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Volume 29, Number 4
April 10, 2018
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Donors play an important role in helping bring Access Press to readers every month. As the newspaper staff and board cope with a fiscal crisis, some of our longtime readers and contributors are weighing in. A donation form appears on page 9 of this issue. Or go to www.accesspress. org to find donation information. Won’t you join our supporters? Here are a few of their stories.
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ARRM CEO Sue Schettle urged advocates to share with their legislators the harmful impacts of a seven percent cut to rates.
Community groups rally to halt devastating cuts Self-advocates and disability-related organizations are rallying to fight a pending seven percent cut to disability services in Minnesota. The cut will start taking effect July 1, unless the Minnesota Legislature takes action. What worries many service providers is that the funds for some services have already been spent. The July 1 cut is expected to affect
about 27 percent of those who receive services, with more cuts phased in over the next 18 months. Stopping the cut was a focus of the March 13 rally during ARRM/MOHR Day at the Capitol March 13. More than 1,000 people were on hand to meet with lawmakers and fill the capitol rotunda, chanting “Stop the cuts! Stop the cuts!” CUT To page 14
Curiano.com NEWS DIGEST Behavior was changed Page 2 April is Autism Awareness Month Page 5 Our Directory of Organizations can provide needed help Page 7-10 State champions are crowned Page 13
Josiah's Fire shares family's autism journey by Jan Willms A diagnosis of severe autism disorder for son Josiah rocked the lives of parents Tahni and Joe Cullen. At 22 months Josiah became nonverbal. Family life became an emotional, financial and spiritual rollercoaster ride. Life changed abruptly when Josiah began writing on his iPad. Words of great wisdom, spirituality and understanding were written daily by a seven-year-old. Read the writing and the Cullen family’s experience in Josiah’s Fire: Autism Stole His Words, God Gave Him a Voice, a book Tahni Cullen co-authored with Cheryl Ricker. Ricker is a writer of supernatural true-life stories that reflect God’s presence. Ricker and Cullen met by chance at a Christian women’s media conference in the Twin Cities. Ricker questioned attending due to a cold. Cullen was a fill-in guest speaker. They were seated together and a connection was made Cullen, who considered self-publishing Josiah’s story for family and friends, was encouraged by Ricker to co-author a book. Ricker and Cullen shared similar experiences as parents. Ricker also has worked with people with disabilities. “I really like to help people, and writing is my thing,” Ricker said. She befriended Josiah, and he would write to her.
Charlie Smith was right about a lot of things. He was right when he said in the first sentence of his first editorial for Access Press that it was going to be “one of the most important papers to become available to the people of Minnesota.” He hoped Access Press would help lawmakers understand “the day-to-day effect” their actions have had and would have on people with disabilities. To his readers, Charlie said “My greatest hope is that Access Press will be of value to you as a source of information. I also hope it will stimulate readers to stand up for their rights and those of others.” For 28 years Access Press has done just that, but a substantial and ongoing increase in private support is essential if that effort is to continue. I spent an afternoon looking through issues of Access Press I have saved--some from the 1990s, most of them from the past decade. The paper does indeed provide a great deal of information--a summary of legislative issues before and after each session, lengthy articles on voting rights, regular updates on the state’s Olmsted plan, stories about getting to the Green Line, and the status of skyway access--solid information, well presented. Both Charlie’s and Tim Benjamin’s editorials documented the need for and urged legislative action to increase wages for PCAs and other direct service staff. Access Press told about people--self-advocates who spoke to their legislators or testified before committees, persons honored by organizations, and the winners of the annual Charlie Smith award. Their stories challenged readers to emulate these men and women. Likewise, the In Memoriam pages described the rich lives of persons with disabilities and told of others who were advocates, teachers, or caregivers. Access Press has been what Charlie hoped it would be--a valuable source of information and stimulation. The financial pressures facing Access Press are real, but Charlie was right-this excellent newspaper is important for persons with disabilities, for their families, and for the state itself. Please, become a regular supporter of Access Press and urge your family, friends, and employers to do so too. Access Press is far too important to lose. Luther Granquist, longtime newspaper contributor and Minnesota Disability Law Center (retired)
A lasting effect
One of the toughest experiences to go through is to be someone's strength while you're at your weakest.
Tahni Cullen and Cheryl Ricker co-authored a book about a remarkable autism journey. The women enjoyed collaborating and enjoyed a unique partnership. Ricker helped Cullen winnow down details of life with Josiah. For much of the book, they used Josiah’s words, stored on his iPad. The book also drew from Cullen’s blog. “In going back and recounting things for this book, I had to relive all that,” she said.
“To go back and look at baby pictures and just feel those emotions again was a very raw process.” Yet it was also healing. “It’s more difficult writing a book with someone, but I enjoyed it,” Ricker said. “There is something powerful about writing with somebody,” Cullen said. JOURNEY To page 5
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April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
Tim Benjamin This legislative session is a high priority for people with disabilities. I say this a lot, but that’s because politics and law require repeating messages over and over, and making efforts over and over. It’s the legislature that can resolve the critical shortage of the PCA program; it’s the legislature that can get positive results for medical assistance reform; it’s the legislature where we can get a more person-centered Homecare Bill of Rights. There’s a lot of discussion among legislators and the public about requiring individuals on medical assistance to work or volunteer a specific number of hours to be eligible. They are trying to get “freeloaders” off the taxpayer's dime. I'm not sure what is the fair way to do that without affecting people in real medical need. There are several questions to be asked on the issue, as I see it; first, why wouldn’t an individual already work to get their medical needs met? I’m sure that many people would work if they could. If an individual can work, they can use one of the state’s programs like Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) to work without losing some vital and needed benefits. Many people work on MA-EPD, have been working for many years and want to continue working. So what about people who want to work but can’t find a job or a job that uses their
skills and is truly integrated into the mainstream workforce? Finally, requiring people in the disability community to work without providing sufficient support creates a Catch-22. If we don’t have qualified, responsible and reliable PCAs with the needed soft skills to get us to work (and in some cases remain at work with us), we can’t be reliably and consistently employed. On that note, I would like to ask each of you, when you’re talking to your legislator, to ask them to support House File 0481 and Senate File 0393. These bills will provide for persons who need what’s considered complex personal care, or 10 hours or more of PCA services a day, to qualify for a complex-care reimbursement rate. A PCA eligible for complex-care wages will be one who has successfully completed training and competency testing requirements. They would receive 72 percent of a 20 percent raise (agencies are required to pay the direct service provider 72 percent of their state reimbursement). Next session, we will be fighting for a 20 percent raise across the board for all home care workers. There are several additional bills being heard on medical assistance reform, and they address parts of the Home Care Bill of Rights. HF 4018, SF 3437 make changes in how much advance notice a client should be given before an agency’s
When we have the right information and knowledge, we can think for ourselves and make independent judgments rather than having other people tell us what we need. termination of service. The purpose of any Bill of Rights is to protect those rights against infringement from public officials and private organizations. The current law reads, “the [client has the] right to at least 10 days advance notice of termination.” In House file 4018, there is a change from 10 days to 30 days notice, and that will help, since 10 days is just not enough to find a new agency; have any PCAs that follow the client get a background check and complete provider service agreements; and recruit and train new PCAs. With the shortage of home care workers, it is nearly impossible to get it all together even in 30 days. The current bill also requires agencies to provide an explanation about why they are being terminated—whether it’s “an unsafe working environment or the client engages in conduct that significantly alters the service plan; or a person who lives with the client, or others create an abusive or unsafe work environment for the person providing home care services, and the right [from the provider] to a coordinated transfer when there will be a change in provider services.” I wonder who should be determining what constitutes an unsafe work environment. I think the wording is too subjective and needs an outside entity to determine what establishes a hazardous work environment. It seems like the Bill of
Rights might be protecting the agencies rather than the clients. Many PCAs end up following the client rather than staying with an agency that is just looking for a way out of providing services to blameless clients with a high level of medical need. They place extra, costly demands on agency staffing. On the front page, we have a message from a long-time friend, Luther Granquist, formerly of the Minnesota Disability Law Center and Access Press. Luther writes about the value and importance of having a newspaper dedicated to providing a voice for people with disabilities. Luther and many others recall Access Press founder Charlie Smith saying, “Information is power.” When we have the right information and knowledge, we can think for ourselves and make independent judgments rather than having other people tell us what we need. That is the goal of the disability rights movement: to have the resources and knowledge to speak for ourselves, tell our own stories and explain the impact of policy decisions and how they affect us. Please help support Access Press through donations and keep using our advertisers’ products. Have a great month and we’ll talk in May. Hopefully, it will be warm and sunny—or at least not snowing. ■
'Changes' gives a look back at long-ago behavior modification by Access Press staff Fifty years ago Travis Thompson’s documentary CHANGES focused on behavior modification at Faribault State School and Hospital. Food, possibly M & M candies, was used in teaching. Thompson is a licensed psychologist and professor in educational psychology at the University of Minnesota. The black and white 1968 film opens with organ music, played by one of the facility’s 1,800 residents. Hands carefully spell out C-H-A-N-G-E-S. Heartbreaking scenes of withdrawn and agitated residents soon are replaced by depictions of positive behavioral reinforcement, and kindly interactions between residents and staff. The film’s narrator was the late Dave Moore, longtime anchor at WCCO-TV. A film clip on the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
(MNCDD) website is striking, as is the script. The sounds of residents screaming are replaced with residents singing. Anyone watching CHANGES should be aware that dated words are used. While no one would use such language today, the film is pioneering for its time. People with disabilities are portrayed as having capabilities and not solely as objects of pity. In one part of the film, Faribault Program Director Eric Errickson said “We've got a lot of folks here who don't need to be here. And institutions themselves have taught them some very bad habits about living in groups. Suppose one of the things we're doing now is aiding the resident in unlearning some of these bad kinds of things that we've taught him before. I think that's one of the choices the state of Minnesota makes if it's gonna create large institutions and make them warehouses
Volume 29, Number 4 Periodicals Imprint: Pending ISSN
Co-Founder/Publisher............................................................................................................Wm. A. Smith, Jr. (1990-96) Co-Founder/Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief.............................................................................. Charles F. Smith (1990-2001) Board of Directors................................................. Mohamed Alfash, Stephen Anderson, John Clark, Kristin Jorenby, ..............................................................................................................Jane Larson, Julius Williams, Kay Willshire, Mark Zangara Advertising Sales......... Michelle Hegarty, 612-807-1078 Cartoonist......................................................Scott Adams Executive Director.....................................Tim Benjamin Production........................................................ In-Fin Tuan Managing Editor........................................ Jane McClure Distribution............................................ S. C. Distribution Business Manager/Webmaster......... Dawn Frederick EDITORIAL: Editorial submissions and news releases on topics of interest to persons with disabilities, or persons serving those with disabilities, are welcomed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Editorial material and advertising do not necessarily reflect the view of the editor/publisher of Access Press. ADVERTISING RATES: Display Ad: $12 to $28 per column inch (size and frequency of run). Classified Ad: $14, plus 65¢ per word over 12 words. DEADLINE: January 25, 2017. CIRCULATION/DISTRIBUTION: 11,000 copies are distributed the 10 th of each month through more than 200 locations statewide. Approximately 450 copies are mailed to individuals, including political, business, institutional and civic leaders. SUBSCRIPTION: $30 per year. Low-income, student and bulk subscriptions available at discounted rates. ABOUT ACCESS PRESS: A monthly newspaper published for persons with disabilities by Access Press, Ltd. Application to mail at Periodicals Postage Prices is Pending at the St. Paul, MN 55121 facility. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Access Press at 161 St. Anthony Ave, Suite 901, St. Paul, MN 55103. INQUIRIES AND ADDRESS CHANGES should be directed to: Access Press, The Capitol Ridge Inn Offices 161 St. Anthony Ave; #910, St. Paul, MN 55103; 651-644-2133; Fax: 651-644-2136; email: email@example.com www.accesspress.org
for people, then you get folks who learn that kind of behavior.” “Behavior modification works,” Moore said. “Profoundly retarded patients can be taught self-care. And they can rejoin the human family.” In an interview posted by MNCCD, Thompson recalled being asked to help deal with Faribault residents who had behavioral challenges. Staff was vague during Thompson’s first visit. He learned they were afraid he’d be scared off by issues residents faced. His first visit was to Dakota Building, where 67 men with severe cognitive disabilities lived. Thompson described the fear and shock he felt when seeing the men. Some milled around. Others sat in chairs, rocked, flapped their hands, screamed and shouted. He was especially shocked by one man who kept banging his head against a wall. Thompson toured other buildings
and told administrators he needed time to think. “I remember thinking that I never wanted to go back to Faribault and witness the nightmare I had seen that day. Intermixed with that sense of revulsion was the realization that if I walked away, it was likely nothing would change for the men, women, and children at Faribault.” He developed behavioral intervention programs for the residents. Graduate students joined in. Soon behaviors were changing for the better, with decreases in violent behavior and use of seclusion. Next month is the story of the documentary’s impacts. ■ The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, www.mnddc.org or www.mncdd.org and www.partnersinpolicymaking.com.
April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
Work requirements proposal sparks widespread concerns
The ARRM.MOHR rally drew a large crowd, eager to meet with state lawmakers.
Disability issues still in play as session finish is eyed As the 2018 Minnesota Legislature enters its final weeks, many disability advocates are increasingly frustrated. A lack of action on several fronts, especially where critical services hang in the balance, adds to urgency and uncertainty. More than 4,000 bills were introduced this session, and many are still up in the air. The second bill deadline was March 29, just before legislators took off for the Easter and Passover break. Many items await action the second week of April when lawmakers return. Bonding for state parks accessibility remains in play, as does complex care funding, changes to MNChoices, and initiatives for mental health, special education, autism and accessibility. Several changes to reform elder care, in the wake of nursing home and senior living facilities deaths and injuries, are also rolling toward resolution. One big question mark this session is the fate of the Crisis Connection. The Richfield call center is operated by Canvas Health of Oakdale, a nonprofit mental health agency. It will start to shut down May 21 unless funding is founded. The Crisis Connection needs at least $969,000 per year to remain open. Bills to fund suicide prevention programs such as Crisis Connection are active from the 2017 legislative session. But nothing
has been done. Canvas Health CEO Matt Eastwood told the Pioneer Press that while there is great bipartisan support for the bills, action hasn’t been taken. Crisis Connection served more than 52,000 people last year. Calls are confidential and free. Persons whose families have been affected by suicide, and those who have found a lifeline through the service, have been asking legislators for support. Many people, including some state lawmakers, assume that Crisis Connection is funded by the state but that is not the case. Crisis Connection lacks a consistent source of funding. In 2017 a looming shutdown was averted with funds from the Minnesota Department of Health. But advocates contend that ongoing help is needed. What is now Crisis Connection has been in place since 1969. In 2017, the number of calls redirected from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline went up 40 percent from 2016. This was largely to the increase in demand for rural Minnesota mental health services. Crisis Connection is the only Minnesota crisis call center that responds to calls from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The service works with 13 contacts,
ISSUES To page 14
A proposal to force people on Medicaid to verify that they work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week could cost Minnesota counties and the state tens of millions of dollars in extra staff time and systems to track compliance, creating a costly and complex bureaucratic nightmare. It would create significant barriers for Minnesotans with disabilities to get the health care and supports they need. It would also make it more difficult for people to find and retain employment. Medicaid, known as Medical Assistance in Minnesota, covers about one million people here. More than half are children. Lawmakers said they would exempt children, the elderly, pregnant women, people in treatment for substance abuse and those too ill to work. People with disabilities would also be exempt. Anyone else working, seeking work, in school or training programs, or doing volunteer work for at least 80 hours per month, looking for work, in school or a training program, or doing community volunteer work for at least 80 hours a month would be allowed to keep their health care coverage. But the proposed law would require monthly reports to county caseworkers, starting in 2020. Failure to report would mean termination of Medicaid coverage. Supporters contend that the Republican-driven bill is cost-effective and helps get people back to work in a time of labor shortages. They claim that Minnesota’s Medicaid programs, Medical Assistance, discourages able-bodied people from working. The measure narrowly passed through House and Senate committees before the Easter/ Passover break, with votes hewing to party lines. Gov. Mark Dayton has said he would veto the bill when it hits his desk. But it’s possible the measure could be wrapped up in a bill with other proposals, presenting a challenge to the governor. Disability advocates, health care providers and people who rely on
Medicaid are speaking out against the proposal. They contend it could be very costly and complicated to administer and that it could force people off of the health care they need. Workforce training programs could be adversely affected. Uncompensated health care, which is already a huge problem in some counties, could further increase. County officials from around the state agreed, saying they’d have to raise property taxes or cut other services to cover the program. Hennepin County Commission Linda Higgins noted that her county would need 250 more workers at a cost of at least $17 million. The Minnesota Department of Human Services also faces additional costs, estimating that 65 staff members would have to be added. The state costs of administration could hit $7 million by 2021. Poignant testimony from people who would be adversely affected by the policy dominated committee hearings and a This is Medicaid-sponsored news conference on the proposal in late March. Those who could be affected talked about their desire to work and be active in their communities, but how difficult that can be when disabilities and chronic health conditions interfere. This is Medicaid members outlined obstacles for people who could lose health coverage if they don’t fall into one of the exemption categories. One huge concern is for people with disabilities who lack a disability certification. Others who could be adversely affected include people with mental illness, people who live with fetal alcohol syndrome, those in treatment for cancer and other illnesses, the homeless and others who may not fit into an exemption category. Concerns were also expressed that the monthly reporting requirements could be too onerous. Sue Abderholden, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, testified that the bill could cause further problems for
CONCERNS To page 15
April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
Falsely claiming that a pet is a service animal could become a crime in Minnesota. The House March 26 unanimously passed a bill that makes such false claims a misdemeanor. Senate action must wait until after April 9, when state lawmakers return from break. The legislation was brought forward by Rep. Steve Green (R-Fosston). He has a constituent whose service dog had to be euthanized after it was attacked and seriously injured by a so-called fake service dog. For the first offense, misrepresenting an animal as a service dog would be a petty misdemeanor. That is punishable by a $100 fine. Lawmakers and advocates said that rather than penalize people, they’d like to see a law be used for education. Groups that train and provide service animals applaud the legislation, as do people who rely on service animals. But other disability advocates note that if the penalty becomes law, that will bring a need for a heightened public education and awareness campaign for businesses, people with disabilities and the general public. The need for the law itself was debated last month at a Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities gathering. Some organization representatives noted that if a law is adopted, it could have a potentially chilling effect on people who rely on service animals. One big worry is that people would be afraid of going out in public for fear of being challenged. Others asked if the state would be trying to regulate common sense. But the counterpoint is the growing number of people who wish to take pets, especially dogs, everywhere. It is all too easy to search the Internet for a vest that can be placed on a pet, or to find websites claiming to help turn a pet into a service animal. Erica Schmiel, legislative coordinator
CAN DO CANINES
Legislators wish to collar handlers of fake service animals
Can Do Canines has an extensive service dog training program, even for these little pups. The organization is one of several groups speaking out against fake service animals. for the Minnesota Council on Disability, said public education will be critical if the bill is signed into law. People with disabilities who rely on service animals will be concerned about how to prove a service animal is indeed valid. That’s especially true for people who are nonverbal. Business owners will need education as to how to properly respond when a service animal comes into an establishment. “We don’t want this to have a negative impact,” Schmiel said. The council will be among the groups working on education efforts if the bill becomes law. Hearings on the bill in March revealed widespread abuses. Groups like Can Do
Canines pointed out the years of training it takes to get a dog ready for work as a true service animal and how easy it is to spot an untrained animal. At a March news conference and at hearings, people who rely on service dogs said they must increasingly deal with untrained animals masquerading as service dogs. Minneapolis resident Terri Krake relies on service dog Brody to help with disability that includes seizures. Krake and Brody run into fake service dogs a few times a week. They must carefully navigate stores to avoid untrained animals. Service dog Dazzle helps Plymouth resident Beth Kantor. “I get it: People are
dog lovers. They want to bring their dogs out. I love my dog, too. But my dog is there because I medically need her,” said Kantor, who has multiple sclerosis. Kantor said that because people lack moral compass, a “legal compass” is needed. What can get confusing is how animals are classified. People with disabilities may use service animals and emotional support animals for many reasons. Service animals are animals that perform tasks that include leading a person, retrieving dropped items, pushing buttons or switches, and reminding a person to take medication. The work or task performed by the service animal must be related to the owner’s disability. Federal civil rights laws govern the rights of a person with a service animal. States also can pass their own laws, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website. Service animals include guide dogs, hearing or signal dogs, psychiatric service dogs, seizure dogs and SSigDOGs (sensory signal dogs or social signal dog). SSigDOGs help people with autism. Under Title II and III of the ADA, service animals are limited to dogs. The animals must be allowed into public places with their owners. Emotional support, therapy or comfort animals may be part of medical treatment and service as therapy animals, but they aren’t considered service animals under the ADA. Some states regulate therapy animals but the animals aren’t covered by the same federal laws protecting use of service animals. Learn more about the different types of animals at www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm ■
Choice of incontinence products still faces uncertainty It’s the problem no one talks about. It involves a product many people with disabilities cannot live without. The incontinence supplies available to Minnesotans with disabilities could dramatically change, unless state lawmakers take action before the 2018 legislative session ends May 21. The fight to repeal a 2017 law requiring Minnesota to bid out incontinence products continues, led by the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Supplies (MAMES). Other disability groups and self-advocates have lined up in support of the change. The change would affect approximately 14,000 Minnesotans who rely on the Medicaid incontinence benefit. The Minnesota Department of Human Services hasn’t unveiled its ideas for a program yet. The measure was passed in the waning hours of the 2017 legislative session, without public comment or discussion. The bid program takes effect July 1, 2018 and would result in an estimated 35 percent cut in costs. But the tradeoff is likely lower-quality products that could force people to stay home or worse, create health issues. Bidding out incontinence products has met poor results in other states. The program also is criticized for not being personcentered and for not supporting access to choice. The Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services and Supplies (MAMES) is leading the charge to overturn the bid requirement. What frustrated MAMES, advocates and consumers is that the bid requirement was tucked into the 2017 health and human services omnibus bill without any public notice or debate. MAMES and other groups had hoped that overturning the Medicaid Preferred Incontinence Product Program (MPIPP) could be done in the early days of the 2018 session. But that hasn’t happened. Instead, there was much disappointment when Gov. Mark Dayton failed to address the measure in his supplemental budget released in March. Dropping the
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bid program has an estimated budget impact of $2.4 million. Advocates contend that is a pittance in a $45 billion supplemental budget. But those rallying against the incontinence products proposal face a daunting state and national trend, as more and more products needed for everyday living are subjected to competitive bidding requirements. That’s especially true of needs overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. While competitive bidding provides the benefit of saving government dollars, it has restricted what products people can use for everyday needs. It has also had a huge negative impact on medical supply and durable goods providers, forcing some out of business. One fear is that MPIPP could continue this trend and lead to job loss. Members of the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens
with Disabilities (MNCCD) said they’ve received assurances that the repeal will be addressed, either with a hearing or with an amendment to another bill. But that was uncertain as legislators prepared for their spring break. The incontinence products issue has attracted attention from a bipartisan group that wants to repeal the bid program. Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) introduced a bill seeking repeal, and was joined by co-authors on both sides of the aisle. That also happened in the House, where Rep. Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River) is the lead author. Bill Amberg, who works for both MAMES and MNCCD, said hearings were promised. “We’ve been told by legislators that this never should have happened.” “It’s a priority to get this fixed,” said Amberg. The bill numbers are Senate File 2725 and House File 3252. ■
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April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to understand The first National Autism Awareness Month was declared by the Autism Society in April 1970. The goal is educate the public about autism, and raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This month is backed by the Autism Society of America which undertake a number of activities to raise awareness about autism. The Autism Society has local chapters throughout the United States which hold special events throughout April, along with other groups that work on autism awareness. Autism is a complex mental condition and developmental disability, characterized by difficulties in the way a person communicates and interacts with other people. Autism can be present from birth or form during early childhood (typically within the first three years). Autism is a lifelong developmental disability with no single known cause. In the United States, one estimate is that autism affects one in every 110 children. National Autism Awareness Month aims to make the public more aware about this widespread disability and the issues which arise in the autism community. Chances are that almost
JOURNEY From Page 1 “Obviously they have skills that are different from yours. But when you are trying to be authentic about what is happening in your life, and you’re trying to really be raw and out there, you can run into some fear of that.” She appreciated Ricker’s support and encouragement. Josiah’s communication skills leapt from using pictures to writing sentences that were wise beyond his years. Cutting parts of his writing was difficult for the co-authors, who agreed to not edit or change the boy’s remaining words in any way. Cullen describes Josiah’s first language as poetry, full of images and symbolism is unique to him. Josiah’s writings made a huge difference for his family. “When Josiah began to communicate with us, that opened up a whole new relationship,” Cullen said. “Not only was it helpful to know little things like his favorite color or what he liked to do, but he was able to communicate things that were very helpful. One time he told me there was a staple in his shoe. How would I have known that before?” The writing experience also taught Cullen about the “God connection” many children with autism have. “I know when we got the autism diagnosis, there was quite a bit out there as far as treatments and theories. But one thing I did not see was about the spiritual and emotional journey you are on when faced with something that is essentially an unresolved issue.” Cullen hopes the book resonates with parents of children with autism or special needs, and tell them there is hope. The audience is much larger than she expected. “People are identifying on a level that is just humanity. People know what it’s like to face issues that make you down on your hope, or try to snuff out your faith, seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I have had a number of people who are therapists, art teachers and special education teachers tell me that having read this book, they are treating kids differently.” Teachers realize their students with varied disabilities have thoughts, desires and gifts. Teenagers also enjoy the book, which Cullen found revealing. “They know what it’s like to face rejection, bullying and insecurity. They can identify, and realize that if this kid can make it through life, maybe they can too.” Josiah continues to write and has a Facebook page, Josiah’s Fire. He has issues with body movement, and still isn’t verbal. “A lot of times when he writes I have to keep bringing him back, working on getting his sensory system calmed down so he can sit and pay attention.” The coauthors maintain their friendship. Ricker has found herself living with disability. On the September 2016 day Josiah’s Fire was published, she was diagnosed with cervical dystonia, a muscular disease that makes it hard to walk. Like the Cullens, she seeks hope in a tough situation. One message from Josiah’s Fire is that even if the future may not look like what we have planned for our children, it can still be good, said Cullen. “They still count. “We can help them explore what that future will be for them.” From her own family experience, she added, “When the whole world says you have to learn how to cope with this, I will turn and say you have to learn how to hope.” ■
everyone know someone with this disability. A better informed public will be more empathetic and supportive toward people with autism. People with autism are classed as having ASD and the terms autism and ASD are often used interchangeably. A wide spectrum disorder, people will autism have set of symptoms unique to themselves. Whilst no two people with autism will have the same set of symptoms, there are common characteristics found in those with this complex disability. Some characteristics are: Social Skills: People with autism have problems interacting with others. Children with autism don’t play and interact as other children do. Verbal skills can be affected. Empathy: Empathy is the ability to recognize and understand the feelings of another person. People with autism find it harder to show empathy to others although they can be taught to acknowledge the others feelings. Physical Contact: In some cases, people with autism don’t like physical contact such as hugs, tickling or physical play with others. Sudden Changes to the Environment: A sudden change in the surrounding environment may affect a person with autism. This could be a loud noise, a change in intensity of lighting or even a change in odor.
Speech: Speech can be affected in people with autism. “Echolalia” is a typical speech symptom in which the person repeats words and phrases that they hear. The speech tone of an autistic person may be monotonous. Where symptoms are more extreme the person may not speak. Changes to Behavior and Routine: People with autism often display repetitive behavior in which they repeat the same action many times over. Repetitive behavior and routine provide comfort and stability, and what this change, people can have difficulties. For example, a person with autism may repeatedly pace around a room in a certain direction. Any change to their behavior or routine can be unsettling for them. This could be a reordering of daily activities such as when a person brushes their teeth, takes a shower and has breakfast when they get up in the morning. Other characteristics of autism include an unpredictable learning rate, obsessions and physical tics. The “Puzzle Ribbon” is the symbol for Autism Awareness and is promoted by the Autism Society as means of supporting awareness for autism. The Puzzle Ribbon may take the form of a pin attached to clothing, a fridge magnet or a sticker and are available to purchase from the Autism Society website. Learn more and find local resources at www.autism-society.org ■
April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
REGIONAL NEWS Greater Minnesota needs transit help
Funding for the public transportation system in Greater Minnesota is falling off pace for what it would cost to pay for growing ridership estimates, according to a state report. By 2025, the tax-supported transit system that serves Minnesotans outside the Twin Cities metro area is scheduled to accommodate 17 million outstate rides per year — a 40 percent increase over today's ridership. The report showed that increases were attributed to an aging population and the millennial generation, which uses alternate forms of transportation more frequently. “As the population of Greater Minnesota grows and ages, the need for public transit also increases,” said Tim Henkel, assistant commissioner for modal planning and program management for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The updated Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan showed that a $10 million annual surplus now would be siphoned off in coming years and could grow into a $120 million funding gap by 2025. The report shows the cost to meet 100 percent of the Greater Minnesota transit need is expected to rise sharply in the coming years. A key concern is that transit would be reduced for people with disabilities and the elderly. “If they reduce funding then we will have no choice but to reduce service," said Arrowhead Transit marketing coordinator Larry Rodgers. Arrowhead Transit is based in Gilbert, and offers mostly Dial-A-Ride services to eight surrounding counties, including St. Louis County, while providing more than 600,000 annual rides as of 2016, according to a separate 2017 report. To view the Greater Minnesota Transit Investment Plan visit online at: minnesotago.org/index.php?cID=435 (Source: Duluth News-Tribune)
Student suspensions are eyed
Students of color and those with disabilities are twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from Minnesota schools than their white peers or students without disabilities, a new study reveals. The statewide analysis, released in March by the state's Department of Human Rights, showed that students of color accounted for 66 percent of all school suspensions and expulsions in the 2015-16 school year, even though they make up only 31 percent of Minnesota's student population. Students with disabilities were involved in 43 percent of all suspensions and expulsions, but make up only 14 percent of the student population. “For some schools, this information was somewhat surprising; they hadn't examined this before,” Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey said. “I'm hoping, by us raising the awareness, it does stay front and center for people in Minnesota. I think there are a lot of folks in the state who want kids to succeed. Hopefully we'll see the disparities drop.” The analysis, which the state hadn’t done recently, looked at data from all public K-12 schools and charter schools and reflects a broader trend. A 2016 survey found that nationwide, black students were nearly four times as likely to be suspended and nearly twice as likely to be expelled as white students, while students with disabilities were twice as likely to be suspended. “There are so many other ways besides kicking kids out,” said Sue Budd, who is with ISAIAH, a faithbased nonprofit that works on racial and economic equity in Minnesota and has advocated against school suspensions. “There's no silver bullet, but there's all kind of ways these disparities should be addressed.” (Source: Star Tribune)
New Options has ‘new options’ now
Shakopee-based New Options, the last countyrun day training and habilitation program in Minnesota that provides services and employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), is now operated by ProAct, Inc. The transition was made earlier
this year, due to changes in state and federal policies. ProAct is a major Dakota County-based nonprofit providing a comprehensive array of services in several Minnesota communities, and in western Wisconsin. “We are thrilled to take on this new responsibility and embrace the opportunity,” said ProAct President and CEO Steven Ditschler. “We have been very intentional and open in the planning and transition and have had good group meetings with the families that are involved.” The Shakopee facility serves 85 individuals, with an in-center work operation, work crews and activities in the community, as well as therapy, nursing and other services provided. New Options has traditionally attracted people with disabilities who have higher needs. Director Ali Brown said the program has a staff of 21, and is looking to grow. All but two staff members were retained during the merger. Individuals with disabilities package high-end bicycle parts and do work for a custom rubber fabricator in the Twin Cities, among other jobs. Mobile work crews clean churches and stay busy helping behind the scenes at the Renaissance Festival each year. The new ProAct affiliate maintains its name and identity, its transportation provider and its facility. A contracted nurse provides care to individuals with higher needs. About a third of the participants work on projects in-center at New Options. ProAct is planning to offer development services for competitive employment in the coming months to people in the Scott County area. New Options began as a preschool program and grew when the community found that adults, too, needed its services, said Brown. Today, it serves only adults. (Source: ProAct)
Suicide prevention, mental help provided
Minnesotans statewide can now access suicide prevention and mental health crisis texting services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As of April 1, people who text MN to 741741 will be connected with a trained counselor who will help defuse the crisis and connect the texter to local resources. The service helps people
contemplating suicide and facing mental health issues. Minnesota has had text suicide prevention services since 2011, but they have only been available in 54 of 87 counties, plus tribal nations. Crisis Text Line will offer suicide prevention and education efforts in all Minnesota counties and tribal nations, including, for the first time, the Twin Cities metro area. “It’s important that we reach people where they are at, and text-based services such as Crisis Text Line are one vital way to do that,” said Human Services Assistant Commissioner Claire Wilson. “It’s especially crucial that we reach youth with these services, and we all know that texting has fast become a preferred way of communication.” Crisis Text Line, a non-profit that has worked nationally since 2013, is the state’s sole provider for this service as of April 1. Crisis Text Line handles 50,000 messages per month — more than 20 million messages since 2013 — from across the country, connecting people to local resources in their communities. For callers who are in the most distress, the average wait time for a response is only 39 seconds. Crisis counselors at Crisis Text Line undergo a sixweek, 30-hour training program. Supervisors are mental health professionals with either master’s degrees or extensive experience in the field of suicide prevention. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800273-8255 also provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources. (Source: Minnesota DHS)
App will help law enforcement
An app-based service that helps law enforcement officers interact with people with developmental disabilities, mental illness or dementia. Dakota County recently rolled out the service, which was developed by Vitals Aware Services, a Golden Valleybased tech company, in partnership with the Autism Society of Minnesota. Over the past two months, about 500 city police officers and sheriff’s deputies have been trained to use Vitals. The county’s park rangers also have the app. The voluntary service was launched in August in St. Paul as a pilot program and has since expanded to Roseville, Chaska, Hopkins and the Three Rivers Park District. People who want the police to know about their conditions, such as autism, diabetes or dementia, wear a “beacon” transmitter. The beacon can take the form of a cellphone, keychain, necklace, debit card or bracelet. When a Vitals user comes within 80 feet of an officer using the service, the officer will receive a cellphone notification about the person’s diagnosis and how to best interact. (Source: Pioneer Press)
Treatments eyed for cerebral palsy
Neuroscientists at the University of Minnesota are experimenting with technology that could one day help people with cerebral palsy. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers found that stimulating targeted areas of the brain with a mild electrical current can enhance the motor skills of children with cerebral palsy, which is the most common motor disability in childhood. The findings, published last month, mark the first time that the exploratory procedure known as “transcranial direct current stimulation,” or TDCS, which involves passing an electrical current through the skull and into the brain, was found to be safe with children with cerebral palsy. “This has the potential to transform lives,” said Bernadette Gillick, principal investigator of the study REGIONAL NEWS To page 15
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ACCESSING YOUR COMMUNITY BUSINESSES:
Understanding Your Rights and the ADA Make sure your toolbox is full! Join us for a FREE hands-on workshop to equip people with disabilities, advocates and family members with tools, guidance, and greater understanding of the the ADA and accessibility. WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, April 28th from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Eastside Neighborhood Services, 1700 NE 2nd Street, Minneapolis Lunch will be provided. For more information, registration, dietary and accommodation requests: visit mn.gov/mcd/toolbox or call 651-646-8342. Space is limited, registration is required by April 25th. Accommodation and dietary requests are due by April 18th. EVENT SPONSORS:
April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
Disability issues take on urgency LEARN ABOUT THE ADA Three of Minnesota’s leading disability advocacy organizations are conducting a handson workshop to equip people with disabilities, advocates, and family members with tools, guidance, and a greater understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Go to the workshop and learn ways to address building access and compliance issues. Accessing Your Community Businesses: Understanding Your Rights and the ADA, is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat, April 28 at Eastside Neighborhood Services at 1700 NE 2nd St., Mpls. The workshop is free, and lunch is provided but participants must preregister and make accommodations requests in advance. The workshop is sponsored by ADA
CONFERENCES HOUSING RESOURCE AND INFORMATION FAIR PACER Center offers its 14th annual Housing Resource and Information Fair, 9 a.m.-noon Sat, April 14 at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington. The free event is for parents of teens and young adults with disabilities. Learn about services and housing options. With parent voices leading off between 9-9:30 a.m. Then an open house will feature housing providers, information and advocacy organizations, and networking with other parents. State and county specialists will be available to answer questions. Representatives will be on site from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department, Ramsey County Department of Community Human Services, Dakota County Community Living Services, Washington County Community Services, and the Minnesota Disability Law Center. Registration is encouraged. FFI: PACER, 952838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY LEADERSHIP SUMMIT PACER Center hosts the Early Childhood Family Leadership Summit 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sat, April 21 at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington. This free one-day specialized leadership training event is for parents of children ages birth to seven with developmental delays or disabilities. The training is intended for parents who currently serve or are interested in serving on interagency early intervention committees or subcommittees, special education advisory councils or other advisory boards. Funding for the workshop is made possible under a contract from the Minnesota Department of Education. Lodging may be provided for parents traveling more than 70 miles one way. Preregister by Wed, April 18 as the training will fill up quickly, FFI: Judy Swett, (952) 838-9000, (800) 537-2237 (toll free), jswett@ pacer.org MINNESOTA AUTISM CONFERENCE Registration is open for the 23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference, April 25-28, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis - Park Place, 1500 Park Place Blvd., Mpls. Autism Society of Minnesota organizes the event, offering opportunities for experts, parents, caregivers, educators, paraprofessionals, mental health professionals, service providers and individuals on the spectrum to connect, collaborate, advocate and educate. The conference features four keynote speakers: “Autism Daddy Frank Campagna; Jed Baker, PhD; Stephen Shore, PhD; and Leah Kuypers MA Ed, OTR/L. More than 30 breakout sessions are also offered. The conference begins with an exciting family celebration featuring Julia, the newest Sesame Street Muppet, a character who was created to increase awareness and understanding of autism. Costs and details are online. FFI: www.ausm.org SAVE THE DATE FOR MNCCD Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities hosts its annual health and wellness conference, conference, Healthy Independent Living for People with Disabilities Tue, Sept. 25 at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, Mpls. Matthew Sanford is keynote speaker. This is the second year for the conference. FFI: www.mnccd.org
RESOURCES FREE EYE EXAMS FOR ANIMALS Service and working animals can get free eye exams through an annual exam program in May, organized by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists ACVO and StokesRx. The program has been offered for 11 years and has helped almost 60,000 animals. Registration opens Sun, April 1 and ends Mon, April 30. The appointments fill up quickly. The goal for the hundreds of volunteers is to provide as many exams as possible. Guide, disability assistance, detection, military, search and rescue, and registered therapy animals are eligible. Register to determine eligibility and to see what is offered in the region. FFI: www.ACVOeyeexam.org PACER WORKSHOPS SAMPLING PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Workshops are offered throughout the state. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Ask if workshops are livestreamed. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions catered to their needs. Special Education and the Important Role you Play for Your Child is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mon, April 23 in Lindstrom. Parents play an important role in the special education process. Participants in this workshop will learn how parents can use their rights and abilities to advocate for their child and work effectively with the school.
Minnesota, Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) and Minnesota Council on Disability (MCD). Representatives from the three groups have information-packed sessions planned. Topics include Civic Engagement, how to get involved in your community and communicate effectively; Understanding Your Rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III and barrier removal law; and Understanding Minnesota Building Codes including technical requirements and hands-on training with measuring tools. “We are deeply committed to ADA as this law assures rights and responsibilities for people with disabilities,” said Jesse Bethke Gomez, MCIL executive director. “We know some members of the disability community are not fully aware of the rules, regulations, and their rights. Or they find
This workshop will also provide valuable information for surrogate parents, foster parents, and the professionals who work with them on behalf of children. Getting and Keeping the First Job is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tue, April 24 at PACER Center. Competitive employment is the cornerstone of a successful transition to adult living for youth with disabilities. In this workshop, co-presented by Transition Specialists from PACER and Vocational Rehabilitation Services, youth and parents will learn about preparing for and keeping a job/. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org BE A ‘HANDIHAM’ The Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s Handiham Program connects people with vision loss or physical disability with the challenging, exciting and rewarding world of ham radio. Radio Talking Book is helping to promote the program. Ham radio is a fun hobby and can connect people from all over the world. FFI: 1-866426-3442, www.handiham.org
VOLUNTEER VOLUNTEER READERS SOUGHT Volunteers are a valuable resource at Radio Talking Book, broadcasting local news and information programs to blind and print-impaired listeners from sites in Duluth, Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud and the Communication Center in St. Paul. The goal is to provide accurate and timely information to our thousands of listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. Volunteers are needed to provide this important service. FFI: Roberta Kitlinski, 651-539-1423 OPEN THE DOOR TO EDUCATION Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give just 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. The literacy council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, volunteer@ mnliteracy.org, http://tinyurl.com/adult-opportunities
INFO & ASSISTANCE PARKINSON’S SUPPORT GROUP The St. Cloud Area Parkinson's Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month at ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud. Free. Meetings are open
themselves in situations when a building is non-compliant, and they are unsure of how to tactfully help the building owner understand their obligations,” said Margot Imdieke Cross, accessibility specialist with MCD. “This handson workshop offers an exciting opportunity to empower participants with practical tools and tactics, so they can address building accessibility issues with confidence.” Workshop presenters include: Cindy Tarshish, ADAC, ADA Minnesota Program Coordinator; Tiffany Ostrom, Community Engagement Coordinator, Metropolitan Center for Independent Living; Margot Imdieke Cross, Accessibility Specialist, Minnesota Council on Disability; and David Fenley, ADA Director, Minnesota Council on Disability. FFI: 651-646-8342, mn.gov/mcd/toolbox
to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the general public. The group provides support, education, and awareness about the disease. FFI: 320-529-9000 DEMENTIA CAREGIVERS SUPPORT Jewish Family Service of St. Paul, in partnership with Sholom Home East and the Alzheimer’s Association, facilitates a caregiver support group for people who are providing care to a loved one suffering from dementia. The group is designed to provide proven resources and methods for caregivers who are caring for someone at home or considering in-home services or a transition to assisted living or long-term care. The group meets 3-4 p.m. on the second and fourth Mon of each month in the Community Room at Sholom Home East, 740 Kay Ave., St. Paul. The group is free and open to the public. RSVP. FFI: Grace, 651-690-8903, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Cassandra, 651-328-2014, email@example.com MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT OFFERED NAMI Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI also has more than 70 free support groups for people living with a mental illness and their families. NAMI Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. In the Twin Cities NAMI has about 24 family support groups, more than 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators, groups provide help and support. Parent resource groups are facilitated by a parent who has a child with a mental illness and who has been trained to lead support groups. A group meets 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday at Eagle Brook Church, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake. FFI: Jody Lyons 651-645-2948 x109. Family support groups help families who have a relative with a mental illness. A group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae. 651-484-0599. Open Door Anxiety and Panic support groups help people cope with anxiety disorders. One group meets 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the second and fourth Thu in Room 104, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. Another group meets 6:308 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul. OPPORTUNITIES To page 15
FUN IS GOOD
on St. Paul’s Front Porch!
ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE! 651-644-6659 saintsbaseball.com
April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
ENJOY! NAMI MINNESOTA SPRING GALA A Spring Gala benefit for the NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is Sat, April 28 at the Radisson Blu Mpls. Speak Easy About Mental Health is this year’s theme. Jump, jive, and shake your tail feathers to the swinging sounds of High Brow and the Shades. The event features a live and silent auction, a plated dinner, and live music and dancing - all supporting the mental health community. Proceeds support NAMI’s programs of education and support for children and adults with mental illnesses and their families. Roaring Twenties themed attire desired but not required. Ticket prices and sponsorship information online. FFI: 651-645-2948, namihelps.org PURPLE GALA IS MAY 5 The Alzheimer’s Association of Minnesota and North Dakota hosts its 26th Purple Gala, at 5:30 p.m. Sat, May 5 at the Depot in Mpls. The event includes a reception and silent auction followed by dinner, live auction, entertainment, and after party with live band. Tickets and donation opportunities are available online. FFI: www.alz.org/mnnd CELEBRATE MAGIC Celebrate the Magic Within is Autism Society of Minnesota's fundraising gala, 6-10 p.m. Fri, April 27 at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel MinneapolisPark Place. Enjoy good food, drinks, games, silent and live auctions, and a celebration of those serving as true inspirations to individuals affected by autism spectrum disorder. Gala proceeds benefit programs and services for the Minnesota autism community. Tickets and sponsor opportunities available online. FFI: www.ausm.org LUPUS LINKS WALK & RUN Lupus Links sponsors its annual Lupus Link Minnesota Walk & 5K -- Twin Cities 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat, May 5 at French Regional Park, Plymouth. Walk, run or roll to raise funding and awareness of lupus as advocates mark Lupus Awareness Month. Register online. FFI: https://lupuslinkmn.org MS WALK IS MAY 6 An estimated 4,000 people are expected to raise more than $775,000 at Walk MS: Twin Cities on Sun, May 6 at Minnehaha Park, Mpls. Walk MS is an opportunity for people to come together with friends, loved ones and coworkers to fundraise, connect and advocate for people affected by multiple sclerosis. The site opens at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9:30 a.m. FFI: https:// tinyurl.com/y8v7gjoq JENNIFER HUDSON HEADLINES Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson headlines PACER’s Annual Benefit on Sat, May 12 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Proceeds from the annual benefit support PACER’s programs for children with disabilities and their families, and PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Tickets start at $75 and include silent and live auctions. FFI: 952-838-9000, PACER.org/benefit THE WOLVES Jungle Theater presents a drama about nine American girls, at Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, April 12. Contact theatre to request an ASL-interpreted show. Tickets reduced to $19 plus fees (regular $37 plus fees), FFI: 612-822-7063, www.jungletheater.com DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST GREAT Theatre presents the children’s tale of love and acceptance, at Paramount Theatre, 913 St. Germain St. W., St. Cloud. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, April 13. Tickets zoned-based, ranging from $28-34. Other discounts available. FFI: 320-259-5463, www.GreatTheatre.org FAMILIAR Guthrie Theater presents the story of cultural identity and an upcoming wedding, at Guthrie Theater, McGuire Proscenium, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. AD and ASL offered 1 p.m. Sat, April 14. Free SENS tour 10:30 a.m. Sat, April 14. Tickets reduced to $20 for AD/ASL, $25 for OC (regular $15-67). FFI: 612-3772224, www.guthrietheater.org THE PINK UNICORN Illusion Theater presents a solo piece on parenting in today’s times, at Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave, 8th floor, Mpls. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, April 15. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, April 21. Assisted listening devices available. Tickets $20-35, AD/ASL patrons: use the code AUDIOASL for $10 off tickets; coupon codes valid only on full price tickets. FFI: 612-3394944, www.illusiontheater.org THE IMAGINARY INVALID Combustible Company presents a farce about healthcare, at Gremlin Theater, 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul. ASL and AD offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, April 19. Tix: $10-28; ($2 off with Fringe button). FFI: http://combustiblecompany.org FIVE POINTS Theater Latte Da presents the world premiere of a play set in Civil War-era New York City, at Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis. AD and ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, April 19 and Thu, April 26. Tickets reduced to $17.50 for ASL/AD patrons and one guest. FFI: 612-339-3003, www.latteda.org MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA ENSEMBLE CONCERT: VIOLIN DUO Minnesota Orchestra, Adam Kuenzel, flute, and Magdalena Loza Flores, guitar, present an engaging and interactive concert, at Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. SENS 11 a.m. Sat, April 14. The small ensemble is ideal for patrons of all ages and abilities, including people on the autism spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities. Lyndie Walker, MT-BC, of Toneworks Music Therapy Services hosts. Fidgets, noise-canceling headphones and quiet spaces are available, and attendees can access online preparatory materials one month before performances. Stand-alone chairs provide for
ART IN BLOOM Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., hosts the 35th annual Art in Bloom four-day festival, April 26-29. Enjoy fresh floral arrangements and fine art, presented by the Friends of the Institute. ASL offered 7:15 p.m. Thu, April 26 and 1:15 p.m. Sun, April 29. Tours begin in second floor rotunda. Free. FFI: 612-8703000, firstname.lastname@example.org
flexible seating, and open space is available for those who wish to sit on the floor or move around the room. Free but advance tickets required. FFI: 612371-5656, www.minnesotaorchestra.org DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents a musical comedy caper, at the Stage at Island Park, 333 4th St. S., Fargo. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, April 20. Pre-show description at 7:10 p.m. Audio description tickets not available online. Tickets reduced to $10 for AD patron and companion (regular $21). Other discounts available. FFI: 701-235-6778, www.fmct.org SPRING AWAKENING Normandale Department of Theatre presents a musical about morality and sexuality, at Normandale Community College, Fine Arts Building, 9700 France Ave. S., Bloomington. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, April 20. Adult themes. Not suitable for children. Tickets $10. Other discounts available. FFI: 952-3588884, www.normandale.edu THE TEMPEST North Hennepin Community College Theatre presents Shakespeare’s tale of magic and revenge, at North Hennepin Community College Fine Arts Center, Mainstage Theatre, 7411 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, April 20. Tickets $12. Other discounts available. FFI: 763493-0543, www.nhcc.edu/theatre FOLLIES Artistry presents the story of an actors’ reunion, at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, April 22. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, April 29. Tickets reduced to $29; regular $41. Other discounts available. FFI: 952-563-8575, www.artistrymn.org STILL DANCE THE STARS Yellow Tree Theatre presents the world premiere of a powerful love story, at Yellow Tree Theatre, 320 5th Ave. SE, Osseo. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, April 22. Please request ASL services at least two weeks prior to performance date. Tickets $25. Other discounts available. FFI: 763-4938733, http://yellowtreetheatre.com/ GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER Guthrie Theater presents a story of putting one’s values to the test, at Guthrie Theater, Wurtele Thrust, 818 2nd St. S. Mpls. AD and ASL offered 1 p.m. Sat, April 28, with a free sensory tour at 10:30 a.m. OC offered 1 p.m. Wed, May 2, 7:30 p.m. Fri, May 4 and 1 p.m. Sat, May 5. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, May 4. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 11. Tickets reduced to $20 for AD/ASL, $25 for OC (regular $15-67). FFI: 612-377-2224, www.guthrietheater.org AIR PLAY A wordless adventure of two siblings on a journey is present at Escher Auditorium, College of Saint Benedict, 37 S. College Ave., St. Joseph. SENS offered 2 p.m. Sat, April 28, 2:00 PM. SENS accommodations noted online. Audio description and Braille programs available with onemonth notice. Tickets $24. Other discounts available. FFI: 320-363-5777, email@example.com THE MOORS Theatre B presents a wildly theatrical comedy, at Lincoln School, 215 10th St. N., Moorhead. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, April 28. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Sat or by advance request. Tickets $20. Other discounts available. FFI: 701-7298880, www.theatreb.org NATASHA AND THE COAT Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company presents a play about independence and finding one’s dreams, at Highland Park Community Center Theater, 1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul. AD offered 1 p.m. Sun, April 29. Tickets $23-38; AD patrons $23; FFI: 651-647-4315, www.mnjewishtheatre.org BEAUTIFUL RIVER Great River Chorale presents folks songs, hymns and spirituals at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4310 County Road 137, St. Cloud. ASL offered 4 p.m. Sun, April 29. Tickets $16 general admission. Other discounts available. FFI: http:// greatriverchorale.org
a.m. Thu, May 3 and Sat, May 5. All tickets to SENS performances are $10. This production isn’t available online; to reserve, call 952-979-1111, opt. 4. School groups $5 per student. Call 952-979-1119 to reserve tickets. AD and ASL offered 1 p.m. Sat, May 12. OC offered 7 p.m. Fri, May 18. Tickets, ask about discount for AD/ASL patrons. Other discounts available. FFI: 952-9791111, opt. 4, www.stagestheatre.org PEN PALS: JESMYN WARD Friends of Hennepin County Library PenPals presents award-winning author and Mississippi native Jesymn Ward at Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, May 3 and 11 a.m. Fri, May 4. Tickets $40-50. A limited number of reception tickets after Thu evening lectures are available and include complimentary appetizers, wine, and book signing with the author. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Hennepin County Library. FFI: 612-543-8112, www.supporthclib.org CLUE: THE MUSICAL DINNER THEATRE GREAT Theatre presents interactive adult musical dinner theater based on the popular game, at Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre inside GREAT World Headquarters, 710 Sundial Drive, Waite Park. ASL offered 6 p.m. Fri, May 4. Tickets $64. FFI: 320-259-5463 SPIRITUAL IN ART Minneapolis Institute of Arts hosts interpreted tours at 1 p.m. the first Sun of each month. Meet at the upper lobby information bar. Next tour is 1 p.m. Sun, May 6 at the institute’s Target Gallery, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. ASL offered. Free. Other interpreted tours and memory loss tours can be scheduled on request. FFI: 612-870-3000, firstname.lastname@example.org A WRINKLE IN TIME Lyric Arts Company of Anoka presents a play adapted from the beloved children’s novel, at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 420 E. Main St., Anoka. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, May 6. Lyric Arts reserves seats in Row I for parties including persons using wheelchairs or with limited mobility. ASL interpreters are provided at the first Sun performance of each regular season production. A limited number of seats near the interpreters are held in reserve for ASL patrons until three weeks prior to the performance. If no ASL seating has been reserved three weeks before the show (Sun, April 15), the ASL interpretation will be canceled and seats will be released to the public. When ordering tickets, please indicate the need for seating in this section. Assisted listening devices are also available upon request. Tickets $18-22; $5 discount for ASL seats. FFI: 763-422-1838, www.lyricarts.org AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED University Theatre presents the popular verse-novel, at University of Minnesota, Rarig Center, Nolte Xperimental space, 330 - 21st Ave. S., Mpls. ASL and AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, May 6. Tickets $17, students, $7. FFI: 612
ENJOY! To page 15
TOUR FOR PEOPLE WITH MEMORY LOSS At 10 a.m. on the first Tue of every month the historic James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul, offers a sensory-based tour designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. Each themed tour, usually an hour or less, highlights three rooms and is followed by an optional social time until 11:30 a.m. with pastries and coffee. Private group tours are available for care facilities. Next tour is Tue, May 1. Free but reservations required. FFI: 651-2972555, www.mnhs.org OPEN FLOW FORUM The Artists with Disabilities Alliance Open Flow Forum is the first Thu of the month, 7-9 p.m. at Walker Community Church, 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls. Upcoming dates are May 3 and June 7 before the group takes a summer break. Open Flow allows artists with disabilities to share visual art, writing, music, theatre and other artistic efforts or disability concerns. The gathering is informal and fragrance-free. Bring refreshments as well as your recent artistic creations to share. Free. Facilitators are Tara Innmon, Dan Reiva and Kip Shane. Fully accessible, but anyone needing special accommodations, contact Jon at VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or email@example.com WHOEVER YOU ARE Stages Theatre Company present Mem Fox’s beloved story-poem, at Hopkins Center for the Arts, Mainstage, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. SENS offered 10
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner April 7 – May 27 by TODD KREIDLER based on the screenplay Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner by WILLIAM ROSE directed by TIMOTHY BOND
An Enemy of the People April 28 – June 3 by HENRIK IBSEN a new adaptation by BRAD BIRCH directed by LYNDSEY TURNER
612.377.2224 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.guthrietheater.org/access
April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
PEOPLE & PLACES Teams win adapted hockey titles
The Brainerd/Pillar Warriors and the St. Cloud Area Slapshots, took home championship hardware during March’s state adapted hockey tournament. The tournament was held at Bloomington Jefferson High School. The Warriors won their second straight state crown in the PI Division, for student-athletes with physical disabilities. The Warriors defeated the Robins of Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 11-4. The Warriors won as Brainerd in 1998 and 2000. Jake Heikkenen paced the champions with four goals and two assists in the title game. Matt Allord scored one goal for the Warriors and added two assists. Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka’s Vincent Luu scored two unassisted goals for the Robins. The Crimson of Maple Grove claimed third-place honors after defeating Rochester 5-3. Johnny Perez led Maple Grove with one goal and three assists and Kirby Gilbertson tacked on two goals and one assist. Hannah Oakley, Tanner Dickison, and Blake Hillman accounted for Rochester’s goals. In the consolation final, Dakota United defeated Anoka-Hennepin 8-3. The score was tied 1-1 going into the third period when the Hawks erupted for seven goals. Dakota United’s Riley Wisniewski scored five goals in the final period. Nicholas Reither struck twice for the Mustangs in the third period. Other teams in the tournament were the Mounds View/ Irondale/Roseville Rams and the St. Paul Humboldt Hawks. All-tournament team members are Tyler Ezell, Anoka-Hennepin; Wisniewski, Dakota United; Oakley and Toriano
Dixon, Rochester; Joe Witters and Kirby Gilbertson, Maple Grove; Luu, Calvin Gerdt and Hayley Engebretsen, Robbinsdale and Heikkenen, Jacob Heinlen and Cody Vleck, Brainerd. In the CI Division, for athletes with cognitive disabilities, the St. Cloud Area Slapshots won a second state title, defeating the South Washington County Thunderbolts, 13-4. St. Cloud was runner-up in 2017 to North Suburban and last won the state crown in 2007. In the CI title game, St. Cloud Area’s Brian Jones scored six goals and added two assists. Tyler Tinucci scored all four goals for the Thunderbolts. Two-time defending champions, the North Suburban Cougars, took third place by defeating the Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs, 9-3. The Cougars were led by Nikoli Marr, who finished the game with five goals. Dylan Theroux scored two goals for the Mustangs. The Trojans of New Prague/TCU/LHS/ Belle Plaine/Jordan defeated Maple Grove 11-2 to claim consolation honors. Garrett Gagner scored four goals and added three assists for the Trojans. Dylan Raaen added six points for New Prague/TCU/LHS/Belle Plaine/Jordan. Jose Gutierrez-Peralta had one goal and one assist for Maple Grove. The Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville Blazing Cats and Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville Rams were also in the tournament. The all-tournament team members are Paige Faber, Maple Grove; Jake Schurman, New Prague; James Oakley and Amani Tarleton, Anoka-Hennepin; Marr and Josh Hamann, North Suburban; Tinucci and Nathan Ponder, South Washington; and Jones, Dayton Wientjes and Tyler Everts of St. Cloud. The teams play regular-season schedules.
The competition is under the auspices of the Minnesota State High School League.
Artists are awarded grants
Six Minnesota artists have been awarded 2018 Emerging Artist Grants of $2,000 each by VSA Minnesota. The 22nd annual awards, funded by the Jerome Foundation, recognize excellence by emerging Minnesota artists with disabilities and encourage them to create new work. The six were selected from a field of 37 applicants. Shelia D. Nelson of St. Paul, Chris Juhn of Burnsville and Harrison Halker Heinks of Edina are all photographers. John Lee Clark of Hopkins is a poet. Mike Harris Jr. of Minneapolis is a painter. D. Allen of Minneapolis is a poet and essayist. The grants were awarded following a jurying process conducted by individuals with backgrounds in the written, visual and performing arts. Panelists looked at samples of the artists’ work, resumes and artist statements. Artists who scored highest in artistic quality and career received awards. Four grantees are first-time Jerome grant recipients. Two are previous recipients. Between 1996 and 2018, 138 grant awards have gone to 106 individuals, including 28 repeat winners, 72 visual artists, 34 writers, 23 performers or composers, and nine multi-media artists.
MOFAS announces leadership change, retirements
The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) is making leadership changes, just in time for its 20year anniversary. The organization works on issues related to fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD). New board leaders include Board Pres-
ident Maya Tester, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney; Vice President Laura Bloch, a parent of a child with an FASD; Treasurer Ted Chien, president and CEO at Sullivan Cotter & Associates; and Secretary Mary Meland, M.D., a retired pediatrician. “Every young woman who plans to have children—and each of us who love and support these young women— needs to know that alcohol use during pregnancy can cause profound and permanent brain damage in the developing fetus. The science is clear,” said Tester. “MOFAS has been the leader in FASD prevention and intervention for the past twenty years and is now poised to spread its groundbreaking initiatives nationally. It is an incredibly exciting time for the organization, and I am committed to doing everything I can to help advance MOFAS’ message and mission.” MOFAS will host a celebration on May 10 to honor former Minnesota First Lady and outgoing Board President Susan Carlson. Carlson was instrumental in founding MOFAS in 1998. She'll now be the board president emeritus. Other outgoing board members and officers are Vice President Cathy Bruer-Thompson, Treasurer Andrea Winghart, and Secretary Sliv Carlson. “I’m grateful that we have such dedicated board members. Our outgoing board leaders have played key roles in bringing our organization, and this issue, where we are today and will continue to serve on the board,” said MOFAS Executive Director Sara Messelt, “and I anticipate our new leaders will bring us to great heights in years to come.” For more information on MOFAS and the May 10 event, go to www.mofas.org
Dakota County Commissioner Tom Egan, center, congratulated a past group of Partners in Policymaking participants.
PARTNERS IN POLICYMAKING SEEKS PARTICIPANTS
Minnesotans with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities are urged to apply for the 20182019 Partners in Policymaking program. The nationally recognized leadership program got its start in Minnesota 30 years ago. People from around the world have benefitted from the program, which offers comprehensive disability advocacy training. Eight sessions are held over nine months, starting in September 2018. Almost 1,000 Minnesotans have participated in the program and learned to become effective advocates. Program costs are covered by a federal grant and are free to participants. The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities created the program to increase advocacy skill levels. “Graduates report that they gained a greater understanding of disability law and policies and increased their self confidence in advocating for their needs,” said Colleen Wieck, executive director of the council. “Many have become leaders in their own communities as they speak up for people with disabilities.” The Minnesota-inspired program is also offered in most states and several foreign countries. Sessions cover the history of disabilities and parent, selfadvocacy and independent living movements, inclusive education, supported living, competitive employment and avenues to influence county, state and federal legislative processes. Two-day sessions are held on Fridays and Saturdays, from September to May, except for a Sunday and Monday session in March when participants prepare and meet with legislators at the capitol. No session is held in December. Child care and respite allowances are given, and overnight accommodations are also provided for those who travel from outside the Twin Cities area to attend. Mileage is reimbursed and meals are also provided. Sessions are held at the Crowne Plaza Aire, at 3 Appletree Square in Bloomington, near Mall of America and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The program is limited to 40 participants, who must be Minnesota residents. Application deadline is Mon, July 9. Participants must attend all sessions and complete homework assignments. The first session is Sept. 21-22. FFI: http://bit.ly/2EICOQ0, Brenton Rice at email@example.com, or 612-242-6589.
‘Doctor Tell Me’ was Woyke’s career highlight
Carl H. Woyke is remembered as a voice for medical care in Minnesota. Woyke died in February at the age of 95.5 years. Woyke was born in 1922 in Waseca and grew up there. Born with cerebral palsy, he developed a strong sense of humor to cope with his disability. For a time he was a co-owner of the family’s concrete business in Waseca. Woyke later moved to Minneapolis, where he attended Augsburg College and worked in the school’s public relations area. That career led to a long career with the Minnesota Medical Association, where he work in public education and communications. The association is non-profit professional organization representing physicians, residents and medical students. It is dedicated to being the unified voice of physicians for advancing the practice of medicine, the profession and patient health. Woyke’s favorite part of the job with MMA was presenting the radio program “Doctor Tell Me.” He is survived by his wife Amy Marie Larson Woyke, goddaughter Pastor Sharon Amundson and nieces and nephews. Services were held in March.
Doll welcomed children into her home
Mary Lou Doll was a lifelong advocate for children with disabilities, providing foster and respite care for hundreds of children. Doll, 90, died in February. She was 90 and lived in Minneapolis.
Friends and family members remember Doll as someone who put her beliefs into action, whether she was demanding changes in state mental health policy or opening her home to children with disabilities. Born Mary Lou Flagstad in 1927, she grew up in a family with strong ties to the Presbyterian faith. She studied social work and education at Macalester College in St. Paul and went on to teach second grade in Minneapolis Public Schools. Doll met her husband Orval Doll in 1956 at a church group for tall people, called similarly statured “Tip Toppers.” They married and had one biological child. Their daughter Margaret was born with the rare disorder phenylketonuria or PKU. Symptoms can include delayed development, hyperactivity and seizures. Doll's brother-in-law, Robert Guthrie, later developed the first early screening test for PKU, known as the Guthrie Test. Her daughter’s illness inspired Doll. She and her husband adopted three sons. Between 1981 and 2005 the family hosted more than 300 children in their home. The family provided needed shelter for children and young people with a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities. She was an early member of what is now the Arc Minnesota, and was very politically engaged and involved well into her 80s. Her health declined in recent months. Doll was preceded in death by her husband and survived by three sons, a daughter, a sister and many other family members and friends. Services were held in March.
April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
Polar Plungers start time of chills, thrills
RADIO TALKING BOOK
Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived program from the last week, on the Internet at www.mnssb.org/rtb. The sampling published monthly in Access Press doesn’t represent the full array of programming. Many more programs and books are available. Call the Talking Book Library for a password to the site. To find more information about Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network events go to the Facebook site, Minnesota Radio Talking Book. Audio information about the daily book listings is also on the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Newsline. Register for the NFB Newsline by calling 651-539Access Press is featured at 9 p.m. Sundays on the program “It Makes a Difference.” Donate to the State Services for the Blind at mn.gov/ deed/ssbdonate CHAUTAUQUA* Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. Storm in a Teacup, nonfiction by Helen Czerski. Though the universe seems vast and incomprehensible, the key to unveiling its secrets is as close as the nearest kitchen toaster. Read by Myrna Smith. 12 broadcasts; begins Tue, April 17. PAST IS PROLOGUE* Monday – Friday 9 a.m. Sons and Soldiers, nonfiction by Bruce Henderson, 2017. Nearly 2,000 German Jews fled Nazi Germany to America, and then returned to Europe to join the Allied victory. Read
by Esmé Evans. 13 broadcasts; begins Wed, April 25. BOOKWORM* Monday – Friday 11 a.m. This Is What Happened, fiction by Mick Herron, 2018. An introverted, socially isolated young woman is enlisted to infiltrate and thwart an international plot. Read by Pat Muir. Eight broadcasts; begins Mon, April 23. THE WRITER'S VOICE* Monday – Friday 2 p.m. Give a Girl a Knife, nonfiction by Amy Thielen, 2017. A chef journeys from her rural Minnesota home to New York City – and back – in search of her culinary roots. Read by Judith Johannessen. 11 broadcasts; begins Mon, April 30.
Michele Potts. Seven broadcasts; begins Friday, April 30. – V, L, S POTPOURRI* Monday – Friday midnight Mad Enchantment, nonfiction by Ross King, 2016. Claude Monet’s paintings were created at a challenging time, both for him and across the world. Read by Carol Lewis. 13 broadcasts; begins Wed, April 25. GOOD NIGHT OWL* Monday – Friday midnight The Price of the Haircut, essays by Brock Clarke, 2018. A collection of first-person narratives, based in a world where usual rules of behavior don’t apply. Read by Mike Piscitelli. Eight broadcasts; begins Tue, April 24.
CHOICE READING* Monday – Friday 4 p.m. White Houses, fiction by Amy Bloom, 2018. The relationship between Lorena Hickock and Eleanor Roosevelt grew into one of the most memorable friendships in American history. Read by Connie Jamison. 8 broadcasts; begins Mon, April 23.
AFTER MIDNIGHT* Tuesday-Saturday 1 a.m. American War, fiction by Omar El Akkad, 2017. Civil war begins in America in 2074 after an environmental crisis. A family moves to a relocation camp, and becomes involved in a devastating act of revenge. Read by Jack Rossmann. 16 broadcasts; begins Wed, April 25. – L
PM REPORT* Monday – Friday 8 p.m. All the Single Ladies, nonfiction by Rebecca Traister, 2016. When women gained options beyond marriage, their independence sparked social change. Read by Marylyn Burridge. 15 broadcasts; begins Thu, April 19. – V, L, S
Weekend Program Books Your Personal World, 1 p.m. Sat, presents How Healing Works by Wayne Jonas, read by Beverly Burchett.
NIGHT JOURNEY* Monday – Friday 9 p.m. Threads of Suspicion, fiction by Dee Henderson, 2017. Detectives Evie Blackwell and David Marshal are assigned to revisit cold cases across Illinois. Read by Nan Felknor. 15 broadcasts; begins Mon, April 30. OFF THE SHELF* Monday – Friday 10 p.m. Human Acts, fiction by Han Kang, 2017. A young boy is killed during a student uprising in South Korea. Years later, the effects of the event continue to reverberate. Read by
For the Younger Set, 11 a.m. Sun, presents Running Full Tilt by Michael Currinder, read by Don Gerlach; followed by Expelled by James Patterson and Emily Raymond, read by John Mandeville. Poetic Reflections, noon Sun, presents Your Father Walks Like a Crab by Tolu’ Akinemi; followed by Cowboy Poetry: A Gathering edited by Hal Cannon, both read by Scott McKinney. The Great North, 4 p.m. Sun, presents Homemade by Beatrice Ojakangas, read by Esmé Evans; You’re Sending Me Where? by Eric Dregni, read by John Beal. ABBREVIATIONS: V – Violence, L – Offensive Language, S – Sexual Situations, RE – Racial Epithets
CUTS From page 1 Many waved signs, including signs that stated “I made this with help from my staff.” “This year, like so many other years, we are fighting to preserve funding for community-based services,” said ARRM CEO Sue Schettle. When she said that the cuts make no sense and asked the crowd if the cuts made sense to them, Schettle was greeted with loud boos and cries of “No!” Legislators at the rally said they’d do what they can to stop the cuts, but that everyone needs to contact their elected officials. Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, said that making cuts means denying people with disabilities the chance to more fully patriciate in their communities. “When everybody has opportunities the whole state benefits.” Mike Burke, president of MOHR, said it’s important for state Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, spoke at the ARRM/MOHR rally March 13. lawmakers to see the faces of those lawmakers of its intent to cut payment rates News of the cuts came to DHS from the who will be affected by the seven percent for disability support services by percent on federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, reduction. ”We have to stop this cut,” July 1. The immediate cut is estimated to focused on Minnesota's rate-setting Burke said. “It would truly be devastating.” be $70 million. It will then grow larger. policy for Minnesotans receiving home Legislation has been introduced to The news sent shock waves through the and community-based services (HCBS). combat the cuts but as of Access Press community, as it comes at a time when Minnesota uses a standard formula deadline it wasn’t clear what would happen. the state's workforce shortage is exacting called the Disability Waiver Rate System In February the Minnesota Department of a huge toll on people with disabilities and (DWRS) to set the funding rates people Human Services (DHS) notified key state organizations that serve them.
ISSUES From page 3 including one for struggling farmers through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Many mental providers give Crisis Connection as a contact, often for after-hours help. If Crisis Connection closes, people still could call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. But they would likely be routed to a counselor in another state accepting overflow calls, which could result in longer wait times. It also could mean more difficulty in accessing local resources.
CDCS is done
Other bills already will have to come back next year. One huge disappointment for many disability groups is that Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) is done for the 2018 session. It was a top priority for the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD).
The Arc Minnesota and Lutheran Social Services also championed the bill. CDCS allows people accessing Medical Assistance (MA) waivers to manage their funding in an effective, self-directed way possible. People can also access services and supports in the inclusive settings of their choice. This legislative session, advocates called for increasing the CDCS budget for individuals moving out of foster care into the family’s home or into a place of their own. Another ask was that CDCS budgets sufficiently cover the cost of crisis services, so individuals can remain in their communities and avoid placement in costlier institutional settings. Many advocates sought funding for a statewide education and marketing campaign to raise awareness about CDCS and its person-centered benefits, because of the program’s flexibility and its focus on allowing people with disabilities and their families to have such a strong say in services and supports. Some Minnesota counties
receive for their supportive services. Minnesota’s policy and program were developed with legislatively approved rate increases to support service enhancements and direct care staff. But that is seen as conflicting with federal Medicaid rules. Preserving HCBS this session is needed. The cuts have drastic effects on individual agencies. Rise, Inc., a Spring Lake Park agency that provides a variety of personal, work and housing supports, estimates it would see $850,000 in cuts. Just as service providers would have to adjust to deep cuts, so too would individuals. Everyone who receives home and community-based services through Minnesota's Medicaid waiver would see current assistance levels cut drastically. Rise is hosting an event to discuss the cut and other issues at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24 at 8406 Sunset Road NE, Spring Lake Park. RSVP by contacting Rise through its Facebook page or government affairs staff. ■ AARM
BOOKS AVAILABLE THROUGH FARIBAULT Books broadcast on the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network are available through the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault. Call 1-800-722-0550, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The catalog is online at www.mnbtbl.org, click on the link Search the Library Catalog. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books via an inter-library loan by contacting their home state’s Network Library for the National Library Service.
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April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
and director of a pediatric research lab at the University of Minnesota Medical School. As part of the study, researchers enrolled 20 people, ages 7 to 21, who had experienced a stroke around or before birth on one side of the brain, resulting in cerebral palsy and limited hand function. The children came from as far away as Florida, Montana and New York, and underwent direct stimulation sessions for 10 consecutive days, combining 20 minutes of electrical stimulation each day with hours of hand exercises. Researchers attached a rubber headband with sponges and electrodes to the scalp, and then delivered mild currents powered by two, nine-volt batteries. The currents were delivered to the part of the brain that controls hand movement, known as the motor cortex, in the hope that the injured neurons — cells that transmit information — would become more active and exert more control over the affected limb. The results were overwhelmingly
OPPORTUNITIES From page 11 A peer support group is offered for LGBTQ adults living with a mental illness. The group meets 1-2:30 p.m. Sat, Living Table United Church of Christ, 3805 E. 40th St, Mpls. FFI: David, 612-920-3925, 651-645-2948. Young Adult NAMI Connection is a free support group for persons ages 16-20. One group meets 7-8:30 the first and third Thu at Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul. A group also meets 7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thu at Dental Office of Dr. Crandall & Associates, 2300 East Highway 96, White Bear Lake. The group is facilitated by young adults who live with mental illnesses and are doing well in recovery. A full calendar
ENJOY! From page 12 624-2345, www.theatre.umn.edu THE PRINCESS’ NIGHTINGALE SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development and Mu Performing Arts present a Hans Christian Andersen adaptation, at SteppingStone Theatre, 55 Victoria St. N., St. Paul. AD offered 7 p.m. Fri, May 11. ASL offered 3 p.m. Sun, May 13. Tickets $10 when VSA is mentioned. FFI: 651-225-9265, www. steppingstonetheatre.org BROADWAY MIXTAPE LIVE! SHOWSTOPPERS A touring company presents Broadway favorites, at Ordway Concert Hall, 345 Washington, St. Paul. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, May 11. Tickets $29 ticket plus fees. If using ASL, request seating on Main Floor between rows D – H in the 303-306 area, FFI: 651-2244222, www.ordway.org CRENSHAW Stages Theatre Company presents the tale of a boy and his imaginary cat friend, at Hopkins Center for the Arts, Jaycees Studio, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. SENS offered 10 a.m. Sat, May 12. All tickets to SENS performances are $10. This production is not available online; to reserve, call 952-979-1111, opt. 4. FFI: www. stagestheatre.org CANDY BOX DANCE FESTIVAL Mathew Janczewski’s Arena Dances, Black Label Movement and Taja Will present a series of dance performances May 5-10 at Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Mpls. ASL offered 2 p.m. Saturday, May 12. Ticket $20 in advance for full day of performances ($24 at the door), ARTshare members free, other discounts available. Workshops and Inprogress showings additional. FFI: 612-326-1811, www. arena-dances.org THAÏS Minnesota Opera presents a musical story of lust and religion, at Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. Braille, large-print programs and infrared listening systems available at Patron Services in Ordway’s first level lobby. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, May 12, Tue, May 15, Thu, May 17 and Sat. May 19 and at 2 p.m. Sun, May 20. Sung in French with English translations projected above the stage. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, May 20. Tickets reduced to half-price for AD patrons (regular $25-165). FFI: 612-333-6669, www. mnopera.org METROMANIACS Theatre in the Round Players presents a play set in aristocratic Paris, at Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave., Mpls. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, May 13. Tactile tour at 1 p.m. upon request based on reservations. Largeprint programs and assisted-listening devices available at every performance. Tickets $22. Other discounts available. FFI: 612-333-3010, www.theatreintheround. org LET’S TALK: COLOR BLIND CASTING Penumbra Theatre hosts an interdisciplinary panel
equipment, which is expected to yield even more rebates and long-term savings. (Source: Minnesota DHS)
Investments in energy efficiency are already paying big dividends on the Minnesota Security Hospital campus in St. Peter. State government is saving $161,500 thanks to a one-time rebate from the city’s public utility for installing high-efficiency equipment in new buildings and replacing inefficient lighting in existing facilities on the St. Peter campus. The improvements are projected to reduce annual electricity consumption on the campus by more than 1.5 million kilowatt hours. That’s enough to power 211 average-sized homes in St. Peter for a year. Ongoing
annual savings are expected to be $150,000 or more. “We have to heat, cool and light about 1.3 million square feet on the St. Peter campus. When you have that much real estate, even small steps to improve energy efficiency can make a huge difference in reducing our power consumption and operational costs,” said Carol Olson, the hospital’s executive director. There are environmental benefits as well. The Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, which provides power to the city of St. Peter, estimates that the energy-efficiency improvements on campus will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to about 243 passenger vehicles each year. Installing high-efficiency heating and cooling units and advanced lighting controls were part of the $56.3 million phase one expansion of the Security Hospital. In addition, thousands of inefficient lights were replaced in existing buildings. The $70.2 million second phase of the Security Hospital’s expansion and renovation is now underway and includes similar energy-efficient
of all events is offered online. FFI: 651-6452948, www.namihelps.org VISION LOSS GROUP OFFERS ACTIVITIES Vision Loss Resources provides free and lowcost activities in the Twin Cities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Life skills classes for those with low vision; card games, craft classes, book clubs, walking groups, dinners out, special outings and technology classes are among the offerings. Participants need to RVSP to participate, at least three working days prior to an event. The calendar is also available on the website and as a printable large-print PDF document for those who wish to print their own or additional copies. FFI: RSVP hotline, 612-843-3439; activity line and audio calendar,
612-253-5155, www.visionlossresources.org MCIL HOSTS CLASSES AND ACTIVITIES The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events for people with disabilities. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed at www.mcil-mn.org. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030 ICICIL OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES ICICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton
Drive, St. Cloud, offers a number of classes, events and other opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities in central Minnesota. The center offers its own programming and hosts other groups. Free mental health discussion group 6-:30 p.m. Mon. Learn to live life to the fullest and support each other. FFI: 320-267-7717 ADULT SUPPORT GROUPS OFFERED Alums offers free support groups for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Groups include those for adult family members, women with autism spectrum disorders and independent adults with autism. Check the website for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the Alums offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10, www.ausm.org
discussion, at the theater at 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. ASL offered 7 p.m. Mon, May 14. A reception with light refreshments is offered at 6 p.m. Free. FFI: 651-2243180, http://penumbratheatre.org
South, Julia C. Spencer, Heather Spielman, Shining Starr, Tobias, Jessica Ward and Roger Williamson. Open until April 30. Free. FFI: 612-752-8242, JReyes@ Resource-MN.org
and other features. Go to http://minnesotaplaylist.com/ calendar Arts festivals are held throughout the state. Check: www.exploreminnesota.com/index.aspx, http:// festivalnet.com/state/minnesota/mn.html, www. fairsandfestivals.net/states/MN/
positive: All the children who participated showed some improvement in hand function when the study period ended. Even more significant, the children showed no serious side effects either during the study or during six months of follow-up visits, which suggests that brain stimulation could be a feasible intervention for improving coordination in children with cerebral palsy, researchers said. (Source: Star Tribune)
Energy investments pay off
UNDER THIS ROOF Full Circle Theater presents a tale of race, gender, aging, disability and love set in the 1940s, at Guthrie Theater, Dowling Studio, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. AD, ASL and OC offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, May 17. All tickets $9. FFI: 612-377-2224, www.guthrietheater.org DR. SEUSS’S THE LORAX Children’s Theatre Company in partnership with the Old Vic, presents Dr. Seuss’s classic tale, at Children’s Theatre, United Health Group Stage, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. AD and ASL offered 7 p.m. Fri, May 18. ASL offered 5 p.m. Sun, May 20. To reserve ASL/AD seating, visit: https://my.childrenstheatre.org/single/ PSDetail.aspx?psn=6262 and click on the ASL or AD link at the bottom of the page. SENS offered 7 p.m. Fri, June 8. FFI: www.childrenstheatre.org/plan/sensoryfriendly-programming. Assistive listening devices, induction loop system, Braille programs and sensory tours available upon request Tickets start at $15. Other discounts available. FFI: 612-874-0400, www. childrenstheatre.org TO REALLY SEE: EXPLORING THE MEDICATIONTAKING EXPERIENCE THROUGH ART Avivo ArtWorks, formerly Spectrum, presents a show by artists with mental illness, at University of Minnesota Bio-Medical Library, 2nd floor, Diehl Hall, 505 Essex St. SE, Mpls. The exhibition is a project curated by Jes Reyes, the coordinator of Avivo's ArtWorks program, and co-organized by Paul Ranelli, a professor of Social Pharmacy at the U of M College of Pharmacy. Exhibiting artists include: Ashley Adams, Teresa Audet, Cecile Bellamy, Douglas Blue, Andrew Braunberger, Jennifer N. Campbell, John Casey, Kate Clark, Christi Furnas, Peter F. Hinze, KaTa, Kandace Krause, Sam Larom, Gary Melquist, Photovoice participants, Michaela Rachor, Holly Rapoport, Anne
REGIONAL NEWS From page 6
MORE EVENTS INFORMATION VSA MINNESOTA VSA Minnesota is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to create a community where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and access the arts, at http://vsamn.org. The website has a comprehensive calendar at the upper right-hand corner of its homepage. For information on galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at access@vsamn. org or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612-332-3888 or 800801-3883. Access Press only publishes performance dates when accommodations are offered. Contact the venue to find out the entire run of a particular production and if discounts for seniors, students or groups are provided. VSA Minnesota advises everyone to call or email ahead, to make such that an accommodation is offered, as schedules can change. VSA Minnesota can also refer venues and theater companies to qualified describers, interpreters and captioners. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Another web events listing is http://c2net.org (c2: caption coalition, inc., which does most of the captioned shows across the country. Facebook is another way to connect with performances. Sign up to connect with Audio Description across Minnesota http:// tinyurl.com/d34dzo2. Connect with ASL interpreted and captioned performances across Minnesota on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/FBcaption. Another resource is Minnesota Playlist, with a recently updated website calendar with all the ASL-interpreted, audio-described, captioned, pay-what-you-can shows
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CONCERNS From page 3 people with mental illness. People with mental illness sometimes don’t have the ability to work. That in turn could force the loss of needed health care benefits. Shauna Reitmeier, CEO of Crookstonbased Northwestern Mental Health Center, said the change would cause undue stress for her agency’s clients. “An arbitrary line is being drawn about who is worthy and who is not worthy of getting health care.” Military veteran Willie Riley told legislative committees that Medicaid provides needed care while he works. He lives with several medical conditions and gets no health benefits from his jobs. Losing Medicaid if he is unable to work would be “devastation.” “I was willing to protect my country,” Riley said. “Now I ask you to protect me.” ■
ABBREVIATIONS: Audio description (AD) for people who are blind or have low vision, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, Open captioning (OC) for people who are hard of hearing, sensory-friendly (SENS) performances, Shows featuring performers with disabilities or disabilityrelated topics (DIS)
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April 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 4
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