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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.


The MNDDC web site contains a number of featured presentations and online publications containing a wealth of information related to developmental disabilities and the work of the Council. Features are listed here chronologically, most recently updated first.

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 .

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.

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

MN Healthcare Attitudes 2018

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 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

(December 1, 2017)

Legacy Project: Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities Launches Legacy Project

With An Eye to the Past—Preserving Minnesota’s History about Developmental Disabilities

The State of Minnesota held a Grand Opening of the State Capitol the weekend of August 11 – 13, 2017. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities was invited to present a "Hot Dish" panel about the history of developmental disabilities on Sunday, August 13, 2017. Colleen Wieck, Executive Director, began the panel with a brief review of the online archive "With An Eye to the Past," followed by presentations by Class 34 Partners in Policymaking® Graduate Justin Smith and former Senator David F. Durenberger. Senator Durenberger was a cosponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Justin Smith is a beneficiary of the ADA, our nation's first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities, prohibiting discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.

Justin Smith
Former Senator David Durenberger

November 1, 2017

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The 2017 theme was "Inclusion Drives Innovation". The Council offers numerous educational materials and resources about employment and employment issues, and success stories that highlight what can be achieved when employers and delivery systems work together to increase the employment of individuals with developmental disabilities. Take advantage of the following items to review and/or refresh your knowledge and understanding about employment >>

The theme for 2016 was #inclusionworks.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2015

October 5, 2015, updated October 3, 2016 and October 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.


Photo Exhibits from Welsch

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.

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: Audio Recordings Page     Transcript

Updated September 15, 2011; August 21, 2017

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, 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 is January 23.

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

Inclusive Education

In celebration of Inclusive School's Week, December 5 – 9, 2016, Governor Mark Dayton issued a Proclamation – "Minnesota is committed to providing education in schools and classrooms that [are] welcoming… all Minnesota children… that each child is unique and learns differently… educators and families have been working hard to ensure that classrooms and schools are characterized as being high performing and inclusive… and Minnesota educators and families deserve to celebrate their successes and wish to reflect on how they can continue to further improve…"

SWIFT (School-wide Integrated Framework for Transformation) offers five evidence based domains, from Administrative Leadership to Family & Community Engagement, and each domain includes two core features (

The Whole Schooling Consortium is an international network of school administrators and teachers, parents, and community members dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in schools based on the eight principles of whole schooling to build inclusive and democratic societies. (

Inclusive Schools Network is a web-based educational resource for families, schools and communities that promotes inclusive educational practices. This resource is a product of Inclusive Schools Week™ and discusses effective models of inclusive education that create an environment where all students, students with and without disabilities, have the opportunity to flourish. (

In Honor of Robert Perske

George Ducharme and Pat Beeman hosted the Memorial Service for Robert Perske on October 29, 2016 at the Darien Community Association in Darien, Connecticut. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities honors Robert Perske with these archived items that demonstrate Bob's perseverance to Keep On Keeping On (KOKO). Together with a primary message from the Memorial Service to "Be Kind," this is the essence of Bob's life and his life's work. Read More >>

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 More >>

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.

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. The online learning courses have been incorporated into the curriculum, offering participants another avenue to strengthen and enrich their classroom experience.

This version is fully accessible and incorporates all current accessibility features.

Download and Read the Handbook >>

Partners in Policymaking® Coordinator's Handbook

Meet Partners in Policymaking® Class 33 Graduates

Read stories from the graduates of Partners in Policymaking® Class 33

Public Media Forum

February 29, 2016

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities hosted a 2-hour Public Media Forum for Council members, Partners in Policymaking graduates and allies. Approximately 100 people were in attendance on February 29, 2016.

This Forum featured panelists from all the local television channels and the two major newspapers in Minnesota. The tables were turned and the audience asked questions of the panelists. Each question is captured as a chapter heading.

Thank you to all panelists, attendees and Robb Leer, the facilitator for the Forum for making this event a success.

View the Media Forum Video Segments >>

"Telling Your Story"

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

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

Survey of Individuals for Five-Year State Plan

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities is in the process of developing a new Five-year State Plan for FFYs 2017-2021. A survey of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families was recently conducted to identify important issues to be addressed.

View as Slides     View as PDF   View as Text Only

A Survey of Providers was also conducted to learn their opinions about a range of issues including employment, health care, quality assurance, housing, and self advocacy.

View as Slides     View as PDF   View as Text Only

MN Survey
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:

Justice Denied

Basic Legal Rights

Working with People with Developmental Disabilities in the Justice System

Disability Justice Center Faculty

The Video Index covers a range of topics from an historical perspective, to continuing issues regarding segregation and discrimination, to discussions about courtroom access and accommodations. The themes of equal justice, and human and legal rights are interwoven throughout, and reflect the personal experiences of self advocates as well as members of the legal profession.

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 was a senior partner of Community Resource Alliance and clinical director of the ACT Process in the state of Illinois. The video interview was conducted February 6, 2013. Mike Mayer passed away on November 16, 2015 at his home in North Carolina.

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 >>

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 Moments >>.

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 for-individuals 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


Council Receives the Hervey B. Wilbur Historic Preservation Award

At the June 1-4, 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD, the Council received the Hervey B. Wilbur Historic Preservation Award for Parallels in Time and Parallels in Time, Part 2. Nearly twenty years ago, the Council decided to embark on a major archiving project that would trace the history of disabilities, the attitudes and treatment of people with developmental disabilities; and the leaders and movements (parent movement, independent living movement, and self advocacy movement) that were instrumental in bringing about dramatic changes in service delivery systems, and the services and supports available for individuals and families. Videos, photos and images, and a vast collection of historical documents , spanning more than 3,500 years are contained in Parallels in Time and Parallels in Time, Part 2.

Hervey B. Wilbur Historic Preservation Award

June 5, 2015

Council Receives the Star of the North Award

At the Department of Administration's Fall Festival on November 6, 2014, the Council received the Star of the North Award for its ongoing education and training efforts with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through the Partners in Policymaking® program, the "Telling Your Story" app, and the Independence to Inclusion documentary that was co-produced with TPT public television.

Star of the North Award

TPT Documentary Nominated for 2014 Emmy

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."

Midwest Emmys

August 21, 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

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities Named 2012 Tekne Award Finalist

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

Honoring Government Innovation Award

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

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.

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

Changing Lives, Changing Policies

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.

The Fight for Civil Rights for People with Disabilities

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 envisioned an inclusive society that would recognize them as fully capable and productive first class citizens.

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.

Quality and the Baldrige Framework Video Presentation >>

Bill Harreld

April 3, 2015

"Creating the Possible" (Video Excerpt) A young adult shares his personal story, and how the services and supports that best meet his individual needs were identified through a person-centered planning approach, in this excerpt from a DVD made available from Circles Network in the United Kingdom.

April 3, 2015

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, is nominated under "Documentaries – Cultural."

Independence to Inclusion

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

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.

Rud Turnbull

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

Bengt Nirje on Normalization

Dr. Bengt Nirje developed the normalization principle in the 1960s. The principle reflects the regular rhythm of the day and the regular routine of life. It's useful with all age groups, and adaptable to social changes and individual development. It means that the choices, wishes, and desires of the individual are considered and respected. Dr. Nirje speaks here about the principle itself and its application to all aspects of life (Video Series).

Dr. Bengt Nirje

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.

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 >>

Kathie Snow

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 video was recorded on June 5, 2013.

The Top Ten Questions About Inclusive Education

Dr. Patrick Schwarz

July 15, 2013

Dr. Burton Blatt

Dr. Burton Blatt: 1984 Lecture Video

Dr. Burton Blatt, Syracuse University
March 1984 Speech at Holiday Inn Airport, Pittsburgh, PA

May 9, 2013

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 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.

Document Imaging Training Modules

Job Challenge
Communicator Award

June 1, 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

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

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.

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

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.

Top 10 Actions that Individuals and Families Can Take
Top 10 Actions for Educators
Top 10 Actions for Employers
Top 10 Actions for Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Meet the WOW People

June 29, 2011

Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger: A History of Human Services, Universal Lessons, and Future Implications

In September 1998 Dr. Wolfensberger presented this two day lecture at Millersville University, Lyte Auditorium, Millersville, PA.
(Total Running Time All Video Segments: 10 Hours 9 Minutes)

Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act)

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act)

Since 1963, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) has made a crucial difference in the lives and futures of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Through the DD Act, federal funds support the development and operation of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, Protection and Advocacy Systems, University Centers (formerly known as University Affiliated Programs), and Projects of National Significance.

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000

October 23, 2008

Allan Bergman on the Evolution of the DD Act

Allan Bergman

Allan Bergman is a nationally recognized leader in influencing the development of federal and state policy relating to best practice services and supports for persons with disabilities. At the June 2, 2010 meeting of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, Allan Bergman talked about the evolution of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act).

Video Interview: Allan Bergman on the DD Act >>

November 19, 2007

Interview with Senator Lowell Weicker and John Doyle on Institutional Abuses
Interview with Senator Lowell Weicker and John Doyle on the Education of  All Handicapped Children Act

Developmental Disabilities and Equal Justice Under the Law, Including Employment and Diversity

Portions of a Presentation by U.S. Judge Donovan W. Frank (Video)

November 19, 2007

The Learning Center

10,000 pages of publications from 1976-1997

Marc Gold: "Try Another Way"

Marc Gold began his career as a special education teacher in Los Angeles. It was there that he formulated a values based systematic training approach, "Try Another Way." This approach was based on a few fundamental beliefs: Everyone can learn but we have to figure out how to teach; students with developmental disabilities have much more potential than anyone realizes; and all people with disabilities should have the opportunity to decide how to live their lives. These video segments demonstrate his philosophy, and the respect and value he placed on the abilities of each of his students.

Marc Gold

©2019 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
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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.