link to: University of Minnesota

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

How and Why
the U of M Developed a LEND?

Minnesota Disability Policy

While Minnesota has a rich history of providing progressive exemplary services to individuals with developmental disabilities, the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area faces new challenges that require a differently trained cadre of leaders in NDD/ASD health. There is a substantial influx of immigrants from Asian, African and Hispanic countries throughout Minnesota. The Twin Cities is one of a dozen cities in the US that has experienced a rapid increase in minority, immigrant, and refugee residents. MN's overall population grew by 8% over the past decade, while the non-white population grew by 43%. Twin Cities’ immigrants increased by 55% between 1990 and 2000. Ninety-six languages are spoken by Minneapolis public school children, and 33% speak a language other than English at home (Minneapolis Public Schools, 2014). In the last five years, refugee Somali youth have become the fastest growing group in the public schools. In addition to being one of the largest sites of immigration from Eastern Africa, Minneapolis is home to the second largest urban populations of American Indians and of Hmong in the US (MN Dept of Health, 2006). In Minneapolis, the largest proportional demographic shift has been seen for the Latino population, which experienced a nearly 300% increase in the population from 1990 to 2000. African Americans remain the largest urban racial minority population in MN and make up 33% of the students in Minneapolis public schools. In the last 20 years, the number of African Americans in MN increased by 157% (MN State Demographic Center, 2000). These demographic changes highlight the necessity for training a greater number of new health and allied health professionals who are not only highly skilled in NDD/ASDs but who are also culturally competent and informed in the area of health care disparities. Most recent Southeast Asian, African and Hispanic immigrants have low family incomes and many receive inadequate health care and related services for their children with NDD/ASD.

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