Stanford Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Law and Policy Project (SIDDLAPP) 23

Approximately 6.5 million people in the U.S. have an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) that affects their day-to-day functioning.  Many laws and policies at the federal, state and local levels are designed to help individuals with I/DD access the same core rights and protections that other individuals enjoy.  These laws protect, for example, the right of children to receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment; the right of adults to earn a livelihood in a workplace that offers them reasonable accommodations and is free from discrimination; the right of individuals who require considerable support to receive community-based services in the most integrated setting that meets their needs; and the right of individuals in the criminal justice system to receive appropriate services and supports.  Yet translating these goals into effective public policy is often difficult, and the gap between the civil rights ideals enshrined in U.S. law and the lived experiences of individuals with I/DD can be substantial.

The mission of the Stanford Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Law and Policy Project (SIDDLAPP) is to help narrow this gap by promoting student engagement, stimulating rigorous policy analysis and academic research, and spearheading legal advocacy on issues that pertain to the rights and welfare of individuals with I/DD.  Although we are situated at Stanford Law School, many of our faculty affiliates have advanced training and experience in other fields. Given our shared conviction that many problems in the I/DD law and policy arena are best approached from an interdisciplinary perspective, we encourage the exchange of ideas and ongoing collaboration across Stanford departments, with other educational institutions, and between academic researchers and the diverse stakeholders that comprise the I/DD community.

Lanterman Transparency Tracker

Lanterman Transparency Tracker

Monitoring compliance with the Lanterman Act’s web disclosure provisions

Learn More

Projects and Publications

view all publications

Policy Lab / Practicums

Related Courses


Alison D. Morantz

  • James and Nancy Kelso Professor of Law
  • Director of SIDDLAPP
  • Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research

“The I/DD system is very opaque. It is hard for outsiders to understand how it works, let alone to identify its shortcomings or suggest promising reforms. One of SIDDLAPP’s strengths is that many of us have first-hand experience as advocates, clinicians or family members of people with I/DD. My son, for example, has autism and severe mental illness. My journey as a parent-advocate has taught me so much about the laws and structures that shape the lives of those with I/DD and their families. Real-world experiences like these make us better researchers by helping us zero in on the problems that are most important to stakeholders and the solutions that are likely to work on the ground.”

-Alison D. Morantz

Faculty Affiliates