[Image description: A light blue banner has white swirls and dark blue triangles in the background. There is a circular photo of a young White woman smiling. She has brown hair with bangs. Her hair is in a ponytail. Next to her photo is the text, "Person-centered planning has helped me with my goals and life plans. I am making my own decisions to go to college, have a career, and live independently. - Jean, in testimony to Minnesota State House". The Arc Minnesota's logo is on the banner.]
Our Public Policy Team works alongside self-advocates and allies to advance policies that create social change for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Jean is one of those self-advocates who works with our Public Policy Team!

Jean is a 20 year old student attending Duquesne University. She loves public speaking and social media. Person-centered planning has been important in the search for the right college for her. While she is taking classes remotely for now, she hopes to move to campus in Pittsburg, PA next fall. She is working towards a degree in Multi-Platform Journalism.

Last session, she testified in a House Judiciary & Civil Law Committee hearing to help update Minnesota’s guardianship law and promote supported decision-making.

“Person-centered planning has helped me with my goals and life plans,” Jean testified. “I am making my own decisions to go to college, have a career and live independently. Just before my 18th birthday, my parents and I talked about the need to have legal documents in place since I was going to become an adult. They helped me find a lawyer … The process was not hard or scary. I felt empowered. I did not have to go to court. A judge has not taken away my right to make decisions about my life.”

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jean!

Sign Up for Our E-Newsletter

Learn about our latest news and events with The Arc’s newsletter, sent twice a month.