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Advocacy and Empowerment

The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, through its planning and reform efforts, has played a leadership role in Minnesota and the nation. Its actions and documents have brought issues before policymakers and service providers.

The Council has also placed high priority on empowering individuals and families to represent their own interests – in their own lives, at tables where individual lives are planned, and in halls and offices of bureaucracies and legislatures.

Two major issues provided the context for many of the documents in this section – Case Management and Medicaid Reform. In the mid-1980s, the Council identified Case Management as a priority. The Council also decided that, rather than use the funds for case managers, an investment would be made in people to develop the capacities of individuals with disabilities, their families and friends so they would be in charge of their own destinies. This effort led to support for Personal Futures Planning and other person centered planning approaches described in Section 2.1 Self Determination and Personal Futures Planning.

The second major issue was Medicaid Reform. In the context of trying to achieve legislative change, it was obvious that individuals with disabilities and their families needed to be at the forefront of educating policymakers, testifying before committees, and generally representing their interests in a new way of doing business and thinking about what people and families need.

This realization, tied to other issues in need of reform, led to the development of a number of advocacy tools and guides, such as Action, This Means War! It also led to the development of Partners in Policymaking® a community leadership training program that is being replicated in over 40 states, the US Virgin Islands, and Great Britain.

The efforts that began with Case Management as a priority continued as the Council subsequently identified Accountability, and then Leadership as priority areas.

2.1 Self Determination and Person Centered Planning
Shifting Patterns (October 1992) Approaches to empowerment and self advocacy GT103   Text
Audio Version:  Download Audio File (mp3)
It's Never Too Early, It's Never Too Late (October 1989) Contains basic information about personal futures planning GT075   Text
Making Futures Happen (August 1994) Facilitator manual for personal futures planning GT124   Text
Audio Version:  Download Audio File (mp3)
Listen Lady, This is MY Life (1991) Presents stories presented by PFP facilitators GT082
It's My Choice (2002) Presents tools for self determination and advocacy GT110
National Conf. on Self-Determination (1989) Presents 29 recommendations from national conference GT070
2.2 Advocacy Tools and Approaches
Making Your Case (July 1994) A practical guide to working efficiently w/ policymakers GT122   Text
Audio Version:  Download Audio File (mp3)
Medical Assistance: Prior Authorization Self advocacy info to seek Medicaid GT135   Text
Ten Ways to Be More Active Teaches political activism and alliance building GT079   Text
Action, This Means War! (January 1989) Offers practical suggestions for self advocacy GT069
Test Your School's IQ Presents a quick checklist on quality of school integration GT081   Text
Test Your IQ Presents a quick checklist on quality of service orgs GT050   Text
Guide for Quality Individual Plans (July 1987) Presents a quick checklist on quality of individual plans GT047   Text
Parent Advocacy Training Manual (August 1994) Presents an early example of assertive advocacy approach GT031   Text
Residential Advocacy: Present and Future (April 1981) Suggests ways for providing community advocacy services GC025
Aids to Advocacy for Developmentally Disabled Persons: A Bibliography and Resource Guide (January 1979) From Developmental Disabilities Protection and Advocacy System 79-ATA-DDP
Services for People with Developmental Disabilities: A Guide for Private Funders (August 1983) From Metropolitan Council 83-SFP-MC
2.3 Partners in Policymaking®
Partners Restored Our Independence! A collection of testimonial letters representing various states GT126
Partners Curriculum Part I: Highlights (1993)
Contains highlights of full curriculum and competencies. GT106   Text
Partners Coordinator's Handbook 1992 Provides step-by-step guide GT099   Text
Partners Coordinator's Handbook 1995 Provides step-by-step guide GT133   Text
Partners in Policymaking Training Program (1990)
Introduction to Partners in Policymaking and PNS Grant GT086
Partners in Policymaking: Empowering People
Journal article summarizing 1987 - 1989 GT063
2.4 Advocacy Dimensions
Advocacy Dimensions Vol 1, No. 1, Fall 1979 "Biklen Keynotes Advocacy Conference" 79-AD-MSP
Advocacy Dimentions Vol. 1, No. 3, Spring 1980 "Over 200 Attend March Advocacy Conference" 80-AD-MSD
Advocacy Dimensions Vol 1, No. 4, Summer 1980 "Abuse Reporting Laws Can Make a Difference: Identification and Prevention" 80-AD-MSP
Advocacy Dimensions Vol. 2, No. 1, Fall/Winter 1980 "Consent Decree Presents Challenges to Newly Appointed Court Monitor" 80-AD-MSA
Advocacy Dimensions Vol. 1, No. 2, Winter 1980 "Head Start Programs Exceed 10 Percent Quota" 80-AD-MSP-1