Arc of MN has branch offices throughout the state. Arc Minnesota promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, actively supporting them and their families in a lifetime of full inclusion and participation in their communities.
Advocates provide personalized information, navigation, and referrals on disability issues and systems for people of all ages. Arc also engages people in public policy advocacy to protect and promote the human rights of people with disabilities.
There are a number of councils or advisory groups you can join. The Minnesota Department of Administration has a Council on Developmental Disabilities that provides 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. Visit MN Council on Disability for more information on policy, training, technical resources and collaborations.
The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has information on councils, boards and commissions throughout Minnesota. Serving on a Minnesota state board, council, or committee is a great way to get involved in your local community and help make an impact.
Partners in Policy is designed for parents of children with developmental disabilities and adults with disabilities to work in partnership with elected officials to make positive changes in the way people with disabilities live, work and are educated; and enjoy the benefits of being actively involved in their communities.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) seeks to advance the principles of the disability rights movement with regard to autism. ASAN believes that the goal of autism advocacy should be a world in which autistic people enjoy equal access, rights, and opportunities. We work to empower autistic people across the world to take control of our own lives and the future of our common community, and seek to organize the autistic community to ensure our voices are heard in the national conversation about us. Nothing About Us, Without Us!
Advocating Change Together (ACT) is a disability rights organization run by and for people with developmental and other disabilities. ACT empowers groups of people with disabilities to take control over their lives while also working to break down barriers that prevent the larger disability community from living, working, and playing side-by-side with everyone else.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization led by diverse people with disabilities and allies. The organizations mission is to fight stigma, promote diversity, advance opportunities and leadership development.
Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) are groups that provide input on special education services to their local school district. Minnesota law requires each school district in the state to have a SEAC although it does not specify how the groups should be organized or what duties they should perform. As a result, each SEAC may have a unique mission and structure.
In special education, parents have rights.
If there continues to be problems and misunderstandings arising in special education, the first step is to have the school meet with the parents or guardians, often with a mediator. Read more about mediation.
Military sources indicate that more than 13,000 military dependents, the majority of them children, have some form of autism. Their families face challenges navigating the complex system, compounded by the realities of military service: war, extended family separation, frequent moves, varying access to specialized healthcare, and other stressors that complicate and often work against effective treatment for children with autism. These families need help navigating these uncharted and difficult waters. The Organization for Autism Research created A Guide for Military Families (PDF) and a website Operation Autism. These resources provide:
For more information, visit the MN Department of Veteran’s Affairs.