Calendar of events

Input on Olmstead Plan sought from people with disabilities, others

Input from individuals with disabilities, their families, advocacy organizations, service providers and others is being sought on modifications to a plan that will help Minnesota develop the next generation of opportunities for people with disabilities. A subcabinet of state agency leaders led by Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon is holding listening sessions throughout the state over the next several months. The next session will be held Monday, April 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building in Room 2380.

The working draft for Modifications of the Olmstead Plan is available on the documents page of the Olmstead website. Three documents available:

  • • The first document is a full draft where modifications are noted with underlined text for new items and strikethroughs for items to be removed.
  • • The second document is a full draft where modifications are not identified with underlines or strikethroughs.
  • • The third document includes a summary of the proposed modifications to the Plan as well as a timeline of the process. This summary document is intended to help guide those users that cannot view the underlined text or strikethroughs.
  • The subcabinet is particularly interested in hearing from people with disabilities and their families about what things need to change in the system regarding housing, employment, transportation, supports and services, and community engagement. The listening sessions will also provide a forum for stakeholders and providers to discuss necessary system changes for improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

    Minnesota has long been a leader in services for people with disabilities and continues to look for opportunities to help people live as independently as possible and have choices about their lives. As part of the settlement of a 2011 federal court case involving the treatment of clients at a DHS facility, the state set out to develop an Olmstead Plan. The plan is not only intended to carry out the actions agreed to in the settlement but also to chart a course that will help ensure Minnesotans with disabilities have the opportunity to learn, work, and enjoy life in the most integrated setting.

    More information about subcabinet listening sessions is on the Olmstead Plan website. Comments on the modifications to the Olmstead plan can be sent to until Tuesday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m.

    'Independence to Inclusion' documentary premiers

    Twin Cities Public Television (TPW) recently premiered “Independence to Inclusion,” a documentary that explores how Minnesota can move beyond independence and toward inclusion in schools, the workplace, and communities for thousands of Minnesotans with developmental disabilities. “Independence to Inclusion” is dedicated to the memory of Ken Kohnstamm, for his work on behalf of people with disabilities and the leadership he displayed in the Jensen Settlement Agreement (PDF) discussions.

    The program was produced with the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities.

    Kohnstamm served as the state’s lead attorney in the Jensen lawsuit and settlement and spent 39 years with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. He and plaintiff’s attorney Shamus O’Meara are credited with creating the cy-près fund, which was used to support the development of “Independence to Inclusion.”

  • “Independence to Inclusion” next airs on the TPTMN channel Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m.; or check the TPT website for other upcoming showings. The full documentary is available online.
  • Other air times are:
  • • Sunday, May 4, 1 a.m., MN Channel 2.2
  • • Sunday, May 4, 7 a.m., MN Channel 2.2
  • • Sunday, May 4, 1 p.m. , MN Channel 2.2
  • • Sunday, May 4, 12 noon, Life Channel 2.3
  • Deaf and hard of hearing events

    The Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division sponsors a variety of training sessions and other activities for people who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing or a caregiver. More information about the training is online.

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