Minnesota DHS Systems Change and Capacity Building Through Research, Training, and Technical Assistance Projects


Conducts research, training and technical assistance activities that enhance Minnesota's capacity to support community living for individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness. Primary areas of focus include expanded professional competency in, and statewide and organization-wide use of, person-centered service approaches, effective Positive Behavior Support interventions, evidence-based practices promoting a recovery approach to mental illness, integrated models of residential services and supports for children with autism spectrum disorders, and early intervention services for young children with autism spectrum disorders. Research and training activities are also conducted to promote interdisciplinary teamwork among service professionals and improved use of employability data on people with disabilities by agencies and programs. In addition to the focus on professional development and system improvement is an emphasis on building capacity to support individuals leaving congregate care settings through use of competency-based training for families and others in their circles of support, as well as peer support leadership training for self-advocates.

Rachel L Freeman, Amy S Hewitt
Amy S Hewitt
Minnesota Department of Human Services


Claire E Benway :: National Training Consultant

Adele F Dimian :: Research Associate


Nicole K Duchelle :: Education Program Spec 2

Danelle R Dunphy :: Adjunct Instructor

Dupree M Edwards :: Non-Exempt Temporary or Casual

Rachel L Freeman :: Senior Research Associate

Amy S Hewitt :: Director, Institute on Community Integration

Barbara A Kleist :: Director, Entrepreneurial and Development Programs

Tanya N Misgen :: Education Program Spec 2

Mark R Olson :: Project Coordinator

Susan N O'Nell :: Director of Curriculum Development

Megan L Sanders :: National Workforce Consultant

Jessica J Simacek :: Director, TeleOutreach Center

Chet Tschetter :: National Workforce Consultant


  • Community life
    • Community supports and services
    • Positive behavior support
    • Self-advocacy and self-determination
  • Specific life stage
    • Children
    • Adolescents and young adults
    • Adults
    • Seniors
  • Housing and residential services
    • Consumer/self-directed services
    • Family supports/in-home services
  • Employment and postsecondary education
    • Employment and workforce development
  • Specific disability
    • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)


  • Research
  • Training and professional development
  • Technical assistance
  • Evaluation