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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.

Council-Sponsored Grant Activities

Partners in Policymaking Class 34

September 9-10, 2016 was the first weekend session for Class 34 Partners in Policymaking®. Thirty-one individuals – nine self advocates 22 parents, and six individuals from racial/ethnic minority communities are participating in this year’s leadership training program.

The weekend of October 21-22, 2016 was devoted to Inclusive Education. Participants learned the history of education for students with disabilities, the meaning of "inclusion" and how it promotes quality of life possibilities, and the components of school inclusion.

The third weekend session, November 18-19, 2016, focused on the role of the county, the local level of government that provides access to the many programs, services, and supports that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families may need.

The fourth weekend session, January 6-7, 2017, was devoted to supported living – having a home of your own, and employment – a job of your choice in a competitive inclusive work environment.

The fifth weekend session, February 17 – 18, 2017, focused on community organizing with an abundance of small group activities that led participants through a step-by-step approach to building support around an issue; and an introduction to parliamentary procedure.

The March 5 – 6, 2017 weekend session covered Minnesota’s legislative process – everything you need to know about the people and the power; preparing, and presenting testimony in mock hearings; updates on public policy issues; and meetings with Senate and House members.

Read the Complete Report, and View Photos >>

Class 33 Highlights >>
Class 32 Highlights >>
Class 31 Highlights >>

Class 34 March Session Class 34 March Session

On Eagle's Wings

Cultural Outreach Program in the African American Community

A cultural outreach and leadership training program has been offered in the African American Community since 1992. The original intent remains – providing outreach services to minority parents; personal support; and a training program that gives participants resource information about available programs and services, teaches beginning leadership and communication skills to work effectively with their elected public officials, and introduces the concepts of the Partners program.

Nineteen individuals attended the first session for the 2017 program year on January 27, 2017. The focus was on Disability History.

On Eagle's Wings Activities

Inclusive Education was the focus of the second training session on February 11, 2017 where participants learned how to apply effective communication strategies to the IEP process and IEP team meetings.

The role of the county in providing services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities and families was the focus of the February 25, 2017 training session.

Two training sessions were held in March. State legislative issues were highlighted on March 4, 2017. A Day at the Capitol on March 15, 2017 gave participants the opportunity to meet with legislators in the newly renovated State Capitol building.

A one-half day emergency planning session was held on April 8, 2017 for On Eagles Wings graduates. Participants learned personal safety strategies related to winter storms, floods, and tornadoes, and prepared their own "go kits.

Read the Complete Report >>
2016 Program Highlights >>
2015 Program Highlights >>
2014 Program Highlights >>

Self Advocacy – Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying Campaign

The Anti-Bullying Campaign began a new project year in early February 2017 with the Ambassadors for Respect preparing classroom kits for the 13 schools that will be participating this year.

Returning schools include Cowern, Richardson, and Parkview Center (North St. Paul); Willow Lane, Otter Lake,  Vadnais Heights, and Matoska International  (White Bear Lake); St. John the Baptist (New Brighton); Little Canada (Little Canada); Brimhall (Roseville); and Harambee Cultural Communities and Environmental Science School.  A new partnership has begun with Bruce Vento  Elementary School in St. Paul.

St. John the Baptist in New Brighton is the first school to receive PeaceMaker Foundation funding.

The  first training sessions were held at Richardson Elementary School on February 13, 2017 followed a week later with training sessions at Willow Lane.

Seven Ambassadors for Respect, including one self advocate who will be a first time teacher/trainer, will rotate through the participating schools during this project year.

On February 13, 2017, three sessions were held at Richardson Elementary School with a total of 92 students and four teachers.

On February 20, 2017, three sessions were held at Willow Lane Elementary School with a total of 84 students and three teachers.

On March 13, 2017, three sessions were held at Matoska International School with a total of 81 students and three teachers.

Ambassadors for RespectAmbassadors for Respect

Read the Complete 2017 Program Report >>
2016 Program Highlights >>
2015 Program Highlights >>
2014 Program Highlights >>


The Discovery Process is a tool, an information gathering strategy, that involves seven stages of learning about an individual's interest and skills to better match with employment opportunities, or shape job possibilities that will be successful and productive for the individual.

Nathan, employed at

Read the Complete 2017 Report >>

2016 Program Highlights >>
2015 Program Highlights >>
2014 Program Highlights >>
2013 Program Highlights >>

FFY 2017 Training Conferences Cosponsorship Funds Awarded
Ten 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. (3/17/17)

©2017 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 
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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.