Homeland Security and Emergency Management

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Community and Regional Resources

To develop a community emergency plan that represents the whole community, emergency managers need to include people with disabilities and other access and functional needs. These individuals, along with community and regionally based organizations that provide services for people with disabilities should be involved in the planning process. 

Functional Needs Planning Toolkit

In a collaborative effort with other state agencies, HSEM is offering the newest resource for emergency planners: the Functional Needs Planning Toolkit This searchable online toolkit provides the latest methods and the most comprehensive resources available for including people with access and functional needs in whole community emergency plans.

Use this Functional Needs Planning Toolkit for Emergency Planners to help in your emergency planning.


The following agencies and resources and internet sites can assist emergency planners in finding the local and regional contacts and resources they need for their emergency planning and preparedness efforts.

Minnesota State Council on Disability (http://www.disability.state.mn.us   

The Minnesota State Council On Disability (MSCOD) provides leadership in strengthening rights of Minnesotans with disabilities and collaborates with the public and private sector as a policy, training and technical advisor. 
Resources include

For more information, visit the MSCOD website.

Area Agencies on Aging, Minnesota  Board on Aging (http://mn4a.org)

Area Agencies on Aging provide assistance to seniors, local agencies and communities across the state.   Visit the Minnesota Board on Aging website for a current listing of the regional area agencies on aging or and check for a listing of resources for seniors, policymakers and communities.

Centers for Independent Living  (http://www.macil.org)

Minnesota's Centers for Independent Living provide services to individuals with a wide range of disabilities and work to increase the availability and improve the quality of community options for independent living.  They provide information and referral services, advocacy, independent living skills training, peer counseling, and other services for specific needs.  Visit their website for center locations and available resources.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Minnesota Department of Human Services (http://www.dhs.state.mn.us)

The division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) provides resources, technical assistance and advocacy for people who are deaf and hard of hearing and their families and communities. Find resources for assistive technology and assistance with sign language interpreters on the DHHS web site.

Regional offices provide information, referral and assistance with assistive technology, training and working with sign language interpreters.Click here to find the location and coverage area of regional offices.

Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (www.mnddc.org)

The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities works to increase the independence, self-determination, productivity, integration and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities through information, education and training.  Contact the Council to find local and regional agencies serving people with developmental disabilities.

Minnesota STAR Program, Minnesota Department of Administration (http://www.starprogram.state.mn.us)

STAR (System of Technology to Achieve Results) is Minnesota’s federally-funded Assistive Technology Act program.  STAR’s mission is to help all Minnesotans with disabilities gain access to and acquire the assistive technology they need through device demonstration, device loan, and reuse activities.Click here for other assistive technology resources in Minnesota.  For links and information on accessible technology and recent standards and guidelines for accessible web sites, go to the STAR program accessibility and usability page.

Office of Emergency Preparedness, Minnesota Department of Health (http://www.health.state.mn.us)

The Office of Emergency Preparedness coordinates preparedness activities and assists Minnesota Department of Health staff, local public health agencies, hospitals, health care organizations, tribes and public safety officials in their efforts to plan for, respond to and recover from public health emergencies.

State Services for the Blind, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development  (http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/JobSeekers/Blind_or_Visually_Impaired/index.aspx)

State Services for the Blind helps  people who are blind, visually impaired or Deaf Blind to live and work as independently as possible.  

Telecommunications Access Minnesota, Minnesota Department of Commerce http://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/Minnesota-Relay-Users/about-mn-relay.jsp)

This program administers Minnesota Relay, a federally mandated Telecommunications Relay Service program that allows people who are deaf, deaf/blind, hard of hearing, physically disabled or have a speech disability to communicate over the telephone in a manner that is functionally equivalent to people without a hearing loss, physical disability or speech disability.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/JobSeekers/People_with_Disabilities/index.aspx)

DEED's Vocational Rehabilitation Services provides a variety of counseling, training, job skills and job placement services for people with disabilities.  Go to their website to find vocational rehabilitation counselors in Minnesota’s Workforce Centers and stand alone offices.

Phone and Internet Resources 

Disability Linkage Line:  Statewide toll free number (866-333-2466)

The Disability Linkage Line® is a free, statewide, information, referral and assistance service available to help people with disabilities, chronic illnesses and their representatives to help connect to community services.
Common requests include information and referrals on disability benefits programs, home modifications, assistive technology, personal assistance services, transition services, accessible housing, employment, social activities and disability rights.
Those seeking help can reach Disability Linkage Line® by calling 1 (866) 333-2466 during regular business hours.  Disability Linkage Line® Resource Specialists will provide one-to-one assistance to help people learn about their options and connect with the supports and services they chose.
For people who are looking for resources over the Internet, Disability Linkage Line® is a partner in the statewide resource database found at http://www.minnesotahelp.info/, which is sponsored by the Minnesota Board on Aging, Department of Human Services and other partners.

Senior Linkage Line:  Statewide toll free number (866-333-2433)

The Senior LinkAge Line® provides information on a wide variety of support options for seniors and caregivers and can be accessed by calling (800) 333-2433 during regular business hours. The Senior Linkage Line® is also the point of contact for helping people of all ages sort through the options they have to lower their prescription drug costs.
Senior LinkAge Line® not only helps connect people to services in their community, but also provides the actual assistance to help them get the information and personalized help they need to make good decisions. This includes providing face to face help in the home and community.

Veterans Linkage Line:  Statewide toll-free number (888-546-5838)

Provided by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veteran's Linkage Line® is a  customer service line helps veterans with referrals for Veterans Benefits Assistance programs, reintegration challenges, assistance with mental health and stress disorders, housing, employment counseling and many other services.  Assistance programs are also provided online on their website.

Minnesota Help.info  (http://www.minnesotahelp.info)

Minnesota Help is a web site clearinghouse of information and statewide resources for seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and others,  maintained by the Minnesota Board on Aging.