The METO Settlement
Self Advocates: Little Steps, Big Dreams
Roberta Blomster: In 2005, I was involved with the Modernization of Language bill, and it got rid of the "R" word from Minnesota Statutes. I spoke at the introduction, and I testified at all four of the committee hearings, two in the Senate, two in the House, and I even showed up for a Senate floor session and a House floor session to show my support for the bill.
Interviewer: And what happened to the bill?
Roberta Blomster: It became law.
Interviewer: And who signed it?
Roberta Blomster: Governor Pawlenty
Interviewer: Okay. And how did it make you and other self-advocates feel when that bill was passed?
Roberta Blomster: It made us feel really good 'cuz it was like, well, the hurtful language is finally gone from the statutes and instead it's more like, you know, like people first language where it's the person before the disability, not the crisscross method that society is saying should be done in terms of people with disabilities, so.
I was actually at the White House October of 2010, October 8th of 2010, for the celebration, the enactment of Rose's Law. It got rid of the "R" word from Federal Health, Education, and Labor statutes so the next time that IDEA gets reauthorized on the federal level, it will say "intellectual disabilities" instead of "mental retardation" in there.
Interviewer: What did you write to the governor about?
David Donnelly: Closing the state hospital.
Interviewer: That was important, wasn't it?
David Donnelly: Everybody's in group home.
Interviewer: And how does that make you feel?
David Donnelly: It's good.
Interviewer: That's' a good idea. So you testified at the capitol. You wrote… How many governors did you write to?
David Donnelly: Arne Carlson, Jesse Ventura, Tim Pawlenty.
Interviewer: Did they write back?
David Donnelly: Yep.
Interviewer: What did they say to you?
David Donnelly: We see… having a closing the state hospitals party and fireworks.
Interviewer: So are there any more state hospitals now?
David Donnelly: Nope. it's all gone.
Interviewer: They're all gone.
David Donnelly: All the state hospitals are all gone.
Interviewer: And did you help with that?
David Donnelly: Yep.
Mary Raasch: Little steps, but big dreams, you know? So it… it makes you feel proud.