Downloadable Fact Sheet


Additional information can be gleaned in our Philosophy of Support and Legacy and statements.

Recent News

Below are recent articles featuring Laura Baker Services Association or discussing issues relevant to our work.

Glossary of Terms

Developmental disabilities are conditions of impairment to physical, learning, language or behavior functions that begin during the earliest stages of an individual’s development. They can impact day-to-day functioning, and usually persist throughout a person’s life. About one in six children in the U.S. have one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays.

Intellectual disabilities are disabilities originating early in life that are manifested in significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills.

Intellectual functioning—also called intelligence—refers to general mental capacity related to abilities such as learning, reasoning and problem solving.

Adaptive behavior is the collection of social and practical skills, and skills related to forming concepts and thinking creatively, that are learned and performed in everyday life.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause mild to significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. People with ASD may communicate, interact, behave and learn in ways that are different from most other people, and their intellectual functioning may range from gifted to severely challenged.

Respite care is temporary relief care—which can range from a few hours to overnight or extended care sessions—designed for families of people with special needs. Family caregivers often face serious problems and stress as a result of balancing the needs of their family member who has special needs with the needs of other family members. Respite care provides essential breaks that allow families time to tend to other needs.

Independent living skills are the skills needed for a person to live as independently as possible. Such skills include tasks like housekeeping, cooking, time management, shopping, laundry and budgeting, as well as skills related to social and recreational activities.

An Olmstead Plan is the way a state demonstrates how it intends to achieve the goal required by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Olmstead v. L.C.: to provide services to people with disabilities in the most community-integrated (as opposed to institutionalized) setting that is appropriate to their needs and wishes.

Waiver program – Minnesota has developed “waiver” agreements with the federal government to provide state residents with more choice in their services. The Developmental Disabilities (DD) waiver provides home and community-based services (HCBS) for people with developmental disabilities or related conditions who need the level of care that would otherwise be provided in an Intermediate Care Facility for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICF/DD) but who make an informed choice requesting home and community-based services.

Home and community-based services (HCBS) are services provided to people who prefer to get the care services and supports they need in their home or community, rather than in an institutional setting. Under Minnesota’s Developmental Disabilities waiver program, HCBS may be provided in a person’s own home, in his or her biological or adoptive family’s home, in another relative’s home, or in a family or corporate foster care home.