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What is 245D

August 01, 2016

What is 245(d) and why is it important?

By Cody Stanley

The title of this short paper is the beacon to an important question involving anyone that is special needs and receives services in Minnesota. In the most dry and legalize language possible 245D is applicable to a person that is receiving services from a “home and community-based services to persons with disabilities and persons age 65 and older” in the State of Minnesota. Then those services provided to that person are governed and regulated by Minnesota statute Chapter 245D. Home and Community-Based Services Standards. This definition does little to answer what 245D is, and nothing to show why it is important, but it is needed as it provides the legal bedrock on which these answers will be constructed.

In Minnesota over the last decade the means by which special needs individuals receive services has changed dramatically. The over-arching change has been to a more person-centered approach. This phrase, person-centered, is one that a person hears a lot working when they interact with special needs individuals. The central thrust of it is that the programming a person receives must put their wants, dreams and desires first. Often, in a pre-245D world, the programming for special needs individuals was controlled by what the “professionals” thought the person should have, or what the professionals knew the person wanted. As one can imagine the person receiving services was many times asked last what they wanted. It is easy to see how this could happen, as there exists a strong bias in society against the idea that special needs people are able to articulate their wants and desires, and if they do that they would have the ability to even know what was “good” for them. An unfortunate consequence of this was that abuse was possible.    

The most glaring example of abuse in the Minnesota system, and one that was a major factor in 245D’s creation, was the Jensen Settlement Agreement. The Jensen Settlement Agreement was the agreement that came out of a class-action lawsuit filed against the Minnesota Department of Human Services in 2009. This lawsuit stated that the residents at the former Minnesota Extended Treatment Options (METO) program illegally had many of their rights violated. The Jensen Settlement Agreement rightfully set forth a person centered plan that would avoid the egregious violations that occurred.  

When a person combines together the history of the Minnesota regulations not being as person centered as they should, with the awful actions that took place at METO, one can see that a change was needed, and that change was, and continues to be, 245D.

 

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