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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.

510 Videos Now Cataloged and Available Online

With the assistance of Mark Snow, the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities identified and organized the entire collection of  videos that are available on various web pages and different locations on the Council website.  An index was then created so the collection could be accessed at a single location and according to the following topics:

Over the past five years, more than 350,000 video views have been reported. Consistently, over that time period, the Willowbrook and Marc Gold videos have been at the top of the video viewing list.

Willowbrook Exposé

Willowbrook Exposé
In 1966, the investigative work and reporting of Geraldo Rivera captured the media's attention in the Willowbrook Exposé and marked the beginning of the end of New York's Willowbrook Institution.

Living In the Feedom World - Don

Marc Gold: "Try Another Way."
In the 1970s, Marc Gold developed and presented three day workshops on a new systematic training approach – "Try Another Way." This system provided an organizational framework, instructional strategies, and a value base for teaching persons with even the most severe disabilities to perform sophisticated tasks or competencies.

Xochil Flores

Xochil Flores on Medicaid
In 2018, Xochil Flores said her seven-year-old daughter wasn't expected to survive when she was born. With Medicaid's help, her daughter has learned to walk and speak Spanish, English, and use sign language.

Treat People Like People

Abuse Stops With Us

The Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (OMHDD), with support from the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, announces:

A Prevention of Abuse Campaign

The Prevention of Abuse Campaign is available for review and can be accessed at treatpeoplelikepeople.org

Listen to their experiences. Hear their stories.

Treat People Like People
Abuse Campaign Poster
Abuse Campaign Poster

Historical Photographs

Photo Album 2

The Council’s work continues with the Minnesota Historical Society to identify historical images that show the progress that has been made over time to change attitudes and media coverage about people with developmental disabilities.

Photo Album 2 contains 60 photos with captions that are presented by decade and date from the 1900s to the 1990s. Language changes have been made to some captions to update the terminology used.

Photo Album 2 can be accessed here > >

MHS Photos
MHS Photos
MHS Photos
MHS Photos
MHS Photos
MHS Photos

A Complete Bill of Rights Training Package Now Available

Bill of Rights situations

Minnesota's Olmstead Plan was developed to ensure that people with disabilities are living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting. Prevention of Abuse and Neglect is one of the topics included in a comprehensive plan to educate people with disabilities and their families, mandated reporters and the general public about how to identify and report abuse, and how to prevent it from occurring.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) supports the concept of a public education campaign for individuals with disabilities, families, providers, and advocates that addresses prevention and includes a discussion about rights. The Council, in collaboration with the MDH, produced this package of resources around the Bill of Rights for Supervised Living Facilities:

  1. Easy Read Guide The Guide is a simplified version of the Health Care Bill of Rights for Residents of Supervised Living Facilities. The 25 rights are presented in plain English with images that help to explain each of the rights
  2. Know Your Rights Resident Workbook The Resident Workbook explains what each right is about and includes lessons to aid in understanding.
  3. Know Your Rights Instructor Handbook The Instructor Handbook is a resource for staff, families, guardians, advocates, and educators to help residents understand their rights, recognize and report instances of abuse and neglect, and help with prevention efforts.
  4. Situational Videos: In January 2018, four video segments were released about the Right to Refuse Care, the Right to Freedom from Maltreatment, the Right to Complaints/Grievances, and the Right to Personal Property.

Right to Refuse Care
(Access audio description version)

Right to Freedom from Maltreatment
(Access audio description version)

Right to Complaints/Grievances
(Access audio description version)

Right to Personal Property
(Access audio description version)

NOW AVAILABLE – The remaining 10 Rights. Each of these Rights is closed captioned and includes an audio description.

The Right to Information About Your Rights
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Courteous Treatment
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Appropriate Healthcare
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Your Treatment Plan
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Communication Privacy
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Services for the Facility
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Other Services
(Access audio description version)

One Minnesota Study

What Does ONE MINNESOTA Mean for People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families

On January 9, 2019, two days after his inauguration, Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 19-01, Establishing the One Minnesota Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. He stated:

In Minnesota, we know we are all better off together.

Our state must be a leader in ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to thrive. Disparities in Minnesota, including those based on race, geography and economic status keep our entire state from reaching its full potential. As long as inequities impact Minnesotans' ability to be successful, we have work to do. Our state will recognize its full potential when all Minnesotans are provided the opportunity to lead healthy, fulfilled lives.

The vision of One Minnesota provided the opportunity for people with developmental disabilities and family members to share their experiences and insights with the Governor Walz administration. Here is what we heard directly from the 45 respondents selected to match the state demographics:

"There needs to be a fundamental shift in the way the state perceives individuals with developmental disabilities – from a cost to society, to an opportunity for inclusion that will enhance the quality of life for all Minnesotans."
"Create awareness among all Minnesotans of the importance of including people with developmental disabilities in the One Minnesota promise."
"Focus resources and efforts on identifying fulfilling opportunities for employment and earning a livable income, which will drive inclusion and enable more independence for people with developmental disabilities."
"Educate service providers on the importance of having a customer service mentality and proactively informing people with developmental disabilities of the services and supports to which they are eligible."
"Assure that all services and supports for people with developmental disabilities are equally available and easily accessible everywhere in the state."
"Include people with developmental disabilities and/or their families and advocates in policymaking processes and decisions."

View as Slides    PDF Version    Text Version

Historical Photographs

Photo Album 1 (1950s to 1970s)

For the past 20 years, the Council has been collecting and posting Minnesota history online at two separate features—With an Eye to the Past (selected images from 1950-2000) and With an Eye to the Future (2000-2018). Historical documents dating back to the 1860s are also posted on the Council's website.

This year the Council has worked with the Minnesota Historical Society to identify historical images that can be posted online.

This is the first in a series of photo albums that will be shared to illustrate progress in attitudes and media coverage. Please note that captions were changed occasionally to use more up-to-date terminology.


MHS Photos
MHS Photos
MHS Photos
MHS Photos
MHS Photos
MHS Photos

Ed Roberts Family Album

Ed Roberts Family Album

Ed Roberts' son, Lee, was asked to share images from his dad's early life. He was able to visit with family members and lifelong friends of his dad. This Family Album slide show is designed to show memorable photos of Ed as a toddler, a young child, a baseball enthusiast, on the campus of UC Berkeley with his two brothers, at his wedding, and as a new father.

Lee felt this was the right time to share these family photos. The captions are his captions, in his own words. We are grateful to Lee for providing this family album with Ed's large circle of friends.

View the photo album >>

2018 Minnesota Racial & Ethnic Populations Survey of Attitudes and Outlook Regarding Healthcare Services and Costs

The "2018 Minnesota General Population Survey of Attitudes and Outlook Regarding Healthcare Services and Costs" was released on April 6, 2018. The results included measures of satisfaction with health care quality and costs, perceptions regarding changes in costs and payment responsibilities, and preferences for universal health care versus private health care insurance.  Survey respondents represented state demographics in terms of geographic dispersion, age, income, and race and ethnicity including representation from American Indian, African American, and Hispanic communities.

However, the Council was again most interested in assuring that the insights and perspectives of members of racial and ethnic communities were heard so additional outreach efforts were made in the African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian, and East African communities. The results are available here:

View as Slides     View as PDF   View as Text Only

MN Racial Ethnic Healthcare Attitudes 2018

The "2018 Minnesota Racial & Ethnic Populations Survey of Attitudes and Outlook regarding Healthcare Service and Costs"  considers their views and concerns, and are contained in this supplemental report.  Key findings include the following:

  • Rates of health insurance coverage ranged from 81% in the East African community to 92% in the American Indian and Southeast Asian communities.
  • Members of the American Indian and East African communities were least likely to believe that health insurance premiums have been increasing over the past couple of years, 37% and 38% respectively, compared with 60% to 77% in the other communities.
  • Survey respondents gave Minnesota a rating of 6.1 to 6.7 out of a possible 9 for overall health coverage and cost, compared with a 6.4 rating for the General Population Survey.
  • Members of the African American and Hispanic communities were more likely than members of the other communities to have delayed medical treatments due to cost, and over 50% delayed treatments for serious health conditions. 
  • The majority of respondents believe that government is responsible for ensuring that all Americans have health care coverage and all communities prefer a government-run health care system versus a system based mostly on private health insurance.
  • Regarding the future of health care, 47% of African American respondents, and 32% of American Indian and Hispanic  respondents believe they will be worse off in three years regarding their access to good quality and affordable health care.

Olmstead Chronology Released

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities is pleased to release a chronology of how the Minnesota Olmstead Plan was developed and has been implemented. This publication was produced with Legacy Funding appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature in 2017.

With an Eye to the Future
MN Humanities Center
Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

The chronology begins with the passage of the ADA in 1990, the US Supreme Court Olmstead decision in 1999 and then jumps to the Jensen Settlement Agreement approved in December 2011. The first Olmstead committee began in 2012 and then Governor Dayton appointed a Subcabinet in 2013 (Executive Order 13-01). The chronology summarizes on a monthly basis the actions taken, the reports that were prepared, the multiple versions of the Olmstead Plan, and the court orders.

We believe this chronology will assist individuals with disabilities, families, advocates, professionals and the general public understand the efforts of so many individuals and state agencies since 2012.

Olmstead Chronology ›

With an Eye to the Future

The Future of Disability Rights, Activism, and Inclusion in the 21st Century

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities is pleased to announce the launch of our 2018 Legacy-funded Project, entitled "With an Eye to the Future." Welcome to the future of disability rights, activism, and inclusion in the 21st Century!

"With an Eye to the Future" begins in 2000 where the previous Minnesota history feature, "With an Eye to the Past," ended.

With an Eye to the Future
With an Eye to the Future
With an Eye to the Future
With an Eye to the Future

"With an Eye to the Future" offers over 750 documents, more than 20 interviews, numerous presentations by subject matter experts, and most excitingly, a brand new story section featuring 120 segments filled with events, debuts, or descriptions of the actions that have shaped our understanding of and approach to developmental disabilities from 2000-2018.

Highlights include:

  • Major media stories,
  • Lawsuits,
  • Legislative changes, and
  • Research results.

"With an Eye to the Future" was funded by the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment. The generous funding of $55,000 allowed us to go beyond our promises to the Legislature, and deliver a true "legacy" project.

A "legacy" is a connection between generations – it remembers the past, shapes the present, and influences the future for the better. It is up to us to shape the 21st Century so that the future we pass on is filled with opportunity, equality, and inclusion.

We invite you to visit "With an Eye to the Future" at mn.gov/mnddc/future .

2018 Minnesota General Population Survey of Attitudes and Outlook Regarding Healthcare Services and Costs

In 2004, Governor Tim Pawlenty appointed former US Senator David Durenberger to head the 18 member Minnesota Citizens Forum on Health Care Costs. Its task was to address a "crisis of affordability" of health care. Members traveled the state for three months, conducted Town Hall meetings and listening sessions, and gathered ideas on what the state's health care system should look like.

"There's no question in my mind that we can find a great deal of common ground in health care reform," said Governor Pawlenty. "We can't afford to politicize this issue, but need to come together on real solutions designed to cut health care costs for Minnesotans."

A 20-minute telephone survey was conducted of a representative sample of 800 Minnesotans. The results included measures of satisfaction with health care quality and costs, perceptions regarding changes in costs and payment responsibilities, and preferences for universal health care versus private health care insurance.

MN Healthcare Attitudes 2018

Fourteen years later, in 2018, the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities replicated the opinion poll and surveyed over 1000 Minnesotans. The results are available here:

View as Slides   View as PDF   View as Text Only

  • The vast majority of the respondents had some kind of health insurance coverage (92%).
  • Most respondents believe healthcare coverage costs are rising, and that it matters.
  • Survey Respondents gave Minnesota a "6.4" out of a possible "9" for Overall Health Coverage and Care.
  • The future of healthcare does not look bright according to 27% of survey respondents.
  • As for attitudes on "public or government-run" versus "private" health insurance coverage, Minnesotans are evenly split.
  • Minnesotans make recommendations to Congress.

Read More.…

Medicaid: Supporting and Saving Lives of Minnesotans with Developmental Disabilities

On February 8, 2018, the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities sponsored a workshop on Medicaid. Self advocates and parents were interviewed about the importance of Medicaid in their lives.

Medicaid Interviewees

(March 12, 2018, updated April 24, 2018)

It's My Choice: 2017 Edition Available

The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities is pleased to announce the 2017 edition of It’s My Choice. The concept and principles of person centered planning are interwoven throughout. All sections of the workbook have been updated  and the Person Centered Plan is one of the first checklists. The format is also designed for easier navigation and to improve usability. 

The online version is available at http://mn.gov/mnddc/extra/publications/Its-My-Choice.pdf. Print copies can be requested using the order form on the Publication Page.

It's My Choice Publication

(January 2, 2017)

The Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying Handbook

The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities is pleased to release The Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying Handbook. This replication manual provides background information about the program and addresses the problem of bullying – the incidence of various types of bullying, academic studies showing the more immediate as well as the long-term effects of bullying, and comparisons between students with disabilities and students without disabilities.

Ambassadors for Respect, self advocates who experienced bullying, inspired the Anti-Bullying Program that was initiated in the St. Paul Public Schools in 2013.  Over the past four years, they have successfully led 38 training sessions for 1,010 fourth grade elementary school students and 45 classroom teachers in 12 schools. 

The Handbook provides details about the presentations – preparing for the training sessions, materials for activities, the on-site presentation process, take-aways for the students, and student surveys. Quality principles and a continuous quality improvement process are built into the program to measure its overall effectiveness, success in creating and reinforcing positive student attitudes, and reducing and eliminating bullying incidents.

Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying Handbook
  • Ambassadors for Respect
  • Ambassadors for Respect
  • Ambassadors for Respect
  • Ambassadors for Respect
  • Ambassadors for Respect
  • Ambassadors for Respect
  • Ambassadors for Respect
  • Ambassadors for Respecters
  • Ambassadors for Respecters
  • Ambassadors for Respecters
  • Ambassadors for Respect
  • Ambassadors for Respect
Use the arrows above to navigate though slides

(December 1, 2017)

Welsch v. Likins Class Action Lawsuit 45th Anniversary

August 30, 2017 marks the 45th Anniversary of the Welsch v. Likins class action lawsuit brought on behalf of six individuals with developmental disabilities, residents of six different Minnesota State Hospitals.

The Welsch Lawsuit, according to Luther Granquist, plaintiff counsel on the case

In 1972 Richard Welsch sought help from the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis for his daughter, Patricia Marie, a resident of Cambridge State Hospital. He told Neil Mickenberg, an attorney there, that Patricia was at that “hellhole” and wondered if Neil could do anything about it.

Welsch had heard that Mickenberg and Jeffrey Hartje, another Legal Aid lawyer, had been told by state hospital professional staff that Cambridge and Faribault State Hospitals were ripe for the kind of lawsuits that had been brought in other states. On August 30, 1972, with the support of The Arc Minnesota, they sued state officials charging that the residents at Cambridge, Faribault, and four other state institutions were denied their rights to habilitation and to live in less restrictive community settings.

The lawsuit lasted seventeen years. The trials in the 1970s centered on Cambridge State Hospital. A trial in 1980 involving Faribault, Moose Lake, Brainerd and Fergus Falls State Hospitals led to a settlement that included Rochester, St. Peter, and Willmar State Hospitals. Another settlement in 1987 led to a final dismissal of the case in 1989.

Photo from Welsch Lawsuit

In the early years, attorneys from the Minnesota Disability Law Center at Legal Aid focused on institutional conditions—lack of adequate staff, excess use of medication and restraint, and a deplorable living environment. In the 1980s, the focus was on moving people from the institution to community homes, with an emphasis as well on the quality of care provided persons discharged.

No court order or settlement agreement in the case required closing of the state institutions, but the court action coupled with funding under the home and community-based waiver, and a steadily growing commitment by state and county officials to provide community-based services, led to that result over the next eleven years.

A Brief History of the Welsch Case by Luther Granquist


Welsch Trial Photo Gallery  

Photographs from the 1973 trial (from With an Eye to the Past)

Photo Exhibits from Welsch

Welsch-related Interviews from With an Eye to the Past

Eleanor Welsch

Eleanor Welsch, mother of Patty Welsch, whose parents filed the landmark federal suit over lack of care at Cambridge State Hospital.
Part 1: The Beginning of the Welsch Case from a Mother’s Viewpoint
Part 2: The Cambridge Experience
Part 3: Group Homes are a “Godsend”

Luther Granquist

Luther Granquist, with Anne Henry, both of the Minnesota Disability Law Center, served as plaintiff counsel on the Welsch case.
Part 1: The 45th Anniversary of the Welsch Case Beginning
Part 2: Lack of Individual Assessment and Structured Activity at Cambridge

Anne Henry

Anne Henry of the Minnesota Disability Law Center, worked with Luther Granquist on the Welsch case.
Part 1: Restraint and Seclusion at State Hospitals
Part 2: Dehumanization Practices
Part 3: Getting Children Out of Institutions

View more interviews about this time period  


An Index of Documents Related to Welsch from With an Eye to the Past, including orders in that action in the federal district court and related documents.


The Disability Justice Resource Center has a summary of the lawsuit, the Welsch decision, and the Welsch Consent Decree.


Faribault State Hospital  

At a trial in the Welsch case in 1980 involving Faribault, Moose Lake, Brainerd, and Fergus Falls State Hospitals, the plaintiffs presented small black and white photos of the four institutions as part of their case. The defendants never presented their response, because they agreed to the Consent Decree the federal court issued in September 1980. They had, however, prepared a set of color photographs of the same scenes with some added commentary. 

Photos contributed to the Council by Mel Heckt.

Photo Exhibits from Welsch

2017 Minnesota Racial & Ethnic Survey of Attitudes Towards People with Developmental Disabilities

The 2017 General Population Survey of Attitudes Towards People with Developmental Disabilities includes representation from racial and ethnic communities. However, the Council was most interested in assuring that the insights and perspectives of members of these communities were heard. Additional outreach efforts were made in the Hispanic, American Indian, African American, East African, and Southeast Asian communities. The results are contained in this supplemental report.

View as Slides     View as PDF   View as Text Only

MN Racial and Ethnic Survey

2017 Minnesota General Population Survey of Attitudes Towards People with Developmental Disabilities

In 1962, a survey of the Minnesota general population was conducted to measure awareness and attitudes about developmental disabilities. The survey was updated and repeated in January 2007 (45 years post) and again in 2012 (50 years post). A 2017 survey was also conducted and the results are now available.

While attitudes changed dramatically between 1962 and 2007, those attitudes have remained unchanged over the past ten years. The 2017 study reveals that, for a majority of Minnesotans, the most important services provide access to quality, coordinated healthcare; and protection services to prevent the abuse of people with developmental disabilities. Over 70% of Minnesotans favor employment services, special education services and early childhood special education services. A majority also believe that the State should move away from corporate foster care by providing housing supports directly to individuals with developmental disabilities so they can choose where to live, their roommates, and their staff or providers.

View as Slides     View as PDF   View as Text Only

MN Survey

Human Trafficking of People with Disabilities

On April 4, 2017, the Diversity Committee, Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, University of Minnesota Law School Division, hosted a CLE event, a panel discussion of human trafficking of people with disabilities. United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank served as moderator for panel members who shared their professional experience with human trafficking, some of the history and evolving legal landscape, and rights and remedies for victims.

One of the panel members was Sarah Bessell, staff attorney at the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center in Washington, DC. The Legal Center believes that every trafficking victim in the United States should have access to justice.

In this video interview, MS. Bessell identifies some of the types of abuses they are seeing including forced labor (sexual servitude), commercial sexual exploitation, and extreme violence and physical abuse. She presents case law examples involving people with disabilities and trends they are seeing in the types of trafficking.

Sarah Bessell

Partners In Policymaking® 30th Anniversary

1987 – 2017

In 1986, a new way of thinking demanded new leadership. Medicaid reform was the critical public policy issue. A Congressional hearing on September 19, 1986 ended with a young mother presenting testimony in favor of dramatic changes to Medicaid – changes that would keep families together and provide a range of services to support families with a child with developmental disabilities.

Communicating effectively with public officials could be taught. Self advocates and parents could learn how to best speak with their elected public officials and elected public officials could be educated about policies – in partnership with each other. At that moment, Partners in Policymaking® was born.

Read the full article...

Partners In Policymaking® 30th Anniversary
Partners In Policymaking® 30th Anniversary
Partners In Policymaking® 30th Anniversary
Partners In Policymaking® 30th Anniversary

View more photos from the event...

Partners in Policymaking 30th Anniversary Proclamation

With an Eye to the Past

The History of Deinstitutionalization in Minnesota

With an Eye to the Past

With With an Eye to the Past, was first presented on February 7, 2001 at a recognition event. This event was in celebration of the dedication and commitment of leaders across the state who worked together to close Minnesota’s large state institutions and develop a respectful service delivery system for individuals with developmental disabilities. We are now pleased to release a revised edition of With An Eye to the Past. This product has been converted to a responsive design format and all videos have been updated to current technology standards.

Ed Roberts Day, January 23rd

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.

On December 15, 2010 the United States House of Representatives declared January 23, 2011 as "Ed Roberts Day." In celebration of this day in 2017, we are pleased to share additional glimpses into Ed's life, in story and photos, as told by his son, Lee Roberts.

Ed in Russia
Ed Roberts in Russia
Ed as a kid
Lee Roberts (center), with his uncles (Ed's cousins) Jerry McManigal and Kenneth McManigal

January 12, 2012, updated March 2, 2012, May 11, 2012, February 4, 2014, and January 20, 2017

Partners in Living Online Course Spanish Version Released

We are pleased to announce the release of the Spanish translation of Partners in Living. This completes the series of the five Partners in Policymaking online courses that is now available in Spanish.

The design and development of the five original online courses began in 2002 with Partners in Making Your Case. Over the years, several updates to the courses have been made and other versions have been created, including an EZ Read version of the Partners in Employment course and an American Sign Language version of Partners in Making Your Case. The Spanish translations have been the most recent additions.

All of the online courses can be accessed from the Council home page, the home page of the Partners in Policymaking website, and the home page of Partners Online Courses.

Partners Class Group Photo

December 30, 2016

Parallels in Time

The History of Disabilities: 1500 B.C. to the Present

In commemoration of the 45th Anniversary of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, we are pleased to announce the release of a revised Parallels in Time product. This product combines the original Parallels in Time, documenting the history of disabilities from 1500 B.C to 1950 released on the 25th anniversary of the Council, and Parallels in Time 2, continuing the history of disabilities from 1950 to the present released on the 35th anniversary. All videos have been updated to current technology standards. This product has also been converted to a responsive design format. http://mn.gov/mnddc/parallels/

Partners in Policymaking® Coordinator's Handbook

Partners in Policymaking® Coordinator's Handbook

In celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, we are pleased to announce the release of the newly revised and updated Partners in Policymaking® Coordinator's Handbook. This is the eighth edition of the Handbook, designed to help Coordinators who are starting or restarting a Partners program as well as serve as a resource for Coordinators to maintain the quality of existing programs. This version is fully accessible and incorporates all current accessibility features.

Download and Read the Handbook >>

Partners Evaluation Reports >>

Forms Related to Replication of the Partners Classroom Program:
Partners Profile Form
Time Match Form
Respite Care/Child Care Reimbursement Form
Participant Reimbursement Request Form
Sample Partners Application
Session Evaluation
Sample Participation Agreement

Partners in Policymaking® Coordinator's Handbook

Partners in Policymaking®: Changing Lives. Changing Policies.

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.

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

Changing Lives, Changing Policies

FORTY-FIVE YEARS OF HISTORY 1971-2016

October 2016 marks the 45th Anniversary of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities. A series of articles will cover this history, the work completed and accomplishments made by the Council during those forty-five years.

These articles will be released in five year segments over the next several months. The first segment provides brief background material on the advocacy and legislation that preceded the establishment of the Council.  Read the complete article >>

Disability Justice

The Disability Justice Resource Center

An online resource for everyone interested in learning more about the rights of people with developmental disabilities and protection of those rights.

The Disability Justice Resource Center has been created as an educational resource to increase awareness and understanding of the unique and complex issues related to justice for people with disabilities, particularly people with developmental disabilities. For the legal community, the Resource Center could be used to identify and eliminate biases against people with disabilities, for continuing legal education courses, and by law schools and students. This online resource is divided into several sections:

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.

Index of ADA Moments >>


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

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."

PDF Format     ePub Format

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

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

"Telling Your Story"

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

iPad App Telling Your Story

Making Your Case, the print publication, was created in 1994. This was the first of many tools used in the Partners in Policymaking program that focused on specific techniques and insights for effective communication skills in the legislative process and the many ways to positively influence public policy at all levels of government.

Both the "Telling Your Story" app and the Partners in Making Your Case online course, released in 2003, are using different technologies based on the original publication. They all serve as tools for making those critical connections with your elected public officials and building positive partnerships in the policymaking process.

July 13, 2013, updated July 1, 2014, September 30, 2014, February 16, 2016

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 >>


Independence To Inclusion

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

"Independence to Inclusion," a second TPT documentary, was produced with the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities in 2014. Much has changed in terms of available services and supports, and delivery systems. However, stigma and stereotypes against people with developmental disabilities have long outlasted Minnesota's state institutions and still persist today. 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 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Upper Midwest chapter, announced the 2014 Upper Midwest Regional nominees and the TPT documentary, Independence to Inclusion, was nominated under "Documentaries – Cultural." http://midwestemmys.org/

Independence to Inclusion

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

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

John McKnight, a community organizer and gifted story teller, is committed to the concepts and principles of asset based community development – discovering and enhancing the abilities, capacities, gifts and skills of every member of every neighborhood and community.  In a recent conversation with Cormac Russell, Managing Director of the UK based consulting and research organization, Nurture Development, John McKnight and Peter Block speak about the renewal of communities, local living, and cooperation. (7-25-17)

Play Conversation:

Abundantcommunity.com Audio Recordings Page     Transcript

Presentation conducted February 17, 2012
Updated May 25, 2012; August 21, 2017


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

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