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Quality of Life Survey

Minnesota Olmstead Quality of Life SurveyThe Olmstead Quality of Life Survey tracks and evaluates the quality of life for people with disabilities who receive services in potentially segregated settings.

A segregated setting is a residence, school, workplace or social activity meant to include only people with disabilities. Segregated settings often have rules or protocols that do not allow people to make basic life choices such as what to eat, when to go to bed, where to work, how to spend their time or who to socialize with. Lack of access to the Internet, a computer or even a telephone can further isolate people.

The purpose of the survey is to ask Minnesotans with disabilities: "What affects your quality of life?" 

The 2020 Olmstead Quality of Life Survey report compares results with past surveys beginning in 2017. The report recommends that the State of Minnesota do the following to address five key areas in need of improvement: 

  • Continue to focus on shifting decision-making power to people. 
  • Find ways to increase the number of social outings and personal relationships enjoyed by people with disabilities. 
  • Invest in increasing options for work, school and other activities. 
  • Ensure access to technology for all.
  • Improve data-tracking systems to ensure people are in a setting that best fits their needs and preferences.

In a year when all Minnesotans struggled with restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey showed many people with disabilities were disproportionately affected. Some were more isolated than ever due to a lack of access to online communication tools.

Others felt that people without disabilities would finally understand the frustration and emotional toll of having little choice in many areas of their life. As one survey participant said, “We have a mutual emergency to deal with. It’s brought everyone into the same boat, common ground. It makes me feel more equal.”

People who agree to be interviewed for the survey provide critical information for State Agency leaders and legislators to understand how to offer the best array of options for a diverse group of individuals.  

Learn more about the survey

You can learn more about the Minnesota Olmstead Quality of Life Survey:

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