Annual Report 2001: Looking Toward the Future
SECTION ONE: DEFINING WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE FUTURE – to state clearly, to all concerned, what the Governors Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) thinks is important and how we want the future to look. Together, we can make a world that welcomes, respects, and supports all people with developmental disabilities as citizens, neighbors, and friends. This Statement of Intent outlines our view of where we are going.
SECTION TWO: REVIEWING THE YEAR – to report on what the GCDD achieved in the year October 1, 2000 to September 30, 2001. Over the year, the GCDD invested $1.2 million to increase the independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities and their families.
SECTION THREE: CELEBRATING PROGRESS – In October 2001, the GCDD celebrated its 30th anniversary. Its work has led to changes in state and federal laws and policies; the development of new approaches; and the empowerment of thousands of people with developmental disabilities, their families and friends in Minnesota and around the world.
WHERE ARE WE GOING
In 1970, the United States Congress established and began to fund state councils on developmental disabilities. Today, the purpose of state councils is:
- to engage in advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change activities that will
- contribute to a coordinated, consumer and family centered, comprehensive system of community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that
- enable individuals with developmental disabilities to exercise self determination, be independent, be productive, and be integrated and included in all facets of community life.
Consistent with that purpose, our mission is:
- to provide information, education, and training that will
- 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.
In January 2002, the GCDD consolidated its position on a range of social issues. These positions outline the direction the GCDD wants us all to take in the future.
Underlying these positions is a fundamental shift in the way we think about people with developmental disabilities and their futures. In the past, we have been preoccupied with services and programs that would allow people with developmental disabilities to have decent lives. Over the years, we refined our ideas about the purpose of those services and programs. But fundamentally, a lot of time and energy was devoted to changing services so they would assist consumers to lead better lives.
Over time, however, our perspective has changed. We have come to see people with developmental disabilities as people who act on the world, who are in the world with everyone else. We look for ways to increase their power (and that of their families and friends) to shape the world they live in. We look for ways to ensure that people with disabilities stay in the world, among us. We struggle to make sure that all citizens have equal access to places and services. We work to make sure that people with developmental disabilities can dream about and actually experience the same kind of life as other members of the community.