November 2017 Edition - Access Press

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Volume 28, Number 11

Keeping an eye on Washington D.C. is stressful for Minnesotans with disabilities. Worries about the future of Medicaid are combined with fears for the future of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Groups including the Minnesota Council on Disability, the American Civil Liberties Union and Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) are alarmed about the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. Disability rights advocates contend that the legislation isn’t reform, and would roll back rights and inclusion. As of Access Press deadline, the bill was passed by the House Judiciary Committee. It could go to the House floor at any time. Title III of the ADA allows people with disabilities to file lawsuits against business owners who don’t provide reasonable accommodations. Businesses found to be in violation don’t pay monetary damages, only attorney’s fees. Business must provide injunctive relief, to correct the violation. Businesses are only required to provide accommodations when doing so doesn’t present an undue burden, and when changes are technically feasible and affordable. Federally funded resources have long been in place to help businesses comply. In recent years attorneys have slapped businesses with lawsuits demanding damages. Critics contend the lawsuits only force businesses to pay the attorneys and don’t address access issues. DREDF contends that just 12 individual attorneys and a single disability law firm were responsible for more than one-third of all Title III lawsuits filed in 2016, accounting for more than 100 cases each. The legislation would weaken consequences and remove incentives outlined under Title III. It also wouldn’t eliminate frivolous lawsuits by attorney’s seeking damages rather than access improvements. “The bill’s backers are forgetting the everyday experiences of millions of people with disabilities who cannot shop, transact personal business, or enjoy recreation like most people can take for granted, because so many public accommodations across the country have ignored the reasonable requirements of the ADA,” a DREDF alert stated. “The ADA is the difference between participation and exclusion on a daily basis. Why should a wheelchair user be unable to join her family at a restaurant, just because the owner has resisted installing a ramp for 25 years?” The current legislation would require a person with a disability who encounters an access barrier to send a written notice spelling out exact ADA provisions violated. It also would give 60 days to acknowledge the problem, and then another 120 days to begin to address it. DREDF stated that no other group would wait 180 days to have civil rights enforced. “Even then, the business would face no consequence for violating the law for months, years, or decades, if it takes advantage of the months-long period to remedy the violation before a lawsuit is permitted.” A business would get six months to ALARM To Page 5



Braun honored at annual banquet

"We must promote — to the best of our ability and by all possible and appropriate means — the mental and physical health of all our citizens." – President Kennedy, February 5, 1963


2017 Charlie Smith Award winner tirelessly makåes a difference

Activist and athlete Mark Braun was honored November 3 at the Access Press Charlie Smith Award banquet. A large crowd of Braun’s friends and family, as well as members of Minnesota’s disability community, were on hand to celebrate his accomplishment. Braun spoke about the challenges he faced as a child with disabilities, his life as a star athlete and his life’s work in helping and motivating others on a daily basis. See a list of past award winners on page 4 and see more banquet photos in our December issue.

Remembering JFK's work Page 2 Give the gift of Access Press Page 3 Be aware of Medicare scams Page 4 Book is re-released Page 8 Milestone is reached Page 10

Independent living skills offer community ties by Jan Willms A young woman with disabilities loves to play cards, but she has no one to play cards with. In steps her independent living skills (ILS) worker, who spends three hours playing card games with her. Sometimes an act of human contact and fulfilling an emotional need is a big part of the service provided by ILS staff. ILS can keep people with disabilities engaged in their communities and living with minimal supports. The program is increasingly becoming a valued option, in a time of waiting lists for housing and a focus on keeping people in the community. ILS training has been an active program with Accessible Space Inc., (ASI) for many years. The nonprofit provides accessible, affordable, assisted/supportive and independent living opportunities for persons with physical disabilities and brain injuries, and the elderly. Residents range from those needing minimal if any support services to people needing 24-7 care. Josh Berg, director of program services for ASI, said ILS training there had plateaued. Now it is expanding, serving people wherever they may be. Jody Parsons, the ILS supervisor for ASI, has been expanding the program. “We have doubled if not tripled the staffing in the last three months,” Berg


by Access Press staff



Medicaid, ADA changes raise alarm

November 10, 2017


Karen Lund, right, relies on ILS worker Karen Ballanger. said. “We have 40 per cent more individuals participating in the ILS program, and we hope to double that amount by the end of the year. We can provide ILS services to anyone who qualifies, whether they are living in one of our buildings or in their own apartment or home,” he said. Karen Lund has lived in St. Paul’s Hamline Hi-Rise for three years. She relies on ILS training. Lund suffered a stroke about 15 years ago. “First my boyfriend had a stroke, and I was so worried about him that I had one,” Lund said. “I

couldn’t walk or talk, and I had to learn all over again.” Lund lives in assisted living with minimal services. She left her longtime home after her boyfriend’s death. Mary Ballanger, her ILS worker, helps Lund go through her mail and go out shopping. “And we go out to eat,” said Lund. Lund is glad for Mary’s assistance. “I’m glad I kept her,” she said jokingly. “Karen has done really well, and she has come a long way,” Ballanger said. “It’s tough to leave a place you have been living in for a long time, but she’s done SKILLS To Page 4

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November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11


Tim Benjamin It’s winter and they’re predicting a warmer season than previous years—except for those who predict a colder winter. Wouldn’t you know it, though, both NOAA, the federal weather organization, and the Farmer’s Almanac are saying that November and December will be colder than normal. That gives us no time to acclimate to the cold. So, plan for the weather; jackets, scarfs, gloves and possibly a blanket in your backpack. You know me: I throw a poncho over it all, and this year they tell me that’s in style. A new feeling came over the Charlie Smith awards banquet November 3. Even though it’s not the first year at the Bloomington location, the DoubleTree, it seemed much more comfortable and that it’s definitely now our place. There were many more young people attending to salute Mark Braun, who at 23 is our youngest-ever Charlie Smith Award winner. We’re all in awe of Mark’s athletic abilities, and we are even prouder of his disability advocacy and dedication to mentoring other young people. Much of his spare time is spent coaching, motivating and teaching new athletes or future young leaders how much commitment and motivation it takes to push yourself on to higher achievement. Charlie was very dedicated to his nieces and nephews and it wasn’t unusual to see Charlie out and about at the State Fair or Taste of Minnesota or at

Those of us who want to live independently at home are going to have to speak up loudly, because we’re competing with the big medical services providers, and increasingly, with other service trades that are starting to be in desperate need of employees.

outdoor concerts with some kids running behind him or wheeling behind him. When you would go to the Access Press office in the old days there was a box of toys for the kids to play with while they were hanging out with Uncle Charlie. Some of these young adults are the next generation of disability leaders. We have to encourage every one of them to become the activists of tomorrow, whether they’re advocating for the needs of those living with a disability or working in one of the disability organizations. Those of us in the activist generation from the 1970s and on need to encourage young people to take the driver’s seat. I’d like to challenge each of us to introduce ourselves to a young person we can begin to mentor and advise. One of the things we have to pass on is the work of our generation and our predecessors, telling them about Charlie Smith, Ed Roberts, Justin Dart; let’s make sure they know how, Judy Heumann, Luther Granquist, Kitty Cone, John Tschida, Steve Larson, Harriet McBryde Johnson and Mel Duncan, have contributed to our community. This list of leaders is just a start, and it’s missing many important people—many of them without disabilities—but if each of us would start telling the old stories of activism and lobbying, we might be able to encourage the younger generation to “Lead On.” [These younger folks not only need our advice, they need us to listen to the challenges of their

lives.] I hope you’ll consider how you might pass on some of your own self-confidence to get more emerging leaders to pipe up and speak out to do the educating of policymakers and the community at large. This upcoming 2018 legislative session could present us with a very difficult and telling assembly. The telling part is going to be whether or not our legislators really do have the willingness to fulfill promises made over the years to Minnesota’s seniors and people with disabilities. Things are just not getting any better in the home care crisis. The record-breaking low unemployment rate and the inability to find and keep qualified, stable and compassionate home care workers has already hurt so many, including me. It's extremely hard to live independently when you can't depend on good caregivers; you can't make appointments, you can't plan your workday, you can't plan ahead for most anything, it just makes it impossible to do what people with disabilities have been doing all their independent lives, and that's planning ahead. Preparation is the key to thriving with a disability in today's communities. Now, it's almost impossible to find anyone willing to work as a PCA and train to be good at it. We’re hearing lots of talk about legislative priorities for this year’s bonding session. As usual, the state’s November financial forecast will determine whether there is

any surplus money to spend on increasing DHS funding. Unfortunately, the state has got itself so far behind on ensuring a livable income for home care workers that it will take a boatload of financial investment, along with compassion and political will, to increase the financial outlook for the home care workforce. And unfortunately, if something isn't done to resolve this care crisis there will be a lot of us checking in to hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term institutional settings. Long-term institutions are the places our legislature has supported, places that have the commercial backing to hire the hard-hitting lobbyists. Those of us who want to live independently at home are going to have to speak up loudly, because we’re competing with the big medical services providers, and increasingly, with other service trades that are starting to be in desperate need of employees. Most of the trades are starting to see real losses in their workforce because of retirement and lack of trained workers, among them carpenters, plumbers, electricians and many more middle-income, blue-collar jobs. In the workforce, too, we all have an interest in developing young workers, mentoring to create the employees and leaders we need. We all have to join together in this fight on for a much better tomorrow. ■


JFK’s other civil rights work: for people with disabilities President John F. Kennedy’s centennial is being celebrated in 2017. Born in Brookline, Mass. on May 29, 1917, he was the youngest president ever elected to office. Kennedy is recalled for many contributions he made in just over 1,000 days in office: the space program, the resolution of the Cuban Missile crisis and his efforts to support civil rights for African-Americans. But Brandeis University scholars remembered Kennedy this fall for his contribution to the civil rights of people with intellectual disabilities. The last piece of legislation Kennedy signed before he was assassinated in November 1963 gave the federal government a role in protecting the welfare and civil rights of those Americans with intellectual disabilities for the first time. It was a landmark moment for the disability rights movement. For the president it was deeply personal. He handed the signing pen to Eunice Kennedy Shriver,

one of his other sisters. His sister Rosemary had intellectual disabilities. After a failed lobotomy she lived out her days in a Wisconsin convent. On October 23, Brandeis, the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy hosted the panel discussion JFK and Another Civil Rights Movement: People with Intellectual Disabilities, to discuss the lasting impact of that moment on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities today. The event was moderated by Eileen McNamara, journalism professor, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Boston Globe columnist. She is writing a biography of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics and the force behind Kennedy’s intellectual disability initiatives. McNamara spoke with BrandeisNOW. This is excerpted from that interview. BrandeisNOW: What would you say was President Kennedy’s biggest contribution to civil rights for people

Volume 28, Number 11 Periodicals Imprint: Pending ISSN

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

with intellectual disabilities? Eileen McNamara: When John F. Kennedy was sworn in as president, in 1961, most people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were warehoused in large, Dickensian institutions, isolated from their families and the communities into which they had been born. That began to change, slowly but irreversibly, after President Kennedy signed the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Act on October 31, 1963. The legislation for the first time gave the federal government an active role in addressing the needs of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who, until then, had relied on their families and inadequate state facilities to meet their basic needs. BN: Would you say the time was ripe for those changes, or did he have to lead the nation in that conversation? EN: Those changes were long over-

due. For a decade, activist parents had been leading efforts in the states and on Capitol Hill to win funding for special educators to teach their children and for support at home for parents who did not want to institutionalize their children. Their efforts yielded some progress, but real change did not arrive until Kennedy invited the best scientific, legal, educational and medical minds in the country to form a presidential panel to assess the needs of this population, and to map out a strategy for the federal government to help meet them. More than anything, his efforts changed the national conversation. Those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, he said, “need no longer be alien to our affections or beyond the help of our communities.” ■ The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, or www. and



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


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Give the gift of Access Press this holiday season 13.0% or higher

How we get our news has changed with lightning speed. We used to wait for the daily newspaper, and watch or listen to the morning and evening news. Now news is on a 24/7 cycle. For those who still enjoy or rely upon reading a real newspaper, Access Press is here, providing the in-depth news and information Minnesotans with disabilities and the elderly need. We cover happenings at the state capitol, at city halls and around the state. We provide information on upcoming fun events and on opportunities to help people lead better, and more inclusive, lives in their communities. We celebrate accomplishments in our People and Places section. We share a wide range of community viewpoints on the From Our Community pages. We bring you a regular Radio Talking Book sampling.

We’re also pleased to bring you Top 10 (see table) Minnesota disability history, thanks to our “History Note” sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Many of our readers have disabilities that keep them from easily getting out of their homes. Reading news online can also be a physical or financial struggle. We often hear from readers who would very much like a subscription, but even a $30 fee is out of reach. Generous donors and often just the cost of doing business in our community has allowed us to pay for gift subscriptions for readers in need. Would you like to be one of those helpers? By making a tax-deductible donation for a gift subscription or subscriptions you can help Access Press give the gift of access to vital news and infor-

Opportunities lacking for people with disabilities

mation delivered right to someone’s doorstep. You may have someone in mind, and we would honor that. or it would allow us to say yes, of course when a request has been called in. You don’t even need to have someone in mind for the gift subscription. Your gift can help us meet requests for the newspaper when those requests come to our office. We also honor gift subscriptions for newspapers for libraries, schools, places of worship, activity centers or other places and organizations that advance the inclusion of the disability and elderly communities. Please contact Access Press Executive Director Tim Benjamin if you have questions. Call 651-644-2133 or email us at And thank you!

Region's Top 10* Highest share of people with disabilities Oak Park Heights




Spring Park










Spring Lake Park




Little Canada


*Of with

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey five-year estimates, 2011-2015.


Council | m sible, the report stated. Not surprisingly,Metropolitan communities with higher shares of residents who are 65 or older also have high numbers of people with disabilities. Oak Park Heights and Lilydale are followed by Anoka, Osseo, and Little Canada. All of those communities have more than 15 percent of their residents reporting disabilities. Housing is an issue for many people with disabilities, due to their economic circumstances and the region’s affordable housing crisis. The report stated that “Not surprising, the disparities summarized put people with disabilities at a disadvantage in housing markets … About 60 percent of households with a resident who has a disability are owner-occupied homes, compared with 70.5 percent where no one reports a disability.” People with disabilities are also more likely to experience housing cost burden, paying one third or more of their income on housing. About 42.7 percent of people with disabilities experience housing cost burden, as compared to 26.3 percent of the rest of the population. One in five households where someone reports a disability faces severe housing cost burden, while only one in 10 households where no one reports a disability faces severe housing cost burden. Severe housing cost burden is de-


In the seven-county Twin Cities region, people with disabilities have fewer opportunities for employment, housing, and economic well-being. Because the prevalence of disabilities increases as people age, the region’s population of people with disabilities is likely to risk as demographics change. A new Council MetroStats research report, Understanding Disparities by Ability Status in the Twin Cities, was released in October. It draws on data collected throughout the region to give a sobering picture of what lies ahead. The report provides key trend data to guide regional service planning. Metropolitan Council leaders have consistently said that failure to address disparities of all sorts threatens the region’s livability and prosperity. The disparities are only expected to grow as the region’s population ages and more people develop disabilities. The report contains several worrisome statistics, including that one in every 11 residents reports at least one disability. Another red flag is that people with disabilities are less likely to be in the labor force, more likely to report lower incomes, and more likely to live at or near poverty levels. People with disabilities’ housing choices may be limited due to their economic profile. They are more likely to be housing cost-burdened—that is, paying more than one-third of their income on housing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2011-2015, about 276,000 people with disabilities live in the Twin Cities region. That is about nine percent of the region’s total population. The Census Bureau collects information on six types of difficulties: hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care and independent living. Looking at the statistics by type of disability shows a wide range. About 276,000 have one or more disabilities, so the numbers by disability type don’t add up to that

total. Approximately 123,000 have ambulatory disabilities, with 113,000 reporting cognitive disabilities. About 96,000 have independent living disabilities, with approximately 55,000 reporting self-care disabilities. Hearing disabilities are reported by about 81,000 residents, with 41,000 indicating that they have visual disabilities. According to the most recent regional forecast, the number of residents who are 65 or older will double between 2010 and 2030. The share of residents who are 65 or older will go from 13 percent in 2015 to 22 percent in 2040. If the likelihood of disability by age does not change, the region will have around 465,000 adults with disabilities in 2040—around 60 percent more than today. Prevalence of disability also varies by race and ethnicity. About one in every six American Indian residents of 17.2 percent has a disability. For context, American Indians comprise .5 percent of the region’s population. Black residents report a rate of about one in eight people having a disability of 13.3 percent. White and multi-racial residents are at about 10 percent of the population with a disability. Where we live and what we pay Where people with disabilities live varies greatly by community. The highest concentration of population is 21 percent apiece in Oak Park Heights and Lilydale, with Elko, New Market having the lowest concentration at two percent. The share of people with disabilities in the region’s communities ranges from 21 percent in Oak Park Heights and Lilydale to 2 percent in Elko, New Market. For Minneapolis, the percentage of people with disabilities in the city’s population is 11 percent. St. Paul is at 12 percent. Many communities with higher concentrations of people with disabilities are at the core of the region where public transportation and services may be more acces-

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This time of year brings numerous Medicare open enrollment scams by Deb Taylor It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Medicare Open Enrollment! Of course, this isn’t true. We all know the pain and confusion that is Medicare and so do the scammers out there that are trying Deb Taylor to separate Medicare recipients from their money. Many Medicare scams rely on the trusting nature of the individual being pursued. They say “knowledge is power” and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to Medicare scams. The more you know, the less likely you are to put yourself at risk of having your personal information stolen from right under your nose by a scammer. Below is a list of just a few of

the latest scams to be aware of. You might be the target of a Medicare scam if a stranger… … contacts you saying they work for Medicare and informs you that they need your personal information in order to supply you with a new Medicare card. … notifies you that you are entitled to a refund from last year’s premiums on your drug plan cost. … calls you offering free medical supplies or a health checkup. … contacts you promising you a monetary reward or gift in exchange for your Medicare number. … contacts you telling you they need you to confirm your Medicare card number in order to send you your refund check. Medicare scams are real and can happen to the best of us. The most important thing you can remember is to never give out your Medicare card number to anyone you are unfamiliar with and

always trust your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. It is always a good idea to have someone you trust to give you a second opinion anytime you are feeling uneasy about a decision that will affect your Medicare. If you don’t have a trusted individual to help you navigate the maze of Medicare, the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433 is a statewide resource for you during 2018 Fall Medicare Open Enrollment (October 15– December 7). Experts are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and are offering seminars around Minnesota to highlight what's new for 2018. In Hennepin and Wright Counties, Senior Community Services has 14 in person counseling sites. Our highly trained volunteers offer unbiased guidance in navigating your Medicare choices. For more information, go to

2003-2017 Access Press Award Winners CHARLIE SMITH AWARD WINNERS 2017 winner Mark Braun is the youngest-ever award winner. He joins this honored group: 2016 – Cliff Poetz Institute on Community Integration 2015 – Jessalyn Akerman-Frank Minnesota Commission for Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing 2014 – Christine Marble & Wendy Devore CareerVentures (no photo) 2013 – Cal Appleby Augsburg College 2012 – Charles “Chuck” Van Heuveln St. Paul School District 2011 – Jeff Bangsberg Minnesota Department of Health 2010 – Steve Kuntz Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) 2009 – Anne Henry Minnesota Disability Law Center 2008 – Pete Feigal Co-Founder of Tilting at Windmills 2007 – Jim and Claudia Carlisle People Enhancing People (No photo) 2006 – John Smith University of Minnesota 2005 – Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD) 2004 – Rick Cardenas Co-Director of Advocating Change Together (ACT) 2003 – Margot Imdieke Cross Minnesota State Council on Disability

SKILLS From Page 1 very well.” Lund walks twice daily, goes to classes at Wilder Day Program classes, keeps a pet bird and enjoys her neighbors. “What’s not to like?” she said. ASI began operations in 1978, with five cooperative homes offering services to 20 residents in Minnesota. Now there are 150 properties across Minnesota and in 30 other states. “We have assisted living services, ILS and corporate adult foster care,” Berg said. “We are not building as many apartments now, but one way we can grow is with our services.” Most ASI housing units have a waiting period, but there is no wait for ILS training. Berg said, ILS is also reaching out to homeless participants. “We may help someone who lives in a storage unit or on the street.” Berg said there is a lack of affordable housing in general, whether tenants are disabled or not. “The combination of a disability and lack of housing makes things more challenging,” he said. ASI used to erect five or six buildings a year. “Now we have just one in the works … And with the way funding is going, we don’t know when the next apartment complex will be built,” said Berg. “But we can get ILS services to people wherever

Mark Braun

Clifford L. Poetz

Jessalyn AkermanFrank

Cal Appleby

Charles "Chuck" Van Heuveln

Jeff Bangsberg

Steve Kuntz

Anne Henry

Pete Feigal

John Smith

Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD)

Rick Cardenas

Margot Imdieke Cross

they are without a wait.” ILS workers can help clients find housing, learn about resources, and get out into the community. “ILS can help people with employment, paying bills and getting paperwork in on time. How much help we provide depends on the individual,” Berg said. The program wants to meet a participant’s needs, but also keep him or her as independent as possible. “If a nurse says someone has a medical appointment in a week, the ILS person can make sure transportation is lined up.” “We just want to help more people, as many as possible, knowing there are

certain boxes we work in,” Berg said. “We want to catch a situation before it’s a major health need or requires care that is so demanding it gets overwhelming. We want to be more proactive.” Similar models are starting to emerge, such as Individualized Community Living Support (ICLS) for the elderly. “This is similar to ILS, but for an older popu-

uploads/2014/05/1-1-appointments.pdf. If the cost of a Medicare supplement is too high for you, the Senior Partners Care program may be the answer. Senior Community Services has partnered with most major metropolitan area hospitals and hundreds of clinics and providers statewide. These healthcare providers have agreed to consider a waiver of Medicare deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments. To learn more about the Senior Partners Care program, please call 952-767-0665 or visit senior-partners-care. Deb Taylor is the CEO of Senior Community Services and its Reimagine Aging Institute, a nonprofit that helps older adults and caregivers navigate aging to maintain independence and quality of life. Learn more at

Thanks to unsung heroes The upcoming holiday season reminds us to be grateful. I am an African American woman, living with multiple disabilities. I am grateful for an experience I had crossing an intersection to the downtown light rail train. I was wheeling in in my motorized wheelchair several years ago in August near the Blue Line light rail train moving west towards downtown Minneapolis. I had just left the I-35W Memorial ceremony for those who died in the bridge collapse. It felt like a sauna. I was dehydrated. My destination was to drive home to South Minneapolis in my wheelchair. As I wheeled south into the intersection on a green light and the pedestrian lit, I heard the train horn warning. I could not see the train. I moved partially into the street. Could I cross safely on the green light? I decided to reverse my joystick and return to the curb behind me to wait for the train. When I attempted to do so, my front wheels jammed. I screamed HELP! Within seconds, two men from opposite directions jumped out of their cars. One ran in front of me, one to my right side. I reversed my joystick as the two strangers pushed me onto the curb cut, jumped back in their cars and drove away. The stoplight changed, the train drove by. We were all safe. Thank you to the strangers. Patricia Anita Young Minneapolis lation,” Berg said. “We are working with the Department of Human Services and Minnesota Department of Health to roll that out. It is relatively brand new, starting in April, and we will be one of the first providers to test it out. It gives us an opportunity to figure out how it works and get the wrinkles out.” ■

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ALARM From Page 1 make “substantial progress” in removing barriers. “This means a business could spend years without actually removing barriers to come into compliance with longstanding access standards, and face no penalty, so long as ‘substantial progress’ can be claimed. Even our largest and most ubiquitous corporations—from Wal-Mart to Starbucks—would be entitled to these exemptions” DREDF stated. Medicaid woes continue The This is Medicaid coalition to raise awareness to threats to the funding, which under the name Medical Assistance provides services for more than one million Minnesotans. In late October the House approved a tax and budget blueprint that allows for tax cuts to add up to $1.5 trillion to the nation’s deficit. That would create enormous pressure to dramatically cut areas of the federal budget such as Medicaid. This same budget blueprint allows for a $1.8 trillion cut over 10 years to Medicaid, Medicare and care under the ACA. Members last month called on Congressman Erik Paulsen to protect Medicaid, speaking at Hammer Residences in Wayzata. “If the U.S. House is going to reduce taxes by trillions of dollars, I am worried that it will pay for them by cutting Medicaid,” said Hugh Kirsch, board member and parent advocate for Hammer Residences. “The services my adult son receives here to live independently come from those Medicaid dollars. I urge Rep. Erik Paulsen to keep my son in mind as he deliberates over any tax cuts that primarily benefit American’s wealthiest.” “Children with disabilities need health care, therapies, and early education services funded by Medicaid to grow and thrive,” said Julie Sjordal, CEO of St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development. “They shouldn’t have their services jeopardized – either now or in the near future -- by bearing the cost of tax cuts.” ■

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REGIONAL NEWS additional students would now be on individualized education plans. “It was very purposeful,” said Gail Ghere, the district’s interim director of specialized services. “It’s a significant issue to put a disability label on a child.” In 2012, St. Paul closed most of its special education learning centers and moved students into mainstream classrooms. A focus on more help for English language learners was added. Although the state and school district see St. Paul’s special education trends in a positive light, some parents have complained that it’s too difficult to obtain specialized services in the district. In a federal lawsuit filed earlier this year, a mother alleges, in part, that the district waited eight months before assessing her English-learning child for an IEP. In 2014, the district settled a federal civil rights complaint related to L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion, where school leaders allegedly refused to assess children for disabilities or to abide by their IEPs. (Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Intermedia Arts to sell building Intermedia Arts now plans to move ahead with the sale of its landmark building in Uptown Minneapolis, after laying off all its staff in September. The sale marks the end of an era for the region’s arts community, including artists with disabilities. The graffiti art-covered building has hosted gallery shows, festivals, theater and dance productions, and classes and workshops. The non-profit arts organization’s co-president, Omar Akbar sent out an announcement stating that a sale is the only way to meet Intermedia Arts financial obligations. Staff was paid through September. “Beyond payroll, Intermedia has additional outstanding obligations that leave us with no choice other than to move forward with the sale of our building,” Akbar stated. “We understand the magnitude of this decision and are committed to a process that mirrors the mission of Intermedia.” Intermedia Arts has indicated it will continue its programming, with announcements coming soon. The nonprofit’s financial crisis has roiled the Twin Cities arts world. Founded by University of Minnesota

Senior care operator steps away

An operator of housing for Minnesota elders has forfeited state licenses to provide care at three of its facilities. The move came after state inspectors for repeated incidents of serious harm to residents at Minnesota Heritage House of Little Falls’ facilities in Adrian, Kimball and Pequot Lakes. Three of the company’s facilities will remain open. Residents are still allowed to live at the facilities so as not to disrupt their lives. But a different operator has taken charge and the state will provide additional monitoring. The Minnesota Department of Health said Heritage House demonstrated a recurring pattern of violations that were detrimental to the health of its clients. Since late 2015 Heritage House has had more than 80 new and repeat orders to correct violations. Some violations resulted in serious injury, impairment or deaths of residents. Record-keeping was also a concern. The agreement with the state to give up licenses was reached after more serious sanctions were considered, including revocation and immediate suspension of licenses. Heritage House will not be allowed to admit new residents until clients are transferred to a new provider. The owner is also prohibited from seeking new home care licenses for five years. (Source: Star Tribune)

She records to save her voice

Karen Stubenvoll is at sentence 1,214. “I know that’s real fun,” she reads into a headset in a clear, steady voice. The retired Duluth area doctor is well on her way toward the 1,600 sentences she ultimately will have read to develop a synthetic version of her own voice. Stubenvoll, 59, was diagnosed a year ago with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive disorder affecting the nerves and muscles. It afflicts about 20,000 Americans at any given time, according to the ALS Association. After she was diagnosed, Stubenvoll retired as a hospitalist for Essentia Health and resigned as chairwoman of the board of Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. She remains an enthusiast of the nature site and still manages some hiking, using trekking poles to support herself. She has had to give up bicycling, and traveling has become much more difficult.

students in 1973 as University Community Video, it became Intermedia Arts in the 1980s. A former auto shop building was purchased in 1994. Intermedia Arts weathered at least one other financial crisis in 2008, temporarily closing galleries, laying off staff and renting out space. (Source: Intermedia Arts, Southwest Journal) Stubenvoll still has her voice but she is preparing for dysarthria, a slurring of speech. Speaking is already tiring, and she can foresee it getting more difficult. When she learned the Robert F. Pierce Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at the University of Minnesota Duluth offers what’s known as voice banking, she couldn’t see a downside, Stubenvoll said. Since she lives in Duluth, she could easily get to the clinic. And the ALS Association currently is underwriting the cost. Stubenvoll is the fifth client to use voice banking at the clinic, which is in the old Chester Park school on the UMD campus. Hyppa Martin, an assistant professor in UMD’s Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders, began offering the service last spring. When it’s all finished, Hyppa Martin will send the recording to the Nemours Speech Research Laboratory at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware, the developer of what it calls a ModelTalker System. Then a rough version of a synthetic voice for Stubenvoll will come back to the clinic. She and Hyppa Martin will listen to it and decide on the refinements they wish to make, and then send it back to Delaware. A final version will come back, and Stubenvoll’s synthetic voice will be loaded into an iPad. (Source: Duluth News Tribune)

Fewer students in special education

Six years into a wide-ranging equity initiative, St. Paul Public Schools has placed fewer students in special education programs. The change reflects a concern raised in 2011 that too many children, especially children of color, were being identified for specialized services. That past approach met mixed reviews, winning praise from the state but complaints that it led to an increase in student misbehavior. The state Education Department praised the district’s co-teaching model, in which general-education and special-education teachers share a classroom, and its attempts at using different instructional tactics in lieu of formal individualized education plans. Each of the last seven years, the district’s special education enrollment has declined, to 15.3 percent this fall from 18.6 percent in 2010. The statewide average is 15.1 percent. Had St. Paul’s rate not changed, more than 1,000

Accessible housing among projects

Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal and other community leaders in October announced funding to create and preserve more than 1,800 affordable housing opportunities throughout the state. The investments in 60 developments support more than 3,400 jobs and will leverage additional private and local resources that will result in nearly $350 million in total development costs. Accessible housing is included in several of the projects, with a doubling of the number of accessible housing units to be created. “This funding will stimulate jobs and economic development across our state, while providing housing for Minnesotans in need,” said Gov. Mark Dayton. “I thank Minnesota Housing for their work in securing these new investments, and putting these funds to good use in our communities. I look forward to working with the legislature to make additional investments next session.” “As we hear more every day about the rising rents, the loss of low-cost rental units and the shortage of lower cost single-family homes, we know that more people are having trouble finding a place they can afford to live,” said Tingerthal. “These investments will make an important difference in communities across the state.” Each of the 60 projects announced today was selected through one common application process with Minnesota Housing and its funding partners the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, and the Metropolitan Council. “As Minnesota prospers, every region of the state has a growing demand for more workforce housing that is affordable, and at the same time there is a persistent need for more supportive housing for homeless families,” said Warren Hanson, President & CEO of Greater Minnesota Housing Fund. “To address these urgent needs, we are proud to partner with Minnesota Housing to fund these developments, each of which will provide stable homes and a foundation for better health and educational outcomes.” These awards include more than $25 million in state appropriations and $42 million in funding from housing infrastructure bonds that were part of the 2017 state capital investment bill, and $4.5 million from funding partners. Minnesota Housing will invest more than $1 billion this year as outlined in its annual Affordable Housing Plan. Read about all the projects at (Source: Minnesota Housing Finance Agency)

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November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11

MOHR honors many of Minnesota’s outstanding employers


HOM Furniture

Lundgren Ford Lincoln

General Mills

City of Benson

PC's For People award before an audience that included Lundgren Ford’s Bruce Lundgren, Sen. David Tomassoni ( DFL - Chisolm), Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL – Virginia), St. Louis County Commissioner Keith Nelson, Eveleth Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich and Tom Whiteside, field representative for Congressman Rick Nolan. Robin Harkonen, executive director of East Range DAC, presented the award. PCs for People was nominated by Twin Cities-based Midwest Special Services (MSS). The St. Paul nonprofit strives to put functional computers into the hands of low-income individuals and get them online. Hands-on experience through work training, internship and volunteer opportunities is provided to workers from MSS. PCs for People is a partner in the new MSS Community Hub in St. Paul, employing four people. MSS work crew partnerships and independent employment opportunities are offered, as is training to others interested in exploring a career working with computers. “We are proud to partner and work with Midwest Special Services,” said Sam Drong, PCs for People’s chief program officer.


To recognize the important role that organizations play in employing people with disabilities, the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) honored several companies with its inaugural Outstanding Disability Employer Awards. The awards coincided with National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October and were presented at events held around the state. One award was given in each region. “We cannot overemphasize the importance of employers in our efforts to provide meaningful services to people with disabilities in Minnesota,” said Mike Burke, president of MOHR. Here’s a look at the honorees: General Mills was nominated by Opportunity Partners in Minnetonka. General Mills employs two Opportunity Partners supported employment teams at two locations and offers temporary supported employment for special projects at a third site. General Mills has also hired individuals directly and brought work to Opportunity Partners’ locations. Duties involve mailroom, scanning documents, kitting and repackaging. “General Mills embraces a diverse work culture and values people of all abilities,” said Stephanie Bredael, manager, strategic office and wellness services. “There is a fabulous team of workers that delivers mail and packages across our main general office in Golden Valley. They take tremendous pride in their work and appreciate the opportunity to work in a corporate environment and meet new people. It is a win-win for us all.” Mid Continent Cabinetry was nominated by Advance Opportunities of Marshall. The company makes custom, high quality cabinets for homes. More than two dozen individuals with disabilities from Advance Opportunities work at Mid Continent Cabinetry’s Cottonwood plant in a fully integrated setting, performing a variety of jobs, said Advance Opportunities Executive Director Dawn Wambeke. Workers scan barcodes, clip labels, punch holes in doors, assemble product, bale cardboard and clean at the facility. Mid Continent Human Resources Manager Racquel Rolla said employees from Advance are positive and happy to be working. Their good attitudes are contagious. They have even boosted morale for other workers at the plant. Rolla challenges supervisors to think more about other jobs that could be added to workers’ duties. Eveleth-based Lundgren Ford Lincoln was nominated by the East Range Developmental Achievement Center (DAC) of Eveleth. For decades the dealership has employed workers from the DAC to help with cleaning, five nights a week. The dealership started in 1929, then known as Hawkinson Lundgren Company. The two principals were Arnold Hawkinson and Axel Lundgren. It became Lundgren Motors in the 1930s, and is now in its fourth generation. The motor vehicle dealership got its

Pg 7

The nonprofit also recycles electronics and works with other disability service providers. It is on pace to distribute 12,000 to 13,000 computers in 2017. The City of Benson was nominated by the Swift County DAC in Benson. Workers from the center mow park areas and paint fire hydrants. They have also cleaned city offices and other properties, assembled me-

ter boxes and stenciled safety cones. City Manager Rob Wolfington said Benson is at a crossroads of transportation, and that it’s important for the city to make a good impression on travelers. “It’s the little things that make a difference,” said Wolfington. Mowed and maintained downtown parks and fresh paint on fire

AWARDS To page 13

November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11

Pg 8

PEOPLE & PLACES Memoir describes her life after injury

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TV’s Joe Schmit, sports anchor and author, called her book, “Brutally honest, undeniably captivating and an inspirational story that needs to be shared.” Through her own harrowing life experiences, Schuh realized the importance of having her own "PITCrew"-- people surrounding her who lift her up and keep her focused on the promise of the life before her. The PITCrew Movement is focused on bringing a message of hope to everyone across the country by focusing on antibullying, suicide prevention and the importance of teamwork. Schuh hasn’t left the stage behind. Today she is a sought-after motivational speaker, giving talks around the region. Jeff Fern, guidance counselor at St. Croix High School, said, “Tasha's message was very inspirational and was the right message for our student body as we kicked off the school year. The students really appreciated listening to Tasha's personal story and were able to connect it to areas of their life. As we continue to move forward in our school year, we express the importance of resiliency and the best is yet to come.” Learn more about the book and Schuh herself at www. ■

Off-Leash Art Box has opened its doors The Off-Leash Art Box, a new professional performance space and studio, celebrated its grand opening in October. The intimate theater/ rehearsal studio will serve as the home base for the award-winning Off-Leash Area’s productions, classes, workshops and other programming. Off-Leash Area’s artistic directors, Jennifer Ilse and Paul Herwig, said it fills a large gap in the local artistic/creative community by providing an affordable and professionally equipped small venue for the many independent Off-Leash Art Box has opened in south Minneapolis. The space is accessible and features dance and theater makers in performances by people with disabilities. the Twin Cities. “There’s a huge need for Off-Leash Area acquired a vacant property located small performance and rehearsal space in the Twin Citat 4200 E. 54th St., Minneapolis, earlier this year. The ies,” said Ilse. “Over our 18-year history it has become so past several months were spent gutting and redesigning difficult to find venues for our productions that we were the space with professional lighting, flexible seating and starting to make too big of compromises, and we know other elements conducive to creating a highly flexible 75virtually dozens of other small dance and theater makers in seat performance space. the same spot we are. This space helps fill that need.” OFF-LEASH To Page 9

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Welcoming adversity and inspiring readers to face their own “trap doors” of opportunity are themes of Minnesota native Tasha Schuh’s memoir. A revised edition of her book, My Last Step Backward, has been published recently by Wise Ink Creative Publishing. At a young age, Schuh began to dream of a career in theater. Just days before her opening night performance in The Wizard of Oz, she took one step backward and fell 16 feet through a stage trap door. It was November 11, 1997. She was 16 years old. Schuh landed on the concrete floor of Red Wing’s historic Sheldon Theater, breaking her neck, crushing her spinal cord, and fracturing her skull. She would never walk again. My Last Step Backward chronicles the inspiring journey Schuh endured after taking one fateful step backward and through a trap door in 1997, leaving her a C-5 quadriplegic. Post-op complications turned her struggle and ultimate triumph into an unbelievable journey of hope. From loss and grief to self-discovery and achievement, Schuh’s faith, resilience and honesty have allowed her to leave the “old Tasha” behind while she faces her new life. Her memoir received many favorable reviews. KSTP-

November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11

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PEOPLE & PLACES UCare hires new leader Mark Traynor is now the president and CEO of UCare, after holding the interim spot for several months. Macaran Baird, chairman of the UCare Board of Directors, announced the hire. “I am very pleased about this new direction for UCare,” said Baird. “Mark is the right leader for the organization at this time. His deep knowledge of Minnesota health care and strong commitment to UCare’s mission and member focus enable him and senior management to lead the organization into an era of growth and success.” Traynor’s appointment follows a sixmonth period as interim leader. During that time, he led the organization through significant growth with the return of state public program members. Traynor and the management team also provided strategic direction for transforming UCare’s digital presence, operational processes and platforms. Traynor held leadership roles at the notfor-profit health plan for 18 years. He is a key member of the senior leader team, instrumental in leading UCare’s strategic planning. Traynor was most recently UCare’s senior vice president of provider relations and chief legal officer responsible for leading the provider relations, legal, compliance and internal audit of the organization. Before that he was general counsel/chief legal officer, and served as board secretary.

Mark Traynor Prior to joining UCare, Traynor held executive and legal positions at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In 2015, he received the Minnesota Law Review Distinguished Alumni Award. Traynor is excited to move the organization forward. “UCare strives to be the market leader in serving Medicare enrollees, those eligible for Medicaid and adults with disabilities while continuing to

UCARE To Page 9


From Page 8 “By owning our own building we own our destiny, and we wish to share the power of that self-sufficiency with our community,” said Herwig. “This is an intimate space where local audiences can see vital work by the area’s most exciting contemporary and independent performance makers.” A focus at Off-Leash is making performances accessible for patrons and performers. The newly renovated building is one story. Both main entries are accessible. Seating is flexible. The building has two fully accessible all-gender single stall bathrooms, and its own off-street parking with easy access for Metro Mobility drop-off and pickup. One board members, Mike Cohn, is a Twin Cities dance creator and performer with physical disabilities. He has performed in one OffLeash production and has another in the planning stages. Co-Artistic director Herwig has had lifelong low vision, which has led to developing a connection with the blind community. Off-Leash has done programming about low vision issues, frequently provide audio description for shows. Large print programs are available upon request two at least two days’ advance notice. Audio description requires at least two weeks’ notice. Guest companies renting space will be asked to provide accessibility services upon request. Anyone with questions may contact 612-7247372 (voice) or e-mail at ■


November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11 Pg 10

Disability issues highlighted at large rally PEOPLE & PLACES grow opportunities for individuals and families to access our high-value, responsive health plans and services,” he said. “It’s an honor to lead the committed UCare team who go the extra mile to serve our members.”

Grant to help People Incorporated

A $9,931 grant from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless will help People Incorporated build relationships and trust that can lead to enrollment in services and access to housing. People Incorporated’s mission is to support mental health and wellness in the community through collaboration and integration of care. Case managers engage long-term homeless individuals by providing basic needs and materials, such as food, tents, sleeping bags, tarps, blankets, and clothing. If they are interested, outreach contacts will receive information about shelter, housing, and benefit options. Funding from Open Your Heart will provide supplies for street outreach and help individuals experiencing substance use disorders and chronic homelessness meet their basic needs. By helping to meet basic needs, outreach case managers build relationships and trust that can lead to enrollment in services and access to housing. Each year Open Your Heart supports more than 200 homeless shelters and food shelves like People Incorporated throughout urban, suburban, and rural Minnesota. Open Your Heart looks for gaps in funding of services based on geographic or demographic considerations and reaches out to agencies serving those communities. The nonprofit supports programs in communities where many traditional funders do not reach – volunteer run domestic violence shelters, homeless programs in sparsely served remote corners of the state, inner city programs dedicated to serving the poorest among us, and hunger programs serving clientele with special needs. The primary goal is to ensure that front line providers of crisis services have the tools, equipment, and infrastructure necessary to carry out their work.

Can Do Canines reaches milestone David Finwall and assistance dog Jewel are a unique team. The Brooklyn Center due also is the 600th team that Can Do Canines certified. Can Do Canines provides training for several types of assistance dogs. Finwall was diagnosed with HIV. Because of this, he has neurocognitive issues and peripheral neuropathy. He struggles with balance, especially on certain terrain, and can fall. His neuropathy causes him to drop things. Finwall also has a seizure disorder where seizures are triggered through new environments or people, and crowds. Emotional triggers can also cause seizures. Finwall requires mobility and seizure assistance. In July of 2017 he was matched with Jewel, a black Labrador retriever that does both mobility and seizure work. Jewel can retrieve items and help prevent falls. Jewel provides seizure assistance by putting her head in Finwall’s lap and licking his hands, helping him feel more present. Because of his cognitive difficulties, Finwall doesn’t have a sense of direction. Jewel helps him get around, and keeps Finwall from getting confused. When asked what Jewel has changed for Finwall, he laughed and said, “She has changed in me a willingness to actually go back out into the world … in the past, I could spend all day getting ready to go out and then never go out.” He listed all the places he goes and things he now does before saying, “Long story short, I feel more confident to go out and do things.” Finwall is incredibly grateful for Jewel and the people who helped raise her. “I have an ocean of gratitude for what they’ve put together … [Jewel has allowed] me the opportunity to feel more whole and more human.” If he met those involved in raising her, he would “thank


UCARE From Page 8

David Finwall and Jewel are Can Do Canines' 600th assistance dog team. them for helping me take back ownership [and] responsibility of me … for giving me back to myself.”

A well-known restaurant and a livestock industry medical supplier were named for ProAct's 2017 Employer of the Year awards. Both are strong partners that have helped the Eagan-based nonprofit better the lives of people with disabilities. Honored at an annual recognition banquet in Oakdale were Culver's restaurants in Eagan, Rosemount and West. St. Paul, and IMV Technologies in Maple Grove. The firms were recognized before a crowd of about 500 individuals, families and group home staff at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale. A special address was given by Dakota County Commissioner Tom Egan, who has a long history of service to the Eagan community. “Work is something that brings dignity and satisfaction to the individual, and I cannot stress strongly enough that employers are crucial to the success of the people we serve,” said ProAct President and CEO Steven Ditschler. “We are grateful for the efforts of the 2017 award winners, and truly value their Employer of the Year categories are for Community Employer and Business Partner areas, designations which align with ProAct's services for people with disabilities. Community Employer winner Culver's has franchises operated by the Laudenbach family. Franchise owner Matt Laudenbach said the impact of the programs ProAct offers has been life-changing and that Culver's fully supports their growth. “Working with groups like ProAct to have their team members join our family business has given us way more than we have given them,” he said. “I am confident that the true effect reaches well beyond the walls of the restaurant to our whole community.” Culver’s is a prime supporter of the customized employment model that matches the skills of job seekers with the needs of the business, said ProAct Employment Manager


Employment honors for two firms

Culver's Assistant Manager Zaide Lopez, left, and General Manager Marvin Martinez are congratulated by ProAct Employer Manager Heather Deutschlaender. Heather Deutschlaender. Culver's also offers many natural supports, or help coming alongside individuals in the workplace, which increases each person's independence. Business Partner recognition went to the IMV Technologies operation in Maple Grove. The French firm produces straws that are used for livestock insemination. These are assembled and packaged by individuals at ProAct in Eagan. The original product was invented by IMV in 1963. ProAct Business Services Manager Mary McGeheran said the company's success has allowed dedicated and talented individuals from ProAct to help produce more than a quarter-million products in the past year for farmers and breeders. "They have provided tens of thousands of hours of work to our greatest resource here, the individuals we serve,” she said.


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Eric Salonen, in supply chain and operations with IMV Technologies (Maple Grove), is congratulated by Mary McGeheran, ProAct business services manager.

Eric Salonen, who serves in supply chain and operations with IMV, said individuals with ProAct take great pride in handling the company's materials. “They know it's involved with biologicals and animals, and that it's a clean environment,” he said. Branded insemination straws are sold to another company which then fills and freezes them before sending them out to farmers. ProAct has helped to make the operation more efficient. McGeheran said IMV's mission and values speak to, and align beautifully with ProAct and its mission to provide person-centered services that enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities in the areas of employment, life skills and community inclusion. ProAct, Inc. is headquartered in Eagan and has additional operations in Red Wing, Zumbrota and in Hudson, Wis. ■

November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11 Pg 11

ENJOY! HATCHET LADY Walking Shadow Theatre Company presents the musical story of anti-saloon crusader Carrie Nation, at Red Eye Theatre, 15 W. 14th St., Mpls. ASL and AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Dec. 10. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Wed, Dec. 13. ASL/AD tickets are pick one’s own price: $5 minimum in advance. FFI: 800-838-3006,

TEAM ALLY GALA ALLY People Solutions hosts the team ALLY Gala 5:30 8:30 p.m. Sat, Nov. 16 at MidPointe Event Center, 415 Pascal Ave., St. Paul. $100 per ticket for an evening of food, fun and school spirit. FFI:

HUB FOR THE HOLIDAYS CELEBRATION at St. Paul’s Union Depot begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, December 1 with a tree lighting ceremony, live music from American Idol contestant Eric Gordon, and fireworks. The outdoor Christmas market, large bake sale, family movie night, holiday train and more are part of the December schedule of events. For more information about Union Depot holiday events, visit or

TALKING VOLUMES Minnesota Public Radio, Star Tribune and Loft Literary Center host Talking Volumes, with a different author, featured each month, at Fitzgerald Theatre, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul. Open captioning is offered at each reading. Upcoming author conversations include Dan Brown, Thu, Nov. 16. Tickets $25-50; seats in captioning area $30 ($2 discount for MPR members). FFI: 651290-1200, CABARABLE 2017 Patrick’s Cabaret, in collaboration by VSA Minnesota, presents a series of vignettes with the theme of “WEIRD: Embracing the Weirdness,” at Pangea World Theater, 711 West Lake St., Mpls. Featuring performers with disabilities, reflecting on the weirdness of life with disability. ASL and AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri and Sat, Nov. 17 and 18. Tickets $10 directly from an artist, online $10 plus service fee; at the door $12-$15. Request other accommodations in advance. FFI: 612-724-6273, MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY Jungle Theater presents a charming holiday romance, at Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Nov. 30. Assistive listening devices available. Contact the theater to request an ASL-interpreted show. Tickets reduced to $17 (regular $35-45). FFI: 612822-7063, FEAST OF FOOLS Interact Center for Visual & Performing Arts presents a production about the one day that court jesters, village clowns and other fools could say what they thought to the elite, at the Lab Theater, 700 N. 1st St., Mpls. Opening party 7 p.m. Sat, Nov. 11; shows 7 p.m. Nov. 15-18, 24-25, 29-30, Dec. 1-2, Dec. 7-9; 3 p.m. Nov. 18, 25, Dec. 2. ASL offered 7 p.m. Sat, Nov. 25. AD offered 7 p.m. Thu, Nov. 30 and 3 p.m. Sun, Dec. 9. Opening night $65 with party. Dis/cover tickets $5 for any individual with a disability and companion ($6.17 with fee); regular $22 ($23.76 with fee). FFI: Brown Paper Tickets: 800-8383006, LUDLOW Nimbus Theatre Company presents the tale of Colorado coal miners in the deadliest labor dispute in U.S. history, at Crane Theater, 2303 Kennedy St. NE, Mpls. AD: offered 8 p.m. Sat, Nov. 18.Tickets $12 Thu/Sun, $15 Fri/Sat; FFI: 612-548-1380, or A CHRISTMAS CAROL Guthrie Theater presents Charles Dickens’ classic tale, at the Guthrie Theater, Wurtele Thrust, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. OC offered 7 p.m. Sun, Nov. 26. AD and ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Nov. 26, free sensory tour at 10:30 a.m. AD/ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Nov. 30.Tickets reduced to $20 for AD/ASL, $25 for OC (regular $15-67). FFI: 612-377-2224, YOUNG PEOPLE’S CONCERT: STORIES IN MUSIC Minnesota Orchestra presents an engaging and educational concert for children, school groups and families at Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. ASL/OC offered 11:35 a.m. Wed, Nov. 29. Tickets $6.25. FFI: 612-371-5600, THE TRIAL OF EBENEZER SCROOGE Commonweal Theatre Company present a spoof on a holiday classic, at Commonweal Theatre, 208 Parkway Ave. N., Lanesboro. AD offered 1:30 p.m. Sat, Dec. 2; pre-show at 1:10 p.m. Please make AD reservations at least one week in advance, noting if a tactile tour is desired. Two-week notice requested for a Braille program. Five-week notice requested for ASL interpreting. Assistive listening devices available at the box office. Special seating available for persons with mobility issues. Tickets reduced to $15 for AD/ASL patrons (regular $35). Other discounts available. FFI: 507-467-2525, COCO'S DIARY - A CHRISTMAS GIFT TO REMEMBER History Theatre presents the story of young Coco Irvine and her Christmas 1927 diary, at History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul. ASL and AD offered 2 p.m. Sat, Dec. 2. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Dec, 9 and 2 p.m. Sun, Dec. 10. The accessible entrance is on the east side of the building off Cedar Street. The theatre has six spaces for wheelchairs, plus companion seats. Hearing enhancement devices and Braille or large print playbills available. Tickets reduced to $20 for ASL/AD/ OC patrons (regular $26-50). FFI: 651-292-4323, www. WINTERLIGHTS: CELEBRATING THE SEASON Mpls Institute of Arts presents objects from holidays

around the world, in the Target Gallery, 2400 3rd Ave. S. Mpls. Also, the Prairie School–style Purcell-Cutts House will be decorated for the holidays to reflect the upper-middle-class, “progressive” lifestyle of the Purcells around 1915. Forty-five–minute tours led by costumed docents will emphasize the gifts, toys, food, and social traditions of the period. Winterlights tours of the Purcell-Cutts House are on weekends (no tours Dec. 24). Shuttle service between the institute and the Purcell-Cutts House leave 15 minutes before scheduled tour times at the house. ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Dec. 3 at the institute and 2:30 the Purcell-Cutts House. ASL offered 7 p.m. Thu, Dec. 7 at the institute. Tickets $5 for adults; free to members, K-12 students, and children under age six. FFI: 612-870-3000, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Northfield Arts Guild presents the popular musical, at 411 W. 3rd St., Northfield. ASL offered 2p.m. Sun, Dec. 3, with reservations at least two weeks’ prior. Tickets $18. Other discounts available. FFI: 507-645-8877, BEAUTY & THE BEAST, JR. Stages Theatre Company presents the classic story of transformation and inner beauty, at Hopkins Center for the Arts, Mainstage, 1111 Mainstreet, and Hopkins. AD and ASL offered 4 p.m. Sun, Dec. 3, Sensory-friendly offered 10 a.m. Sat, Dec. 9. Tickets $16, discount for AD/ASL patrons to $12. Other discounts available. All tickets for sensory-friendly show $10. Call for these tickets as they are not available online. FFI: 952-979-1111, opt. 4; YULETIDE IN THE AMERICAS Great River Chorale & Cantabile Girls’ choirs present festive yuletide music from the Americas, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4310 County Road 137, St. Cloud ASL offered 4 p.m. Sun, Dec. 3. Tickets: $16, other discounts available. Tickets at door or through FFI: FOREVER PLAID: PLAID TIDINGS Lyric Arts Company of Anoka presents the story of a 1950s angelic quartet called back to Earth for a Christmas encore, at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 420 E. Main St., Anoka, ASL offered 5 p.m. Sun, Dec. 3. Lyric Arts reserves seats in Row I for parties including persons using wheelchairs or with limited mobility. ASL interpreters are provided at the first Sun performance of each regular season production. A limited number of seats near the interpreters are held in reserve for ASL patrons until three weeks prior to the performance. If no ASL seating has been reserved three weeks before the show (Sun, Nov. 12), the ASL interpretation will be canceled and seats will be released to the general public. When ordering tickets, please indicate the need for seating in this section. Assisted listening devices are also available upon request. Tickets $30-34; $5 discount for ASL seats FFI: 763-422-1838, GODOT HAS COME Japan's Theatre Office Natori company on its American premiere tour comically answers the theatrical question: What if Godot had shown up? At the University of Minnesota’s Rarig Center, 330 - 21st Ave. S., Mpls. Performed in Japanese with English captions projected above the stage for shows 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Wed, Dec. 6. Tickets $17. Other discounts available. FFI: 612 624-2345, TOUR FOR PEOPLE WITH MEMORY LOSS At 10 a.m. on the first Tue of every month the historic James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul, offers a sensory-based tour designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. Each themed tour, usually an hour or less, highlights three rooms and is followed by an optional social time until 11:30 a.m. with pastries and coffee. Private group tours are available for care facilities. Tue, Dec. 5. Free but reservations are required. FFI: 651-297-2555,

OPEN FLOW FORUM The Artists with Disabilities Alliance Open Flow Forum is the first Thu of the month, 7-9 p.m. at Walker Community Church, 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls. Upcoming dates include the Christmas party Thu, Dec. 7. Open Flow allows artists with disabilities to share visual art, writing, music, theatre and other artistic efforts or disability concerns. It’s informal and fragrance-free. Bring refreshments as well as your recent artistic creations to share. Free. Facilitators are Tara Innmon and Dan Reiva. Fully accessible, but anyone needing special accommodations, contact Jon at VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or CLOTH Exposed Brick Theatre presents the story of women’s relationship to cloth and fashion choice, at Southern Theater, 1420 S Washington Ave, Mpls. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Dec. 7. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Dec. 10. Dec. 7 is pick one’s price; Dec. 10 tickets are $10 using the code SILK. FFI: 612-340-0155, DISNEY'S BEAUTY & THE BEAST JR. SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development presents the popular tale, at SteppingStone Theatre, 55 Victoria St. N, St. Paul. AD offered 7 p.m. Fri, Dec. 8. ASL offered 3 p.m. Sun, Dec. 10. Tickets $10 when VSA is mentioned. FFI: 651-225-9265, DR. SEUSS’S HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS Children’s Theatre Company presents the story of the Grinch and the good people of Whoville, at Children’s Theatre Company, United Health Group Stage, 2400 Third Ave. S., Mpls. AD and ASL offered 7 p.m. Fri, Dec. 8. ASL offered 5 p.m. Sun, Dec. 10. Sensory-friendly offered 7 p.m. Fri, Jan. 5. To reserve ASL/AD seating, visit: 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. Tickets $15-$54. Several discounts available. FFI: 612-8740400, THE 1940'S RADIO HOUR Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents a story of when radio kept everyone’s spirits bright, at the Stage at Island Park, 333 Fourth St. S., Fargo. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Dec. 8; pre-show description at 7:10 p.m. Tickets reduced to $10 for AD patron and companion (regular $21). Other discounts available. FFI: 701-2356778, TCGMC’S GAY HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR: AROUND THE WORLD Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus and the Copper Street Brass Quintet present an all-new holiday spectacle at Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 4th St. S., Mpls. ASL offered 8 p.m. Sat, Dec. 9. The interpreter will be located on the right side of the stage; an area near that location has been designated as ASL seating, with locations on the orchestra and mezzanine levels. Listening devices, large-print and Braille programs available on request. Tickets reduced to half-price for ASL patrons (regular $25-48 in advance). FFI: 612-624-2345,

A CHRISTMAS CAROLE PETERSEN Theater Latte Da presents the story Christmastime with the Petersons in Mankato, at Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Mpls. AD and ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Dec. 14. Tickets reduced to $17.50 for ASL/AD patrons and one guest. FFI: 612-339-3003,


THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Minnesota Opera presents Mozart’s comedy of errors, at Ordway Center Music Theatre, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. Open captioning offered 7 p.m. Sat, Nov. 11, Tue, Nov. 14, Thu, Nov. 16, and Sat. Nov. 18; and 2 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12 and 19. Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Nov. 19. Braille, large-print programs and infrared listening systems available at Patron Services in Ordway’s first-level lobby. A free Opera Insights half-hour session is held at 1 p.m. Tickets reduced to half-price for AD patrons (regular $25-165). FFI: 612-333-6669,

WHAT’S LEFT: LIVES TOUCHED BY SUICIDE A multi-media traveling exhibit designed to spur conversation about mental illness and suicide opens Thu, Nov. 16 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 715 Minnetonka Mills Road, Hopkins. Continues until Jan. 7. A Blue Sun event offered 9:40-10:40 a.m. Sun, Dec. 17 is an adult education class that offers reflection and support for those anxious at the holiday season; it includes afternoon services. Free. FFI: Paul MacKenzie, 952-935-1753 x113, www.

MORE EVENTS INFORMATION VSA MINNESOTA VSA Minnesota is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to create a community where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and access the arts, at The website has a comprehensive calendar at the upper right-hand corner of its homepage. For information on galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883. Access Press only publishes performance dates when accommodations are offered. Contact the venue to find out the entire run of a particular production and if discounts for seniors, students or groups are offered. VSA Minnesota advises everyone to call or email ahead, to make such that an accommodation is offered, as schedules can change. VSA Minnesota can also refer venues and theater companies to qualified describers, interpreters, and captioners. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Another web events listing is (c2: caption coalition, inc., which does most of the captioned shows across the country. Facebook is another way to connect with performances. Sign up to connect with Audio Description across Minnesota http:// d34dzo2. Connect with ASL interpreted and captioned performances across Minnesota on Facebook http:// Another resource is Minnesota Playlist, with a recently updated website calendar with all the ASL-interpreted, audio-described, captioned, pay-what-you-can shows and other features. Go to

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November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11 Pg 12

OPPORTUNITIES CONFERENCES PAPERS SOUGHT FOR CONFERENCE Autism Society of Minnesota is seeking papers for the 23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference April 25-28, 2018. Submission of presentation proposals is open to those with expertise on autism-related topics. The Minnesota Autism Conference is the largest annual educational event for the Minnesota autism community, making it a prime opportunity for researchers, therapists, educators, individuals on the spectrum, parents, caregivers and other autism experts to present their work. A conference education committee will review submitted papers. Selected speakers will present among an esteemed group of experts while connecting with and educating the autism community. Submission deadline is Fri., Nov. 17. FFI:


Ramsey County always has volunteer opportunities. One is as an information desk attendant, to present a positive first impression and general assistance/ information to visitors to the Ramsey County Government Center East. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age, be able to respect and maintain confidential information, work with a variety of people, and work independently. FFI: 651-266-4090,

RESOURCES FOR ALL AUTISM CAREGIVERS’ SUPPORT Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) announces a new free resource for caregivers and parents. The Caregivers of Kids with Autism Support Group provides a space for parents and caregivers of children with autism ages 4-21 to come together, discuss challenges, share solutions and form relationships with families in similar situations. Many families report feeling alone or isolated, and support groups allow caregivers to make meaningful connections. Meeting at 10:30 a.m.-noon on the second Sat of each month at AuSM, 2380 Wycliff Street #102, St. Paul, and led by a therapist. FFI: GUARDIANSHIP IS TOPIC Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) offers a guardianship workshop 7-9 p.m. Tue, Nov. 14 at Lionsgate Academy, Minnetonka, 5605 Green Cir. Dr., Minnetonka. At age 18, an individual is legally considered an adult. Some youth, however, continue to need assistance with IEPs, transition services, making medical decisions, and applying for government benefits. To have legal authority to assist their adult children in these important areas, many parents and caregivers choose to establish legal guardianship. “Guardianship: Do We Need It?” will explore the legal process for obtaining guardianship and qualifying for free legal assistance. Presented by Jason Schellack, attorney and executive director of Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC. Preregister. FFI: THE ART OF VOICE & CHOICE Midwest Special Services and Upstream Arts team up to offer an interactive discussion of person-centered planning and informed choice. Sessions are 1-3 p.m. or 4-6 p.m. Tue, Dec. 5 at Dakota Lodge, 1200 Stassen Lane, St. Paul. The trainings are for families, caregivers, friends, community members, stakeholders and employers. Learn about person-center planning, information choice and how to incorporate these concepts into daily living. RSVP required, to Thom Hoen, FFI: Lauren,, GRANTS TO HELP REACH GOALS People with disabilities have many goals for themselves, including competitive, integrated employment, inclusive housing or community integration. Small grants offered through the new Minnesota Microgrant Partnership could help. The grants are available to people with disabilities, age 18 and older, who have financial barriers to their goals. The program aims to help about 350 people over the next 15 months. It is administered by The Arc Minnesota and is made possible through an Innovative Solutions Grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The Arc Minnesota website has more information including frequently asked questions. FFI: Wendy Gerlach, 651604-8070,; Susan Sochacki, 651-604-8056, susans@arcmn, PACER WORKSHOPS SAMPLING PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Workshops are offered throughout the state. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Ask if workshops are livestreamed. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions catered to their needs. Technology for Girls: Robot Races is offered 10-11:30 a.m. Sat, Nov. 18 at PACER Center. Learn about coding. Middle school girls with disabilities will race little Finch robots through a maze as they learn about how to write their own codes. Becoming an Active Partner in Your Child’s IEP is offered 6:308:30 p.m. Mon, Nov. 20 at PACER Center. The workshop for parents of children ages 3 to 5 provides an overview of the early childhood special education process and how to take an active lead in the IEP process. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-5372237, AUTISM SOCIETY OF MINNESOTA PRESENTS AUTISM STRATEGIES WORKSHOP Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) invites parents, caregivers, educators, professionals and individuals with autism to “Practical Solutions for Autistic Living,” a full-day workshop presented by Judy Endow, MSW, LCSW. The workshop is 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Thu, Dec. 7 at enVision Hotel, South St. Paul. Costs are $70 for AuSM members; $80 for non-members; and $25 for individuals with autism. Preregister. Endow will explore her personal experiences highlighting three challenge areas related to her own autism: sensory differences; not always understanding the hidden curriculum in social situations; and when others think of her as “less than” because they do not understand autism. She also will share practical strategies for supporting youth and

adults with autism, encouraging them to be the best versions of themselves. FFI:

INFO & ASSISTANCE PARKINSON’S SUPPORT GROUP The St. Cloud Area Parkinson's Disease Support Group meets 1-2:30 p.m. the third Mon of each month at ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud. Free. Meetings are open to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the general public. The group provides support, education, and awareness about the disease. FFI: 320-529-9000 MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT OFFERED National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI also has more than 70 free support groups for people living with a mental illness and their families. NAMI Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. In the Twin Cities NAMI has about two dozen family support groups, more than 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators, groups provide help and support. Parent resource groups are facilitated by a parent who has a child with a mental illness and who has been trained to lead support groups. A group meets 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday at Eagle Brook Church, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake. FFI: Jody Lyons 651-645-2948 x109. Family support groups help families who have a relative with a mental illness. A group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae. 651-484-0599. Open Door Anxiety and Panic support groups help people cope with anxiety disorders. One group meets 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the second and fourth Thu in Room 104, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. Another group meets 6:30-8 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul. Young Adult NAMI Connection is a free support group for persons ages 16-20. One group meets 7-8:30 the first and third Thu at Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul. A group also meets 7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thu at Dental Office of Dr. Crandall & Associates, 2300 East Highway 96, White Bear Lake. The group is facilitated by young adults who live with mental illnesses and are doing well in recovery. A full calendar of all events is offered online. FFI: 651-645-2948, 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:

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RSVP hotline, 612-843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155, MCIL HOSTS CLASSES AND ACTIVITIES The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events for people with disabilities. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website, Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030 ICICIL OFFERS OPPORTUNITIES ICICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud, offers a number of classes, events and other opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities in central Minnesota. The center offers its own programming and hosts other groups. The free mental health discussion group 6-:30 p.m. Mon. Learn to live life to the fullest and support each other. FFI: Ricky at 320-281-2025. The center has a full schedule of activities including support groups, martial arts, Nordic walking and more. FFI: 320-267-7717 ADULT SUPPORT GROUPS OFFERED 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., St. Paul. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10,

VOLUNTEER OPEN THE DOOR TO EDUCATION Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give just 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. The literacy council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110,, ■

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November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11 Pg 13



Mid Continent Cabinetry

US Bank Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch

hydrants apply the shine to Benson’s image. Workers from the DAC provide reliability, quality and value. Swift County DAC Executive Director Alethea Koehler said the high visibility jobs bring much positive feedback from the public, which builds worker morale. LePier Oil Company of Fosston was nominated by East Polk County DAC in Fosston. Third-generation owners Tami and Larry LePier operate gas stations, convenience stores, a sandwich shop and deli. Six DAC workers do kitchen tasks, clean and interact with customers. Tami LePier praised the workers and support staff. “They are so excited to come to work and interact so well with our customers,” she said. “Larry’s father started this partnership with them (East Polk County DAC) way back in the 1980s and we’ve kept it going just because of the wonderful people that come and work for us.” “Lepier Oil Company provides an environment that is comfortable and conducive to learning and expanding on skills and abilities,” said DAC Leader Holly Lenes. HOM Furniture was nominated by Rise, Inc. of Spring Lake Park. People from Rise work in the Coon Rapids facility performing a wide range of tasks, including collecting and recycling more than 2.5 million pounds of packaging materials annually, running the floor scrubber, and packaging furniture cleaning kits. “For the past 11 years, Rise’s work team, as well as their trainers and supervisors, have proven to be a valuable addition to our organization in so many different ways,” said Dan Lentz of HOM Furniture. Rise President Lynn Noren said the nonprofit is fortunate to have HOM as a business partner, because from senior management and throughout the entire company, HOM has supported Rise’s mission and sought out additional work opportunities for Rise workers. Cub Foods of Baxter was nominated by Productive Alternatives Inc. (PAI) of Brainerd. Cub Foods General Manager Jeff Marchand said the store has hired nearly a dozen individuals through PAI in the last few years. All have been very reliable. “I love working with them. We tease them and they tease us back and have a lot of fun,” he said. PAI Placement Specialist Heidi Lefebvre said Cub Foods treats each employee placed by PAI with patience and compas-


AWARDS From Page 7

Cub Foods

Malco sion. “They reach out to us if something needs to be addressed, so we can help problem solve together.” Cub Foods utilizes people with disabilities in all areas and allows individuals room to grow within the store. “They provide opportunities, not judgments,” said Lefebvre. Malco Products, Annadale, was nominated by Functional Opportunities, Buffalo. Clients from Functional Industries assist with packaging and assembly of hand tool products on the assembly shop floor, said Kirk Langbehn, purchasing, planning and production manager for Malco. The company makes hundreds of different tools for the construction and automotive industries. Malco Products Director of Operations Deb Nistler said the efforts of Functional Industries and associates, and their quality work have been important to the company. “They have been a joy to work with. It is exciting to see their smiling faces on a daily basis,” she said. Malco Products has been a supporter of Functional Industries clients for more than 15 years, said Amber Oster, vice president of workforce solutions for Functional Industries. U.S. Bank was nominated by PAI of White Bear Lake. PAI clients perform clerical work in a highly secure financial records setting, said Suzanne Sancilio, vice president of operations for PAI. “U.S. Bank has been exemplary in their flexibility and willingness to adapt specific job tasks to suit the needs of the individual workers from PAI.” The partnership provided the pilot for PAI’s “Job Opportunity and Employment Starter,” or J.O.E.S. program, a unique opportunity for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Pam Lowe of U.S. Bank said the

strengths that PAI workers bring to their roles help the U.S Bank teams operate more efficiently. “We embrace individual differences because we know that fostering diversity and inclusion makes us stronger and more innovative.” Waytek, Inc., Chanhassen, was nominated by MCRI WorkSource, which is based in Chaska, Shakopee and Rosemount. Waytek is a family-owned business that offers high-quality electrical wiring products. Waytek employs numerous MCRI clients to help fill orders and complete numerous other tasks that contribute to the company’s success. “We are proud to develop employment partnerships that provide employers a source of skilled workers in the community,” said Brian Benshoof, CEO of MRCI WorkSource. “The best reward for the partnership, is the stellar example of inclusion set by Waytek.” “Waytek believes in providing our customers with an exceptional customer experience – a belief that starts with promoting cooperation and togetherness with employees.” Benshoof said. “The manner by which the Waytek organization has embraced MRCI’s mission is very exciting.” Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch, Stewartville, was nominated by Ability Building Center (ABC), which offers services in southeastern Minnesota. Ironwood Ranch began in 1976, first serving as a camp for youth with physical disabilities. It later ex-

panded to include people with cognitive disabilities. It also serves many veterans. Ironwood employs people with disabilities at all levels of the organization. The ABC workers handle room cleaning duties at Ironwood Springs’ Miracle Lodge, said Jaimi Stejskal, Ironwood’s director of programs and marketing for Ironwood. “They do a great job of making sure rooms are turned over for guests who are arriving for the week.” “We are honored to partner with such an outstanding organization. Ironwood Springs is truly a model employer that is making a difference in southeastern Minnesota,” said ABC Executive Director Bruce Remme. ■

November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11 Pg 14

RADIO TALKING BOOK BOOKS AVAILABLE THROUGH FARIBAULT Books broadcast on the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network are available through the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault. Call 1-800-722-0550, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The catalog is online at, click on the link Search the Library Catalog. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books via an inter-library loan by contacting their home state’s Network Library for the National Library Service. The listings that appear here are a sampling and don’t represent the full array of programming. Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived program from the last week, on the Internet at The listing published monthly in Access Press is a sampling. Many more programs and books are available. Call the Talking Book Library for a password to the site. To find more information about Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network events go to the Facebook site at facebookMTBN Audio information about the daily book listings is also on the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Newsline. Register for the NFB Newsline by calling 651-539-1424. Access Press is featured at 9 p.m. Sundays on the program It Makes a Difference. Donate to the State Services for the Blind at

CHAUTAUQUA* Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. The Happiness Effect, nonfiction by Donna Freitas, 2017. Social media has become a dominant force in many people’s lives. But many believe it has magnified something to a great degree: the need to look perfect. Read by Mary Hall. 13 broadcasts, beginning Nov. 28. - L.

PM REPORT* Monday – Friday 8 p.m. Panic at the Pump, Nonfiction by Meg Jacobs, 2016. The 1970s energy crisis became a lesson in the limitations of government power. Mounting insecurity and skepticism set the stage for the rise of conservatism. Read by Nancy Bader. 20 broadcasts, begins Nov. 30.

PAST IS PROLOGUE* Monday – Friday 9 a.m. Agent 110, Nonfiction by Scott Miller, 2017. World War II spymaster and future CIA director Allen Dulles’s mission was to report on the inner workings of the Third Reich. Instead he discovered a network of Germans conspiring to overthrow Hitler. Read by Dan Sadoff. 11 broadcasts, beginning Nov. 23. – L

NIGHT JOURNEY* Monday – Friday 9 p.m. Stalking Jack the Ripper, Fiction by Kerri Maniscalco, 2016. Audrey Rose Wadsworth, groomed to be the perfect Victorian lady, instead studies forensics and gets drawn into the investigation of Jack the Ripper. Read by Isla Hejny. 11 broadcasts, begins Nov. 20. – V, L, S

BOOKWORM* Monday – Friday 11 a.m. The Fortunate Ones, Fiction by Ellen Umansky, 2017. Rose Zimmer searches for a painting her mother loved. Lizzie Goldstein also searches for the painting, stolen from her childhood home. Their quest unites them in an unexpected friendship, to help heal the pain of Nazi Germany. Read by Judith Johannessen. 13 broadcasts, begins Nov. 14. CHOICE READING* Monday – Friday 4 p.m. The Secrets of Flight, Fiction by Maggie Leffler, 2016. A 15-year-old girl teams up with octogenarian Mary Browning. Together they learn it’s never too late in life for second chances. Read by Carolyn Light Bell. Nine broadcasts, begins Nov. 23. - L

OFF THE SHELF* Monday – Friday 10 p.m. The Barrowfields, Fiction by Phillip Lewis, 2017. A son realizes he can never truly escape the place where he grew up, and that he has to return home. Read by John Marsicano. 13 broadcasts, begins Nov. 14. WEEKEND PROGRAM BOOKS Your Personal World, 1 p.m. Saturday, is airing The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith. For the Younger Set, 11 a.m. Sunday, is airing Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh. Poetic Reflections, noon Sunday, is airing The Half-Finished Heaven by Tomas Tranströmer. The Great North, 4 p.m. Sunday, is airing Warrior Nation: A History of the Red Lake Ojibwe by Anton Treuer, followed by The Big Marsh by Cheri Register.

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POTPOURRI* Monday – Friday 11 p.m. Three Stones Make a Wall, Nonfiction by Eric H. Cline, 2017. Archaeology began as an amateur pursuit, but over the last century has become a cutting-edge science. Eric Cline shares more than 30 years of stories and discoveries. Read by Lannois Neely. 16 broadcasts, begins Nov. 20. GOOD NIGHT OWL* Monday – Friday midnight First Light, Fiction by Bill Rancic, 2016. Dan, Kerry, and their fellow travelers are stranded in Alaska after their plane crashes into a mountainside. Dan relies on his survival experience to save the travelers and the woman he loves. Read by Tom Speich. Nine broadcasts, begins Nov. 21. AFTER MIDNIGHT* Tuesday – Saturday 1 a.m. The First Time She Drowned, Fiction by Kerry Kletter, 2016. Cassie, age 18, is about to leave an institution and re-enter the world. But whose version of history is real – and whose life must Cassie reclaim? Read by Pat Muir. 11 broadcasts, begins November 21. – S, V, L Abbreviations: V – violence, L – offensive language, S – sexual situations, RE – racial epithets.

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Incomes above 185% of the

November 10, 2017federal Volume Number 11 Pg 15 poverty28, threshold out a disability to make over $45,000 a year. pendent living difficulties. Difficulty with less common 40.5%hearing, self-care, and vision are relatively 17.7% Incomes between 100% and 185% of ies.1 29.5% the federal poverty threshold 11.0% FIGURE 6. ANNUAL BYTHE ABILITY IN THE TWIN CITIES REGION with at least one ANNUAL EARNINGS BYEARNINGS ABILITY IN TWINSTATUS CITIES REGION DISABILITY TYPES AMONG RESIDENTS LIVING IN THEHouseholds TWIN CITIES REGION 20.7% Income below federal poverty threshold a disability FIGURE 1. DISABILITY TYPES AMONG RESIDENTS LIVING resident IN THEwithTWIN CITIES REGION Households with residents without a disability 276,000

One or more disabilities Homeowners Renters Ambulatory 123,000 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey five-year estimate Public Use Microdata, 2011-2015. Cognitive 113,000


People with disabilities People with disabilities

People without disabilities

65.5% 14.7% 11.3% 8.5% Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey five-year estimate Public Use Microdata, 2011-2015.

Independent living 96,000 housing cost burden—that is, paying a third or more of their inle with disabilities are more likely to experience People with disabilities are more likely to experience housing cost burden 81,000 19.8% 17.9% 27.7% 34.5% Hearing without disabilities sing—compared with people without disabilities. While 42.7% of the Twin Cities households wherePeople at least Housingonly is one of the reports a disability experience housing cost burden (moderate and severe combined), 26.3% of most essential pieces of a person’s well-being. Without affordable housing, peop 55,000 Self care cially low-income people—struggle to make ends meet. Not surprisingly, the disparities summarized ab olds where no oneVision reports41,000 a disability are cost burdened (Figure 9). Similarly, one in five households No earnings $45,000figures and abovereve $15,000 to $44,999 Lessmarkets. than $15,000 with disabilities at a disadvantage in housing For instance, housing tenure ast one person reports a disability faces severe housing cost burden, while only people one in 10 households ties between residents with and without disabilities (Figure 8). About 60% of households with a residen Source: U.S. faces Census Bureau, Community Survey five-year estimates, 2011-2015. ne reports a disability severeAmerican housing cost burden. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey five-year estimate Public Use Microdata, 2011-2015. disability are owner-occupied homes, compared with 70.5% of households where no one reports a dis



People with disabilities are more70.5% likely to live in poverty



59.6% Like work status, earnings only tell part of the story. People without earnings—that is, income from pai ment—may have other sources of income. In some cases, people who have no earnings, including pe Not cost-burdened 40.5% alternative sources of income. Poverty rates, disabilities, qualify for government programs that provide Moderate housing cost-burden (30-49% by using an individual's total income, can provide a more holistic 29.5% picture of economic well-being.

21.6% 16.3%

21.1% Households with at least one resident with a disability

10.0% Households with residents without a disability

of income spent on housing costs monthly) Households with at least one Severe housing cost-burden (50%+ of resident with a disability Unsurprisingly, disparities based on ability status extend to poverty rates as well: one in every five people with dis income spent on housing costs monthly) Households with residents the region had incomes below the federal poverty level in 2011-2015. In contrast, one in every 10 people withoutonly a disability Homeowners Renters

abilities live in poverty. In other words, people with disabilities are more than twice as likely to live in po Source: U.S.(Figure Census Bureau, American Community Survey five-year estimate Public Use Microdata, 2011-2015. without disabilities 7, next page).

residents Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey five-year estimate Public Use Microdata, 2011-2015.

fined as spending 50 percent or more of income for housing. Employment issues, poverty Access to economic opportunity can be more difficult for people with disabilities. The study found that people with disabilities are less likely to be in the labor force or to be employed full-time. They are more likely to report lower earnings and more likely to live in poverty. In some cases, people cannot work due to disabilities. In others, employers’ reluctance to hire people with disabilities makes finding work more difficult. Persistent barriers to employment may discourage people with disabilities from seeking employment. The study found that two of every five residents with disabilities are not in the labor force, compared to one in 15 people without disabilities. One in every four

Further, people with disabilities more likely measure to experience housing cost burden—that is, paying a third or more The federal poverty level conservative of actual poverty, however. The federal poverty lev Metropolitan Council | | 5 is a are people with disabilities is employed fulldisabilities live in poverty. percent the federal level come on with people disabilities. While 42.7% of the Twinpoverty Cities households wh family of housing—compared four inpeople 2016without was $24,563. In awithout region like ours, where the of Area Median Income (AMI)with is relativ time, compared with three in every In other words, people with disabilities are 50 percent of average mediancombined), income only onefive person reports a disability experience housing cost burden (moderate andaligns severe ($85,800 in 2016), defining poverty as 185% of the federal poverty level better this measure with people without disabilities. One the in every more thanno twice likely to live in poverty often used(Figure as the 9). eligibility threshold for hou where oneasreports a disability burdened Similarly, one in five AMI,households often used asresidents the income eligibility thresholdare for cost federal and state assistance programs, 14 people with disabilities is actively than without disabilities.” federal and state assistance ButHous where at least reports atodisability faces severe housing cost one in are 10 hn Vouchers. Evenone withperson this broader the poverty disparity remains: peoplewhile with only disabilities seeking work, which is double when comThe report goes ondefinition, note that the fedeven with the burden, broader definition, the povwhere no one reports a disability faces severe housing cost burden. as likely to liveeral in poverty without disabilities. pared to the rest of the population. povertythan rate people is a conservative measure erty disparity remains. People with disThe unemployment rate for people with of actual poverty. The federal poverty abilities are twice as like to live in poverty HOUSEHOLD BURDEN BY RESIDENTS' THE TWIN ■ CITIES REGI disabilities was 15 percent, as compared to FIGURE level9.for a family ofCOST four was $24,563 in thanABILITY peopleSTATUS withoutINdisabilities. 5 percent for people without disabilities. 2016. But in Twin Cities region with a Earnings only tell part of a story, acrelatively high average median income of Metropolitan Council | cording to the report. People who don’t $85,800 in 2016, 57.3% defining poverty as 185 73.7% have paid employment may have other sources of income including assistance from government programs. Poverty rates Not cost-burdened calculated by a person’s total income give Moderate housing cost-burden (30-49% 21.6% a more complete picture. of income spent on housing costs monthly) “Unsurprisingly, disabilities based on 16.3% Severe housing cost-burden (50%+ of ability status extend to poverty rates as 21.1% income spent on housing costs monthly) Diamond Hill Townhomes10.0% is a great property located near the well,” the report stated. “One in every five Households with at least one Households with residents people with disabilities in the region had resident with a disability without Airport. a disability Minneapolis International We have spacious two and incomes below the federal poverty level Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey five-year estimate Public Use Microdata, 2011-2015. in 2011-23015. In contrast, only one in 10 three bedroom townhomes that are HUD subsidized and rent is



METROSTATS 30% of the total household’s adjusted grossMetropolitan income.Council |

AROUND THE DIAL Disability and Progress

CTV, is a

Disability and Progress is aired on KFAI Radio, 6-7 p.m. Thursdays. Host Sam Jasmine and her guests explore a wide range of topics that are important to people with disabilities. KFAI is at 90.3 FM in Minneapolis and 106.7 in St. Paul. Recent shows have focused on Wilderness Inquiry and legal assistance for people who are blind. Upcoming shows focus on accessible software for musicians, dyslexia, and the Partners in Policymaking advocacy training program. Listeners outside of the Twin Cities, or those looking for a past show, will find the show’s archives online at http://www.kfai. org Look for the link to archives and for Disability and Progress. Listeners need to have a Real Audio Player downloaded so that this will work. A smartphone app is also available to hear archived programs. To make comments or make suggestions, for future shows, call 612-341-3144, or email Postal mail can be sent to KFAI, 1808 Riverside Ave. S., Disability and Progress, Box 116, Minneapolis MN 55454.

Disability Viewpoints

Disability Viewpoints is an award-winning public access television show by and for people with disabilities. Mark Hughes and his team of co-hosts feature current news, interesting people and groups, and events in Minnesota’s disability community. The show is produced by volunteers at CTV North Suburbs in the Twin Cities. The North Suburban Access Corporation,

Your ad HERE! Call TODAY 651-644-2133 to reserve your spot in the next issue!

nonprofit organization that provides community media for several communities in that area. Some shows are archived on YouTube, so search for Disability Viewpoints on that web channel to find past shows. The program has also been shown in the past on Twin Cities Public Television. Disability Viewpoints has a Facebook page, and a web page at http://www.ctv15. org/programs/local/dv

Diamond Hill Townhomes may be accepting applications for our large number of mobility impaired accessible units. Please contact us for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Please call 612-726-9341.

Other programming

Access Press would be interested in listing other regularly scheduled broadcast, cablecast or podcast programs by and for people with disabilities. Programming needs to have a tie to Minnesota or the Upper Midwest. Around the Dial is published on a space-available basis. Anyone with questions can contact jane@ ■

EMPLOYMENT Employment ads: $22-$25/col. in. Mail to: Access Press 1821 University Ave. #104S, St. Paul, MN 55104 FAX 651-644-2136 Email:




CALL 612.588.1313



FOR RENT Calvary Center Apts: 7650 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN. A Section 8 building now accepting applications for our waiting list. Call 9 am to 4 pm, Mon – Fri 763-546-4988 for an application. Equal Opportunity Housing. Find your new home with At Home Apartments. Call 651-224-1234 or visit for an apartment or town home. Equal Opportunity Housing. STAFF ATTORNEYS Central Minnesota Legal Services seeks full-time attorney for its Willmar office. Fam. Law; with some work in housing/govt benes. Licensed in MN pref’d. Post-law school pov. law exper., fam. law or clinical exper. pref’d. Spanish or Somali language a plus. Salary $47,000+D.O.E. Excellent benes. Resume with cover letter, references and writing sample to Sheila Merriman, CMLS, 110 6th Avenue South Suite 205, 55401. St. Cloud, MN Appl. deadline: November 17, 2017 or until filled. EOE. CLIENT SERVICE/INTAKE Central Minnesota Legal Services. Full Client Services/Intake for Mpls. office. Exc. Oral & written communication skills req. WORD+. Second language+. Sal: D.O.E. . Excellent benefits, generous vacation/sick. Casual/friendly work environ. Resume, refs, & cover letter by 10/30/17(late applications accepted until filled), specifying interest & skills to Ginger Palmquist: CMLS, 430 1st Ave N, #359, Mpls, MN 55401-1780. EOE No calls. Classified rates: $15 for the first 18 words and 65¢ per word thereafter. Classified ads prepaid. Mail to: Access Press, Capitol Ridge Inn Offices; 161 St. Anthony Ave; #910; St. Paul, MN 55103; Phone: 651-644-2133; Fax 651-644-2136; Email:

November 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 11 Pg 16

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