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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.


Senator John Hoffman, Chair
Ashley Bailey
Alex Bartolic
Marrie Bottelson
Emilie Breit
Mary Hauff
Pamela Hoopes
David R. Johnson
Eric Kloos
Jim Lovold
Barb Lundeen
Lynne Megan
Alexandra Morrissey
Kate Onyeneho
Carolyn Perron
David Quilleash
Mary Raasch
Robbie Reedy
Jacqueline Rightler
Linda Simenstad
Bonnie Jean Smith
Michael Stern
Katheryn Ware


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 $ 1,012,073 from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) for FFY 2015. 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 2015, Class 32 graduated nine self advocates and 16 parents; 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 4.4 to 4.6; productivity increased from 4.1 to 4.6; self determination increased from 4.2 to 4.7; and integration and inclusion increased from 3.3 to 4.4. 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).


1. I have my own apartment and an AA Degree. The Partners experience was priceless. Thank you for being so kind and accommodating.

2. This class has been incredible. I didn't realize I would be helping myself by being in Partners. I have never felt so safe or felt such a sense of trust, sitting around evenings, everyone just talking; I've never seen anything like this. 

3. Partners has changed my life. You are my idols. You can't imagine how you have changed my life (sang a song made up in the shower the night before).

4. When my son was born, three things happened –

  • The neonatologist said that my son had a poor diagnosis; surgery was not   recommended, just palliative care. 
  • My friends shared the "Welcome to Holland" story about planning a trip to Italy but landing in Holland, having to learn from a different set of guide books, feeling the loss but also having to move on to enjoy what this new  experience offers; but I said that's not my son. 
  • Parents believed in old standards and had old expectations.
  • My child was less than. I felt that I needed to change my life plan.

    Being here at Partners, I learned there's not a less than. We all have dreams.  Being with self advocates who meet the everyday challenges has been so rewarding and so encouraging. We have so much power with each other. We  can help each other and grow as a community.

5. I'm reminded of how, seven years ago when my son was diagnosed with autism, I was there alone. No one told me what to do/what happens next.  It took me  years of reading, attending every support meeting, talking with every parent about resources. Then my second son was born and also has autism.

I learned more here than in those seven years. It's the first time I found all of the resources right here. You told us what our rights are, how to get them and how  to maintain and protect them, and how to teach others. Thank you for making us informed citizens.

6. Many thanks to everyone. I have learned from each of you. I am very happy but also very sad because we won't see each other. I am very grateful and feel very blessed to have been part of this class.

My life has changed.  I love my son more than ever. Thanks to all of you for the experiences you shared.  I know you will help me if needed.

Partners Graduate Workshops

A Partners graduate workshop, Working with the Media, was offered; 15 graduates participated and 13 graduates attended a followup coaching session, Participants rated knowledge gained at 4.6; usefulness at 4.8, and quality of the training at 4.7. In terms of IPSII – increased independence = 4.3, increased productivity = 4.2, increased self determination = 4.3, increased integration/inclusion = 4.4.


  1. I learned how to effectively reach the media to educate the community and approach the media.
  2. How to frame my message and then getting the better phrased message out to the public were important takeaways.
  3. Keep negatives out to help my greater good, inform people, and achieve greater success.
  4. I gained new perspectives about news people and their characteristics to deliver great sound bites that can be used in the media.

Government Training Services/GTS Educational Events
2233 University Ave West, Suite 150
St. Paul, Minnesota 55114

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.


In anticipation of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a survey of Minnesota Partners graduates was conducted to learn of the impact of the Partners program on their personal lives as well as the many ways that the ADA has resulted in their greater inclusion and integration into the community and society at large. A new publication, Partners in Policymaking® Changing Lives. Changing Policies, was created, incorporating more than 200 impact stories and testimonials that speak directly to the long range benefits of the Partners program. and released on the Partners program

There are more than 27,000 self advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities, nationally and internationally, who have graduated from the Partners program. The publication was released on the 25th Anniversary of the ADA and has been disseminated to Partners faculty and coordinators, and Minnesota Partners graduates.

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. The listserv provides a networking opportunity and information exchange for subscribers about accomplishments; "how to" suggestions; announcements for conferences, training seminars and meetings; and public policy alerts. Subscribers connect with each other on topics of concern at state or national levels and share information about public policy issues that impact individuals and families.

In FFY 2015, there were 420 subscribers to the Partners listserv.

Surveys of current subscribers are conducted on a quarterly basis. Impact can be measured by survey results - 99% of survey respondents said the listserv was useful and helpful, and 99% said the listserv provided a learning experience.


  1. Excellent networking opportunity for people to share ideas with each other and learn new techniques.
  2. Continues to be a very good way to connect with people who can provide lots of information on issues that everyone with a disability deals with every day.
  3. Appreciate all the great information shared. I work at a UCEDD; the information is very valuable to what I do throughout the week.
  4. This keeps me up on issues I wouldn't necessarily see and is invaluable!!!

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

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.

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.


  1. "The news stories are very helpful. There are so many articles I would never see without being on this mailing list."
  2. "This is a valuable tool full of great information that helps us with our advocacy within the greater disability community."
  3. "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."
  4. "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."
  5. "I do find the newsletter helpful. It is interesting to see what is happening outside our small world here in Minnesota."

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

Partners Online Courses

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

Partners faculty incorporate suggestions from the Integrating Online Learning module into presentations and interactive learning exercises.

Partners participants are encouraged to review the courses to supplement and reinforce their classroom learning. The courses are also used by participants who have missed all or part of a weekend session.

In FFY 2015, a total of 7,900 visits and 19,761 page views were made to the online courses. A total of 452 compliments were received, and 361 Feedback Forms completed with ratings for IPSII, a measure of impact - independence was rated 4.3, productivity was rated 4.3, self determination was rated 4.3, and integration and inclusion were rated 4.3 (5-point scale).

The "Telling Your Story" app teaches the steps for writing one's personal story and relating it to a specific public policy issue. The story can then be emailed to elected public officials/other policy makers.

The app is available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and Kindle Fire; and Android versions for tablet and phone. Total downloads for FFY 2015 = 594; total downloads since first release date = 2,568.

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 696 unique visits were made to the Public Policy page; 4,875 visits to the Capitol Focus blog, and 197 Facebook users were reached. The app was also promoted at Tuesdays at the Capitol where 380 individuals attended for the 11 Tuesdays held during the 2015 legislative session.


Partners in Making Your Case

  1. "Step by step instructions on how and what to use for planning effective advocacy strategies."
  2. "Appreciate the on demand accessibility, visuals for printing, and organized materials for successful action."
  3. "Provided multiple examples of activism and how to make the most out of the media options available, stressed the importance of social activism and how to become involved in campaigns/groups directed at making changes."
  4. "Learned how to write a letter to my legislator."

Partners in Education

  1. "Helps parents get through the IPE process and educates them about how to handle situations that may take place [in IEP meetings]."
  2. "Lots of good resources on how to identify my child's strengths and how to use that to his advantage in the educational process."
  3. "It has certainly increased my knowledge of the entire education process, especially the IEP process and now to better advocate for my child's rights."
  4. "Extremely informative with an outstanding level of multiple resources to answer any questions, and personal stories with personalized strategies that have been successfully implemented."
  5. "Every teacher and every support person in the classroom should be required to read two resources in the course about differentiated instruction and universal design for instruction."

Partners in Employment

  1. "Extremely informative, especially the TED talks, highlights of employee experiences, and tools that individuals with disabilities can use."
  2. "The course included step by step on how to accomplish your goals and career plans; admired and appreciated how well this was put together."
  3. "Laid out the job/career search in a thoughtful, well organized manner."
  4. "It was difficult for me to think about my son's job prospects in the future because he is just three years old. His future needs are still largely unknown. We still don't know what his strengths and limitations will be specifically but it was very encouraging to look at my son's future job prospects in a positive light."
  5. "Gets me thinking my son could really have a real job."

Partners in Time

  1. "It was very enlightening. I had no idea of the abuse that took place no too long ago! I enjoyed reading about the loves of those people that made changes to the care and treatment of individuals with disabilities."
  2. "I learned many things I didn't know about the changemakers and their accomplishments. They are very inspiring."
  3. "Definitely eye opening. I learned some things and makes my think of what I want for my son."
  4. "Appreciated learning about the history of how people with disabilities were treated. I think it's easy to take for granted the amount o courage and hard work it took to bring us to where we are today. It's too easy for people to think where we are is good enough."
  5. "Thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Disability Rights Movement and especially Ed Roberts; video and audio clips made the course much more multisensory."

Partners in Living

  1. The laws about inclusion and community living for individuals with disabilities; videos of success stories about individuals who are living in the community on their own with supports, and leading a great life.
  2. "Taught me more about my rights and the rights of others."
  3. "It really opened my eyes to the different possibilities for my son. It is scary thinking of him leaving home but with proper supports, I can see it happen."
  4. "Examples of people living a self determined life and the variety of options people have when it comes to housing and funding was eye opening; provides hope and the necessary tools for people to become independent and participating community members."

Master Communications Group
3410 Winnetka Ave North
New Hope Minnesota 55427

Longitudinal Studies

In FFY 2015, Dr. Nancy Miller, Metropolitan State University, surveyed Partners graduates from Years XXIII through XXVI (Classes 27 through 30).

Results, based on averages across the four classes, showed 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 and impact, 99% have increased independence, 72% have increased productivity, 92% have increased self determination, and 82% 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 about their contacting or working with public officials on employment issues; 71% responded that they had done so. This aligns to efforts of the Employment First campaign, the Olmstead Plan, and Executive Order 14-14 Providing for Increased State Employment of Individuals with Disabilities.


Impact is also measured by the personal achievements that Partners graduates reported and attribute to their classroom training –


  • Inclusion in school. 
  • My son has graduated from high school and is working on employment.
  • Schooling for my child has greatly improved.
  • We have achieved the greatest success in the areas of education and employment for our son.
  • Academically, our child is thriving in his environment and made his first attempt at employment.


  • Now have full time employment.
  • Changed careers; I now work with people with developmental disabilities.
  • My son is working through his high school in a work experience program that didn't exist until I brought the parties together.
  • My son got a job soon after graduating but lost it, partly because of autism issues.  I still count this as a success because it helped both of us see what kind of work he needs to attain his goals.  He's also gained a lot of insight into his disability, including questioning his diagnosis which I consider healthy. It's slow going but he's very intent on independence.
  • I'm doing better with my employment situation and taking more responsibility for my decisions.


  • My friendships have gotten stronger and I'm a stronger advocate.   


  • We have accessible housing thanks to advocating for waiver services to help pay for additions in my new house for my children with disabilities.

Public Policy

  • I go to the Capitol more than I did before Partners.
  • I have gained the ability to think and work in the political system and the   confidence to be able to network in that area.
  • A better understanding of politics, how it works, and how to influence public policy.


  • I'm more aware of the rights my son has and resources available to him.


  • I'm more aware of the rights that my two children with disabilities have.
  • I have run for school board and have been certified as a parent advocate.
  • As the parent of a teen with a disability, family advocacy has improved 100%.

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

2. Cultural Outreach: The GCDD funded a cultural outreach program in the African American community in FFY 2015. A total of 15 individuals graduated from On Eagles Wings.

Partners graduates are sponsors and continue to serve as faculty for On Eagles Wings. The program is a step to the Partners program. Participants gain a beginning knowledge about some of the topics covered in Partners, are interested in increasing their knowledge and improving/strengthening their personal leadership skills, and can make the much larger commitment to participate in and complete the Partners program.

The state legislative process is the focus of one training session. The State Capitol is temporarily closed due to construction and major renovation; a "Day at the Capitol" was held at the nearby Minnesota History Center. A total of 24 individuals attended, including 14 participants and four State Senators.

The Partners online learning courses were integrated into the classroom learning.The "Telling Your Story" app was presented as a communication tool for creating a personal story and connecting with public officials about specific public policy issues - the waiting list, waiver services, the positive behavior support rule, and the Olmstead Plan.


  1. "Meeting with Senators was exciting and inspiring."
  2. "A leader is to be the voice of people with disabilities."
  3. "A leader is a person who takes charge of life situations."
  4. "I improved my knowledge on how to deal with my child's disability."
  5. "People with disabilities have the same rights as anyone else."
  6. "People with disabilities matter and they can change the world."
  7. "A leaders is someone who sacrifices time and energy for his/her followers to make them achieve their own vision."
  8. "A leaders pays attention."
  9. "I learned how to be a more effective parent for my child in IEP meetings."

Impact can also be measured by the graduates' evaluation of 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 2.4 to 5.0, productivity increased from 2.2 to 5.0, self determination increased from 2.6 to 5.0, and integration/inclusion increased from 2.6 to 5.0. Graduates rated the program as 4.9 for knowledge gained, 4.9 for usefulness, and 5.0 for quality of training.

IPSII, Inc. continues to offer a half day emergency planning and preparedness session as part of the On Eagles Wings training program. This training is based on work completed under a Projects of National Significance grant that funded a Being Prepared Center, a sustainability effort that emphasizes the importance of being prepared and staying safe in weather, health, or other disaster situations, and developing a personal emergency plan.

Participants learned the importance of identifying personal safety issues, reviewed the contents of a Go Kit, were introduced to the Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) training offered by the City of Minneapolis, and given informational materials about the Autism 5-Point Scale EP app. The Council's "Feeling Safe, Being Safe" emergency planning materials were given to participants at this session.


  1. "I learned I should pack an emergency kit and put in a visible space to gain quick access."
  2. "It was good to learn how to protect myself."
  3. "Helpful and useful for my protection and that of my community."
  4. "I learned how to develop my own personal safety plan."
  5. "As a black male, I need this program so we can care about our kids and our North Minneapolis neighborhood."

    IPSII, Inc.
    6611 Lynnwood Boulevard
    Richfield, Minnesota 55423

5. Employment: During FFY 2015, the direct employment of individuals with developmental disabilities included both transition students and adults with developmental disabilities. The Discovery Process, an information gathering strategy that involves seven stages of learning about an individual's interest and skills, was used to identify vocational themes for each individual, and better match or shape employment opportunities that will be successful and productive for the individual.

Three vocational themes are identified for each person; 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 214 businesses were contacted in FFY 2015.

The impact of the Discovery Process approach can be seen at the individual employee level that, hours worked and wages received:

Employment Outcomes:

Transition students:

  1. Paid work through school program (8-10 hrs/week @ $ 7.25/hr); job change to National Sports Center assisting the PGA Head Professional (15 hrs/week @ $8/hr).
  2. Hamline University cafeteria (14 hrs/week @ $8/hr); job change to Home Depot, cart attendant (6-8 hrs/week @ $9/hr); hours increased to 24 -32 hrs/week;
  3. Thrift Store (10 hrs/week @ $8/hr) -> impact: "My life is so much better since I have this job."
  4. Sun Ray Lanes Bowling Alley (2 hrs/week @ $8/hr); hours increased to 4 hrs/week.
  5. Paid work through school cafeteria (7.5 hrs/week @ $8/hr)
  6. Temporary position at the State Fair, groundskeeper (8 hrs/day @ $ 9/hr for 13 days).


  1. Bell Landscaping and Snow removal crew member ($18/hr); job change to warehouse work at Climatech (25hrs/week @ $10/hr); job change to Cub Foods in his neighborhood.
  2. Creek Valley Elementary School, recess and lunchroom aide (10-14 hrs/week @ $12.03/hr); job change to Dominon, a property management company (16.5 hrs/week @ $12/hr).
  3. Jet's Pizza and Wendy's (20 hrs/week @ $8/hr); recently received driver's license, developing PASS Plan to save for a car.
  4. Bergen's SuperValu bagger and carry out (15-27 hrs/week @ $8/hr).
  5. InMotion, data entry specialist (10 hrs/mo @ $10/hr) and free lance graphic design work.
  6. Learn and Play coffee shop with children's play area (15 hrs/week @ $8/hr); her first employer paid job.
  7. Kindercare, teachers assistant (30 hrs/week @ $ 9.50/hr); also has own jewelry business.
  8. Room and Board, maintenance team (20 hrs/week @ $ 15/hr.

Impact can also be measured by how individuals, who worked through the Discovery Process in the previous years or current year and are directly employed, evaluated themselves in terms of IPSII (5-point scale; 5 = highest): Increased independence = 4.5, increased productivity = 4.9, increased self determination = 4.5, increased integration/inclusion = 4.8.

Three transition students were enrolled in postsecondary education programs, all at Community and Technical Colleges. One student is continuing to work toward a two year associate degree in architectural drafting, two students are completing coursework for associate degrees in communications and culinary arts. One student from the first project year began classes to meet general college requirements.

Education/Training Sessions:

Autism Society of Minnesota continued a series of Community Conversations with an emphasis on Greater Minnesota. Sessions in September, October, and November were held in Brainerd, Cloquet, Northfield, Rochester, and St. Cloud; one session was also held in Minneapolis. A total of 81 individuals participated, including 30 parents, three students, and 25 educators.

Employment First Coalition:

Followup Employment Summit on October 20, 2015. A total of 69 special educators representing 11 school districts and vocational rehabilitation counselors attended. The focus was on work incentives and family engagement.

Action plans were developed that reflected Olmstead Plan goals and included increasing competitive employment outcomes by 5%, increasing the number of students with a paid job before graduation, ensuring that 25 students completed Disability Benefits 101(online tool; two estimator segments show how a job or school can affect disability benefits and health coverage; a third estimator helps determine eligibility for MA-EPD) and SSI/SSDI benefits summaries, and identifying a student to share their employment story for an Employment Practice Review Panel Interview session.

Evaluation results: knowledge gained = 4.8; usefulness of information = 4.7; quality of presentations = 4.9 (scale of 1-5; 5 = highest).

Impact is reflected in examples of the most important things learned: The Olmstead Plan as a guide for developing concrete strategies about integrated, competitive employment for all learners; the importance of communication, how to bridge communications, and including everyone in conversations; need for better district data and data analysis

Second followup Employment Summit in January 2015. Three school districts presented accomplishments to date: 25 students completed DB101 estimator segments; one district is holding sessions for students at St. Paul College regarding post secondary education opportunities; one district is focusing on employment for students beginning in 9th grade.

Family engagement workshop, "Work's Possible: The Emerging Landscape of Employment;" 58 participants. Evaluation results: New knowledge - 92% = Yes, useful - 80% = Yes.

A second workshop was held with 51 individuals participating. Overall rating of good to excellent – 96% = Yes; learn new strategies – 74% = Yes; information useful – 80% = Yes.

Two workshop sessions, "Getting ALL Youth Ready for Employment;" 38 participants including 26 educators and eight VR counselors.
Impact reflected in most important things learned: Job development strategies and greater collaboration needed with VR.

Evaluation results: knowledge gained = 3.8; usefulness of information = 4.1; quality of presentations = 4.6.

"Preparing Minnesota's Workforce of Tomorrow by Preparing Youth Today;" 69 participants.

Impact reflected in most important things learned: Customized employment strategies; PASS Plans; begin employment conversations when students are young.

Evaluation results: knowledge gained = 3.9; usefulness of information = 4.0; quality of presentations = 4.4.

St. Paul Transition Resource Fair: Presentation regarding Employment First, Minnesota's Olmstead Plan, and customized employment.

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

Other employment activities in FFY 2015:

Executive Order 14-14:  On August 4, 2014, Governor Mark Dayton issued Executive Order 14-14, Providing for Increased State Employment of Individuals with Disabilities.

The Council drafted the first Executive Order, and worked with a coalition of disability agencies for 18 months in getting the Executive Order finalized and signed.  The impact will be measured through a quarterly reporting mechanism contained in the Executive Order.  State employment has improved since the Executive Order went into effect.

Employment in Scanning/Document Imaging: The impact of what the Council initiated as a pilot project in 2002 is still being felt in both public and private business sectors.

A total of 142 individuals with developmental disabilities are employed at Ally People Solutions, working at the storefront operation in St. Paul or other Ally branch locations (23 individuals).  Six individuals started scanning work during FFY 2015.

A total of 1,534,604 images were scanned, including legal documents, student records, state licenses and other state records, photos, large format maps, and miscellaneous reports.  A major project was completed with the St. Paul Public Schools; scanning work continues with Dakota County.  Projects with the St. Paul Port Authority and Board of Social Work are in process

A total of 25 individuals are directly employed by a competitive business or industry; earning at least minimum wage or prevailing wage and benefits; in an inclusive work environment; and interacting with co-workers without disabilities, customers, or the general public.  A total of 86 individuals are working in teams in jobs in the community. Law firm business is expected to continue.

Ally People Solutions is expecting a 20% growth in market share this next year as two software companies, Mille Lacs Business Solutions and Hemingway Business, are looking for partners that can serve as a source for the labor side of scanning operations.  Two new businesses, the Board of Behavioral Health and Eco Education, will also begin using the scanning/document imaging services offered by Ally People Solutions in FFY 2016.

Other Employment in Scanning/Document Imaging:

Minnesota State Operated Community Services (MSOCS):  Forty-four individuals who are receiving supported employment services are working in contract positions at the Pollution Control Agency (wage increase to $9/hr at a minimum; contract being renegotiated and hope to add step increases); Department of Human Services (Transitional Support Services, Child Support Services, MnSURE, and PHH), Steele County, and the University of Minnesota Law School (seven workers scanning all student services records and financial records).

A scanning project with ABC Bus Company was completed; verified scanned documents are now being shredded.  A one month project with Early Childhood Development was completed; a short project with the Psychiatry Board, scanning investigative reports, was also completed.

Minnesota Project Search:  A joint project of the Departments of Education, Employment and Economic Development, and Human Services, and Administration/Council; representatives from each Department serve on the State Leadership Team. Project Search sites in Minnesota include Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Fairview Lakes Medical Center, Hennepin County Medical Center, and Medtronic.  Mayo/Project Search will begin Fall 2015.

Thirty-nine students were completing internships and rotations at the five Minnesota sites in FFY 2015.  Three of the four participating sites in the 2013-2014 Project year received employment outcome awards at the July 14, 2015 Project SEARCH International Conference – Medtronic (90-99%), Children's Hospitals and Clinics (80-89%), and Avera Marshall (60-69%).

During FFY 2015, a total of 1,036 visits were made to the Project Search website.  The Council sponsors the website -

4. 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 2015, a total of $ 100,000 in federal funds supported the SAM Central and Northwest regions. 

A total of 46 training sessions were attended by 775 self advocates in the Central and Northwest regions on topics including facilitation skills, communication styles and skills, and public speaking; peer-to-peer support; person centered planning; the Olmstead decision, and social change and human rights issues related to Minnesota's Olmstead Plan; decision making; personal empowerment and types of power; personal and group self advocacy goals; disability awareness and systems change; disability awareness and systems change; self advocacy and disability history; legislative process;

A total of 92 self advocates attended training sessions or community events for the first time.  A new self advocacy group held an initial, startup meeting in Little Falls (Central SAM Region) in July; 20 self advocates attended.  An introductory training session was presented on the three pillars of self advocacy – personal empowerment, disability awareness, and systems change.

Training sessions were evaluated by the self advocates; across both regions and on average, knowledge gained = 4.5, usefulness = 4.5, and quality of presentations  = 4.4 (scale of 1-5; 5 = highest).

The impact of self advocacy can be measured by IPSII.  A total of 92 self advocates served as teachers/trainers in many training sessions and evaluated themselves in terms of IPSII: greater independence – 98%, productivity – 98%, self determination – 100%, integration/inclusion – 100%.

The statewide Self Advocacy Conference, "Celebrating 25 Years of ADA," was held on March 27-28, 2015. Thirty different workshops were offered on topics related to Minnesota's Olmstead Plan, health care, basics of self advocacy, and employment; self advocates were teachers/trainers for several workshops; 425 self advocates participated.

Olmstead Academy:  In FFY 2014, Advocating Change Together created an Olmstead Academy with $196,056 in funding from the Otto Bremer Foundation.  Academy activities were designed in consultation with the Council.  The formal opening of the Olmstead Academy on September 15, 2015 featured United States District Court Judge Donovan Frank as guest speaker. 

Teams of Academy participants from each of the SAM Regions identified action learning projects that promoted full community integration. 

Project summaries, what happened, and the impact, what was learned:

Northwest Team: Worked with city planners on three annual community events; new relationships were created.  Impact: People with developmental disabilities can serve and help others; they aren't just service recipients.

Northeast Team: Created a pilot project using taxi vouchers to give people with disabilities the chance to schedule spontaneous transportation; many barriers to community inclusion were eliminated.  Impact: Eliminating 3-7 day advance scheduling resulted in more options and choices to be out in the community and attend activities.

Metro Team: Modified a four session training package designed for self advocates considering community employment rather than segregated work settings. Impact:  Participants identified employment goals and explored work options, and better understood job searching based on personal interests and skills.

Southwest Team:  Panel presentation and play created for school and civic groups about the concept of integration to change community attitudes and break down barriers to integration.  Impact:  Nearly 100 self advocates involved; surveys/ media attention raised awareness about and recognition of self advocates who are already part of the community.

Southeast Team: Peer mentors worked with seven self advocates who had prepared person centered plans and needed assistance in actively pursuing personal goals.  Impact: Success of person centered plans increases with peer-to–peer support

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

Anti-bullying Campaign and Ambassadors for Respect:  Merrick, a supported employment program and Ticket to Work Employer, has promoted self advocacy and self determination since 1997. The anti-bullying campaign was initiated in three elementary schools in the Northeast Metro area, the St. Paul School District, in 2013.  This campaign was identified by self advocates themselves. 

In 2015, ten elementary schools participated.  A total of 596 students and 32 teachers were reached through 24 training sessions; evaluation results across all training sessions and on average showed knowledge gained  = 4.7, usefulness  = 4.6, and quality of presentations  = 4.7.

Merrick's partnership with Peacemaker Minnesota continued with a focus on sustainability and developing a strategic plan.  Ally People Solutions, a storefront business that employs individuals with developmental disabilities and offers digital imaging services under a State of Minnesota contract, joined the strategic planning team to strengthen the work being done in existing schools, and expand the campaign to school districts throughout the state. 

The Ambassadors for Respect presented at the March State Self Advocacy Conference about the anti-bullying campaign and the training sessions offered to fourth grade elementary school students; 44 self advocates attended.

The impact of the anti-bullying campaign can be measured by IPSII.  Nine self advocates, Ambassadors for Respect, were teachers/trainers, planned and presented the training sessions, and evaluated themselves according to IPSII: increased independence = 5.0, increased productivity = 5.0, increased self determination = 5.0, and increased integration and inclusion = 4.9 (scale of 1 – 5; 5 = highest). 

The impact on the Ambassadors for Respect themselves as a result of their teaching/training experiences in the classroom is also reflected in their personal comments:

  1. "Enjoyed every moment.  It felt great working with everyone."  "It was my first experience.  I feel proud getting up in front of a classroom and being an Ambassador."
  2. "Being our first time at this school---I thought it went very well" and "I love being an Ambassador and making a difference in the kid's lives."
  3. "I always enjoy going to the schools and learning from each other.  Ambassadors for Respect rocks" and "I was really impressed with the kids being so involved in the activities."
  4. "If felt a little rushed with each class back to back but I enjoyed working with the classes.  I really like learning from others and being with the kids.  My experience was great!" and "What a great experience—nice to get hugs from the students!"
  5. "It was my first time doing this presentation and I thought I 'nailed it'." 
  6. "It wonderful going back to the school again.  They are great kids and the  teachers are so helpful."
  7. "Every time we go out to the schools I feel we gain more confidence.", "It is great to go to my alma mater and share with them what my life was like and how it has changed for the better." "This was my only presentation this year because I work--it was a great experience."
  8. "Great students they seemed to enjoy it."  "It is nice to be making a difference."
  9. "Great students and teachers."

The impact on students and teachers can be seen in their specific comments about the training sessions:

From 4th grade students:

      1. "I am glad that I saw that presentation because it made me feel better because I got called 'weird' before and I will not be sad anymore."
      2. It changed how I felt about people that are different."
      3. "It helped me not get bullied anymore and you are very BRAVE for sharing personal things like that. I am very proud of your company for teaching kids kind/nice was instead of getting bullied."
      4. "I liked the part when we shredded the hurtful words."
      5. "You made me feel good about myself and gave me good information."
      6. "I have been bullied before and I have been a little bit of a bully (not that much though). I really enjoyed learning. I promise I will never bully anyone ever again. I will always say person with."
      7. "Don't pick on people because they're different. There's no point."
      8. "I liked how everybody got a turn to talk and share their thoughts and ideas."

From teachers:

      1. "Well prepared presentation! The class really liked the variety of activities. It will make them think about how they interact with others. Thank you for coming" (smile)
      2. "Thank you for coming to our classroom! Excellent job everyone! I'm sure the class loved it!"
      3. "Thank you for coming to SJB. I learned many new things. And it was interesting to hear about your experiences. Thank you!!! (smile)"
      4. "You guys were awesome. "I think all of you did very well and that you are brave to speak in front of so many people. You a good job and I hope to see you guys again"
      5. "Well prepared presentation! The class really liked the variety of activities. It will make them think about how they interact with others. Thank you for coming"
      6. "Thank you for shaing your stories and promoting acceptance and respect. Your message is powerful! It is heart-warming and uplifting to see how the students respond. You inspire us all to be Ambassadors for Respect!! Please come back next year! With gratitude."
      7. "It was a nice review from the information we learned last year"
      8. "I liked how everyone got in teams to participate, even us teachers!"

A followup presentation was requested and prepared for 5th grade students at the elementary school where a bullying incident occurred during the previous year –

From 5th grade students:

  1. "I liked when we were in small groups to discuss certain situations."
  2. "I now know where some of the hurtful words came from and why we should not use them when we talk about people with disabilities."
  3. "I learned and remembered better ways to refer to people with disabilities

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

5. Training Conferences:  The Council cosponsored 10 training conferences during FFY 2015; the total number of attendees was 1,830. The overall rating was 8.9 (10 point scale) and 96% of participants rated the conferences as useful/helpful. 

Advocating Change Together Inc. (ACT, Inc.) – "Celebrating 25 Years of ADA," the state self advocacy conference (Social Security and work incentives, person  centered planning, health care, history of civil rights, self advocacy basics personal safety).

Arc Greater Twin Cities – "Creative Housing Conference" (importance of community living, person centered planning, housing funding streams, waiver programs).

Arc Northland – "SAM Self Advocacy Conference" (assertiveness skills, self advocacy movement and types of power, knowing your rights).

Arc United – "Opening Doors, Discovering Opportunities" (personal empowerment, financial health and decision making, employment success stories housing, community involvement).

Autism Society of Minnesota - "20th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference" (inclusion and transition, best practices in mental health, decoding dating, social- emotional information and emotional regulation).

Arc Southeastern Minnesota – "SAM SE Regional Conference" (disability awareness, personal empowerment, health lifestyles, money management).

Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota – "Midwest Seizure Smart Summer Conference;" two tracks offered, one for individuals with epilepsy and families  =and one for service providers (latest innovations in self management techniques current treatment options and resources).

Polk County DAC/Minnesota Organization of Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) – "Leadership and Direct Care Conference" (person centered planning, choice and self determination, crisis intervention).

Reach for Resources – "Finding Your Purpose – Using Your Challenges to Build  Opportunity" (interactive learning to identify personal talents and positive   attributes, strengthening personal leadership skills).

West Central Industries – "U-Empowered Family Resiliency Conference," (basics of self advocacy, local resources, adjusting to changing family needs)


  1. "I'm learning things about self advocacy stuff, about my life and being independent, living in my own world. Liked most hearing the stories from other self advocates, creative sharing, the interaction and everyone voicing their opinion, and learning history." (ACT, Inc.)
  2. "So enlightening, encouraging, and enjoyable. So excited to see self advocates realizing their dreams. Very good overview of Olmstead [Plan] and what it means with changes coming. Money management speaker very focused and gave practical advice. Enjoyed each breakout session and learning a lot." (Arc United)
  3. "Exceptional learning tool." (Polk County/MOHR)
  4. Very helpful as a parent to gain more knowledge and hear stories from other parents thinking about things I forgot about or didn't realize. Loved the college information. Good to know about differences between IEPs and 504 [Plans]" (West Central Industries))

Suppliers: ACT, Inc., Arc Greater Twin Cities, Arc Northland, Arc United, Autism Society of Minnesota, Arc Southeastern Minnesota, Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, Polk County DAC/Minnesota Organization of Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR), Reach for Resources, and West Central Industries.

6. Publications: In FFY 2015, a total of 1,280 publications were disseminated to individuals; and 2,093 publications and resource materials were disseminated to conference attendees and at presentations; combined total = 3,373 print publications. A total of 373,778 educational materials or resources and 70,350 video files were downloaded.

9. E-Government Services: In FFY 2015, Council and website visitors = 375,553 and 61,629 visits were made via mobile devices. 

The website continues to be an outstanding resource as a one stop website for all state disability programs and services.  In FFY 2015, a total of 41,152 visits were made to this website alone.

Features or additions to features added to the Council website:

The ADA Legacy Project: The Council's work in partnership with the ADA Legacy Project that began in January 2013 was completed in July 2015 with the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The final monthly "Moments in Disability History" were posted and included reflections on the ADA shared by federal officials, President George H.W. Bush, and national disability rights leaders; and the July 26,1990 signing ceremony. President Obama's remarks at a reception to mark the 25th Anniversary were added to this feature.

The Council was represented at and participated in several events in Washington, DC - The Road to Freedom Bus at the Smithsonian Institute, Disability Rights Museum on Wheels, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts event and 40th Anniversary of Very Special Arts (VSA) and the VSA Permanent Collection (selected pieces on display); White House Champions for Change; March and Rally at the Capitol, and Hill visits; and the Washington, DC Partners in Policymaking program.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, Perspectives on the 25th Anniversary of the ADA:  This e-publication is a compilation of the "Moments in Disability History."

The Fight for Civil Rights for People with Disabilities: Produced as a free Webinar for the federal Bar Association and other CLE venues, this one hour presentation is a compilation of the "Moments in Disability History," highlighting the key events and influential leaders who pursued the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Included are personal stories of discrimination, and reflections on the lives of individuals with disabilities who not only experienced isolation and segregation but envisioned an inclusive society that would recognize them as fully capable and productive first class citizens.

Disability Justice Resource Center:The Resource Center was funded through a "cy pres" fund dedicated to the development of resources to help the legal profession better understand issues surrounding justice for people with developmental disabilities. The fund was established as part of settlement of the Jensen class action suit, resulting in dramatic changes in the use of restraints and seclusion in Minnesota facilities.

The Resource Center is an online collection of statutes, regulations, case law, and commentaries for diverse audiences, including the legal community, to increase awareness and understanding of the many complex justice related issues for people with disabilities, particularly individuals with developmental disabilities.  The website, originally housed at tpt Public Television, was transferred to the Council website on April 1, 2015.  A total of 14,338 website visits and 841 visits via tpt's You Tube channel were made.

Partners in Policymaking® Changing Lives.  Changing Policies: In anticipation of the 25th Anniversary of the ADA, a survey was conducted of Minnesota Partners graduates to learn about the impact of the Partners program on their personal lives and the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act on their level of inclusion in the community.  "Life changing" and "empowering" were frequently mentioned.  This publication contains the results of that survey, the stories and testimonials shared by Partners graduates, and the history of this leadership training program that with more than 27,00 Partners graduates who are part of a national and international network of community leaders.

Quality and the Baldrige Framework: In a video interview, Bill Harreld, Quality Culture Institute, shares his experience and expertise, and his work with the GCDD on quality improvement and the application of the Baldrige Criteria to the GCDD's work.  Ten video segments talk about the concept of quality improvement, and present the Baldrige Framework and Criteria as a systematic approach for businesses or organizations to begin their quality journey.

Independence to Inclusion: The documentary originally aired in April 2014 and continues to be regularly rebroadcast through the Minnesota Public Television Network. 

The Hervey B. Wilbur Historic Preservation Award: Presented to the GCDD at the Annual Meeting of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), June 1-4, 2015, for Parallels in Time and Parallels in Time, Part 2, that trace the history of disabilities, the attitudes and treatment of people with developmental disabilities that span more than 3,500 years; and the leaders and major movements (parent movement, independent living movement, and self advocacy movement).

Telling Your Story app: Android versions of the app for phone and tablet were released  on April 25, 2014. Total downloads for FFY 2015 = 595; total from release = 2,568. 

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 2015 = 4,255; total from release = 32,705.

Additions to Parallels in Time, Part 2:

The Rowley decision

Philadelphia Inquirer article, "The Deinstitutionalization of Nicolas Romero"

T-4 photos in honor of individuals with disabilities killed in the Holocaust

Index of "Moments in Disability History"

Video clips

Testimonial about a behavior program at Redfield State Hospital and School in     South Dakota

Medicaid timeline

Additions to With An Eye to the Past:

Monthly "History Notes" articles in the Access Press newspaper

Additions to the GCDD or Partners website:

Partners in Policymaking® Changing Lives. Changing Policies.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, Perspectives on the 25th Anniversary of the   ADA

Brief summaries/updates to grant projects/activities and photos (Partners in   Policymaking, Cultural Outreach, Self Advocacy, and Employment)

Partners longitudinal studies

Video interviews with Class 31 Partners graduates about their experiences with  the Partners program and impact on their personal lives

GCDD meeting minutes

Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger's Training Institute Publications Series added to his feature, "The History of Human Services"

Link to the Disability Justice Resource Center and Law Review article, "Improving the Criminal Justice System's Response to Victimization of People with Disabilities" added to the Partners home page

"The Perfect Invisible Victim"

New Hampshire Leadership series video (Partners website)

Positive Behavior Final Rule

AT Fact Sheets added to Partners online courses and resources section

The "Future Face of Employment" web section was converted to responsive design format.

A total of 209 postings were made to the Council's Facebook page.  A total of 61,843 users made 122,320 visits and 7,010 likes were recorded.

The Council serves on the Project Search State Leadership Team; the Team includes representatives from the Departments of Education, Human Services, and Employment and Economic Development.  Five Project Search sites offered internships in FFY 2015; a new site at Mayo will begin Fall 2015.  Project Search website visits for FFY 2015 = 1,036.

Replication of the Partners program is being carried out in 32 states and Washington, DC as well as internationally at sites in six countries.  In FFY 2015, a total of 7,900 visits and 19,761page views were made to the online courses. 

A total of 361 people completed Feedback Forms about the online courses.  Impact can be measured by how individuals evaluated themselves in terms of IPSII: increased independence = 4.3; productivity = 4.3; self determination = 4.3; and integration and  inclusion = 4.3 (scale of 1 to 5; 5 = highest).

A total of 1,280 publications were disseminated to individuals; a total of 2,093 publications and resource materials were disseminated to conference attendees and at presentations; combined total = 3,373 publications.

SiteImprove is used to monitor accessibility and broken links.

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

9. Customer Research: In anticipation of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Council conducted two surveys in FFY 2015 -  one survey with Partners in Policymaking® coordinators to determine the number of Partners graduates nationally and internationally (last survey conducted in 2011); and a second survey of Minnesota Partners graduates to learn about the impact of the Partners program on their personal lives; and the impact of their level of inclusion and integration in the community and society at large as a result of the ADA.

The survey of Partners coordinators showed that more than 27,000 self advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities have graduated nationally and internationally.  These individuals are all part of a network of community leaders working in partnership with their elected officials to achieve positive systems in the way people with disabilities live, work, are educated, and enjoy the benefits of community life.

The survey of Minnesota Partners graduates generated more than 200 personal stories, the impact of the program not diminishing over nearly 30 years with more than 900 graduates.  These stories and the history of the Partners program became the publication, Partners in Policymaking® Changing Lives. Changing Policies.  Release coincided with the 25th Anniversary of the ADA.

The Partners book is available on line and, to date, has been disseminated to 2,158 individuals who are subscribers to GovDelivery (an email notification system).  Print copies were also made available to Partners participants and Council members. More than 2,000 print copies will be sent to Partners coordinators and faculty, and Minnesota Partners graduates in early FFY 2016.


One of the more than 200 stories from Partners graduates about the impact of the Partners program on their lives –

I found out about Partners when my daughter with profound disabilities was more than 12 years old.  I think that Partners was one of the best things that happened to my life.  It changed me and my life completely. It empowered me. It uplifted me. It transformed me into a confident, insistent, proud mother and fierce advocate for people with disabilities. The Partners weekend became my oasis, retreat, life lesson, training, adventure and enlightenment all rolled into one.

When my daughter was born and had problems after a few months, we went from place to place.  We did not have any specific name or diagnosis for her problem.  There was no hope.  Doctors told us she would not amount to anything.  We were told to put her in an institution and forget about her and that she wouldn't live past one year.  We did not heed that advice.  We brought her home.

 When I joined Partners, my whole world changed.  I began to look at her in a  different perspective.  I used to value her life but I was still selling her short.  I didn't realize her full potential.  I thought she couldn't understand many of the things but once I realized how she can enjoy life, we took her to Florida to Disneyworld.

Once we set on our trip, my daughter pleasantly surprised us. Not only did she enjoy the entire trip but she was so happy. She behaved appropriately. It was an eye opener for us. We realized her potential. We started taking her horseback  riding, swimming, many places.  She bloomed into a beautiful flower. Even though she needs help with all daily activities, her understanding has increased.  She is no longer just a passive, non-responsive girl anymore. She is a vibrant smiling, full of life girl.  If I had not done Partners, I wouldn't be the person who I am today. I am serving on many committees, councils and boards.

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

10. Quality Improvement: Working with the Quality Culture Institute in FFY 2015, the following work was completed:

Stakeholder and customer surveys are conducted via Survey Monkey and  analyzed for actionable items. The Council works to innovate and improve existing products and services, and analyze impact. 

Annual Business Results are reviewed and critiqued to identify and understand where and how improvements can be made to increase customer satisfaction and IPSII results.

Benchmarking studies were also reviewed to find innovative solutions.

In FFY 2015, in an effort to expand the reach of what the Council has learned over nearly 20 years in the area of quality improvement and share that experience to a much broader audience, a video interview was conducted with Bill Harreld, Quality Culture Institute.  In the interview, the concept of quality improvement was explained along with the impact that application of the Baldrige Framework, Baldrige Criteria, and core values can have on a business in terms of customer satisfaction and results. 

The video interview is posted as a feature on the Council website and the Council's You Tube channel.  The interview is presented in 10 segments, documents the Council's quality journey, and serves as a teaching tool. 

Training on Quality: Council staff/members received a total of 511 person hours   of training – 496 person hours of core learning on DD issues and 15 person hours of training on quality principles related to the Baldrige Framework.

Stakeholder Survey: The annual stakeholder satisfaction survey was conducted via Survey Monkey; 73 surveys were received with 217 distinct comments about Council strengths and 66 distinct comments regarding opportunities for improvement.  Overall satisfaction with Council activities was rated 5.7; impact on community participation was rated 5.8; and impact on choices/control was rated 5.7 (scale of 1 to 6; 6 = highest).

Examples of strengths:

"Outstanding leadership."

"GCDD is a 'Goldstar' of the disability community, the best in the country, a national model."

"Timely information and referral"

"Advocates, supports, and empowers; responds to customers."

"Educates and informs (through Partners in Policymaking® and online courses);

"Website is world class (history, apps, training resources, best practices materials, apps); a resource for other states."

"Engages the disability community to become involved and have a voice."

"Innovative, agile, person centered thinking and planning."

"Much stronger performance than other state agencies; influences public policy."

Opportunities for improvement included:

"More funding and budget to the Council can expand their resources."

"Marketing and publicity of programs and products; 'blow their horn'."

"More online training and sessions for Partners graduates."

Employer Interviews (defining customer needs, requirements, and expectations):

Face to face meetings with seven employers determined what businesses were directly hiring individuals with developmental disabilities, what is working and not working well in the business environment for individuals and employers, improvements in recruiting/hiring processes, and specific ideas/suggestions to help employers diversify their workforce and include individuals with developmental disabilities.

Interview results showed what might be needed rather than what was actually occurring:

Most businesses didn't have a recruiting process and didn't know how to put one in place.  Some will approach day training programs but "with limited success."

Most businesses admitted concern about current and future worker shortages and want to take advantage of a larger worker pool.

Businesses don't know if they have employees with disabilities; they offer "accommodations" to everyone.

Training in specific areas was identified – leading and working with individuals with developmental disabilities, lateral moves and promotions; understanding "developmental disabilities;" job carving; the ADA and "unconscious bias;" and training for individuals with developmental disabilities about job applications and interviewing.

Annual Business Results: Results are based on the Council's annual work plan aligned with the Baldrige Criteria. Increases/improvements and trend data in customer results, financial/market results, and supplier results are tracked over several years. FFY 2015 Results are available at

Quality Culture Institute
2603 Institute Road
Rochester, Minnesota 55902

11. Technical Assistance: During FFY 2105, the Council had 3,774 unique customer contacts about individual problems and 60 unique contacts about the Partners in Policymaking program. Considering repeat customers, a total of 18,261 contacts were made. A total of 1,219 compliments were received regarding personal assistance and support, timeliness and responsiveness, and specific products or services.

12. Presentations: During FFY 2015, a total of 19 presentations reached 1,285 people.


The following public policy issues were addressed at the state level during FFY 2015:


Centralized Accommodations Fund

State income tax credit for accessibility related home modifications

Hope's bill

MN.IT infographic about the 25th Anniversary of the ADA

Early voting/absentee voting/polling place accessibility


Inclusive Schools Week proclamation

Early childhood education and child care

School readiness and early learning scholarships


MAEPD increases

Competitive employment

ADA Employment Survey

Healthcare/health care related:

Dental benefits and access to dental services

Renewal of PMAP+ Section 1115 Waiver approval (mandatory enrollment of certain MA eligible individuals in managed care

Housing/residential services:

Housing/residential services

Expansion of housing programs

Conditional license for the Minnesota Security Hospital

Lead poisoning prevention

Owatonna and Faribault nursing homes receiverships

Housing and supportive services

Group residential housing services

Statewide Individualized Housing Options Services Plan

Jensen Settlement Agreement/related issues:

Olmstead Plan measurable goals

Positive supports rule

Olmstead Plan implementation funding

State implementation of CMS person centered planning requirements


Wilderness Discovery Resort

Allowable CDCS funded recreational activities and community classes


Waiver funding and waiting list

Parental fees

CDCS expansion

5% campaign

Autism respite services

Disability Waiver Rate System

CADI waiver changes and renewal


MA income and asset standards, and spenddown eligibility

Department of Human Services leadership changes

Legacy funds

Self advocacy funding and expansion of SAM activities

Diversity and Inclusion Council

Prenatal Trisomy Diagnosis Awareness Act

Executive Orders regarding Assigning Emergency Responsibilities to State Agencies and COOP Implementation

Victimization of persons with disabilities

The following public policy issues were addressed at the federal level during FFY 2015:


Restraint and seclusion practices in schools

Department of Justice investigation of the Georgia Network for Education and Therapeutic Support


United States Access Board updates to Section 508 Standards



Student Success Act

Early Child Achieves Act


Grants to states to improve employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) disability related provisions

Employment First policies

Transition to Integrated and Meaningful Employment Act

2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan


ADA Legacy Project

Inclusion paper delivered at Oxford University

Health care/health care related:

Medicaid managed care rules

Dental Reform Act of 2015

Housing/residential services

HCBS settings and State Transition Plan

HUD rental assistance funding

HCBS Quality Measurement project

HCBS Basic Element Review Tool and HCBS Content Review Tool

Medicaid Block Grant proposals

Medicaid Long Term Care Spending for 2013

CMS Informational Bulletin regarding allowable reimbursement for certain housing related services and activities


Department of Labor Home care rule

Department of Labor companionship rules

Medicare competitive bidding practices and exemption for DME providers

Case Management Waiver renewal application package

Transition to Independence Medicaid Buy-in Option

Adult Protective Services Guidelines


State Quality Council funding


DD Act funding and changes in eh allotment formula

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Ryan Budget Plan

DD Act regulations and Final Rule

SSDI reductions

SSI Restoration Act and program integrity

Administration for Community Living reorganization


(with the Minnesota Disability Law Center and the Institute on Community Integration)

Jensen Settlement Agreement

Olmstead Plan

Positive Support Rule

Disability Justice Resource Center

Institutions to Independence documentary

Employment First policy and Employment First initiative

Continuing Legal Education opportunities –

"25th Anniversary of the ADA" (three CLEs) sponsored by the Attorney General's Office, University of St. Thomas, and the Federal Bar Association

"The Fight for Civil Rights for People with Disabilities" (one hour free Webinar) sponsored by the CLE Center

Partners in Policymaking

Self advocacy


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 3,373 print items were disseminated at conferences and presentations. Additions to the Council and Partners websites are posted to Facebook; total of 61,843 Facebook users and 122,320 visits/views. 

Updates or significant changes to 107 web pages were automatically disseminated to 62,468 GovDelivery subscribers. 

A total of 7,900 visits were made to the online courses.

A total of 334,401 visits were made to the Council and Partners websites, 41,152 visits were made to, and 61,629 visits were made via   mobile devices.

A total of 373,778 items were downloaded from the Council and Partners   web sites; an additional 70,350 video files were downloaded.

There were 4,287 downloads of the Autism 5-Point Scale EP app (total of 32,705 since release) and 531 downloads of the "Telling our Story" app (total of 2,568 since release).


            Partners in Policymaking $ 210,000
            Cultural Outreach Programs 40,000
            Employment 80,000
            Self Advocacy 110,000
            Training Conferences 20,000
            EGS, Online Learning, Publications, 157,874
            Customer Research 50,000
            Quality Improvement 20,000
            TOTAL $ 687,874

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©2021 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 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001MNSCDD-03, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.