Empower people with developmental and other disabilities to speak for themselves, take control of their lives and lead the movement for equal rights for people with disabilities. ACT is a grassroots, member-controlled organization. Our board is all people with disabilities.
We work to advance the self-advocacy movement, which is the global human rights movement for people with developmental disabilities.
There is a disparity between the rights people with disabilities have and the rights they exercise, self-advocacy is the fundamental step in fixing that. ACT furthers the self-advocacy movement by developing new leadership. We lead workshops, administer peer networks, and create training materials. Our programs address three areas:
Olmstead Academy: 12-month program of classroom and fieldwork through which self-advocates, working in teams, are positioned to help lead the way towards the state’s goal of greater community integration for people with disabilities.
SAM (Self-Advocates Minnesota): Network of self-advocacy groups from all around the state. Each region works with its member groups to build personal power, connect to the disability rights movement and make community changes.
State Self-Advocacy Conference:Two-day conference which typically brings 400-500 self-advocates and allies together to learn about self-advocacy issues, disability rights, share best practices, and become connected to the larger self-advocacy movement.
Disability Equality Training Series (DETS): Curriculum that gives groups meaningful ways to engage their members. DETS draws on ACT's 38 years of experience in leading interactive workshops and packages them into a series that can be lead by anyone.
Disability Power Day: Half day training that addresses issues affecting the disability community. This features a workshop in the morning followed by an activity in the afternoon. It's an opportunity to keep leaders engaged in disability rights work and introduce new people to the movement.
Side-by-Side People's chorus: Singing group open to everyone! We sing all sorts of songs, some that talk about our pride and disability rights, and some just for fun.
ACT's Olmstead Academy features groups of self advocates who break down barriers in their community bringing inclusion for everyone