500 University Avenue West, Minot, ND

About Us


As NDCPD’s Executive Director, I want to share my vision for the important work that we do at the Center to empower people with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who support them. I believe that the future of disabilities is one where there are no observable differences between the lives of people who have disabilities and those who have none. All people will have the full range of choices about education, career, home, family, and leisure. This vision is further in the future than the next ten years, but now is the time to start moving in that direction. For this vision to come to fruition, there are a number of actions we need to take. In short, people with disabilities need to be present and active in all parts of life so that like anyone else, they can be included, respected, and given the same choices as others. Any program that will lead to these types of inclusion should be pursued by NDCPD. The NDCPD core functions of training, research, service and dissemination hold the key to how these types of inclusion need to be addressed. We need to teach families, current professionals and future disability support providers how to use universal design practices to foster inclusive environments in all areas of life. Simultaneously, we need to research the impact of inclusion on the empowerment of people with disabilities. Services to families and individuals which use best practices should be the norm and can serve as a model for other service providers. Then, it is critical to disseminate the lessons learned far and wide. ND constituents need increased community inclusiveness, a higher number and greater quality of provider personnel in the workforce, more preparation and implementation of self-advocacy and self-determination, and information and access to evidence-based services for persons with disabilities. These broad goal areas are the themes describing how the vision that all people achieve self-determined lives can be realized.

About Us:

NDCPD is located at Minot State University and we’re a University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities, Education, Research and Services (UCEDD). We are part of a national network of 67 similar programs throughout the US (www.aucd.org).  NDCPD is a statewide organization that serves the disability community and works with community providers and state and local government agencies to provide training, technical assistance, service, and information. NDCPD employs approximately 100 staff and we have approximately 25-30 grants and contracts operating at any given point and time. The disability community is traditionally an under-served population and many of our projects work on disability-related matters behind the scenes. While some of our projects work directly with people with disabilities, many do not although all our work ultimately impacts the lives of people with disabilities for the greater good. Our projects cover a range of topics connected to disabilities – health insurance, employment, housing, education, employment, early intervention, and transition issues – to name just a few. See our projects listed on our website for a more detailed list of projects and contact information.


To provide service, education, and research which empowers communities to welcome, value and support diverse people of all abilities to advance self-determination and inclusion throughout the lifespan.


NDCPD envisions a world where people see the potential and worth of all individuals. Where people with disabilities are free from abuse and neglect, contribute to a rich and full community life, and make choices about their own future.

  • We value Community Involvement; where people are fully included, have social opportunities, feel welcomed and valued, contribute to their community, and where the community acknowledges the potential and worth of what people with disabilities have to offer.
  • We value Self-determination; where people have choices about their future, have the ability to self-advocate, have access to high quality learning opportunities, have full community participation, and have complete access to healthcare.
  • We value Opportunity; to pursue dreams, to realize potential, to pursue life goals, regardless of culture, and to embrace diversity.
  • We value Safety; where people with disabilities are free from abuse and neglect, and are treated with dignity and respect.

KEY Leadership Positions:

Director of Human Potential

Ms. JoLynn Webster is our Director of Human Potential. She oversees core function activities for pre-service, provides training for our faculty and staff on disability-related issues, and provides information, resources, and referrals to people with disabilities, family members, and professionals in response to miscellaneous questions and inquiries that we receive. She also coordinates employment opportunities at our Center for both students and part-time hires who have disabilities. For more information, contact JoLynn Webster @ jolynn.webster@minotstateu.edu.


Dr. Lori Garnes. NDCPD conducts credible practical research and evaluation in many areas important to people with developmental disabilities including assistive technology, self-determination, customized employment, etc. Our goal is to create new knowledge in order to better serve community needs for practices and supports that are evidence based. If you would like more information, contact our Research Coordinator, Dr. Lori Garnes, lori.garnes@minotstateu.edu.

michele burney headshot
Innovative project coordinator

Ms. Michele Burney is NDCPD’s Innovative Project Coordinator. She coordinates all of NDCPD’s fee-for-service activities which includes promoting our current services and products as well as assisting our faculty and staff to hone their skills to identify additional marketable services. For more information, contact Michele Burney, michele.burney@minotstateu.edu.


In 2020, NDCPD turned 30! NDCPD, then NDCD (North Dakota Center for Disabilities) first began in October, 1990 and 2020 marked our 30th year of operation.  Timelines in 5 year increments were developed highlighting NDCPD’s staff, success and changes. Congratulations NDCPD – here’s to another 30 years!