• Program Manager
+1 612-624-1297
Masonic Institute On The Developing Brain
Rm 2-322 [map]
2025 E River Pkwy
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Barbara Kleist, MEd, JD, FAAIDD is the program director for entrepreneurial and development programs at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration. She received her M.Ed. in Recreation Park and Leisure Studies from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law. Ms. Kleist is co-director of DirectCourse—online curricula for life in community. Her work focuses on state and federal projects to improve community services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Current projects include leading training and technical assistance efforts in federal and state policy development focused on identifying best practices for improving direct support workforce stability across LTSS and Medicaid funded systems. Ms. Kleist is a certified Person Centered Thinking trainer and also trained in ToP participatory facilitation methods. She is currently a member of the MN Disability Law Center Advisory Committee, WINGS MN, and The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices (TLCPCP), and chair of the Legal Process and Advocacy Network of the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). Ms. Kleist is a licensed attorney with Minnesota State Bar with 30 years of experience providing counsel and support to self-advocates and family members on a variety of topics including conflict resolution, access to home- and community-based services and supports, alternatives to guardianship, supported decision making and person-centered practices. Her relationship with her sibling provides the foundation for Ms. Kleist’s commitment to the civil and human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.




Offers a suite of competency-based, online curricula for professionals providing services to people with intellectual, developmental, physical, and psychiatric disabilities, and to older adults....


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 …


New York Direct Support Professional (DSP) Credentialing Program Implementation Study [Archived]

Gauged the workforce development issues for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in the state of New York through multi-method analysis. The 2014 New York legislative assembly requested that a …


Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (MNLEND)

Prepares future leaders who will serve children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), other neurodevelopmental and related disabilities (NDDs), and their families in healthcare, education, human …


Go MN!

The Go MN! project is led by MN DEED. The project addresses people with disabilities in or contemplating subminimum wage work settings and offers them opportunities to explore careers in transporta…


Lewin HCBS Special Projects

Assists the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in accelerating its understanding of the challenges that states face related to the HCBS direct service workforce and with potential …

Direct Support Workforce Solutions

Direct Support Workforce Solutions is a national consulting group addressing the workforce needs of organizations providing community-based supports for individuals with disabilities. Drawing on …


The Direct Support Workforce and COVID-19 National Survey Report 2020

The Institute on Community Integration and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals collaborated to lift up the voice of the direct support workforce. The aim of this study was to …

Published: 2021-03-17

A Report on Early Intervention Services for Minnesota's Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

A report summarizing the activities and findings of a project funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), and conducted by the University of Minnesota's Research and Training Center...

Published: 2012

LEND Brief: Positive Behavior Support

An issue focusing on person-centered positive behavior support (PBS) and on individuals living in community settings who have benefitted from systematic and longitudinally delivered positive …

Published: Summer 2014


Offers a suite of competency-based, online curricula for professionals providing services to people with intellectual, developmental, physical, and psychiatric disabilities, and to older adults. …

Published: 2004

Impact: Feature Issue on the Direct Support Workforce and People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities

An issue in the Impact series that discusses the Direct Support workforce and people with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. In the past 40 years, the U.S. has experienced a...

Published: Winter/Spring 2018

The Direct Support Workforce and COVID-19 National Report: Six-Month Follow-up

Reports on the findings of a survey—conducted by ICI in partnership with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals—of approximately 9,000 direct support professionals (DSPs) from …

Published: 2021-04-02


  • Direct support workforce
    • Supervision and mentoring
    • Human resources and management
    • Retention and recruitment
    • Workforce development strategies
    • Training
  • Education practices (K12 and transition)
    • Family engagement
    • Transition planning
  • Community life
    • Civil rights
    • Community supports and services
    • Friendships and social relationships
    • Parenting and family relationships
    • Person-centered planning and practices
    • Positive behavior support
    • Quality outcomes
    • Recreation and leisure
    • Self-advocacy and self-determination
    • Support coordination and case management
    • Social inclusion
    • ISP development
    • Consumer/self-directed services
  • Specific life stage
    • Children
    • Adolescents and young adults
    • Adults
    • Seniors
  • Early education and development
    • Natural environments
    • Family engagement
  • Housing and residential services
    • Community group residential
    • Consumer/self-directed services
    • Family supports/in-home services
    • Housing access
    • Institutions and deinstitutionalization
    • Medicaid services (residential)
  • Employment and postsecondary education
    • Accommodations and supports
    • Customized employment
    • Employment and workforce development
  • Health and safety
    • Judicial system
  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • Accommodations and supports
  • Specific disability
    • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)
    • Multiple disabilities


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