Position Statement — Government in Disability Policy


Policy decisions at the federal, state, and local levels directly affect the quality of life of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families. Administrative decision-making in the implementation and evaluation of services and supports directly impacts access to and quality of programs and services for people with IDD.

Policy and decision-making at all levels of government – as well as oversight and evaluation of programs and services – is often inaccessible to individuals with IDD and their family members.


Given the power and control of government at all levels, members of the disability community must be engaged in the development of disability policy – as well as service design, implementation, and evaluation.

Individuals with IDD and their families must be involved in the policy decisions that affect them, with the opportunity for real and meaningful participation at all levels of government.

Disability policies, practices, and procedures must support the empowerment of individuals and their families. They must also align with The Arc Minnesota’s public policy principles of human and civil rights, autonomy, self-determination, inclusion, and individualization.

Disability policy must prioritize helping people with disabilities live, thrive, and truly belong in their communities, with a focus on social determinants of health – including access to health care, community, education, economic stability, employment, neighborhood and physical environment, and nutrition. The Arc Minnesota believes that it is the obligation of government to plan for and provide resources to support these goals.

Minimum standards for the protection of individual health and safety are not acceptable, and administrative decisions should not be based solely on convenience and cost.

Government must ensure quality in programs and services, and The Arc Minnesota supports an independent statewide quality assurance system of oversight and evaluation.

Government policy should help people with IDD build lives of greater self-determination and interdependence, and if possible, reduce reliance on public programs and services.

The Arc Minnesota Public Policy Principles
Approved by The Arc Minnesota Position Statements Task Force on June 10, 2011.
Approved by The Arc Minnesota Public Policy Committee on June 15, 2011.
Approved by The Arc Minnesota Board of Directors on July 9, 2011.
Approved by delegates at The Arc Minnesota Annual Business Meeting on November 5, 2011.
Revised by The Arc Minnesota Position Statements Work Group on October 2, 2019.