CDC's National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

Why the Program is Needed

Children with birth defects and developmental disabilities face serious health risks, such as cardio-vascular problems, seizures, and obesity. As they age, many continue to experience poor health and isolation that limits their full potential and well being.

What it Does

Works to identify and prevent the causes of birth defects and developmental disabilities; helps children to develop and reach their full potential; and promotes health and well-being among people of all ages with disabilities. As specified by the original legislation, the general duties of the Center are to collect and make available data on birth defects and developmental disabilities, including their prevention,  to operate regional centers for research, and to provide information and education on birth defects and developmental disabilities to the public.

Authorizing Legislation

Children’s Health Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 247B-4)

Recent Funding

Please see the table on the Funding for Federal Disability-related Programs page.

Example of the NCBDDD and The Arc

The Arc of the U.S. received a cooperative agreement in 2012 to run HealthMeet, a program to improve the health of people with intellectual disability (ID). The project will provide trainings for medical students and health professionals, community-based health assessments for individuals with ID, data collection and analysis including longitudinal health outcomes for people with I/DD, comprehensive information and referral, and a public awareness campaign. It will use innovative strategies and cutting edge technology to help reduce some of the most serious health disparities people with ID face, and it will contribute to systems-change efforts in health care access.  In addition to the CDC, The Arc will work with several of its chapters with expertise in the arena, including The Arc of San Francisco, The Arc of New Jersey, and Achieva, along with Therap, the Association on University Centers on Disabilities, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, Autism Speaks, and the National Down Syndrome Congress.

For More Information