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      Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon Leads Effort to Improve the Lives of Minnesotans with Disabilities

      Posted on June 04, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      photo_yvonne_prettner_solon.jpgSpeaking at the Department of Human Services Tuesday, Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon outlined Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan, which will help improve the quality of life enjoyed by Minnesotans with disabilities.

      The plan lays out the state’s goals to ensure that Minnesotans with disabilities have the freedom and opportunity to live independently, to contribute to the workforce, and to become fully integrated into their communities.

      “Those who can live independently should own the choice to live on their own,” the Lt. Governor said. “As a state, we should be doing everything we can to make that possible.”
      The Olmstead Plan takes its name from the 1999 United States Supreme Court decision Olmstead v. L.C. The decision ruled that unjustified segregation of persons with disabilities constitutes discrimination in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In January 2013, Governor Dayton created an Olmstead Sub-Cabinet to oversee the implementation of a plan to better meet the needs of persons with disabilities living in Minnesota.

      On Tuesday, Lt. Governor Prettner Solon, chair of the Olmstead Sub-Cabinet, said that once implemented the plan will have a profound impact on the lives of Minnesotans.

      “More and more Minnesotans with disabilities will have the courage, skills, and support to step forthrightly into their communities, work with purpose and dignity in our local businesses, and reach with confidence for their highest aspirations,” she said.In her remarks, the Lt. Governor also praised state agencies’ ongoing efforts to create a Better Minnesota for persons with disabilities. She noted that between 2010 and 2012 alone, eight state agencies worked together to help over 400 persons with disabilities move out of institutions and into independent or caring group environments — a 62% improvement in just two years.

      “Minnesota can be proud of the progress we have made to treat all people with dignity and respect,” she said. “For those 400 families, that transition to independent living was nothing less than life-changing — a manifestation of their greatest hopes and dreams.”