Intellectual Disability: Understanding Its Development, Causes, Classification, Evaluation, and Treatment

By James C. Harris | Go to book overview

APPENDIX G
The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)

The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID), formerly known as the President's Committee on Mental Retardation, was initially organized as a blue ribbon panel by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 and formally established as a committee by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 under an executive order. Eight years later, in 1974, new goals for the committee focusing on deinstitutionalization, prevention, and legal rights were established by President Nixon. In 1990, President George Bush supported landmark legislation for protecting the rights of people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) set forth standards of equal opportunity in the areas of employment, transportation, telecommunications, public accommodations, and community- and home-based services. In 1996, a new set of goals for the committee encouraging full community inclusion and citizens' rights were created by President William J. Clinton. In 2001, President George W. Bush introduced the New Freedom Initiative to promote community integration and issued an executive order for tearing down barriers for people with disabilities. Support for the ADA and the Olmstead Decision for community inclusion was emphasized. On July 25, 2003, he signed the executive order renaming the President's Committee on Mental Retardation to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Much has changed for people with intellectual disabilities since the 1960s owing to advances in medicine, technology, research, education, and public understanding. It is the purpose of the PCPID to advise the president on the achievements, continuing needs, and emerging issues in this dynamic field. PCPID evaluates the adequacy of current practices and programs and reviews federal agency activities impacting on people with intellectual disabilities. The committee highlights the need for appropriate changes and encourages research, education, services, and supports relating to people with intellectual disabilities.

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