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.
COUNCIL MEMBERS AS OF DECEMBER 4, 2014
Dan Reed, Chair
David R. Johnson
Mary O'Hara Anderson
Bonnie Jean Smith
FEDERAL OUTCOMES (IPSII)
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 $ 968,836 from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) for FFY 2014. Of that amount, 71% ($ 687,874) 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 2014, Class 31 graduated nine self advocates, 15 parents, and one parent self advocate; four 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 4.2 to 4.7; productivity increased from 3.9 to 4.4; self determination increased from 4.0 to 4.6; and integration and inclusion increased from 3.5 to 4.6. Graduates rated knowledge gained at 4.8, usefulness of the presentations at 4.8, and quality of the training sessions at 4.9 (5-point scale).
- "I'm glad I came to Partners. I've learned a lot. This is like my home; I'm comfortable here. This is like a test. You learn and you take that learning back to others. You find out how strong you are."
- "I've learned a lot. I'm more independent and more self confident."
- "I didn't know anything about disabilities before. My life has totally changed. Now I know who to call and I know what to ask for. I learned some Spanish, too."
- "Partners has changed my life. I'm not the same person who signed up. I never thought I'd go on this disability journey. We are strong together. We can keep going. This is not the end of our journey. This is just a stepping stone."
- "It's been a blessing to be able to participate. My mind was very narrow when I came. Now I'm thinking of all children with disabilities, not just my own son. I realize that disability isn't just race or color; we have to work together as a family. This has marked my life. I come from a culture with close families. It never crossed my mind that my son could live in a group home. When we talked about home living, it's a great idea to think that my son could live an independent life. I couldn't live forever so I need to prepare him to face the world. I liked best how to testify, how to get better services for our kids. We as parents have to help kids with disabilities so they can have a better life."
- "I was told my son qualified for so much but I had no idea where to go to get services. I lost insurance and had a hard time getting insurance reinstated. This will help me to be a volunteer mom, a great opportunity to give back."
- "Thank you for putting on this program. One of the best things was meeting parents with kids with disabilities so I could better understand what my mom had to deal with."
- "Because of Partners, I have been able to get a special education advisory council started in my district. A Partners graduate asked about a Council so we teamed up with two other parents. Our Council is now up and running."
- "I really enjoyed your presentation [about community organizing]. The stories you shared were very inspiring. I'm excited to look for and take part in creating associations in my community. Thanks to you I have the desire to look 'outside of the circle' and actively include everyone."
Partners Graduate Workshops
Three Partners graduate workshops were offered, two in conjunction with conference events sponsored by The Autism Society of Minnesota ("3rd Annual Autism & Employment Forum") and The Arc Minnesota annual statewide conference ("Raising Expectations: Achieving Your Goals and Dreams"). Twenty-two Partners graduates attended these other conference events. Graduates rated knowledge gained at 3.9, usefulness of the presentations at 3.9, and quality of the training sessions at 3.7 (5-point scale).
- "I will use this information when applying for jobs, and to support my son with transition in school and with services."
- "Excellent conference with a lot of great resources, particularly learning about the new personal assessment procedures.
- "I'm starting searches for housing and employment for my son."
An additional full day graduate workshop was held on the topic of inclusive education, "Achieving Positive Student Outcomes in Inclusive Classrooms." A total of 35 Partners graduates attended this workshop and rated knowledge gained at 4.8, usefulness of the presentation at 4.9, and quality of the workshop at 4.9.
- "The timing for this workshop was perfect; loved the non-threatening approach and suggestions.
- "Liked best the team building ideas to eliminate barriers to communicating and understanding."
- "I gained a new appreciation for inclusive education and the perspective of the general public's understanding."
- "I plan to use the information on differentiated instruction and team building to help other parents in northern Minnesota gain more inclusion in our local school district."
Government Training Services
2233 University Ave West, Suite 150
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114
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.
In FFY 2014, there were 422 subscribers to the Partners listserv.
Surveys of current subscribers are conducted on a quarterly basis. Survey results for FY 2014: Total of 100% of survey respondents said the listserv was useful and helpful, and 100% said the listserv provided a learning experience.
- "The news stories are very helpful. There are so many articles I would never see without being on this mailing list."
- "This is a valuable tool full of great information that helps us with our advocacy within the greater disability community."
- "I do not always have time to read the articles right away but I always skim through the summary to see if I want to save for a rainy day. I really enjoy the variety of articles."
- "I find the listserv extremely helpful in what I do at work as an advocate working in the field of disability and also as an individual with a disability."
- "I do find the newsletter helpful. It is interesting to see what is happening outside our small world here in Minnesota."
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 2014, a total of 12,920 visits and 27,292 page views were made to the online courses, for an average of 892 visits and 2,274 page views per month respectively. A total of 751 compliments were received, and 533 Feedback Forms completed with ratings for IPSII measures - independence was rated 4.2, productivity was rated 4.1, self determination was rated 4.3, and integration and inclusion were rated 4.0 (5-point scale).
The "Telling Your Story" app, a free download for self advocates, family members, and advocates, teaches the steps for writing one's personal story and relating it to a specific public policy issue that can then be emailed to elected public officials/other policy makers at all levels of government. An audio recording feature offers the option of rehearsing the story and a photo can also be included.
The app, originally designed for iPad, is also available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and Kindle Fire. Android versions for tablet and phone were released in FFY 2014. Total downloads for FFY 2014 = 747; total downloads since first release date = 1,973.
The Public Policy page at The Arc Minnesota website includes links to the "Telling Your Story" app at the iTunes Store (for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) and at Amazon (for Kindle Fire) as well as tips for using the app. A total of 1,057 unique visits were made to the Public Policy page, and "Telling Your Story was promoted at First Tuesdays at the Capitol where 51 individuals attended on average for the 10 First Tuesdays held during the 2014 legislative session.
Partners in Making Your Case
- "Very informative and helpful; offered great insight into the bill making process, and the roles of elected officials and citizens."
- "I really liked the outline on the legislative process and how to write an effective letter."
- "I learned so much. I am so thankful for all the information provided and feel more empowered to make a change in the developmental disabilities community."
- "I have a passion for being a disability advocate because I have a disability myself, and have personally seen many changes within both state and federal disability systems that need improvement. I have always wanted to speak up, and share my thoughts and stories about changes that need to be made in the current system in order to increase the independence of people with disabilities. This course has helped me to learn the best way to contact policymakers and approach these issues with confidence."
Partners in Education
- "A great checklist to help you through the [IEP] process and great worksheets."
- "Helpful in my endeavors as a future educator in the public school system; very informative and very easy to navigate."
- "The course really breaks down all aspects of the educational process for children. The history section was great. I enjoyed that I can reread any part that I needed to and even print some documents; very helpful overall."
- "The entire program was set up so it was easy to understand the complicated IEP process and the steps to take if you didn't agree with all parts of the IEP."
Partners in Employment
- "All the worksheets and all the great information, it will really help some of our students who are graduating to get a head start on finding a job. Really love this course."
Partners in Time
- "I loved the entire course! The personal stories were so moving. The additional information and resources were great and I really liked how the past was often visited in order to compare and contrast with what is happening presently, and the direction we hope to move in the future."
- "The course has so much information and included so many things that I have never even heard of. The exercises were wonderful for my self awareness and my own personal growth."
- "It was very informative and opened my eyes to a lot of assistive technology laws that I did not realize. The courses are so easy to get through with lots of good work sheets."
- "Liked the in-depth history about people with disabilities, especially the personal stories and Change Maker sections."
Partners in Living
- "I now understand family supports. I can help families with different kinds of programs and supports that respect different cultures, ethnicities, and languages."
- "I have two daughters with disabilities; I like the idea that they can each have a say in their futures."
3. Cultural Outreach: The GCDD funded a cultural outreach program in the African American community in FFY 2014. A total of 12 individuals graduated from On Eagles Wings.
The state legislative process is the focus of one training session, and includes a visit to the State Capitol and meetings with legislators where participants share their stories and speak to current public policy issues. The 2014 Legislative Session was successful in two important areas – the 5% campaign and anti-bullying legislation due to the efforts of participants to address these issues with their elected officials.
Participants evaluate themselves in terms of IPSII prior to starting the training program, at the midway point, and at the end of the program year. Independence increased from 3.5 to 5.0, productivity increased from 3.2 to 5.0, self determination increased from 3.6 to 5.0, and integration/inclusion increased from 3.3 to 5.0. Graduates rated the program as 4.8 for knowledge gained, 4.8 for usefulness, and 4.8 for quality of training.
IPSII, Inc. was previously awarded a Project of National Significance grant by the AIDD that funded a Being Prepared Center, and an education and training program on emergency planning and preparedness for individuals with developmental disabilities from the African American community.
A one-half day emergency planning and preparedness session is offered as part of the On Eagles Wings training program. This additional training continues the work that the Project initiated by building and strengthening capacity in the whole community to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate the impact of disasters. The GCDD's emergency planning materials are given to participants at this training session.
Thirteen On Eagles Wings graduates attended and rated the training session as 5.0 for knowledge gained, 5.0 for usefulness, and 5.0 for quality of training.
- "I learned what a leader is and now I am one!"
- "I learned that a leader is a listener and not a follower."
- "I learned there are many more options for services than I knew."
- "I share all of the information from trainings and give the materials to my case manager."
- "I learned that senators and other legislators stand with us. We are not alone. Every voice counts."
- "I've learned how to deal with politicians and bills and the whole process."
- "I learned how to develop my own emergency preparedness plan."
African American Outreach:
6611 Lynnwood Boulevard
Richfield, Minnesota 55423
4. Longitudinal Studies of Partners in Policymaking: During FFY 2014 Nancy Miller, Metropolitan State University, surveyed Partners graduates from Years XXII through XXV (Classes 26 through 29). The study was available at Survey Monkey.
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, 66% have increased productivity, 86% have increased self determination, and 91% have increased integration and inclusion that they attribute to their Partners experience.
An additional question was added to the survey beginning with Class 29 Partners graduates regarding their contacting or working with public officials about employment issues; 77% responded that they had done so.
- "Our son (and his peers) is able to remain in an inclusive school setting because of the advocacy skills that I gained from Partners."
- "After four years, my daughter finally received a 504 Plan."
- "We were able to secure a new waiver for my son for life skill development."
- "I've run for a public office, gotten elected and now work for a non-profit. These have been complete career changes. I don't know that I would have had the courage to do these things if I hadn't gone through the Partners program."
- "We just finished building an accessible house for our two children with disabilities. Their waivers help pay for some of the modifications and we now have a much safer house. I fought hard for their waivers for a year."
- "I'm participating in many advocacy events in our state. I've joined boards and committees to secure rights for all with developmental disabilities."
- "My daughter has become more independent emotionally and knows how to ask for what she needs to be successful - without any kind of without any kind of entitlement - just what is fair and reasonable and I believe that is received more positively."
- "I'm better equipped to help my son (17) plan for his future and be successful in integrating into adult life."
- RedRossa Italian Grille, houseman (20-40 hrs/week at $9 - $9.50/hr plus tips).
- Icon Theaters, floor assistant (15-30 hrs/week at $7.25/hr).
- Burger King (12-16 hrs/week at $7.25/hr); found job independently.
- Retail business, fitting room attendant (15-20 hrs/week at $7.75/hr).
- Midway ProBowl, ball valet and customer assistant (15-20 hrs/week at $7.25/hr plus tips).
- Scholastic Book Fair, book fair assistant (20 hrs/week at $7.25/hr).
- Pep Boys, sales assistant (15-20 hrs/week at $ 8.00 hr).
- VFW (5 hrs/week at $8/hr) and School of Rock (15-20 hrs/wk at $7.75/hr).
- Prime Flight Aviation, wheelchair attendant at MSP Airport (25 hrs/week at $7.25/hr and $8/hr plus tips post training period).
- PJ Murphy's Bakery (20 hrs/week at $8/hr).
- Byerly's, bagger and carry out assistant (20 hrs/week at $7.25/hr).
- Edina Arc Center, self employed, handmade greeting cards, Harvest Moon Coop (3-5 hrs/week at $7.25 /hr) and Therapy for Me, therapy assistant (8 hrs/week at $7.25/hr).
- Minnesota House of Representatives, page (40 hrs/week at $13.75/hr).
- Lund's and Kowalski's, courtesy clerk (20-25 hrs/week at $7.25 - $8/hr).
- One young adult submitted designs for a pavilion for a housing development.
- One adult is working with an independent business owner on a product design and sales plan.
- The concept of work for everyone and the importance of believing that people can work.
- Being part of a team.
- Employment statistics.
- The importance of employment prior to graduation and finding employment consistent with interests.
- Work incentives.
- Not letting concerns about safety be a barrier.
- Moving from work experiences to competitive experiences.
- Starting the conversation about employment earlier.
- Engaging families and being proactive. 10. Greater awareness of resources and possibilities.
- The number of employees with disabilities in state government must increase to at least 7% of the total state workforce in all classifications within five years.
- State agencies are already required to develop and update Affirmative Action Plans every two years, although many have not, and many plans are incomplete. State agencies must now develop a specific plan for pursuing the employment of people with disabilities and include specific recruitment and training programs along with performance targets and numerical goals.
- State agencies are also required to increase awareness of supported work and the 700 hour program that provides trial work experience, internships, and student worker opportunities for individuals with severe disabilities.
- Within six months, model recruitment and hiring strategies must be designed to increase the employment of people with disabilities and he development of mandatory training programs aimed at hiring managers and human resources personnel.
- A quarterly reporting mechanism.
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 2014, the focus continued to be on both transition students and adults with developmental disabilities. The Discovery Process and customized employment approaches were used to identify vocational themes for each individual and businesses aligned with those themes.
Three vocational themes are identified for each person that match their interests, talents, and skills; a narrative description covers ideal conditions of employment; and a job/business development plan identifies 20 businesses that align with the vocational themes. Informational interviews are then scheduled with the goal being a job offer.
A total of 221 businesses were contacted in FFY 2014.
Seven individuals who worked through the Discovery Process in the previous or current year and were directly employed evaluated themselves in terms of IPSII on a 5-point scale: Increased independence ranged from 3 to 5, increased productivity ranged from 4 to 5; increased self determination ranged from 4 to 5; and increased integration/inclusion ranged from 4 to 5.
Three transition students were enrolled in postsecondary education programs at Community and Technical Colleges, and all three students completed their coursework in June. Courses that included Cinema History, Architectural Drafting and Sketchup for Design, and Construction Skills. One student resumed classes in August and is working toward a two year associate degree in architecture.
Thirty-two individuals, transition students and families, attended a training session, sponsored by the Work Incentives Connection, that covered the differences between the SSI and SSDI programs, and related work rules; health care; reporting income/wages; and the Student Earned Income Exclusion. There was particular interest in the Income Exclusion; parents learned that their sons/daughters could have earned more money in summer work programs had Social Security known about the student status. Overall evaluation results: knowledge gained = 4.7; usefulness of information = 4.5; quality of presentations = 4.9 (scale of 1 to 5; 5 = highest).
The Autism Society of Minnesota held five community conversations on employment and post secondary education. Sixty-two individuals participated; 95% were parents. Career preparation was the primary topic of discussion.
The Employment First Coalition held an Employment Summit in April 2014; Kaposia played a major role in arranging the Summit; increasing competitive employment was the Summit theme, The Olmstead Plan, state and national employment trends for youth with disabilities, work incentives, person centered employment strategies, and family engagement were discussion topics. All presentations stressed the importance of providing students and families with information and resources that promote competitive employment.
Seventy special educators, representing 12 school districts, participated and developed action plans. Plans included staff training on work incentives; identifying students receiving Social Security benefits for targeted information on work incentives; data on students in paid employment with a goal to increase the number by 5%; training special educators on the importance of employment outcomes, and their role and responsibilities in achieving those outcomes; information for families on work incentives and the benefits of being employed/a working life.
Overall evaluation results: knowledge gained = 4.2; usefulness of information = 4.0; quality of presentations = 4.2
Participants identified what specifically shifted their previous perceptions about integrated, competitive employment for youth with disabilities:
Three additional Summits will be held in the 2014-2015 school year. Measurable goals in the Olmstead Plan regarding Lifelong Learning and Education are expected to be incorporated in the action plans.
380 East Lafayette Freeway South, #212
St. Paul, Minnesota 55107
In FFY 2014, in addition to the Kaposia, inc. grant, the GCDD was engaged in several other employment activities:
On August 4, 2014, Governor Mark Dayton issued Executive Order 14-14, Providing for Increased State Employment of Individuals with Disabilities.
In 1999, individuals with disabilities comprised 10.1% of the state government workforce. In 2012, that percentage had declined to less than 3.9%.
Specific goals contained in the Executive Order include the following:
Employment in Scanning/Document Imaging:
The GCDD initiated this effort in 2002 and the impact is still being felt in both public and private business sectors.
A total of 85 individuals with developmental disabilities are employed at Ally People Solutions; 56 individuals are at the storefront operation in St. Paul and 29 individuals are at other Ally branch locations; 12 individuals started employment performing a variety of document imaging services.
During FFY 2014, a total of 1,392,171 images were scanned including student records, state and watershed licenses, photos, large format maps, and legal documents.
Twelve individuals are working at the Dakota County Service Center (social service records) and earning minimum wage. Projects with the St. Paul Schools (student records) and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (financial records) are ongoing. Document imaging work continues on an as needed basis as client records are closed with the O'Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl law firm, Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson law firm, Seiler law firm, and the Brabbit & Salita law firm.
A proposal recently submitted to the Revisor's Office was selected for a scanning project that includes 122,000 pages of legal materials and about 1,000 pages of Session Laws. Details are being finalized for a scanning project with the Forest Lake Comfort Lake Watershed District (permit files).
Minnesota Project SEARCH is a joint project of the Departments of Education, Employment and Economic Development, and Human Services, and Administration/GCDD. Project SEARCH sites in Minnesota include Medtronic, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, and Fairview Lakes Medical Center. The State Leadership Team consists of representatives from each of the Departments.
- Twenty-one students have completed the Medtronic program since its inception in 2009 and 14 are competitively employed; 10 interns participated in 2014.
- Five students have completed the program with Children's Hospitals and three are competitively employed; eight interns participated in 2014.
- Six interns from five school districts in Southwestern Minnesota participated in 2014 with the Avera Hospital program.
- Four interns started the Fairview Lakes program in January 2014.
- During FFY 2014, a total of 544 visits were made to the website. The GCDD sponsors the website - https://mn.gov/projsrch/mn-sites.html
6. Self Advocacy:
Self Advocates of Minnesota (SAM), the statewide self advocacy network, operates in six regions in the state. A Leadership Circle, comprised of representatives from local self advocacy groups, holds two meetings on an annual basis and rotates meetings across the regions to give all self advocates the opportunity to learn and practice skills related to planning and organizing meetings, preparing agendas, communicating with the other regions, and handling logistics.
During FFY 2014, a total of $ 100,000 in federal funds supported the SAM Central and Northwest regions.
In 2014, a total of 318 self advocates attended 38 training sessions in the Central and Northwest regions on topics including the SAM network and structure; self advocacy and assertiveness; decision making about financial resources; outdated/offensive language; general awareness and current understanding about disability; skills related to socialization, assertiveness, train-the-trainer, and customer service; planning and conducting meetings and conferences; teamwork; empowerment; maintaining interest and motivation in self advocacy groups; employment; personal supports and related funding; human rights related to privacy, the Olmstead Plan, respect, and inclusion; the Olmstead decision; and the Remembering with Dignity Project.
Training sessions were evaluated by self advocates who participated; across both regions and on average, knowledge gained = 4.3, usefulness = 4.3, and quality of presentations = 4.3 (scale of 1-5; 5 = highest).
A total of 43 self advocates served as teachers/trainers inmost training sessions and evaluated themselves in terms of IPSII: greater independence – 100%, productivity – 100%, self determination – 100%, integration/inclusion – 100%.
A three day retreat on human rights issues was held for self advocates in all SAM regions; 12 self advocates attended from the Central and NW regions, and evaluated the retreat and training sessions - knowledge gained = 5.0, usefulness = 5.0, and quality of presentations = 5.0.
Statewide self advocacy conferences are held on a biennial basis. Planning is underway for the 2015 conference, "Celebrating 25 Years of ADA," that will be held March 27-28, 2015.
Olmstead Academy: A $196,056 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation was awarded to Advocating Change Together, Inc. (ACT) to support statewide efforts to increase the capacity of citizens with developmental disabilities to participate in the development and implementation of Minnesota's Olmstead Plan, ensuring self-determination as individuals make life choices.
The Olmstead Academy is a 12 month pilot program with two multi-day training sessions and field work on action learning projects. The overall goal is to train 21 self advocates and allies to be leaders in promoting full integration in the community.
One team was selected for each of the seven SAM regions in the state. Prior to the first four day session in September 2014, teams were responsible for identifying a host agency to serve as a fiscal agent and recruiting a community council of 8 to 12 people in their respective region. Community council members, as experienced community leaders, are expected to give a few hours of their time to work with and support teams to carry out a project that reflects a community need and matches the skills of team members. Individuals with developmental disabilities comprise two-thirds of the membership.
The formal opening of the Olmstead Academy on September 15, 2015 featured United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank as guest speaker.
The first session provided background information on the Olmstead decision; and the basic principles of community organizing, the uses of power, and social change that results from organizing efforts. Small group activities were designed to establish and build relationships with key allies, and begin developing a realistic action learning project. Projects are due in November 2014. Remaining sessions are scheduled for January 2015; implementation will be carried out between February and September 2015.
Advocating Change Together, Inc.
1821 University Avenue, Suite 306-South
South St. Paul, Minnesota 55104
Merrick, Inc. and Ambassadors for Respect: Merrick, a supported employment program and Ticket to Work Employer, has promoted self advocacy and self determination since 1997. In 2013, an anti-bullying campaign was initiated in three elementary schools in the Northeast Metro area, the St. Paul School District. Fourth grade students were the target audience. In that first year, a total of 330 students and 23 teachers were reached at 11 training sessions.
In 2014, that effort was expanded. Six elementary schools were originally contacted to participate, three from the previous year and three new schools including one in the west metro area suburbs. Due to winter weather conditions, late starts and snow day closures, schools had to reconfigure their schedules and still meet minimum class time and testing requirements. The west metro area school had to withdraw but two other schools were able to arrange training session times during the last two weeks of the school year.
In all but one of the elementary schools, the non-Caucasian 4th grade student population is significant, ranging from 33% to 45%.
A total of 468 students and 24 teachers were reached at 17 training sessions that included several interactivities at each of the schools. Training sessions were evaluated by students and teachers in terms of knowledge gained (4.8), usefulness (4.6), and quality of presentations (4.7). Six self advocates were teachers/trainers, and planned and presented the training sessions. They also evaluated themselves according to IPSII: increased independence = 4.9, increased productivity = 4.8, increased self determination = 4.9, and increased integration and inclusion = 4.8 (both on a scale of 1 – 5; 5 = highest).
An emergency presentation was requested and arranged for a 5th grade classroom at one of the new schools in this year's project due to a bullying incident that targeted a student with a developmental disability. The school principal is interested in adding 5th grade classrooms for tracking purposes; this is being considered for the 2014-2015 school year.
Merrick's partnership with Peacemaker Minnesota continues with a focus on sustainability and developing a strategic plan, including a fundraising component, to strengthen the work being done in existing schools, and expand the campaign to school districts throughout the state. One of the returning elementary schools is a Peacemaker Foundation member and committed to working on a realistic fundraising plan.
- "The presentation was great! The activities were well thought out and planned out. It got the kids up and moving. Very powerful! You have made a difference."
- "The Fourth Graders were mesmerized by your stories. You have inspired all of us to be 'Ambassadors for Respect.' Keep up the terrific work with spreading your important message."
- "Hearing directly from those who were teased and/or bullied was very meaningful to the students."
- "My daughter is two and she was born with Down Syndrome. I absolutely loved the presentation. I could imagine her someday being a leader like the presenters today. They are wonderful role models and accomplishing great things. I will be working with the students throughout the rest of the school year to ensure the message is followed through."
- "I liked when you guys came because it made me realize how I have been treating my stepsister and she has treated me. I hope you can go to her school so that she can hear what you have to say."
- "The acts of kindness activity was my favorite activity."
- "I will tell my friends and family not to say the "R" word and I like the shredding of the hurtful words."
- "Everything you said was very new and I will use this information until I am very old."
- "Thank you for doing the presentation! I think the whole class has learned a big lesson if they have bullied someone."
- "I liked the part where we did the stars because I think it is nice to write down nice feelings that we can do for others."
- "I really liked how the Ambassadors for Respect told their stories and they were a great help to me on how I got bullied on the bus and to stand up for myself and stand up for other people."
- "Today at recess I'm playing with a girl that always gets left out."
3210 Labor Road
Vadnais Heights, Minnesota 55110
7. Training Conferences: The Council cosponsored 11 training conferences during FFY 2014; the total number of attendees was 2,328. The overall rating was 8.8 (10 point scale) and 98% of the participants rated the conferences as useful/helpful.
The Arc United – "Opening Doors – Discovering Opportunities" (communication skills, transition outcomes, employment opportunities, person centered planning)
Arc Kandiyohi County – "Secrets to Our Success" (healthy living practices)
Fraser – "Transition Considerations for Individuals Interested in Post-Secondary Training," "Transitioning to Adulthood…An Overviews," "Safety Series" (personal safety plans and dignity of risk, community safety strategies, personal responsibility and life-long wellness, public transportation and social nuances), and "Self Advocacy and Disclosure"
Reach for Resources – "Leading Your Life with Confidence" (self esteem, personal empowerment and personal strengths, confronting negative stereotypes)
Autism Society of Minnesota – "Autism in Focus" (early identification and intervention, transition to adulthood, employment, effective behavior strategies)
Lutheran Home Association – "National Summit on Senior and Disability Ministries" community integration and religious inclusion, dementia care and individuals with developmental disabilities, end of life planning)
Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota – "2014 Youth and Adult Conference (community safety, nutrition and healthy living, independent living, bullying prevention, fostering friendships and understanding sexuality)
Arc Southeastern Minnesota – "SAM SE Regional conference (understanding choices/making decisions, effective resumés, introductory ASL, responding effectively to bullying)
Center for Inclusive Child Care – "The Institute on Behavior Guidance: Best Practices"
Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota – "Midwest Seizure Smart Summer Conference" (self management techniques and treatment options)
Minnesota Developmental Achievement Center Association – "MnDACA Professional Development Seminar" (aging issues and medical needs, autism, positive behavioral interventions, self advocacy, employment opportunities)
- "A thorough, informative presentation with practical ideas to assist those with disabilities to find employment" (Arc United)
- "This [Safety Series] course will help me prepare for living on campus at college this fall" (Fraser workshop series)
- "The sessions offered help to align my [child care] program to better fit the needs of the children in my care" (Center for Inclusive Child Care)
- "Thank you for the specific guidance related to challenging and aggressive behavior" (Center for Inclusive Child Care)
Suppliers: Arc United, Arc Kandiyohi County, Autism Society of Minnesota, Arc Southeastern Minnesota, Center for Inclusive Child Care, Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota, Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, Fraser, Lutheran Home Association, MnDACA, and Reach for Resources
8. Publications: In FFY 2014, the Council disseminated 6,109 print publications to individuals as well as conference attendees and at presentations. A total of 1,934,695 items were downloaded from the Council and Partners web sites; an additional 36,674 video files were downloaded.
9. E-Government Services: In FFY 2014, a total of 125 items were converted to electronic formats and added to the websites. A total of 306,360 unique visits were made to the Council and Partners websites, and 37,848 visits were made to mn.gov/disability-mn, the one stop website for all state disability programs, products, and services in Minnesota. An additional 45,291 visits were made via mobile browsers.
The GCDD has created a YouTube channel for existing historic videos and new videos with historical significance. A Pinterest link has also been created to Access Press, the Minnesota disability community newspaper, for access to disability history items.
New features added to the GCDD web site included the following:
The ADA Legacy Project: The GCDD's partnership with the ADA Legacy Project dates back to January 2013. "Moments in Disability History" are posted monthly and selected because provide a common ground for the study of disability history and a foundation for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In all instances, segments are taken from the GCDD website and archives of historical documents.
In FFY 2014, "Moments" were posted about the origins of the P&A system, Section 504 and the Rehabilitation Act, Dignity of Risk concept, Lowell Weicker's role in laying the foundation of the ADA, Section 504 regulations, Bengt Nirje and the normalization principle, Wolf Wolfensberger's influence, the self advocacy movement, the Olmstead decision, least restrictive environment (LRE) to most integrated setting, stories of discrimination, and the US Senate bill that became the ADA.
A feature was created about the ADA Legacy Bus Tour stops in St. Paul, Minnesota and photos, and added to the August "Moment in Disability History." A Georgetown University collection of ADA documents was also added to the ADA Legacy Project feature.
Independence to Inclusion: Produced in partnership with TPT public television, this documentary was financially supported by a cy pres fund, created by the United States District Court, District of Minnesota under the Jensen Settlement Agreement. The cy pres fund was designated for educational programming to benefit individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The documentary originally aired in April 2014 and has been regularly rebroadcast through the Minnesota Public Television Network.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Upper Midwest chapter, nominated Independence to Inclusion under the "Documentaries – Cultural" category.
Disability Justice Resource Center: The Center is an online collection of statutes, regulations, case law, and commentaries intended to help the legal community better understand the many complex justice related issues for people with disabilities, particularly individuals with developmental disabilities. The Center was also made possible with the cy pres fund. From May through September 2014, a total of 1,387 visits were made to the website by 1,124 unique users; page views = 3,646.
Convergence of Law and Policy, Core Concepts, Ethical Communities, and the Notion of Dignity: In a video interview, Rud Turnbull discusses the 18 core concepts of disability policy, how those concepts relate to the ADA, IDEA and its predecessors, assistive technology, family support, and aversive therapies; and the relationships that are created and challenged when people are forced to confront each other.
Regular Lives for Families with Children with Disabilities: In a video interview, Kathie Snow discusses a common sense approach to raising children with disabilities and challenges the "special" life that so many families are led to believe is the only way.
Telling Your Story app: Android versions of the app for phone and tablet were released on April 25, 2014. Total downloads for FFY 2014 = 747; total from release = 1,973.
The Humphrey School of Public Affairs in partnership with the Bush Foundation recognizes the work of state agencies and encourages an environment of experimentation and innovation in Minnesota. The "Telling Your Story app was nominated for and received a State Government Innovation Award.
Autism 5-Point Scale EP app: Android versions for phone and tablet were released on September 23, 2014, and Kindle Fire on September 25, 2014. Total downloads in FFY 2014 = 4,322; total from release = 28,489.
Additions to Parallels in Time, Part 2 included:
- "Tools for Life" and "Richard Dodds on Technology"
- "Shifting Patterns" videos and transcripts
- Project Interdependence and "My Uncle Joe" "
- Our Voices Count – Self Advocacy Now"
- The Path to Freedom: The Road Home (30 year history of community living in Michigan)
- Wolf Wolfensberger Gallery of Images related to his "History of Human Services, Universal Lessons, and Future Implications"
Additions to With An Eye to the Past included:
- State legislative summaries prepared by the MDLC
- Monthly "History Notes" articles in the Access Press newspaper
Postings to the GCDD or Partners website included:
- Brief summaries/updates to grant projects/activities and photos (Partners in Policymaking, Cultural Outreach, Self Advocacy, and Employment)
- Putting the Promise of Olmstead into Practice, Minnesota's Olmstead Plan
- Dr. Bill Bronston video about Willowbrook and an article about Rosewood
- Online training module on reasonable accommodations and Tools for Your Future (additions to the Partners in Education and Partners in Employment online courses)
- "Assistive Technology in Action" (added to Partners in Education online course).
- Partners longitudinal studies.
- Assorted historical videos
Features/additions to the Partners in Policymaking® website:
- Online Training Courses: The five basic courses were converted to a Learning Management System to encourage a more thorough review of the courses and give individuals who complete a course the ability to access and download their own Certificate of Completion rather than making a request to the GCDD
- The "Telling Your Story" app is featured with links to the iTunes Store and Amazon, and Google Play (Android versions).
- In a series of six video interviews, Partners graduates speak about the impact of their Partners training, and the knowledge and skills they each personally gained during the program year.
- Activities and Highlights: News items are posted about Partners graduates and how they are putting their Partners learning experiences into practice:
- A Partners graduate was interviewed on the August 29, 2014 segment of Almanac about Governor Mark Dayton's Executive Order to increase the recruitment and employment of individuals with disabilities in state government. Almanac is a Twin Cities public television weekly news and public affairs program.
- "My students use both Parallels in Time and Parallels in Time Part 2 for an assignment. We use them for a cooperative learning exercise to cover the law, the foundations and history of special education – part of the Teacher Education licensure requirements for ALL teachers. More than 40 students each semester for my class alone are reviewing these courses. I know other classes at the University of Cincinnati use these resources, too."
Master Communications Group
3410 Winnetka Ave N, Suite 107
New Hope, Minnesota 55427
10. Customer Research: In FFY 2014, a quantitative survey, Minnesota Special Education Experience Study, was conducted in collaboration with the Department of Education, Special Education Division, to obtain benchmark measures of overall quality and satisfaction levels of the special education experience from the perspective of parents and the students themselves.
Letters about the 2014 survey were sent out to Special Education Directors and parents with a link to the online survey; the survey was also available in Spanish. Additional outreach efforts were made to reach households with students who are receiving special education services with assistance provided by PACER, The Arc Minnesota and local chapters, the Autism Society of Minnesota, Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASE), Partners feedback groups, and customer panels in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In addition, 141 separate recruitment messages were sent to increase the number of survey respondents.
A total of 1,705 respondents completed the 2014 survey; respondents represented urban, suburban, small city, and small town/rural school districts; and students in primary, middle, and secondary grades.
A total of 1,611 detailed responses were received from the open ended questions that asked respondents why they were satisfied or dissatisfied with a student's education experience. Respondents rated the overall quality of the student's education experience (scale of 1 to 9; 9 = highest); satisfaction was related to measures of overall quality.
Many of the stories talked about bullying, positive behavior supports, discipline, and suspensions. These stories were shared with the MDLC and UCEDD, and contractors and consultants working on positive support issues. The stories will also be useful at the state legislature, in college classes, and grant proposals focused on training and capacity building.
Survey results are being used in the United States Department of Education initiative about educational improvements based on data sources. Minnesota is one of few states that is using parent and student input to guide and inform decisions about an improvement project; the project will be an in-depth study about how to improve graduation rates. The Minnesota Department of Education is moving from a compliance focus to a performance focus in how special education programs and services are evaluated.
The 2014 survey also included questions about the incidence of suspensions, and awareness about Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). A total of 876 respondents shared stories that illustrated behavior management approaches. Survey results are also being used in the Olmstead Plan, specifically cross agency work about positive behavior intervention and supports, and related to work already underway at the Department of Human Services regarding a new positive supports rule.
Results of the Minnesota Special Education Experience Study 2014 can be found at https://mn.gov/mnddc/extra/customer-research.htm.
1304 University Ave Northeast, Suite 304
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413
11. Quality Improvement: Working with the Quality Culture Institute in FFY 2014, the following work was completed:
Stakeholder and customer surveys were analyzed for actionable items. The GCDD works to innovate and improve existing products and services, and analyze impact.
Annual Business Results were reviewed and critiqued to identify and understand where and how improvements can be made to increase customer satisfaction and IPSII results.
The GCDD's Organizational Profile was reviewed. The Profile covers organizational structure, relationships including reporting relationships, customers and stakeholders, and challenges including those from strategic and performance perspectives. As the national Baldrige Criteria that apply to government agencies are revised and updated, the GCDD incorporates changes into its Annual Work Plan based on the Five Year State Plan.
Assistance was provided to the GCDD in analyzing all public input received from listening sessions held throughout the state for Minnesota's Olmstead Plan. The public input statements were then converted into goal statements and used in creating the comprehensive Olmstead Plan that contains over 200 goals and objectives.
Assistance was provided to the GCDD in creating a universal set of person centered planning forms that were being considered to fulfill requirements under the Jensen Settlement Agreement as well as the Transition Planning and Person Centered Planning sections of the Olmstead Plan. Bringing together a wide range of stakeholders and identifying existing best practices helped move the discussion forward within several parts of the Department of Human Services in conjunction with counties and service providers.
Benchmarking studies were reviewed.
A chronology of the GCDD's quality journey was completed in FFY 2014. Lessons learned from this journey that began in 1997 are shared to guide businesses and other organizations that are thinking of adopting a quality improvement process.
Training on Quality: GCDD staff/members received a total of 460 person hours of training – 441 person hours of core learning on DD issues and 19 person hours of training on quality principles/Baldrige Framework.
Stakeholder Survey: A stakeholder and customer satisfaction survey was conducted by the Department of Administration (1-5 scale used; converted to a 1-6 scale). A total of 150 individuals were asked to complete the survey and 109 responses were received.
Council activities were evaluated in in terms of improving the ability of individuals with developmental disabilities to make choices/exert control over the services and supports received (4.9), participate in community life (5.0), and promote self determination and community participation (5.0) (scale of 1 to 6; 6 = highest).
A total of 54 distinct comments were made regarding GCDD strengths and two distinct comments regarding opportunities for improvement. Survey data were analyzed for actionable items.
Examples of GCDD strengths noted in responses included:
"The service relationship with the Council is first rate. The Council continues to make an important contribution to public policy debates and advocacy in the State of Minnesota. The Department of Administration should be pleased with the results and continue to support their work. It is a first class office."
"Thank you for your recent work on reforming policies on restraints and seclusion. Our children need champions like you!"
"Our country would have less "to do" about things if more government agencies supported people like Minnesota does."
"The GCDD is providing leadership in many areas including training, advocacy, and involving consumers in the legislative process. We are certainly getting our money's worth."
"We have had the privilege of working with a number of Partners groups in the U.S. and UK. MN is the gold standard."
"An excellent resource for developmental disabilities. The services are outstanding."
"I'm amazed at the quality and sheer amount of information made available to the public."
"Their principled positions, and their persistence and resilience on behalf of people with disabilities are important as well as remarkable, making our state better by the day."
"The information you provide through Partners in Policymaking and your websites has aided teacher preparation programs at San Diego State University. These resources are consistently used and integrated in course content in the preparation of credentialed special education teachers."
Annual Business Results: These Results are based on the Council's annual work plan that is aligned with the Baldrige Criteria. Increases/improvements and trend data in customer results, financial/market results, and supplier results are tracked over several years and represented on charts and graphs for easy reading and comparison. New data results have been added (Facebook/social media, video files, website visits via mobile browsers) in recognition of changing technologies and the manner in which customers seek and exchange information. ROI on website downloads exceeds 10%. Business Results have been reported throughout this PPR and won't be repeated here.
Quality Culture Institute
2603 Institute Road
Rochester, Minnesota 55902
12. Technical Assistance: During FFY 2014, the Council had 3,898 unique customer contacts about individual problems and 59 unique contacts about the Partners in Policymaking program. Considering repeat customers and including the online courses, a total of 18,638 contacts were made. A total of 1,282 compliments were received regarding personal assistance and support, timeliness and responsiveness, and specific products or services.
13. Presentations: During FFY 2014, a total of 17 presentations reached 1,337 people.
The following public policy issues were addressed at the state level during FFY 2014:
- Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act
- Suspension rates of students with disabilities in Minneapolis Public Schools
- Order of selection regarding vocational rehabilitation services
- Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities premium increase
- Executive Order to increase the hiring and retention of people with disabilities in state government
- US Department of Labor Agreement with the Burnsville Workforce Center regarding automatic referral of all individuals with disabilities to disability specific service as a condition for receiving other types of services
- Employment First policy
Health care/health care related
- Fairview University Medical Center's Amplatz Unit exemption from Medicaid payment reduction
- Newborn screening program lawsuit regarding blood spots and testing results
- Department of Human Services (DHS) licensing issues
- IRTS proposal for a Cold Spring facility
- Corporate foster care moratorium
- Licensed respite services in child and adult foster care homes, and respite services in unlicensed sites
- Waiver services housing restrictions
Jensen Settlement Agreement/related issues
- Olmstead Plan implementation
- Rule 40 and positive supports implementation plan
- MSHS-Cambridge closure plan, transition to community settings and transition plan recommendations, and transfer issues
- DHS Positive Support Transition Plan
- Court Order regarding sanctions and the Supervised Living Facility license
- Anoka Regional Treatment Center and Cambridge incident reports
- Jim Conroy materials regarding customer satisfaction surveys
- Funding for the Olmstead Implementation Office
- Rule 40 and 245D regarding "restrictive interventions"
- Minnesota Life Bridge program
- Quality of Life survey for the Olmstead Plan
- Minnesota Sex Offender Program and due process issues
- DHS gaps analysis
- Waiver rates
- 24 hour rule
- Transfer of Fiscal Support entities to 245D providers
- Community First Services and Supports, and "constant" supervision language
- Disability Waiver Rate System
- Section 1115 Waiver regarding spousal anti-impoverishment
- 5% funding increase for community service providers
- State Quality Council
- Parental fees
- Monitoring technology
- Community First Choice option
- Unlicensed home health care providers
- CAC waiver renewal and additional services available
- Non-visual access standards
- State Quality Council
- Medical Assistance income standards and asset limits Sale of Cambridge property to MnSCU for a trade school
- "Unsession" initiative
- Centralized Accommodation Fund
- Guardianship and right to marry
- Suspension of death investigations at state licensed facilities
- Unionization of home care workers
- Teen trafficking/prostitution ring in St. Paul
- Open meeting law and social media
The following public policy issues were addressed at the federal level during FFY 2014:
- Race disproportionality and special education
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Keeping All Students Safe Act
- Proposed conforming rules regarding Infant and Toddler Services under Part C
- US Department of Education discipline guidelines
- Workforce Investment Act
- US Department of Labor 7% utilization goal regarding employment of individuals with disabilities by federal contractors
- Executive Order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for federal contact workers
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
- Department of Justice Settlement Agreement with Rhode Island about the rights of individuals with disabilities to receive employment services in the community
- CMS rule on Home and Community Based Services settings
- US Department of Labor rule on companionship services
- CMS guidance regarding Reform 2020
- Application of Olmstead decision to day programs
- IRS ruling qualifying state payments for "difficulty of care" as nontaxable income
- ABLE Act
- Autism CARES Act
- DD Act funding and sequestration
- Durable Medical Equipment Competitive Bidding Program
- US Senator Tom Harkin's study on poverty and disability issues
- US Supreme Court death penalty case regarding an individual with an intellectual disability
- Michigan Walk Index for adult foster care
During FFY 2014, our collaborative activities with the Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC) (P&A Agency) and/or the Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD) included:
- Department of Human Services Partners Panel
- Emergency planning and preparedness
- Information and referral services
- Jensen Settlement Agreement –
- Olmstead Implementation Office
- Olmstead Plan implementation and addressing strategic actions around the seven goal areas in the Plan
- Positive supports rule
- Minnesota LEND grant program
- Partners in Policymaking® classroom training program
- Third Annual Autism & Employment Forum
- TPT premier of the Independence to Inclusion documentary and the Disability Justice Resource Center
- 25th Anniversary of the ADA edition of the Impact newsletter
- CMS Final Rule on Home and Community Based Settings and the State Transition Plan to meet compliance with the Rule
MARKETING OF COUNCIL MATERIALS
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 program.
A total of 7,291print items were disseminated at conferences and presentations. Additions to the Council and Partners websites are posted to Facebook; total of 33,582 Facebook users and 77,393 visits/views.
Updates or significant changes to 126 web pages were automatically disseminated to 2,430 GovDelivery subscribers.
A total of 10,703 visits were made to the online courses.
A total of 306,360 visits were made to the Council and Partners websites, 37,848 visits were made to mn.gov/disability-mn, and 45,291 visits were made via mobile devices.
A total of 1,934,695 items were downloaded from the Council and Partners web sites; an additional 36,674 video files were downloaded.
There were 4,322 downloads of the Autism 5-Point Scale EP app (total of 28,489 since release) and 747downloads of the "Telling our Story" app (total of 1,973 since release).
BUDGET SUMMARY FOR GRANTS
|Partners in Policymaking||$ 210,000|
|Cultural Outreach Programs||40,000|
|EGS, Online Learning, Publications,||156,539|