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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.

Five Year State Plan Survey

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities invites you to complete a survey to gather input for our next Five Year State Plan. We are repeating a similar survey from 2000, 2005, and 2010 to gather valuable information about important issues.

The survey is available at

Individuals with developmental disabilities and families will be directed to an Individual Survey set of questions. Service providers will be directed to a Provider Survey set of questions.

All online surveys should be completed and submitted by November 1, 2015.

The information you share will be kept confidential. If you have any questions, please contact Derek Pearson at (800) 943-3099 or by email at

Thank you for your participation.


The Americans with Disabilities Act, Perspectives on the 25th Anniversary

Book Cover - The Americans with Disabilities Act, Perspectives on the 25th Anniversary

On July 26, 2015, the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) was celebrated. A number of events took place in Washington, DC where the ADA was signed into law by President George Herbert Walker Bush 25 years earlier. But a number of other reminders about the significance of this civil rights legislation forindividuals with disabilities were in the making long before the anniversary itself.

In July 2012, the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities was asked to participate in the ADA Legacy Project. Over a two and one half year time period, a monthly "Moment in Disability History" was posted on the Council website, marking important happenings and recognizing some of the many, many leaders across the country who contributed to the passage of the ADA.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, Perspectives on the 25th Anniversary is a compilation of those "Moments," an opportunity to learn about this history, gain a better understanding of the immensity of the efforts that led to July 26, 1990, and continue the work that remains in order to fully realize what was envisioned when the movement began.

PDF Format     ePub Format


Partners in Policymaking®
Changing Lives. Changing Policies.

Since the Partners program was created in Minnesota in 1987, more than 27,000 self advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities have graduated nationally and internationally. They comprise a network of trained advocates and leaders, working in partnership with their elected officials to positively change the way people with disabilities live, work, and are educated; and enjoy the benefits of being actively involved in their communities.

On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this book traces the history of the Partners program. Through a collection of stories and testimonials, Partners graduates share the impact of the program on their lives as well as the many ways that the ADA has resulted in their greater inclusion and integration into the community and society at large. (7/28/15)

Download and Read the Book (Accessible PDF when viewed with Adobe Reader)

Changing Lives, Changing Policies

Presidential Remarks on the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

President Obama spoke at a reception to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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 31

July 26, 1990: The Americans with Disabilities Act is Signed Into Law

The Signing Ceremony

On July 12, 1990, the United States House of Representatives passed S 933 on a roll call vote of 377-28 with 27 members not voting.

On July 13, 1990, the United States Senate passed S 933 on a roll call vote of 91-6 with 3 members not voting.

On July 26, 1990, the Reverend Harold Wilke spoke briefly about the significance of this historic event and then Evan Kemp introduced President George Herbert Walker Bush at the signing ceremony of the Americans with Disabilities Act on the White House lawn.

Evan Kemp: I would like to introduce the Reverend Harold Wilke, of the healing community, to offer a message. Please remain seated.

Reverend Harold Wilke: "Let my people go," you did decree, O God, demanding that all your children be freed from the bonds of slavery. Today we celebrate the breaking of the chains which have held back millions of Americans with disabilities. Today we celebrate the granting to them of full citizenship and access to the promised land of work, service, and community. Bless this gathering, this joyous celebration. Bless our president as he signs the Americans with Disabilities Act, and strengthen our resolve as we take up the task, knowing that our work has just begun. Bless the American people and move them to discard those old beliefs and attitudes that limit and diminish those among us with disabilities. Our prayer is in your name, O God, whom we call by many names: God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Allah the compassionate and merciful one, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and of Rebekah and Sarah and Ruth, the ground of all being, the infinite source of love and light. Amen.

Evan Kemp: I am delighted to be here today with so many old friends to celebrate with all of you this great victory for the disability rights community. So many people worked tirelessly to develop this civil rights bill in the administration, in congress, and in the disability community: Justin Dart, Sandy Parrino, Pat Wright, and Arlene Mayerson. But all of you from the grass roots and many who could not be here today are responsible for all the success of this effort.

Without the steadfast support of one man, this bill would not have become law. I have been witness to his commitment to disability rights for over 9 years. Like Abraham Lincoln, he had the political courage to support an unpopular idea. He had the wisdom to insist that we move into the 21st century and welcome all Americans into the mainstream.

Today he will sign the most important civil rights legislation in the last quarter of a century. I have the great honor of introducing to you the foremost member of the disability rights community, our good friend the President of the United States, George Bush.

President George Bush: Thanks, Evan. Thank you so much. [Applause] thank you so much. Thank you all. Thank you all.

Sandy, Jus, great day. Evan, thank you so much. And welcome to every one of you out there in this splendid scene of hope spread across the south lawn of the White House.

I want to salute the members of the United States Congress, the House and the Senate who are with us today – active participants in making this day come true.


And this is, indeed, an incredible day – especially for the thousands of people across the nation who have given so much of their time, their vision, and their courage to see this Act become a reality.

You know, I started trying to put together a list of all the people who should be mentioned today, but when the list started looking a little longer than the Senate testimony for the bill, I decided I better give up, or that we'd never get out of here before sunset.

So, even though so many deserve credit, I will single out but a tiny handful. And I take those who have guided me personally over the years: of course, my friends Evan Kemp and Justin Dart up here on the platform with me.

And of course – I hope you'll forgive me for also saying a special word of thanks to two who, from the White House, but again, this is personal, so I don't want to offend those omitted – two from the White House, Boyden Gray and Bill Roper, who labored long and hard.

And I want to thank Sandy Parrino, of course, for her leadership. And I again... [Applause] it's very risky with all these members of Congress here who worked so hard, but I can say on a very personal basis, Bob Dole has inspired me. [Applause]

This is an immensely important day, a day that belongs to all of you. And everywhere I look, I see people who have dedicated themselves to making sure that this day would come to pass: my friends from Congress, as I say, who worked so diligently with the best interests of all at heart, Democrats and Republicans; members of this administration – and I'm pleased to see so many top officials and members of my cabinet here today who brought their caring and expertise to this fight; and then the organizations – so many dedicated organizations for people with disabilities, who gave their time and their strength; and perhaps most of all, everyone out there and others – across the breadth of this nation are 43 million Americans with disabilities.

You have made this happen.

All of you have made this happen. [Applause] And to all of you, I just want to say, your triumph is that your bill will now be law, and that this day belongs to you.

And on behalf of our nation, thank you very, very much. [Applause] 3 weeks ago, we celebrated our nation's independence day, and today we're here to rejoice in and celebrate another independence day, one that is long overdue. And with today's signing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, every man, woman, and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence, and freedom.

And as I look around at all these joyous faces, I remember clearly how many years of dedicated commitment have gone into making this historic new Civil Rights Act a reality. It's been the work of a true coalition, a strong and inspiring coalition of people who have shared both a dream and a passionate determination to make that dream come true.

And it's been a coalition in the finest spirit – a joining of Democrats and Republicans, of the legislative and the executive branches, of federal and state agencies, of public officials and private citizens, of people with disabilities and without.

This historic Act is the world's first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities – the first. And its passage has made the United States the international leader on this human rights issue.

And already, leaders of several other countries, including Sweden, Japan, the Soviet Union, and all 12 members of the EEC, have announced that they hope to enact now similar legislation. Our success with this Act proves that we are keeping faith with the spirit of our courageous forefathers who wrote in the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights."

These words have been our guide for more than two centuries as we've labored to form our more perfect union.

But tragically, for too many Americans, the blessings of liberty have been limited or even denied. And the Civil Rghts Act of '64 took a bold step towards righting that wrong, but the stark fact remained that people with disabilities were still victims of segregation and discrimination, and this was intolerable.

And today's legislation brings us closer to that day when no Americans will ever again be deprived of their basic guarantee of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

This Act is powerful in its simplicity. It will ensure that people with disabilities are given the basic guarantees for which they have worked so long and so hard: independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives, the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream.

And legally, it will provide our disabled community with a powerful expansion of protections and then basic civil rights. It will guarantee fair and just access to the fruits of American life which we all must be able to enjoy. And then, specifically, first the ADA ensures that employers covered by the Act cannot discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities.

Second, the ADA ensures access to public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, and offices.

And third, the ADA ensures expanded access to transportation services.

And these provisions mean so much to so many. To one brave girl in particular, they will mean the world. Lisa Carl, a young Washington state woman with cerebral palsy, who I'm told is with us today, and now will always be admitted to her hometown theater. Lisa, you might not have been welcome at your theater, but I'll tell you – welcome to the White House.

We're glad you're here.

The ADA is a dramatic renewal not only for those with disabilities but for all of us, because along with the precious privilege of being an American comes a sacred duty to ensure that every other American's rights are also guaranteed.

And together, we must remove the physical barriers we have created and the social barriers that we've accepted, for ours will never be a truly prosperous nation until all within it prosper.

And for inspiration, we need look no further than our own neighbors.

With us in that wonderful crowd out there are people representing 18 of the daily points of light that I've named for their extraordinary involvement with the disabled community. We applaud you and your shining example and thank you for your leadership for all that are here today.

Now, let me just tell you a wonderful story, a story about children already working in the spirit of the ADA – a story that really touched me.

Across the nation, some 10,000 youngsters with disabilities are part of little league's challenger division. And their teams play just like others, but – and this is the most remarkable part – as they play, at their sides are volunteer buddies from conventional little league teams. And all of these players work together. They team up to wheel around the bases and to field grounders together and, most of all, just to play and become friends.

We must let these children be our guides and inspiration. I also want to say a special word to our friends in the business community. You have in your hands the key to the success of this Act, for you can unlock a splendid resource of untapped human potential that, when freed, will enrich us all.

I know there have been concerns that the ADA may be vague or costly or may lead endlessly to litigation, but I want to reassure you right now that my administration and the United States Congress have carefully crafted this Act. We've all been determined to ensure that it gives flexibility, particularly in terms of the timetable of implementation, and we've been committed to containing the costs that may be incurred.

This Act does something important for American business, though – and remember this: you've called for new sources of workers. Well, many of our fellow citizens with disabilities are unemployed. They want to work, and they can work, and this is a tremendous pool of people.

And remember, this is a tremendous pool of people who will bring to jobs diversity, loyalty, proven low turnover rate, and only one request: the chance to prove themselves.

And when you add together federal, state, local, and private funds, it costs almost 200 billion dollars annually to support Americans with disabilities – in effect, to keep them dependent. Well, when given the opportunity to be independent, they will move proudly into the economic mainstream of American life, and that's what this legislation is all about.

Our problems are large, but our unified heart is larger.

Our challenges are great, but our will is greater.

And in our America, the most generous, optimistic nation on the face of the earth, we must not and will not rest until every man and woman with a dream has the means to achieve it.

And today, America welcomes into the mainstream of life all of our fellow citizens with disabilities.

We embrace you for your abilities and for your disabilities, for our similarities and indeed for our differences, for your past courage and your future dreams.

And last year, we celebrated a victory of international freedom. Even the strongest person couldn't scale the Berlin wall to gain the elusive promise of independence that lay just beyond, and so together we rejoiced when that barrier fell.

And now I sign legislation which takes a sledgehammer to another wall, one which has... [Applause] one which has for too many generations separated Americans with disabilities from the freedom they could glimpse but not grasp.

Once again, we rejoice as this barrier falls for claiming together we will not accept, we will not excuse, we will not tolerate discrimination in America.

And with, again, great thanks to the members of the United States Senate, the leaders of whom are here today, and those who worked so tirelessly for this legislation on both sides of the aisle.

And to those members of the House of Representatives with us here today, Democrats and Republicans as well, I salute you. And on your behalf, as well as the behalf of this entire country, I now lift my pen to sign this Americans with Disabilities Act and say: let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.

God bless you all.

Come on over, Evan.

May I ask the members of the House and Senate with us to stand up, please?

All of you, so all can salute you and thank you.

Thank you all. Well done.

The Fight for Civil Rights for People with Disabilities

"The Fight for Civil Rights for People with Disabilities" is a compilation of the "Moments in Disability History," now presented as a free Webinar. This one hour presentation is an accounting of the key events and influential leaders who pursued the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here also are the many personal stories of discrimination, and reflections on the lives of individuals with disabilities who experienced only isolation and segregation but who also envisoned an inclusive society that would recognize them as fully capable and productive first class citizens.

The Fight for Civil Rights for People with Disabilities

The Webinar can be used by anyone – students, professionals, law schools, and CLE instructors as well as self advocates and family members. There is no need to review the entire Webinar in a single sitting; you can review sections as time permits.

Quality and the Baldrige Framework

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities began its quality journey in 1997 using the National Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. The Baldrige Framework, a systems approach to improving a business or organization's performance, is based on a set of core values and concepts that represent the beliefs and behaviors found in high performing businesses and organizations.

Since 1998, Bill Harreld, Quality Culture Institute, has shared his experience and expertise, working with the Council on quality improvement and the application of the Baldrige Criteria to the Council's work. This journey has been a learning experience and, since there's always room for improvement, the learning continues. For businesses that want to better serve their customers and improve their business results, this overview of the Baldrige Framework and Criteria can serve as a step in beginning that process.

Bill Harreld

Quality and the Baldrige Framework Video Presentation >>

April 3, 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.

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Upper Midwest chapter, announced the 2014 Upper Midwest Regional nominees and 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 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.

Kathie Snow

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.

Minnesota's Positive Support Rule was officially published on August 31, 2015 and is available for review at

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 Android tablet version is available free from Google Play
The Android phone version is available free from Google Play

The Kindle Fire HD version is available free from

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

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

Professor John McKnight: Community Building

All the people who live in a community can help to create a welcoming environment; one that recognizes the gifts, abilities, and skills of everyone there; and invites everyone to work together to build and strengthen their community.

Professor John McKnight 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

Asset based community development is John McKnight's approach to community organizing. John is a community organizer, an academic and a brilliant story-teller. He believes that everyone has a gift, an ability, a skill to share; and everyone, regardless of how they may identify themselves or what their personal needs may be, can help to make their community better for everyone who lives there.

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

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

FFY 2015 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. (2/24/15)

The Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) has issued its 2014 Annual Report. (2/3/15)

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)
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

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*

Minnesota Special Education Experience Study 2014

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)

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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.