Michigan Partners for Freedom

Building statewide demand for Self-Determination…

Michigan Partners for Freedom is a grassroots coalition of people with disabilities, family members, advocates, organizations and other allies working together to build statewide demand for self-determination.

We uphold the principles of self-determination for all Michigan citizens: Freedom, Responsibility, Authority, Support and Confirmation.

About Us

Michigan Partners for Freedom is a grassroots coalition of people with disabilities, family members, advocates, service providers, Community Mental Health organizations, and allies partnering to build statewide demand for Self-Determination.

Our story begins in April 2004, when the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC) sponsored a group to take part in the Immersion Learning about Self-Determination in Atlanta, sponsored by the Center for Self-Determination. The Michigan group included self-advocates,family members, MDDC Council staff and members of several Michigan service providers.

At the event, the group drafted a plan to speed up progress and expand self-determination in Michigan. After returning home, they continued their work, recruited more members and polished a plan of action. In this effort, the Michigan Partners for Freedom was created.
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MPF Highlights

Fifteen presentations at conferences, for advocacy groups, Self-Determination (S-D) Seminars, and others were done for a total of 613 people. They included:

Local Leaders completed 45 outreach activities (presentations about S-D in their lives). 1,695 people attended which included:

The MPF website has 57,704 hits, 2,705 visits and 20 new visitors.

Local Leader, Alex Kimmel, continued to facilitate the FaceBook page. We ended the year with 498 “likes”, which was an increase of 46.

3,602 newsletters were distributed.

Twenty four people were assisted to access S-D arrangements for the first time and 63 were helped to resolve issues with their S-D supports.

Technical assistance about S-D was provided to eight Local Doordinatos and at least 129 providers/CMH staff.

The Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University updated their report on fiscal intermediary (FI) use at Community Mental Health (CMH) agencies for the DD Council. This is the only data available to see how many CMHs are providing services that support self-determination and it will be updated in 2016 as well. MPF has been able to share the data, which showed that only 16% of people using CMH services have an FI across the state. MPF plans to help Local Leaders and Local Coordinators use this information in the coming year.

MFP Brochure


Local Leaders save these dates for this year’s MPF Summit: Thursday, June 2nd and Friday June 3rd, 2016. The Summit activities will be taking place at the James B. Henry Center in East Lansing on MSU’s campus. Local Leaders will have overnight accommodations on June 2nd at the Candlewood Suites. This hotel is connected directly to the Henry Center. As with all previous MPF Summits, space is limited and Local Leaders will register through your Local Coordinator. Watch your email, MIFREEDOM listserv, and FACEBOOK for more information.

New Important Links!

For the new guidance on person-centered planning and self-directed services under the Affordable Care Act click here.

For information about the new rules for Home and Community Based Services click here.

To see the “Utilization of Fiscal Intermediaries in Michigan’s Community Mental Health System” - by the Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University click here.

To see the SIS (Support Intensity Scale) Implementation Manual click here.


MPF Videos

From the Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Meet the Local Leaders

Promoters of Self-Determination

Jeff Guthrie

Jon Donlin

Jill Hawley, Jamia Brewer, Eric Thomas, Gizela Schwartz

Local Leader Rachel Demaagd’s Journey to Independence
is featured on Grand Rapids Cable Program, Focus on Issues.
View the show here: http://archive.org/details/FocusOnIssues-JourneyToIndependence

Regional Contacts

Mid/Northern Michigan
Alpena, Bay City)

Jan Lampman
The Arc of Midland


(Wayne, Washtenaw,
Oakland, Lenawee,
and Genesee)

Angela Martin
Developmental Disabilities


(Allegan, Berrien,
Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids)

Pat Carver
Community Drive, Inc.

Michigan Partners for Freedom Previous Newsletters

Count me in! I want to join Michigan Partners for Freedom

First Name 
Last Name 
Address Line 1 
Address Line 2 
Zip Code 
Daytime Phone () -
E-mail Address 
Accommodations or assistance needed to participate in MPF 
Are you interested in organizing local efforts to build demand for Self-Determination? 
Would you like to share your personal experience in building a meaningful life? 
Describe any other way you would like to be involved. 
Would you like to join the MIFreedom List Serve? 
If you would like to be removed from MIFreedom List Serve, type “YES” 

How can I Subscribe or Unsubscribe to MIFreedom Listserv?
Go to: MIFreedom LISTSERV Web site and click on the “Subscribe or Unsubscribe” option on the right side of the page

Fill out the Feedback form above by typing in your e-mail address and the word “Yes” in the appropriate textbox

Send an e-mail to MPF LISTSERV, placing “Subscribe MPF LISTSERV” or “Unsubscribe MPF LISTSERVE” in the Subject Line

Learning Events

Person-Centered Planning
Patricia Carver

Flyer available here

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
12:45 - 3:00 p.m.

Monroe Intermediate School District
River Raisin Rooms 1 & 4
1101 South Raisinville Road
Monroe, Michigan 48161

Hosted by Monroe Intermediate School District
in conjunction with
Michigan Alliance for Families & the Parent Advisory Council

To register: call or email Kim Torrance (734) 242-5799, x 1444 or

To schedule your training event, send an e-mail to Jill Gerrie at jill.gerrie@arcmi.org or call (800) 292-7851, ext. 114.

Training Available from Michigan Partners for Freedom

Community Training

Description: The Community Training is about self-determination in general and how people using CMH services can use arrangements that support Self-Determination. Topics include:
The principles of Self-Determination,
A description of the key tools to organize one’s services and supports based on the principles of Self-Determination (Person-Centered Planning, Independent Facilitation of the Person Centered Planning process, Individual Budget, Fiscal Intermediary service),
An explanation of the Michigan Department of Community Health components that support Self-Determination
PowerPoint, DVDs,
Personal story about using Self-Determination
Time: 5 hours, usually from 10 am – 3 pm

Audience: People who receive mental health services and supports (support staff and relatives are welcome)

Local Leader Training
Description: This session prepares people with disabilities that use (or have used) community mental health services to do training about self-determination, sharing how it applies in their lives. The presentations are usually made to community organizations, schools, students who receive special education services, people working in disability services, people living in group homes, etc. A toolkit that includes DVDs, flash drives with MPF PowerPoint presentations, handouts, resources, and MPF forms are reviewed and given to each Local Leader to use when speaking to groups.
Before Local Leader training can be done…

A Community Training must be held
Someone needs to volunteer to be a Local Coordinator. Their job is to support the Local Leaders as they do presentations in their community. The Local Coordinator is a volunteer position, and Local Leaders are paid $50.00 for each presentation they complete.
Time: 5 hours, usually from 10 am – 3 pm, includes DVDs, PowerPoint presentation, activities, and personal experience

Audience: People with disabilities who use (or have used) community mental health services (generally recruited at the Community Training) and the Local Coordinator