The Olmstead Quality of Life Survey is the first comprehensive study to learn about the quality of life for people with disabilities in Minnesota. More than 2,000 people with disabilities throughout Minnesota were interviewed about their daily life at home, work, and in the community. The Olmstead Subcabinet chose to incorporate the Quality of Life Survey into the Olmstead Plan as a way to measure improvements in quality of life for people with disabilities.

State agencies that serve people with disabilities will use this first set of data as a baseline, or a starting place, to understand and learn about their quality of life over time. This data will help to shape the direction of the Minnesota Olmstead Plan, which works to ensure that all people with disabilities are living, learning, working, and enjoying life in the most integrated setting of their choice.  Highlights from the baseline data of the Olmstead Quality of Life Survey:

  • 2,005 people with disabilities throughout the state participated in the survey between February and November 2017.
  • People were asked questions through an in-person interview about what they do during the day, how much money they earn, and how integrated they feel in their workplace or daytime activities: they reported an average of 20.6 weekly hours in daytime activities and $95.18 in weekly earnings.
  • Participants were asked about how many trips they make into the community each month; they reported an average of 31.9 outings per month with typical group size of 3, and that they interacted with other members of the community during those outings less than half the time.
  • Participants were also asked, through the Decision Control Inventory, who makes decisions about different parts of their life, from what they eat, what activities they choose, how they receive services, and how decisions are made about their personal life. Minnesota’s DCI score of 66 out of 100 shows that participants and their allies have a moderate amount of decision making power.
  • 76.6% of survey participants rated their overall quality of life (in areas such as health care, safety, treatment by staff, and privacy) as good.
  • Most participants report an average of four close relationships in their lives; 46% of those relationships were family, 26% were staff, and 22% were unpaid friends.

The Olmstead Quality of Life Survey is designed to be a longitudinal survey, which means that participants will be surveyed again in the near future, to help the Olmstead Subcabinet and state agencies better understand whether people with disabilities are experiencing an increase in community integration and self-determination in their lives. For more information on the Olmstead Quality of Life Survey, click here to read the full report.