By Steve Larson, The Arc Minnesota Senior Policy Director
Please join me at The Arc Minnesota’s annual conference, “Raising Expectations: Achieving Your Goals and Dreams”. Today I would like to share with you about why I am excited about one of our keynote speakers, Derrick Dufresne.
I first heard Derrick speak at Minnesota’s Housing Services Innovations group in 2006. Derrick immediately challenged us about our inclusion efforts. He talked about innovations around the country that gave individuals with disabilities more control over their housing. His ideas motivated us to develop legislation that helped create MSA Housing Assistance (formerly known as Shelter Needy) and to develop our Housing Access Services; the latter has helped more than 800 Minnesotans find places where their name is on the lease. To address quality, Derrick wrote the paper titled “Beyond Accreditation: Five Star Quality,” in which he states, “Five Star quality can only be defined by the community – not by the disability system.”
A founder and Senior Partner of Community Resource Associates, Inc. (CRA), Derrick has devoted his career to promoting full community inclusion for individuals with disabilities. He has used creative approaches to establish affordable, integrated housing for individuals with disabilities throughout the United States.
You can get a taste of what Derrick’s keynote presentation on November will be like by viewing a video clip from an interview he did with the MN Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. I hope you’ll join me on November 1-2 to hear Derrick and other speakers raise our expectations of what life can be like for people with disabilities and their families. Sign up online by this Friday, October 25th (we extended our deadline for one more week); see our conference flyer for the full program.
I look forward to seeing you on November 1st and 2nd.