January 2019 Edition - Access Press

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Her new business! Page 11

Volume 30, Number 1

January 10, 2019

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Bevy of bills at the ready for 2019 session

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TWIN CITIES, MN PERMIT NO. 4766

by Jane McClure

Legislators have already announced many of their priorities, including rectifying a seven percent cut made last year to waiver services. New House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL - Fridley) told those at the MCD legislative forum that she and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) have discussed the cut, which took effect July 1, 2018. State lawmakers in 2018 passed measures to undo the cut, but former Gov. Mark Dayton’s veto of a large omnibus bill set the restored dunding and many other measures aside. The cut also withstood a legal challenge last year. The funding cut could ultimately affect more than 32,000 Minnesotans who receive services through the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) and as many as 100,000 direct care workers. Hortman said she hopes that with a solid Minnesota financial picture and bipartisan support, eliminating the cut is something that could be done quickly. Last month Hortman also announced that a package of bills from the DFL caucus will reflect the “Minnesota Values Plan” first released in the fall. The focus will be on issues including accessible and affordable health care through a MinnesotaCare buy-in option, paid sick time and family leave, education investments and improvements to public infrastructure. The bills were to be unveiled January 9, after this issue of Access Press went to press. The personal care attendant (PCA) staffing crisis, changes to complex care and who qualifies, and the DWRS are among issues the Senate will be focused on. Sen. Jerry Relph (R- St. Cloud) told the MCD gathering that he will again bring in legislation to change the complex care requirement, lowering it to 10 hours of care. That should open up more people for the higher pay rate that complex care provides. The effort to open up complex care was one of many measures that faced the veto pen. Minnetonka resident and advocate Diane Drost spoke about the workforce crisis. Her family has had difficulty finding care for her daughter, who is quadriplegic. “Over the past 13 years, we’ve seen the steady decline of people available to work as PCAs,” Drost said. She was a member of a cross-agency working group that recently made several

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Bob Marley

NEWS DIGEST

Sheryl Grassie, center, presented awards to personal care attendants at a past Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities gathering. Grassie stepped down as executive director in December.

Disability groups’ consortium faces challenges, changes in 2019 by Jane McClure It’s a time of change for the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD). Declining membership means fewer dues-paying members and fewer resources. Executive Director Sheryl Grassie stepped down at the end of December, after more than three years at the helm. Two

Lupus Link says farewell Page 4 Animals have history of service Page 2

other staff members are also leaving the organization. The staff transition is to be complete by the end of February. The organization’s board is bringing on a new contract lobbyist for the 2019 session of the Minnesota Legislature and hiring a part-time office coordinator. The changes were announced at the

Prep teams win titles Page 11 Use Directory of Organizations to find resources and support Pages 7-10

CHALLENGES To page 5

The year in review

2018 gave joy, frustrations to community by Access Press staff 2018 is in the history books, so it’s time for our look back at the people and events that made headlines over the past year.

January

• A newly signed federal tax law could have disastrous consequences for people with disabilities and the organizations that serve them. Dozens of Minnesota nonprofits, including many groups that help people with disabilities, weighed in against the law before the House and Senate passed it. They criticized the result of massive benefits to corporations and wealthy Americans, at the expense of many others. Crucial human services support programs including Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, food programs and other needed supports could soon be in the cross-hairs. • Sen. Amy Klobuchar, (D-Minnesota), was working on legislation at the federal level to promote use and availability of tracking bracelets for people with various developmental and cognitive disabilities. She was concerned about people becoming lost. • Many happy campers had Ed Stracke to thank for their memories of summer and winter fun. After 33 years, Stracke stepped down as president and chief executive officer of True Friends, which provides outdoor experiences for people with disabilities.

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Lawmakers are ready

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

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And they’re off. The January 8 start for the 2019 Minnesota Legislature brings an outpouring of bills to state lawmakers’ desks. Groups including the Minnesota Council on Disability (MCD) and Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD), as well as many singleissue coalitions and groups, have started making the rounds to the governor’s and legislators’ offices. MCD and MNCCD presented legislative updates last month. Legislators and political caucuses have also started to announce their session goals. Here’s a look at what to expect:

Capitol rallies are always preceded by sign-making.

February

• A short session, an upcoming election and more than the usual political acrimony loomed over the Minnesota Legislature, which began on February 20. Disability advocacy groups were ready in the face of a tight timeline in which things could get done. Consumer-directed community supports, the MNChoices program and direct care support staff wages were issues making a repeat capitol appearance.

• It was “snow” joke as heavy snowfalls left hazardous conditions for Minnesotans with disabilities. Weeks after a 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. It’s an annual concern for many people with disabilities, especially when it comes to having clear sidewalks and crosswalks. YEAR IN REVIEW To page 4


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January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1

EDITOR’S DESK

Tim Benjamin I hope everyone had a great holiday season. It’s always a time to reconnect with family and friends. I had a very good time in Arizona with my siblings and in-laws and each of their expanding families. It seems there’s a new addition to the families every year. I was fortunate enough to have a first real connection with a grandnephew who is a fearless 4-year-old. His grandmother, my sister, called me before I arrived at her home to tell me not to get out of my van until they were outside, because “Maverick wants to watch the van ramp come out.” It was great fun; he was pushing people away to watch, and after he had seen how the first tie-down worked, when I left, he took care of securing me in place. He’ll be the next engineer in our family. The new year means lots of new activity for the Access Press family. On January 3, governor-elect Tim Walz

The new year means lots of new activity for the Access Press family. Many of you will be surveyed to help with ideas for how to develop a 21st century Access Press.

named more commissioners. Senator Tony Lourey will be commissioner of the Department of Human Services, and Jan Malcolm, the commissioner of the Department of Health, will stay on. We should be happy with these two picks. Commissioner Malcolm has experience in this role, and Governor Walz will be the third governor she has worked with. She is a brilliant, compassionate and ideal public-spirited professional person for the position, and a great mentor for her eventual successor. Commissioner Lourey has had plenty of experience with health and human services, after chairing the Health and Human Services Finance committee from 2013-2016 during the Democratic majority in the Senate. We need someone with a strong financial background to find the means to run the largest state agency, and to finance one-third of the state budget—which in my opinion is

I hope by the time you read this, the government shutdown is history and we don't see a repeat of this political tactic ever again.

already in a financial crisis. We need new inventive ways to finance and improved Minnesota’s quality of life; we need a creative thinker at DHS who can critically think though and judge how to meet the current and future medical needs of all Minnesotans. With President Trump holding everything up with his eccentric government shutdown to build his southern boarder wall, we may have a much harder time working with state government to improve Minnesotans’ quality of life. The impact and long-term repercussions of this irrational act will hit us when we cannot get federal funding for new social programs or federal matching funds for current programs like subsidized housing, day care, and food stamps. Will we be worried in another month about payment of individual tax refunds? The possible list of major consequences is long. I hope by the time you read this, the shutdown is history and we don’t see a repeat of this political tactic ever again. The disability community needs some new tactics also with the news that Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities transitions from a staff-led grpup to volunteer leadership and a donation-based consortium. The plan, as I understand it, is that MNCCD will be hiring a lobbyist to work at the

capital for the group’s political priorities. I hope MNCCD can go back to its old ways of running and be as effective as it was in its volunteer run days. MNCCD was very effective in its old ways of getting many independent living programs established—like the PCA program, subsidized housing for the disabled, advancement in state-covered medications for brain injuries and mental healthcare and medical assistance for employed people with disabilities. As the new year begins, I am happy to report that 2018 was a good one for Access Press. We received funding from the UCare Foundation and from the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation, in addition to many generous individual donations. We’re moving forward with strategic planning, board and staff development, a new more accessible website, a new computer and networking system and many other improvements. The computer system is almost done, thanks to Microsoft volunteers. The strategic planning efforts will include contacting stakeholders for input, so many of you will be phoned and surveyed to help with ideas for improvements and how to develop a 21st century Access Press. Have a good month and please help with your best ideas for preserving and improving Access Press. ■

HISTORY NOTE

Service dogs in spotlight as a history of helping is recalled During the many national tributes to the late former President George H.W. Bush, one photo stood out for many people. They were moved by the sight of Sully, Bush’s longtime service dog, beside his master’s casket. It’s not known how long dogs and other animals have served people with disabilities. Some histories note that a fresco in which his dog leads a blind man was discovered amid the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum. It dates to the first century A.D. European wood carvings and Chinese scroll paintings from the Middle Ages also show dogs leading people who were blind. We know little else about these early dog helpers. In the United States, service dogs weren’t recognized legally until the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

passed in 1990. The ADA initially defined a service dog as any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to assist a person with a disability. Before that, the only service dogs with specific legal protections were seeing eye dogs or dog guides for people with visual disabilities. These dogs first appeared in the United States in the 1920s. One master-dog team often cited in histories is Morris Frank and seeing eye dog Buddy. A famous historical picture shows Frank and Buddy safely crossing a busy street in New York City in 1928, as a large crowd looks on and marvels at the team. The Seeing Eye, a New Jersey nonprofit which works with people who have visual disabilities, describes Frank and Buddy on its website. Frank was frustrated by his lack of mobility and isolation as a young, blind person. He learned about dogs

Volume 30, Number 1 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: access@accesspress.org www.accesspress.org

being trained as guides for blind veterans of World War I. Dorothy Harrison Eustis was an American training German shepherd dogs in Switzerland. After she received a letter from Frank, Eustis agreed to help him. In June 1928, after Frank completed his training in Switzerland, he and Buddy crossed the street before news media and onlookers. Many news reporters were on hand to see the duo demonstrate how man and dog could work together. After the event, Frank sent Eustis a telegram with just one word: “Success.” The Seeing Eye was founded in 1929 by Eustis and Frank. Other service dog organizations soon followed. One well-known organization is NEADS, formerly known as National Education for Assistance Dog Services and Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans. The

nonprofit was founded in 1976 and now trains dog-human teams for a wide variety of disability assistance programs. In Minnesota, the service dog training organization Can Do Canines is marking 30 years in 2019. It’s incredible to realize how animals can provide such a wide range of services and supports to people with disabilities. From emotional support to operating a light switch, animals have taken on many tasks to make their humans’ lives much easier and help them be integrated into the community. ■ The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, www. mnddc.org or www.mncdd.org and www. partnersinpolicymaking.com.


January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1 from page 1

workforce recommendations to the Olmstead SubCabinet. Drost is asking state lawmakers to consider the many report recommendations, including one to set up a service corps pilot program. Minnesota college students could work as direct support providers and in turn get scholarships. State officials in the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) are working on several disability-related issues. They’ll be doing so with a new commissioner. Tony Lourey was named commissioner January 3, replacing Emily Johnson Piper. Workforce issues and the staffing crisis have occupied much DHS time, including work on rate frameworks and how services are paid for. DWRS is another major focus, to look at how rates are established and how rates keep pace with economic and cost of living needs. Streamlining of the home and community based waiver services will also take be in the spotlight. In 2019 state lawmakers directed DHS to conduct a study on reconfiguring the disability home and community-based services waivers. The other study centers on establishing individual budgeting methodology for all the services. DHS and a contractor combined the topics into a single study called the Waiver Reimagine Project. Watch for a report and recommendations to be issued this month. DHS representatives at the MCD forum said it’s likely the state will move forward with a two-tiered waiver system instead of the four separate waivers currently in place. Making services more easily understandable is yet another goal. DHS also intends to bring forward 2018 measures that didn’t pass, including changes to the MnChoices program, and the electronic visit verification system for PCAs.

Advocacy groups

MCD has two primary themes in its 2019 legislative work, in the form of accessibility-related bills and bills with a focus on independence and equity. MCD will continue its partnership with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) so that the state’s 75 state parks and recreation areas are fully inclusive for guests with a range of disabilities. The goal is to be ready for the 2020 session, which is a bonding year. A second measure MCD is working on is to amend statutory language on the accessibility of public buildings. MCD staff describe the measure as “housekeeping” to clarify what the state’s obligations. A third is accessibility and inclusivity of assisted and independent living, a collaborative effort with the Minnesota Department of Health. MCD will also continue its transportation-related efforts. The council has worked for years on the issue of self-driving vehicles and what it would take to make those legal and widely accessible in Minnesota. A second focus is transportation companies like Uber and Lyft, to ensure their services are equitable and accessible for people with disabilities. MNCCD has “independence, choice and access” atop its legislative agenda for 2019. The consortium will work

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Rallies are a staple of life at the capitol, as shown at this past ARRM/MOHR rally. with several groups on its legislative agenda. MNCCD’s legislative agenda includes work with many other organizations. “Each one of our policy priorities is brought forward by a membership organization,” said Marnie Falk of Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. She chairs the consortium’s board. The legislative agenda is organized around five goals: helping people live and thrive in their home communities, ensuring access to coverage and supports, making quality programs available, protecting dignity and safety, and investing in research and education. MNCCD then ranks legislative efforts in three priority tiers. MNCCD’s top-tier legislative priorities are to streamline Medical Assistance (MA) Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) enrollment and renewal, improve and protect MA, repeal the state’s preferred incontinence products program and work on PCA rate reform. The second tier priorities are to help re-establish a statewide Autism Commission and fund statewide autism-related training for first responders. Another second-tier effort is to work with the Best Life Alliance to protect access to services that help people with disabilities to live and work as independently as possible. Helping to remove barriers and open up Consumer-Directed Community Supports (CDCS) for more participants, promote group homes focused on residents with fetal alcohol syndrome, and reforming MnCHOICES’ assessment processes to help individuals and families are additional second-tier efforts.

The second-tier efforts also include work to reform how mental health records’ medical information is shared, and to allow an applicant for drivers’ licenses, identification cards, and permits to submit up to three emergency contacts for first responders. MNCCD and MCD will also work together on state parks access needs. Four items are in the third tier. One is to preserve the tax tied to the Health Care Access Fund, which is to sunset at the end of the year. Many groups statewide are working to continue the tax. A rate methodology and funding for daycare for children with complex medical needs is another third-tier request. A statewide grant program to help qualifying nonprofits get grants for adaptive fitness, and putting a definition of an adaptive fitness center into law is also on the docket. So is the creation of a rare disease advisory council to advise on records, diagnoses, education and treatment of rare diseases. Minnesota doesn’t have such a council. MNCCD is working with more than a dozen partners on its legislative agenda. Each agenda item has a lead agency, said Falk. The consortium has long used a tier system to determine how much support it will give to each agenda item. Looking for session information? Following a bill? Trying to find a state lawmaker? The Minnesota Legislature website has all kinds of information. Go to www.leg.state.mn.us ■

Report sheds light on sexual assault issues Advocates are hoping that a recently released report by Minnesota’s Attorney General Office sheds light on sexual assault and how it affects people with disabilities. The Attorney General’s Working Group on Sexual Assault report recommendations are likely to be considered by the 2019 Minnesota Legislature. The working group was formed by former Attorney General Lori Swanson after the Star Tribune published a series about breakdowns in how the criminal justice system responds to sexual assault reports by adults. The group developed several recommendations to improve law enforcement and prosecutorial responses to sexual assault reports. Those are outlined in the 51-page report. The report and its recommendations include a focus on people with disabilities, stating “According to U.S. Justice Department data, people with disabilities are sexually assaulted at a rate more than three times higher than those without disabilities. Offenders often target people with intellectual disabilities because they believe they may be

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more easily manipulated and have difficulty testifying later.” The report makes several recommendations for state lawmakers, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, including requiring all Minnesota law enforcement agencies to have written protocols on sexual assault investigations, and provide funding for law enforcement training. Improved

data collection, and changes to victims’ rights statutes are also recommended. One key point is how access to victims’ advocates should be improved. Go to www.ag.state.mn.us to see the report and recommendations. ■

Make the news!

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January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY

Continuing stable health care funding is critical 2019 issue by David King CEO, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance Minnesota’s divided government experience continues in 2019 with a fresh make-up in the Minnesota House and a new governor. The 2019 legislative session is a budgetsetting session, where comprehensive decisions for the next two-year budget cycle will be hashed out. No one knows if they will find some quick bipartisan fixes, but one thing is for sure -- policymakers will need to determine the fate of Minnesota’s necessary and important Health Care Access Fund. Looming over this next legislative session is the elimination of the provider tax which pays for affordable health care for Minnesotans from Warroad to Winona. This 2 percent provider tax, set to sunset at the end of 2019, was created in 1992 to fund the Health Care Access Fund which in turn paid for MinnesotaCare. A pioneering idea at the time, there is now only one state in the nation that does not have some type of provider tax to fund affordable health care. Twenty-six years ago, this bipartisan health care reform package helped more Minnesotans gain access to affordable health care coverage. It works by having health care providers, hospitals, surgical centers, and wholesale drug distributors pay 2 percent of their revenue into the Health

Care Access Fund. Part of this agreement also increased the reimbursement rate for these providers when they treat people through MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance. While the provider tax is not the only source of funding for the Health Care Access Fund, it is by far the largest portion. Without the provider tax, the fund will be significantly reduced and could become obsolete. The Health Care Access Fund currently allows more than one million Minnesotans see doctors, get their medications, and receive treatments and other critical health supports. Working Minnesotans who do not have access to affordable employer-backed insurance options, as well as seniors and folks with disabilities, are some of the people who would be harmed if the provider tax is allowed to sunset. Nearly 50 percent of the Health Care Access Fund pays for Medicaid in Minnesota. People with brain injuries who receive care through the Medicaid expansion could also be negatively impacted by the sunset of the provider tax. These people are generally able to work, and don’t face the restrictions on Medical Assistance that keep many Minnesotans with disabilities in poverty. Threats to Medicaid expansion could force more Minnesotans back into these restrictions that send people into a cycle of poverty just to get the health care they need. The fund has also been used to stabilize the individual

market through Minnesota’s reinsurance program. This $401 million investment was made with the federal government signaling their intent to fund a portion of that program. However, in December, the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services indicated that it would actually be reducing that funding by $99.1 million. With federal cuts to reinsurance and an aging population that will be more dependent on Medicaid, Minnesota cannot afford to lose essential tools to provide affordable health care to Minnesotans. Should lawmakers allow the provider tax to expire without a replacement, Minnesota will lose $700 million in revenue. Health care for Minnesotans previously funded through the fund will likely be covered by general funding for the state budget, putting pressure on other important investments that Minnesotans value, such as K-12 education, housing assistance, transit, and transportation. Given that no strong alternatives have been proposed in the seven years since the provider tax sunset was put in place, lawmakers should repeal the sunset on the provider tax this session. It has been a time-tested, bipartisan way to fund necessary health care for Minnesotans across the state. We’ll be working this legislative session with other advocates throughout the state and with the This Is Medicaid coalition to be sure essential and affordable health care remains a top priority in Minnesota. ■

Lupus Link to dissolve; work will continue by Lupus Link It is with sadness, but also profound gratefulness, that we are reaching out to our community of supporters with the news that our board has made the difficult decision to dissolve Lupus Link Minnesota. Despite strong efforts on the part of many over the past year and a half, our organization has faced financial challenges which make it difficult for us to continue operations. Although we will no longer be leading the effort, our board has taken steps to ensure that lupus research remains a priority in Minnesota with the transfer of the Susan B. Meckstroth Endowment to the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research (CADRe) in November. Please continue to follow CADRe as a source of information and support as they carry on our mission of advancing cutting-edge lupus research. If you have previously donated to the endowment, or are interested in doing so,

YEAR IN REVIEW From page 1 • 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).

March

• Disability Day at the Capitol highlighted several crucial community needs. The calls for more spending for needed supports and services was bolstered by the budget forecast released at the end of February. A surplus of $329 million was projected. A deficit had

While this is the end of our story, it is not the end of your story. Lupus Link Minnesota was always about the people behind it, the lupus champions who rallied to support our shared mission. We leave with a sense of great hope and faith in our community, knowing that while much progress has been made, there is still much work to be done. Thank you for your support. (Editor’s note: Lupus Link Minnesota began in 2017, taking over the work of the longtime group Lupus Foundation of Minnesota announced that it would give its resources to Lupus Link Minnesota. Lupus Link Minnesota was dedicated to advancing knowledge and mobilizing resources to improve the lives of all Minnesotans and those beyond affected by lupus and related autoimmune diseases. It did so by supporting research that seeks to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lupus as well as to discover its cause and cure, and by providing education, support and service to those impacted by lupus including promoting awareness and understanding of lupus and its impact to the broader community). ■

you can do so at https://give.umn.edu/giveto/meckstroth. Your donations will continue to support the important types of autoimmune research that will one day lead to a cure for lupus. All funds remaining from Lupus Link Minnesota after our final dissolution will be directed toward the endowment. We remain eternally grateful to you, our supporters. With your help, we accomplished a great deal that we can all be proud of. Thank you for bringing light and hope to this cause that we all share. Our greatest wish is that you continue your efforts to build support around the lupus community and raise awareness about this devastating disease. We encourage you to reach out to and follow the Lupus Foundation of America (www.lupus.org), a nation-wide organization with a host of resources for those diagnosed with lupus and their loved ones, and the Lupus Research Alliance (www.lupusresearch.org), an organization that directs all donations directly to lupus research.

been predicted in December 2017. While state officials cautioned that the positive balance was a slender amount in the context of the state budget, community advocates urged that funding is needed for the workforce crisis and other programs. More than 450 people filled the capitol rotunda to rally for needed services and supports. • Improvements to Twin Cities area paratransit services were debated by the Metropolitan Council, Minnesota Legislature and community members. Recommendations proposed by a task force were touted as providing flexibility and expanding service while remaining in compliance with state and federal regulations. But the notion of using companies like Uber and Lyft as part of the region’s future paratransit system drew criticism from some Metropolitan Council

members and community members concerned about poor service and lack of background checks.

April

• Self-advocates and disability-related organizations mobilized to fight a pending seven percent cut to disability services in Minnesota. The cut would take effect July 1, unless the Minnesota Legislature acted. What worried many service providers is that the funds for some services had already been spent. The July 1 SESSION To page 15

• • •

Remodeling for accessibility Ramps and home access Roll-in showers You deserve to stay at home!

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651-529-1796

Visitors enjoyed Gooseberry Falls.

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CHALLENGES From page 1

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with an office coordinator managing things day-to-day. consortium’s annual meeting on December 11 One question asked was whether or and are tied to its 2019-2020 strategic plan. not the board is confident the consorBoard members said they are committed to tium’s work will get done. Falk said yes making the transition a success. The changes and that the board is confident it will were guided by a planning process that took have a contract lobbyist in place for the place in 2018, in which representatives of more start of the Minnesota Legislature’s 2019 than two dozen member organizations were session. A lobbyist will report directly to interviewed. The goals are to empower memthe board. bers and fortify membership, influence public Tuesdays at the Capitol will continue, policy and to invest in organization infrastrucoverseen by office staff. “We know how ture. The latter effort is likely to include such important ‘Tuesdays’ is,” said Falk. She tasks as clarifying membership options, seeking and other board members said they’d ongoing feedback, improving communications step up to do more and clarify processes and finding sustainable revenues and a practical and procedures. cost structure. “We’re not providing less service,” said “I am excited about the future of MNCCD,” Falk. “We’re providing different services.” said Board Chair Marnie Falk of Gillette ChilFalk reminded members that their dren’s Specialty Health Care. roles are important, too and that feedThe planning helped spell out MNCCD’s back will continue to be sought as MNCstrengths and weaknesses said Board Secretary CD continues to evolve. “We’re only as One highlight for MNCCD is honoring outstanding activist. This group of past honorees is from the Heidi Fisher of the Epilepsy Foundation. Key strong as our membership.” One goal she Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance. questions included how disability community cited is for members to meet more often. organizations would function without MNCAnyone with questions or needs related about what the change would mean and how the changCD and what is MNCCD’s worth to members. to MNCCD should contact board chair Marnie Falk, es would affect the committees’ workloads. Falk said a The changes are just the latest for the longtime public MarnieSFalk@gillettechildrens.com or vice-chair Kristen key focus would continue to be public policy and lobbypolicy organization. The consortium began more than McHenry, kristen.mchenry@allina.com. ing efforts. The contract lobbyist will lead those efforts, 20 years ago and was run largely by volunteers for much of its history. For many years two cochairs took turns leading the organization. MNCCD was housed with other disability community nonprofit groups, which served as fiscal agents and provided staff support. Volunteer leadership was challenging as the coalition took on more work. It became difficult to find more volunteers. Many of the issues became increasingly complex. A reorganization planned in 2010-2011 was implemented in 2012-2013. MNCCD became a stand-alone nonprofit and hired an executive director and support staff. That was seen as giving MNCCD a consistent voice and point person at the capitol. Restructuring was promoted as a way for MNCCD to meet goals including enhancing the political power of Minnesota’s disability community, strengthening the group’s effectiveness and providing opportunities to build a stronger identity for MNCCD. Financial independence was another goal. But the new structure was too difficult to implement as the changes took place against the backdrop of a shifting disability community landscape. At the time of the reorganization, MNCCD had more than 100 organizations for providers and advocates for people with disabilities. Membership has dwindled, with 42 advocacy organizations, service providers and healthcare agencies currently listed on the website. Grassie was the second MNCCD executive director. She noted that in recent years, some organizations had left MNCCD. Others have shut down or merged. Losing members meant losing dues and financial support. A health and wellness conference helped bring in needed revenue, but it has also taken much staff and volunteer time. The consortium has had its ups and down, running at a deficit one year and then bouncing back the next, said Grassie. As staff and board looked toward the future, answers became apparent in fall 2018. Various staffing scenarios were explored, but Grassie recommended that she step down. “I loved ‘CCD,” said Grassie. “I really did.” She’ll continue to be involved in autism-related work and will cross paths with MNCCD colleagues. Board members said MNCCD will continue. The recent focus groups and interviews showed that members believe that MNCCD as an organization has value and allows disability advocacy and service organizations to mobilize around issues. Organized efforts at the state capitol and relationship-building with state lawmakers were cited as plusses. However, people aren’t clear on how they can and should interact with MNCCD. Members at the December 11 meeting had questions

The Arc Minnesota's former public policy director, Steve Larson, was also an MNCCD honoree.


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REGIONAL NEWS Discrimination query is dropped

Bethel Care Center

Nursing home faces investigation

The Minnesota Department of health (MDH) has announced that a St. Paul nursing home is under federal investigation. Three people have died at Bethel Care Center in the past four years due to ventilator-related neglect. “MDH conducts regulatory oversight of licensed nursing homes in Minnesota on behalf of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We have shared our findings and concerns with CMS and are working through the federal enforcement process. While there are limits to what details we can share on this ongoing regulatory process, we are committed to working with CMS to ensure that the facility is held fully accountable, issues are fully addressed, and residents are safe,” MDH said in a written statement. The center is under state scrutiny as its most recent state scorecard, from June 2018, shows it has fallen below the state average in all but two areas. The categories in which the center fell short included resident quality of life, state inspection results and family satisfaction. Facility leadership told KSTP-TV that Bethel is working on correction plans and that it is doing so in collaboration with state officials. The facility leadership also indicated that it has fared well in recent state inspections. MDH in early January released its investigation into the death of a 78-year-old resident. She died after her ventilator stopped for 39 minutes in August 2018. This is the third time since May 2015 that MDH has found that substantiated neglect by Bethel Care Center led to the death of a resident. All three cases stemmed from lack of oversight of people using ventilators. “This 2018 incident followed substantiated maltreatment cases from 2015 and 2017, in which Bethel was also found to be out of compliance,” said another portion of the MDH statement. “While the facility was found to have made the required changes following the 2015 and 2017 incidents, we are concerned about the sequence of events at Bethel.” (Source: KSTP-TV)

Housing lawsuit moves ahead A lawsuit centered on housing access and choice returns to U.S. District Court January 25. The civil class action was filed in August 2016 by a group of people with disabilities, against the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The plaintiffs contend that DHS allows very few people to access individualized housing options and refuses to help hundreds of people currently forced to remain in corporately owned and operated group homes. The plaintiffs are asking for help to find and move into homes they choose with services they control, instead of experiencing the isolation, helplessness and lack of control over their lives they currently face. One argument the plaintiffs have made is that while the Americans with

Disabilities Act (ADA) is supposed to help people living in the settings of their choice, all too often those choices are limited to group homes. Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center is representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit with co-counsel Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A. the lawsuit has the support of several disability advocacy groups including ARRM. DHS is asking Judge Donovan Frank to grant summary judgment in its favor, dismissing the entire case/. DHS is also asking that the case no be treated as a class action. The plaintiffs are asking for a motion of summary judgment to be granted in their favor, on one of five claims. (Source: Access Press staff)

A federal investigation of a disabilityfocused discrimination claim against a St. Paul printing and packaging company has been dropped. A worker made the claim after he was fired, and a lawsuit was filed in May 2017. But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Impressions Inc. have agreed to dismiss the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed under provisions of the ADA. The former employee, who was diagnosed with depression in 2014, alleged that his diagnosis prompted his firing. He had worked for the company for a decade as a press helper. Impressions, Inc. had challenged that claim and said he had left work early without approval and had behaved badly with other workers. The company argued that the discrimination claim was unfounded and should have been investigated more thoroughly before it filed by the EEOC. The EEOC has countered that claims by the company aren’t true but that the dismissal is an unusual result. The EEOC declined to comment further. The dismissal agreement won approval in late 2018 from U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson. It calls for each side to cover its own expenses in connection with the case. (Source: Star Tribune)

Criminals face different outcomes

A caregiver and an interim landlord for people with disabilities faced very different outcomes in recent criminal proceedings. A former employee of a Little Canada group home faces nine year’s imprisonment after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a resident who is physical and cognitively disabled. Peter Daniel Hackman, 27, was sentenced in Ramsey County District Court on one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct that caused injuries to a person with cognitive disabilities. He pleaded guilty to the crime in fall 2018, after a suicide attempt. The assault occurred in March 2018. Hackman’s attorney said he is remorseful about the crime and takes responsibility for his actions. Another worker at the group home reported the sexual assault. In a second unrelated case, a Little Canada woman was placed on probation in December. Anne Marie Lindren, 47, was found guilty of a felony, receiving profits from prostitution. She already served a jail sentence. Lindgren was accused of forcing a vulnerable adult who was temporarily living with her to work as a prostitute. Two other related charges were

dismissed. The victim claimed Lindgren placed an online account for her and that she had sex with 10 to 20 men. Lindgren denied the charge and said she only set up an online account for the woman. Lindgren also claimed to be a vulnerable adult. (Source: Pioneer Press)

Starkey executives are sentenced

A former executive at Eden Prairiebased hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Laboratories has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison in a high-profile embezzlement case. The sentence for former Starkey President Jerry Ruzicka was handed down in December. Prosecutors had sought a 20-year prison term. Other executives were also sentenced, as a long and complex series of criminal cases winds down. Ruzicka, 62, was accused of stealing more than $15 million from the company, its owner Bill Austin and Starkey supplier Sonion. He was part of a circle of employees charged with crimes against the company. Starkey is known for its charitable giving and its events that draw celebrities from around the globe. A jury convicted Ruzicka in March 2018 of mail, wire and tax fraud. The charges involved the theft of $15.5 million in restricted stock belonging to Austin, stealing Ruzicka’s company Jaguar and creating sham companies to collect fake commissions and fees from Starkey and Sonion. Former Sonion President W. Jeff Taylor also was convicted on fraud charges and was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment. Also sentenced in December were Jeff Longtain, former president of Starkey subsidiary Northland Hearing. He received on year probation, after pleading guilty to tax evasion and testifying against his former bosses. Former Starkey Chief Financial Officer Scott A. Nelson, the former CFO, pleaded guilty a year ago to one count of conspiracy in the multimilliondollar fraud against Starkey. He also testified against Ruzicka. He was sentenced to two year’s imprisonment. Defendants in the cases also had to forfeit millions of dollars. Those sentenced to prison will report for their sentences in early 2019. In a statement, Starkey says the company is thankful to be nearing the conclusion of the case. (Source: Star Tribune)

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January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1

DIRECTORY OF ORGANIZATIONS ADVOCACY Advocating Change Together (ACT)

V-651-641-0297

TF-800-641-0059

www.selfadvocacy.org

Arc Greater Twin Cities

V-952-920-0855

F-952-920-1480

www.arcgreatertwincities.org

The Arc of Minnesota

V-651-523-0823x115

F-651-523-0829

www.thearcofminnesota.org

Association of Residential Resources in MN

V-651-291-1086

TTY-800-551-2211

www.arrm.org

Cow Tipping Press

V-507-521-2278

TTY-800-551-2211

www.cowtippingpress.org

MCIL

V-651-646-8342

F-651-603-2066

www.mcil-mn.org

MN Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities

V-952-818-8718

F-952-818-8719

www.mnccd.org

PACER Center, Inc.

V-952-838-9000

TTY-952-838-0190

www.pacer.org

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota

TF-855-282-3769

United Cerebral Palsy of Minnesota

V-651-265-7361

F-651-628-4484

www.ucpmn.org

V-651-645-7271

TTY-800-466-7722

www.accessiblespace.org

V-612-789-1236

F-612-706-5555

www.actg.org

Mary T. Inc. Supportive Living Programs

V-763-754-2505

TF-888-255-6400

www.marytinc.com

Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance

V-612-378-2742

TTY-800-669-6442

www.braininjurymn.org

Opportunity Partners

V-651-457-4756

V-952-500-8572

www.opportunities.org

V-612-224-9101

aburke@cipmn.org

www.cipmn.org

Avivo

V-612-752-8074

TTY-612-752-8001

www.resources-mn.org

Vinland National Center

V/TTY-763-479-3555 F-763-479-2605

www.vinlandcenter.org

DeafBlind Services Minnesota (DBSM)

V-612-362-8454

TTY-612-362-8422

www.dbsmllc.org

Living Well Disability Services

V-651-688-8808

F-651-688-8892

www.livingwell.org

Mary T. Inc. Supportive Living Programs

V-763-754-2505

TF-888-255-6400

www.marytinc.com

Metropolitan Center for Independent Living

V-651-646-8342

F-651-603-2066

www.mcil-mn.org

Metro Work Center, Inc

V/TTY-612-729-7381

F-612-729-7382

www.metroworkcenter.org

Reach for Resources

V-952-200-3030

F-952-229-4468

www.reachforresources.org

SMILES Center for Independent Living

V/TTY-507-345-7139 TF-888-676-6498

Accessible Space, Inc. (ASI)

AUTISM SERVICES A Chance to Grow

BRAIN INJURY

CASE MANAGEMENT Community Involvement Programs (CIP)

Want to work, but concerned about benefits? Our certified benefits counselors can help you. We provide clear, accurate answers about the effect of work on benefits for people with disabilities.

www.UnitedCareWorkersMN.org

ASSISTED LIVING

CHEMICAL HEALTH

COMMUNITY LIVING

www.smilescil.org

CONSUMER-DIRECTED COMMUNITY SUPPORTS Accra

V-952-935-3515

TF-866-935-3515

www.accracare.org

Lifeworks Services, Inc.

TF-866-454-2732

TTY-866-454-2732

www.lifeworks.org

Pg 7

a program of Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota

Call us today:

651-632-5113 • 1-800-976-6728 (711) MNWorkIncentives.com


January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1

Kent’s Accounting Kent Service, LLC Fordyce Certified ProAdvisor 2017 2005-2016 6371 Bartlett Blvd Mound, MN 55364

612-889-2959

fordyce6@aol.com • 952-472-1458 Fax

START A CONVERSATION

Pg 8

DIRECTORY OF ORGANIZATIONS CONSUMER-DIRECTED COMMUNITY SUPPORTS Accra

V-952-935-3515

TF-866-935-3515

www.accracare.org

Lifeworks Services, Inc.

TF-866-454-2732

TTY-866-454-2732

www.lifeworks.org

MRCI-Client Directed Services

V-507-386-5704

TF-800-829-7110

www.mrcicds.org

SMILES Center for Independent Living

V/TTY-507-345-7139 TF-888-676-6498

www.smilescil.org

Avivo Institute of Career & Tech Education

V-612-752-8100

F-612-752-8101

www.resource-mn.org

Children's Theatre Company

V-612-879-2680

F-612-353-6638

www.childrenstheatre.org

Upstream Arts

V-612-331-4584

F-612-353-6638

www.upstreamarts.org

Ally People Solutions

V-651-641-0709

F-651-641-0976

www.allypeoplesolutions.org

Avivo

V-612-752-8100

F-612-752-8101

www.resource-mn.org

Chrestomathy, Inc.

V-952-974-0339

F-952-974-0307

www.chrestomathyinc.org

Community Involvement Programs (CIP)

V-612-353-4595x101

V-612-353-4595x102

www.cipmn.org

Courage Kenny Rehabilition Institute

V-612-775-2569

www.allinahealth.org/couragekenny

Fraser Transition Services

V-612-767-5180

www.fraser.org

Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota

V-651-379-5800

Kaposia Inc.

V/TTY-651-224-6974 F-651-224-7249

www.kaposia.com

Lifeworks Services, Inc.

TF-866-454-2732

TTY-651-365-3736

www.lifeworks.org

Merrick, Inc.

V-651-789-6231

F-651-789-9960

www.merrickinc.org

Metro Work Center, Inc.

V/TTY-612-729-7381

F-612-729-7382

www.metroworkcenter.org

Midwest Special Services, Inc.

V-651-778-1000

F-612-331-3444

www.mwsservices.org

Minnesota Diversified Industries (MDI)

V-651-999-8200

F-651-999-8242

www.mdi.org

MOHR

V-651-489-2595

F-651-489-0410

www.MOHRMN.org

MRCI Worksource

V-612-386-5600

F-507-345-5991

www.mrciworksource.org

Opportunity Partners

V-612-839-4476

Partnership Resources, Inc.

V-952-925-1404

F-952-925-6055

www.partnershipresources.org

Partnership Resources, Inc. - Minneapolis

V-612-331-2075

F-612-331-2887

www.partnershipresources.org

Partnership Resources, Inc. - Older Adults Program

V-952-746-6206

F-952-746-6209

www.partnershipresources.org

ProAct Inc.

V-651-686-0405

F-651-686-0312

www.proactinc.org

Reach for Resources

V-952-200-3030

F-952-229-4468

www.reachforresources.org

Rise, Inc.

V/TTY-763-786-8334 F-763-786-0008

www.rise.org

TSE, Inc.

V-651-489-2595

F-651-489-0410

www.tse-inc.org

WACOSA

V-320-257-5191

F-320-259-4670

www.WACOSA.org

Work Incentives Connection

V-651-632-5113

TF-800-976-6728

www.mnworkincentives.com

Minnesota State Council on Disability

V/TTY-651-361-7800

TTY-800-945-8913

www.disability.state.mn.us

MN Gov. Council on Developmental Disabilities

V-651-296-4018

TF-800-627-3529

www.mncdd.org

STAR Program

V-651-201-2640

TF-888-234-1267

www.starprogram.state.mn.us

V-800-707-1711

TTY-800-688-2534

www.ucare.org

A Chance to Grow

V-612-789-1236

V-612-706-5555

www.actg.org

Community Involvement Programs (CIP)

V-612-362-4434

V-612-362-4452

www.cipmn.org

In Home Personal Care

V-763-546-1000

F-763-546-1018

www.inhomepersonalcare.com

Mary T. Inc. Home Health Care

V-763-862-5426

TF-888-255-6400

www.marytinc.com

V-763-772-9963

TF-888-255-6400

www.marytinc.com/hospice_care.php

EDUCATION

EMPLOYMENT/VOCATION

(Re)Opening Dec. 2, 2018 st. paul | mmaa.org | FREE

F-651-379-5803

www.goodwilleasterseals.org

vocservices@opportunities.org

GOVERNMENT DIRECTORY OF ORGANIZATIONS MEMBER

Highland Friendship Club (HFC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that its members have ample chances to build personal relationships, explore new interests, and form lasting friendships with people of all abilities. The mission of Highland Friendship Club is to serve individuals with disabilities from teens through adulthood by providing a range of opportunities to develop lifelong skills, friendships and connections within their community. HFC is proudly 150 volunteers strong and partners with dozens of organizations and local businesses. It’s all about exploring, experiencing and tapping into what our great community has to offer!

HIGHLAND FRIENDSHIP CLUB

Phone: (651) 698-4096 • Online: highlandfriendshipclub.org Did you know you can join the Directory for $60/yr? Available online year-round and in four print editions.

HEALTH CARE PLANS UCare

HOME HEALTH CARE SERVICES

HOSPICE CARE Mary T. Inc. Hospice Care

HOUSING-CONSTRUCTION/REMODELING AccessAbility Options, Inc.

V-763-571-6789

F-800-632-0798

www.accessoptionsmn.com

Accessibility Design

V-952-925-0301

F-952-926-7712

www.accessibilitydesign.com

Accessible Homes, LLC.

V-612-978-1054

F-651-554-3085

www.accessiblehomesllc.net

Lifeway Mobility

V-651-323-1190

TF-800-561-2333

www.lifewaymobility.com

WE ARE LISTENING.. Annually, people with disabilities, their families and the public are invited to provide comment on the Minnesota Olmstead Plan and proposed amendments. There are multiple ways to engage. For a copy of the plan, proposed amendments, meeting locations and information about how you can provide comments via phone or online, visit: www.mn.gov/olmstead

...and we want to hear from YOU. We are coming to a town near you. Meetings are from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7 Wednesday, Jan. 9 Monday, Jan. 14 Tuesday, Jan. 22 Thursday, Jan. 24

Redwood Falls Mankato Phone/videoconference Hibbing Saint Paul

Note: To request accessible materials or accommodations for a meeting due to a disability, contact mary.catherine@state.mn.us or call 651.296.9844. ASL interpreting and captioning services will be provided for public comment sessions. For meeting accommodations, requests must be received 72 hours in advance of the meeting.


January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1

Pg 9

DIRECTORY OF ORGANIZATIONS HOUSING-RENTAL Accessible Space, Inc. (ASI)

V-651-645-7271

TTY-800-466-7722

www.accessiblespace.org

Ebenezer Park Apartments

V-612-879-2233

TTY-612-879-8889

www.fairviewebenezer.org

National Handicap Housing Institute, Inc

V-651-639-9799

F-651-639-9699

www.nhhiaccessiblehousing.com

Rental Housing by Mary T. Inc.

V-763-862-5432

TF-888-255-6400

www.marytinc.com

INFORMATION/REFERRAL RESOURCES ADA Minnesota; a program within MCIL

V-651-603-2015

TF-888-630-9793

www.adaminnesota.org

Minnesota State Council on Disability

V/TTY-651-361-7800

TTY-800-945-8913

www.disability.state.mn.us

PACER Center, Inc.

V-952-838-9000

TTY-952-838-0190

www.pacer.org

STAR Program

V-651-201-2640

TF-888-234-1267

www.starprogram.state.mn.us

United Cerebral Palsy of Minnesota

V-651-265-7361

F-651-628-4484

www.ucpmn.org

V-651-294-0710

TF-800-886-7201

F-651-644-9137

V-612-334-5970

TF-800-292-4150

www.mndlc.org

INSURANCE AssuredPartners of Minnesota, LLC

LEGAL MN Disability Law Center

MEDICAL SUPPLIES/EQUIPMENT Handi Medical Supply

V-651-644-9770

F-651-644-0602

www.handimedical.com

Phoenix Medical Services Inc.

V-651-636-0848

F-651-636-5746

www.PhoenixMedical.org

Avivo

V-612-752-8074

F-612-752-8001

www.resource-mn.org

Community Involvement Programs (CIP)

V-612-362-4434

V-612-362-4452

www.cipmn.org

Fraser

V-612-861-1688

F-612-861-6050

www.fraser.org

National Alliance on Mental Illness of MN

V-651-645-2948

TF-888-NAMI-Helps

www.namihelps.org

Reach for Resources

V-952-200-3030

F-952-229-4468

www.reachforresources.org

Vinland National Center

V/TTY-763-479-3555 F-763-479-2605

www.vinlandcenter.org

Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare

V-651-290-8707

www.gillettechildrens.org

Wound Healing Center

V-715-268-0175

MENTAL HEALTH

PHYSICIANS TTY-715-268-0177

www.AmeryMedicalCenter.org

RECREATION-ADAPTIVE HOBBY/EXERCISE/SPORTS/ARTS Courage Kenny Rehabilition Institute

V-612-775-2277

218-726-4762

Drama Interaction, 501(c)3

V-952-220-1676

www.cokartscenter.com/opportunitypartnersprog.html

Highland Friendship Club

V-651-698-4096

www.highlandfriendshipclub.org

Mind Body Solutions

V-952-473-3700

www.mindbodysolutions.org

Mixed Blood Theatre Company

V-612-338-6131

Reach for Resources

V-952-200-3030

F-952-229-4468

www.reachforresources.org

Upstream Arts

V-612-331-4584

F-612-353-6638

www.upstreamarts.org

www.allinahealth.org/couragekenny

www.mixedblood.com

RECREATION-DINING/BARS/CLUBS V-651-698-4096

Highland Friendship Club

...because everyone has the right to lead their life.

www.highlandfriendshipclub.org

RECREATION-MOVIES/PERFORMING ARTS/SPECTATOR SPORTS/MUSEUM Children's Theatre Company

V-612-874-0400

www.childrenstheatre.org

Highland Friendship Club

V-651-698-4096

www.highlandfriendshipclub.org

RECREATION-TRAVEL/CAMPING Hammer Travel

V-952-277-2458

TF-877-345-8599

www.hammertravel.com

True Friends

V-952-852-0101

TF-800-450-8376

www.truefriends.org

Ventures Travel

V-952-852-0107

TF-866-692-7400

www.venturestravel.org

Wilderness Inquiry

V-612-676-9400

TF-800-728-0719

www.wildernessinquiry.org

REHABILITATION (PHYSICAL, OCCUPATIONAL, SPEECH, AUDIOLOGY THERAPISTS) A Chance to Grow

V-612-789-1236

V-612-706-5555

www.actg.org

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute

V-763-588-0811

V-612-262-7979

www.allinahealth.org/couragekenny

DeafBlind Services Minnesota (DBSM)

V-612-362-8454

TTY-612-362-8422

www.dbsmllc.org

Fraser

V-612-767-5180

F-612-861-6050

www.fraser.org

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

V-651-291-2848

TF-800-719-4040

www.gillettechildrens.org

In Home Personal Care

V-763-546-1000

F-763-546-1018

www.inhomepersonalcare.com

Resources for Individuals, Families and Employers 800.829.7110 MyMRCI.org

Make a date

with Access Press!

Experiences & adventures for all abilities

Got an event coming up? Seeking speakers? Want volunteers? Canoeing at Vinland’s main campus in Loretto, Minnesota

• Summer, Day & Winter Camp • true StriDeS therapy horSeS • team QueSt Camp Courage Maple Lake

Camp Friendship Annandale

Camp eden Wood Eden Prairie

Camp Courage north Lake George

Vinland Center provides drug and alcohol treatment for adults with cognitive disabilities. We make all possible accommodations for cognitive deficits and individual learning styles. Located in Loretto, Minnesota — just 20 miles west of Minneapolis.

952.852.0101 | truefriends.org

866.956.7612 • VinlandCenter.org

We welcome submissions for the Opportunities and Enjoy! Calendar pages. Arts events, fundraisers, galas, concerts, walks and runs appear on the Enjoy! pages. Limit submissions to 100 words, including date, time and place, costs, contacts and any accommodations. Submissions are due by the 25th of each month.

Questions? Contact access@ accesspress.org or 651-644-2133


January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1 Pg 10

DIRECTORY OF ORGANIZATIONS RESIDENTIAL/GROUP HOME PROGRAMS Community Involvement Programs (CIP)

V-612-362-4403

V-612-362-4417

www.cipmn.org

Fraser

V-612-861-1688

F-612-861-6050

www.fraser.org

Hammer Residences

V-952-473-1261

F-952-473-8629

www.Hammer.org

Living Well Disability Services

V-651-688-8808

F-651-688-8892

www.livingwell.org

Opportunity Partners

V-952-912-7475

V-952-930-4232

www.opportunities.org

Phoenix Residence

V-651-227-7655

F-651-227-6847

www.phoenixresidence.org

REM Minnesota

V-952-945-4952

F-952-922-6885

www.remminnesota.org

Restart, Inc.

V-952-767-3350

F-952-767-3351

www.restartincmn.org

Wingspan Life Resources

V-651-644-2665x100

V-651-646-3846

ww.wingspanlife.org

Can Do Canines

V-763-331-3000

F-763-331-3009

www.can-do-canines.org

Helping Paws, Inc.

V-952-988-9359

F-952-988-9296

www.helpingpaws.org

V-612-643-5671

www.PawPADS.org

V-612-879-2262

TTY-612-879-8889

www.fairviewebenezer.org

V-952-767-3350

F-952-767-3351

www.restartincmn.org

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

V-651-291-2848

TF-800-719-4040

www.gillettechildrens.org

PACER Center, Inc.

V-952-838-9000

TTY-952-838-0190

www.pacer.org

SMILES Center for Independent Living

V/TTY-507-345-7139

TF-888-676-6498

www.smilescil.org

STAR Program

V-651-201-2640

TF-888-234-1267

www.starprogram.state.mn.us

SERVICE ANIMALS Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (PawPADs)

SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES Ebenezer Care Center

SOCIAL SERVICES Restart, Inc.

TECHNOLOGY

TRANSPORTATION RENTAL/SALES/MODIFICATION V-651-635-0655

TF-800-788-7479

www.imedmobility.com

Vision Loss Resources

V-612-843-3400

F-612-872-0189

www.visionlossresources.org

Volunteer Braille Services

V-763-544-2880

F-763-544-3612

www.vbsmn.org

IMED Mobility

VISION IMPAIRMENT WAIVER CASE MANAGEMENT Fraser

V-612-861-1688

F-612-861-6050

www.fraser.org

Reach for Resources

V-952-200-3030

F-952-229-4468

www.reachforresources.org

Stay Safe. Stay Warm. Stay Connected. Don’t Get DisconnecteD! enerGy AssistAnce cAn Help. Community Action Partnership of NEED HELP? Hennepin County’s Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to eligible Hennepin County residents, to help with home utility costs and energy related repairs. Energy Assistance Program offices are now open in St. Louis Park and 3 Minneapolis locations: Minnesota Council of Churches, Sabathani Community Center and Minneapolis Urban League

To apply, call 952-930-3541 E-mail eap@caphennepin.org or text 4WARMTH to 555888 www.caphennepin.org facebook.com/caphennepin twitter.com/caphennepin

A program of Community Action Partnership of Hennepin County, sponsored by: The Minnesota Department of Commerce & The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1 Pg 11

PEOPLE AND PLACES Pilot program provides jobs

Jewish Housing and Programming (J-HAP) has welcomed Isadore Nut Company to its kitchen at Cornerstone Creek, in a pilot program that provides customized employment opportunities for adults with disabilities and a production space for a socially responsible nut roasting company. Cornerstone Creek in Golden Valley is an affordable apartment complex where adults with developmental disabilities live independently. It is also now home to the production line for Isadore. The new workers help with the packaging and production of gourmet nut snacks and gifts. They also weigh nuts and label packages that are sold online and at select stores throughout the Twin Cities. “We are thrilled to partner with Isadore Nut Company and support their enhanced mission to be an inclusive employer,” said Nicole Rabinowitz, J-HAP’s Kitchen Director. “This collaboration is a win-win for all by helping create and support customized employment for people with different abilities, while providing kitchen space and production.” “I have always been passionate about finding ways to make more than just a healthy nut mix,” said Isadore Nut Company founder Tasya Kelen. “The opportunity to work with J-HAP came at the perfect time. We were looking to make some changes and this pilot program highlights an individual’s skills and interests while benefiting the production of our business. As a result, we started with a snack that’s good for you and serendipitously we are now becoming a ‘do good snack’.” Isadore is named after the founder’s grandfather who believed food is medicine. The company hand roasts organic and premium nuts in small batches, seasoned with wholesome and nourishing spices. All products created from the heart are vegan, gluten-free, soy and sugar-free. All of the nut mixes and combinations are inspired by tastes from around the world J-HAP was formed to serve the lifelong needs of adults with developmental disabilities. The only program of its kind in Minnesota, J-HAP provides a way of life with an array of progressive amenities that allow individuals to live independently, increase selfesteem and thrive within a Jewish community that is open to all. In 2017, J-HAP opened Cornerstone Creek.

Doss takes directorship again

Kelly Doss has been named the executive director of Advocacy and Inclusion Matter of West Central Minnesota. (AIM). AIM used to be the Arc Kandiyohi County, but changed its name and became independent in early 2016. The organization’s core mission of providing support, advocacy and inclusion services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have remained the same. The Willmar area group decided it could best serve its community as an autonomous entity. The move was touted as providing flexibility and keeping resources in the local area. AIM has provided advocacy, education, and social inclusion services for 60 years. The goal is to assist people with disabilities in living healthy, independent lives.

Pure Life Energy is her focus

Katie Wornson-Knaak has taken her knowledge of and reliance on holistic healing methods to start her own business. She recently opened Pure Life Energy in the Shops of Galaxie in Apple Valley. Wornson-Knaak is a gifted Reiki master. Reiki is a form of alternative medicine known as “energy healing.” It is a holistic healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being. Wornson-Knaak was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair much of the time. She considers herself to be a living testimony to the power of alternative healing methods. She has experienced true miracles in her life and credits her connection to her higher self for restoring her faith, reducing her physical pain, giving her motivation and boosting her confidence. Knowing how much that power has changed her own life for the better, she has gone forth and is building a practice where she can pay it forward and guide others as they promote positive changes in their lives through their own healing power. Wornson-Knaak has never let what some may refer to as a disability slow her down. Instead, she channels her “different ability” energy and proves that with grit This is Doss' second tenure as executive director, having served in the post from 2015 to 2017.

Teams win soccer crowns

New champions were crowned in the Minnesota State High School League’s fall adapted soccer tournaments. A longtime Minnesota adapted sports program claimed the PI Division crown, while a Greater Minnesota team won the CI title. The PI Division is for student-athletes with physical disabilities. The CI Division is for student-athletes with cognitive disabilities. Adapted soccer is the first of the year’s tournaments, with more than half a dozen adaptive sports offered for Minnesota prep athletes. This year’s tournament was at Stillwater Area High School. St. Paul Humboldt, described by one of its coaches as the “little team that could,” won the PI Division title with a 5-4 victory over Dakota United. Dakota United had handed the Hawks the team’s only loss during the regular season. Dakota United, a consortium of Dakota County schools, was the defending PI champion. Humboldt topped Moundsview/Irondale/Roseville and Rochester to get to the title game. The Hawks had the smallest team in numbers in the tournament. No one expected the Hawks to reach the state tournament, let alone win the title. Humboldt was one of the first in the state to offer adapted sports. Perennial adapted sports powerhouse Robbinsdale/ Hopkins/Mound-Westonka took third place with a win over Rochester, 3-2. Minneapolis South won the consolation title over Park Center, 10-4. AnokaHennepin was also in the tournament.

∏∏∏∏∏f

Grundy mentored and helped others

Gary Grundy lived his entire life with physical and learning disabilities, so he was committed to helping everyone reach their full potential. The former Lifeworks board member and honored volunteer died in December 2018. He was 80 years old and lived in Lakeville. The South Dakota native was raised and mentored by his grandparents and other family members. He held degrees from North Dakota State University, where he met his wife, Karen, and the University of St. Thomas. He began his career at Unisys, later Lockheed Martin and then transitioned to Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Work colleagues praised him as “a leader, a listener and a good friend to all.” He authored the book The Fifth Breakthrough about empowering management tools and processes. He taught at and mentored staff and volunteers at corporations and nonprofits. Grundy called his approach “the business capability model.” At age three Grundy began whittling with his grandfather. He eventually became a master woodworker, designing and building furniture and clocks. He served twice on the Lifeworks board of directors and volunteered more than 300 hours to teach the LifeWorks staff. In 2012, Lifeworks gave him its Advocate of the Year award. He mentored and helped many people in his volunteer and professional lives. He is remembered for his passion for helping others and his sense of humor. Grundy is survived by his wife Karen, many friends and his two cats. Services are planned for a later date. Memorials can be given to Lifeworks.

Unni was dedicated to work, family

Dr. Chandra Sheila Unni is remembered for her devotion to family and the psychiatric patients she cared for. Unni, 78, died in November 2018. She owned and operated her own clinic in Rochester for about 20 years and worked closely with the Mayo Clinic. Unni was from India. She contracted polio at a young

Katie Wornson-Knaak and determination she can accomplish nearly anything she sets her mind to. Her business can be followed on Facebook, at Pure Life Energy. The 2018 Minnesota State Adapted Soccer PI Division All-Tournament team members are Johnny Perez, Park Center; Edgar Vicente Morales, Minneapolis South; Matthew Horsman and Dayne Bailey, Rochester; Izear Joiner and Vincent Luu, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka; Giovanna Ayers, Blake Jackson and Samuel Gerten, Dakota United; and Isa Mazariego Fernandez, Moustaohe Mouhoumed and Liban Farah, St. Paul Humboldt. St. Cloud Area won the CI Division with a 3-0 victory over South Washington County. The team defeated Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville and Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee to reach the title game. Park Center topped Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/ Shakopee. 5-3, for third place. The Pirates were the three-time defending champions. St. Cloud Area’s only loss during the season was to Park Center. White Bear Lake won the consolation title over Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville, 5-4. Other teams in the tournament were South Suburban and Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville. The CI Division All-Tournament team members are Rio McGrew and Mohammed Konneh, Park Center; Abby Schrick, Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville; Tavis Dean, White Bear Lake; Nathan Castaneda and Tyler Johnson, Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee; Davon Lanz, Jack Swedahl and Tyler Tinucci, South Washington County; Nick Giff, Jordan Williams and Brian Jones, St. Cloud Area. Teams are presented by Wells Fargo and the Minnesota State High School League and selected by a panel of coaches attending the tournament.

In Memoriam f∏∏∏∏∏

age. She and her family moved to the United States in the 1960s. She was a practicing psychiatrist for more than 40 years and continued working into 2018. She was described by family as a “force of nature” despite significant physical disabilities related to polio. She jet skied, tried snowmobiling, danced, cooked, decorated and enjoyed the arts. She very much enjoyed her extended family around the globe. She was part of the “Aiimsonians” group from her medical school days as at the All India Institute of Medicine. Unni is survived by her husband Krishnan, three sons and their families, two brothers and other family members and friends. There will be a celebration on January 19 in Minneapolis. Please send inquiries to csunnimdcelebration@

gmail.com

Johnson was dedicated volunteer

Eva Duncan Johnson was a pioneering volunteer for what is now Opportunity Partners. Johnson died in December. She was 98 and lived in Edina. Johnson worked hard as a single parent for many years and then spent countless hours volunteering in many organizations. She was a lead volunteer at the first residential services arm of Opportunity Workshop, now

IN MEMORIAM To page 13


January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1 Pg 12

ENJOY! members are welcome to be who they are and enjoy music with family and friends. Fidgets, noise-canceling headphones and quiet spaces available. Attendees can access online preparatory materials one month before performances. Stand-alone chairs provide for flexible seating, and open space is available for those who wish to sit on the floor or move around the room. Lyndie Walker, MT-BC, of Toneworks Music Therapy Services hosts the concerts. FFI: 612-371-5656, www.minnesotaorchestra.org A Celebration of African American Art History Mpls Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. hosts the monthly ASL interception 1 p.m. Sun, Feb. 3. Free. Meet at the second-floor rotunda. FFI: 612-870-6323, www.artsmia.org

STEPPINGSTONE THEATER

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents the story of a mysterious killing and the man trying to solve it, at the Stage at Island Park, 333 4th St. S., Fargo. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 3 and 7:30 p.m. Thu, Feb. 7. Pre-show description offered 20 minutes before show starts. Tickets reduced to $10 for AD patron and companion (regular $23). Other discounts available. AD tickets not available online. FFI: 701-235-6778, www.fmct.org

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters is onstage during February at Steppingstone Theater in St. Paul. Accommodations are listed on the Enjoy! page. Skate the Star Skate around the Mall of America’s iconic star Saturdays through Jan. 26, courtesy of sponsor UCare. Between noon-2 p.m. UCare offers free hot cocoa, hand and head warmers, and bicycle selfies. On Jan. 12 and 19, UCare will cover the cost of skate rentals, with proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities. The mall is in Bloomington. FFI: www.mallofamerica.com/skate Rosy Simas Dance: Weave Native American choreographer Rosy Simas presents the Weave dance project, at Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington, St. Paul. ASL and AD offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Jan. 12. Braille, large-print programs and infrared listening systems available at Patron Services in Ordway’s first level lobby. Tickets $22-$37; If using ASL, recommended seating locations (subject to availability) are ORCH-RGT G 307-310, ORCH-RGT H 308-311, ORCH-RGT J 309-312. FFI: 651-224-4222, www.ordway.org Intelligent Lives: Opening Doors to Inclusion Upstream Arts and Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association host a film documentary and panel discussion 6-8:30 p.m. Mon, Jan. 14 at Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls. ASL and OC offered. See an awardwinning film about three young people with intellectual disabilities, then participate in a discussion. Free but use Brown Paper Tickets to reserve a space. FFI: 612-722-4817, www.brownpapertickets.com Young People’s: Future Classics for Secondary Students Minnesota Orchestra presents an educational concert for students in grades 6-12, at Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. OC and ASDL offered 10 a.m. Fri, Jan. 18. All tickets $6.25 at the door. FFI: 612-3715656, www.minnesotaorchestra.org/yp Story Club Mpls Award-winning Minnesota writer, poet, and essayist Michael KleberDiggs, and adventurous world traveler Cedar Schimke are the featured performers at January’s Story Club Mpls, a live monthly storytelling show showcasing true, autobiographical stories. At Bryant-Lake Bowl Theatre, 810 W. Lake St., Mpls. 7-8:30 p.m. Thu, Jan. 17. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickers on a sliding scale $8-15, at the door or by phone. FFI: 612-8258949, www.bryantlakebowl.com The Giver GREAT Theatre presents the story of a perfect world, at Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre inside GREAT World Headquarters, 710 Sundial Drive, Waite Park. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Jan.18. Tickets for zone-based seating, $3236. Other discounts available. FFI: 320-259-5463, www.GreatTheatre.org Beyond Broadway One Voice Mixed Chorus performs favorite Broadway and Hollywood tunes, at Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 S. 4th St., Mpls. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Jan. 12. Tickets $24-$49. ASL tickets 50 percent discount off regular pricing. The interpreter will be located on the right side of the stage. ASL seating is available on the orchestra and mezzanine levels. FFI: 612-624-2345, www.onevoicemn.org Grey Matters Arts Nest Fledging presents the quirky story of the theft of Albert Einstein’s brain, at Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. ASL and AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Jan. 18. Tickets $15. FFI: 612377-2285, www.phoenixtheatermpls.org On Your Feet! The story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan, presented by a touring company, is at Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Jan. 24. ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Jan. 27. AD offered 6:30 p.m. Sun, Jan. 27. Tickets $39 to $135. Limited seats available at the lowest price level to patrons using ASL interpreting or captioning 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. AD receivers may be used in any price level in Hennepin Theatre Trust theatres. FFI: 612-339-7007, https:// hennepintheatretrust.org

The Italian Straw Hat Minnesota Opera presents a wedding comedy, at Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage. Braille, large-print programs and infrared listening systems available at Patron Services in Ordway’s first level lobby. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Jan. 26; Tue, Jan. 29; Thu, Jan. 31; all at 7:30; 8 p.m. Sat, Feb. 2 and 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 3. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 3. Tickets $25-165; reduced to half-price for AD patrons; 612-3336669, tickets@mnopera.org Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery Lakeshore Players Theatre presents a comic adaption about the great detective, at Hanifl Performing Arts Center, 4941 Long Ave., White Bear Lake. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Jan. 27. Assisted listening devices available. If no ASL seats are reserved within two weeks of the performance – by Sun, Jan. 13 – the ASL-interpretation will be canceled. 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 this link, and will not be released to the general public until the Mon after the ASL reservation deadline. FFI: 651-429-5674, www.lakeshoreplayers.org The Children Jungle Theater presents a haunting and thought-provoking drama, at Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Jan. 31. Tickets reduced to $24.50 including fees (regular $37 plus fees). Contact the theatre to request an ASL-interpreted show. FFI: 612822-7063, www.jungletheater.com The Great Leap Guthrie Theater hosts a poignant comedy about a 1969 AmericanChinese exhibition basketball game in Beijing, at Guthrie Theater, McGuire Proscenium, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. AD and ASL offered 1 p.m. Sat, Feb. 2. Free sensory tour available at 10:30 a.m. AD, ASL and OC offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Feb. 8. OC offered 1 p.m. Wed, Feb. 6, Sat, Feb. 9, and Sun, Feb. 10. Tickets reduced to $20 for AD/ASL, $25 for OC (regular $15-93). FFI: 612-377-2224, www.guthrietheater.org Three Snow Bears Stages Theatre Company presents the tale of a bear family and an Inuit girl, at Hopkins Center for the Arts, Mainstage, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. SF offered 10 a.m. Sat, Feb. 2, $10 tickets for sensory-friendly performances not available online. To reserve, call 952-979-1111, option 4. AD and ASL offered 1 p.m. Sat, Feb. 9. Tickets $16 reduced to $12 for ASL and AD patrons. Other discounts available. FFI: 952-979-1111, option 4; www.stagestheatre.org Minnesota Orchestra Small Ensemble Concert: String Quartet Minnesota Orchestra presents an inclusive concert for patrons of all ages and abilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum, and those with sensory sensitivities, at Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. SF, OC, and ASL offered 11 a.m. Sat, Feb. 2. Tickets $6.25. Lobby opens 10 a.m. Concerts take place in a relaxed environment – the Target Atrium – where audience

She Loves Me Artistry presents the story of secret pen pals turned unsuspecting coworkers, at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington. ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Feb. 3. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 10. Tickets reduced to $30; regular $46. Other discounts available. FFI: 952-563-8575, www.artistrymn.org Isaac’s Eye Theatre Pro Rata presents a modern take on the young Isaac Newton, at Gremlin Theatre, Annex Building, 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul. AD and ASL offered 7:30 Sun, Feb. 3, 7:30 PM. Tickets $20-40 via Brown Paper Tickets; at the door, it’s a sliding scale: $14-41. ASL and AD single ticket discount is halfprice for patron and one guest. FFI: 612-234-7135, www.theatreprorata.org Planetarium Show: Phantom of the Universe Bell Museum, 2088 Larpenteur Ave. W., St. Paul hosts a journey of discovery to unlock the mystery of Dark Matter. OC offered 10:30 a.m. Thu, Feb. 7. Tickets $6-$8. Planetarium tickets go on sale three weeks before the date of the show. Pre-purchasing is recommended because shows sell out. Call for additional accommodations. FFI: 612-626-9660, www.tickets.umn.edu/bell/online 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 available for care facilities. Next tours Tue, Feb. 5 and March 5. Free but reservations required. FFI: 651-297- 2555, www.mnhs.org Open Flow Forum The Artists with Disabilities Alliance is the first Thu of the month, 7-9 p.m. at Walker Community Church, 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls. Upcoming dates Feb. 7 and March 7. Join artists with disabilities and supporters to share visual art, writing, music, theater and artistic efforts or disability concerns. Informal, fragrance-free, with shared refreshments. Facilitators are Dan Reiva, Tara Innmon, and Kip Shane. Fully accessible, but anyone needing special accommodations should contact Jon at VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888, jon@vsamn.org Don't Dress for Dinner Duluth Playhouse presents a comedy about an affair, at NorShor Theatre, 211 E. Superior St., Duluth. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Feb. 7. Tickets $30$40, student rush $25 To reserve an ASL viewing seat, call 218-733-7555. (Make ticket reservations sooner than later.) FFI: https://duluthplayhouse.org Disney's The Little Mermaid GREAT Theatre presents the Disney adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic, at Paramount Theatre, 913 St. Germain St. W., St. Cloud. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Feb. 8. Tickets $32-36. Other discounts available. FFI: 320-259-5463, www.GreatTheatre.org Mufaru’s Beautiful Daughters SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development presents an adaptation of a Caldecott Award-winning children’s book, at SteppingStone Theatre, 55 Victoria St. N., St. Paul. AD offered 7 p.m. Fri, Feb. 8. ASL offered 3 p.m. Sun, Feb. 10. Tickets $10 when VSA is mentioned. Regular price $16. FFI: 651-225-9265, www.steppingstonetheatre.org Love’s Labor’s Lost University of Minnesota-Duluth Theatre presents William Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes, at UMD Marshall Performing Arts Center, Mainstage Theatre, 1215 Ordean Court, Duluth. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 10. Tickets $21. Other discounts available. FFI: 218-726-8561, www.d.umn.edu/theatre

ENJOY! To page 13

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January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1 Pg 13

OPPORTUNITIES ADVOCACY MNCCD training The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) offers its annual advocacy training. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Fri, Jan. 18 at the State Office Building, St. Paul. Learn and prepare for the 2019 legislative session. Cost is $20 and includes lunch. Preregister. FFI: www.mnccd.org

CHILDREN & FAMILIES PACER workshop sampling PACER Center offers many useful free or lowcost 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. Many 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 Consumer-Directed Community Supports is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thu, Jan. 24 at PACER Center. Learn how to self-direct services available to individuals on Medical Assistance waivers. Design your person-centered plan utilizing traditional/non-traditional supports, a support team, and a process for better health outcomes. Family Participation on Committees and Councils is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tue, Jan. 29 at PACER Center. Parents of children ages birth to five who are on Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP) or Individualized Education Programs (IEP) can learn to actively participate on committees at the local, regional, and state level. Supplemental Security Income (SSI): First Steps is 6:30-8 p.m. Tue, Jan. 29 in Roseville. Learn how your youth can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help meet his or her postsecondary education, training, employment, and independent living goals. Assistive Technology for Reading and Writing: An Overview of Innovative Tools for School, Work, and Home is 3-4:30 p.m. Thu,

ENJOY! From page 12 Young People’s Concert: The Planets Minnesota Orchestra presents a concert about the universe for students in grades 3-6, at Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. OC and ASL offered 10 and 11:35 a.m. Wed-Thu, Feb. 13-14. Tickets $6.25 at the door. Lobby opens at 9 a.m. FFI: 612371-5656; www.minnesotaorchestra.org/yp Mr. Popper's Penguins Children’s Theatre Company presents the story of Mr. Popper and his talented penguins, at Children’s Theatre Co., United Health Group Stage, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. For audiences ages four and older. AD and ASL offered 7 p.m. Fri, Feb. 15. SF offered 7 p.m. Fri, Feb. 22. To reserve ASL and AD seating, visit https://my.childrenstheatre.org and click on the ASL or AD link at the bottom of the page. Assistive listening devices, induction loop system, Braille programs and sensory tours available upon request. Sensory-friendly performances aim to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for children and families affected by autism spectrum disorders and sensory, social and cognitive disabilities. Features include reduction of loud or jarring sounds, reductions

IN MEMORIAM From page 11 Opportunity Partners. She had a special love for the people living there and worked tirelessly to implement programs for those with developmental disabilities. She served on boards and rolled up her sleeves to help. Johnson was preceded in death by her son Rusty Duncan and husband, Hallick Johnson. She is survived by a son and daughter, stepchildren and their families. Services have been held. Memorials can be made to the Mount Olivet Homes' Auxiliary, Opportunity Partners or the charity of one’s choice.

The Arc, MCIL were Crowe’s causes

Mary “Jeanne” Crowe is remembered for her devotion to disability service groups. Crowe, 89, died in December. She lived in Bloomington and was a native of Chicago. She was a graduate of Marian College (now Marian University). Crowe taught in Texas and Illinois before her family moved to Ohio and later to Minnetonka. She worked as a

Jan. 31 at PACER Center. Learn about new tools that support reading and writing. Demonstrations will include devices from the STC lending library, mobile apps, Chrome extensions, and Microsoft learning tools. Workshops are free but advance registration required. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237, www.pacer.org

INFO & ASSISTANCE Mental health support offered 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, 612-9203925, 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 in flashing or strobe lights, modification of the house lights, audience members are free to talk or move during the show, extra staff and volunteer support, designated Quiet Room and Take a Break Space, guidance and sensory supports (fidgets, earplugs, noise cancelling ear-muffs) available in the lobby before the show. Audience members are welcome to bring their own manipulative items, seat cushions, comfort objects and extra support items to the show. Families may select their own seats, but if special assistance or a buffer seat is needed, call 612-874-0400 or email access@childrenstheatre. org. For pre-visit resources to prepare for a visit, go to www.childrenstheatre.org/plan/sensory-friendlyprogramming. Tickets start at $15. Discounts available FFI: 612-874-0400, www.childrenstheatre.org Periphery: The Student Sit-Ins of 1960 Youth Performance Company presents a story of segregation and change, at Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Mpls. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Feb. 16. Tickets $15. VSA discount and other discounts available. FFI: 612-623-9080, www. youthperformanceco.org Art of Me Performance Upstream Arts and Merrick, Inc. present an original

substitute teacher in the Minnetonka Public Schools and continued her education at the University of St. Thomas and Loft Literary Center. Crowe was a longtime advocate and active volunteer for causes related to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She served on many disability community group non-profit boards and community organizations where she worked to develop and improve legislation, and create community programs to help families. In addition to her volunteer work, she was employed by the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) for a time. She was well known within the Twin Cities’ disability community, especially with the Arc Greater Twin Cities. She won several awards for her work. Funeral services were held in January, with burial in Illinois. Crowe was preceded in death by her husband, parents and sisters. She is survived by two daughters, two grandchildren and many niece, nephews and friends. Memorials may be made in her name to The Arc Minnesota, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, or a local library.

illnesses and are doing well in recovery. A full calendar of all events is offered online. FFI: 651-6452948, www.namihelps.org 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, www.visionlossresources.org QPR - Suicide prevention classes 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. It 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 classes will be offered on noon-1 p.m. Wed, Jan. 16 and 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mon. Jan. 28, at NAMI Minnesota, 1919 University Ave., W., Suite 400. FFI: 651-645-2948 x198, “classes” at namimn.org. MCIL hosts classes and activities The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events for people with disabilities. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website, www.mcil-mn.org. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. The People of Color with disabilities group meets 5:30-8 p.m. the

performance of dance, theater, music, poetry and visual arts, at Merrick, Inc., 3210 Labore Rd, Vadnais Heights. All involved are artists with disabilities. ASL offered 4 p.m. Thu, Feb. 28. Free. FFI: 612-331-4584, www.upstreamarts.org More Events Information VSA Minnesota VSA Minnesota is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to create a community where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and access the arts, at http://vsamn.org. The website has a comprehensive calendar at the upper right-hand corner of its homepage. For information on galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at access@ vsamn.org or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612332-3888 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, run times and if discounts for seniors, students, other individuals 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

third Thu of each month. FFI: 651-603-2030 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, www.ausm.org Family Course on Mental Illnesses Offered in White Bear Lake NAMI Minnesota is offering a free educational course to help 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. Join others for this series taught by family members who have walked the walk. The Family-to-Family course meets weekly for 12 weeks on Wednesdays starting 6:30-9 p.m. Jan. 23 at Lakeaires Elementary, 3963 Van Dyke St., White Bear Lake. Preregistration required. FFI: Nancy, 651-274-3078

VOLUNTEER BOOK 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 thousands of listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. 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 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, 651-251- 9110, volunteer@mnliteracy. org, http://tinyurl.com/adult-opportunities can also refer venues and theater companies to qualified describers, interpreters and captioners. Additional Resources A web events listing is http://c2net.org (c2: caption coalition, inc., which does most of the captioned shows across the country. Facebook is a way to connect with performances. Sign up to connect with Audio Description across Minnesota tinyurl.com/ d34dzo2. Connect with ASL interpreted and captioned performances across Minnesota on Facebook tinyurl. com/FBcaption. A resource is Minnesota Playlist, with a recently updated website calendar with all the ASL-interpreted, audio-described, captioned, pay-what-you-can shows and features. Go to http:// minnesotaplaylist.com/calendar Arts festivals are held throughout the state. Check: www.exploreminnesota.com/index.aspx, festivalnet.com/state/minnesota/mn.html, www. fairsandfestivals.net/states/MN/ 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 (SF) performances.

DIAMOND HILL TOWNHOMES 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.

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Please call 612-726-9341.


January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1 Pg 14

Polar Plungers start time of chills, thrills

RADIO TALKING BOOK

Program change for 2019 A new year rings in a programming change for Radio Talking Book. The service will automate its broadcasts on 10 state of Minnesota-recognized holidays. Those are New Year’s Day, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, and Christmas Day. Prerecorded news updates will replace live reads of newspapers on those days. Other regular programming will continue as scheduled. Anyone with questions about the program change should contact Radio Talking Book Supervisor Scott McKinney at 651-539-2316. 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 1-800-7220550, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The catalog is online at www. mnbtbl.org, click on the link Search the Library Catalog. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books via an inter-library loan by contacting their home state’s Network Library for the National Library Service. Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived program from the last week, on the Internet at www. mnssb.org/rtb. The sampling published monthly in Access Press doesn’t represent the full array of programming. Many more programs and books are available. Call the Talking Book Library for a password to the site. To find more information about Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network events go to the Facebook site, Minnesota Radio Talking Book. Audio information about the daily book listings is also on the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Newsline. Register for

the NFB Newsline by calling 651-539-1424. Access Press is featured on It Makes a Difference, 9 p.m. Sun. Donate to the State Services for the Blind at mn.gov/deed/ssbdonate Radio Talking Book and BARD The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is a service of the US Library of Congress. One of NLS’s initiatives is Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD), a free library service of Braille and audio material for individuals unable to utilize standard printed material. BARD provides access to thousands of books, magazines, and music scores, each downloadable as compressed audio and ebraille files.

BARD has nearly 43,000 registered users worldwide. More than 5,500 books are in the BARD system, and RTB has contributed 5.9 percent of these. Between Oct. 2017 and Sept. 2018 BARD users downloaded 9,115 RTB-produced books. Congratulations and great thanks to all RTB volunteers who make this partnership possible.

Mary Benhardus Michael Bjerkesett (in memory of) Steven Dahl Mel & Georgia Duncan Julie Huffman Jane Larson Jim and Cindy Musselman Lynn Noren Debra Shriver Dick Van Wagner (in honor of) Jeff Bangsberg & Anita Boucher Bill & Alex Bartolic Lawrence B. Dunham Sherry Gray Robert Paul Gregory Dianna Krogstad Steve Kuntz

Paul Mueller Kay Willshire Ghita & Bill Worcester Central Minnesota Community Foundation Handi Medical Supply

Mark Traynor Accra Ally People Solutions Best Life Alliance Choice, Inc. Chrestomathy, Inc. ESR, Inc. IMED Mobility Minnesota Diversified Industries MRCI-Client Directed Services

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Weekend Books Your Personal World, 1 p.m. Sat, presents Have Dog, Will Travel by Stephen Kuusisto, read by Beverly Burchett. - L For the Younger Set, 11 a.m. Sun, presents Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian, read by Connie Jamison. Poetic Reflections, noon Sun, presents Human Hours by Catherine Barnett, read by Cintra Godfrey; followed by Half Hazard by Kristen Tracy, read by Holly Sylvester. - L

Night Journey* Monday – Friday 9 p.m. The House Swap, fiction by Rebecca Fleet, 2018. When a married couple takes on a house swap for a getaway, signs of the wife’s personal history emerge in the house. Read by Therese Murray. 11 broadcasts; begins Tue, Jan. 22. – V

Remember that all program times are U.S. Central Standard Time. ABBREVIATIONS: V – Violence, L – Offensive Language, S – Sexual Situations, RE – Racial Epithets, G – Gory Depictions

Off the Shelf* Monday – Friday 10 p.m. America Is Not the Heart, fiction by Elaine Castillo, 2018. Women from three

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After Midnight* Tuesday-Saturday 1 a.m. The Marriage Pact, fiction by Michelle Richmond, 2017. Newlyweds Alice and Jake seem to have a perfect marriage. But when they’re invited to join The Pact, an élite support group for couples, they find the rules to be unforgiving. Read by Stevie Ray. 15 broadcasts; begins Tue, Jan. 15. – L, S

PM Report* Monday – Friday 8 p.m. The Terror Years, nonfiction by Lawrence Wright, 2016. A history of Middle Eastern terrorism suggests where it may lead. Read by Jim Tarbox. 16 broadcasts; begins Wed, Jan. 23.

for supporting Access Press Janice Chevrette Dean Doering & Lisa Scribner Jim Gerlich Jane Larson Ronna Linroth Lynda Milne

Good Night Owl* Monday-Friday midnight The Little Shop of Found Things, fiction by Paula Brackston, 2018. A young woman with supernatural abilities is summoned across time and space by a ghost who demands her help. Read by Robb Empson. 13 broadcasts; begins Wed, Jan. 16.

Choice Reading* Monday – Friday 4 p.m. Windfall, fiction by Brian Lutterman, 2015. After a disabled attorney confronts a corrupt congressman, her key witness vanishes, and her boyfriend is charged with murder. Read by Pat Kovel-Jarboe. 10 broadcasts; begins Thu, Jan. 24.

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generations of an immigrant family strive to reconcile the home they left behind with the life they’ve chosen in America. Read by Esmé Evans. 15 broadcasts; begins Wed, Jan. 30.

The Writer’s Voice* Monday – Friday 2 p.m. Eunice, nonfiction by Eileen McNamara, 2018. Joe Kennedy’s daughter Eunice used her family’s fortune and political power to help children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Read by Lannois Neely. 17 broadcasts; begins Tue, Jan. 15.

Radio Talking Book is one of 35 libraries and blind organizations participating in the nationwide BARD partnership. In four-plus years, more than 100 of our volunteer readers have provided 322 books for BARD participants. Many of these books appear regularly on BARD’s mostdownloaded list.

Chautauqua* Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. Broad Band, nonfiction by Claire L. Evans, 2018. Women have embraced technology from the start. This book tells the story of the women who built and developed the Internet. Read by Parichay Rudina. 13 broadcasts; begins Tue, Jan. 22.

Bookworm* Monday – Friday 11 a.m. House of Gold, fiction by Natasha Solomons, 2018. The Goldbaum family had wealth and power throughout Europe in the early 20th century. But all that would change with the shifting times. Read by Pat Muir. 17 broadcasts; begins Tue, Jan. 29.

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January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1 Pg 15

YEAR IN REVIEW From page 1

• Accessibility improvements to four Minnesota state parks, as well as renovations and additions to state academies and Department of Human Services (DHS) treatment facilities, remained on the table as the 2018 Minnesota Legislature approached its May 21 adjournment date. The Minnesota Council on Disability led the charge on the state parks funding, which would have provided $20 million to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to design, develop and complete comprehensive packages of accessibility improvements and upgrades at Fort Snelling, Minneopa, Nerstrand Big Woods and William O’Brien state parks. The improvements were anticipated for day facilities, campground areas, trails, parking facilities, interpretive buildings and exhibits, and other public use areas. • How do Minnesotans feel about health care costs, especially against the backdrop of possible changes to Medicare and Medicaid? A survey of more than 1,000 state residents shows that while the vast majority have health insurance, respondents are worried about the rising costs of health care. Drug prices are a concern, as are looming changes at the federal level. The survey was done by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (MNCDD).

June

• Months of work disappeared with a few pen strokes as Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the 2018 Minnesota Legislature’s two major bills. Dayton nixed tax and supplemental budget bills, sparking a war of words with the Republican-led House and Senate. The vetoes included money to rectify a looming seven percent cut in waiver services, cuts to children’s mental health residential facilities and special education funding. Many initiatives community members worked hard to pass were set aside until 2019. One big push was the Best Life Alliance’s social media campaign to ask for restoration of the seven percent cut to waiver services. That effort generated more than 1,000 tweets and retweets. • Rev. Harry Maghakian was remembered as someone who helped transform the care of Minnesotans with mental illness. What began as a program for homeless veterans needing a place to go evolved into the nonprofit People Incorporated, one of the Upper Midwest’s largest community mental health services providers. Maghakian died at age 94 but his work to help people with disabilities live with hope, dignity, and purpose continues today.

July

• One more resource for Minnesotans in mental health crisis was no more as Canvas Health shut down its crisis hotline, Crisis Connection. Like many other health needs statewide, funding for Crisis Connection was involved in the ongoing dispute between Dayton and legislative leaders. Canvas Health sought $1 million to support the crisis call center, but that funding fell to Day-

ton’s veto pen. Other services stepped up to fill the gap. • Tough times were ahead for many Minnesotans with disabilities and their service providers. Efforts to stop a seven percent cut to waiver services fell short June 28. U.S. District Court Judge Wilhelmina Wright issued a 13page ruling that allows the cuts to go forward, starting July 1 and continuing to December 31, 2019. Wright ruled against a group of four people representing a larger group of plaintiffs as well as the service provider coalitions MOHR and ARRM. Wright’s ruling stated that the disability groups failed to demonstrate that the cuts would create irreparable or imminent harm. She said claims of harm were speculative.

August

• Court oversight of work on Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan will continue, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. 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. Disability rights advocates saw the ruling as a critical 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. 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. • A special day to spotlight mental health awareness and new, accessible buildings were among the many highlights at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.

September

• Efforts were stepping up to implement the enhanced rates for Minnesota DHS programs. The programs involved are Personal Care Assistance (PCA) Traditional and PCA Choice, along with Consumer-Directed Community Supports (CDCS) and the Consumer Support Grant (CSG). One piece of the enhanced rates recently took effect for PCA and CGS programs. Enhanced rates are seen as a way of helping people with high-need disabilities to have more highly trained staff and more control over services and supports. A key focus is on helping people who need a higher level of care, and care for 12 or more hours per day. • Handi Medical celebrated 30 years in business. The stores began when Mary Miller was studying nursing and working as a personal care assistant to Darcy Pohland. Pohland was a Twin Cities reporter who had broken her neck in a diving accident. When Miller called for medical supplies, she would often have to wait weeks for delivery.

FILE PHOTOS

May

Talented jazz musician Sam Miltich was featured at the ADA Celebration.

A $15 per hour minimum wage in St. Paul was eyed. She founded the business with a loan from her grandfather. • Equip-a-Life offered loans to help people with disabilities work and be involved in their communities.

October

• A debate over a proposed state medical supply program continued. Opponents of the state’s Preferred Incontinence Products Program led by the Midwest Association for Medical Equipment Services and Supplies fought a DHS plan to do bulk purchasing. While bulk purchasing is touted as a potential cost saving, limits are opposed by those who rely on incontinence products. Possible health effects of lower-quality products are just one red flag raised, as was the contradiction with the movement toward person-centered care and going against access to choice. The state was trying to dismiss the lawsuit and institute the program. • As St. Paul city officials moved toward approval of a $15 per hour minimum wage, workers with disabilities, employers, and people who provide direct support for people with disabilities were two different sides of the coin. Elected officials heard from direct support staff members who need more pay, people with disabilities who want more pay, and employers of people with disabilities who worry that a higher wage could mean that workers with disabilities could be the first ones laid off.

November

• A delay in acting on recommendations to address Minnesota’s direct care worker crisis prompted objections at an Olmstead Subcabinet meeting. The report, Recommendations to Expand, Diversify, and Improve Minnesota’s Direct Care and Support Workforce Workplan, had seven focus areas, with more than 120 strategies to address the workforce shortage. The subcabinet, the group overseeing efforts for full community inclusion for people with disabilities, was to approve report recommendations in October but didn’t act until

CLASSIFIEDS

cut was expected to affect about 27 percent of those who receive services, with more cuts phased in over the next 18 months. Stopping the cut was a focus of the March 13 rally during ARRM/MOHR Day at the Capitol March 13. Many waved signs, including signs that stated, “I made this with help from my staff.” • A diagnosis of severe autism disorder for son Josiah rocked the lives of parents Tahni and Joe Cullen. At 22 months Josiah became nonverbal. Josiah later began writing on his iPad. Words of great wisdom, spirituality and understanding came from a seven-year-old. His words were the basis for the book Josiah’s Fire: Autism Stole His Words, God Gave Him a Voice, a book Tahni Cullen co-authored with Cheryl Ricker.

November. DHS called for more time to review the work group’s recommendations. The delay dismayed self-advocates who worked for many months on the direct care staffing study. They noted that there are more than 10,000 direct care job openings statewide. • Before he was old enough to vote, St. Paul Highland Park neighborhood resident Louie McGee had competed in a triathlon, started a nonprofit organization, won a presidential award and appeared on the cover of a national publication. That’s just a small sample of what the Cretin-Derham Hall senior has accomplished— and he has done it all while living with blindness.

December

• With the 2019 Minnesota Legislature starting its session January 8, Minnesotans with disabilities and their advocacy groups were getting ready. It would be a new ball game, with new Gov. Tim Walz. A DFL majority in the House is taking their seats and new commissioners leading state departments. Very little got done at the capitol in 2018, with much legislation being wrapped into two omnibus bills and the bills facing the veto pen. Waiver services, the direct care crisis and worker compensation, special education, state parks access and a wide range of mental health issues are among the concerns to be brought to the capitol. Although many issues that failed to pass in 2018 are likely to make a return appearance, new leadership brings the opportunity for rolling out new initiatives. • VSA Minnesota, which has served Minnesota artists and audience with disabilities for more than three decades, is shutting down at the end of September 2019. The closing was announced in early December. The nonprofit began to find other homes for its various grant and arts programs.

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January 10, 2019 Volume 30, Number 1 Pg 16

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