Jerry Walsh

First Executive Director of Arc Minnesota, describing the major reasons they succeeded in gaining additional funds for staffing at Institutions

(Run time 1:25)

One reason was, we did a study, sort of a photograph a snapshot rather, of each building housing residents on every shift—and on Saturdays and Sundays. We went into the institutions, a particular building, and said, "How many people are working here today?" "Well, we have four people." "How many residents? Oh we’ve got 80. How many do you usually have? How many are you supposed to have?" "Well, we’re supposed to have another ten percent."

Because if you talk about how many people are assigned to that building, including holidays, vacations, weekends and everything, and boil it down to each shift, how many shifts there were—it was hardly anybody. That had a big impact on the legislature, and we were able to get a big increase in the number of people working on the individual wards. And the pay… Well, yes, we did have some influence there.

The federal funding became strongest in 1972 with eligibility for medical assistance by/for residents. Prior to that, the parents in private institutions, opposed to state institutions, had paid substantially more than if your child was in the state institution.