The mission of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities is to work toward assuring that persons with developmental disabilities receive the necessary support to achieve increased independence, self determination, productivity, and integration into the community.
According to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (P.L. 106-402) each state "shall establish and maintain a State Developmental Disabilities Council ... to promote, through systemic change, capacity building, and advocacy activities (consistent with section 101(c)(2)), the development of a consumer and family-centered comprehensive system and a coordinated array of culturally competent services, supports and other assistance designed to achieve independence, self determination, productivity, and integration and inclusion into the community for individuals with developmental disabilities."
Guiding concepts and principles for enabling people with developmental disabilities to achieve increased independence, productivity, and integration into the community include:
- Neighborhoods and communities must be encouraged to include people rather than to exclude their members. This vision of community empowers ordinary citizens to offer each other personal support and assistance which makes everyone's involvement in community life possible. Thus, people with disabilities are not only present but are also actively participating in regular community life.
- Each person is a unique individual, having worth, no matter what the degree of disability. Personal autonomy is to be promoted; and every effort should be made to encourage self determination. This includes maximizing opportunities for each individual to develop and exercise competence and to make choices in the pursuit of a personal future.
- All communities depend on the capacity of people on their fullness, on their possibility. The creation of the sense of community is built upon the capacity of individuals served and not on needs. Formal and informal supports will be provided so that people with developmental disabilities can participate in the same settings used by other people. For children, this means supporting families whether natural, adoptive, or foster; all children belong in families. For adults, this means developing the services and supports they need to live in real homes, work in real jobs in typical work settings, and to participate in regular community activities along with family members, neighbors, and friends. The development of good interpersonal relationships is basic to healthy living.