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Welcome to the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities

“Dignity, full rights of citizenship, cultural diversity, equal opportunity, and full participation for all NH citizens with developmental disabilities.”

The New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities is a federally funded agency that supports public policies and initiatives that remove barriers and promote opportunities in all areas of life. The Council is independent of the agencies that provide services to people with disabilities. The Council develops a State Plan every five years to establish specific goals, objectives and strategies to address the most important issues affecting people with developmental disabilities in New Hampshire. The Council carries out its mission through education, advocacy and the funding of innovative projects that make a difference in people's lives.

What are the New Hampshire Employment Leadership Awards?

Employment Leadership AwardsThe Employment Leadership Awards are presented each year to five New Hampshire businesses who demonstrate their commitment to recognize the skills and contributions that people with disabilities bring to the workforce.

Do you know a New Hampshire business that would be a good candidate for this award? If so, please submit your nomination for consideration. Winning businesses receive a free full-page spread in Business NH Magazine in 2023.

Deadline for nominations is April 28, 2023

ELA Nomination Letter
ELA 2023 Nomination Form

For more information contact Tracey Frye at

DD Partner Spotlight

DD Act Partners Directors' Presentation with the DRC-NH, IOD, and NHCDD - YouTube

The directors of the Disability Rights Center NH, the Institute on Disability, and the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities discuss how their organizations work together to remove barriers to people with disabilities living fully inclusive lives in their communities. They talk about the importance of building leadership and supporting advocacy in the continued fight for disability justice. Hosted by Stephanie Patrick, Kelly Nye-Lengerman, and Isadora Rodriguez-Legendre. This video contains closed captioning.

Stephanie Patrick
Stephanie Patrick,
DRC-NH Executive Director
Kelly Lengerman
Kelly Nye-Lengerman,
IOD at UNH Executive Director
Isadora Rodriguez-Legendre
Isadora Rodriguez-Legendre,
NHCDD Executive Director


The 2023 Direct Support Professional and Home Provider of the Year nominations are now open!

4 people together behind a table with a yellow table cloth and a photo with 2 awards on it.

Without DSPs and Home Providers, many people with disabilities would not be able to live fully inclusive lives in their communities. Help us celebrate the people who work in the field of direct support by nominating a DSP and Home Provider for the 2023 Award! Award winners will be recognized at the 2023 DSP Appreciation Week celebration on the NH State House Lawn in September.

Home Provider of the Year Nomination Form.


Smile Award

Upreach Therapeutic Equestrian Center

Upreach Logo

For their commitment to inclusive programming that fosters independence and improving the well being of people with disabilities.

The Smile Award
The DD Council feels that it is important to recognize that quality of life for people with disabilities means more than access to housing, healthcare and employment. It also means enjoying the good things in life, such as taking advantage of New Hampshire’s abundant opportunities to engage with nature.

The Council created the Smile award to recognize initiatives that make outdoor recreation accessible.

Congratulations to this year’s Smile and Virginia Bowden Award Winners!

VB Advocate of the Year

Kelly Ehrhart

Photo of Kelly Ehrhart

For leadership and dedication as an advocate for the developmental and mental disability communities.

Virginia Bowden Advocacy Award
Virginia Bowden was a young woman with a developmental disability who found her voice and became a leader in the advocacy movement. As a member of the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities, she spent the last years of her life advocating for individuals and families who are impacted by developmental disabilities.

The NH Council on Developmental Disabilities wishes to recognize individuals or groups who exemplify her commitment to advocacy and who are dedicated to dignity, full rights of citizenship, cultural diversity, equal opportunities, and full participation for all New Hampshire citizens with developmental disabilities.

stepping stones nh 2022-2023 cover Check out our latest issue of Stepping Stones Magazine!  Stepping Stones sheds light on what it truly means to live an inclusive life! This issue includes our updated disability network resource guide.
If you are interested in being on the Stepping Stones Magazine or Disability RAPP mailing list, please email


A Message in Solidarity Against Systemic Racism

The NH Council on Developmental Disabilities cannot stay silent about the recent, and historic, murders of black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. We are disheartened by those injustices as we advocate for equal access and protection for all people. Many in the disability community face multiple barriers to inclusion and belonging. Because disability cuts across all demographics, we support the demands for justice across the nation.

With the help of many disability advocacy groups, the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) drafted and released a statement mourning the murders of Black people by police, names the relationship between racism and ableism, and identifies initial steps the coalition will take to address this intersection. We stand behind their statements and call for systemic equity for all marginalized citizens. You can read the full CCD statement at TASC Training and Advocacy Support Center (