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.

Annual Report 2001

Section One: Defining What's Important for the Future

Position Statements

The Position Statements of the Council, taken together, describe the following key features of the way we want the world to be over the next ten years:

The Rights of Citizenship People with developmental disabilities are citizens with the same rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and equal treatment under the law as other citizens. These rights should be protected in legislation. The Americans with Disabilities Act should be enforced to protect the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Power of Choice and Self Determination People with developmental disabilities have a right to decide how they live, and have maximum control, over their own lives. People have a right to decide how they live, where they go to school, where they work, what they do in their spare time, and who their friends will be. They have a right to make choices based on good information about their personal goals in life.

Contribution and Community People with developmental disabilities should get the support they need to be a real part of the community and participate with people who do not have disabilities. We must develop the capacity of neighborhoods and communities to include people with disabilities. People with disabilities can contribute to community life and the creation of a sense of community. People with developmental disabilities should be supported, assisted and educated to become active members on community boards and committees.

An Accessible World As much as possible, the things and places that people use should be designed so everybody can use them. Transit services must be provided on statewide basis in a manner that is as adequate, flexible, responsive, and reliable as transportation provided to the general public.

The Power of Communication and Technology All people with disabilities, right from birth, are en-titled to opportunities to communicate in the most effective manner. Other people should pay attention to what they have to say, however they say it. People with developmental disabilities should have the chance to use assistive technology that can help them be more independent and have more control over their lives, in all aspects of their lives.

Freedom from Harm People have the right to live free from abuse, neglect, injuries and preventable death.

Family Support The family is the best source of support for a person with developmental disabilities. Family support services should be flexible and individualized to children with disabilities, parents and siblings get the support they need. Families should have control of resources so they have as much choice as possible over the supports and services they receive. Build on the family’s network of supportive neighbors, extended families, friends, and community networks. Affirm and strengthen families’ cultural, racial and linguistic identities and strengthen their ability to function in a multi-cultural society.

Home and Housing People with developmental disabilities have the right to freely choose where and with whom they live. They should have the opportunity to live in homes in their local communities similar to people without disabilities, including owning a home of their own.

Education All students with developmental disabilities should get all the support they need for self-determination, participation and choice. This includes receiving a free and appropriate public education in classes with non-disabled students of their age; early intervention services, extended school year programs and a smooth transition to employment and/or advanced educational and training opportunities.

Employment People with developmental disabilities should be supported to get integrated and competitive employment, and live lives of independence and inclusion. They should have full participation in all state and federal jobs programs. Employers hiring people with developmental disabilities directly to work alongside people without disabilities and be supported by them. People with developmental disabilities should have the option to control and direct the funding and resources allocated on their behalf for employment. People should be supported to have careers – the opportunity to get promoted, get better pay, take on more responsibilities and different kinds of work, have more choice about what they do, and have better working conditions.

Services That Make Sense Funding for supports and services must follow the person and not be tied to a facility or location. Carefully planned supports and services must be of high quality and meet the needs of the individual. Service coordination should make sure each person gets a person-centered plan; make sure people get quality services; and respect the right of each person to make choices based on good information. Quality assurance programs are provided and promote consumer control and satisfaction.

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St. Paul, Minnesota 55155
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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.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 2301MNSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

This website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1,120,136.00 with 83 percent funded by ACL/HHS and $222,000.00 and 17 percent funded by non-federal-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.