Developmental Disabilities Law and Legal Definition

In the U.S., developmental disability refers to the life-long disabilities attributable to mental or physical impairments of an individual 5 years of age or older. Developmental disabilities are birth defects which are likely to continue indefinitely and can cause life long problems with how a body part or system works.

It imposes limitations in the major activities of life such as self care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. Developmental disabilities can be nervous system disabilities, sensory-related disabilities, metabolic disorders, and degenerative disorders.

Persons with developmental disabilities use individually planned and coordinated services and supports of their choosing, especially, housing, employment, education, civil and human rights protection, health care, to live in and to participate in the activities of the community.