MNDSA was officially incorporated as a nonprofit in February 2018. The idea for MNDSA evolved from the experiences of Sarah Biddlecome, Sarah DeMers, and Misha Liang within the disability community.
Sarah Biddlecome had lived for over 15 years as a member of the disability community, without much need for career, academic, or economic assistance. However, she continually felt that there was a lack of community organization or supports offered for disabled individuals from within the community itself. Furthermore, when her eldest daughter was diagnosed with multiple disabilities, and she needed to seek academic and economic supports, she discovered that navigating the systems set up to assist the disabled was a complex task.
In an effort to support her daughter, Sarah made the decision to homeschool after trying a variety of educational settings. She was also able to establish her daughter’s eligibility for Social Security and a Medicaid Waiver. Sarah encountered others within the disability community that were also struggling with the lack of career, academic, economic, and community supports. Misha Liang’s children had also left the traditional school setting. Sarah DeMers had a complex behavioral and medical child that needed economic, academic, and community support. The three were active in the relevant disability groups and made it their mission to garner their experiences and education to meet the self-identified needs within the community.
All three obtained their certifications as support planners and served as a resource to community members in general on economic supports. Sarah Biddlecome and Misha Liang founded a Facebook group for educators with disabled children, which organically grew to have over 1,200 members. Sarah DeMers and Sarah Biddlecome continued to work within the waiver community, sharing their knowledge and building connections. As the three of them began to work together, they developed a mission and plan to meet the self-determined needs of individuals and families of their communities. In 2020, MNDSA was selected as a recipient of a Minnesota Department of Human Services grant to build capacity for a self-advocacy training and support program as a waivered service.
MNDSA is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 82-4536995.