“The Bipartisan Infrastructure deal is a big deal for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities,” said Erin Prangley, Director of Policy, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities. “This historic investment in clean energy, clean drinking water, and other measures is a necessary step to mitigate systemic health disparities among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities including the occurrence of secondary conditions caused by exposure to pollutants.”
Approximately 1 in 6 children in the United States have a developmental disability which includes physical or mental impairments that begin before age 22 and are likely to continue indefinitely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state the specific cause of most developmental disabilities is unknown, and may result from an interaction between genetic, environmental, and social factors. While negative health outcomes are associated with exposure to certain pollutants for everyone, this is especially for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are more likely to have pre-existing health conditions and lower incomes making them more susceptible to negative health outcomes due to exposure to pollutants.
“This deal promises a cleaner environment which will lead to better health outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Ms. Prangley. “By reducing exposure to harmful chemicals, air pollution, and other man-made drivers of climate change, we are taking a step in the direction which could lower incidence of intellectual and developmental disabilities and most importantly, provide a safer, cleaner environment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities so they can live their fullest lives in the community.”