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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 2002

The Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is part of the Minnesota network of programs funded under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) (P.L.106-402). The DD Act also funds the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the designated Protection and Advocacy System, and the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota, a University Center for Excellence.

Council Members:

Jackie Mlynarczyk, Chair
Laurie Berner
Terry Cikanek
David Dunn
Ella Gross
Andre Hanson
Anne Henry
Sharon Heuring
Kathryn Jacobson
Emily Knight
Steve Larson
Nina Mae Moss
Mary O'Hara Anderson
Ordean Rosaasen
Thomas Schwartz, Vice-Chair
Jeffrey Skwarek
Bonnie Jean Smith
Virginia Smith
Sarah Thorson
Patricia Tietz
Jim Varpness
Teresa (Teri) Wallace
Jerry Wood
Cynthia Yongvang
Ann Zick


Independence: Personal freedom to make choices and have control over services, supports, and other assistance the individual receives;

Self-determination: Authority to make decisions, control resources and develop personal leadership skills;

Productivity: Meaningful income-producing work or volunteer work that contributes to a household or the community;

Integration & Inclusion: Full participation in the same community activities as people without disabilities.



  1. Partners in Policymaking®: The Minnesota GCDD has sponsored Partners in Policymaking courses since May 1, 1987. In FFY 2002, Class 19 graduated with 34 self advocates and family members. Graduates evaluated themselves on the federal outcomes of IPSII and reported that 92% believed they were more independent, 96% more self determined, and 79% more productive and included. There are now approximately 10,000 graduates in the United States, the United Kingdom, and The Netherlands.

  2. Cultural Outreach: The GCDD funded cultural outreach efforts in the African American, Native American and Hispanic communities in FFY 02. Thirty-nine individuals graduated from these programs. In assessing IPSII, the graduates rated themselves on a 5 point scale. The scores for IPSII ranged from 4.0 – 4.4 4.4.

  3. Longitudinal Studies of Partners in Policymaking: Since 1988, Tom Zirpoli has conducted outside evaluations of the Partners classes. During FFY 02, Dr. Zirpoli surveyed graduates from the past five classes. The results indicated that 96% rated program quality as good to excellent and 96% now received services and supports appropriate to needs.

  4. Partners in Policymaking Graduate Workshops: In FFY 02, four workshops were held on the topics of creativity, understanding funding streams, communication skills, and nonprofit boards. Ninety people attended and evaluated the workshops in terms of knowledge gained at 4.6, usefulness and quality at 4.7 on a scale of 1-5.

  5. Partners in Employment: Since 1998, the GCDD has worked with employers to increase the employment of people with developmental disabilities through education and training. During FFY 02, individuals were employed in preparing resource packets for the Partners in Policymaking program and scanning documents for transfer to the GCDD web site.

  6. Self Advocacy: The GCDD funded People First of Minnesota to increase the number of self advocacy groups, increase the number of self advocates who are trainers, and increase the participation of self advocates in coalitions.

  7. Publications: In FFY 02, the GCDD disseminated 25,843 publications. The evaluation scores from users indicated a high level of satisfaction (9.2 on a 10 point scale). Several thousand publications were downloaded from the GCDD web site. It’s My Choice was released in March 2002, Making Your Case was reprinted, and Stories of Leadership was completed to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Partners in Policymaking.

  8. E-Government: The GCDD web site is the largest on the state of Minnesota server. All products and services have been converted to web accessible formats in accordance with Governor Ventura’s Big Plan. In FFY 02, there were 31,047 visits to the web sites.

  9. Training conferences: The GCDD cosponsored ten training conferences sponsored by Arc Southwest MN, Arc Hennepin-Carver, Arc Central MN, Arc MN, Autism Society of MN, Brain Injury Association of MN, West Hennepin Community Services, ARRM, ACT, and Lutheran Home Association. The training conferences received evaluation scores of 4.4 - 4.7 for knowledge gained, usefulness, and quality of presentations.

  10. Customer research: In FFY 02, the GCDD conducted a customer satisfaction survey of the Consumer Directed Community Support (CDCS) waiver program.

  11. Quality Improvement: Since 1997, the GCDD has aligned its work to the Baldrige Criteria. In FFY 02, 668.5 hours of training on quality were received.

Each weekend, I cannot imagine it getting better than the previous month and it does. The course of my life has changed.

Comment regarding Partners in Policymaking

Each day, individuals request an opportunity to work on the Partners packets. At the end of the work shift, one individual does a high five happy for a job well done. The wages have enabled people to enjoy areas of personal interest and making purchases. Meeting individual goals is becoming a reality.

Comment regarding supported employment

This program has changed my family in a very positive way. It has helped me become an advocate for my son and advocate for other Hispanic parents in the same situation.

Comment regarding cultural outreach programs

It is a wonderful inspiration and a tribute to the work done by the Council. Congratulations on a visually and emotionally appealing description of what can be done by hard working, dedicated people.

You have dramatized true leaders so imaginatively. The stories inspire us and make us want to try harder.

Comment regarding Stories of Leadership

It’s fast and easy to DOWNLOAD OUR newest PRODUCTS

Annual Report 2001: This 52 page report includes highlights of our 30 year history, our most recent position statements, and results from FFY 01.

It’s My Choice: A revision of Read My Lips and first published in March 2002, It’s My Choice contains checklists for assisting people with developmental disabilities in planning where do I want to live, where do I want to work, what would improve the quality of my life.

Stories of Leadership: Twenty stories of personal transformation as a result of the impact of the Partners in Policymaking program. Features brief stories and portrait photographs.

CD ROM: First produced in 1997, this 2 disk CD ROM has been recently updated for newer technologies. Parallels in Time provides a history of disability services, the parent, independent living and self advocacy movements. The Learning Center provides 10,000 pages of Council publications.

Partners in Policymaking E-learning: Making Your Case is a 3 hour self directed course on how to communicate with public officials by effectively telling your personal story, writing a letter, providing testimony, and communicating in positive ways. To preview the course, go to To register, email us at A user fee must be paid before enrollment can be completed.

New additions to the web site: With an Eye to the Past is a 50 year historical review of Minnesota’s efforts in deinstitutionalization. This slide show also features 17 videotape interviews with key figures as well as an archive of historical documents.

Consumer Directed Community Supports survey results are available at the GCDD web site.

I’ve been reading and reading and reading and find the materials very appropriate for my classroom. I will be meeting with social workers and county leaders and would like to incorporate these ideas into all of our community services.

I really appreciate your efficiency and promptness in sending me the materials I requested. All of the materials will be useful in one way or another.

Comment regarding general publications

For additional free copies of this report, please contact:

Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
Department of Administration
370 Centennial Office Building
658 Cedar Street
St Paul MN 55155

TTY: 651.296.9962
Toll free: 877.348.0505


Web sites:

Preparation of this publication was financed in part by grant number G0002MNBS24 from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities under provisions of P.L. 106-402. Content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities or the Department of Administration.

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©2022 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711  Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

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 2001MNSCDD-03, 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.