The Partnership for People with Disabilities, formerly known as the Virginia Institute for Developmental Disabilities (VIDD), is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), as a university center for excellence in developmental disabilities. Founded in 1985 under the leadership of Dr. Howard Garner with fewer than five staff at Virginia Commonwealth University; and subsequently developed over the last 20 years by Dr. Fred Orelove, the Partnership today is home to more than 20 federal and state programs, staffed by more than 80 professionals, family members, people with disabilities, and university students supporting individuals with disabilities and their families. The Partnership maintains an interdisciplinary approach to all of its activities, which allows it to explore a wide spectrum of professional services and community interests as it seeks to expand opportunities to individuals with disabilities.
In our efforts to create communities where all people live, work, and play together with choices and independence, we rely on our partners which include numerous disability service providers, K-12 schools and school divisions, universities and colleges, professional organizations, state and local agencies. Our ADD-funded partners in the "Developmental Disabilities Network" include the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (Virginia's Developmental Disabilities Council) and Virginia Office of Protection and Advocacy (Virginia's Protection and Advocacy system). In collaboration with our partners, we are able to accomplish what no one agency or individual could ever hope to accomplish alone.
No history of the Partnership would be complete without a special tribute to our advisory council members, advocacy groups, parents and parent organizations, individuals with disabilities and family members, who are at the core of this exciting journey toward self-determination and community inclusion for persons with disabilities.