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Executive Order 11280—Establishing the President's Committee on Mental Retardation

May 11, 1966

WHEREAS the Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments of 1963 and the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963 (77 Stat. 273; 282) have established a firm statutory basis for combating mental retardation; and

WHEREAS the mental retardation activities of Federal, State, and local government agencies and foundations and other private organizations are expanding rapidly and require careful review in order that maximum benefits may be achieved; and

WHEREAS there is a continuing need to mobilize the support of the general public and of specialized professional groups for mental retardation activities; and

WHEREAS re-evaluation of existing programs to determine their adequacy and consideration of proposals for new mental retardation activities is necessary:

Now, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. Committee established. There is hereby established the President's Committee on Mental Retardation (hereinafter referred to as the Committee).

SEC. 2. Composition of Committee. The Committee shall be composed of the following members:

(1) The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, who shall be the Chairman of the Committee.

(2) The Secretary of Labor.

(3) The Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity.

(4) Not more than twenty-one other members who shall be appointed by the President from public or private life and may include specialists in medicine and other healing arts, human development, special education and employment problems, and members of foundations and other private organizations active in the mental retardation field. Except as the President may from time to time otherwise direct, appointees under this paragraph shall have terms as follows: (A) Of the members first appointed hereunder, the terms of seven shall expire on the first anniversary of the date of this Order, the terms of seven shall expire on the second anniversary, and the terms of seven shall expire on the third anniversary. (B) The term of each succeeding appointment shall expire on the third anniversary of the expiration of the predecessor term, except that an appointment made to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of a term shall be made for the balance of the unexpired term.

SEC. 3. Functions of the Committee. (a) The Committee shall provide such advice and assistance in the area of mental retardation as the President may from time to time request, including assistance with respect to:

(1) evaluation of the adequacy of the national effort to combat mental retardation;

(2) coordination of activities of Federal agencies in the mental retardation field;

(3) provision of adequate liaison between such Federal activities and related activities of State and local governments, foundations, and other private organizations; and

(4) development of such information, designed for dissemination to the general public, as will tend to reduce the incidence of mental retardation and ameliorate its effects.

(b) The Committee shall mobilize support for mental retardation activities by meeting with, and providing information for, appropriate professional organizations and groups broadly representative of the general public.

(c) The Committee shall make such reports or recommendations to the President concerning mental retardation as he may require or the Committee may deem appropriate. Such reports shall be made at least once annually.

SEC. 4. Cooperation with the Committee. All who may be in a position to do so are requested to furnish the Committee information pertinent to its work and otherwise to facilitate the work of the Committee.

SEC. 5. Administrative arrangements. (a) As may be necessary, each Federal agency which is represented on the Committee shall furnish assistance to the Committee in accordance with the provisions of Section 214 of the Act of May 3, 1945 (59 Stat. 134; 31 U.S.C. 691), or as otherwise permitted by law. The Committee may have an Executive Director who shall be designated and compensated in consonance with law. The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is hereby designated as the agency which principally shall provide the Committee with necessary administrative services and facilities.

(b) Each member of the Committee, except any member who then receives other compensation from the United States, shall receive compensation for each day he or she is engaged upon the work of the Committee, as authorized by law (5 U.S.C. 55a), and shall also be entitled to receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law (5 U.S.C. 73b-2) for persons in the Government service employed intermittently.

SEC. 6. Construction. Nothing in this Order shall be construed as subjecting any Federal agency, or any function vested by law in, or assigned pursuant to law to, any Federal agency, to the authority of the Committee or as abrogating or restricting any such function in any manner.


The White House

May 11, 1966

NOTE: For an announcement of the establishment of the President's Committee on Mental Retardation by EO 11280 and appointment of members, see 2 Weekly Comp. Pres. Docs., p. 634.

Executive Order 11280 was not made public in the form of a White House press release.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Executive Order 11280—Establishing the President's Committee on Mental Retardation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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