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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.


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

The Council's business is to provide information, education, and training to increase knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to an increase in the independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) of people with developmental disabilities and their families.


Dan Reed, Chair
Peg Booth
Dawn Bly
Jennifer Giesen
Mary Hauff
Shawn Holmes
Tom Holtgrewe
Loraine Jensen
Matt Kramer
Steven Kuntz
Louis Lenzmeier
Lynne Megan
Stevie K. Nelson
Carolyn Perron
Scott Price
David Quilleash
Mary Raasch
Robbie Reedy
Bryan Schmidt
Bonnie Jean Smith
Michael Stern
Joe Timmons
Wendy Velzke Wangen
Katheryn Ware
Melissa Winger


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


The Council received $ 966,956 from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) for FFY 2013.  Of that amount, 71% ($ 686,539) was allocated for grants and contracts to fulfill the goals of the Council's Five Year State Plan approved by the federal government.

1. Partners in Policymaking®: In FFY 2013, Class 30 graduated nine self advocates, 18 parents, and one parent self advocate; three individuals represented minority communities.  Participants evaluated themselves at the beginning of the program year on the federal outcomes of IPSII and again at graduation.  The following IPSII changes were reported:  On a 5 point scale, independence increased from 4.3 to 4.6; productivity increased from 3.9 to 4.5; self determination increased from 3.9 to 4.4; and integration and inclusion increased from 3.5 to 4.5.  Graduates rated knowledge gained at 4.7, usefulness of the presentations at 4.8, and quality of the training sessions at 4.9 (5-point scale).


"Partners has given me the confidence to speak up on issues that I feel are important.  I have gained the knowledge of how bills become laws and the process of interposing my opinion to influence changes."

"Partners has transformed my feelings of fear, helplessness, and frustration about improving my son's like and opportunities into hopefulness and empowerment, not only for my son but also for all persons with disabilities."

"I've participated in many leadership training programs through different organizations.  None even came close to how well put together, advanced, effective, passionate, and inspiring Partners in Policymaking is."

"People with disabilities need to all work together.  Discrimination is discrimination.  Working together, we can accomplish more.  Learning how much common ground we all have with one another has given me a better sense of belonging and not feeling so isolated and alone."

"Partners has given me the boost to believe that my daughter has a better future, can go to college, have a job that she likes, and a home of her choosing.  Partners has given me the boost to believe that I can do advocacy work."

"After completing Partners in Policymaking, I believe passionately that it is my civic responsibility to work with legislators on a regular basis to effect change that encourages people to value the talents and skills of people with disabilities.  One person can make effective and lasting change.  Civil discourse, respect, and education are key skills for creating meaningful change.  My new mission in life is to educate, encourage, and empower my community about people with disabilities."

Government Training Services
2233 University Ave West, Suite 150
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114

Partners Listserv

The Listserv is a closed email list for graduates and coordinators of the Partners in Policymaking programs in the United States and internationally where subscribers can  exchange information  about accomplishments; offer "how to" suggestions; request assistance; announce conferences, training seminars and meetings; and post public policy alerts.  Currently, there are between 418 and 424 subscribers to the Partners listserv.

Quarterly survey results:  Total of 100% of survey respondents said the listserv was useful and helpful, and 99% said the listserv provided a learning experience.


"I am grateful and value all the great information shared on this listserv; it helps me personally and professionally."

"A wonderful resource for networking."

"I find your news items most fascinating; otherwise, I would not know of the problems or solutions in other countries."

Jim Stone
Third Age, Inc.
1548 Deer Lake Drive
Lexington, KY 40515

2. Partners Online: The Partners in Policymaking classroom program is connected in several ways to the online training courses –

Partners faculty are incorporating suggestions from the Integrating Online Learning module for the online courses into their presentations and interactive learning exercises.

The online courses are included as additional homework assignments for Partners participants to supplement and reinforce the classroom learning.

Partners participants are able to use the online courses to help make up part of a missed weekend session.

In FFY 2013, a total of 18,642 visits and 62,005 page views were made to the online courses, for an average of 1,554 visits and 5,167 page views per month respectively. A total of 558 compliments were received, and 498 Feedback Forms completed with ratings for IPSII measures - independence was rated 4.4, productivity was rated 4.3, self determination was rated 4.4, and integration   and inclusion were rated 4.4 (5-point scale).

The "Telling Your Story" app is a free download for self advocates, family members, and advocates to compose and practice their personal story for elected public officials/other policy makers at all levels of government when seeking policy changes or increasing awareness about disability issues.  Stories can be rehearsed with an audio recording feature and a photo can be included. Sixteen self advocacy stories are included as examples of the important elements of presenting a compelling personal story.  The app was originally designed for iPad.  New versions were released in FFY 2013; the app is now also available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and Kindle Fire.  Total downloads in FFY 2013 = 885.

During the 2013 Legislative Session, the "Telling Your Story" app was used weekly at Tuesdays at the Capitol.  Personal stories were and sent to legislators regarding autism therapies, TEFRA parental fee, caregiver unionization bill, special education and safe schools, employment, transportation, housing and corporate foster care moratorium, and rate increases and budget reductions.

A total of 383 people were reached via Facebook, 100 individuals received information about the app at Tuesdays at the Capitol, and the app was promoted at monthly Civic Engagement calls and Public Policy Committee meetings.

A Spanish version of Partners in Employment and Partners in Time were released in FFY 2013. 


Partners in Making Your Case

"This [course] gives everyone the power to advocate for themselves; it's very specific about what lawmakers want to hear or are looking for."

"The course helped me walk through the process to better present my story to officials, how to give enough information to get your point across, and where you stand [on an issue]."

"Easy to understand and incredibly informative; will use this resource and recommend to others."

"Worth spreading around the community; the training was a revelation to me.  Everything you need to know is covered and the accompanying material is incredible."

Partners in Education

"All the content was presented in an easy to understand manner that really helps people who aren't special education professionals."

"I liked the interactive exercises.  They allowed me to test my knowledge and then elaborated on each idea throughout the module."

"Rich information!  Charts, information to copy, useful tools!"

"This course helped me to understand my responsibilities in educating my children far beyond the education they received from their schools and teachers. This course offers a much needed service for parents who need assistance in understanding their roles.  Thank you"

Partners in Employment

"I liked the step by step organization of the job seeking process.  It gave me the encouragement to keep trying."

"I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the 'Marketing Yourself' section as it bolstered my self esteem by making me review and revisit my strengths, skills, and interests, and how this might transfer into a career change."

"Very flexible and convenient being offered online; covered information about how to be successful in obtaining employment and assisting people in getting employed."

"I liked the vast amount of information.  Never before have I taken a course in which there were so many good tips as well as ways of planning to better increase a person's change of picking a career rather than just a job."

Partners in Time

"The course was great and a reminder to all of us how horrible our past in this country and the world has been.  This should be a part of high school classes and a graduation requirement so we don't continue to repeat our past but rather learn from it."

"I liked learning about our past; very eye opening.  I didn't realize how poorly we treated people with disabilities or how we still do, despite our advances over the years"

"Provides an in-depth history of what people with disabilities have faced and overcome; included great videos and articles."

"I liked learning about the history of people with developmental disabilities, and how programs evolved and people's quality of life improved as a result."

Partners in Living

"Very information; I liked how it reflected historical changes."

"An awesome course; I learned a lot that will help our family continue to be fully functional."

"YES!!!  This is a life changing way of planning for the future.  The tools are an incredible way to think/dream about Olivia's future."

"I liked the sections on quality family supports and independent living."

3. Cultural Outreach:  The GCDD funded cultural outreach programs in the  African American and Latino communities in FFY 2013.  A total of 33 individuals graduated from these training programs. In assessing IPSII, the graduates rated themselves on a 5-point scale.  

For the African American Outreach program, independence increased from 4.0 to 4.9, productivity increased from 3.5 to 4.8, self determination increased from 3.9 to 4.9, and integration/inclusion increased from 4.0 to 4.9.  Graduates rated the program as 4.8 for knowledge gained, 4.9 for usefulness, and 4.9 for quality of training. 

For the Latino Outreach program, independence changed from 4.2 to 4.9, productivity from 4.5 to 5.0, self determination from 4.4 to 4.9, and integration/inclusion from 3.8 to 4.8.  Graduates rated the program as 4.8 in knowledge gained, 4.8 for usefulness, and 4.9 for quality of training.


African American Outreach program:

"I'm grateful for all the information the speaker gave today on county services."

"The speakers are doing wonderful teaching about the population needs and we need to advocate more for these needs."

"I learned that changes can be made through political action."

"The Judge was caring and loving, funny and good."

Latino Outreach Program:

"I loved the presentation (about IEPs, and parent rights and responsibilities) because I learned about special education.  As a parent of a child with disabilities, It was very helpful."

"We were given information that our son can have many opportunities to be productive in our society."

"It was a great conversation and very useful.  We were very confused about some things (county services, waivers, consumer support grant) and he clarified a lot for us."

African American Outreach:
6611 Lynnwood Boulevard
Richfield, Minnesota 55423

Latino Outreach:
797 East Seventh Street
St. Paul, Minnesota 55106

4. Longitudinal Studies of Partners in Policymaking: During FFY 2013 Nancy Miller, Metropolitan State University, surveyed Partners graduates from Years XXI through XXIV (Classes 25 through 28).

Based on averages across these four classes, the results indicated that 97% of the respondents have the advocacy skills necessary to get needed services and supports some or most of the time; and 98% rate their leadership skills as good to excellent.  In terms of federal outcomes, 89% have increased independence, 78% have increased productivity, 98% have increased self determination, and 90% have increased integration and inclusion that they attribute to their Partners experience.

Nancy Miller, Ph.D.
Metropolitan State University
700 East Seventh Street, Room SJ 210
St. Paul, Minnesota 55106

5. Employment:  Since 1998, the GCDD has worked with employers and promoted the direct employment of people with developmental disabilities.   During FFY 2013, the focus was on both transition students and adults with developmental disabilities.  The Discovery Process and customized employment were used to identify vocational themes for each individual and businesses aligned with those themes.

A total of 35 individuals and 45 family members participated in six training sessions provided by The Arc Greater Twin Cities about the importance of work/employment, work related IEP goals, strategies about work expectations, customized and supported employment, work incentives, the Discovery Process, independent living, transition and employment options, and employment resources; overall evaluation results: knowledge gained = 4.0; usefulness of information = 4.3; quality of presentations = 4.1 (scale of 1 to 5; 5 = highest).

Eight individuals (5 families) participated in two training sessions provided by the Autism Society of Minnesota about work incentives, benefits counseling, and online training;  evaluation results: knowledge gained = 4.5; usefulness of information = 4.5; quality of presentations = 4.5.

One training session was held for employers on the ADA and workplace accommodations, employer experiences with a workforce that includes individuals with developmental disabilities, and proposed Section 503 regulations; 39 individuals attended representing 29 businesses (56% public sector and 44% private sector); evaluation results: knowledge gained = 4.2; usefulness of information = 4.3; quality of presentations = 4.5.

Information and education sessions were held with teachers at five transition programs, and resources provided on technology, and education and employment including the Partners in Education and Partners in Employment online courses.

Employment Outcomes:

One individual employed at the Burnsville YMCA as a Senior Youth Development Coordinator at $ 8.25/hr, averaging 10 hrs/wk fall/winter and 20 hr/wk spring/summer for youth sports programs; IPSII self eval = 100%.

One individual employed at Vitali's Bistro as a Kitchen Assistant at $7.25/hr and 24-35 hrs/wk. (employment interrupted due to health issues)

Transition student employed with St. Paul Parks and Recreation as an Eco Ranger at $7.25/hr and 24 hrs/wk.

Two individuals employed at Eurest Dining (food service for Federal Reserve Bank employees) at $ 8/hr and 20-25 hrs/wk. (employment not continued for one individual)

One individual working as an independent contractor with Minnesota Spice Nice at $10.25/hr and 24 hrs/wk (seasonal work and receiving intensive mentoring from a self employed entrepreneur);  also completed a two month internship with Harvest Moon Coop and now employed at $ 7.25/hr and 3-5 hrs/week.

One individual working at Midway Pro Bowl as a customer assistant at $ 7.25/hr plus tips and 15-24 hrs/wk.

One individual working at Scholastic Book Fair as a sales assistant at $7.25/hr and 20 hrs/wk.

One individual working at Pep Boys as a sales assistant at $8/hr and 15-20 hrs /wk.

A total of 185 businesses were contacted in the process of securing these employment positions.

Kaposia, inc.
380 East Lafayette Freeway South, #212
St. Paul, Minnesota 55107

Employment in Scanning/Document Imaging:  A total of 150 individuals with developmental disabilities are employed at Ally People Solutions (formerly Midway Training Services); 53 individuals are at the storefront operation in St. Paul, 16 at Mid America Business Systems, 16 at Dakota County Offices, and 65 at other Ally branch locations.  During FFY 2013, a total of 29 individuals started employment performing a variety of document imaging services.  

Document prep work is being done at Mid America Business Systems.  Scanning work is being done at two Dakota County offices for multiple departments including  Veterans Services, Social Services, Public Health, and Employment and Economic Assistance. 

Across all businesses, approximately 1,900,000 images were scanned including student records, human resources records, health documents, personal files, legal documents, photographs, and blueprints.

Major record conversion projects were just getting underway at the end of the last reporting year with Anoka Hennepin and Mahtomedi School Districts; both projects have been completed.  New graduate records are now being scanned for the Mahtomedi School District.  Nearly 110 boxes of school records for the St. Paul Public Schools are close to completion. 

A major conversion project is in process for the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District; over 150 boxes of Board Meeting records and permit files, documents of varying sizes and formats, will be scanned.

Ongoing scanning/document imaging work continues for the O'Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl law firm as well as the Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson law firm (Minneapolis).

Other Employment in Scanning/Document Imaging:

One individual working at the Dundas/Northfield Historical Society as an assistant to the customer service representative at $ 7.25/hr and 10 hrs/wk;

Nine individuals working at the Fish and Wildlife Service at $ 7.25/hr and 30-40 hrs/wk;

Three individuals working at Beltmann Moving Company at $7.25/hr and 30 hrs/w;.

One individual working at the Nilan, Johnson, Lewis law firm at $ 7.25/hr and 40 hrs/wk (direct employment);

One individual working at a law firm scanning mortgage documents at $10/hr and 40 hrs/wk (direct employment).

Thirty-three individuals are working full time, part time, or on a project basis at the Pollution Control Agency, and the Department of Human Services (HIV Program, Early Childhood Development, Transitional Support Services, Purchasing Service, Child Support Services); all are earning between $ 7.25 and $8.50/hr.

Dissemination:  A total of 1,359 DVDs, "The Jobs Challenge for People with Disabilities," featuring individuals with developmental disabilities who are directly employed in a variety of positions by Minnesota public and private sector businesses, were disseminated at conferences, workshops, a Continuing Legal Education diversity training session, and the Minnesota State Fair.

Autism & Employment Forum:  The Autism Society of Minnesota sponsored the 2nd Annual Autism & Employment Forum on October 9, 2012 at 3M Headquarters in Maplewood.  A Leadership Summit Luncheon included presentations by five young adults who are pursuing degrees in the Software Development, Video Production, Graphic Design, Accounting, and Nanoscience fields at Dakota County Community and Technical College.  They each spoke about their education and career goals.  A video of their presentations is posted at the GCDD website, "The Future Face of Employment" page, and was added to the Partners in Employment online course.

Afternoon and evening sessions were moderated by Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President and CEO, Minnesota High Tech Association,  and featured senior leaders from 3M, Best Buy, and Walgreen's.  About 300 individuals attended this year's Forum.

Minnesota Project SEARCH:  This is a joint project of the Departments of Education, Employment and Economic Development, Human Services, and Administration.  There are three sites in Minnesota – Medtronic, Minneapolis Children's Hospital, and Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center.  During FFY 2013, a website was created that includes background information, the state leadership team, and eligibility guidelines for how to start a Project SEARCH site.  One section of the website is devoted to information and resources for individuals and families.  The GCDD serves on this leadership team and sponsors the website -

The 3rd Annual Disability Justice CLE Seminar, "Disability Issues and Employment Law: Past, Present and Future," sponsored by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, was held December 4, 2012; 200 individuals attended.  The GCDD presented an historical review of employment and a Partners in Policymaking® graduate, who is also a self advocate, presented with United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank

6. Self Advocacy: Self Advocates of Minnesota (SAM), the statewide self advocacy network, operates in six regions in the state.  Through local self advocacy groups and a Leadership Circle comprised of representatives in each of the regions, SAM strengthens the personal empowerment of self advocates, increases disability awareness through public education, and work towards systems change.

During FFY 2013, a total of $ 90,000 in federal funds supported the SAM Central and Northwest regions.  As a result of the 2013 State Legislative Session, a one-time appropriation of $310,000 was made for disability grants for self advocacy from the Department of Human Services.

In 2013, a total of 1,217 self advocates (duplicated count across all training sessions) attended 54 training sessions in the Central and Northwest regions on topics including the concept and principles of self advocacy, voting, citizenship duties and responsibilities, leadership qualities, communication and presentation skills, evaluation, civil rights, human rights and disability, privacy as a human rights issue, personal empowerment, social change and human rights, types of power and systems change, community organizing and community involvement, and transportation issues/strategies. 

A total of 113 self advocates served as teachers/trainers on issues/topics that included voting, human rights issues and employment, state legislative issues, the three types of power and how they can be used to stop bullying, focusing on strengths and abilities,  comparing viewpoints, vision for self advocacy, Remembering with Dignity project, the Olmstead Plan, communication styles and skills, building regional leadership, personal decision making, "Telling Your Story" app, leadership skills, and self advocacy principles.

Self advocates serving as teachers/trainers evaluated themselves  - greater independence – 100%, productivity – 100%, self determination – 100%, integration/inclusion – 100%.

This year's state Self Advocacy Conference included a "Telling Your Story booth. More than 120 self advocates used the "Telling Your Story" app to write their personal story about specific public policy issues and send to their legislators. 

Self advocates attended the St. Paul and Rochester Olmstead Sub-cabinet Listening Sessions, and presented information about the SAM Network, the core principles of self advocacy leadership, and the contributions that self advocates are making to strengthen the self advocacy movement in Minnesota.  They also addressed the issues of informed choice and person centered planning, and suggested that leadership training opportunities could give self advocates new insights into the connection between Olmstead and human rights/disability rights issues and help to foster community inclusion.

Advocating Change Together, Inc.
1821 University Avenue, Suite 306-South
South St. Paul, Minnesota 55104

With $10,000 in grant funds, Merrick, Inc. initiated an anti-bullying campaign in three elementary schools in the Northeast Metro area, St. Paul School District.  Four Shooting Stars self advocates researched anti-bullying activities, and met with school administrators and teachers to share and implement their plan to teach self advocacy skills, and how to address and confront bullying issues. 

Fourth grade students were the target audience. A total of 330 students and 23 teachers were reached at 11 training sessions that included several interactivities at each of the schools.  Training sessions were evaluated in terms of knowledge gained (4.6), usefulness (4.5), and quality of presentations (4.6). Self advocates who presented the training sessions evaluated themselves according to IPSII: increased independence = 4.8, increased productivity = 4.8, increased self determination = 4.7, and increased integration/inclusion = 4.9 (both on a scale of 1 – 5; 5 = highest).  One YouTube video was also created about anti-bullying and self advocacy.

Merrick, Inc.  has an established partnership with Peacemaker Minnesota, and discussions are in process regarding a modified curriculum and sustained funding for annual trainings.

Merrick, Inc.
3210 Labor Road
Vadnais Heights, Minnesota 55110

7. Training Conferences: The Council cosponsored 13 training conferences during FFY 2013; the total number of attendees was 3,254. The overall rating was 9.3 (10 point scale) and 97% of the participants rated the conferences as useful/helpful.


"The information I learned today will help me be more independent."

"I know there are other people like me and look what they've done."

"I loved the Healthy Relationships workshop."

"My favorite part of the conference is the dance."

"The music workshops were a different way to learn about human rights."

Suppliers: Advocating Change Together, Inc., Arc Kandiyohi County, Arc Southeastern Minnesota, Arc United Central, Autism Society of Minnesota, Center for Inclusive Child Care, Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota, Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, Fraser, Lifeworks Services, Inc., MnDACA, Reach for Resources, Inc., and West Central Industries.

8. Publications: In FFY 2013, the Council disseminated 12,845 print publications to individuals as well as conference attendees and at presentations. Evaluation scores averaged 9.4 on a 10 point scale and 100% of the respondents indicated the publications were useful.  A total of 1,182,934 items were downloaded from the Council and Partners web sites; an additional 23,655 video files were downloaded.

9. E-Government Services: In FFY 2013, a total of 147 items were converted to electronic formats and/or added to the websites.  A total of 272,207 unique visits were made to the Council and Partners websites.  A total of 34,829 visits were made to, the one stop website for all state disability programs, products, and services in Minnesota. 

New features added to the GCDD web site included the following:

The ADA Legacy Project:  The Council is a partner in this project that is serving as a clearinghouse and a network for the disability community.  Since January 2013, a monthly "Moment in Disability History" has been selected and posted on the Council website.  These Moments were selected because they provide a common ground and foundation for the study of disability history.  They are also events that contributed in significant ways to the forming of American society as we know it today, and laid the foundation for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as other disability policy.  In all instances, they have been taken from the Council website and archives of historical documents

Positive Behavioral Supports:  One of the key provisions in the Jensen Settlement Agreement calls for a review of best practices regarding positive behavioral support strategies.  Mike Mayer completed a comprehensive review of every rule about aversive procedures in every state along with a review of other related materials and documents that was intended to provide background and a foundation for the work of the Rule 40 Advisory Committee.  The Committee was established pursuant to the Jensen Settlement Agreement and charged with modernizing Rule 40 around best practices regarding positive behavior supports.  A video interview on this topic addresses behavior issues; additional resources and best practice sites are included. 

The Mike Mayer video interview supplements the February 2012 video interview with Derrick Dufresne that covers the History and Evolution of Behavioral Approaches and Positive Behavioral Interventions.

Dr. Herbert Lovett promoted inclusive supports for children and adults with disabilities in the mid-1980s.  An interview with the late Dr. Lovett on this topic was conducted by Larry Ringer, Minnesota Disability Law Center, in 1987 and also posted with this feature.

METO Lawsuit and Jensen Settlement Agreement:  Additional documents have been added:

A Status Report on Compliance was filed with the Federal District Court by David Ferleger, the Court Monitor, on June 11, 2013.  The Report identified five areas of considerable concern, including progress on the Olmstead Plan and Rule 40, that warranted the Court's extending jurisdiction beyond the December 4, 2013 date in the Settlement Agreement.

On July 29, 2013, Lucinda Jesson, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Services, issued a statement of principles intended to be adopted by all programs and services licensed by the Department.  The statement speaks to prohibiting  the use of seclusion  and restraints in all but defined "emergency" situations, protecting the rights of all individuals, and ensuring that all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.

The Rule 40 Advisory Committee narrative report, Recommendations on Best Practices and Modernization of Rule 40.  This report reflects current best practices when providing services to individuals with disabilities that include the use of positive behavioral supports, prohibitions on use of restraints and seclusion, trauma informed care, and the development of community support plans consistent with the principles of the "most integrated setting" and "person centered planning,"

Features/additions to the Partners in Policymaking® website:

The Partners home page was redesigned to focus on the Partners leadership training program.  Resources for starting and carrying out a quality replication are identified with links to each and include –

The Coordinator's Handbook, the Coordinator's Handbook Supplement: Integrating Online Learning, and Curriculum Highlights – these are the foundation guides for starting a Partners program; all were updated in 2012;

Sample Forms for Starting a Program;

Supplemental Resources:  These correspond to and relate directly to the topics presented at each of the weekend sessions;

Online Training Courses:  These supplement and enhance the classroom training, and can be used as homework assignments.  Other versions are also available;

The "Telling Your Story" app is featured with links to the iTunes Store and Amazon for available versions of the app;

Activities and Highlights:  News items are posted about Partners graduates and how they are putting their Partners learning experiences into practice.

Master Communications Group
3410 Winnetka Ave N, Suite 107
New Hope, Minnesota 55427

10. Customer Research: In FFY 2013, a qualitative survey, K-12 Education Study for Students with Developmental Disabilities, was conducted using a narrative approach.  This was the direct result of parallel surveys conducted in FFY 2012 of Minnesota households representing the general state population and households with a son or daughter with developmental disabilities. 

Narrative research methodologies are relatively new to the United States. MarketResponse International is the first customer research company in the United States to be trained and use the narrative approach. 

More than 200 stories and anecdotes were collected from 110 individuals including students with developmental disabilities, teachers, case managers, and special education administrators.  Narrative focus groups were held in St. Paul (metro area), Hopkins (suburb), and Brainerd (greater MN).  Focus groups collected clusters of story elements and character descriptions that revealed common themes and values.  Seven story themes emerged and were reflected in four future back exercises that described a best future and worst future.  A strategy building exercise was the final step in the study and identified system issues; Minnesota Department of Education representatives participated in this exercise.

The Minnesota Department of Education, Special Education Division, was particularly interested in the results of the 2013 study because they are planning to move from a system of compliance to one of performance.  In addition, they are in the process of selecting a priority goal for the United States Department of Education which may be transition services; a final decision is pending.

The FFY 2014 quantitative education study will be a collaborative effort with the Special Education Division.  The survey questionnaire will be designed to first meet their needs based on the selected priority goal and assure buy-in. 

Results of the K-12 Education Study for Students with Developmental Disabilities can be found at

MarketResponse International
1304 University Ave Northeast, Suite 304
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413

11. Quality Improvement: The State of Minnesota has aligned its budgeting and performance management system to Results Based Accountability.  The Council attended training and worked with consultants to develop specific SMART measures that are related to customer needs, requirements, and expectations; aligned with a results based accountability system, can be tracked and updated on a quarterly basis, and will remain consistent across administrations. 

App Comparison Testing: Testing was done among a group of 18 young adults with and without disabilities.  They rated their favorite app in comparison to the Autism 5-Point Scale EP and the "Telling Your Story" app.  The GCDD apps tested well for helpfulness, ease of navigation, and speed of download and operation.

Specific comments about the "Telling Your Story" app:

It could be better for a kid by less writing and funny pictures.

It's great so I can pinpoint what my concern is and how to express it in a clear way.

Specific comments about the Autism app:

I see how it's used and think it's a great idea.

It teaches kids.

Better Government Better Minnesota Initiative: The Council submitted quarterly updates about three projects under Governor Dayton's Better Government for a Better Minnesota initiative and ROI results are reported regularly. The Autism 5-Point Scale EP app was selected by the Governor for dissemination as part of a two-year achievement package.  The app was also featured in the Governor's Building a Better Minnesota newsletter and the Governor's blog (December 2012); the NASDDDS newsletter, Community Services Reporter; Minnesota Policy Chief Magazine; and the Autism Society of Minnesota newsletter "AuSM Ways to Spring Forward."  A total of 9,905 downloads were made in FFY 2013 and 24,502 downloads since release on October 5, 2011); ROI exceeds 10%.

Transition Planning Process:  Consultation time was provided by Quality Culture Institute (QCI) to the Department of Human Services (DHS) to prepare a process diagram representing their existing transition planning process and changes/improvements that needed to be made to align with the Jensen Settlement  Agreement and Minnesota's Olmstead Plan.  Transition Planning is a key component of the Agreement, one that incorporates person centered planning principles;  is based on a person's individualized needs; assures adequate protections, supports, and services; and in the most integrated setting.

Consultation time was offered due to the Court Monitor's finding that the DHS was out of compliance with this provision of the Settlement Agreement.  The Transition Planning criteria were added to the Olmstead Plan to extend its application to all people with disabilities.

Stakeholder Survey: The annual Stakeholder Survey was conducted via SurveyMonkey.  A total of 103 individuals participated and evaluated  Council activities in terms of improving the ability of individuals with developmental disabilities to make choices/exert control over the services and supports received (5.8), participate in community life (5.8), and promote self determination and community participation (5.9) (scale of 1 to 6; 6 = highest).  A total of 209 distinct comments were made regarding Council strengths and 99 distinct comments regarding opportunities for improvement.  Survey data were analyzed for actionable items.

Annual Business Results:  These Results are based on the Council's annual work plan that is aligned with the Baldrige Criteria. New data were added (Facebook/social media, video files, website visits via mobile browsers) to reflect changing technologies and the manner in which customers seek and exchange information.  ROI on website downloads exceeded 10%.

Business Results and Stakeholder Survey Results were reviewed to identify strategic areas for improvement. 

Online Course Feedback Form: The Feedback Form used for the online courses was revised.  The number of questions was reduced and a rating scale added (1 to 10; 10 = highest) that corresponds with the rating scale used for Council publications was adopted; IPSII measures were retained for federal reporting purposes.

Training on Quality:  Council staff/members received a total of 483.25 person hours of training – 430.5 person hours of core learning on DD issues and 52.75 person hours of training on quality principles/Baldrige Framework.

Quality Culture Institute
2603 Institute Road
Rochester, Minnesota 55902

12. Technical Assistance: During FFY 2013, the Council had 3,816 unique customer contacts about individual problems and 71 unique contacts about the Partners in Policymaking program.  Considering repeat customers and including the online courses, a total of 15,884 contacts were made.  A total of 955 compliments were received regarding personal assistance and support, timeliness and responsiveness, and specific products or services.


"Thank you very much for all the information.  I forwarded to my sister so I hope she gets connected with resources."

"We want you to know how grateful we are for your support over the years, and for all you do to make life better for people with disabilities."

"Thank you SO much for your quick response and the wealth of information I'm about to tackle.  I so appreciate your help."

"Thank you so much for setting up so many interviews and giving me contact information to so many people who helped me so much on my website."

"On behalf of the residents of Pinewood Manor, Bremerton, Washington, I would like to thank you for your assistance and mailing us the Emergency Kit magnets and pamphlets."

13. Presentations: During FFY 2013, a total of 11 presentations reached 612 people.


"Thanks for everything you do.  Every time I leave a Council meeting, I am swimming with knowledge and insights!"

"Thank you so much for your presentation at Partners in Policymaking in September.  I have learned so much that I could ever have imagined in two days regarding developmental disabilities.  Learning about the history of disability was very informative and helped me to understand how important my voice is when it comes to advocating for my son and other parents as well."



The following public policy issues were addressed at the state level during FFY 2013:


Use of restraints and seclusion in Minnesota schools

Rule making process regarding positive support strategies, safety interventions, and emergency use of manual restraints in facilities licensed under Section 245D

Civil rights/voting

Absentee voting

Bill of Rights for residents of health care facilities

Restoration to competency programs

Restraint and seclusion policies at St. Peter Security Hospital and Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center

Voting rights issues


Proposed funding increase of $40 million for special education

Inclusive education (OLA evaluation)

Inclusive Schools Week Proclamation

Sharing of resources on transition

State policy to protect students from bullying

Teacher licensing – temporary licenses for teachers who haven't completed basic skills tests and teachers licensed outside of Minnesota


Capstone Project review of state position descriptions and Executive Order regarding Affirmative Action

Employment support, customized training pilot, and independent living services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Executive Order regarding employment of individuals with disabilities in state government

President Obama's Executive Order regarding a 7% increase in the employment of individuals with disabilities for federal contractors

Rate increase for employment programs

Replication of the Specialisterne business model

Health care

Affordable Care Act provisions affecting individuals with disabilities

Expansion of dental services

Expansion of Medical Assistance eligibility under the Affordable Care Act

MNsure (outreach and infrastructure grant recipients)

Private insurance coverage for individuals with ASD

Sharing of resources on health care

State Option under the Affordable Care Act

METO lawsuit/Jensen Settlement Agreement/related issues

Court Order regarding implementation plan for the Settlement Agreement, Olmstead, Rule 40, and extension of jurisdiction to December 4, 2014

Court Monitor meetings

Court Monitor Status Report on Compliance (June 11, 2013)

Department of Human Services Respect and Dignity Practices Statement (July 29, 2013)

Executive Order creating the Olmstead Sub-cabinet

Olmstead Planning Committee

Monthly meetings of the parties to discuss the Settlement Agreement (Plaintiff Counsel and Department of Human Services)

Public listening sessions on the draft Olmstead Plan (St. Paul, Moorhead, Duluth, Rochester)

Recommendations on Best Practices and Modernization of Rule 40

Olmstead Sub-cabinet meetings


ASD Task Force and reports

Asset limit increase for individuals with disabilities not living in an institution

Assisted living complaints

CAC waiver proposal

Case management caseload study

Children with ASD – Medical Assistance early intervention benefit; improvements in early screening, diagnosis, and treatment; insurance coverage for evidence based services

Community First Services and Supports, and Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration

Corporate foster care moratorium, bed reductions, and independent living options

Department of Human Services Steering Committee on Performance Standards and Outcomes (report and draft legislation)

Disability Waiver Rate System

Gaps analysis of long term services

G-tube lawsuit (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services bidding policies and practices, and competitive bidding program startup problems in the Twin Cities region)

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers and provider standards (Section 245D legislation)

ICF/DD deficiency reports by tag numbers

Increase in diversion slots for the DD waiver

Licensing study

Parental fee (legislation to reduce, rollback to 2010 levels, or eliminate)

PCA program conversion to Community First Services and Supports, and restricted access to in-home supports

Pilot peer–to-peer support program

Provider rate increase (for physicians, dentists, therapists)

Quality profiles for HCBS service providers

Ramsey County District Court decision regarding reduced pay of PCAs who are relatives of recipients of PCA services (as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause under the Minnesota State Constitution) and Minnesota Court of Appeals decision

Reauthorization of the Region Ten Quality Assurance Commission

Reform 2020 initiatives

State Operated Services organizational changes

Transition to Community Initiative Anoka Metro Regional Treatment center and Minnesota Security Hospital)

Unionization of day care providers


Office of the Legislative Auditor State Operated Services Evaluation Report

Office of the Legislative Auditor Special Education Evaluation Report

The Improve Group gaps analysis survey results


Capitol renovation project

Financial exploitation of vulnerable adults

MN.IT legislative proposal

Sex Offender Civil Commitment Task Force created and members appointed;

State employee updating of disability status

The following public policy issues were addressed at the federal level during FFY 2013:


Restraint and seclusion practices in schools;

Keeping All Students Safe Act (legislation to protect students with disabilities from use of restraints and seclusion in schools/educational environments

Ohio Restraint Policy and ban on prone restraints

Abuse in New York State – consultation with attorneys

Judge Rotenberg Center civil lawsuit

National Survey on Abuse of People with Disabilities

Restraints and seclusion (hearing)

Euthanasia on national television (Dr. Phil show) and followup work

Settlement Agreement regarding closure of the Northern Virginia Training Center

Civil rights/voting

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - Offices of Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken contacted regarding the UN Convention

Disability specific

Combating Autism Reauthorization Act


IDEA Part C Final Rule regarding Changes to the Early Intervention Program;

Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA/No Child Left Behind), college and career ready standards (replacement for No Child Left Behind), and mandatory teacher evaluation based on student outcomes and elimination of adequate yearly progress

ESEA/No Child Left Behind Act waivers (Minnesota received a waiver)

Inclusive education


CMS instructions and technical guide regarding employment and employment related services under §1915 waivers

Wage and overtime protections for home care workers

Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011

Employment First

Oregon lawsuit regarding employment services in segregated sheltered workshops as an ADA violation and contrary to the Olmstead integration mandate

Department of Justice Findings Letter regarding Sheltered Workshops

Department of Labor proposed regulation requiring that people with disabilities comprise 7% of the workforce of federal contractors

Senator Tom Harkin initiative with business, government and nonprofits to add 1 million people with disabilities to the US labor force by 2015 National Governor's Association initiative regarding the employment of people with disabilities;

Phase out of subminimum wage legislation

Health care/health care related

Individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act requiring health insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions

Managed care for people with disabilities

Organ transplant at a Philadelphia hospital;

ADA Barrier –Free Health Care Initiative

Housing/residential services

Affordable Housing and Self Sufficiency Improvement Act


ABLE Act (and reintroduction)

Super Committee on Deficit Reduction and funding for discretionary programs

New definition of autism proposed;

Accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment

Community First Choice program Home and Community Based Services State Plan Option

CMS regulations implementing Community First Choice Option (new state plan option under Medicaid and State Plan Home and Community Based Services;

Enhancing Nutrition Services to Elderly and Disabled Act

Olmstead hearing and preparation of questions for Senator Al Franken

SSI benefits for children


Budget Control Act reductions across FFYs 2013-2021

SSDI financing

National Core Indicators Project

California injunction regarding budget cuts;

Reauthorization of the DD Act and DD Council funding

Administration for Community Living (new agency under the US Department of Health and Human Services – includes ADD, Administration on Aging, and Office of Disability)

Elimination of outdated language/terminology in CMS regulations


During FFY 2013, our collaborative activities with the Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC) (P&A Agency) and/or the Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD) included:

Case management study

Department of Human Services Partners Panel

Emergency planning and preparedness

Information and referral services

Jensen Settlement Agreement –

Olmstead Planning Committee

Olmstead Sub-cabinet meetings and Listening Sessions

Rule 40 Advisory Committee, review of draft recommendations and updates

Olmstead Plan implementation and non-compliance issues

Evaluation activities related to Olmstead Plan implementation and person centered planning materials

Minnesota LEND grant program

Partners in Policymaking® classroom training program

Project SEARCH Leadership Team

Second Annual Autism & Employment Forum

Self advocacy events (MDLC was a speaker at the State Self Advocacy Conference; UCEDD developed a model, "Self Advocacy Online: Research and Development to Bridge the Digital Divide," for making websites accessible)

TPT public television projects – Disability Justice Resource Center and video interviews with experts on specific topics (Pamela Hoopes, MDLC, interviewed)

3rd Annual Disability Justice CLE on Disability Issues and Employment Law (MDLC recognized  for its role in promoting educational opportunities to members of the legal community)


Council resource materials and publications are marketed and disseminated throughout the year at presentations and conferences as well as the Partners in Policymaking classroom program and cultural outreach programs.

A total of 12,845 print items were disseminated at conferences and presentations including the following:

Autism Society of Minnesota Annual Conference
Autism & Employment Forum
Association of Residential Resources in Minnesota (ARRM) Conference
Children's Mental Health Conference
Disability Justice CLE on employment issues
International Dup15q Conference
IT Symposium
Minnesota State Fair
Minnetonka Fire Department
Rochester Transition Fair
State Self Advocacy Conference
Tech Plus event on employment
The Arc Minnesota Tuesdays at the Capitol
University of St. Thomas Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity

Additions to the Council and Partners websites are posted to Facebook; total of 21,023 Facebook users and 54,457 visits/views . 

Updates or significant changes to 15 web pages are automatically disseminated to 11,241 GovDelivery subscribers. 

A total of 18,642 visits were made to the online courses.

A total of 272, 207 visits were made to the Council and Partners websites, 34,829 visits were made to, and 28,764 visits were made via mobile devices.

A total of 1,182,934 items were downloaded from the Council and Partners web sites; an additional 23,655 video files were downloaded.

There were 9,905 downloads of the Autism 5-Point Scale EP app and 885 downloads of the "Telling our Story" app.


Partners in Policymaking $ 210,000
Cultural Outreach Programs   85,000
Employment 80,000
Self Advocacy 100,000
Training Conferences 25,000
Electronic Government Services,
Online Learning, Publications
Customer Research 50,000
Quality Improvement 20,000
TOTAL $ 726,274

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©2020 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   Fax: 651.297.7200 
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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.