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About the Council

Mission Statement

Creating change that improves the lives of Alaskans with disabilities

Alaska' unique geographical area with a relatively small population requires a management system tailored to meet the needs of Alaskans. The Governor's Council on Disabilities & Special Education (GCDSE) was created to meet Alaska's diverse needs.

The Council uses planning, capacity building, systems change, and advocacy to create change for people with disabilities. 

Consistent with our State Plan we work towards systems change in areas including:

  • housing
  • employment
  • early intervention
  • special education
  • lifelong learning
  • independent living
  • inclusion in the community
  • health
  • transportation

The Council provides a constructive process that connects the public with policymakers, to ensure the thoughtful development of an efficient and seamless service delivery system that meets the needs of individuals with disabilities across the life span. Council bylaws.

The Council is composed of 25 members appointed by the Governor. Council members appointments are made on a revolving basis by an application process. To find out more about Governor appointed positions with GCDSE, visit the Boards & Commissions section of the Governor's site. Information on current or upcoming vacancies in addition to accommodation support if needed to better understand and complete the application process can be obtained by contacting us directly toll free at: 1-888-269-8990 or in Anchorage: 907-269-8990.

What We Do

The Council serves a variety of federal and state roles, combining the expertise and experience of many stakeholders throughout the state into one unique Council.

State Council on Development Disabilities
Under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, the Council serves as the State Council on Developmental Disabilities; in Alaska the Council is also responsible for interdepartmental planning and coordination of services to persons with disabilities.

Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Council serves as the Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities which advises and assists Alaska's statewide Early Intervention/Infant Learning Program

Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP)
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Council also serves as Alaska’s Special Education Advisory Panel which advises and assists Alaska's statewide Special Education program administered through the Department of Education & Early Development

Governing Body of the Special Education Service Agency (SESA)
Members of the Council act as the governing board for the Special Education Services Agency, which supports the effective education of students with low incidence disabilities throughout Alaska. For more information you can visit their website at:

Day-to-Day Activities

Standing committees accomplish much of the Council's day-to-day work.

Each committee is chaired by a Council member. Members include: Council, agency staff, and public members who are consumers and/or providers of services.