Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities

A composite image of an adult male and a young male who appear to have either intellectual/learning disabilities or development/physical disabilities.

As part of the 2019 legislation that reauthorized PCORI’s funding for 10 years, Congress included research on intellectual and developmental disabilities as a priority topic for PCORI.

More about Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Developmental disabilities are chronic and begin either at birth or during the developmental period, and they cause physical, learning, language, and/or behavioral impairments. Intellectual disabilities, a type of developmental disability, involve limitations to cognitive function—such as learning, reasoning, and problem solving—and adaptive behavior. Not all developmental disabilities include limitations in cognitive ability. There are approximately 7 to 8 million people in the United States with IDD, representing about 3 percent of the population, according to federal data.

Individuals with IDD often have special healthcare needs. This issue is particularly critical for adolescents with IDD as they transition from pediatric to adult-oriented healthcare settings with fewer support systems, including care planning and coordination. In addition, as with so many health conditions, people of color with IDD are subject to even greater health disparities compared to their peers from other groups.