Kevin Goodno, shareholder at Fredrikson & Byron, presented his thoughts on the challenges faced by the disability service system in Minnesota and the individuals it serves because of the various and divergent pressures it currently faces. His presentation was targeted to key stakeholders from the disability services community including clients, family members, providers and government agencies in Ramsey County.
Goodno emphasized the need for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers and support networks to be actively engaged in policy discussions impacting the services that will be available to them in the future. Pressures from policymakers to reduce human services spending on Medical Assistance disability services are currently colliding with pressures from advocates, the courts and human service agencies to expand service choices and access. Therefore, consumer involvement is vital to ensure that policy decisions are made that preserve access to a spectrum of services that are appropriate for individuals’ needs and desires. In identifying the competing pressures, Goodno speculated about the various outcomes that could occur, and encouraged concerned individuals to be actively involved in these critical discussions.