Molly Woerhlin (Part 1)

Past President of Arc Minnesota

Parent Advocacy in the 1960s

(Run time 1:25)

We were back in the '60s, when this… when these issues were coming to the forefront.

There were certainly a lot of people in State offices and a lot of professionals. I mean there were some openly speaking professionals around in those days who were interested in this. But I think what the parents provided…

We were a state-wide organization. We had no bureaucratic or political constraints, and we were in a position, and we had the sense of urgency. And so what we saw is that we had a very good working relationship and partnership in the '60s and '70s, and then it began to get increasingly more complex, where we would work with members of the Department of Welfare, as they called it then, the Department of Education, and also the rehab unit of government.

And those were sort of the three main ones that we worked with. And we had easy access to the commissioners, and eventually it would get so they would have someone who would specialize in the handicapped or in the institutions and all. So we had many people we could relate to.

And then we had the Governor's office. We always kept a liaison somehow with the Governor's office. In fact, back when Governor Rolvaag was the Governor, we could easily walk in there.

This was another world then, in terms of how busy people were. We could easily almost any day walk into he Governor's office.