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Volume 29, Number 2

February 10, 2018



2018 session gets rolling February 20



by Jane McClure

Advocacy and information events are already underway for the 2018 session. Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) will again host its Tuesdays at the Capitol, with the first one on the first day of session, 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, February 20 at Department of Transportation Cafeteria, 395 John Ireland Blvd., St Paul. Review the 2018 MNCCD legislative initiatives and enjoy breakfast as the session is reviewed. RSVP to Disability Day at the Capitol starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, February 27 with registration in the capitol basement, Room B15. That is followed by an issues briefing at 9:40 a.m., and then songs by the Side By Side Choir in the rotunda from 10:3-0-10:45 a.m. The rally itself starts at 11 a.m. The Arc Minnesota, MNCCD, Autism Society of Minnesota, Advocating Change Together, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, Minnesota Council on Disability and MOFAS are among sponsors. RSVP to Or direct questions Mike Gude, Rise, Inc. hosts a rally at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 13 at the capitol rotunda to display support for disability services. Bring banners, signs, and anything else that shows support for prioritizing services to people with disabilities. Particiopants nmeed to preregister. Oppprtunities are being provided to meet with state lawmakers. A member resource room will be offered in Room 500S of the State Office Building (100 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, LEGISLATURE To page 5

A snow-covered sidewalk near the Green Line light rail in St. Paul’s Midway area forced pedestrians into the street after the January 22 snowstorm.

So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live! BOB MARLEY


Snow-covered sidewalks are impeding accessibility by Access Press staff It’s “snow” joke. Heavy snowfalls this winter have left hazardous conditions for Minnesotans with disabilities. Weeks after the January 22 storm that dumped more than one foot of snow on parts of the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota, people were still struggling with snow-packed and icy sidewalks. Snow and ice removal is an annual concern for many people with disabilities, especially when it comes to having clear sidewalks and crosswalks. People often have

to travel in the street, slog through snow or just stay home. Responsibility for getting sidewalks and crosswalks cleared can be a flash point. One issue activists have raised is that by not quickly removing snow and ice, cities, counties and the state may be out of compliance with Federal Highway Administration rules and funding tied to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Complete Streets policies, which many units of government have, are also cited. “There shouldn’t be excuses for now SNOW To page 4

ASL offered at Como Zoo Page 11 Demolition marks end of era Page 2 Olmstead amendments eyed Page 3 Respect individual choices Page 4 Anderson is remembered Page 7

A time of crisis Almost 28 years ago Charlie Smith saw the need and had the vision of providing a source of news for the disability community, not only in the Twin Cities, but for greater Minnesota. Charlie’s vision came to fruition with the first issue of Access Press in May 1990, just prior to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We eventually lost Charlie and Tim Benjamin has taken the torch passed to him by Charlie in 2001. Since the time of that first issue much has changed in our community and in our world. With the passage of the ADA many positive changes that we had been fighting for came to fruition. However, there are many more accessibility issues that we continue to work for. We went from getting our news from primarily the TV and newspaper to being able to access the news 24/7 on our phones, or even our watches! The pace and the amount of news available to us is mind-boggling. Through it all Access Press has continued to be the news resource for the disability community and the voice of the voiceless. Access Press has always tried to be as transparent as possible, in the news that we provide and in the way the organization operates. The Board of Directors, Tim and the staff of the paper have been and continue to be dedicated to the mission of the paper. With that in mind, the board of directors need to make some hard choices. Without philanthropic financial support Access Press business model is not sustainable. We have had to ask ourselves if a print newspaper is still the best communications channel for Access Press


Get involved

Life is one big road with lots of signs.


A short session, a looming election and more than the usual political acrimony loom over the Minnesota’s Legislature’s 2018 session. The gavel falls Tuesday, February 20 and disability advocacy groups will be ready. Hanging over the state capitol this session is a political and legal dispute that could tip control of the Republican-led Senate. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton already faces challenges from the Republican-led House and Senate. But Dayton’s decision last year to appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to Al Franken’s U.S. Senate seat meant state Senate leader Michelle Fischbach moves to Smith’s former state post. But Republican Fischbach doesn’t want to give up her Senate post and contends she can serve in both capacities. The legal fight was still playing out as of Access Press deadline. The session is also overshadowed by the upcoming elections. Minnesotans will vote for a new governor as Dayton isn’t seeking another term. All of the state’s other executive offices are on the ballot, as is the state House of Representatives. Throw in the upcoming state economic forecast and a bevy of bonding requests, and life at the capitol could be interesting.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, catching up on Access Press at an ADA celebration. business model. Access Press has always relied on our readers and donor for financial support, but that kind of revenue has been shrinking because people have less disposable income and more concerns about how they can meet their own basic needs. Grant funding for non-profits is also harder to secure. We continue to pursue those grants that afford us the greatest flexibility in meeting our needs, but that takes time and human resources. We also rely on our advertisers but their budgets

are squeezed by a volatile economy and decisions to support less print and more electronic advertising. We also don’t want a paper that is more ads than content. The bottom line is we really need your help, NOW! Without additional financial support Access Press as you have known it all these years will cease to exist before the end of 2018. We want to continue to be here for the community at a time when we really need a dedicated source of news that talks about the issues that we are all


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February 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 2


Tim Benjamin Well, the second time Minnesota hosted the Super Bowl has come and gone. The underdog Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41–33, which took away some of the sting from the Eagles victory over the Vikings two weeks earlier. People always pay attention to the Super Bowl commercials, and there were some excellent commercials that included people with disabilities this year. The encouraging thing is that many of those commercials weren’t about people with disabilities; they just included us—in a crowd, in the family, in society. That’s some kind of progress. If by the time you get to this column you've read the article by the Board of Directors on page 1 you know that we need your help. We are seeking the support of the entire community; the sustainability of Access Press depends on your individual support. Around 70 percent of Access Press income is earned from advertising. So, we need the other 30 percent from our readers and from generous philanthropic funding. Seventeen years ago, when I started working at Access Press as the executive

director and editor, charitable financing was much easier to secure. And in the beginning, I had Donna McNamara and Jeff Nygaard helping me learn the ropes. Donna is a very talented grant writer and manager of nonprofits. She was excellent at teaching me as much as she could about procuring funding from philanthropic organizations. Jeff is a great journalist who taught me ways to do research for a story and all the ways to look at different ideas and to make information more readable and understandable. Those strategies have taken us a long way, but the shoestring we’ve been running on is getting thinner. We need Velcro. Over the next few years, I hope that we (Jane McClure, Dawn Frederick, Kent Fordyce, In-Fin Tuan, Michelle Hegarty and I) can likewise start teaching others how to run Access Press for the next couple decades. Access Press needs the perspectives of new, young writers and (eventually) an editor who can bring plenty of forward-looking energy and serve the disability community in new

We are seeking the support of the entire community; the sustainability of Access Press depends on your individual support.

We have a new generation that is post-ADA. They have grown up with a different view of how things should be in our society, and they haven't had to fight for every curb cut, ramp and accessible technology. ways. We have a new generation that is post-Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They have grown up with a different view of how things should be in our society, and they haven’t had to fight for every curb cut, ramp and accessible technology. But they want to undertake new challenges and achieve new wins. We also have new, younger legislators who too often see things from an older, pre-ADA view, and the community needs new tactics for lobbying those upand-coming policymakers. We have new and affordable technology just around the corner that could change many lives in the disability community. Universal Design is becoming a goal that is being incorporated into everyone's everyday lives. People are looking increasingly at smart homes, and smart home and personal technologies are becoming much more affordable. Transportation options are rapidly changing, and they say that driverless cars and public transport are just around the corner. Even at last week’s Super Bowl, visitors had an opportunity to test out a driverless shuttle on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. More and more people are working remotely or at home, and technology is allowing people of all abilities to be more productive and valuable to every business. As more people with disabilities find professional employment, our caregivers could be recognized as support professionals and offered a livable wage

(with the right legislation). Who knows— given the speed of medical technology advancements, there may even be treatments and therapies that will fulfill the promise that some medical professionals made to me 40-plus years ago: that science will soon eliminate or repair many physical disabilities. In the meantime, there are revolutionary assistive technologies that can make disability a moot point, while our tenaciousness and determination continue to give us more desired work skills than many able-bodied folks. If you have an idea that can help Access Press move more sustainably into the 21st century, contact any of us on the staff or the Board of Directors. We’re eager to hear your ideas—and your needs. Access Press has been a community resource for 27 years, and we don’t want to stop now, just as we’re reaching full maturity. We’re eager to listen to any insights or suggestions. And if you know of some unique fundraising options we could try or have knowledge of foundations whose priorities align with ours, let us know. See you next month, and before then online and on the phone. Share your views about what Access Press means to you, and how it can thrive in the future. Next month, we’ll be back with more information in preparation for our upcoming legislative session. Stay warm! ■


Fergus Falls buildings' demolition could mark end of an era by Access Press staff A decision to tear down most of the buildings at the old Fergus Falls State Hospital/Regional Treatment Center marks the end of many years’ efforts to preserve the campus. If City of Fergus Falls officials are successful in seeking $8.9 million in state bonding to demolish the buildings, only one iconic, vacant tower building would be left standing. City officials will find out this spring if their efforts for demolition funding are successful. Various developers and disability advocates have suggested saving all or some of the buildings, but with no solid plan, city officials have said they have no choice. Costs to rehabilitate and reuse the buildings are estimated at $60 to $80 million. The Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office would have to approve the demolition. The buildings

were vacated in 2005 and the city took ownership two years later. Only cityowned structures would be demolished. Three buildings are already slated for demolition, which could start this winter. Parts of the property are owned by Otter Tail County for its Government Services Center. Campus Development Group, which is affiliated with Fargo-based real estate developer Jeff Schlossman, opened apartments in 2015 in two renovated buildings. According to the history website MnOpedia, the institution opened its doors on July 29, 1890, it became the first state institution in northern Minnesota for patients considered insane. It was built in response to overcrowding at other state facilities. The hospital had a sprawling campus and large stately buildings, built according to the influential asylum plan developed by Philadelphia physician

Volume 29, Number 2 Periodicals Imprint: Pending ISSN

Co-Founder/Publisher............................................................................................................Wm. A. Smith, Jr. (1990-96) Co-Founder/Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief.............................................................................. Charles F. Smith (1990-2001) Board of Directors................................................. Mohamed Alfash, Stephen Anderson, John Clark, Kristin Jorenby, ..............................................................................................................Jane Larson, Julius Williams, Kay Willshire, Mark Zangara Advertising Sales......... Michelle Hegarty, 612-807-1078 Cartoonist......................................................Scott Adams Executive Director.....................................Tim Benjamin Production........................................................ In-Fin Tuan Managing Editor........................................ Jane McClure Distribution............................................ S. C. Distribution Business Manager/Webmaster......... Dawn Frederick EDITORIAL: Editorial submissions and news releases on topics of interest to persons with disabilities, or persons serving those with disabilities, are welcomed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Editorial material and advertising do not necessarily reflect the view of the editor/publisher of Access Press.

Thomas Kirkbride in the 1850s. “Kirkbride believed that building design was an important part of patient treatment programs. The typical Kirkbride structure consisted of a central administrative structure in the middle, with long, straight wings that radiated from it,” said MnOpedia. “Patients lived in the wings, which were uniform, precise and austere. The bare façade was supposed to bring discipline into patients' lives.” The institutions designed by Kirkbride were meant to provide what he described as to provide “moral treatment.” Patients engaged in a wide range of activities, including exercise, the growing of crops and caring for livestock. Patients learned how to read and write. Other skills, such as sewing, were also taught. It was an early form of occupational therapy. Entertainment deemed suitable for the patients was provided.

Kirkbride’s plans were used by other architects. Designed by architect Warren B. Dunnell, the Fergus Falls State Hospital was one of the last Kirkbride structures built in the United States. It opened in 1890, but only the west detached ward was completed in time for the hospital's opening. The other wings and the main building were finished by 1912. The very first patients came from Otter Tail County, according to institutional histories. Eighty more patients came from the state hospital in St. Peter the very next day. During the first few years, all the patients were men. Women weren’t admitted to the Fergus Falls facility until 1893, when 125 women were relocated there from St. Peter. ■ The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, or and



ADVERTISING RATES: Display Ad: $12 to $28 per column inch (size and frequency of run). Classified Ad: $14, plus 65¢ per word over 12 words. DEADLINE: January 25, 2017. CIRCULATION/DISTRIBUTION: 11,000 copies are distributed the 10 th of each month through more than 200 locations statewide. Approximately 450 copies are mailed to individuals, including political, business, institutional and civic leaders. SUBSCRIPTION: $30 per year. Low-income, student and bulk subscriptions available at discounted rates. ABOUT ACCESS PRESS: A monthly newspaper published for persons with disabilities by Access Press, Ltd. Application to mail at Periodicals Postage Prices is Pending at the St. Paul, MN 55121 facility. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Access Press at 161 St. Anthony Ave, Suite 901, St. Paul, MN 55103. INQUIRIES AND ADDRESS CHANGES should be directed to: Access Press, The Capitol Ridge Inn Offices 161 St. Anthony Ave; #910, St. Paul, MN 55103; 651-644-2133; Fax: 651-644-2136; email:


February 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 2

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Weigh in on upcoming Olmstead Plan amendments by Access Press staff

Workers at Finley's Bakery in the Twin Cities are people with disabilities. disabilities to look at the past year and reflect on accomplishments as well as improvements for the future. She said that the amendment process improves the plan and helps state agencies look at how to reach their goals. Three plan categories each had notable areas of success in the past year. In movement of people with disabilities from segregated to integrated settings, goals were exceeded for all but the move of people from nursing facilities to more integrated settings. In that category, 590 people were moved. The goal was 740. But in other categories goals were exceeded. For example, 143 people left segregated settings in intermediate care facilities for people with developmental disabilities, exceeding the goal of 84 people. And when other segregated settings are looked at, 780 people moved to more integrated settings, exceeding the annual goal of 400 people. Progress was also seen in efforts to move people from waiting lists. Fewer individuals are waiting for access to the DD or developmental disabilities waiver. The last quarterly report indicated 152 people, down from 237 the previous quarter. There is also favorable news when the Community Access for Disability

Inclusion (CADI) Waiver is considered. The waiting list for the program was eliminated in October 2016, and the goal continues to be met. The change means that more people are receiving supports and services. The third category, of increasing system capacity and options for integration, also showed positive movement. More people have access to integrated housing, with an increase of 998 people from the previous year. That is 98 percent of the annual goal. When competitive integrated employment is scrutinized, more than 2,066 people found employment. That tops the annual goal of 1,500. Also, fewer people are experiencing the use of emergency manual restraints. The goal in 2017 was a five percent reduction. The actual number was nine percent or 69 individuals. But those involved with Olmstead


It’s time to weigh in again on Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan. The plan guides state agencies in ensuring that Minnesotans with disabilities can live, learn, work and enjoy life in the most integrated settings possible. An annual amendment process led by the state’s Olmstead Implementation Office is meant to gather input on proposed plan amendments and potential changes. A series of five listening sessions was held around the state in January and early February. Each session was co-sponsored by a disability advocacy group in the region where the meeting took place. Participants used the plan’s 39 goals and strategies to base their comments on and look at the amendments drafted by the state agencies on the Olmstead Subcabinet. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, the executive director of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, the state ombudsman for mental health and developmental disabilities and the state departments of education, employment and economic development, health, human rights, human services, corrections and transportation have seats on the subcabinet. The first round of public comment has ended. Round two of public comment starts February 27 and continues until March 13, using an online format. A videoconference call will be scheduled soon as another means for people to weigh in. Check the website at www. to find out how to weigh in during the second comment period. Plan amendments, a Plan Goals and Strategies Guide and other documents are available in regular format, large print and Braille. Staff is happy to mail out documents upon request. Or sign up for updates at signup/1846169/25709/. Anyone needing accommodations due to disability can call 651-296-9844 or email for assistance with comments. One feature on the website is quarterly and annual reports on plan progress. Darlene Zangara, executive director of Minnesota’s Olmstead office, told participants at the St. Paul session that it is important for people with disabilities to take part in the annual updates. The updates allow people with

Jessica Knoepfler sought meaningful work through disability employment services provider Kaposia. She now owns and operates Just Paws Pet Salon in Lilydale. Helping more people find and retain meaningful work is a focus for the Olmstead Plan.

ACCESS PRESS From page 1 facing. We all know too well that most of the mainstream media is only interested in inspirational success stories. But Access Press is your primary resource for finding accessible housing, employment, health care, independence, entertainment and civil rights that enables our community to thrive. All of the great work that you see in Access Press happens with a small, part time staff. We need your financial help to continue to deliver disability news about events and resources to you in print and electronic formats and in the metro and

outstate Minnesota. In today’s world print media is only one source of information and as dedicated as the Access Press staff is, that will not be enough. Help us to help you stay informed. We welcome your feedback. The board of directors is looking to you to help us continue moving forward. Anyone wishing to contact the newspaper staff and board may do so at This article was written by Access Press Board Chair Steve Anderson and Vice Chair Kristin Jorenby. ■

admit there are areas where improvement is needed, to reach what state officials admit are ambitious goals. This has meant more Darlene Zangara of a focus on solutions in some areas, as well as looking at better ways to track goals and measure data. One area where goals aren’t being met is that of person-centered planning. The 2017 goal of plans for 50 percent of people using home and communitybased services wasn’t met. In fact, only 13.9 percent of plans met protocol. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is proposing a more accurate way of measuring progress in use of person-center planning, and to better identify areas needing improvement. DHS is also having to look closely at crisis services, as there are mixed results with goals in this area. Reduction in use of mechanical restraints is another area where improvement is needed to decrease the use. Integrated post-secondary education is another area where improvement is needed. The report presented at the recent listening sessions stated that the Minnesota Department of Education is managing the challenges with increasing the number of students with disabilities who are enrolled in post-secondary schools. The department has drafted an amendment to re-evaluate how it collects data. Also in need for attention the area of transition services and positive supports. DHS reports moving people out of the Anoka regional Treatment Center and Minnesota Security Hospital, but that goal isn’t being met. A working group is being convened to look at ways to address this goal. ■

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Agenda for people with disabilities should respect their choices by Heidi S. Smith, John Wayne Barker and Michael Kraines What do people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) want as far as work choices? And, what do others think they want, or want you to believe? Certain sources are saying that half of the individuals with I/DD want to work in competitive integrated employment. They are referring to positions where people make at least minimum wage and work mostly with others who do not have a disability. Without solid data to back their claims, the sources are trying to create a perception, when the reality is something much different. Thanks to the Section 511 counseling required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), we have real results to consider. The Centers for Independent Living (CIL) was tasked with asking Minnesotans with I/DD served by Day Training and Habilitation (DT&H) programs about the employment choices they desired. In the first year of Section 511 counseling and career sessions, we learned that there were 11,802 DT&H clients who were being paid a special minimum wage. Of these, 1,990, or about 17 percent, said they were interested in competitive integrated employment. The

figures were reported by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). It’s important to note that competitive integrated employment may or may not be appropriate at this time for individuals in the 17 percent group, and that the much larger group, nearly five out of six, chose to continue working for the special minimum wage. All clients will be asked again in 2018 about their preference. The total number of people receiving DT&H services was 17,745, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, of which 2,224, or 12.5 percent, were receiving Supported Employment Services under the Developmental Disabilities Waiver and were making at least minimum wage. CIL interviewers who asked DT&H clients about their preferences were to serve as neutral gatherers of information, but that is a difficult thing to do when government entities are increasingly promoting competitive integrated employment over all other options. Which brings us back to the personcentered idea of allowing for individual choices by people with I/DD. These were affirmed with the approval of Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan by U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, who has said publicly that “one size does not fit all.” He also said, “Many individuals with

disabilities in this state value living and working alongside other individuals with disabilities in settings such as group homes and sheltered workshops. The Court emphasizes that the Olmstead decision is not about forcing integration upon individuals who choose otherwise or who would not be appropriately served in the community.” “Many” was no exaggeration on the judge’s part. We now know that 83 percent of the people served by Minnesota DT&Hs prefer to work in a center or on a crew. Forced integration simply doesn’t fit when people have chosen a different work path. We call this “intentional communities,” where people choose to work in a center with others who have disabilities, where more support is typically offered. These realities and preferences tend to get ignored by those who ascribe to a different mode of thinking. Some in our field are being swept off their feet by a belief that “All working age Minnesotans with disabilities can work, want to work, and can achieve competitive integrated employment,” and very few should have the option to work in a DT&H. Certainly, some with I/DD can get competitive jobs, and will, and DT&H providers have been making that happen for years.

But, like cutting notches in the belt, there are human service leaders who take a sort of pride in keeping people with I/ DD away from others who are like them, and from a supportive work environment that offers valuable experience and helps them to grow in their capabilities. Many of us know that employment is more than just a paycheck, and the special minimum wage makes work possible for thousands of people with disabilities who could not otherwise earn a wage. Center and work crew options need to be preserved, while still offering direct hire placements to people who desire them. When we talk about services for people with I/DD that build a quality of life, we need to consider all people, and not exclude those who don’t seem to fit or match a predetermined plan that limits their options. Authors Heidi S. Smith, John Wayne Barker and Michael Kraines serve as directors for separate Deb Taylor is the CEO of Senior Community Services and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that helps older adults and caregivers navigate aging to maintain independence and quality of life, at ■

One Minnesota city looking at changes to its snow removal having sidewalks and intersections ordinance is Mankato, which is cleared right away,” said Mary involved in efforts to make the Jackson, an activist on pedestrian community more pedestrianrights issues. “I see the problems friendly. According to the Free all of the time.” Not only are Press newspaper, Mankato sidewalks and crosswalks city leaders have prepared impassable at times, pedestrian new snow-shoveling rules to islands or refuges often are snowforce property owners to clear piled. That can affect everyone sidewalks in half the time trying to cross a street. previously required. But public officials push back, Under the amended saying that they are compliance ordinance covering “Ice and with regulations tied to funding, Snow on Public Sidewalks,” a the ADA and their own policies property owner will be ordered and programs. to clear a walk within one day Kevin Gutknecht of the of receiving a notice from the Minnesota Department of city. The previous ordinance Transportation said that crews gave property owners two days work quickly to get snow removed, to clear the way. The intent is and to make sidewalks and to make it easier to navigate the crosswalks passable. He said the sidewalks after a winter storm, first priority for MnDOT is to get said City Manager Pat Hentges. major streets and roads plowed. “Particularly for those Then the other work follows. people who have challenges Gutknecht also noted that the with mobility,” Hentges said. January 22 storm was the heaviest “We've heard from those snowfall the Twin Cities had seen people, and rightfully so.” City in several years. It was challenging leaders and other Mankato Two intersections in downtown Minneapolis were still snow-clogged, days after the January 22 storm. At some because some of the heaviest snow residents in October 2017 fell just before and during evening intersections, even if a person using a wheelchair could get through, it would be difficult to see over the snowbanks. tried a half-mile trip through rush hour. downtown in a wheelchair. some suggestions as well as a plea for How snow is removed is governed by local According to its website, MnDOT That was without snow. shoveling. “The sidewalks and curb cuts are ordinance. Most communities have a set time plows 30,517 miles of state highways and Under the Mankato City Codec, lifelines for many people with disabilities in which snow and ice are to be removed. interstates in Minnesota. One mile of a someone who fails to clear snow and ice and our senior community who are trying Otherwise, property owners face fines. four-lane road equals four lane miles. The from a sidewalk can be issued a notice to get to work, the grocery store, or medical Every local government, large or small, Twin Cities metropolitan area has 4,035 ordering the walk to be cleared. If the order appointments. When sidewalks and curb must have an ADA compliance coordinator. lane miles that MnDOT maintains. is ignored, the city can do the work and cuts are not cleared, they can become That is one person to report snow hazards So what should be done about ice and bill the cost to the property owner. That’s impassable and create a potentially lifeto. Larger cities also have complaint or snow on sidewalks and crosswalks? The typical of most communities. ■ threatening situation for people who are citizen service lines. Check the website for Minnesota Council on Disability offers forced into the street alongside traffic.” the particular city. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SNOW From page 1

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LEGISLATURE From page 1 St. Paul.). Please feel free to use this room as a stopping point in between legislative meetings, a place to pick up extra packets or buttons, or to eat lunch. An ARRM staff person will be in the room beginning at 8:30 a.m. through the end of the day. To register, email Rachel at by Wednesday, February 14.

Disability advocacy groups have prepared legislative agendas, including MNCCD. The consortium has three issues in its top tier, said Sheryl Grassie, executive director. The consortium provides varying levels of support for different legislative issues, either acting as a leader or providing support to other groups. One key focus is changes to Consumer-Directed Community Supports (CDCS), to break down budget barriers so that CDCS is a viable option for any individual on a waiver program. One proposed change would expand the list of exceptions of people who will be able to access CDCS without a reduction in their allocation to adult foster care, children’s foster care and mental health placement, and expand exceptions for an increase of up to 20 to 30 percent to training. The Department of Human Services would be asked to track county-by-county data before and after the budget is shared. Education funding for workshops for disability service providers is being sought. The Arc Minnesota and Lutheran Social Services are lead agencies on this effort. A second high priority issue is MnCHOICES assessment reform, to ensure that children and adults with disabilities get timely access to needed services. Several measures are proposed to improve the current process, including revised training for assessors to ensure a greater understanding of the person’s primary disabilities. Better addressing of cultural issues is another need, along with other process changes, a simplified service agreement and a list of conditions that would guarantee automatic eligible. The MNCCD Children’s Work Group is leading on this issue. The third top-tier issue is to improvement Medical Assistance (MA) enrollment and re-enrollment process for children and adults with disabilities. The MNCCD Children’s Work Group will also lead on this issue. The group is asking for several changes including new and streamlined processes, a direct line with one number to call for help, and a redesign of online and paper applications forms. A separate application would be prepared for children, and a condensed form for children and adults who need to re-enroll. MNCCD has second-tier and third-tier issues it will be involved in but won’t lead on. One second-tier priority,

Several legislative rallies are planned for the 2018 legislative session. Many people are available to help those attending which is being led by the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL), is to have an increased rate and training for personal care attendants who provide complex services. This is a continuation of efforts to make improvements for people whose disabilities require a higher level of care. MCIL is leading the charge to establish a complex care level for PCA services in state statute. A person in need of complex care would be defined as someone needing 10 or more hours of PCA services each day. There would be required training for PCAs serving people with complex care needs. A key change would establish the complex care PCA rate at 10 percent more than the regular PCA rate. Other second-tier legislative include supporting the repeal of 2017 law that would require DHS to implement restrictions on incontinence products, work with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota to seek additional worker benefits and a wage increase, helping people with fetal alcohol syndrome benefit from the brain injury waiver program, requiring health plan coverage of children’s cognitive and sensory integration therapies, and encouraging innovations for those who provide home and community-based services.

Bonding bill

2018 is a bonding session, and Dayton’s focus is on rehabilitating infrastructure instead of new projects.


Priorities are outlined

He proposed about $1.5 billion in spending, mostly on maintaining infrastructure. The governor recommends $63.4 million for various DHS facilities, including the Minnesota Security Hospital and Minnesota Sex Offender Program facilities in St. Peter. Dayton also recommended $6.75 million for the asset preservation needs for the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center. The state academies in Faribault have some familiar requests included, totaling $13.212 million. Dayton recommends $5.3 million to fund a safety corridor and make renovations at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf campus, to control access to three school buildings, and renovate Smith and Quinn halls. Dayton also recommends $2.592 million to design and renovate the Kramer, Bradnee and Rode dormitories on the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind campus, to modernize space and address accessibility and life safety issues. A third request, for both academies, is for $4.20 million is recommended for asset preservation, to maintain and preserve buildings. A final recommendation is for $800,000 to build a running track to be shared by students from both schools. Want to follow bills, floor session and committee meetings? Want to contact a legislator? The home page for the Minnesota Legislature is ■

February 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 2

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PEOPLE & PLACES True Friends appoints new leader

John LeBlanc is the new president and chief executive officer at True Friends, a nonprofit agency that provides life-changing experiences that enhance independence and selfesteem for children and adults with disabilities. “I am thrilled to be leading such an inspiring organization that has a strong foundation John LeBlanc created by Ed Stracke,” said LeBlanc. “I look forward to continuing to offer the same life-changing experiences for individuals of all abilities, while being responsive to the growing needs of the populations we serve.” Stracke recently stepped down after leading the agency for more than 33 years. LeBlanc was first introduced to True Friends through one of his sons. “Our family initially learned about True Friends when we were looking for a camping experience for our son who happens to have a physical disability,” he said. “When we picked him up from his first camp experience, he was so excited to give us a tour and show us all the things he did during his week of camp. Right then I realized how impactful True Friends is for participants and their families.” Inspired by the mission of True Friends, LeBlanc sought opportunities to be further engaged. He came on board in 2014 as a development officer and had the opportunity to expand into the chief operations officer role in 2015. Prior to his career at True Friends, he worked in fund development for nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities LeBlanc was chosen from a group of five highlyqualified candidate. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Michelle and their four children.

MDI elects new board members

MDI, a Minnesota-based nonprofit social enterprise with the mission to serve people with disabilities by offering inclusive employment opportunities and services, has elected new officers to its board of directors. Ellen Hoeg to succeed Keith Olson as board chair. Jill Hesselroth is the new vice-chair. Olson will step down from the lead role after two years of


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Peter McDermott, MDI president and CEO, congratulated outgoing Board Chair Keith Olson and new leader Ellen Hoeg dedicated service, but will remain on the board. Hoeg has served as a board member since 2014. She has also chaired the MDI business development committee during which time the company launched a new polypropylene product line and medical “white room”, offering controlled environment production services. “Ellen was the unanimous choice to lead the Board as it continues its focus on strengthening commercial business and providing meaningful job opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Peter McDermott, MDI president and CEO. “Her broad understanding of sales, marketing and business development experience from IBM, Andersen Consulting and others make her the ideal chair at this time.” Hesselroth has served on the board since 2016, and is a business development committee member. Hesselroth brings a wealth of business and lean manufacturing experience. She has served as CEO of Intek Plastics since April 2015 and has led the company’s expansion into several new markets.

Willshire is among King Day honorees

Minnesota’s celebration of the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. included a special program and the presentation of the 2018 Governor's Council on the MLK Day Celebration Awards. Awards are given to those who work tireless each day to ensure opportunity and justice for all.


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PEOPLE & PLACES One of the winners is Minnesota Council on Disability Executive Director Joan Willshire. She was one of 14 people who received a 2018 Commitment to Service Award. She was honored along with several elected officials and other community leaders. Two people, Dr. Josie Johnson and Mahmoud El-Kati, were given 2018 Lifetime Achievement awards. This year’s event was January 15 at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul. The event has been held for 32 years. Minnesota-based medical-device and technology manufacturers have a new option for kitting and assembly in a controlled environment. A new white room in MDI’s Minneapolis facility offers skilled hand assembly, kitting and packaging for medical products and other devices. The 2,000-square-foot room has a modifiable cellfloor layout that can be arranged for varying productassembly needs. Two separate entrances – for material transfer and employees – reduce risk of contamination. The white room provides a controlled environment for the assembly or repair of precision equipment. MDI also delivers dependable lot tracking and inventory control under a quality management standard. The organization will soon achieve certification for the latest global standard in quality management, and is working toward a higher standard for medical-device quality management. “We are the first Minnesota-based, nonprofit organization serving individuals with disabilities to provide assembly and kitting services in a white-room

environment,” said Peter McDermott, president and CEO of MDI. “Our track record of high-quality work allows manufacturers to stay focused on their core competencies while helping provide more employment for people with disabilities.” MDI is located among the concentration of medicaldevice manufacturers in Minnesota’s “medical alley,” and positioned for growth in this sector. According to the Greater MSP organization, nearly 700 medicaldevice companies have headquarters or major operations in Minnesota, and the industry has a $14.2 billion economic impact within the state. MDI formed a medical-sector advisory group to leverage the deep industry knowledge available in the Twin Cities region. Representatives from 3M Healthcare, Intek Plastics, Medtronic, Surgical Technologies and Tapemark have counseled MDI through business strategy and development to best meet the needs of potential, white-room customers. “The Twin Cities continues to be a hotbed for medical-device manufacturers,” said Bruce Binder, global sales and business development director of 3M Healthcare. “MDI recognized this as an opportunity to better serve existing and potential customer needs, while promoting both business and job growth. With the addition of the white room, MDI will now be able to provide value adds to contract manufacturing services locally.” The build of the white room was supported in part by grants from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and Wells Fargo. ■


In Memoriam

Anderson was dedicated to serving others

Frank Anderson’s desire to help others included work with refugees abroad and service to Minnesotans with disabilities. Anderson died in late January in a motor vehicle accident near Red Wing. He was 63 and farmed in the Zumbro Falls area. Four days before his death, the main barn at Anderson’s Surin Farms burned, killing more than three dozen goats and donkeys and destroying the farm equipment. Anderson grew up in the Twin Cities. He was a graduate of Benilde High School and the University of Minnesota. More than a decade ago Anderson was executive director of Bear Creek Services in Rochester, guiding the group home provider through a period of growth and expansion. He was also active with ARRM. For many years he worked in Thailand, Cambodia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and held various leadership roles in relief efforts. His achievements include facilitating the evacuation of 60,000 refugees from Cambodia, and establishing a creative supply route for fuel to help refugees survive winter in Sarajevo. He purchased Surin Farms in the 1980s and helped found the Rochester Farmers’ Market in 1985. His goats could be rented out to eat buckthorn and noxious weeds. Friends praised Anderson for his intellect and his dedication to everything he did. He recently was living with macular degeneration and a back injury. Anderson is survived by two sons and their families, his mother, brothers and sisters, his former wife and nieces and nephews. Services have been held.

A tireless advocate for children and families Eleanor Swanson is remembered as a tireless advocate for children with disabilities and their families. Swanson, 92, died in late January. She most recently lived in North Oak at Waverly Gardens. An Illinois native, Swanson moved to the Twin Cities in 1953 to serve as coordinator of the speech and language program at the St. Paul Rehabilitation Center. She later obtained her teaching certificate and went to work in the Minneapolis Public Schools in speech pathology. She led

the speech department until her retirement in 1989. Swanson was a longtime PACER Center board member. She also served on the board of the Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing Association, serving a term as its president. She was honored with awards for her work, including the Spirit of Minnesota Speech and Hearing Award in 1997. She recently spoke to a gathering at the Minnesota Department of Education, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Minnesota's landmark 1957 law requiring public school education for children with disabilities. She is survived by nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and one great grandnephew. Services have been held. Memorials are preferred to the Presbyterian Homes foundation, with Waverly Gardens designated, the PACER Center, the Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation or a charity of the donor's choice.

Broady an early leader

Bruce John Broady, Jr. was an early leader in working with Minnesotans with intellectual disabilities. Broady, 96, died February 1. He was a longtime resident of the St. Paul area. Born in St. Paul, Broady graduated from St. Paul Central High School, Hamline University and the University of Minnesota. He joined the U.S. Marines as a young man and rose to the rank of captain during World War II. In the 1960s Broady worked with the Minnesota Mental Retardation Planning council, serving for a time as its executive director. The council worked tirelessly to improve services and education for Minnesotans with intellectual disabilities. Broady and others worked with groups that are now part of the Arc Minnesota. A highlight of his career was a 1966 conference where Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics, was a main speaker. Broady also worked as Ramsey County probation officer and in court services for juvenile court in Hennepin County. He was a longtime community and church volunteer. He is survived by five children and their families. Services have been held.

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REGIONAL NEWS Malcolm to lead health department

Former Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner and veteran health care executive Jan Malcolm is returning to lead the state agency. Gov. Mark Dayton announced the appointment January 31. Malcom will lead at a time when the state faces questions over senior housing and care center problems. Malcolm led the department under Gov. Jesse Ventura from 1999 to 2003. She succeeds Dr. Ed Ehlinger, who resigned in December 2017. “Jan Malcolm brings exceptional experience in public and nonprofit health management to the Minnesota Department of Health,” said Dayton. The appointment comes less than three months after a five-part Star Tribune series described breakdowns in the agency's handling of elder abuse allegations. The articles described how hundreds of senior care center residents in Minnesota have been beaten robbed, sexually assaulted or injured each year. The vast majority of these incidents are never resolved, and the perpetrators go unpunished, in part because the Health Department lacks the staff and forensic expertise to investigate them. Malcolm has announced that she will work hard to correct the situation, and look closely at Office of Health Facility Complaints that is to look at maltreatment claims. Malcolm also apologized for the pain Jan Malcolm and trauma the incidents have caused. A work group convened by Dayton to look at the issue recently released its findings, and recommended a wide range of reforms. At a legislative hearing last month, state officials said they are still sorting through more than 2,300 maltreatment cases that have never been reviewed by state regulators. Those will be considered by the 2018 Minnesota Legislature. (Source: Star Tribune)

Mankato residents are speaking out

Mankato area residents with disabilities and city officials have launched an 18-month examination of where the Mankato-area is failing to abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The effort began with a communitywide open house, where everyone was encouraged to list places that make it unsafe or impossible for people with disabilities to travel. An ADA Transition Plan and Inventory is allowing those involved to examine about 165 miles of sidewalk, 65 miles of trails and 5,500 pedestrian ramps within Blue Earth and Nicollet counties. The Mankato-North Mankato Area Planning Organization, working with consultant Bolton and Menk, hopes to identify every spot that fails to meet the standards set by the ADA. The study is targeted at public right-of-way and approaches to public buildings, not private-sector properties. Identifying problems is the first step. Once a list done, a schedule will be drafted to address each of the problems in the future — often when a road or street is scheduled for reconstruction or resurfacing. The study process, which is expected to be completed in March 2019, will include another open house next winter for the public to comment on the more detailed final draft of the plan. Barriers being examined include sidewalks and trails that are too narrow, too steep, overgrown with vegetation or otherwise difficult to navigate; curb-cuts and pedestrian ramps that don't meet standards; bus stops that are unreachable by people using wheelchairs and more. The study also looks at barriers to access to public buildings. The ADA Transition Plan and Inventory is mandated by the federal government, which has threatened to withhold federal highway funds to local governments that have failed to substantially complete the study by 2019. The $176,000 study is being coordinated by MAPO, a federally funded organization that came into existence when Mankato-North Mankato became an official metropolitan area following the 2010 census. (Source: Free Press of Mankato)

Airport unveils new technology

Travelers passing through Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport can take advantage of a service designed to help people with visual impairments. A San Diego-based startup called Aria launched its services

at MSP. The technology works through a pair of smart glasses. A small camera is attached to the side of the glasses. Through an app, users are connected by phone to live visual interpreters who see everything they cannot. Users can learn when flights are canceled, find restrooms, locate the food court and more. Aira users pay a monthly subscription fee starting at $89. The fee includes the glasses. The service then costs $2 per minute, but the Metropolitan Airports Commission is covering the cost of minutes used at MSP. “It's really about making the experience as accessible and as customer friendly for all travelers and especially those travelers with special needs,” said Metropolitan Airports Commission CEO Brian Ryks. The Metropolitan Airports Commission has budgeted $5,000 annually to cover Aira costs for users. Ryks says they can adjust that number if more people are interested in using the technology. (Source: KMSP-TV)

Wounded Warriors take the field

One highlight of the recent Super Bowl in the Twin Cities was a game between Wounded Warrior amputees and NFL alumni, played at Concordia University’s Sea Foam Stadium in St. Paul. The explanations of the donations to the Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team weren’t completely heard by the hundreds in attendance, but the oversized cardboard checks clearly showed the numbers: insurance company Humana gave $400,000, and pet-food business Blue Buffalo contributed $150,000. Once the game started, smiles from former NFL/Gophers players Mark Setterstrom and Dom Barber were as transparent as those of Minnesota military veterans Adam Warden of Maple Plain and Jack Zimmerman of Cleveland. Zimmerman took a pitch from Wounded Warriors volunteer all-time quarterback Ryan Leaf and navigated his motorized wheelchair down the sideline for a touchdown. With a prosthetic left leg, Warden dove to catch a tipped pass for a touchdown. The charity games are tied to a city’s Super Bowl festivities and started in 2013 in New Orleans. Former Viking Robert Smith participated in the 2016 game in Santa Clara, Calif. “I get embarrassed sometimes because you hear yourself referred to as a hero,” said Smith as he posed for photos and signed dozen of autographs after the game. “And there are people serving our country and being

wounded and losing their lives for our country out there.” “I think it’s important for all of us,” Smith said, “no matter who you are, to have perspective in our lives and understand that there are a lot of people that pray for the things that we take for granted day to day. It’s important to be grateful for the people that have served us and to not get caught up in the little things in your life whenever possible.” (Source: Pioneer Press)

Supportive housing project eyed

Zumbro House has made a preliminary proposal for a supported-living apartment building on the north end of Newport, a suburban community southeast of St. Paul. The company wishes to build a 200-unit threestory, market rate apartment building near the Highway 61-I-4949 interchange. A second phase would include a 7,000-square-foot retail center Zumbro House properties across the Twin Cities metro area have served individuals with mental illness and cognitive disabilities an since 2001. The apartments considered for Newport are for individuals who can manage an apartment on their own, but need assistance with some tasks. It would be the company’s first foray into building new housing. It has done housing conversions in the past. The project has an estimated cost of more than $20 million “We want it to be an integrated setting,” Zumbro House owner Christopher Onken said. “We're not trying to create an institution here in Newport, we're trying to create an apartment complex where we can provide some supports to people who need it.” The complex would have about 20 people on staff 24 hours a day. Onken said the company currently serves about 130 residents. “The market is well beyond what we can serve.” Residents applying for Zumbro House generally have lower medical needs and behavioral needs. “There's a pretty thorough screening process for every soul that we serve ... If there's any behaviors that we believe are beyond what we think we can manage, we're going to decline that individual,” Onken said. Preliminary plans were presented in January to the Newport City Council. (Source: Washington County Bulletin)

New website is autism resource

The Minnesota Autism Resource website is now available for youth and adults with autism as well as parents, teachers, social service and health care professionals and others to get and share information about autism spectrum disorders and related conditions (ASD). A key strategy for the Minnesota Autism Resource website is crowdsourcing content, where individuals and organizations submit content for posting on the website. This is a way to keep the website continually evolving based on community needs and input. “This new website is just one part of our commitment to improve autism services in Minnesota,” said Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “We want Minnesotans interested in autism to have the opportunity to connect with one another, share and learn about autism, and access our state’s services and supports for people with autism. Community participation will drive the website’s success.” The website also includes an events calendar, organization list, job board, multi-media gallery and links to resources. To submit content, suggest ideas for the website or ask questions, organizations and individuals need to fill out a form in the Contact Us section on the site. Content guidelines have been established. The website was funded by the Minnesota Legislature at the recommendation of the state’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Task Force, was developed in a collaborative effort between several state departments. (Source: Minnesota DHS)

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Disability issues take on urgency FILM SCREENING VALUING LIVES Join the Research and Training Center on Community Living, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota at 5 p.m. Thu, March 1 for a screening of Valuing Lives, at the McGuire Theater, Walker Art Center, Mpls. The film explores an idea that challenged fundamental assumptions about people with intellectual disabilities, and the iconoclastic professor who trained thousands of human services professionals in the theory and practice of this idea. Following the film and discussion will be a tribute to Angela Amado honoring her lifetime of work in supporting the social inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Free but pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Major funding for Valuing Lives was provided by Valoris for Children and Adults of Prescott-Russell, the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, and the Research and Training Center on Community Living, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota. FFI:

RESOURCES STEPS OF HOPE Steps of Hope for Autism in Minnesotais 8:30-11 a.m. Sun, March 4 at Southdale Center, Edina. It feature the state's largest annual autism resource fair, games, the annual AuSM Flash Dash and fundraising opportunities including a walk to help people with autism. The event is free and all are welcome. FFI: www., HOUSING IS SERIES FOCUS PACER Center offers Housing: Starting the Journey, a free threepart workshop series for parents of teens and young adults with disabilities. It will take place 6:30-9 p.m. Feb. 12, Feb. 26, and March 13 at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington. Learn about community living options, how those options are paid for and how to make the move into housing in the community. The final session features a panel discussion. Free but participants must pre-register. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, PACER WORKSHOPS SAMPLING PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Workshops are offered throughout the state. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Ask if workshops are livestreamed. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions catered to their needs. What Families Need to Know about Youth Career Pathways and WorkForce Centers is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thu, Feb. 15 in Duluth. Families will learn about career planning options for in-school and out-of-school youth with disabilities, and where to find help launching youth on the path to employment. Hot Tips on the Individualized Education Program (IEP): Is your child’s IEP individualized and appropriate? is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thu, Feb. 22 in Mound. Participants in this hands-on workshop 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 need to bring a copy of their child’s most recent school special education evaluation report and current IEP. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237,

INFO & ASSISTANCE PARKINSON’S SUPPORT GROUP The St. Cloud Area Parkinson's Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month at ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud. Free. Meetings are open to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the general public. The group provides support, education, and awareness about the disease. FFI: 320-529-9000 MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT OFFERED National Alliance on Mental Illness (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 6:308 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul. 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, www. 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, 612-843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155, 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. FFI: 651-603-2030 ICICIL OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES ICICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud, offers a number of classes, events and other opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities in central Minnesota. The center offers its own programming and hosts other groups. The free mental health discussion group 6-:30 p.m. Mon. Learn to live life to the fullest and support each other. FFI: Ricky at 320.281.2025. 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 Alums offers free support groups for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Groups include those for adult family members, women with autism spectrum disorders and independent adults with autism. Check the website for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the Alums offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10,

VOLUNTEER VOLUNTEER READERS SOUGHT Volunteers are a valuable resource at Radio Talking Book, broadcasting local news and information programs to blind and print-impaired listeners from sites in Duluth, Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud and the Communication Center in St. Paul. The goal is to provide accurate and timely information to our thousands of listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. Volunteers are needed to provide this important service. FFI: Roberta Kitlinski, 651-539-1423 OPEN THE DOOR TO EDUCATION Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give just 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. The literacy council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110,,

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February 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 2

Polar Plungers start time of chills, thrills

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BOOKS AVAILABLE THROUGH FARIBAULT Books broadcast on the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network are available through the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault. Call 1-800-722-0550, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The catalog is online at, click on the link Search the Library Catalog. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books via an inter-library loan by contacting their home state’s Network Library for the National Library Service. Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived program from the last week, on the Internet at The listing published monthly in Access Press is a sampling and doesn’t represent the full array of programming. Many more programs and books are available. Call the Talking Book Library for a password to the site. To find more information about Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network events go to the Facebook site at facebookMTBN Audio information about the daily book listings is also on the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Newsline. Register for the NFB Newsline by calling 651-539-1424. Access Press is featured at 9 p.m. Sundays on the program “It Makes a Difference.” Donate to the State Services for the Blind at deed/ssbdonate CHAUTAUQUA* Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. Healthcare Choices, nonfiction by Archelle Georgiou, 2017. Healthcare decisions are hard, but options and wellinformed choices have never mattered more. Read by Jan Anderson. Eight broadcasts, begins Tue, Feb. 20. PAST IS PROLOGUE* Monday – Friday 9 a.m. Hero of the Empire, nonfiction by Candice Millard, 2016. Winston Churchill was captured during the Boer Wars, then escaped and returned to free others. Read by Arlan Dohrenburg. 15 broadcasts, begins Thu, Feb. 22. – L, V, S.

BOOKWORM* Monday – Friday 11 a.m. In This Grave Hour, fiction by Jacqueline Winspear, 2017. On the brink of World War Two Maisie Dobbs has a secret assignment: to find the killer of a man who escaped occupied Belgium 23 years before. Read by Bonita Sindelir. 11 broadcasts, begins Thu, Feb. 22. THE WRITER’S VOICE* Monday – Friday 2 p.m. The Only Street in Paris, nonfiction by Elaine Sciolino, 2016. The former Paris bureau chief for The New York Times writes of the Rue des Martyrs in Paris. Read by Judith Johannessen. Nine broadcasts, begins Wed, Feb. 28. – V, L, S CHOICE READING* Monday – Friday 4 p.m. Dark at the Crossing, fiction by Elliot Ackerman, 2017. An Arab-American attempts to cross the border into Syria, and join the fight against its regime. Read by Rachael Freed. Nine broadcasts, begins Mon, Feb. 26 PM REPORT* Monday – Friday 8 p.m. Fire and Fury, nonfiction by Michael Wolff, 2018. With extraordinary access to the Trump White House, reporter Michael Wolff tells the inside story of the most controversial presidency of our time. Read by RTB staff. 14 broadcasts, begins Mon, Feb. 19.

nonfiction by Joe Moran, 2017. Shyness is a pervasive human trait, though its cultural history has remained largely unwritten. Read by Scott Brush. 12 broadcasts, begins Mon, Feb. 26. GOOD NIGHT OWL* Monday – Friday midnight Dead Astern, fiction by Jenifer LeClair, 2017. A late-season cruise for seven friends turns deadly in a storm, and the resulting investigation uncovers long-past crimes and escalates tensions. Read by Nan Felknor. 10 broadcasts, begins Mon, Feb. 19. Weekend Program Books Your Personal World, 1 p.m. Sat, presents Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott, followed by The Wisdom Of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey, both read by Beverly Burchett. For the Younger Set, 11 a.m. Sun, presents Flying by Carrie Jones, read by Stevie Ray, followed by Running Full Tilt by Michael Currinder, read by Don Gerlach. Poetic Reflections, noon Sun, presents Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson, read by Scott McKinney. The Great North, 4 p.m. Sun, presents The Women of Mayo Clinic by Virginia M. Wright-Peterson, read by Mitzi Lewellen. ABBREVIATIONS: V – Violence, L – Offensive Language, S – Sexual Situations, RE – Racial Epithets

NIGHT JOURNEY* Monday – Friday 9 p.m. The Dime, fiction by Kathleen Kent, 2017. Betty Rhyzak, a Brooklyn detective, encounters resistance and opposition when she relocates to Dallas. Read by Patricia Kovel-Jarboe. 11 broadcasts, begins Mon, Feb. 19. – V, L

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February 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 2

Pg 11

Disability issues highlighted at large rally


CREATIVITY AND MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY Vail Place performers share stories about life with mental illness, at History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul. ASL offered 6:30 p.m. Tue, Feb. 13. Free. The accessible entrance is on the east side of the building off Cedar Street. The theater has six spaces for wheelchairs, plus companion seats. Hearing enhancement devices available. RSVP to SLoverso@ or call 952-945-4236. Dessert reception follows, as well as Shaving Grace, when Vail Place members and staff will shave off their beards, ponytails and possibly even their entire head of hair to support arts programming at Vail Place. If donations reach the goal of $5000, donations will be doubled by a match from The Wasie Foundation. FFI: STEEL MAGNOLIAS Normandale Department of Theatre presents the story of a group of women at a southern beauty salon, at Normandale Community College, Fine Arts Building, 9700 France Ave. S., Bloomington. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Feb. 23. Make reservations in advance and request seating near the interpreters as seating is limited in the Black Box Theatre Tickets $10. Other discounts available. FFI: 952-358-8884, www. SUN SUPPER: SELECTED CHILDREN’S STORIES FROM LANGSTON HUGHES Penumbra Theatre presents Langston Hughes’ children’s stories, at Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. ASL offered 4 p.m. Sun, Feb. 25. Program suitable for patrons ages five and older. Tickets $12. FFI: 651-224-3180, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU Lyric Arts Company of Anoka presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning farce, at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 420 E. Main St., Anoka. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb.18. Tickets $26-30, $5 discount for ASL seats. Lyric Arts reserves seats in Row I for parties including persons using wheelchairs or with limited mobility. ASL interpreters are provided at the first Sun performance of each regular season production. A limited number of seats near the interpreters are held in reserve for ASL patrons until three weeks beforeprior to the performance. If no ASL seating has been reserved three weeks before the show (Sun, Jan. 28), the ASL interpretation will be canceled, and seats will be released to the general public. When ordering tickets, please indicate the need for seating in this section. Assisted listening devices available upon request. FFI: 763-422-1838, MAKE BELIEVE NEIGHBORHOOD In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre celebrates Mr. Rogers and the neighborhood helpers, at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, 1500 E. Lake St., Mpls. ASL offered 2:30 p.m. Sat, Feb, 17. Tickets $20, other discounts available. FFI: 612-7212535, THE HUMANS A touring company presents the 2016 Tony Awardwinning play, at Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Feb. 15. ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Feb. 18. AD offered 6:30 p.m. Sun, February 18. Tickets $29-$135. Limited seats available at the lowest price level to patrons using ASL interpreting or captioning services on a first-come, first-served basis. Prices apply for up to two tickets for each patron requiring ASL interpretation or captioning. Additional seats may be sold separately and at regular price. Audio description receivers may be used in any price level in the theatres. To order, email accessible@ FFI: 612-339-7007. PARK AND LAKE Ten Thousand Things Theater presents the story of eight car wash workers seeking their own destiny, at Open Book 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Feb. 16. Tickets $30, other discounts available including AD discount. FFI: 612-203-9502,

TAKE A TOUR Como Zoo in St. Paul offers ASL-interpreted tours, 10 a.m. to 1:14 p.m. the first Wed of the month. No tours in July. Free. Four tours are offered during the time period and talks vary by topic. No need to RSVP.

MVP, THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Youth Performance Company presents the story of the groundbreaking baseball player, at Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Mpls. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Feb. 17. Tickets $15, other discounts available. VSA discount applies. FFI: 612-623-9080, A CRACK IN THE SKY From Somalia to the U.S.A. History Theatre presents the world premiere of a shepherd boy’s journey to Minnesota, at History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul. ASL and AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 18. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Feb. 24 and 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 25. The accessible entrance is on the east side of the building off Cedar Street. The theatre has six spaces for wheelchairs, plus companion seats. Hearing enhancement devices and Braille or large print playbills available. Tickets reduced to $20 for ASL/AD/OC patrons (regular $26-50). FFI: 651-292-4323, hwww. MY MOTHER HAS 4 NOSES Jungle Theater presents the story of a multi-faceted mother, at Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. AD offered 9:30 p.m. Thu, February 22. Contact the theater to request an ASL-interpreted show. Tickets reduced to $19 plus fees (regular $37 plus fees); fourshow AD season package is $84 including fees. FFI: 612-822-706x, THE WIZ Children’s Theatre and Penumbra Theatre companies present the updated Wizard of Oz at Children’s Theatre, United Health Group Stage, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. AD and ASL offered 7 p.m. Fri, Feb. 23. ASL offered 5 p.m. Sun, Feb. 25. Sensory friendly offered 7 p.m. Friday, March 16, 7:00 PM. For details, go to Tickets start at $15. FFI: 612-874-0400, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE Park Square Theatre presents the Gilbert and Sullivan favorite, at Park Square Theatre, Proscenium Stage, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Feb. 23. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 25. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Fri-Sat, March 23-24 and 2 p.m. Sun, March 25. Assistive listening devices available. ASL/AD/OC single ticket discount is half-price for patron and one guest with code ACC (regular $40, $60; previews $27, $37. Other discounts available. FFI: 651-291-7005, www. DANCING WITH GIANTS Illusion Theater presents the story of a remarkable friendship in a dangerous world, at Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Ave, 8th floor, Mpls. AD offered 1 p.m. Sat, Feb. 24. ASL to be announced. ASL/AD patrons: use the code AUDIOASL for $10 off tickets; coupon codes valid only on full price tickets. Assisted listening devices available. Tickets $25-48. Other discounts available. FFI: 612-339-4944, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM University Theatre presents Shakespeare’s tale of fairy magic, at U of M, Rarig Center, Stoll Thrust stage, 330

- 21st Ave. S., Mpls. ASL and AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 25. Tickets $17. FFI: 612 624-2345, EMMA Theatre in the Round Players presents a Jane Austen adaptation featuring Jane herself, at Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave., Mpls. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, March 4. Tactile tour at 1 p.m. by request. Large-print programs and assisted-listening devices available at every performance. Tickets $22. Other discounts available. FFI: 612-333-3010, 21 EXTREMELY BAD BREAKUPS Walking Shadow Theatre Company presents a show about love and catastrophe, at Red Eye Theatre, 15 W. 14th St. Mpls. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 25. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 25 and 7:30 p.m. Wed, Feb. 28. To request a seating accommodation or tactile tour, email Tickets $10-26. ASL and AD patrons may pick their own price, with a $5 minimum. FFI: Brown Paper Tickets, 1-800838-3006, 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 March 1 and April 5. 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 fragrancefree. Bring refreshments as well as your recent artistic creations to share. Free. Facilitators are Tara Innmon, Dan Reiva, and Kip Shane. Fully accessible, but anyone needing special accommodations, contact Jon at VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or A RAISIN IN THE SUN Park Square Theatre presents the story of the Younger family, at Park Square Theatre, Andy Boss Thrust Stage, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Thu-Fri, March 1-2 and 2 p.m. Sun, March 4. Assistive listening devices available. AD and ASL available by advance request. OC single ticket discount is half-price for patron and one guest with code ACC (regular $40, $60; previews $27, $37). Other discounts available. PFFI: 651-291-7005, INDECENT Guthrie Theater presents a drama about a drama, at Guthrie Theater, Wurtele Thrust, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. OC offered 1 p.m. Wed, March 7; 7:30 p.m. Fri, March 16, and 1 p.m. Sat, March 24. AD and ASL offered 1 p.m. Sat, March 10 with free sensory tour at 10:30 a.m. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, March 16. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, March 23. Tickets reduced to $20 for AD/ASL, $25 for OC. (regular $15-67), FFI: 612-377-2224, www. TO REALLY SEE: EXPLORING THE MEDICATIONTAKING EXPERIENCE THROUGH ART Avivo ArtWorks, formerly Spectrum, presents a show by artists with mental illness, at University of

Minnesota Bio-Medical Library, 2nd floor, Diehl Hall, 505 Essex St. SE, Mpls. The exhibition is a project curated by Jes Reyes, the coordinator of Avivo's ArtWorks program, and co-organized by Paul Ranelli, a professor of Social Pharmacy at the U of M College of Pharmacy. Exhibiting artists include: Ashley Adams, Teresa Audet, Cecile Bellamy, Douglas Blue, Andrew Braunberger, Jennifer N. Campbell, John Casey, Kate Clark, Christi Furnas, Peter F. Hinze, KaTa, Kandace Krause, Sam Larom, Gary Melquist, Photovoice participants, Michaela Rachor, Holly Rapoport, Anne South, Julia C. Spencer, Heather Spielman, Shining Starr, Tobias, Jessica Ward and Roger Williamson. Open until April 30. Free. FFI: 612-752-8242, JReyes@ AS WE ARE The Minnesota State Arts Board presents a visual showcase featuring more than three dozen Minnesota artists with disabilities. Artists have produced work with the support of an Arts Board grant, either as individual artist grantees or through organizations serving individuals with disabilities. The art forms include photography, drawing, mixed media, and painting. Among the artists are five who participated in VSA Minnesota’s statewide Mural Project in 2015: Mark Davison (Living an Inspired Life), Dunji Diego (Untitled), Cecile Bellamy (Dahlia Girl), Samantha Esguerra (Touch & See), Stacey O’Connell (Untitled). At the Minnesota State Arts Board offices, 400 Sibley Street, Suite 200, St. Paul. The exhibit is free and held during office hours, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. Continues through Feb.2018. FFI: Natalie Kennedy, 651215-1617, 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 information on 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 (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. 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:// 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, sensory-friendly (SENS) performances, Shows featuring performers with disabilities or disability-related topics (DIS)


DIAMOND HILL TOWNHOMES 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 for an apartment or town home. Equal Opportunity Housing. EMPLOYMENT Staff Attorney:Central Minnesota Legal Services seeks full-time attorney for its Minneapolis office. Fam. Law; with some work in housing/govt benes. Licensed in MN pref’d. New grads consrd. Post-law school pov. law exper., fam. law or clinical exper. pref’d. Spanish or Somali language a plus. Salary $50,000+D.O.E. Excellent benes. Resume with references and writing sample to Ginger Palmquist, CMLS, 430 First Ave. No., #359, Minneapolis, MN 55401 or email to: cmls@centralmnlegal. org Appl. deadline: 03/01/18 or until filled. EOE. 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:

Diamond Hill Townhomes is a great property located near the Minneapolis International Airport. We have spacious two and three bedroom townhomes that are HUD subsidized and rent is 30% of the total household’s adjusted gross income. Diamond Hill Townhomes may be accepting applications for our large number of mobility impaired accessible units. Please contact us for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Please call 612-726-9341.

February 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 2

Pg 12

Do what moves you. Live your life; we’ve got you covered. For over 30 years, UCare has been committed to providing health plans that make health care easy for adults of every age and ability. We take care of the details, so you can keep moving. CALL TO CONNECT WITH ONE OF OUR PLAN SPECIALISTS.

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Feb 2018 issue  

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