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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.

The State directs all Minnesotans to go to these websites for information about the coronavirus.

MN Dept. of Health:


The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities presents a new documentary, Hadamar: The Forgotten Holocaust, detailing Hitler's extermination of people with disabilities

On September 1, 1939, World War II began with the German invasion of Poland. On September 1, 2020, the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities is releasing a new documentary entitled, Hadamar: The Forgotten Holocaust. This documentary focuses on Adolph Hitler's order to kill hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities in order to create a master race.  Deaths occurred in various hospitals including Hadamar. We gratefully acknowledge Dave Reynolds from Spokane, Washington who generously provided us with his lecture notes and PowerPoint, and to Tim Lewis from Mastcom for converting that lecture into a 16 minute documentary.

US Senator David Durenberger reflects on the 30th anniversary of the ADA

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities has archived historical videos and documents since the 1990s. The latest interview features former US Senator David Durenberger reflecting on the 30th anniversary of the ADA.

He began his Senate career by addressing women's discrimination and then disability discrimination; how people with disabilities became his friends and influencers; how the ADA passed; and the impact of the ADA. To those who opposed passing this civil rights legislation, Senator Durenberger asserts, "We cannot afford not to pass the ADA and enable people with disabilities to be employed."

Senator Durenberger
US Senator David Durenberger

The "Telling Your Story" App Has Been Updated

We are pleased to announce the release of an updated and simplified version of the "Telling Your Story" app.  In six easy steps, create your personal story, tell how a policy issue affects you or your family, add a photo, and send  your message directly to your elected public official.

iOS Version for iPhone and iPad available from the App Store

Android version for phone and tablet available from Google Play

Telling Your Story Banner

Three Disability Rights Songs to Honor the 30th Anniversary of the ADA

Five years ago, the Council posted 31 monthly segments describing critical events leading to passage of the ADA.

This year, the Council has asked Jeff Moyer, troubadour of disability rights, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ADA by selecting three original songs. We invite you to read his memories and listen to his music.

Song #1: "ADA Anthem" released on July 26, 1990

Thanks to the intercession of the late Justin Dart Jr., I was invited to play my song, "The ADA Anthem", on the day of the signing. It was premiered at the U.S. Senate reception for the Congressional and disability rights community leaders who brought the ADA to fruition. I taught the song to the audience in that stately Senate chamber after Senators Kennedy, McCain, and Harkin spoke.

Justin Dart Jr. died June 22, 2002. I was honored to be invited to play "The ADA Anthem" in 2012 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, when Mr. Dart's battered wheelchair became part of their permanent collection.

Read the full story, and hear songs two and three…

Interview with Ann Turnbull

Produced by the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

Ann Turnbull

Dr. Ann Turnbull has been a professor, teacher, researcher, and advocate for individuals with disabilities, their families, and service providers for four decades. She is co-founder of the Beach Center on Disability and Professor Emerita at the University of Kansas. She has served as Principal Investigator for more than 25 federally funded research projects; authored 34 books, including two textbooks in the field of special education, and more than 340 articles; and held leadership positions on more than 50 boards of national organizations.

She is the parent of three children, one of whom, Jay (1967-2009), had multiple disabilities. In large part, what the Turnbull family learned from and about Jay influenced Ann's research that continues today and has withstood the test of time. Through trial and error, and taking advantage of multiple grant opportunities and other research studies, Jay had what his family most wanted him to have – a dignified and "enviable life."

In 1988, Ann began her research on family quality of life with a focus on maternal characteristics. The initial research study included 33 focus groups of families with children with disabilities and without disabilities, and 34 interviews with non-English speaking families. A national survey was then designed and conducted in seven states with 500 families of children with disabilities. From that survey, a definition of family quality of life was created along with a Family Quality of Life Framework consisting of five domains and 25 indicators.

Professor Turnbull is recognized as a leading family researcher on the topics of family support, family quality of life, family-professional partnerships, and community inclusion. She is a visionary whose writings are human interest stories that reflect real, authentic life.

Family and Professional Background
An Enviable and Dignified Life
Strengths and Challenges, inclusion and Segregation
The Real Beneficiaries of Research Grant Funds
Family Partnerships and Culturally Responsive Leaders
Enhance Social Justice, Keep Your Passion, Pursue Dignity
ADA, IDEA, DD Act Anniversaries
Changes in Education, Work, Community Life, Language
Everyday Schools, Everyday Work Settings, Everyday Community Programs
Build Family, Lead with Dignity, Seek Relationships

510 Videos Now Cataloged and Available Online

With the assistance of Mark Snow, the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities identified and organized the entire collection of  videos that are available on various web pages and different locations on the Council website.  An index was then created so the collection could be accessed at a single location and according to the following topics:

Over the past five years, more than 350,000 video views have been reported. Consistently, over that time period, the Willowbrook and Marc Gold videos have been at the top of the video viewing list.

Willowbrook Exposé

Willowbrook Exposé
In 1966, the investigative work and reporting of Geraldo Rivera captured the media's attention in the Willowbrook Exposé and marked the beginning of the end of New York's Willowbrook Institution.

Living In the Feedom World - Don

Marc Gold: "Try Another Way."
In the 1970s, Marc Gold developed and presented three day workshops on a new systematic training approach – "Try Another Way." This system provided an organizational framework, instructional strategies, and a value base for teaching persons with even the most severe disabilities to perform sophisticated tasks or competencies.

Xochil Flores

Xochil Flores on Medicaid
In 2018, Xochil Flores said her seven-year-old daughter wasn't expected to survive when she was born. With Medicaid's help, her daughter has learned to walk and speak Spanish, English, and use sign language.

Treat People Like People

Abuse Stops With Us

The Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (OMHDD), with support from the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, announces:

A Prevention of Abuse Campaign

The Prevention of Abuse Campaign is available for review and can be accessed at

Listen to their experiences. Hear their stories.

Treat People Like People
Abuse Campaign Poster
Abuse Campaign Poster

A Complete Bill of Rights Training Package Now Available

Bill of Rights situations

Minnesota's Olmstead Plan was developed to ensure that people with disabilities are living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting. Prevention of Abuse and Neglect is one of the topics included in a comprehensive plan to educate people with disabilities and their families, mandated reporters and the general public about how to identify and report abuse, and how to prevent it from occurring.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) supports the concept of a public education campaign for individuals with disabilities, families, providers, and advocates that addresses prevention and includes a discussion about rights. The Council, in collaboration with the MDH, produced this package of resources around the Bill of Rights for Supervised Living Facilities:

  1. Easy Read Guide The Guide is a simplified version of the Health Care Bill of Rights for Residents of Supervised Living Facilities. The 25 rights are presented in plain English with images that help to explain each of the rights
  2. Know Your Rights Persons Served Workbook The Persons Served Workbook explains what each right is about and includes lessons to aid in understanding.
  3. Know Your Rights Instructor Handbook The Instructor Handbook is a resource for staff, families, guardians, advocates, and educators to help persons served understand their rights, recognize and report instances of abuse and neglect, and help with prevention efforts.
  4. Situational Videos: In January 2018, four video segments were released about the Right to Refuse Care, the Right to Freedom from Maltreatment, the Right to Complaints/Grievances, and the Right to Personal Property.

Right to Refuse Care
(Access audio description version)

Right to Freedom from Maltreatment
(Access audio description version)

Right to Complaints/Grievances
(Access audio description version)

Right to Personal Property
(Access audio description version)

NOW AVAILABLE – The remaining 10 Rights. Each of these Rights is closed captioned and includes an audio description.

The Right to Information About Your Rights
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Courteous Treatment
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Appropriate Healthcare
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Your Treatment Plan
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Communication Privacy
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Services for the Facility
(Access audio description version)

The Right to Other Services
(Access audio description version)

One Minnesota Study

What Does ONE MINNESOTA Mean for People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families

On January 9, 2019, two days after his inauguration, Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 19-01, Establishing the One Minnesota Council on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. He stated:

In Minnesota, we know we are all better off together.

Our state must be a leader in ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to thrive. Disparities in Minnesota, including those based on race, geography and economic status keep our entire state from reaching its full potential. As long as inequities impact Minnesotans' ability to be successful, we have work to do. Our state will recognize its full potential when all Minnesotans are provided the opportunity to lead healthy, fulfilled lives.

The vision of One Minnesota provided the opportunity for people with developmental disabilities and family members to share their experiences and insights with the Governor Walz administration. Here is what we heard directly from the 45 respondents selected to match the state demographics:

"There needs to be a fundamental shift in the way the state perceives individuals with developmental disabilities – from a cost to society, to an opportunity for inclusion that will enhance the quality of life for all Minnesotans."
"Create awareness among all Minnesotans of the importance of including people with developmental disabilities in the One Minnesota promise."
"Focus resources and efforts on identifying fulfilling opportunities for employment and earning a livable income, which will drive inclusion and enable more independence for people with developmental disabilities."
"Educate service providers on the importance of having a customer service mentality and proactively informing people with developmental disabilities of the services and supports to which they are eligible."
"Assure that all services and supports for people with developmental disabilities are equally available and easily accessible everywhere in the state."
"Include people with developmental disabilities and/or their families and advocates in policymaking processes and decisions."

View as Slides    PDF Version    Text Version

With an Eye to the Future

The Future of Disability Rights, Activism, and Inclusion in the 21st Century

The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities is pleased to announce the launch of our 2018 Legacy-funded Project, entitled "With an Eye to the Future." Welcome to the future of disability rights, activism, and inclusion in the 21st Century!

"With an Eye to the Future" begins in 2000 where the previous Minnesota history feature, "With an Eye to the Past," ended.

With an Eye to the Future
With an Eye to the Future
With an Eye to the Future
With an Eye to the Future

"With an Eye to the Future" offers over 750 documents, more than 20 interviews, numerous presentations by subject matter experts, and most excitingly, a brand new story section featuring 120 segments filled with events, debuts, or descriptions of the actions that have shaped our understanding of and approach to developmental disabilities from 2000-2018.

Highlights include:

  • Major media stories,
  • Lawsuits,
  • Legislative changes, and
  • Research results.

"With an Eye to the Future" was funded by the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment. The generous funding of $55,000 allowed us to go beyond our promises to the Legislature, and deliver a true "legacy" project.

A "legacy" is a connection between generations – it remembers the past, shapes the present, and influences the future for the better. It is up to us to shape the 21st Century so that the future we pass on is filled with opportunity, equality, and inclusion.

We invite you to visit "With an Eye to the Future" at .

Ed Roberts Day, January 23rd

Ed Roberts

Ed Roberts was a pioneering leader of the disability rights movement. Ed declared that people with disabilities are fully human; that they have a right and a responsibility to take control of their own lives, to help build a new culture in which they and all people participate fully in the leadership, the labor, and the fruits of society.

On December 15, 2010 the United States House of Representatives declared January 23, 2011 as "Ed Roberts Day." In celebration of this day in 2017, we are pleased to share additional glimpses into Ed's life, in story and photos, as told by his son, Lee Roberts.

Ed in Russia
Ed Roberts in Russia
Ed as a kid
Lee Roberts (center), with his uncles (Ed's cousins) Jerry McManigal and Kenneth McManigal
Disability Justice

The Disability Justice Resource Center

An online resource for everyone interested in learning more about the rights of people with developmental disabilities and protection of those rights.

The Disability Justice Resource Center has been created as an educational resource to increase awareness and understanding of the unique and complex issues related to justice for people with disabilities, particularly people with developmental disabilities. For the legal community, the Resource Center could be used to identify and eliminate biases against people with disabilities, for continuing legal education courses, and by law schools and students.

This online resource is divided into several sections:

Justice Denied

Basic Legal Rights

Working with People with Developmental Disabilities in the Justice System

Disability Justice Center Faculty

The Video Index covers a range of topics from an historical perspective, to continuing issues regarding segregation and discrimination, to discussions about courtroom access and accommodations. The themes of equal justice, and human and legal rights are interwoven throughout, and reflect the personal experiences of self advocates as well as members of the legal profession.

MNDDC on Facebook

©2020 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
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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.