Cutting the ribbon at the Willowbrook Mile

Cultural and Linguistic Competence

Cultural and Linguistic Competence

Cultural and Linguistic Competence

The NYS Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD) is committed to embedding cultural and linguistic competency throughout all our work. As part of this commitment, the CDD established a Cultural Competency Workgroup, developed a Language Access Plan, and is participating in a national 5-year initiative on Cultural and Linguistic Competence.

Cultural Competence means being able to provide services or resources to a person or a community effectively. An agency that is culturally competent can adapt a service or resource to meet a person’s cultural needs. A person’s culture can include:

  • Language (American Sign Language, Spanish, Mandarin)
  • Values and beliefs
  • Attitudes
  • Religion
  • Communication Style
  • Home or community
  • Food



2022 - 2026 DEIA Strategic Plan

The New York State Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD) is pleased to announce it has adopted a five-year Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan to increase and support the diversity of council members and staff; grantees and grant projects, advocacy efforts, and all aspects of the agency’s work.

The NYS CDD is one of the first developmental disabilities (DD) councils in the country to implement a DEIA plan and hopes to be an example to other organizations across the state and nation.

Community of Practice

The Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD) is part of a 5-year CoP on Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Developmental Disabilities. The CoP is led by Georgetown’s National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC). It is funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The CDD is the lead agency for New York’s CoP Team.

The mission of the New York CoP is to increase access to information about:

  • The developmental disabilities network
  • Developmental disabilities services
  • Supports 
  • Individual rights


Focus Communities: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families who speak the Spanish and Chinese languages.

Agencies and organizations that are part of the New York Community of Practice include:

  • Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC)
  • Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD) - lead agency
  • Disability Rights New York (DRNY)
  • Ibero-American Action League (Ibero)
  • Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)
  • Rose F. Kennedy, UCEDD
  • Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, UCEDD
  • Westchester Institute for Human Development, UCEDD


The NY CoP Team conducted a Community Needs Assessment to get input on how to better serve people with developmental disabilities and their families who speak the Spanish and Chinese languages. Read the Full Report to learn more.


New York CoP Team Lead
Jacqueline Hayes
Diversity and Inclusion Program Specialist
New York State Council on Developmental Disabilities


For more information about the CoP initiative visit the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence.

CDD Cultural Competency Workgroup

In 2016, the Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD) created a Cultural Competency Workgroup to help us meet our Diversity and Inclusion goals.

The CDD Cultural Competency Workgroup provide input in the following areas:

  1. CDD State Plan: There are diversity and inclusion goals within the CDD State Plan
  2. CDD Grant Initiatives: All CDD grants and projects are required to embed cultural competence
  3. Council Membership: Increasing the diversity of CDD Membership is a priority; and
  4. Language Access Plan: Review the CDD's Language Access Plan.


For more information contact: [email protected]