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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 Issues Request for Proposal for Outreach Programs

The MN DD Council has issued a request for proposals for outreach programs to the Native American, Hispanic and African American communities. The complete request for proposal is viewable on this site and is available as a printable PDF file.

The DD Council is seeking proposals from culturally competent agencies or organizations (for profit or nonprofit), or individuals who are recognized and utilized by the Native American community, Hispanic community, or African American community as a resource, know and have an ongoing relationship with leaders and/or elders within that community, understand the significance and effects of cultural diversity and disability, and are committed to developing community leaders among family members of individuals with disabilities. Applicants must have experience in leadership training and community organizing, direct experience within the Native American, Hispanic, or African American community, and be able to teach and transfer leadership skills to Native American, Hispanic, or African American parents with children with developmental disabilities. One award of up to $45,000 will be made to the successful applicant for each program.

The DD Act recognizes that people with developmental disabilities are capable individuals, with unique strengths and abilities, and the right to be supported and encouraged in reaching their personal life goals. The concept of cultural competence was first added to the DD Act in 1994.

The DD Act defines cultural competence as services, supports, or other assistance that are provided to individuals in a way that is responsive to their beliefs, interpersonal styles, language, and behaviors - in a way that is most likely to ensure their maximum participation in available programs and services.

The development of local leadership among culturally diverse parents of children with developmental disabilities is extremely important to creating inclusive, multicultural communities. The Council has allocated funds to support leadership training for minority parents since 1992.

This grant will provide funds to carry out a leadership training program for parents of young children with developmental disabilities who are also members of the Native American, Hispanic, or African American community. This program should include outreach to these families, personal support, and introduce the concepts of the Partners in Policymaking program. (full text of request...)


Notice of Cosponsorship Funds for Leadership Training Conferences

The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (DD Council) is pleased to announce the availability of a total of $20,000 in cosponsorship funds for training conferences in Minnesota. Conferences should focus on leadership training and the development or strengthening of personal leadership skills, and marketed to people with developmental disabilities and their families as the primary audience. A maximum of $2,000 may be awarded to an agency / organization that meets eligibility criteria. Conferences must be held no later than September 10, 2001.

Eligible applicants: Minnesota associations / organizations of parents, people with developmental disabilities, advocates, providers, or professionals; Minnesota chapters of national organizations; or national organizations that are holding a conference in Minnesota. The DD Council reserves the right to award less than the maximum of $2,000 to an applicant association / organization, refuse to cosponsor a conference, or withdraw the availability of funds at any time.

Application deadline: Monday, January 22, 2001 at 4:30 p.m. For additional information or to request an application form, please contact:

Mary Jo Nichols
Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
370 Centennial Office Building
658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
Phone: (651) 282-2899
Toll free: (877) 348-0505
TTY: (651) 296-9962


In August 1999, we were informed by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) that our grant proposal to expand family support systems in Minnesota was approved. Minnesota is one of 22 sites funded by the ADD.

The Minnesota project, “New Voices: Honoring Cultures and Promoting New Voices for Family Support,” will work with families from diverse communities – African American, Hispanic, and Native American. The purpose of this project is to expand the ADD’s vision of a family-centered, family-directed, culturally competent, comprehensive statewide system of family support for all families of children with disabilities.

In partnership with the Institute for Minority Development, the University of Minnesota Pediatrics Department, the White Earth Reservation, and discapacitados abriendose caminos, families from these diverse communities will be trained, promoted, and supported in leadership positions on state policymaking groups that affect family support policies. All activities will be designed, implemented, and evaluated by people with developmental disabilities and families of children with developmental disabilities using the Baldrige National Award Criteria and framework.

A state family support policy council will be created. Focus groups will be conducted around family support issues; participants will provide input on the needs, requirements, and expectations they have about the kinds of services and service delivery approaches that will meet the project purpose. Outreach efforts will identify families from the three diverse communities who are eligible for family support services but are currently unserved or underserved. We will work with state agencies to modify their data collection practices so that family support program participation questions about these diverse communities are answered.

For more information:

Colleen Wieck, Ph.D., Executive Director
Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
370 Centennial Office Building, 658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-9964 voice (651) 297-7200 fax

Ella Gross, Executive Director
Institute for Minority Development
251 Portland Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 333-1993 voice (612) 222-1997 fax

Peggy Mann Rinehart
University of Minnesota, Gateway Center, #160
200 Oak Street Southeast
Minneapolis, MN 55455-2002
(612) 626-2931 voice (612) 626-2134 fax

©2016 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.