The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.
E-subscribe GovDelivery
The ADA Legacy Project

The ADA Legacy Project celebrates the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on disability rights, and honors the contributions of individuals with disabilities and their allies who persevered in securing the passage of this landmark civil rights legislation. Georgetown University has compiled a collection of historical documents related to the ADA that date back to the 1980s, the decade preceding the milestone signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. More...

Moments in Disability History 25

Behind the Scenes in the Reagan and Bush Administrations – Stories from No Pity

In his award-winning book on the disability rights movement, No Pity, Joseph Shapiro tells many background stories about overlapping events and processes through which the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. [Shapiro, Joseph, P., No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement, (1993), Times Books, Random House, New York and Canada.]

Scene From We Won't Go Away
Scene From We Won't Go Away
Scene From We Won't Go Away
Scene From We Won't Go Away

From the Documentary We Won't Go Away
Joseph Shapiro
Joseph Shapiro

At the time, Shapiro was a social policies writer for U.S. News & World Report and received an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship to study the disability rights movement. Today, he is an Investigations Correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) News. A brief bio is available at

In No Pity, Shapiro documents the progress of the political awakening of people with disabilities that culminated in the enactment of the ADA. His five years of in-depth reporting uncovered many personal stories that had a direct bearing on the disability rights movement and the ADA. The following are just a few of those stories about people in the Reagan and Bush administrations.

The "Hidden Army"

California Representative Tony Coelho argued that the strength of the disability movement leading up to the passage of the ADA came from a "hidden army" of people who instinctively understood that the stigma of being disabled was the result of either having a disability themselves or having someone in their family with a disability [Shapiro, pg. 117-119]. As a person with epilepsy, Representative Coelho himself was a member of this "hidden army". In this video clip, he shares his personal experiences with discrimination at a 1988 ADA hearing:

A glimpse of his political life is available at

Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., United States Senator from Connecticut from 1971 to 1989, was an advocate for people with disabilities and legislator who often worked independently to further the advancement of public policy on behalf of people with disabilities. In the halls of Congress, he often acted and spoke not only as a U.S. Senator but also as a parent of a child with a disability. He is widely regarded as the "father" of the ADA. Senator Weicker, Representative Coelho, and several other Senators, Representatives and advocates, testified about disability based discrimination during hearings on the ADA in September 1988. Some of that testimony is available at

After leaving Congress, Coelho asked his closest friend, Maryland Representative Steny Hoyer, another member of the "hidden army," to take over. What most people did not know was that Representative Hoyer's wife also had epilepsy.

Congressman Hoyer's remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the ADA can be found at:

Other notable "hidden army" politicians included Senator Edward Kennedy, whose son, Teddy, Jr., lost a leg to cancer, and the Senator's sister, Rosemary, who had a developmental disability; Senator Robert Dole, who had a paralyzed right arm as the result of a World War II injury; and Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, whose brother-in-law had polio and slept in an iron lung. [Shapiro, pg. 118].

"Passionate Insiders"

Equally important as Coehlo's "hidden army" were the people Rud Turnbull called the "passionate insiders." Rud Turnbull, Distinguished Professor in Special Education and Courtesy Professor of Law, University of Kansas, is the Co-founder and Co-director of the Beach Center on Disability. He considers himself an "accidental advocate," triggered by the birth of his son, experience with aversive therapy, and service as an officer of a local parent's association. As a parent advocate, Turnbull's career includes research in the late 1980s as a Kennedy Foundation Public Policy Fellow, the results of which became incorporated in the ADA. In this clip, he describes his influence and the influence of other "passionate insiders" on the ADA:

Rud Turnbull
Rud Turnbull

In a video interview, Rud and Ann Turnbull speak about "The Convergence of Disability Law and Policy: Core Concepts, Ethical Communities, and the Notion of Dignity,"

Ralph Neas, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome that left him close to death and unable to breathe without a respirator. Neas convinced reluctant civil rights leaders to put disability rights at the top of their agenda [Shapiro, pg. 119].

One of the central, most influential and pivotal members of Coelho's "hidden army" and Turnbull's "passionate insiders" was the late disability rights activist, Evan Kemp, Jr. [Shapiro, pgs. 12-124.] Kemp died in 1997. In 1947, at the age of 12, Kemp came down with an illness that took 16 years to properly diagnose as Kugelberg-Welander syndrome, a rare muscle weakening disease related to polio. Kemp's parents, along with parents of children with muscular dystrophy and related conditions, founded the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and put together the first MDA telethon in 1959.

Evan Kemp, Jr.
Evan Kemp, Jr.

In 1966, Jerry Lewis took over the national MDA telethon and, by1981, Kemp became an opponent of the telethon. In a September 9, 1981 article on the opinion page of The New York Times, he complained that the telethon's "pity approach" encouraged a prejudice about people with disabilities that he often experienced. The article is available at

By 1964, Kemp made it through Washington & Lee University and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class at the University of Virginia Law School. He applied to work at 39 different law firms, all of whom turned him down because of his disability. Luckily, Kemp had a well-connected uncle, powerful Washington political columnist Drew Pearson, who helped him get hired at the Internal Revenue Service. Later, Kemp would move on to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) where he had a successful seven year career until a garage door accident required him to use a wheelchair. As a result, SEC removed Kemp from the management track.

In 1971, Kemp sued the SEC for discrimination and won. Incensed at the way people with disabilities were treated, he left government in 1980 to become director of Ralph Nader's Disability Rights Center. It was here, as a disability rights activist, that Kemp would begin his influence on the Reagan and Bush Administrations. Kemp died in 1997.

President George H. W. Bush
President George H. W. Bush

Of all of the members of the "hidden army", the most important turned out to be President George H. W. Bush. In 1953, the Bush's three (3) year old daughter, Robin, was diagnosed with leukemia and died. In addition, Bush's son, Neil, has a severe learning disability. The youngest Bush son, Marvin, had a section of his colon removed in 1985 and wears an ostomy bag. Lastly, Bush talked of the "courage" of his favorite uncle, surgeon John Walker, who was struck by polio at the height of his career.

When the Reagan-Bush administration was sworn into office in 1981, Bush was chosen to lead Reagan's Task Force for Regulatory Relief. Among the first regulations under attack were Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Education of All Handicapped Children Act. When people with disabilities and parents responded quickly and in number, Bush understood he was dealing with a hidden grassroots constituency. Bush's legal counsel, C. Boyden Gray, said the response "demonstrated to me and to [Bush] that this movement had enormous impact." Bush agreed to meet with disability groups to negotiate the administration's plan. So it was that then Vice President George H. W. Bush found himself face-to-face with Evan Kemp, Jr.

From We Won't Go Away
From We Won't Go Away

Kemp told Bush that people with disabilities wanted independence, out of the welfare system, and jobs. Gray said the "eye opener" was when Kemp said that people with disabilities were looking for self-empowerment and not "some captured bureaucracy in Washington, DC." When the administration held regulatory relief hearings on Section 504 and the Education of All Handicapped Children Act around the country, individuals with disabilities and parents were protesting and visible everywhere. By March of 1983, Bush announced that the administration had dropped its objections to Section 504 and rules related to the Education of All Handicapped Children Act.

We Won't Go Away, produced in Great Britain by Patricia Ingram with narration by Rosalie Wilkins, documents the history behind the release of Section 504 regulations:

Former Senator Lowell Weicker
Former Senator Lowell Weicker

Former Senator Lowell Weicker provides another perspective on the Reagan administration and regulations for the Education of All Handicapped Children Act in this interview:

Kemp and Bush came away from the confrontation as mutual admirers. Later, they became potent allies. Bush began paying attention to disability issues and sought Kemp's touch in drafting speeches before disability groups.

In 1985, when Tom Hopkins, self-advocate and leader of Capitol People First of Sacramento, and fellow advocate Sandra Jensen, met Vice President Bush and discussed their concerns and disappointments with sheltered workshops and institutions, Kemp was present at the meeting and said "(Bush) never had his preconceptions about any group turned upside down so quickly."

In 1987, President Reagan, on Bush's recommendation, appointed Kemp Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces employment discrimination laws.

Early in 1988, Senator Bob Dole and Vice President George H. W. Bush, locked in battle for the Republican Presidential nomination, weighed in on the student revolt at Gallaudet University by urging the school to name a deaf president. [Shapiro, pg. 81]. The significance of the "Deaf President Now" movement at Gallaudet University on the disability rights movement can be found at:

In May 1988, Kemp was in Washington with other disability activists for the annual meeting of the National Council on Independent Living. The activists divided the campaigns of the 1988 presidential contenders to push their candidate to the same goal: they wanted a statement of rights for people with disabilities, like the ADA, which had been introduced in Congress that same month. Kemp took the Bush campaign.

Three months later, Bush pledged "I am going to do whatever it takes to make sure the disabled are included in the mainstream." These words, spoken during Bush's acceptance speech at the National Republican Convention, marked the first time that an American presidential nominee had acknowledged people with disabilities as a political force. [Shapiro, 124-125].

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush named Kemp the EEOC Chair. Kemp is one of the advisers credited with convincing the President to make disability civil rights a priority of his administration. [Shapiro, pg. 20].

Senator Lowell Weicker
C. Boyden Gray

The friendship between Kemp and Bush's Legal Counsel, C. Boyden Gray, grew. Gray started visiting Kemp's apartment on Q Street in Georgetown for late night bridge games. As an expert bridge player, Kemp had card playing friends all over official Washington. Both Kemp and Gray became vanguard champions of disability rights.

Kemp, and his partner in the White House negotiations on the ADA, Patrisha Wright, the lobbyist for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), spent hundreds of hours with Gray in his office, explaining their vision of disability as a rights issue. More about Pat Wright and DREDF can be found at

In 1983, Wade Blank founded ADAPT (Americans Disabled for Public Transit - now known only as ADAPT) to empower people with disabilities to engage in direct action protest. At the time, the group's priority was getting all city buses equipped with lifts and offering themselves up to mass arrest was a tactic. By 1990, Blank made ADAPT a player behind the scenes. The key link was Evan Kemp. The radical and the Republican were die-hard fans of the Cleveland Browns. They also had a common devotion to disability rights and spoke often on the telephone of their latest strategies.


The timing of ADAPT's "Wheels of Justice March" in March 1990 had been set based on Kemp's judgment of the best time to pressure Congress and send a message to the White House. Several months before, when ADAPT took over the federal building to demand that the Department of Transportation not agree to fund any purchases of city buses unless they had lifts, a call came from the White House on behalf of the President. Transportation officials were flown to Atlanta to negotiate the temporary ban on inaccessible buses.

ADAPT members returned the favor in Washington by refusing to chain themselves to the White House gate, as urged by Patrisha Wright, who argued that Bush could do more to pressure House Republicans to support the ADA. Some 475 people with disabilities, many in wheelchairs, spread across the sidewalk in front of the White House for the start of the protest. Another 250 people joined them at the Capitol. Boyden Gray appeared at the White House gate to make a brief address, assuring the crowd that President Bush was committed to signing civil rights legislation for people with disabilities [Shapiro, pg. 131].

President George H.W. Bush Signs the ADA Into Law
President George H.W. Bush Signs the ADA Into Law

With the support of a powerful coalition of the "hidden army" of people with disabilities and their families, politicians and disability professionals, and "passionate insiders," the ADA moved swiftly through Congress. On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law with 3,000 of the "hidden army" on the South Lawn of the White House. Bush declared "Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down." The following is a video of the signing ceremony; at the end of the clip, Bush plants a kiss on Kemp's head:

During the signing ceremony, T.J. Monroe, President of People First of Connecticut, self-assuredly walked up and presented Bush with a carefully printed letter. The President thanked Monroe, put the letter in his inside jacket pocket, and promised to read it later. [Shapiro, pg. 209]. Bush's administration would promptly issue regulations for the ADA. The law took effect in 1992 [Shapiro, pg. 140].


Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Feature: Ed Roberts, Activist

Parallels in Time II: 1950-2005
A Place To Call Home: The Development of Supports for Having A Home In The Community
The 1990s – Explosion of Community Housing, Institution-free States, A Home Of Your Own, Expanding Family Support

Video: ADA Signing Ceremony (Courtesy DOJ Website), Pg. 74

January 1, 2015

Honoring Government Innovation

SGI Award

Congratulations to the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, winner of a 2014 State Government Innovation Award for the "Telling Your Story" policymaking app.

See all the award details at

Independence To Inclusion

A TPT Documentary Produced with the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

Stigma and stereotypes against people with developmental disabilities have long outlasted Minnesota's state institutions. How will inclusion in schools, the workplace, and the community affect the lives of thousands of Minnesotans with developmental disabilities? (View version with closed captioning)
Original Broadcast: 04/15/2014. Length: 26 minutes, 40 seconds.

The Disability Justice Resource Center is an online collection of statutes, regulations, case law, and commentaries intended to help the legal community better understand the many complex justice related issues for people with disabilities, particularly individuals with developmental disabilities.

NEW!  The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Upper Midwest chapter, has just announced the 2014 Upper Midwest Regional nominees. The TPT documentary, Independence to Inclusion, is nominated under "Documentaries – Cultural."

Midwest Emmys

The Convergence of Disability Law and Policy: Core Concepts, Ethical Communities, and the Notion of Dignity

Interview with Rud Turnbull
Produced by Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

Rud Turnbull

In writing a model law, in implementing the law and regulations, in discussing and explaining the intended effect and the actual effect of statutes, in confronting law and policy, in designing and delivering programs and services, there are people involved, there are lives that are affected. So the very first thing that needs to be talked about is personhood.

Throughout Rud Turnbull's teachings and writings about the 18 core concepts of disability policy, and as those concepts relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act, IDEA and its predecessors, assistive technology, family support, and aversive therapies, he speaks about relationships – those that are created and those that are challenged when people are forced to confront each other.

In all of his research on United State Supreme Court decisions and federal laws, Rud Turnbull finds one ethical principle that is interwoven throughout those decisions and statutes – the notion of dignity.

Bio: Rud Turnbull, Distinguished Professor in Special Education and Courtesy Professor of Law, University of Kansas, is the Co-founder and Co-director of the Beach Center on Disability. He has authored more than 300 peer reviewed books, articles, chapters, and monographs. He has served as an officer of nearly all major national disability organizations, including AIDD, The Arc, and TASH; as well as chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Law, and Trustee and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

Watch Interview >>

April 16, 2014

Regular Lives for Families with Children with Disabilities

Interview with Kathie Snow

Kathie Snow

Kathie Snow is an author, public speaker, trainer, and consultant. Her interest in disability issues was born in 1987 with the birth of her son, Benjamin, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at four months. Before that, she had no knowledge or experience in the disability field. Like most parents, she was bewildered and somewhat frightened; and, like most parents, she eagerly entered the world of disability services and interventions. She listened to what doctors recommended, she went along with all of the therapies.

She was convinced that if some was good, then more was better. Home became a therapy clinic. The professionals told her what a great mom she was (presumably because she was doing what they told her to do!!!)... but then, when she started saying "no" to "more therapy," she became a non-compliant parent.

The third edition of Kathie's book, Disability is Natural, Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Successful Children with Disabilities, has just recently been released.

Read More and Watch Interview >>

November 7, 2013

The Top Questions Asked About Inclusive Education

Dr. Patrick Schwarz

Dr. Patrick Schwarz, Creative Culture Consulting LLC., is a dynamic and engaging motivational speaker and leader in Inclusive Education, Special Education, General Education, Educational Leadership and Human Services. Patrick is a professor at National-Louis University in Chicago; and has authored several books with Paula Kluth - From Disability to Possibility, You're Welcome, Just Give Him the Whale, and Pedro's Whale. His newest book is From Possibility to Success.

The Top Ten Questions About Inclusive Education

The video was recorded on June 5, 2013.

Dr. Patrick Schwarz

July 15, 2013

Positive Behavioral Supports

The Jensen settlement agreement called for a review of best practices related to positive support strategies. A Positive Behavioral Supports section has been created, dedicated to the class members of the Jensen Settlement Agreement.

Mike Mayer

Mike Mayer

The work of the Rule 40 committee began with a review paper of all state rules and regulations governing aversive procedures written by Michael Mayer. On February 6, 2013, Michael Mayer visited the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities and was interviewed.

PowerPoint: "Rule 40 A Brief Summary of Issues and Options."

Mike Mayer is a senior partner of Community Resource Alliance. He is also the clinical director of the ACT Process in the state of Illinois.

Derrick Dufresne

The History and Evolution of Behavioral Approaches and Positive Behavioral Interventions

Derrick Dufresne

Derrick Dufresne is the founder and a Senior Partner of Community Resource Associates, Inc. (CRA), a training and management consulting firm that is dedicated to promoting full community inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Video interview conducted February 1, 2012

Respect and Dignity Practices Statement (June 20, 2013) is a result of the Jensen Settlement Agreement and the work of the Rule 40 Advisory Committee to modernize Rule 40 around best practices regarding positive behavioral supports.

The article, Human Services Restraint: Its Past and Future, authored by David Ferleger, traces this history and discusses how the past has influenced contemporary practices.

Dr. Herbert Lovett

Dr. Herbert Lovett

Dr. Herbert Lovett promoted inclusive supports and equal access in the areas of education, employment, housing, and human rights for children and adults with disabilities. This interview was conducted with Larry Ringer, Minnesota Disability Law Center, in 1987.

Complete Positive Behavioral Supports Section >>

"Telling Your Story"

App Available Now for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Amazon Kindle Fire

iPad App Telling Your Story

Compose and practice your personal story to present to elected public officials or other policymakers. Learn the best ways to introduce yourself and talk about your issue, record and practice your story, and include a photo if you would like.

The iPad version of the app is available free at the iTunes Store.*
The iPhone version of the app is also available free at the iTunes Store.*

The Kindle Fire HD version is available free from
The Android tablet version is available free from Google Play
The Android phone version is available free from Google Play

Important Note: The recent Apple update to iOS 8 has caused crashing issues in the iPhone and iPad version of the apps. If you have these apps installed and have updated your device to iOS 8, we are aware of the issues and will be issuing an update soon. Users of iOS 7 and earlier may continue to use the app with no problems. A separate notice will be issued when the iOS 8 compatible update is available at the iTunes App Store.

July 13, 2013, updated July 1, 2014, September 30, 2014

Autism 5-Point Scale EP App Receives Digital Government Achievement Award

iPad App Telling Your Story

The Autism 5-Point Scale EP app, designed and developed as an emergency planning and preparedness tool for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, has received a Digital Government Achievement Award (DGAA), in the Government-to-citizen State Government category. This app can help facilitate communications and interactions between individuals with ASD and first responders in a broad range of emergency situations.

We extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to the Autism Society of Minnesota for their leadership with the Emergency Planning and Preparedness Project that included the development of this app.

Department of Administration Press Release
DGAA announcement
Free download at the iTunes Store

August 24, 2012

2012 MHT Tekne Awards

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities has been named a 2012 Tekne Award finalist by the Minnesota High Tech Association for the Autism 5-Point Scale EP app. The finalist nomination is in the Mobile & Communication Technologies Award category that recognizes innovation in mobile applications and electronic communications.

Read the complete press release (PDF)

September 19, 2012

The Jobs Challenge for People With Disabilities

Competitive wages, direct employment, in Minnesota. Individuals with developmental disabilities are being directly employed in a broad range of business fields and a wide range of positions in both public and private sectors. In all instances, the experiences of employees and employers have been overwhelmingly positive – employees are in jobs of their choosing with full benefits; and the businesses are thriving, recognizing the contributions that a truly diversified workforce can bring to their customers.

Produced by The Wallace Group. The Wallace Group, a media and public relations firm in Eagan, Minnesota, has received a national Communicator Award for their video production, "The Jobs Challenge for People with Disabilities."

Production of this video was financed in part by Grant Number G1101MNBS24 from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities under provisions of Public Law 106-402. Content of this video does not necessarily reflect he position or policy of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities or the Minnesota Department of Administration.

Job Challenge
Communicator Award

June 1, 2012

Ed Roberts, Activist

Ed Roberts

Ed Roberts was a pioneering leader of the disability rights movement. Ed declared that people with disabilities are fully human; that they have a right and a responsibility to take control of their own lives, to help build a new culture in which they and all people participate fully in the leadership, the labor, and the fruits of society. Ed Roberts Day was Monday, January 23, 2012.

January 12, 2012, updated March 2, 2012, May 11, 2012 and February 4, 2014

Professor John McKnight: Community Building

Slideshow: There are many approaches to community organizing. The heart and soul of John McKnight's approach are all of the people who live in a community, and the wealth of their combined gifts, abilities, and skills that create a welcoming and wholly inclusive environment.

Here he brings this concept to life and talks about the key elements of asset based community development through his wit and the art of storytelling.

John McKnight

Presentation conducted February 17, 2012
Updated May 25, 2012

Capacity Building Beyond Community Services

Introduction by Ed Preneta, Retired Director, Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities

Anyone interested in successfully including people on the margins into neighborhood and community life needs to listen to John McKnight and study asset based community development. John is a community organizer, an academic and a brilliant story-teller...

Video Interview: Capacity Building Beyond Community Services

John McKnight

Videotaped Interview: August 3, 2011

A collection of John McKnight's papers, where he further explains the building blocks and assets that make for an inclusive community, can be found at John McKnight Resources and Documents.

Updated September 15, 2011

1962/2012 Minnesota Survey of Attitudes Regarding Developmental Disabilities

Perceptions, awareness, beliefs, and attitudes about people with developmental disabilities have changed substantially in the past 50 years. MarketResponse International has just completed a survey of the general population in Minnesota that shows these marked shifts.

Flash (PowerPoint)   PDF   Text Only

April 3, 2012

The Evolution of the Quality of Care in Developmental Disabilities

Jim Conroy

Jim Conroy

Jim Conroy is the founder and President of the Center for Outcome Analysis, Inc., a non-profit firm that is devoted to evaluation, research, training, and policy analysis on quality of life issues in the developmental disabilities field. The Center is founded on the principle that service agencies should be guided by measurable quality of life outcomes regarding the services and supports received by individuals with developmental disabilities.

The video interview was conducted December 7, 2011.

Quality – Standards, Values, Vision: A Paper by Bruce Kappel (April 18, 2013)

January 25, 2012

The METO Lawsuit and Jensen Settlement Agreement

At the December 1, 2011 Fairness Hearing before United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank, the METO Settlement Agreement was accepted. Judge Frank issued the official Order on December 5, 2011. In this first videotaped interview with Shamus O'Meara, counsel for the Plaintiffs in the METO class action lawsuit, he talks about his decision to take the case, the legal issues involved, and some of the critical aspects of the Settlement Agreement, including the focus on staff training around person centered planning, and the establishment of both an Olmstead Committee and Rule 40 Committee.

Following the Fairness Hearing, Shamus O'Meara was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). A related article was featured on MPR's "All Things Considered" on December 1, 2011.

Pamela HoopesRoberta OpheimRoberta BlomsterMary Raasch

Interviews about the METO Lawsuit and Agreement were conducted with Shamus O'Meara, Counsel for the Plaintiff; Steve Larson, The Arc Minnesota; Pamela Hoopes, Minnesota Disability Law Center; Roberta Opheim, Ombudsman Office for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; and Self Advocates.

March 2, 2012

Ethical Issues, End of Life Conversations and Developmental Disabilities

Honoring Choices

Honoring Choices is a collection of stories by ordinary people about end of life conversations with family and friends, sharing perspectives from personal and professional lives. #!developmental disabilities

The Council thanks Bill Hanley and Pam Palan for inviting our participation in this important initiative. Please note: These stories are not closed captioned.

Congratulations to Twin Cities Public Television, recipients of the 2012 "Making a Difference" Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Upper Midwest Chapter for Honoring Choices Minnesota, a documentary about end of life conversations. The documentary was produced in partnership with the Twin Cities Medical Society. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities worked with TPT in this public education effort and participated in 54 video stories that shared the perspectives of individuals with developmental disabilities, family members, and allies.

Thinking Ahead

Thinking Ahead: Thank you to the California Department of Developmental Services for creating resource materials in plain language that can be used with self advocates to discuss end of life issues. This guide can be useful in assuring that self advocates express preferences about end of life decisions. Please note: this is not a legal document.

Carlton Sherwood

CNN Special Assignment: "Oklahoma Infanticide": A three part series by Carlton Sherwood describes the lack of medical treatment for babies born with spina bifida in Oklahoma in 1984.

Part One (11:42)   Part Two (12:26)   Part Three (12:54)

August 5, 2011

The Evolution of Disability Rights Litigation (and some stories)

David Ferleger

David Ferleger, J.D. of Philadelphia, PA, has a national law and consulting practice, specializing in public interest, civil rights and disability law. He has litigated landmark disability cases, argued five times before the Supreme Court of the United States, assisted the courts, represented individuals and government agencies, taught law school, and has written, lectured and consulted nationally.

David Ferleger on Disability Rights Litigation >>

October 21, 2011

Institutions to Independence

"Institutions to Independence" is a 30 minute documentary produced by TPT (public television) in cooperation with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, the law firm of Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Government Training Services. This documentary tells the story of services in Minnesota from the 1860s into the 21st Century through the telling of stories of people with developmental disabilities, families, and professionals.

Institutions to Independence
Know Your Rights

In addition to the documentary, the Minnesota Governor's Council worked with TPT to create "Know Your Rights", an Illustrated Essay by David Gillette regarding the Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities.

Visit the Institutions to Independence section for interviews about rights and social justice issues >>

January 20,2012

Meet the Future Face of Employment

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Technology Fields

Meet the Future Face of Employment, offers a broad range of information and resources to help anyone interested in supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder to be employed in technology fields.

Meet the WOW People

June 29, 2011

News and Information

Notice of Cosponsorship Funds for Leadership Training Conferences: The Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is pleased to announce the availability of $20,000 in cosponsorship funds for training conferences in Minnesota and supporting the participation of Minnesota residents. Conference focus must be on providing best practices information in the field of developmental disabilities and leadership skills training. Application deadline is Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. (12/29/14)
The Council's key business results for FFY 2014 (October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014) are available for review: Slides PDF Text (12/04/14)

Karen Loven is the first self advocate in the United States to serve as a faculty member for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses. At The Arc Minnesota 2014 Awards Celebration on Saturday, November 15, 2014, Karen received the Bill Sackter Citizenship Award. In co-presentations with United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank, Karen quickly does away with stereotypes that continue to surround individuals with developmental disabilities – changing perceptions, thinking, and attitudes. (11/18/2014)

Karen Loven and Judge Donovan Frank
Ambassadors for Respect

Congratulations to the Ambassadors for Respect, recipients of The Arc Minnesota Community Innovator Award, for the Anti-bullying Program they have carried out with 4th grade elementary school students in the North St. Paul and While Bear Lake school districts. (11/18/2014)

Ambassadors for Respect
Ambassadors for Respect
Minnesota Special Education Experience Study 2014

Minnesota Special Education Experience Study 2014

In followup to the K-12 Education Study for Students with Developmental Disabilities that MarketResponse International conducted in 2013, and based on the insights gained from that study, the Minnesota Special Education Experience Study was conducted in 2014. This study was done in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Education, Special Education Division. The purpose of this recent study was to obtain benchmark measures of overall quality and satisfaction levels of the special education experience from the perspective of parents and the students themselves. The results show satisfaction levels by grade level and geographic location, quality drivers of the education experience, and awareness of and attitudes about Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. (9/5/2014)

View as Slides     View as PDF*

FFY 2014 Training Conferences Cosponsorship Funds Awarded: Eleven Minnesota organizations were recently awarded cosponsorship funds for training conferences. The conferences provide opportunities for participants to learn about best practices, and develop or strengthen their personal leadership skills. The expectation is that these training experiences will result in increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and their families. (2/17/14)

The Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) has issued its 2013 Annual Report. (1/6/14)

On January 28, 2013, Governor Mark Dayton issued an Executive Order creating a 10 member Governor appointed Sub-Cabinet to "promptly develop and implement a comprehensive Minnesota Olmstead Plan" that reflects the spirit and intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and is consistent with the Olmstead decision that interpreted Title II of the ADA. Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon will chair the Sub-Cabinet. (1/29/13)

©2014 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax:651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.