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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.

Council-Sponsored Grant Activities

Partners in Policymaking Class 37

September 13 - 14, 2019, the kickoff weekend session for Class 37 Partners in Policymaking, was the start of another classroom program year. Thirty-five individuals – 10 self advocates, 23 parents, and two self advocates who are also parents, including six participants from racial/ethnic communities, are participating in this year's leadership training program.

Inclusive Education was the theme and focus for the second weekend session on October 12 - 13, 2018. Participants learned and applied the concepts and principles of best practices in schools and all learning environments, and the rules of civil discourse in difficult conversations and meetings.

The November 15 – 16, 2019 weekend session covered county services, and gave participants the opportunity to learn and practice their communication skills in small group meetings with county commissioners. Participants shared personal stories of their successful experiences with accessing programs and services; the many challenges, difficulties, and delays in getting individual and family needs met; and their vision for the year 2030.

The January 17-18, 2020 weekend session covered personal living, and supported and customized employment. Participants learned about the importance of having a home of your own, ownership options, and creating a positive home environment. Individual interests, strengths, abilities, and preferences were all considered as participants worked through "everyone can work" examples, and the services and supports that might be needed for success in the workplace.

The February 7-8, 2020 weekend session introduced Community Organizing, the key elements of a community organizing strategy, and applying those elements in small group work around Minnesota's Olmstead Plan and the Olmstead Plan Amendment process. Data practices and Parliamentary Procedure, and working with the media were also covered.

Class 37 February Session
Class 37 February Session
Class 37 February Session

Read the Complete Report, and View Photos >>

Class 36 Highlights >>
Class 35 Highlights >>
Class 34 Highlights >>
Class 33 Highlights >>
Class 32 Highlights >>
Class 31 Highlights >>


Cultural Outreach Program in the Somali Community

The Cultural Outreach Program in the Somali community had a very successful first training program year with 18 graduates. HAARAN is continuing to coordinate and carry out this program for the second year. Twenty-one individuals were recruited from Nicollet and Blue Earth counties. Training sessions are again being held in St. Peter, Minnesota where HAARAN is located. The first session was held on January 9, 2019.

Read the Second Year Report, and View Photos >>

Read the First Year Report, and View Photos >>

Cultural OUtreach - Somali

 


Self Advocacy – Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying Campaign

This is the second replication year for the Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying Program. The partnerships that were established with 14 elementary schools during the 2018-2019 school year are being maintained. Ambassadors for Respect from the Next Step and Transition Plus transition programs, and Merrick, Inc. will have the opportunity to build on and strengthen their leadership skills by leading sessions for 4th grade elementary school students at schools that want to continue to offer training sessions.

With additional funding for this school year, outreach to school districts and transition programs outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area is in process to generate new interest in the Program as well as respond to requests made last year to bring the Program to schools in Greater Minnesota.

To date, nine school districts and 21 schools have been identified and outreach is underway to introduce the program in St. Francis, Forest Lake, Cambridge, St. Cloud, and Elk River as well as South St. Paul. Three Education Cooperatives – Buffalo Coop, Sherburne-Wright County Coop, and Rum River Coop will also be approached.

The Ambassadors for Respect Handbook will continue to serve as the guide for replicating the program and training new Ambassadors for Respect to become trainers and teachers in the classroom, sharing personal stories about bullying that they’ve experienced, speaking and modeling respect for all, and fostering self advocacy skills to address and respond to bullying incidents.

In September 2019, the first training session for the 2019-2020 school year was held at Bancroft Elementary School (Minneapolis). Eight Ambassadors for Respect from Transition Plus led the training session with 19 students participating.

During the month of October 2019, eight training sessions were held at Bancroft, Bryn Mawr, Waite Park, and Lucy Laney Elementary Schools (Minneapolis). Between nine and 10 Ambassadors for Respect from Transition Plus led training sessions with 182 students and 10 teachers participating.

During the month of November 2019, four training sessions were held at Castle (Oakdale) and Lucy Laney Elementary Schools (Minneapolis). Between six and eight Ambassadors for Respect from Next Step Transition Program led training sessions with 100 students and four teachers participating.

During the month of December 2019, three training sessions were held at Cowern Elementary School (North St. Paul). Six Ambassadors for Respect from Next Step Transition Program led the training sessions; 40 students and three teachers participated.

Three training sessions were held in January 2020 at Richardson Elementary School (North St. Paul). Seven Ambassadors for Respect from Next Step Transition Program led the training sessions; 59 students and three teachers participated.

During the month of February 2020, two training sessions were held at Bel Air and Webster Elementary Schools (New Brighton). Seven Ambassadors from the Next Step Transition program led the training sessions with 54 students and two teachers participating.

During the month of March 2020, two training sessions were held at St. John the Baptist and Webster Elementary Schools (New Brighton). Five Ambassadors for Respect from Merrick and seven Ambassadors from the Next Step Transition Program led the training sessions with 63 students and two teachers participating.

Read the complete 2019-2020 Program Report >>
2019 Program Highlights >>
2017 Program Highlights >>
2016 Program Highlights >>
2015 Program Highlights >>
2014 Program Highlights >>

Ambassadors for Respect Ambassadors for Respect

Employment

The Discovery Process serves as a person centered planning tool, a strategy for learning about a person's interests and talents, and the skills that he/she would bring to the workplace. Each person's school, volunteer, and past work experiences are important in identifying vocational themes to create a match between a field of work and the job seeker's areas of interest. This is a process that builds on personal strengths and abilities and, through informational interviews, offers the opportunity to learn what a specific job before deciding if a match would be a good one.

In 2018, twelve adults found employment through the discovery process in jobs of their choosing. They worked between eight and 23 hours per week, earning between $9.65 and $ 15.00 per hour. Four transition students found competitive jobs, one student had a paid work experience while he was in school, five students worked through a modified discovery process, and four students completed postsecondary education classes.

2019 Project Year and Success Stories:

Precious
Precious, employed at Red Lobster
Nick
Nick, employed at Valley Bike and Ski
Shelby
Shelby, employed at Cub Foods
Robert
Robert, employed at East Side Neighborhood Services

Read the Complete 2019 Report >>

2018 Program Highlights >>
2017 Program Highlights >>
2016 Program Highlights >>
2015 Program Highlights >>
2014 Program Highlights >>
2013 Program Highlights >>


Grant Activities Archive >>

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

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

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