August 2018 Edition - Access Press

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Volume 29, Number 8

August 10, 2018



Appeal is denied: oversight to continue



"Voting at the polls is a way of, very concretely, being part of the broader community."

APPEAL To page 5

Pamela Hoopes


The Minnesota State Fair offers a wide range of accommodations for guests with disabilities.

Mental health awareness day is a new feature of 2018 state fair A special day to spotlight mental health awareness and new, accessible buildings are among the many highlights at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair. The fair is August 23 through Labor Day September 3 in Falcon Heights. This edition of Access Press includes information on general fair accessibility, accessible dining venues, Mental Health Awareness Day on Monday, August 27 and a Minnesota Council on Disability

56on of 130 effort parks access. Take the newspaper along as your guide to all that is “fair.” Accessibility questions can be answered by calling 651-288-4448 or emailing

Get ready to vote Page 4 UCare is our issue sponsor Page 3 Fight over products continues MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS AT THE FAIR 6 A day toOn promote health currently hasPage Summary: averagemental each respondent approximately 14 PCA vacancies in their age awareness is 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Enjoy our state fair dining guide

How many open PCA positions do you have open tod

15 Page 7 How many PCAsFAIR areTo page currently employed at your com

Addressing worker shortage will require many strategies Summary: 9.2 percent of the PCA jobs in responding agencies are currently unfilled.

by Jane McClure Ways to address Minnesota’s growing direct care worker shortage continue to be scrutinized. Seven main priorities, along with several related recommendations, are under study by Minnesota’s Olmstead Subcabinet and a working group. The report, Recommendations to Expand, Diversify, and Improve Minnesota’s Direct Care and Support Workforce Workplan, was reviewed by the Olmstead Subcabinet July 23. A crossagency direct care and support workforce shortage working group has spent months studying Minnesota’s critical workforce shortage. Several group members presented aspects of the report, which contains more than 120 ideas. The top recommendations and related strategies were reviewed by the subcabinet. Mary Tingerthal, director of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and chair of the subcabinet, praised the report for its thoroughness. Tingerthal said she was “pretty blown away” by the level of detail on problems and solutions. Other subcabinet members also praised the working group’s efforts and said the work exceeded their expectations. Working group members said they have not only gathered data from Minnesota and Minnesotans affected


What could be the impact of not filling vacancies? Check all that ap WHAT COULD BE THE IMPACT OF NOT FILLING VACANCIES?


Court oversight of work on Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan will continue, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled July 26. A three-judge panel rejected an appeal by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), which sought to have the oversight by federal court officials ended. DHS had the option to appeal the decision but chose not to do so. “Minnesota has made substantial progress in creating and supporting choices for people with disabilities in education, work, housing and other areas of their lives. We do not plan to appeal the court’s July 26 decision,” DHS Commissioner Emily Johnson Piper said in a statement. “We will continue to work toward making Minnesota a place where people with disabilities have opportunities to be part of our communities.” Disability rights advocates and their allies see the ruling as a key win. “This decision recognizes and reconfirms the fundamental reality of a historic settlement, signed by both the State of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Human Services, requiring compliance with their agreement to protect people with disabilities from abuse and neglect, and provide meaningful plans on a statewide basis to transition and support them in the community,” said attorney Shamus O’Meara. His law firm, O’Meara Leer Wagner & Kohl, has been involved in legal action against the state for almost a decade. The court case stems from litigation filed in 2009 by families whose relatives were housed at the Minnesota Extended Treatment Options (METO) facility in Cambridge. METO was an in-patient facility designed to provide residential treatment and care for persons with developmental disabilities who posed a risk to public safety. Families of those in the program made allegations about improper treatment of residents, including improper use of restraints and seclusion, and harsh physical punishment. In December 2011 a landmark class action settlement agreement was reached between the families and state officials, in U.S. District Court. METO was closed and replaced with another program. State officials also agreed to eliminate use of physical and chemical restraints and seclusion, to close state facilities that use abusive practices and provide improved training for state employees. A key part of the settlement was to get Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan underway. The court approved the settlement, appointed an independent monitor and ordered state officials to implement its terms, while retaining jurisdiction


by Access Press staff

by the care crisis, they have also looked true for the Minnesota Department of Resp to other states. But they andAnswer subcabinet Human Services and Department Choices Response of % members noted the challenges going Employment and Economic Development.Cou ahead, including the fact that Minnesota Those departments have the most ties will have a new governor and potentially to the report’s recommendations and Your company will be unable to serve current clients. 88.16% many new House members next year. The strategies that could come forward during Your company will be unable to will maintain for legislative current session. change in the governor’s office meanhours needed the 2019 86.84% changes clients. in who leads state agencies, and Working group members emphasized ultimately, how recommendations and You will be to take on new clients. 81.58% SHORTAGE To page 13 strategies gounable forward. That’s especially

Access Press thanks this month's issue sponsor!

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August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8


Tim Benjamin July 26 was a big day in the disability community. We had the 28th ADA celebration at the Science Museum of Minnesota, with a theme focused on mental health. Once again the celebration was well attended and there was a plethora of entertainment. The Sam Miltich and Friends band played amazing jazz music, and Sam also shared an outstanding introduction about himself and his struggles. Adina Burke told some awesome stories, and those of you who have seen her know the creativity of her storytelling. The keynote address was given by Marya Hornacher, author of several bestsellers. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, her first book, was highly acclaimed and has been updated once since its initial publication in 2014. Even before the latest version, it was a million-seller translated into many languages. Her other books have been very well received, and all have to do with disability. Also on the 26th of July, the Eighth

Circuit Court denied the Department of Human Services’ request to lift the oversight of federal officials over DHS’s progress in fulfilling the court’s orders on implementing the Olmstead law. Many people in the disability community see this as a positive ruling, demonstrating that the court doesn't believe DHS is putting enough effort into the Olmstead plan to make it a reality anytime soon without oversight. Basically, the Olmstead plan states that DHS will protect people with disabilities from abuse and neglect, and provide person-centered planning and basic supports and services that allow everyone with a disability to live in the community of their choosing. The Olmstead Plan Subcabinet met on the 23rd of July to discuss the plan’s progress. The major problem in communities is the PCA shortage, or the shortfall of state funding for supportive services in the community. Jeff Bangsberg and Linda Wolford made a presentation

"Basically, the Olmstead plan states DHS will protect people with disabilities from abuse, neglect, and provide person-centered planning and basic supports and services."

"We are past time of taking baby steps to make the Olmstead plan a reality to solve the PCA crisis. It can't be long before more people are institutionalized or worse." to the Subcabinet. Their PowerPoint highlighted the need for a truly out-of-thebox look at the PCA program, and they made the point that the state legislature cannot continually underfund the program and expect the Olmstead plan to become a reality in our state. As I’ve said so many times, it's becoming a full-time job to find the staff to maintain independence in the community. It's getting to the point where people can't work because they can't find staff without spending much of their day marketing for assistants, interviewing people who never come back, and making daily adjustments in schedules, to ensure their own independence. Meanwhile, the Legislature is funding organizations to help people with disabilities find jobs with a competitive wage. Sounds great until you don't have a way to get out of bed, or sufficient help to maintain appropriate hygiene for the workplace. Employment incentives are of little use for people who need help to get to the job and, in some cases, on the job. Granted, the funding for these programs would not be enough to totally solve the crisis of providing personal care for people with disabilities, but it would be a huge step forward in lessening the burden and stress for people trying to maintain their health and independence. We are past the time of taking baby steps to make the Olmstead plan a reality and to solve the PCA crisis. It can't be long before more people are institutionalized or worse. Many people are in the serious

predicament of not knowing how they should proceed, every morning, day by day. I know people are getting worn out by the stress and confusion of not knowing how they are going to get by the next day. People are afraid to check their mail, not avoiding an overdue bill but fearing a 10day notice from their PCA agencies that the agency can't fulfill their needs any longer. For those with complex care requirements, it’s extremely difficult not to know who is going to put you to bed, who is going to get you up or if you’ll get a shower and checked to prevent new pressure sores. It’s just as difficult to know that the people who do come to work to do these tasks are often not qualified or lack the experience to know what to do in an emergency situation. As one person testified at the Subcabinet meeting, they're hiring anyone because there are no opportunities to hire qualified people for the help. You have heard all this from me repeatedly, but it’s because the situation is going from bad to worse, and there’s no relief in sight. I would like to invite some legislators to walk or roll a mile in my shoes. These complaints aren’t what I want to be writing about, but the worry that I hear from so many others in the community, and that I feel myself, has to be expressed. A good society, like a good family, wants people to be strong and independent, and helps them get on their feet so they can do as much as others. On our feet or in our chairs, that’s what we want. n


New timeline provides details on Olmstead Plan progress by Access Press staff Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan is back in the news, with a recent court decision in the case of Bradley Jensen, et al, versus the Minnesota Department of Human Services and a study of staffing issues. It was the Jensen case, centered on allegations of mistreatment at a nowclosed state facility, that jump-started work on the state’s Olmstead Plan. The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities recently published a detailed chronology of Minnesota’s work toward an Olmstead Plan. The 65-page document is available on the council website. It provides a wealth of information about the federal court decision that led to the state’s plans, and links to related documents. It’s been almost 20 years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Olmstead versus L.C. Tommy Olmstead, then the commissioner of

the Georgia Department of Human Resources, was lead defendant in a case that initially involved a woman with disabilities, L.C., and a second woman. The plaintiffs sued the state of Georgia, challenging their confinement in segregated environments. The case went all the way to the nation’s highest court. The ruling came a decade after passage of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The women were institutionalized even though health professionals had determined they were ready to move into a community-based program. The Supreme Court held that the ADA’s integration mandate required public entities to provide community-based services to persons with disabilities when such services were appropriate; when the affected individuals didn’t oppose community-based treatment, and when community-based services could be reasonably accommodated, taking

Volume 29, Number 8 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, 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: 25th of each month. 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:

into account the resources available to the state and the needs of others who were receiving disability services from the public entity. This was a sweeping integration mandate, requiring public entities to modify policies, procedures and practices to be non-discriminatory. A key part of Olmstead versus L.C. indicated that states could meet a “reasonable modifications standard” if they had comprehensive, effective plans for placing people with disabilities in less restrictive settings, and a waiting list that moved at a reasonable pace not controlled by endeavors to keep state institutions fully populated. In response many states developed Olmstead Plans to start transitioning people with disabilities into more integrated settings, to help people live, work and play in their home communities. Formal Olmstead Plans were not required, but the United States. The federal Department of Justice in

the mid-2000s began focusing on states for potential action, if there wasn’t compliance with Olmstead. This was done after a period of offering guidance. In Minnesota, work on an Olmstead Plan was part of a 2011 settlement in the Jensen case. The agreement required the development and implementation of a Minnesota Olmstead Plan, and required the elimination of unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities, reductions in restraints and seclusions, and the adoption of a positive support rule to ensure that persons with disabilities received services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. The online link includes detailed progress on the plan since then. Read about it at ■ The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, www. or and www.

August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8

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UCare – People powered plans for everyone High-quality health coverage for every age and stage of life. Powered by some of the hardest working people in health care. That’s UCare!

We’re different. That’s a good thing. UCare is an independent and inclusive not-for-profit health plan serving Minnesotans since 1984. We’re committed to improving the health of our members and our communities. UCare employees are can-do people who believe in what we do. In fact, our employees have voted UCare a Top 150 Workplace for nine consecutive years in the Star Tribune workplace survey. Our members are our focus. We de-complicate, advocate and always go the extra mile to address concerns and help our members achieve their best health and wellbeing.

We know our members. That’s a good thing, too. UCare has health plans for everyone, no matter their age or health care needs. We serve individuals and families as well as those on Medicare or Medicaid. We’re also the first health plan in Minnesota to offer health coverage to people with disabilities. Today, we offer three options to serve this community: • UCare Connect Special Needs BasicCare (SNBC). Available in 62 Minnesota counties, this plan serves adults who are 18-64 years old and enrolled in Medical Assistance. Members receive benefits that go beyond Medical Assistance to support their health and wellbeing. Members enrolled in Medicare can keep their current plans. • UCare Connect + Medicare Special Needs BasicCare (HMO SNP). This plan is available in 11 metro-area counties and serves adults who are 1864 years old, and enrolled in both Medical Assistance and Medicare Parts A and B (dual coverage). • UCare’s Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO). Offered in 66 Minnesota counties, this coverage combines Medicare and Medical Assistance (dual) coverage for people who are 65 and older and may have disabilities. The State of Minnesota is now transitioning adults who are age 65 and older with SNBC coverage to Medical Assistance programs. For adults who choose UCare’s MSHO, this means they can keep many features of SNBC, including disability waiver services.

• Provide health and wellness benefits that support the health and wellbeing of every member • Retain employees who have a passion for meeting the needs of our members in every way, every day

Plan features and benefits that go beyond. Our SNBC and dual plan members also enjoy benefits that often aren’t included in in Medical Assistance and some other Special Needs Plans or MSHO plans.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING • Free SilverSneakers® fitness program membership at more than 14,000 participating health clubs nationwide, and at-home fitness kits. • Dental services, including help to find a Delta Dental Civic Smiles network dentist and access to UCare’s Mobile Dental Clinic. • Incentives and rewards for completing preventive visits and medical tests • WholeHealth Living® discounts on yoga, weight loss programs and massage, and community education classes • Mother and child health benefits for SNBC plan members MEMBER SUPPORT • A dedicated care navigator or care coordinator (depending on plan) to help members access health services and answer questions. • 24/7 help to arrange free rides to and from covered medical and dental appointments and pharmacies • Keep Your Coverage program that provides personalized help to UCare SNBC members wanting to remain eligible for their plans. ACCESS, AFFORDABILITY • Easy enrollment options include mail, phone, online (Oct. 1, 2018)

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“It’s so rewarding (and) the process has been really life changing. SilverSneakers has allowed me to use the gym (and) lose (125 lbs.) weight. In losing the weight, I’ve been able to become more active. I’m definitely grateful for UCare and for SilverSneakers.”

Video: • Members pay no premiums, co-pays or deductibles; members with Medicare may have prescription copays.

We always listen. And we learn. Member viewpoints and experiences help us do better. We listen to what our members tell us and use the feedback to improve the way we serve them. We simplify our health plan materials using plain language. Strengthen our care coordination and navigator services. Expand our networks and offer more benefits to help our members get and stay healthy. Our Disability Advisory Council (DAC) is one of four UCare member groups that meet regularly with UCare leaders. The council includes SNBC members who serve as advocates for the disability community. Others on the council are involved with community groups. UCare also works with our online Member Feedback Community to improve services and create materials that are helpful to members of all ages with disabilities.


We’re the helpers with the answers.

We’re more than a health plan. We’re figure-outers. • UCare employees are helpers who understand the unique needs of the disabled community. We work hard to figure out the coverage that’s right for each individual. To serve our disabled community in the best way possible, we: Put members first • Offer a large network of skilled providers, specialists, hospitals and care systems • Feature licensed Special Needs Plan representatives who help individuals find and enroll in coverage that’s right for them • Go above and beyond to deliver customer service that’s second to none.

UCare Connect + Medicare member Jade on what her free SilverSneakers® gym membership has done for her.

SPECIAL NEEDS PLANS TEAM 612-676-3554 or 1-800-707-1711 toll free 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily

(left to right) Joan Freak, Ayan Geelle, Aiyan Mohaamed, Abdi Warsame, Jae Yang, Doug Laska, Hli Xiong, Archie Eliason, Michael McGreevey, Maxine Vue. Not pictured: Ken Stanley

NEED HELP WITH MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PAPERWORK? Keep Your Coverage Help Line for SNBC members 612-676-3438 or 1-855-307-6978 toll free TTY: 1-800-688-2534 toll free 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday UCare, 500 Stinson Blvd NE, Minneapolis MN 55413

August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8

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Voting in person a challenge for people with disabilities by Sara Rex, Minnesota Disability Law Center Earlier this year, independent nonprofit and public policy organization Pew Charitable Trust exposed Kathy Hoell's long-term struggle of voting with disabilities. Poll workers in Nebraska took Hoell to stairs. She uses a wheelchair. Hoell was also told that she was not smart enough to vote, leading to the conclusion that she is a second-class citizen. Like Hoell, voters with disabilities face barriers all over the United States. Polling places may be inaccessible for many reasons, including a lack of ramps, broken elevators, no disabled parking or doors that are too narrow for wheelchairs. These obstacles and others result a significant gap in voter turnout. A Rutgers University study found that in the 2016 election, Minnesotans with disabilities voted at a rate 11.2 percent lower than Minnesotans without disabilities. National Public Radio (NPR) quotes a U.S. Government Accountability Office finding that only a quarter of all polling places nationwide are entirely accessible for individuals with disabilities. NPR has also determined that nearly a third of voters with disabilities in the United

States in the past presidential election said they had problems casting their ballots. Voting rights specialist Michelle Bishop of the National Disability Rights Network described the suppressive effect of voting barriers. “If your polling place is somewhere that you can't even get in, not only do you sometimes feel like your vote may not matter ... but it also feels like people don't want you to vote, or don't care if you can.” Minnesota offers voters with disabilities some options, including curbside voting, when a poll worker brings ballots to voters in their cars, and absentee ballots, which allow voters to submit their ballots early and/or by mail. Absentee voting starts 46 days before an election. But many voters would still prefer to cast ballots in person. With curbside voting, someone in the vehicle must be able to get the attention of an election official inside the polling facility. People with disabilities may find it difficult to get out of their vehicles and find an election official. "The fact that there are multiple ways to vote is a convenience,” said Pamela Hoopes, legal director of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Disability Law Center. “But that doesn't make up for being prevented from exercising your right to vote in person ...

Many people, with and without disabilities, feel that it’s part of the function of being an active citizen to go to the polling place on Election Day and vote.” Hoopes said that voting at the polls is "a way of, very concretely, being part of the broader community." At best, limiting that right in any way makes people feel like they have less of a part in the process, and, at worst, like their voices are not wanted or heard. “People have the right to choose” how they vote, said Justin Page, an attorney with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid's Disability Law Center, “and if they want to go to a polling place to cast their ballots ... the U.S. Constitution affords them that right.” This kind of disparity should not exist. But you can help it change. We all, disabled and not, share an obligation to ensure that every eligible Minnesotan can vote. That is why Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid's Disability Law Center and the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office are collaborating in a nonpartisan survey of Minnesota polling locations to make sure the polls are accessible to all voters. Hoopes cited the benefits of volunteering for this project. “It is a very easy, and even enjoyable, way to do something that's quite important. Equal access to voting is critical

to the functioning of a democracy.” Between August 7 and 14, volunteers will visit polling places around Minnesota and completing surveys that address issues such as disabled parking, accessible building entrances and interior paths to the voting areas. Volunteers attended training sessions prior to the surveys. The surveys will help Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and the Secretary of State’s Office identify and remove the barriers that may inhibit Minnesotans with disabilities from voting. The Secretary of State’s staff will notify the polling locations of the survey results so barriers to voting can be removed before the November election. Two training sessions were held in July. Legal Aid will also travel anywhere else in the state to conduct training sessions if there are at least five people willing to attend the session. Anyone interested in volunteering or would like to schedule a training may contact Kirsten Olson, Legal Aid's Pro Bono Director, at Sara Rex will be a senior this fall at Breck School who has spent the past two summers volunteering at Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid as an honors junior advocate, working with attorneys for underserved groups of people in Minnesota. ■

Ready to vote in Minnesota’s primary election Tuesday, August 14 and in the general election Tuesday, November 6? Voters with disabilities have a wide range of resources available. Who can vote in Minnesota? A voter must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old on Election Day and a resident of Minnesota for 20 days. Anyone under guardianship can vote unless the right to vote has been specifically revoked by a judge. Voting rights are revoked if a person has been found to be legally incompetent. Anyone who has been convicted of a felony must be finished with all parts of his or her felony sentence before being allowed to vote. The Arc Minnesota is working with its regional offices, community partners, other self-advocacy groups and statewide stakeholders to let people know about the importance of voting to the disability community. People with disabilities are all too often underrepresented at the polls. People with disabilities accounted for more than 35 million eligible voters in 2016 nationally. That number jumps to 62 million eligible voters when family members are included. But fewer than half of individuals with disabilities participated in that election. The Arc Minnesota and other advocate groups wish to demonstrate the power of the disability vote. As more people with disabilities vote, more community members have a say in disability policy at the national, state and local levels. The campaign to get out the disability community vote has the hashtags #DisabilityVoteMN and #RevUpMN. The Arc Minnesota is also making signs available, where people with disabilities can state Voting Matters to Me Because. Print and fill out the sign, and post it on social media to join a statewide and national coalition to share the importance of the disability vote. The American Association of People with Disabilities is working with advocacy


Many resources to get out the disability community vote

The Arc Minnesota's Gene Martinez urged people to vote during the recent ADA Celebration groups around the nation on the REV UP campaign. REV UP stands for Register, Educate, Vote, Use your Power. The REV UP Campaign intends to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. Full political participation for Americans with disabilities is a top priority, according to AAPD. AAPD works with state and national coalitions on effective, non-partisan campaigns to eliminate barriers to voting, promote accessibility of voting technology and polling places; educate voters about issues and candidates; promote turnout of voters with disabilities across the country; engage candidates and the media on disability issues, and protect eligible voters’ right to participate in elections. Some people with disabilities vote absentee, by receiving a ballot in the mail, marking it and sending it back in. Contact officials in


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your home county or city for information on getting an absentee ballot, or contact the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. Absentee balloting for the general election starts on September 21, just a few days before National Voter Registration Day on September 25. The last day to register in advance of the general election is October 16. But Minnesotans who bring proper identification and proof of a current address can register at the polls on Election Day. Registration at the polls can also be accomplished by going to the polls with

someone who is registered to vote in the precinct. That person can act as a voucher and help an unregistered voter register. Minnesotans can register online with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, on paper or on Election Day with proper identification. At the polls registration judges need proof of identity and residency. Specific documents are needed, so make sure those documents are in hand before going to the polls. Anyone with a disability who votes at the polls on Election Day or during early in-person voting has the right to ask for accommodations. These can include having a ballot taken out to a vehicle for curbside voting, or asking for assistance at the polls. Voters can get assistance from someone who accompanies them, if the person assisting is not influencing. Otherwise, ask the head judge at the polling place for assistance with filling out a ballot or for help with special voting equipment for people with visual disabilities. Lots of resources are online for anyone wishing to vote this fall. The Arc Minnesota has many links in its public policy section. Go to The Minnesota Secretary of State’s office also has a wealth of voting information. Look for the elections tab on the main website, at Check the AAPD website for more information on REVUP, at Another group that provides useful information for voters with disabilities is Self-Advocates becoming Empowered, or SABES, a national group. Learn more about SABES and its work at ■

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August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8

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Time to raise the volume on inclusion and opportunity for all by Julie Johnson, MOHR and Sue Schettie, AARM The community of those working for continual progress towards a more inclusive and supportive Minnesota for people with disabilities entered 2018 with cautious optimism that this would be a year for making real advances in public policy. A host of advocacy priorities from a combination of groups sought greater flexibility for providers to meet people’s support needs and independence goals, stronger self-directed resources, and expanded supports for employment and independent housing. Most significantly, everyone was getting ready to drive forward new strategies for addressing the critical shortage of direct support professionals of all types in our state. Then the 7 percent cuts to Medicaid waiver rates for home and community-based supportive services were announced and we were all on the defensive again, needing to fight not for progress, but to stop yet another funding backslide and digging a deeper workforce shortage hole to climb out of. Instead of working together towards opening opportunities and improving quality of life, we were now fighting just to maintain a tenuous status quo. Our organizations and our members fought hard to pass a legislative fix to stop the cuts, and thanks to the thousands of calls, emails, and visits from passionate and dedicated advocates, we came close. Dozens of legislators from both parties sponsored and helped pass legislation stopping the cuts. But the fix fell victim, along with so many other priorities, to the political brinksmanship at the end of session between legislative leaders and Governor Mark Dayton. We continued the fight, in partnership with several individuals who will be irreparably harmed by the negative impacts to their supportive services as the 7 percent cuts take effect, by suing in Federal Court to stop the cuts, because state law still requires the Minnesota Department of Human Services to maintain funding

APPEAL From page 1 to ensure compliance. That period was to continue for two years. In August 2013 both sides agreed to a one-year extension, with the court reserving the authority to order an additional extension of jurisdiction based on the status of compliance with the agreement. In September 2014, the court determined that DHS was still not in compliance with the settlement agreement and extended jurisdiction another two years, until December 4, 2016. Neither party objected. At a March 24, 2017 status conference, DHS for the first time objected to the district court’s continued jurisdiction, claiming that court jurisdiction had ended as of December 4, 2014. That led to the appeal. Court documents from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals describe at length how DHS and the plaintiffs disagreed on their interpretation of the settlement agreement, even including a side-by-side comparison of language. In its conclusion, the three-judge circuit court panel stated, “We conclude that, while the jurisdictional provision of the agreement is ambiguous on its face, the extrinsic evidence shows that this provision permits the district court to extend its jurisdiction as it ‘deems just and equitable.’ We affirm.” The July 26 ruling means that the federal district court has the authority to continue to enforcement the settlement, including progress reporting on compliance. “This is an important recognition of the parties’ express intentions in settling this class action lawsuit, and the conduct of the state and DHS over many years specifically recognizing the court’s authority to govern and enforce the settlement and address their repeated noncompliance,” said O’Meara. “We are surprised at the state and DHS bitterness over a process they specifically agreed upon, based on a settlement they both signed, and their ongoing repeated failures to properly implement and follow dozens of court orders directing them to comply,” O’Meara said. “Had they simply done what they promised under there would be no need for continued court oversight as this matter would have concluded long ago.” “This decision allows the court to continue its enforcement of a historic settlement with profound positive benefits for individuals with disabilities across Minnesota,” said O’Meara. ■

levels. That effort fell short as well, with the judge ruling that administrative appeals must first be filed. We continue the fight there, working with our members to assist in filing rate appeals for hundreds of individuals impacted during the first round of cuts. Why are these fights so important? Because we collectively are driven by the shared value that everyone deserves the opportunities to choose and live their best lives, and that ensuring people have stable access to high quality services and well-trained direct support professionals is critical to achieving that value and empowering people to maximize their abilities. While these past several months have been discouraging, we feel the tide starting to shift. Across Minnesota, news about the shortage of professionals who support people with disabilities is being told. The hiring crisis for day programs, residential providers and individuals needing PCA services has become a drumbeat, with mentions in story after story. A large bipartisan cohort of legislators prioritized these issues in the final days of the legislative session, and continues to be passionate champions. Legislative leaders and voters are now being asked more directly about the quality of life people with disabilities should have, and the services

needed to make that happen. This is a conversation that each family, each individual with a disability and each person who provides supports needs to have with their legislators, every candidate for state office and, frankly, with their neighbors, family and friends. Each of us has a voice, and when those voices combine to share our messages, they impact attitudes and decisions that directly affect our communities. It’s typically not the majority that brings change, but small groups of citizens that are very vocal, determined, and focused on their goals. They will win the hearts and minds of elected leaders, and those around them, to build something that’s lasting and valued. We must tell our stories, and make it personal and impactful so leaders won’t brush aside these significant issues when the time for voting comes. You’ll be so glad you did. Together, MOHR and ARRM represent more than 250 home and community-based service providers in Minnesota. Both are members of the Best Life Alliance, which advocates for the direct support professional workforce. Julie Johnson is President of MOHR and Sue Schettle, CEO of ARRM. ■

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Fight against incontinence products program continues with more allies Minnesotans who rely on incontinence products, medical products suppliers and legislators are continuing to try to block enforcement of the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Preferred Incontinence Product Program (PIPP). The program, which was approved in the waning hours of the 2017 special session of the Minnesota Legislature, is seen as taking away choice for people who rely on the products. Program foes are concerned about product quality as well as potential health risks that could occur due to limited choice of products. The PIPP is opposed by disability advocates, providers, legislative leaders in both parties, and Gov. Mark Dayton. It has gained a high-profile ally in Ms. Wheelchair America, Sheri MelanderSmith. The Chanhassen resident has joined the fight against PIPP. It was adopted in 2017 without public input or hearings. But efforts to undo the 2017 law during the 2018 legislative session fell short. Language to repeal PIPP was included in the 2018 supplemental budget bill, which Dayton vetoed in May. Dayton said he was forced to veto the bill because of other concerns about its contents. PIPP would award a single company a monopoly on distributing medicallynecessary incontinence products to Minnesota Medicaid patients. A bipartisan group of 10 Minnesota legislators in July signed a letter of support for the petition, which is being led by the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Supplies & Services (MAMES). The petition was filed with an administrative law judge. No decision had been released by the time Access Press went to press. The petition requests that the Commissioner of Human Services

initiate a rule-making process before the Office of Administrative Hearings. The legislators signing the letter include Senators Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake), Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis), John Hoffman, (DFL- Champlin), Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) and Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), and Representatives Erin Murphy (DFLSt. Paul) Roz Peterson (R-Lakeville) and Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River). The legal petition alleges that the PIPP program structure constitutes “the enforcement of an invalid, unpromulgated rule”, as the enabling legislation requires the DHS Commissioner to “volume purchase incontinence products”, not designate a monopoly distributor. “The Preferred Incontinence Product Program has been a mess from the start” said Benson, chair of the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee. “That’s why I worked with colleagues in both parties to co-author legislation to repeal the program. We know that incontinence issues are the number one reason for hospitalization for seniors: this short-cited initiative will almost certainly cost more in the long run than it saves. I call on the governor to support this petition, and give the legislature the opportunity to fix this once and for in 2019.” “I am proud to stand with healthcare and disability advocates, as well as my colleagues in both parties, to support this petition,” said Hoffman. “I look forward to working with Governor Dayton to protect the thousands of Minnesotans that rely upon the incontinence program to maintain their active lifestyles.” On July 9 Melander-Smith filed an official protest against PIPP. “If DHS succeeds in giving a single corporation

a monopoly, the health and dignity of Minnesota’s most vulnerable citizens will be put at risk. Patients will have reduced access to high-quality incontinence products, while costs will likely go up,” Melander-Smith said in a statement. “I’m proud to join with the disability community in the fight against this unnecessary and dangerous program that puts patients at risk.” Melander-Smith’s protest further details the potential harm of the program to the disability community, including Minnesotans like her. She has also signed onto a legal petition requesting that DHS initiate an official rulemaking process before the Office of Administrative Hearings. “It’s a shame this protest is even necessary: the widespread opposition of those DHS is meant to serve should be enough for them to reconsider this troubling path,” Melander-Smith said. Melander-Smith began her career as a fashion model, before a vascular malformation on her spine left her paralyzed. Since then, she has devoted

her life to serving as an advocate for the disability community. She has worked as an analyst in children’s mental health in Hennepin County, and served as a principal planning analyst for Metropolitan Health Plan, Hennepin County’s public healthcare system. She has also served as a motivational speaker, and hosted Living Forward, a TV show that focused on how people with disabilities can live the best life possible. She holds a master’s degree in psychology from UCLA, as well as an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. She also served in a leadership position on the board of the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living. Melander-Smith was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2018. Ms. Wheelchair America is devoted to recognizing the accomplishments of women who utilize wheelchairs for mobility, and aims to increase public awareness so that all citizens will be afforded the opportunities to lead productive and meaningful lives. ■

Sanctions for scam artists, fake service animals took effect August 1 The vetoes of major policy and spending bills meant gains were sparse at the capitol in 2018. However, some key bills were signed into law this spring. Two very different laws went into effect August 1, affecting people with disabilities and elders. Scam artists who target senior citizens and vulnerable adults will face more sanctions, as the Safe Seniors Financial Protection Act went into effect August 1. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is partnering with financial professionals to prevent financial fraud and exploitation. The act provides tools to Minnesota’s financial professionals to identify and report cases of financial abuse of seniors and vulnerable adults. Financial professionals such as broker-

dealers and investment advisers can now report to the Commerce Department and the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center when a senior or vulnerable client is falling victim to financial exploitation and notify a trusted third party about the suspected financial exploitation. Financial professional can temporarily delay a transaction or disbursement of funds to protect vulnerable adults and seniors from financial exploitation. The act is seen as creating a stronger partnership between advisers and the Minnesota Commerce Department. In recent years there have been a growing number of financial exploitation cases targeting elders and vulnerable adults in Minnesota. Exploitation an be by family members or complete strangers.

People have lost their life’s savings to these scams. The new law makers it easier to report such scams and to act. Broker-dealers and investment advisers can also freeze transactions on the account for up to 15 days while investigators investigate it. If they need more time, investigators can request the transaction delay continue for another 10 days. Broker-dealers and investment advisers acting in good faith are immune from administrative or civil liability for reporting, third-party disclosure and delayed transactions or disbursement because they are trying to prevent fraud. Anyone who reasonably believes a vulnerable adult or senior (anyone age 65 or over) is in danger of becoming a victim

of financial exploitation can make a report to both the Commerce Department at 952-237- 7571 and the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC) at 1-844- 880-1574. Another law that took effect August 1 affects service animals and their owners. People who try to pass off untrained creatures as service animals can now face a $100 fine. Minnesota joins almost two dozen other states in enacting such a law. It’s important for people with legitimate, trained service animals to be aware of this law and its implications. The intent is to protect legitimate service animals and the people who rely on them. These specially trained animals, which are usually dogs, help people with SANCTIONS To page 15

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The Messy Giuseppe is a blend of seasoned ground beef and Italian pork sausage smothered in marinara, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served on crusty Italian bread. It is served at Mancini’s al Fresco, located on the north side of Carnes Ave. between Nelson and Underwood streets.

Vendors offer many accessible dining options for fairgoers • Dino’s Gyros, on the north side of Carnes between Nelson and Underwood • Farmers Union Coffee Shop, on the north side of Dan Patch between Cooper and Cosgrove. This building has just been renovated. • French Creperie, on the north side of Carnes between Nelson and Underwood • French Meadow Bakery & Café, on the north side of Carnes between Nelson and Underwood • Frontier Bar, on the south side of Carnes between Liggett and Nelson • Giggles’ Campfire Grill, on the southeast corner of Lee and Cooper at the North Woods • Hamline Church Dining Hall, on the north side of Dan Patch between Underwood and Cooper. The church has had a dining hall for more than 120 years and is the oldest food establishment at the fair. • Italian Junction, on the south side of Dan Patch between Nelson and Underwood • LuLu’s Public House, with most accessible seating on the second story via elevator, at West End Market, south of the Schilling Amphitheater • Mancini’s Al Fresco, on the north side of Carnes between Nelson and Underwood • Minnesota Wine Country, on the west side of Underwood between Carnes and Judson • Mexican Hat, east of Chambers, south of the Grandstand • O’Gara’s at the Fair, on the southwest corner of Dan Patch and Cosgrove • RC’s BBQ, on the north side of Dan Patch between Liggett and Chambers • Ragin Cajun, in the garden on the corner of Dan Patch and Underwood • Salem Lutheran Church, on the north side of Randall south of the Progress Center • Shanghaied Henri’s, at the International Bazaar, north wall • Tejas, in the garden on the corner of Dan Patch and Underwood • The Peg, on the extreme southeast side of the Agriculture Horticulture Building The fair has plenty of drinking fountains, so bring a water bottle to fill for the day. Also, it is always a good idea to bring along a pack of wet wipes and a bottle of hand sanitizer. And of course, don’t forget any needed medications as well as sunscreen. ■


Whether it’s fried or on a stick, in a cup or a cone, a big part of the Minnesota State Fair experience is the food. Many food vendors offer places where people with disabilities can eat in comfort. It’s often challenging for fairgoers to find a place with a table to eat at or be served from. Several tables can be found adjacent to the Mighty Midway. The annual Access Press Minnesota State Fair dining list outlines sit-down eating establishments at the fair that are accessible via curb cuts, have hard and sturdy floor surfaces and have places where a fair-goer can pull a wheelchair up to a table. In some places, a chair might have to be moved to make room for a wheelchair or scooter. Diners should always ask for accommodations. One good place to take food to is the Mighty Midway, where there are several tables. The Hangar, at the northeast corner of Murphy Avenue & Underwood Street, is a new accessible dining spot. What used to be the Pet Center is now a destination for food, craft beer and entertainment on the north end of the fairgrounds. Once home to the State Fair aircraft show in the early 1900s, the renovated building features aircraft-themed décor and other memorabilia paying homage to the building’s history. The menu will feature a wide range of items. The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild will serve a plentiful selection of brews. Live entertainment will be offered. What is welcomed at this new venue is a generous number of tables. This year’s accessible dining options follows: • Andy’s Grille, on the south side of Carnes between Liggett and Nelson • Ball Park Café, on the east side of Underwood between Dan Patch and Carnes • Blue Barn (limited general seating picnic tables), at West End Market, south of the History & Heritage Center • Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, on the northeast corner of Carnes and Chambers • Cafe Caribe, on the south side of Carnes between Liggett and Nelson • Chicago Dogs, in the garden on the corner of Dan Patch and Underwood • Charcoal Hut, on the east side of Judson between Underwood and Cooper, next to the International Bazaar • Coasters, on the southeast corner of Carnes and Liggett

A blueberry rhubarb cobbler features a blend of organic blueberries and rhubarb topped with a cornmeal biscuit and whipped cream. It is served at Farmers Union Coffee Shop, located on the north side of Dan Patch Ave. between Cooper and Cosgrove streets.

Camping, hiking and enjoying the beauty of Minnesota’s state parks is an experience everyone should enjoy. Anyone wishing to discuss accessibility in state parks while attending the 2018 Minnesota State Fair is urged to visit the Education Building, and find the Minnesota Council on Disability booth. There, fair visitors can weigh in on the council’s Outdoors for All initiative. Kody Olson, public policy director for the council, said it’s important to hear from people with disabilities about state parks access. This builds on efforts during the 2018 legislative session, when the council was able to get $500,000 in the bonding bill. Those funds will be used to design at all-inclusive experience at two or three state parks for everyone, with a goal of having state parks that meet the diverse needs of all Minnesotans. “The Minnesota Council on Disability has been leading the charge to make all 75 of Minnesota’s state parks accessible,” said Olson. “At the state fair, we will be launching a campaign that will spread our message to the thousands of visitors who visit our booth every year. We want to

encourage folks to let their government know that this is an issue they care about. We want legislators to know that barriers exist in our parks and appropriations are needed to make our parks an inclusive experience for all.” The council’s continued bonding efforts in 2019 and beyond will first focus on two parks, William O’Brien State Park in Marine in St. Croix and Fort Snelling State Park at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. Olson said the two were chosen because they are popular destinations with a high volume of visitors. The DNR estimates that more than 950,000 people visit Fort Snelling State Park in 2012, making it the most-visited state park. Statewide in 2012, the parks hosted almost 8 million visitors. “Many people will understand the challenges as we talk about them because they have these two parks as a point of reference,” Olson said. “Our goal is to make all parks accessible. This is simply a starting point.” Barriers to access include paths of travel, ACCESS To page 13



Asking about parks access: state council wants input

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August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8

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August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8

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OPPORTUNITIES REGISTER ON NEW ONLINE JOB BOARD The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is encouraging people who provide direct support to people with disabilities and older adults, or are interested in exploring these careers, to register on a new online job board and hiring resource. Direct Support Connect is a free, safe and secure service provided by DHS that responds to the high demand for direct support workers in Minnesota. It is designed to help people who need services to find a worker who is a good match for them. Workers can use the service to find part-time and full-time work opportunities, and find links to career building classes and resources from DHS. They can easily filter and review jobs compatible with their schedule, skills and preferences. The service also provides secure messaging to respond to job postings. “Direct support workers help people with daily needs as they live, work and have fun in the community and at home,” said Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “Together we can build a robust resource for Minnesotans who need this help and for those who are looking for rewarding and flexible work.” As more workers register on Direct Support Connect, DHS encourage people who are looking for workers to register on the site as well. Go to https:// to learn more.

EVENTS ATTEND HEALTH CONFERENCE Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities hosts its second annual health and wellness conference, Healthy Independent Living for People with Disabilities Tue, Sept. 25 at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, Mpls. Matthew Sanford is the keynote speaker. The conference is for direct support staff, professionals working with people with disabilities and people experiencing significant health challenges. CEU’s and certificates of attendance available. Sponsors are still welcome. FFI: SELF-ADVOCACY SUMMIT SET Autism Society of Minnesota has announced its first-ever AuSM Self-Advocacy Summit, presented by Anime Twin Cities. Save the date of Sat, Sept. 22. It will include a keynote presentation and nine breakout sessions featuring topics including mental health, executive functioning, sensory needs, employment, relationships, and more. This event is for individuals on the spectrum, by individuals on the spectrum. Visit the AuSM Bookstore, network with peers, and visit with vendors who support adults on the spectrum. Additional details about the summit have been posted and registration is open. FFI:

CHILDREN & FAMILIES FAMILY COURSE ON MENTAL ILLNESSES NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a free educational course that helps families gain a greater understanding of mental illness, discuss resources, build communication skills, reduce stress and find support. More than 4,000 Minnesota families have benefited from this course, taught by family members who have walked the walk. The Family-to-Family course meets weekly for 12 weeks on Mon starting 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 10 at NAMI Minnesota, 1919 University Ave. W., Suite 400, St. Paul. Preregistration required. FFI: Helen, 763-227-0271. 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 live-streamed. 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. Tech for Teens Club: Building a Robot offered 10 a.m.-noon, Sat, Aug. 18 at PACER Center. Teens with disabilities will assemble a robot and program it to respond to the environment. Participants will learn about the entire process of building a robot, from assembly to executing code. This workshop is designed for students with basic computer skills but no previous coding knowledge is required. Students of all abilities are encouraged to attend.

Incorporating Home Living Skills Into Daily Life for Your Middle School Youth is offered 7-9 p.m. Mon, Aug. 20 at PACER Center. Come have fun exploring the tools and technology to help your son or daughter learn and practice home living skills. Topics will include meal planning and cooking, healthy living and smart choices, safety and emergency services, shopping and managing money, communication and self-advocacy, recreation and leisure, and transportation. Individualized Education Program (IEP) Workshop Series, Hot Tips on the IEP: Is your child’s IEP individualized and appropriate? is offered 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thu, Aug. 23 at PACER Center. Participants will learn how to use the information on their child’s special education evaluation report to determine how well the individualized Education Program (IEP) addresses the child’s unique needs. Parents should bring a copy of their child’s most recent school special education evaluation report and their child's current IEP. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237,

INFO & ASSISTANCE QPR SUICIDE PREVENTION CLASS QPR is a free, one-hour presentation sponsored by NAMI Minnesota that covers the three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide - Question, Persuade and Refer. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught gatekeeper training program in the United States, and more than one million adults have been trained in classroom settings in more than 48 states. The QPR class is 5:30-6:30 p.m. Fri, Aug. 24 at NAMI Minnesota, 1919 University Ave. W., Suite 400, St. Paul. FFI: 651-645-2948 x198, or the classes tab at 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 two dozen 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 6:30-8 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul. 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 of all events is offered online. FFI: 651-645-2948, VISION LOSS GROUP OFFERS ACTIVITIES Vision Loss Resources provides free and low-cost 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 Vision Loss Resources website and as a printable large-print PDF document for those who wish to print their own or additional copies. FFI: RSVP hotline, 612843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155, www. 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 on the website, 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. NEW! A People of Color with disabilities group has started meeting, 5:30-8 p.m. the third Thu of each month. FFI: 651-603-2030 ILICIL OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES ILICIL 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. The free mental health discussion group 6-:30 p.m. Mon. Learn to live life to the fullest and support each other. The center has a full schedule of activities including support groups, martial arts, Nordic walking and more FFI: 320-267-7717 ADULT SUPPORT GROUPS OFFERED AuSM 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 AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10, PARKINSON’S SUPPORT GROUP



on St. Paul’s Front Porch!


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ENJOY! Mental Health: Mind Matters


The Science Museum of Minnesota hosts Mental Health: Mind Matters, presented by PrairieCare, until Jan. 6, 2019. The exhibit uses unique hands-on and immersive multimedia activities to give visitors of all ages a memorable, impactful experience exploring mental health and its prevalence and impact in society. It will also provide a safe space to have important conversations about a subject that some see as taboo. Mental Health: Mind Matters will build understanding and awareness by giving visitors the opportunity to see how mental illness has been treated in the past, as well as the chance to better understand what it’s like to live with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. It will also connect them with valuable resources to help them better their own mental health and support those with mental illness who are close to them. Visitors can gain a wealth of information about mental illness. Interactive exhibits make symptoms come alive, including Are You Afraid?, an immersive, full body game that puts them in a dark forest to confront scary creatures, using only their eyes as indicators. When approached, the eyes disappear and familiar forest animals are revealed. Participants try to survive the night in the forest, converting their fears into less threatening forces and demonstrating that, while facing fears is difficult, the skills it requires can be practiced and honed. Mental Health: Mind Matters is located in the U.S. Bank Great Hall on level 4. It is open during regular Science Museum hours. Admission will be included in regular exhibit gallery admission ($18.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids ages 4 to 12 and seniors). FFI: MADE IN THE SHADE Made in the Shade Walk, Run & Roll helps disability service agencies raise funds and celebrate community. This year’s event is Sat, Sept. 15 at Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun), Mpls. The 2018 partner agencies include EGH, Homeward Bound, Inc., PAI, Partnership Resources, Inc., The Phoenix Residence, TSE, Inc., and Wingspan Life Resources. These seven agencies provide support and services to more than 6,000 people. FFI: Kristin Morin, 763-746-4821, madeintheshade5k CAN DO WOOFAROO The annual Can Do Woofaroo, a fundraiser for Can Do Canines, is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat, Sept. 29 at Can Do Canines, 9440 Science Center Drive, New Hope. Take part in a fundraising walk, enjoy games, music, food and activities including paw painting. Bring your furry friend. Preregister soon for this day of fun. FFF: RUN, WALK, ROLL AGAINST BULLYING Join PACER Center for the ninth annual Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying Sat, Oct. 6 at Normandale Lake, Bloomington to raise awareness for bullying prevention. More than one out of every five students reports being bullied during the school year. Help PACER make a difference by taking steps to help create a world without bullying and uniting for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. Registration opens soon. Event sponsorships available. FFI: THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE Guthrie Theater presents the story of an Elvis impersonator turned drag queen, at Guthrie Theater, McGuire Proscenium, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. AD and ASL offered 1 p.m. Sat, Aug. 4. Free sensory tour available at 10:30 a.m. AD, ASL and OC offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Aug. 10. OC offered 1 p.m. Wed, Aug. 8 and Sat, Aug. 18. Tickets reduced to $20 for AD and ASL, $25 for OC (regular $15-67). FFI: 612-377-2224, www. MULAN JR. Young Artists Initiative presents the story of a brave girl and her dragon, at Wellstone Center Neighborhood House, 179 Robie St. E., St. Paul. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Aug. 12. Tickets $10, other discounts available. FFI: 651-222-5437, THE SLEEPING CHILD See the McCreary puppets at outdoor shows, with Marya Hart at the piano, Bruce Wintervold on percussion. ASL offered 1:45 p.m. Tue, Aug. 14, (rain date Aug. 15), Mattocks Park, 441 S. Macalester St., St. Paul and 1 p.m. Sat, Sept. 22 at Marydale Park Fall Festival, 542 Maryland Ave. W., St. Paul. Free and family-friendly. Bring chairs or blankets to sit on. FFI: 612-735-7296, RHYTHMICALLY SPEAKING 10/2018 Local and national choreographers celebrate 10 years of the dance performances, at Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Ave. S., Mpls. AD offered 2 p.m. Sat, Aug. 18. If interested in attending, please RSVP at and a describer will be scheduled. Tickets $20 advance and $24 at the door, other discounts available. FFI: 612-326-1811, LAND OF MAAYA Bollywood Dance Scene presents the story of a blind teenager raised by her Indian single mother, at Anne Simley Theater, Hamline University, 1530 W. Taylor Ave, St. Paul. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Aug. 26. ASL TBD. Wheelchair seating and accessible seating is available at every performance. Tickets $18, other discounts available. FFI: 612405-2669, SENSORY FRIENDLY SUN Walker Art Center hosts Sensory Friendly Sun, a monthly, free event for kids, teens and adults with autism spectrum disorder or sensory sensitivities and their families, offering the opportunity to make art together, explore the galleries, watch a short film, or just hang out in a different setting. The galleries will be closed to all other visitors, allowing guests to enjoy the museum in a safe environment where accommodations such as quiet spaces, headphones and fidgets can be provided. In order to ensure an optimal experience and avoid crowds, reserve space ahead of time online. This program was created in consultation with the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) and the University of Minnesota’s Occupational Therapy Program. At Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Mpls. Upcoming dates are 8-11 a.m. Sun, Sept. 2 and Oct. 7. Free. FFI. 612-375-7610,

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, Sept. 4. Free but reservations required. FFI: 651-297- 2555, 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 Sept. 6 and Oct. 4. 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 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 BODY LANGUAGE Mpls Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls, hosts Body Language. Decipher the messages sent as expressed in images of the human body. ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Sept. 9. Interpreted tours begin by the Information Bar in the upper lobby on the first Sun of the month at 1 p.m., except as noted differently. Other interpreted tours and memory loss tours can be scheduled at 612-870-3140. Free. FFI: 612-870-6323, IF/THEN Lyric Arts Company of Anoka presents the tale of one woman and two possibilities, at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 420 E. Main St., Anoka. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Sept. 9. Reserve by Aug. 19. 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 if a reservation is made three weeks before the show. If no ASL seating has been reserved, the ASL interpretation will be canceled and seats will be released to the general public. When ordering tickets, please indicate your need for seating in this section. Assisted listening devices available on request. Tickets $32-35; $5 discount for ASL seats. FFI: 763-422-1838, www. SIGN LANGUAGE SAT Take a trip back in time as Minnesota Renaissance Festival hosts Sign Language Saturday, with ASL interpretation, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat, Sept. 15 at the festival grounds, 12364 Chestnut Blvd. (off Hwy 169, 7 miles south of Shakopee). Tickets $24.95 (advance $21.95); child 5-12 $15.95 (advance $12.50); senior 65 and older $22.95; under age 4 free. Free parking. Disability parking and portable toilets as well as a first aid station are available. Motorized scooters available for rent, but not wheelchairs or strollers. FFI: 952-445-7361, DRACULA: PRINCE OF BLOOD Commonweal Theatre Company presents an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic, at Commonweal Theatre, 208 Parkway Ave. N., Lanesboro. AD offered 1:30 p.m. Sun, Sept. 16, pre-show at 1:10 p.m. Request a tactile tour at noon. Please make AD reservations at least one week in advance. Two-week notice requested for a Braille program. Five-week notice requested for ASL interpreting. Assistive listening devices available at the box office. Special seating available for people with mobility issues. Tickets reduced to $15 for AD/ASL patrons (regular $35), other discounts available. FFI: 507-467-2525, www. IS GOD IS Mixed Blood Theatre presents an Obie Award-winning show outlining the issues of cyclical violence, at Alan Page Auditorium at Mixed Blood Theatre at 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls. Projected supertitle translations in English at all performances. AD and ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Sept. 22, with tactile tour at 7 p.m. Recorded AD available at all performances after Access Night. Mixed Blood’s Access Pass provides complimentary guaranteed admission for shows to patrons with disabilities and their companions, as well as free transportation to and from the theatre for patrons with disabilities. Advance reservations $35 online or by phone. Or join as members for $9 per month. Radical Hospitality admission is free on a first come/first served basis starting two hours before every show. FFI: 612-338-6131,

WAIT UNTIL DARK Theatre in the Round Players presents the story of a blind woman trying to evade criminals, at Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave. Mpls. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Sept. 23. Tactile tour at 1 p.m. upon request based on reservations. Large-print programs and assisted-listening devices available at every performance. Tickets $22, discounts available. FFI: 612-333-3010, AWAKE AND SING! Artistry presents the tale of a family waiting for better times, at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Black Box Theater, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Sept. 23. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Sept. 30. Tickets reduced to $30, other discounts available. FFI: 952-563-8575, ONCE Theater Latte Da presents a powerful and complicated love story, at Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Mpls. AD and ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Sept. 27. Tickets reduced to $17.50 for ASL/AD patrons and one guest. FFI: 612-339-3003, SOMETIMES THERE’S WINE Park Square Theatre presents the 2 Sugars, Room for Cream team and their comedic conversations about life, at Park Square Theatre, Andy Boss Thrust Stage, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Sept. 28. ASL/OC on request. Assistive listening devices available. AD single ticket discount is half-price for patron and one guest with code ACC, other discounts available. FFI: 651-291-7005, www. WEST OF CENTRAL Pillsbury House Theatre presents a drama of 1966 and the aftermath of the Watts riots, at Pillsbury House Theatre, 3501 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Sept. 28. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Oct. 4. Tickets Pick-your-price (reg $25). FFI: 612-825-0459, http:// CABARET Lakeshore Players Theatre presents the musical set in 1930s Berlin and the seedy Kit Kat Klub, at Hanifl Performing Arts Center, 4941 Long Ave., White Bear Lake. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Sept. 30. (If no ASL seats are reserved within two weeks of the performance – by Sept. 16 – the ASL-interpretation will be cancelled).Tickets $20, reduced to $10 for ASL patrons, who can purchase tickets online with a direct link that is active until two weeks before the performance. The $10 ASL seats highlighted in purple have the best view of the interpreter, are only visible via weblink, and will not be released to the general public until the Mon after the ASL reservation deadline. Assisted listening devices available. FFI: 651-429-5674, THE MIRACLE WORKER Yellow Tree Theatre presents the story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan, at Yellow Tree Theatre, 320 5th Ave. SE, Osseo. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Sept. 30. Please request ASL services no later than Wed before the scheduled performance (which is pay what one can). AD is offered if requested no later than two weeks before the performance. Large print playbill and advance script available with one-week notice. Assistive listening units available. If cost is a barrier, $5 tickets are available through the Arts for All program. Tickets $25, other discounts available. FFI: 763-493-8733, 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 The website has a comprehensive calendar at the upper right-hand corner of its homepage. For galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at access@ or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883

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Our award-winning access services can help make your visit a memorable one. Connect with us to learn more.

612.377.2224 / Access programs at the Guthrie are sponsored by Travelers, Medtronic and Xcel Foundation

August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8


Lynn Megan, Sheri Murphy

Gwen Bowler, Kara Kowski

Direct support providers honored for service

Five Minnesota direct support professionals (DSP) were honored with awards at the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and MOHR Summer Conference in St. Cloud. MOHR includes more than 100 adult day, day training and habilitation, extended employment, and supported employment service providers across the state. Its members serve more than 26,000 Minnesotans with disabilities. Direct training specialist Kim Seehusen with Ally People Solutions, St. Paul, was honored for enrichment focus. Seehusen serves as a role model for colleagues through best practices in self-advocacy, community and sensory integration and entrepreneurship, said Jerry Le Vasseur, manager of personal employment for Ally. She uses photographs to strengthen relationships and memories for the people with disabilities she serves. Seehusen’s mantra is, “How can we make this happen?” Growing up around people with disabilities, Seehusen said she’s made them a part of her life. “I feel like I get more out of it, sometimes, maybe even than they do.” For some individuals, the staff members providing services may be the closest thing to “family” a person has. “It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle,” said Seehusen. Sheri Murphy, an employment specialist with St. Paulbased TSE, Inc., was honored for employment service. Murphy created the Prime Time Program at TSE, which offers people with disabilities the opportunity to see different types of employment through tours in a variety of industries. With a teaching background, Murphy is adept at preparing participants, easing their anxiety and helping them to interact, said Jim Freeman, employment services director at TSE. More than 90 percent of those who have graduated from the program have gained employment. After taking behind the scenes tours of businesses in five different industries, Murphy takes people through an evaluation process before diving into a curriculum to work on skills identification and discussions about what makes a good employee. While maintaining high expectations for individuals, Murphy said she's found there are many ways to achieve them. Job coach Renae Kappes regularly teaches people with disabilities to give back to their community. The 37-year veteran of the Norman County Developmental Activities Center (DAC) was given an award for employment services. “I love making a difference in their lives, and anything I can do to (to help), I will do it,” said Kappes. She is particularly proud of the small community of Ada, which has 22 outside job sites where people with disabilities work. “Not only does Renae excel at all of her normal day-today operations, she is always stepping up and stepping in, in

MDI adds 160 jobs

MDI has begun filling 160 positions at its locations in Grand Rapids, Cohasset, Hibbing, and Minneapolis. This is due to a surge in postal service orders coupled with a steady increase in commercial sales. MDI manufactures standard and custom corrugated plastic and provides assembly and environmental services. The organization currently employs more than 400 people, with nearly half of its workforce comprised of people with disabilities. It touts an impressive 96 percent employee satisfaction rating. MDI has spent the last several years modernizing equipment, facilities, and investing in employees to prepare the organization for new diversification and growth. This process has included the purchasing of a new building in Cohasset; installation of new equipment in Grand Rapids; expansion of employee services through career skills training and the building of a new facility in Hibbing. “Any time we add jobs to the community and for individuals with disabilities - it’s a huge win,” said Peter McDermott, president and CEO of MDI. “We couldn’t have done it without our dedicated staff, customers, the support of local elected officials, individual donors, as well as the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, Blandin Foundation, and St. Louis County.”

Kim Seehusen ways that are not required, in hopes that she will make someone's life better,” said Hiliary Chisholm, executive director of the Norman Renae Kappes County DAC. While helping people with disabilities to learn their jobs, Kappes also works with employers to support them, and to uncover new job opportunities. As an exemplary job developer in the western suburbs who greatly impacts people with disabilities, Kara Kowski was honored with an employment services award Kowski builds relationships with employers and referral sources and helps individuals to prepare for Rita Cassens work and understand work expectations, said Andrea Pearson of Opportunity Partners. Kowski helps people with disabilities to find jobs. She also supports them through follow-up visits and other assistance once they are employed. “Before Opportunity Partners, I worked in the school system, so the skills transferred over,” said Kowski. In her seventh year with the nonprofit, she's also helped job placements to expand their work hours and coordinate the timing for services and other activities outside of the work day. Kowski advises the individuals she serves that they need to learn to talk to employers face to face. Rita Cassens, a substitute who works across multiple departments at Mille Lacs County DAC, was given an award for enrichment focus. Cassens brings a personcentered” approach to all that she does, working in the DAC's production, living skills and community rooms, and providing job coaching for enclaves or work crews in the community. “Rita is capable of getting people excited about doing a job that they may not prefer," said Kyrah Nelson, designated coordinator at the DAC. Sometimes, it can take some time to determine what someone with a disability wants. Cassens doesn't walk away, but tries to figure it out. Building happy lives is at the center of her work plan, and the job offers variety, which she likes. Cassens has a sister and a niece who attend the DAC. She has worked there for 21 years.

Camphill Foundation names leader

The New York-based Camphill Foundation Board of Directors has appointed Karen Murphy as the organization’s executive director. Murphy, an experienced nonprofit executive with expertise in fundraising, management, and disabilities advocacy, succeeds Shelley Burtt. Burtt served from 2010 to 2018. “We are grateful for Shelley’s commitment to Camphill and for her effectiveness in advancing the Foundation’s ability to serve our life-sharing communities,” said Roby Harrington, chairman of the Camphill Foundation Board. “And we are thrilled to welcome Karen, who brings a wealth of knowledge and an exciting vision for Camphill Foundation’s future.” Murphy worked as director of operations for the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Nyack, New York. Murphy also has extensive nonprofit fundraising experience. From 1999 to 2006, she worked at strategic fundraising consultancy CCS Fundraising, where she led capital, annual, and endowment campaigns for organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and the Archdiocese of New York. She has a long history of work with people with developmental disabilities and mental illness. Camphill operates more than 100 communities around the world, including Camphill Village Minnesota near Sauk Center. It is a life-sharing, residential community of 50 people, including adults who have disabilities. Its community is deeply rooted in the belief that every individual, regardless of limitations, is an independent, spiritual being.

Men ride for research

Tim Thurn and Jim Manders have completed a successful charity bike ride from Minneapolis to Bismarck. They raised funds for the Parkinson’s Foundation Minnesota. The route was chosen because Thurn and his wife Jan live in Minneapolis. Jan Thurn has Parkinson’s and the disease has affected other members of her family. Manders’ brother, Charlie, lives in Bismarck and also has Parkinson’s. Charlie Manders is a longtime friend of Tim Thurn. The men are using the 450-mile bike trip to raise funds, raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease, to highlight the need for more research to develop more effective treatment options and ultimately find a cure. They biked for about 75 miles each day and made stops to raise awareness of Parkinson’s. They also met with community groups. All money they raised goes to support research. The men originally wished to raise $5,000 during the ride, but raised their goal to $10,000 after an outpouring of support. As of Access Press deadline, their total was at $9,525. Read more about their ride and track fundraising progress at The ride route was along Interstate 94, including St. Cloud, Alexandria, Fergus Falls, Fargo, Valley City, Jamestown, Bismarck and the surrounding areas.

Two co-chairs announced

Reva Jones-Simmons and Natalie Beazer are the new co-chairs of the Olmstead Implementation Office’s Community Engagement Workgroup. Jones-Simmons and Beazer will be critical in helping guide the completion of the workgroup efforts, and attended their first meeting in July. They began their work with an introduction to the community engagement evaluation process facilitated by the Improve Group, and attended the first sub-cabinet meeting. The Olmstead work is to make the state, and state agencies, more inclusive of Minnesotans with disabilities and to help people, live, work and play in their home communities. More information about Olmstead meetings can be found at ■


Wingspan Life Resources opened in 1973 as St. Ann’s Residence, under the auspices of Catholic Charities. St. Ann’s was a facility that was home for 30 women with developmental disabilities. Over the last 45 years, it has grown as an organization. Wingspan now provides services to over 100 people with developmental disabilities in 26 residential homes throughout the Twin Cities. Wingspan provides In Home services to people with developmental disabilities. Their newest program is Three Directions, an employment and alternative services program that operates in collaboration with Walker Methodist Residences. The program offers individually designed services for adults of all ages seeking retirement activity, volunteerism, and paid employment.


Address: 30 East Plato Blvd, St. Paul 55107 Phone: (651) 646-3846• Online: Did you know you can join the Directory for $60/yr? Available online year-round and in four print editions.

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• • •

Remodeling for accessibility Ramps Roll-in showers Happy at home, safe at home 651-644-9770

Evaluator is licensed Assistive Technology Professional & Certified Aging in Place Specialist Waiver accepted MN Contractor License #BC708388

August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8

SHORTAGE From Page 1 the urgency of the situation. “We have a significant shortage of workers,” said Linda Wofford. “There are more than 10,000 openings around the state.” Legislators “have failed us” in not addressing the workforce crisis, said Jeff Bangsberg. While the personal care attendant (PCA) programs have been put at greatest risk by the failure to raise wages, all types of direct support staffing have been harmed by low wages.

attorney in 2004 to help with her son’s care. That has forced her family to live in poverty. She’s 64 years old and facing surgery. “I’m sorry that this was negative,” Strauss said. “But it’s reality. It’s our reality.”

Recommendations are reviewed

Community members also spoke to the workforce shortage, the need for increased reimbursements and the urgency of reform. Carla Friese is quadriplegic. She’s been in the state’s Personal Care Attendant (PCA) programs for more than 30 years. “I just want to put another face to the crisis,” she said. The lack of workers means “devastating choices” for people who need care. Michelle Lacey, who has spent 33 years in the state program, said that as she has needed more and more help, “it has become more and more difficult to fund PCAs to cover my hours. While she has had he help in the past to cover her hours, the friends and family members who pitched in have moved on. It has become a struggle to find workers. “I want to stay in the home I’ve lived in for many years,” Lacey said. Jane Strauss, the parent of an adult son with disabilities, and Friese also spoke to the difficulties clients face in being labeled as difficult by agencies. Strauss has had an especially difficult time trying to find male workers who can work with and relate to her son. She has hired college students, which is one of many report suggestions, “but they are not reliable, and they are not consistent.” “You need consistency and you need to have a worker for more than three months,” Strauss said. Her family has also dealt with workers who lack training in such areas as explosive behaviors, and who reinforce negative behaviors through what her family considers to be inappropriate rewards. Strauss had to quit her job as an

The need to increase worker wages and/ or benefits is a top recommendation. The strategies to do so are led by the need to provide a livable wage to enhance job satisfaction and retention and address statutory limits on reimbursement rates that make it difficult for providers to pay direct care and support staff a livable wage. Another related recommend would require provider reporting of wages paid to track progress toward a livable wage. The need to offer or improve benefits provided to direct care and support professionals, including health coverage, paid time off, and holiday pay is cited. Another strategy is to assess the potential of creating an employee pool group consisting of direct care and support professionals throughout the state to achieve the best possible health coverage at the most affordable price. A second priority is to expand the worker pool. One way to do this would be to create incentives for high school and college students choosing direct care and support career paths, such as help with tuition. Non-traditional candidates could be recruited to expand the worker pool, including students, people on public assistance and more immigrants. Wofford said one benefit that could be cited is the flexibility of direct care schedules, for people who need work hours that mesh with their schedules or who don’t want to work full time. One barrier in expanding the worker pool is transportation, so the working group has proposed exploring options to address transportation barriers for direct care and support professionals and the people who depend on their services. Another strategy is to provide resources to help organizations utilize recruitment and retention strategies known to increase the quality of candidates hired. Other

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(voice/TTY). To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612- 332-3888 or 800-801-3883. 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.

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. Open to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the 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. Designed to provide

Community members speak out

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Another web events listing is (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:// d34dzo2. Connect with ASL interpreted and captioned performances across Minnesota on Facebook http:// 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 and other features. Go to Arts festivals are held throughout the state. Check:, http://, www. 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, and sensory-friendly (SENS) performances. Performers and artists with disabilities are noted.

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ideas including developing apprenticeship opportunities for direct care workers and developing a service corps through partnerships with colleges, universities, and/or private partners. A third recommendation is to improve the workforce by enhancing training for direct care and support professionals. Dena Belisle, a working group member who is a PCA, spoke of the need for improved training. She outlined the importance of developing a training and scholarship program consistent with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s career pathway model. Promoting use of existing training and development options and providing tiered credential options and career ladders for direct care and support professionals are other strategies. Belisle said direct care work could be a pathway to related work. “Direct care work can be a great starting point for other health and human services careers,” she said. A fourth recommendation is to increase job satisfaction, including quality of the job. Strategies to accomplish this include ensuring access to effective supervision and recognizing exceptional direct care and support work. Wofford said these steps are needed to avoid losing good workers. A survey of workers would help with retention, to see what ideas they have. Raising public awareness by promoting direct care and support careers if the fifth recommendation. One strategy is to leverage Minnesota's career, training and business services to develop a statewide recruitment and promotional plan to attract jobseekers to direct care and support careers. This could include marketing and promoting direct care as a career, through social media and other outreach, said Bangsberg. It could also include creating a recruitment and retention guide, promotional materials, and public service announcements on direct care and support careers targeted to potential workers. Another idea is to develop an educational awareness plan on direct care and support careers targeted to high school students. The need to promote service innovation

is the sixth key recommendation. Strategies suggested include identifying and promoting the use of technology solutions. “We need to look at how assistive technology could reduce staff time and how can it help meet service needs?” said Belisle. Another innovation stagey suggested is to support the development of service options for shared services and shared living in the most integrated setting. A third is to examine possible policy or regulatory barriers to the employment of potential workers or the accessibility of services by the people who need them. The seventh recommendation has many strategies is to enhance data collection. Bangsberg said there are gaps in the available data, which need to be filled as work continues. Better data would add to the understanding the direct support worker crisis and ways to address it. One strategy calls for monitoring improvements or worsening of the workforce issues based on baseline data. One strategy is to gather and report longitudinal direct care and support workforce data across long-term services and supports in Minnesota. Ongoing data needs for monitoring workforce issues is also cited, as is the need to gather and report annual direct care and support workforce data across service types and populations receiving long-term services and supports. Other strategies are tied to funding, to allow monitoring of the relationship between critical incidents, recidivism of institutionalization, and emergency room visits based on reductions or increases in vacancy and turnover rates, and to conduct a statewide study of emergency rescue personnel who respond to people who fall in their homes or need assistance with toileting or other activities of daily living due to lack of direct care and support staff. In the September issue of Access Press, newspaper staff will present more information on workforce issues ■

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. 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. Free and open to the public. RSVP. FFI: Grace, 651-690-8903,, or Cassandra, 651-328-2014,

in St. Paul. The goal is to provide accurate and timely information to thousands of listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. FFI: Roberta Kitlinski, 651-539-1423

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

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 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. Provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-2519110,, adult-opportunities

August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8

Polar Plungers start time of chills, thrills



RADIO TALKING BOOK APP FOR SMARTPHONES Listeners can now enjoy Radio Talking Book on handheld mobile devices. The SERO app is available on both Apple iOS and Android platforms. For iOS, go to the App Store and search for Sero. Select the Serotek Corporation button and download the app. For Android, go to the Play Store, pick the Navigation Drawer, and search for Sero. Select Sero (formerly iBlink Radio) and download the app. Tune the app and select the Reading Services category. Then search for Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network and select it. A password is needed to access the stream. Call 651-539-2363 or toll-free 1-800-722-0550 to receive one. PODCASTS ARE UPDATED Radio Talking Book is updating its podcast offerings. Podcasts are digital programs that can be listened to and/or downloaded over the Internet. The podcasts feature information on blindness and vision loss, job search strategies, career management, teens’ issues, and other topics of general interest. Please give them a listen at https:// PAST IS PROLOGUE* Monday – Friday 9 a.m. Code Girls, nonfiction by Liza Mundy, 2017. The untold story of the more than 10,000 young American women who cracked key Axis codes, securing Allied victory and revolutionizing the field of cryptanalysis. Read by Holly Sylvester. 15 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 13. CHAUTAUQUA* Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. The Body Builders, nonfiction by Adam Piore, 2017. As modern science understands the mysteries of human performance, we are able to exist beyond our expectations. Read by John Gunter. 14 broadcasts; begins Fri, Aug. 17. BOOKWORM* Monday – Friday 11 a.m. The Pierre Hotel Affair, nonfiction by Daniel Simone and Nick Sacco, 2017. The true

story of a 1972 professional hotel robbery that has become the stuff of legend. Read by Neil Bright. 16 broadcasts; begins Wed, Aug. 15. – V, L THE WRITER'S VOICE* Monday – Friday 2 p.m. Sting-Ray Afternoons, nonfiction by Steve Rushin, 2017. Sports writer and Minnesota native Steve Rushin tells of growing up in a Minneapolis suburb in the 1970s. Read by Glenn Miller. 10 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 20. CHOICE READING* Monday – Friday 4 p.m. Waiting For Tomorrow, fiction by Nathacha Appanah, 2015. Anita and Adam live in France with their young daughter, but their nanny’s secrets threaten to tear apart their settled lives. Read by Connie Jamison. Seven broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 27. PM REPORT* Monday – Friday 8 p.m. Unlikely Partners, nonfiction by Julian Gewirtz, 2017. At a crossroads in the nation’s tumultuous twentieth century, China looked to the West for economic guidance. Read by Dan Sadoff. 13 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 20. NIGHT JOURNEY* Monday – Friday 9 p.m. Dangerous Behavior, fiction by Nancy Bush, 2017. Jules Ford washed up on a beach, with no memory of how she got there or how her husband died. But someone seeks to learn what she knows. Read by John Marsicano. 14 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 20. - V OFF THE SHELF* Monday – Friday 10 p.m. For Those Who Know the Ending, fiction by Malcolm Mackay, 2016. Two low-level thugs leave multiple clues on a heist, leading the mob to search for the amateurs who beat them at their own game. Read by Neil Bright. 11 broadcasts; begins Mon, Aug. 20. – L, V POTPOURRI* Monday – Friday midnight It’s About Time, nonfiction edited by Kathie Giorgio, 2016. Time dominates and directs us all. This collection speaks of the passing and pausing of time, in prose and poetry.

ON THE WEEKEND Your Personal World, 1 p.m. Sat, presents Living in a Mindful Universe by Eben Alexander and Karen Newell, read by Beverly Burchett. For the Younger Set, 11 a.m. Sun, presents The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken, read by Jim Tarbox; followed by Love Songs and Other Lives by Jessica Pennington, read by Brenda Powell. Poetic Reflections, noon Sun, presents Leonard Cohen: Poems and Songs; followed by I Laugh at These Skinny Girls by Tolu’ Akinyemi, both read by Scott McKinney. The Great North, 4 p.m. Sun, presents Gunflint Burning by Cary J. Griffith, read by Tom Speich. Remember that all program times are U.S. Central Standard Time.

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DISABILITY AND PROGRESS Disability and Progress is aired on KFAI Radio, 6-7 p.m. Thursdays. Host Sam Jasmine and her guests explore a wide range of topics that are important to people with disabilities. KFAI is at 90.3 FM in Minneapolis and 106.7 in St. Paul. Listeners outside of the Twin Cities, or those looking for a past show, will find the show’s archives online at www. Look for the link to archives and for Disability and Progress. Listeners need to have a Real Audio Player downloaded so that this will work. A smartphone app is also available to hear archived programs. To make comments or make suggestions, for future shows, call 612-341-3144, or email Postal mail can be sent to KFAI, 1808 Riverside Ave. S., Disability and Progress, Box 116, Minneapolis MN 55454. DISABILITY VIEWPOINTS Disability Viewpoints is an award-winning public access television show by and for people with disabilities. Mark Hughes and his team of co-hosts feature current news, interesting people and groups, and events in Minnesota’s disability community. The show is produced by volunteers at CTV North Suburbs in the Twin Cities. The North Suburban Access Corporation, CTV, is a nonprofit organization that provides community media for several communities in that area. Some shows are archived on YouTube, so search for Disability Viewpoints on that web channel to find past shows. The program has also been shown in the past on Twin Cities Public Television. Disability Viewpoints has a Facebook page, and a web page at programs/local/dv

Read by Jess Banks. Eight broadcasts; begins Tue, Aug. 21. - L GOOD NIGHT OWL* Salem’s Cipher, fiction by Jess Lourey, 2016. Code expert Salem Wiley uncovers an ancient plot to rule the world; an élite group of women stand in their way. Read by Diane Ladenson. 11 broadcasts; begins Wed, Aug. 22. – V AFTER MIDNIGHT* The Small Backs of Children, fiction by Lidia Yuknavitch, 2015. A photo of a youngster fleeing an explosion becomes an obsession for a photographer’s best friend. Read by Isla Hejny. Six broadcasts; begins Thu, Aug. 16. – V, L, S Bring Me Back, fiction by B.A. Paris, 2018. After disappearing 12 years before, a woman unexpectedly reappears and wants something from her former lover. Read by Robb Empson. Nine broadcasts; begins Fri, Aug. 24. – V, L, S

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August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8

SANCTIONS From page 6

Meet Royalty at the council booth!

FAIR From page 1 August 27 at Dan Patch Park, presented by the Minnesota State Advisory Council on Mental Health, Subcommittee on Children’s Mental Health, National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota and more than 40 other organizations. A costumed T-Rex will help raise awareness of the far-reaching mental health and wellness topics that affect all Minnesotans. Learn about relaxation and breathing exercises, prenatal care, sensory regulation, tele-mental health and recovery resources, art therapy coloring and mindfulness activities, crisis text numbers, reducing the sense of isolation, mental well-being assessments, legal advice on disability and mental health, bullying prevention, Medicaid resources and more. The Dan Patch Park Stage will host a full day of inspiring and entertaining stage acts including drumming, musical theater storytelling for children, yoga, humorous conversations, music, sports psychology Q&A, therapy animals and other presentations.


Hartz honored for lifetime of service

Mike Burke and Lyth Hartz community organizations, including Civitan in St. Paul, which he founded in 1980. Hartz also has served as a speaker for the United Way, a Boy Scout scoutmaster and is an active member of his church.

GETTING TO THE FAIR Anyone driving to the fairgrounds can seek accessible parking, which is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, at a cost of $14 per day. Expect to pay cash for these spots. Fairgrounds parking is open 6 a.m.-midnight every day except Labor Day, when the lots close at 10 p.m. Go to the fair website for information on accessible parking spaces, in the Rooster Lot at Hoyt Avenue and Underwood Street, and in the Robin Lot on Randall Avenue by the transit hub. There is also accessible parking in two Como Avenue lots south of the fairgrounds. But why not use a park and ride lot? One close-in free park and ride lot with free wheelchair-accessible bus service is offered exclusively for people with disabilities and their companions. The lot is located on the north side of the Oscar Johnson Arena, 1039 De Courcy Circle, south of the fairgrounds. Exit from Snelling Avenue at Energy Park Drive; travel east to the first left past Snelling east of the Merrill Corporation office building and go to the north side (rear side) of Oscar Johnson Arena. Passengers travel nonstop to the fairgrounds and are dropped off at the Como Loop Gate #9. Buses run continuously, from 8 a.m. to midnight daily. Other outlying park and ride lots have limited accessible bus availability. The majority of coaches at Roseville Area High School/Grace Church (daily), St. Rose of Lima in Roseville (Monday-Saturday and Sunday after 1 p.m.) and University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus (daily except August 30) are wheelchairaccessible. Go to for details. A third option is to use regular Metro Transit service. The A Line buses on Snelling Avenue are accessible, as are regular route buses 960, 84, 61 and 3. Metro Transit also offers State Fair Express Bus service, for a $5 round trip, with locations throughout the Twin Cities area. All express service is accessible. For regular route and fair express information call 612- 373-3333 or go to www. Taking Metro Mobility? The paratransit service uses two locations for drop-offs and pickups. These are at Como Loop Gate #9 and gate #2 on Hoyt Avenue. These points can also be used by people dropping off or picking up a person with disabilities. ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE FAIRGROUNDS Anyone needing to rent a wheelchair or electric scooter can be dropped off at the Como and Hoyt gates and go to Home-Town Mobility. The company is now accepting rental reservations online at or by calling 1-877-928-5388 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through September 3. Reservations need to be made at least 24 hours in advance, and cancellations at least 48 hours in advance. Reservations will only be accepted for full-day scooter and wheelchair rentals. Rental fees are $20 per day for wheelchairs and $60 per day or $40 per half-day for electric scooters. Reservations made via phone are subject to an additional $5 call-in reservation fee. A limited number of scooters and wheelchairs are held for walk-up customers on a first-come basis with no guarantee of availability. Wagons and strollers can also be rented. Wheelchair battery recharging is available at the Care

disabilities with many tasks. Service animals are not to be mistaken for emotional support animals or household pets. While these creatures may serve an important function for their owners, untrained animals have caused problems in stores, restaurants and other public places. But an increasing number of people have purchased vests for their untrained dogs, to try to pass them off as service animals. One woman who testified before state lawmakers in the spring described how her service dog was fatally injured by an untrained dog. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows service animals and their owners access to public places. The Minnesota Council on Disabilities website explains the new law and the ADA definition of a service animal. A service animal is defined by the ADA as a dog, or in some cases a miniature horse, individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The work performed by the animal must be directly related to the person’s disability. The ADA allows these animals to go anywhere that the public can go. The council reminds people that staff at a public place cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task. Service animals do not have to wear a vest or patch or special harness identifying them as service animal. Two questions may be asked of the owner of a service animal: Is the service animal required because of a disability? What work or task has the animal been trained to perform? Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. Service animals must be under handler control and housebroken. The animals need to be on leases or tethers. Misbehaving, out of control, or lunging service animals may be asked to leave the premises. A business may charge for any damages that the animal causes. Staff are not required to provide care or food for a service animal. Read more about the new law and other service regulations at and Assistance Center at 1883 Dan Patch Ave. Care & Assistance also serves as headquarters for people of any age who have become lost or separated from a group, infant care and nursing facilities. Outlets to plug in scooters are also available on the south wall of the Grandstand Building. The center serves as headquarters for people of any age who have become lost or separated from their group. Infant care facilities are also available. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Receivers and headsets are available at the guest services desk on the east side of the Grandstand Plaza. A valid driver’s license or state ID and a credit card are required for a deposit, which is refunded when the devices are returned.

ATTENDING A SHOW? RIDING THE RIDES? All of the fair’s entertainment venues, including the Grandstand, have accessible seating. But it is available on a first-come basis. Plan to arrive early for shows and events. Grandstand show tickets for people with disabilities can be purchased through the fair’s ticket office or through Etix, for additional information, call 651-2884427. Grandstand shows also offer assistive listening devices, free of charge. American Sign Language (ASL) is offered. ASL interpreters will be available to assist guests needing an interpreter from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Check at the Admin Too Building on Cosgrove Street. Shows with ASL interpretation are offered daily. The West End Market’s Schell’s Stage History On-A-Schtick show is at 9:30 a.m. The All-Star Stunt Dog Splash at 11 a.m. at North Woods on Cooper Street between Randall and Lee avenues. See performer Sean Emery at 12:30 p.m. on the Family Fair Stage in Baldwin Park. Interpretation is also offered for the daily parade at 2 p.m. on the east side of the Family Fair Stage in Baldwin Park. Headed to the Midway or Kidway for rides? Attraction access guides are available at all ticket outlets, to help people make choices about which rides are appropriate. Information for this article was compiled by Access Press staff with help from the Minnesota State Fair communications office.


PEOPLE & PLACES Lyth Hartz, president of MSS, received the 2018 Tip of the Spear Award from the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR). The statewide honor recognizes individuals who have made an impact and inspire others to take action benefiting individuals with disabilities. “Lyth's exemplary track record of a half century of serving and supporting people with disabilities is a certain exemplary of our Tip of the Spear,” said Lynne Megan. She presented the award at the MOHR Summer Conference in St. Cloud. Hartz was in the forefront of the movement to transition people from the state institutions into community-based programs. Hartz started as the day activity center director for MSS in 1979, and helped the program grow to serve more than 600 people each year, across four counties in the metro area. Much of his success has centered on his demeanor and personality, said Megan. “He cares. He has absolutely cared, for his entire career.” Hartz said he was honored to be nominated by his staff members It is the people with disabilities they support and their families who are his inspiration. He added that one special thing about MSS is that he and other administrative staff have their offices in the same areas where the individuals with disabilities receive services. Hartz is a firm supporter of the concept of choices for the people impacted by programming. “I'm hired to support their version of what their life should be,” said Hartz. “It's inspirational.” People with disabilities are some of the most genuine, “real article” people one can meet, he said, noting that the general public can benefit greatly from getting to know these individuals. MSS is known for the more than 100 artists with disabilities who participate in The Show Gallery Lowertown in St. Paul. Hartz has been an unwavering supporter of the arts. He's also been active in a number of

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FOR RENT Calvary Center Apts: 7650 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN. A Section 8 building now accepting applications for our waiting list. Call 9 am to 4 pm, Mon – Fri 763-546-4988 for an application. Equal Opportunity Housing. Find your new home with At Home Apartments. Call 651-224-1234 or visit AtHomeApartments. com for an apartment or town home. Equal Opportunity Housing. Classified rates: $15 for the first 18 words and 65¢ per word thereafter. Classified ads prepaid. Mail to: Access Press, Capitol Ridge Inn Offices; 161 St. Anthony Ave; #910; St. Paul, MN 55103; Phone: 651-644-2133; Fax 651-644-2136; Email:

August 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 8

Coverage for all. UCare has been de-complicating health plans for people of all abilities for more than 30 years. Get started at or call 800-707-1711 | TTY: 800-688-2534

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