The Virtual Insight Panel, or VIP, is a diverse group of Minnesotans who volunteer to shape and inform communications and programs for people with disabilities. Here's a summary of recent VIP activities.
Document review: Positive Support Transition Plan and related documents
In April and May 2019, nine VIP members provided feedback on proposed edits to the Positive Support Transition Plan (PSTP) (DHS form 6810) and related documents.
Survey respondents had the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed edits through a written survey, over the phone or in person. Of the nine respondents:
- Three were familiar with the documents before the survey
- Six indicated that the documents were clear enough that they would be comfortable approving a PSTP
- Two said they weren't sure
- One indicated that the documents were difficult to understand
Using VIP feedback and additional feedback from a statewide survey, the documents will be updated to include:
- More definitions to explain acronyms and terms
- Formatting changes to make the forms more user-friendly
- An additional question on the review form to ensure the person receiving services is asked whether the PSTP is being implemented successfully
Service review: Disability Hub MN
In March 2019, more than 50 VIP members completed a survey about the Disability Hub MN service and access to additional resources.
Survey respondents described their familiarity with Disability Hub MN, reasons they may — or may not — have contacted the Hub in the last two years, and ways to improve the Hub experience. Respondents also listed other preferred sources for news and information, including case managers, service providers, health care providers, other people with disabilities and social media.
Survey feedback will be used to:
- Improve services available through Disability Hub MN
- Plan a social media presence for the Hub
- Reinforce how the Hub can help with issues related to health, benefits, work, housing and more
Website review: Direct Support Connect
In January 2019, more than 50 VIP members completed a survey about the Direct Support Connect website. About half of the survey respondents were familiar with the site. Of these, about half had created a profile on the site. Most VIP members indicated that the site featured the right information and was easy to understand — and that they would recommend the site to someone looking for direct support work or looking to hire a direct support worker.
When asked about enhancements for the site, VIP members recommended:
- More effective search filters
- The ability for people hiring workers to be more specific about their needs in job postings
- New frequently asked questions
- Easier use of the site on a mobile device
- Updated password reset process
Survey: MnCHOICES Assessment 2.0
In early 2019, more than 50 VIP members representing 19 counties and tribal nations completed a MnCHOICES Assessment 2.0 survey. The survey asked about experiences with past MnCHOICES Assessments and interest in hearing about the work on MnCHOICES Assessment 2.0.
Overall survey results were positive, with most VIP members reporting an average, above average or excellent experience with MnCHOICES Assessment. In general, VIP members wanted to receive more information about upcoming changes, including why changes are happening and when and how changes will be implemented. Updates were preferred by postal mail or email.
Many VIP members were also interested in providing input about:
- How assessment questions are asked and answered
- How assessments are interpreted
- The assessment process, including what happens after assessments are complete
- Assessor interviews
- Assessor knowledge and explanation of programs and community resources
- How information is provided before, during and after assessments
Survey feedback will be used to improve how, when and what DHS communicates about changes to MnCHOICES Assessment 2.0 and how DHS provides opportunities for feedback.
Website review: Autism Resource Portal
In summer 2018, VIP members provided vital feedback for the Autism Resource Portal. Data collected through a VIP survey will be used to make the site more user friendly for people with autism and their families. For example, VIP members recommended:
- Adding more Minnesota-based resources to support the original task force goal of serving as a resource portal
- Making the site easier to navigate for people who are on the spectrum
- Reducing distractions on individual pages
- Improving organization of content and categories (home, education, community, transition, technology, health care)
Document review: Key employment messages
In spring 2018, more than 60 VIP members provided feedback about key employment messages that will be used by multiple state agencies that help people with disabilities find employment. VIP members recommended:
- Clarifying the target audience
- Providing more details about available resources and next steps
- Better describing how work can impact all aspects of a person's life