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Gov. Dayton sets up group to improve community-based services for those with disabilities

Gov. Mark Dayton has issued an executive order establishing a high-level group to improve opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities to live and work in the community.

The group will develop and implement a comprehensive plan "to support the freedom of choice and opportunity to live, work and participate in the most inclusive setting for individuals with disabilities."

This "sub-cabinet" will consist of the state commissioners (or their designates) from these departments:

  • Human Services
  • Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
  • Employment and Economic Development;
  • Transportation
  • Corrections
  • Health
  •  Human Rights
  • Education

Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon will chair the group. 

The group's mandate: to come up with a plan that "that uses measurable goals to increase the number of people with disabilities receiving services that best meet their individual needs and in the most integrated setting."

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1999, in the Olmstead case, that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires states to place people with in community settings, rather than in institutions, whenever appropriate.

The governor noted that while the state has taken steps to accomplish this, barriers still exist and more work must be done. The group will seek input from people with disabilities, their families, advocacy organizations, service providers and others to develop and implement what he calls a "comprehensive Minnesota Olmstead Plan."

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