Merrick, Inc. will be closed on Monday, September 2, in observance of Labor Day.
Normal business hours will resume Tuesday, September 3.

Tag: self-advocacy

Program Policies and Procedures 2015

DHS has a new rule known as The Positive Supports Rule. Due to this new rule and legislative changes to our licensing rule 245D, we have updated some of our program policies and procedures.

Click on the titles below to view a PDF of each document. 

Service Termination Policy Safe Medication Assistance & Administration Policy
Emergency Plan Service Recipient Funds & Personal Property Guidelines
Emergency Use of Manual Restraints Policy Person Centered Planning Policy
Rights of Persons Served Client Grievance Policies
Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults Reporting & Internal Review Policy   
sa toydrive2013


“I did not even know what self-advocacy was until I started at Merrick two years ago.  Since then I have become a leader in my own right.  I participated in the eight month Partners in Policymaking leadership course, was involved in the Institutions to Independence TPT documentary, and served on the Advocating for Change (ACT) Board.  I was told early on in life that I could not do many things.  Since being at Merrick, I have learned to DREAM BIG and that my dreams can come true.”—-Mary Raasch.

 If you are speaking up for yourself – you ARE a self-advocate.

Shooting Stars – Merrick Self-Advocacy Group Information and Meeting Schedule


Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #1 [Spring 2012]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle- Issue #2 [Summer 2012]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle- Issue #3 [Fall 2012]

Shooting Stars Newsletter- Miracle – Issue #4 [Winter 2012-2013]

Shooting Stars Newsletter- Miracle – Issue #5 [Spring 2013]

Shooting Stars Newsletter- Miracle – Issue #6 [Summer 2013]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle- Issue #7 [Fall 2013]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #8 [Winter 2014]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #9 [Spring 2014]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #10 [Summer 2014]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Miracle-Issue #11 [Fall 2014]

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Summer 2015

Shooting Stars Newsletter-Summer 2016

Merrick, Inc., is considered an industry leader in the State of Minnesota, in part, due to our commitment to self-advocacy. In 1997, six self-advocates started the initial Putting People 1st group hosted at Merrick. Today, there are five self-advocacy groups that meet weekly with 125 active members that refer to themselves as the “Shooting Stars – Merrick”. Annually, each group elects officers and staff advisors from Merrick provide an auxiliary role. For many years now, self-advocates have made countless presentations to schools, civic organizations, disability groups, conferences, and workshops. Self-advocates believe that self-advocacy is not just an activity or something that happens in a group, if you are speaking up for yourself – you ARE a self-advocate. It is a life-changing experience.

sa toydrive2013
The Shooting Stars annually organize a food/toy drive to give back to the community
Merrick  is well known for providing opportunities for self-advocates to soar to new heights and self-advocates have focused their efforts in the following four areas:

  • Public Awareness
  • Legislative Efforts
  • Voter Rights
  • Serving on boards, committees, workgroups

2014 Highlights:

  • 100 clients regularly participated in one of the five self-advocacy groups at Merrick.

  • Self-advocates at Merrick conducted a food and toy drive and presented the donations to the Vadnais Heights Lions Club to distribute in the community.
  • Self-advocates conducted ten presentations to other Day Training & Habilitation programs, disability groups, and presented about self-advocacy  at seven conferences/workshops.

  • The Ambassadors for Respect, funded by the MN Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, conducted fun and interactive anti-bullying presentations for more than 489 fourth-grade students at six local elementary schools.

As a result of our efforts in this area, Merrick, Inc. has developed an extensive resource library on self-advocacy related materials and has produced four videotapes on different aspects of self-advocacy. Please contact for more information.

To learn more about self-advocacy or the Shooting Stars group, please contact Colleen Timbers – Program Training & Resource Director at

Mel and Dayne at Holiday Party

Clients, Families and Self-Advocates

Mel and Dayne at Holiday PartyWe believe that all people are on an individual journey to lead a life they desire. For clients at Merrick, Inc., our approach is based in a foundation of person-centered planning and self-advocacy to understand the individual’s path suggested by their unique passions, values, gifts, interests, skills, and preferences that lead toward a life of opportunity, well being, independence, and contribution.

Starting with the tour, the focus is on the prospective client to determine his/her passions, values, gifts, interests, skills, and preferences. Forty-five days after enrollment, staff and the new client complete a Person-Centered Planning Assessment to clarify and confirm outcomes to increase their opportunities for community inclusion and participation, social relationships, skill building, and/or person futures. This assessment becomes the cornerstone of the self-discovery process documenting that, after listening to the desires and needs of the client, outcomes were developed to measure progress toward their desired results.

For specific program information, please visit: Program Services

For admission information, please visit: Admissions