TRENTON N.J. – The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities (NJCDD) today announced Kevin T. Casey of Bloomington, Illinois as its new executive director.  Casey will lead the daily work of the NJCDD in its mission to advocate for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in New Jersey.

“Kevin brings a wealth of professional and personal experience with developmental disabilities, to this role,” said NJCDD Chair Stephanie Pratico. “With his extensive background in management and public policy, he will be an outstanding addition to our council, which has a vital role in ensuring that people with developmental disabilities have a forum and a voice in matters that directly affect their lives.”

For the past 11 years, Casey led the Illinois and Pennsylvania state divisions that oversee services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Previously, he led nonprofit organizations that provided services for people with developmental disabilities, including serving for 15 years as the director of Pennsylvania Protection & Advocacy, Inc. Casey began his career teaching and providing direct service for teens with both mental illness and intellectual disabilities.  A graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in Social Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Special Education, Casey will start on March 23.

“I am honored to be chosen to serve as the Council’s Executive Director, where the advancement of public policy and perception regarding individuals with developmental disabilities in education, employment and every aspect of community life is paramount,” said Casey. “This Council provides a center for thought-provoking discussion and fresh perspectives from individuals, family members, agencies, organizations and state leadership, who are all devoted to this cause.”

Many public and private agencies are involved in the lives of people with developmental disabilities. The council provides a center for these agencies, together with individuals and family members to develop a coordinated social policy. In this effort, the Council commissions research on policy issues and funds model programs, in addition to supporting projects that educate and inform the general public about developmental disabilities.

“In the department’s work with the council, we share a collective vision of a comprehensive system of community services that is equitable, sustainable, and personally empowering for the thousands of people who rely on its supports every day,” said Department of Human Services’ Acting Commissioner Elizabeth Connolly.  “We look forward to our continued partnership with the council and welcome Kevin Casey to his new leadership role here in New Jersey.”

Established in 1971, the NJCDD is funded by the federal government and the state of New Jersey. Composed of twenty-five members, the NJCDD includes seven self-advocate members and seven members who are immediate family members or guardians. The Council is authorized by the federal Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, and in New Jersey State government by NJSA 30:1AA 1.2 and is codified in Title 10 of the State Administrative Codes. State law places the Council "in but not of" the New Jersey Department of Human Services.