the rich and diverse demographics of the state and implement policies and practices that are inclusive of disability, race, ethnicity, culture, age, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. Missouri should develop and implement laws, policies, and practices that ensure equal rights to all including full and equal access to goods and services.
The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council’s Reasons: Diversity is important because it helps us learn from one another, empowering us to build upon our strengths to address common challenges and create a more effective, inclusive society. 1) Research shows that diversity is associated with improved human development and well-being. 2) and that people from different cultures possess skills and perspectives that can maximize the abilities of others including theoretical and practical knowledge and access to professional and social networks. 3) In addition, organizations that value and practice diversity are more productive,4 innovative,5 and better at problem-solving.6
However, public and private organizations too often fail to reflect the characteristics and values of the communities they serve or society at large.7 For example, studies have found that white men held 73% of board seats in Fortune 500 companies8 and that 82% of nonprofit board members are white.9 Similarly, although government appointments have grown more diverse in recent years, they do not approach the diversity found in the general population.10 In the words of former SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar, “It is past time to see the diversity of our nation reflected in corporate boardrooms, in the financial industry, and in the government.”11
The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council’s Recommendations: As a state and society, we must value diversity of culture, experience, language, and ideas and acknowledge that diverse public and private businesses and organizations are more productive and effective. Missouri should ensure that a diverse array of culturally and linguistically competent services and supports are available to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the state. Missouri should develop and implement laws and policies that ensure equal rights, treatment, and opportunities to all regardless of disability, race, ethnicity, culture, age, religion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation or socio-economic status. Missouri state government should take the lead and demonstrate the value of diversity by ensuring that appointments to state and local government positions, boards and advisory panels reflect the diverse demographics and values of the communities they serve and of society at large. Missouri should conduct outreach to people of diverse cultures, experiences, languages, and ideas in a culturally and linguistically competent manner with the aim of increasing their use of available supports and services and their participation in public boards, agencies, and advisory panels. Missouri should require that businesses and organizations contracting or doing business with the state value, encourage, and empower diversity and have policies and practices inclusive of disability, race, ethnicity, culture, age, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. Missouri should require that businesses and organizations contracting or doing business with the state have products and services that are accessible to people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Grants funded by Missouri public agencies should have cultural diversity and competency goals and include measurable outcomes reflecting outreach to people of diverse cultures and experiences.
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1. e.g., Phillips, K. (2014). How diversity makes us smarter. Scientific American. available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-makes-us-smarter/
2. VanALstine, J., Cox, S.R., & Roden, D.M. (2015). Cultural diversity in the United States and its impact on human development. Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences, 18(1), 10.
3. e.g., Boehm, S.A., & Dwertmann, D.J. (2014). Forging a single edged sword: Facilitating positive age and disability diversity effects in the workplace through leadership, positive climates, and HR practices. Work, Aging, and Retirement. Available at:
4. e.g., Saxena, A., (2014). Workforce diversity: A key to improve productivity. Procedia Economics and Finance, 11, 76-85. Suedekum, J., Wolf, K., & Blien, U. (2014). Cultural diversity and local labour markets. Regional Studies, 48(1), 173-191
5. e.g Jackson, S. E., May, K. E., & Whitney, K. (1995). Understanding the dynamics of diversity in decision-making teams. In R. A. Guzzo & E. Salas (Eds.), Team Decision-Making Effectiveness in Organizations San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; Ridley, M. (2010). Humans: Why they triumphed. The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2010, p. W1.
6. Lazear, E. (1999). Globalisation and the market for team-mates. Economic Journal 105: 15-40.
7. e.g., Buse, K., Bernstein, R. S., & Bilimoria, D. (2016). The influence of board diversity, board diversity policies and practices, and board inclusion behaviors on nonprofit governance practices. Journal of Business Ethics, 133(1), 179-191.
8. Alliance for Board Diversity. (2013). Missing Pieces: Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards. Available at: http://theabd.org/2012_ABD%20Missing_Pieces_Final_8_15_13.pdf
9. Buse, et al., supra note 7 (citing BoardSource. (2012). BoardSource Nonprofit Governance Index).
10. e.g., Propst, L. (2015). Gender diversity on public boards in Pittsburgh and Allegheny county. A ten-year retrospective. Available at: http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/351118/gender-diversity-on-public-boards-inpittsburgh-and-allegheny-county-a; King, J. D., & Riddlesperger, J. W. (2015). Diversity and Presidential Cabinet Appointments. Social Science Quarterly, 96(1), 93-103.; Flinders, M., Matthews, F., & Eason, C. (2011). Are public bodies still ‘male, pale and stale’? Examining diversity in UK public appointments 1997– 2010. Politics, 31(3), 129-139.
11. Luis A. Aguilar, Commissioner, U.S. Sec. & Exch. Comm’n, Keynote Speech by SEC Commissioner: An Update on Diversity and Financial Literacy (Apr. 30, 2011), available at
This document was developed in partnership and with support from the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (PL 106-402) and Something Else Solutions, LLC.
PENNSYLVANIA – STATEMENT OF VALUES ON THEIR WEBSITE
Generic Change. The Council has a responsibility to change communities in the broadest, most generic sense. Our work improves the lives, not only of people with disabilities, but of all Pennsylvanians. Our energy is increasingly directed at ensuring that the systems and supports that are available to the community in general are made equally available, with appropriate accommodation, to Pennsylvanians with disabilities. We prefer to improve disability services by making them available in the context of the systems and supports that exist for all people.
Systems Change. The Council has a responsibility to change the systems that impact people with disabilities in Pennsylvania. We are less and less interested in models of accommodation which rely on the person with the disability being the person doing the changing, or which provide temporary help in the context of systems that are broken. All our work, viewed over time and in the context of our interlocking strategies and approaches, must contribute to our broad view of systems change. We do not believe that we can change Pennsylvania one sub-system at a time. We view systems in a wide-reaching way; not just as human service systems, but as the broader and generic social systems and cultures which have an effect on people with disabilities in Pennsylvania.
Natural Part of the Human Condition. The Council believes that disability is a natural part of the human condition. We are not sympathetic to medical models of understanding disability. While we do not deny the importance of medical treatment and medical need, we are more sympathetic to understandings of disability as a social construct imposed on people with disability labels rather than as a quality inherent in the person with a disability. We are not impressed by the model of trying to “help” people with disabilities by making them more like people without disabilities.
Inclusion. The Council is deeply committed to inclusion and integration. We do not like approaches which are segregated, and will not fund “special programs for special people”. We prefer activities to be alongside and integrated with people without disabilities, in regular and generic settings in regular communities. Groups of people with different disabilities congregated together do not constitute “inclusion”.
Cross-Disability. The Council is cross-disability in nature; we try to fund approaches that affect all people with disabilities in common areas of their lives, such as housing, health, employment, community inclusion, etc., and we are especially interested in the cross-disability impact of shared stigma and segregation. Having said this, we are acutely conscious of the vital and important differences in priorities and emphases between different disability communities, and seek to provide opportunities for communication and the sharing of different disability experiences.
Cultural Competence. The Council believes that the skills involved in understanding disability are closely related to the skills which lead to other forms of cultural competence. We believe that disability competence cannot take place in isolation from the embrace of all human diversity. Therefore we seek alliances with all those who are excluded or dispossessed on the grounds of poverty, race, ethnicity or sexuality.
Empowerment. The Council seeks to engage in activities which meaningfully involve people with disabilities, or, if they cannot speak for themselves, their chosen family members, in all areas of their conception, preparation and implementation. We oppose activities which could be construed as doing things for, to, or on behalf of people with disabilities rather than under their direct leadership. We do not fund projects which portray people with disabilities as deserving pity; which, even unconsciously, endorse stigmatization of people with disabilities, or which incorporate portrayals of people with disabilities as the objects of charity or “the least of these”.
The Utah Developmental Disability Council is dedicated to communicating effectively and conveying information in a way that is understood easily by diverse groups, including those who have limited English proficiency, those with limited literacy skills, those with disabilities, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. The UDDC is committed to making appropriate accommodations to meet each person’s communication needs.
Utah Community of Practice: Definition & Vision and Mission of Cultural Responsiveness
Mission Statement: Utahns with Disabilities have equitable access to a culturally and linguistically responsive system of services, advocacy and supports.
Definition: Cultural and linguistic competency is a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations.
- ‘Culture’ refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups.
- ‘Competence’ implies having the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by individuals, families, and their communities.
Vision: A culturally competent organization is one that values and reflects diversity, conducts regular self-assessment, manages the dynamics of difference, acquires and institutionalizes cultural knowledge, and adapts to diversity and the cultural contexts of individuals and communities served. A culturally responsive organization strives to work with people from all cultural and linguistic backgrounds in a way that promotes respect, dignity, and self-determination.
Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (the “Board”) – Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and/or Cultural and Linguistic Competence
The Board’s Grants Manual, which governs all of its grants and contracts, contains the following language specific to diversity, which grantees must demonstrate during the Letter of Interest and full Proposal application processes:
“Describe how your organization is cognizant of and achieves cultural competence in its work. The Board considers cultural competence by its grantees to include the following: the organization has defined values, principles and policies that demonstrate that (1) diversity and differences are valued; and (2) the organization is able to work effectively across cultures and adapt to the cultural context of the communities being served.”
- The Board’s Request for Proposals (RFPs) also contain the following language specific to the types of projects that they do not fund:
“Through this RFP, we will not support projects that do not ensure meaningful diversity and inclusion, and are exclusive of an individual’s race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, and veteran status.”
- The Board also allots funds to support conferences/events throughout the year, which help us meet our state plan objectives. The procedural document for submitting an application for conference/event funding contains the following language:
“The Board does not fund conferences/events that do not demonstrate a commitment to cultural diversity by including persons of color and/or ethnic or other minorities in the planning and implementation of the conference, including as presenters.”
In addition, the application for requesting conference/event support asks the applicant to…
“Describe how your organization currently embraces cultural diversity and how your event will exemplify this. Include in the description how your event will ensure meaningful diversity, and be inclusive of an individual’s race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, disability, and veteran status.”
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION – OUR VISION
A developmental disabilities system in Arizona that works in partnership with all diverse communities to support cultural and linguistic competency. That means we will embrace, respect, and seek to understand the beliefs, interpersonal styles, attitudes, languages and behaviors of individuals with developmental disabilities.
The NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) is committed to embedding cultural and linguistic competency throughout all our work. As part of this commitment, the DDPC established a Cultural Competency Workgroup, developed a Language Access Plan, and is participating in a national 5-year initiative on Cultural and Linguistic Competence.