Olmstead Plan

The state of Minnesota abides by the Olmstead Plan which “is a broad series of key activities our state must accomplish to ensure people with disabilities are living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting” (MN DHS – Olmstead Plan, 2019). If you would like to read more about the Olmstead Plan, visit the Olmstead Plan webpage on the MN DHS website. Here is the Olmstead Plan vision in full:

The Olmstead Subcabinet embraces the Olmstead decision as a key component of achieving a Better Minnesota for all Minnesotans, and strives to ensure that Minnesotans with disabilities will have the opportunity, both now and in the future, to live close to their families and friends, to live more independently, to engage in productive employment and to participate in community life. This includes:

• The opportunity and freedom for meaningful choice, self-determination, and increased quality of life, through: opportunities for economic self-sufficiency and employment options; choices of living location and situation, and having supports needed to allow for these choices;

• Systemic change supports self-determination, through revised policies and practices across state government and the ongoing identification and development of opportunities beyond the choices available today; and

• Readily available information about rights, options, and risks and benefits of these options, and the ability to revisit choices over time. (MN DHS – Olmstead Plan)

The Olmstead Plan includes objectives related to increases in person-centered planning, as well as specific goals for increasing the number of people with disabilities working in competitive, integrated employment opportunities. According to the Olmstead Employment Work Plan, “this policy views competitive integrated employment as the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities may choose integrated, competitive employment or they may not object to moving to competitive integrated employment, or they may choose day service and/or other employment option” (Olmstead Employment Workplan, 2019, p. 20). The Olmstead Plan supports multiple strategies, including increasing the amount of early paid job experiences and person centered planning informed choice, to promote competitive, integrated employment among adults with disabilities.

State and federal funding is available, including through Vocational Rehabilitation Services, to support people with disabilities in achieving their employment goals.