State Department of Developmental Disability within the Arizona Department of Economic Security. See Title 36, Chapter 5.1, Articles 1 – 5 (A.R.S. § 36-551 to 36-596.07)
Responsible for developing a statewide plan, programs and services for persons with developmental disabilities in locations where the programs and services are necessary, including child services, adult services, residential services and resource services.
The Arizona Children’s Colony was established by Laws 1927, Chapter 96, to care for and educate “mentally defective children in the state of Arizona” and to “develop each child to the fullest, making him as independent and self-sustaining as his limited capacities will permit.” (1951 Annual Report) The colony was under the direct supervision and control of the Arizona State Board of Education and was to be located in Tempe as part of the Tempe State Teachers College.
In 1945 the Arizona Children’s Colony Board was created, which assumed jurisdiction of the Colony from the board of State Institutions for Juveniles. Governor Sidney P. Osborn approved the bill reluctantly, explaining in a letter to Secretary of State Dan E. Garvey, dated October 11, 1945 that “nothing is accomplished except transfer of jurisdiction…[which]…is rather a ludicrous situation when it is remembered that Arizona has no Children’s Colony for the reason that the Legislature has never made an appropriation whereby one could be built and equipped.” (Letter follows the text of the legislation, Laws 1945, First Special Session, Chapter 34)
The Children’s Colony was built on 255 acres of land adjacent to Highway 87 south of Randolph, Arizona. It grew to accommodate over 1,000 children and adults. In 1970 the colony was renamed to the Arizona Training Center, Coolidge and the duties were transferred to the newly established State Department of Mental Retardation (Laws 1970, Chapter 168). In 1981, the Department was renamed the State Department of Developmental Disability (Laws 1981, Chapter 195) and operates as a division of the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
- Annual Report 1947 and 1951
- Session Laws: Laws 1927, Chapter 96; Laws 1945, First Special Session, Chapter 34;
- Laws 1970, Chapter 168; Laws 1981, Chapter 195.
- A.R.S. §§ 36-551 to 36-596.07