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Honoring Work Page 8

Volume 29, Number 11

Could state be next for minimum wage?

November 10, 2018

WWW.ACCESSPRESS.ORG

Dismay as key workforce report proposals fail to move ahead

NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

TWIN CITIES, MN PERMIT NO. 4766

by Access Press staff

"Doing half of something isn't very inspirational." Louie McGee

NEWS DIGEST

FILE PHOTO

Self-advocates rallied at the capitol in April to call for help with the direct care staffing crisis.

by Jane McClure A delay in acting on recommendations to address Minnesota’s direct care worker crisis has people with disabilities and their advocates wondering what more they can do to get action. Thousands struggle to find needed support staff. The report, Recommendations to Expand, Diversify, and Improve Minnesota’s Direct Care and Support Workforce Workplan, was reviewed

by the Olmstead Subcabinet in July. It had seven main focus areas, with more than 120 strategies to help address the workforce shortage. The subcabinet, the group overseeing Minnesota’s efforts for full community inclusion for people with disabilities, was to approve report recommendations October 29. Saying that more time is needed to review the recommendations and their implications, Minnesota Department of DISMAY To page 5

Time to start planning holiday fun Page 10 Winter won't wait, so be prepared Page 3 Navigate Open Enrollment process Pages 4, 7 Radio Talking Book needs stories Page 11

Triathlon was St. Paul teen’s latest adventure by Brian Johnson Before he was old enough to vote, St. Paul Highland Park neighborhood resident Louie McGee had competed in a triathlon, started a nonprofit organization, won a presidential award and appeared on the cover of a national publication. That’s just a small sample of what the Cretin-Derham Hall senior has accomplished— and he has done it all while living with blindness. McGee, 18, spent the summer and fall preparing for his next big adventure. He headed to Louisville, Kentucky, where on October 14 he competed in a full Ironman Triathlon, a grueling event that includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run, done in that order. He successfully completed the event. There aren’t any known databases of blind Ironman athletes, but it’s probably safe to say it’s a small group. As far as McGee can tell, only 15-20 blind athletes have ever conquered an Ironman and there’s “about a 99 percent chance I’m the youngest,” he said. McGee was inspired to take on the challenge, in part, after reading a book about Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Just as Weihenmayer inspired him, McGee wants to motivate other blind athletes to stretch their limits. “I’m taking on this challenge to encourage other kids with blindness to find their own adventure,” he said. “I spend my life focusing on possibility rather than disability.” McGee has lived up to that can-do philosophy since he was diagnosed at age five with Stargardt disease, similar to macular degeneration, which results

BRAD STAUFFER

As St. Paul city officials continue to look at a $15 per hour minimum wage, the implications for working people with disabilities and support staff and caregivers also continue to be scrutinized. The wage policy was the topic of a public hearing November 7 and could be adopted later this month, taking effect by year’s end. The issue has many facets for the state’s disability community. St. Paul’s proposed ordinance carves out exemptions for some workers with disabilities. But it poses potential complications for people who don’t live in the capital city, but who come here to take part in activities. That’s especially true for self-advocates who require support staff help for daily activities, who wish to work or attend legislative rallies, committee meetings, floor sessions and advocacy trainings. Their staff will need to be paid more for the time spent in St. Paul. A lot of what happens in St. Paul and statewide hinges on the November 6 election. Democratic candidate for governor Tim Walz declared support during the campaign for a higher minimum wage statewide, calling it “aspirational.” Republican Jeff Johnson doesn’t support a $15 minimum wage and has also said he is opposed to the ability of Minnesota cities to implement their own minimum wages. More cities have look at their own policies, with Minneapolis adopting its minimum wage last year. Walz has said he wouldn’t try to pre-empt the city-by-city policies if he is elected governor. But it isn’t just the governor who controls any statewide move to a higher minimum wage. Which party controls the House and Senate also was at stake November 6. All House seats were on the ballot, and one Senate seat in a special election. If lawmakers passed a higher statewide minimum wage, that likely would end what has been a five-year battle at the state level. Legislators in 2014 increased the minimum wage. With an inflation adjustment approved by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, it will go up on Jan. 1 to $9.86 per hour for large employers, from $9.65 an hour; and $8.04 for smaller employers, up from $7.87 an hour. In the meantime, St. Paul officials move toward a higher minimum wage of their own. Almost all of the city council members have signed on to the wage increase ordinance. Mayor Melvin Carter has said he’ll sign it. The two implications in St. Paul that have to be considered are who is and who isn’t exempt, and how staff who accompany people into the city are treated. Anyone with a disability who comes to St. Paul to lobby legislators, attend a rally or do any other activity must pay his or her staff the $15 per hour minimum wage. The city wage requirement kicks in if the person and staff are in the city for more than one hour per year. Thus far no disability WAGE To page 4

St. Paul resident Louie McGee trained for the triathlon. in loss of vision from the center out. In the months and years that followed the diagnosis, he did a lot of traveling with his family, made connections with other people living with blindness, and leaned on the support of family and friends. He also got involved. From 2010-13, he was the youth chair of the Twin Cities Vision Walk for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. He has raised more than $100,000 for the cause and has spoken to countless young people as part of his service with the foundation. During the past five years, he has been featured in numerous local and national publications, including Time Magazine for Kids, and has earned a trophy case full of honors and awards, such as the

2013 Presidential Award for Service from Barack Obama. As a sophomore in high school, McGee started a nonprofit foundation, known as Louie’s Vision, which offers everything from donations of tandem bikes to golf and skiing lessons for kids with blindness. Through it all, McGee has been an ordinary teenager who enjoys swimming, running, skiing and other activities. He competed in his first triathlon last year, and for the past six months has been training for the next level of endurance sports. McGee’s parents, Greg and Annie, weren’t thrilled when he first brought up the idea of competing in the Ironman. After all, he was busy with his senior

TRIATHLON To page 4


Pg 2 November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11

EDITOR’S DESK

Tim Benjamin This November is the first one in 15 years when we haven’t held the Charlie Smith Awards banquet. I missed the ceremony, and I even missed the work that it took to put it together (although the heaviest load was always carried by my coworkers, Dawn, Michelle, Jane, and Board members who started months before and kept at it through every minute of the event). This year, as we deal with financial challenges and strategies, we just couldn’t, ironically, afford to put together what we always affectionately called “a fundraiser.” Unfortunately, while the dinner was always fun it never raised very much in the way of funds. But the Charlie Smith Award will continue. We want to keep doing some kind of gathering that can also be a helpful fundraiser, and we’d like to do it soon. In the first part of next year, along with support from UCare and some other philanthropic supporters, we’ll start planning to make sure it’s run lean and cost effectively while still being one of the best gatherings in Minnesota for the disability community. It’s important that we honor Charlie and all the people who have come to this event over the years to enjoy time with others they don’t get to spend time with throughout the year.

It's important that we honor Charlie and all the people who have come to this event over the years to enjoy time with others they don't get to spend time with throughout the year.

If any of you have ideas on how to have a celebration and honor a community member who has made the disability community better, stronger and more cohesive, let us know. The Minneapolis City Council passed a $15.00 wage bill last year that was very confusing, and it will be phased in over many years to come. Now, the St. Paul City Council is considering a similar law. No one would like to see this happen more than I would. If it were only up to me, I’d say let's start the increase at the beginning of this year. But I know that that cannot happen. There are far too many other factors to consider. What if an employee travels in different parts of the metro area and makes $15 per-hour in St. Paul and Minneapolis but when they crossed the line into a suburb, they would make a different pay? The accounting alone would be a nightmare along with agency staff-hours to keep it all straight. I'm thinking here mostly about the PCA program, but what if it was another business, like Applebee's—would employees make more money inside the city limits than Applebee employees in the suburbs? Unfortunately, this is a question that should have been thought about years ago. By the time the phase-

in period happens in 2020 or 2025, $15 per-hour won’t be a livable wage. (Some people say it is not a livable wage today.) Health and Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper tabled the sub-committee’s Olmstead plan to give DHS more time to understand the recommendations and estimate what the proposals will cost, including how they’ll be affected by the workforce crisis. Commissioner Piper has had two months to look over this plan and could have had some talking points, some questions, some recommendations and some thoughts on how to resolve work shortage that she could bring to the legislature. The rumor is that the delay is intended to see who will be elected governor and who will be appointed Health and Human Services Commissioner. By the time you read this, we will know who our new Governor is and who will be our next Commissioner of Minnesota Health and Human Services. Usually, we have lots of articles about people with disabilities and employment. We did not get too many this year; I hope that's a good sign and that our people are working and don't have time to write about their job search. There sure seem to be more incentives to employ people

in every job sector. There’s no doubt that workforce shortages throughout business mean that companies are more willing to employ people with disabilities. Let’s hope that the result is a turnaround in employment rates for people with disabilities. All we’ve needed for a long time is to get our foot in the door because once they find out what great workers we are, employers won't let us go. It is starting to get colder, and the snow is just around the corner. Be prepared, and read the article that Jane wrote about winter safety on page 3. There's lots of useful information that we all may know but can use a reminder about. Let's have a good winter with lots of fun, slip sliding away without an injury or a cold. I hope you all did your civic duty on November 6. By the time you read this, we’ll all be thinking about what the elections mean for 2019. Please send us your thoughts for the Charlie Smith Award celebration. Let's see if we can come up with an excellent way to do three things: honor one of our own with the Charlie Smith Award; raise funds for Access Press; and make sure everyone in the disability community who wants to, can attend. ■

HISTORY NOTE

A century ago, Braille won status as the language standard How people with blindness and other visual disabilities enjoy printed materials has changed over the years. An array of apps, text-to-speech software and assistive technology “read” content for many people. Others faithfully listen to Radio Talking Book, which marks 50 years’ service in January 2019. Prerecorded books are also popular. Many people still read using Braille. Braille is a system of touch reading and writing in which raised dots represent letters of the alphabet. Braille also contains equivalents for punctuation marks and provides symbols to show letter groupings. 2018 marks a key centennial for this language. Several histories indicate that in 1918, Braille was accepted as the national standard for tactile reading for the blind. Prior to 1918, there were several competing tactile reading methods, which sometimes led to strong differences of opinion as to which was best.

Braille is read by moving the hand or hands from left to right along each line. Both hands are usually involved in the reading process, and reading is generally done with the index fingers. The average reading speed is about 125 words per minute. Proficient Braille readers can reach speeds of 200 words per minute or more. Braille actually has roots going back many years. It got its start in the early 1800s, when Charles Barbier, a soldier in Napoleon Bonaparte’s French army, developed a unique system known as “night writing” so soldiers could communicate safely during the night. Barbier had seen too many men killed because they used lanterns to read and write at night. Louis Braille improved on that system. Born in the village of Coupvray, France in 1809, Braille was blinded at a very young age after he accidentally stabbed himself in the eye with his father’s leatherwork awl. Braille spent years refining the system of

Volume 29, 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, Jane Larson, Julius Williams, .....................................................................................................................................................................Kay Willshire, Mark Zangara Advertising Sales......... Michelle Hegarty, 612-807-1078 Cartoonist......................................................Scott Adams Executive Director.....................................Tim Benjamin Production........................................................ In-Fin Tuan Managing Editor........................................ Jane McClure Distribution............................................ S. C. Distribution Business Manager/Webmaster......... Dawn Frederick EDITORIAL: Editorial submissions and news releases on topics of interest to persons with disabilities, or persons serving those with disabilities, are welcomed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Editorial material and advertising do not necessarily reflect the view of the editor/publisher of Access Press. ADVERTISING RATES: Display Ad: $12 to $28 per column inch (size and frequency of run). Classified Ad: $14, plus 65¢ per word over 12 words. DEADLINE: 25th of each month. CIRCULATION/DISTRIBUTION: 11,000 copies are distributed the 10 th of each month through more than 200 locations statewide. Approximately 450 copies are mailed to individuals, including political, business, institutional and civic leaders. SUBSCRIPTION: $30 per year. Low-income, student and bulk subscriptions available at discounted rates. ABOUT ACCESS PRESS: A monthly newspaper published for persons with disabilities by Access Press, Ltd. Application to mail at Periodicals Postage Prices is Pending at the St. Paul, MN 55121 facility. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Access Press at 161 St. Anthony Ave, Suite 901, St. Paul, MN 55103. INQUIRIES AND ADDRESS CHANGES should be directed to: Access Press, The Capitol Ridge Inn Offices 161 St. Anthony Ave; #910, St. Paul, MN 55103; 651-644-2133; Fax: 651-644-2136; email: access@accesspress.org www.accesspress.org

raised dots that bears his name. Braille’s code was based on cells with only six dots instead of 12. This improvement was crucial because it meant that a fingertip could encompass the entire cell unit with one impression and move rapidly from one cell to the next. Braille died at age 43, one year before his home country of France adopted Braille as that nation’s official communication system for blind individuals. Various forms of raised-dot and raisedletter language continue to be used until 1918 when Braille replaced them all in the United States. Most people who are blind or have visual disabilities in the United States routinely learned Braille until the 1960s. The National Federation for the Blind (NFB) notes that by the 1980s, the Braille literacy rate among blind people was reported to be near 10 percent. That organization has taken steps to change to reverse the decline

in Braille literacy, raising public awareness about the benefits of Braille and working to adopt state laws that strengthened access to Braille instruction and instructional materials for blind children. The NFB Braille Readers are Leaders Literacy Campaign promotes the learning of Braille. Recently an alternative to Braille was unveiled. Andrew Chepaitis, a former equity research analyst, founded a startup called ELIA Life Technology. ELIA, which stands for Education, Literacy, and Independence for All, aspires to challenge Braille’s dominance through an easy-tolearn system based on letterforms of the Roman alphabet. It was announced earlier this year. Could it replace Braille? Only time will tell. ■ The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, www. mnddc.org or www.mncdd.org and www. partnersinpolicymaking.com.


November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 3

BE PREPARED

Winter brings safety challenges for Minnesotans with disabilities Winter weather is inevitable in Minnesota. People with disabilities need to take extra steps to be prepared. Be ready and keep safe and warm when the snow flies. Follow weather forecasts and have those winter weather information resources at hand in advance. It’s easier to do than ever, with numerous apps and alerts that can be downloaded or subscribed to with smart technology. Television and radio stations, and the National Weather Service office provide constant weather updates. Cities and some counties, along with Minnesota Department of Transportation, provide ample information services, on road conditions, and snow emergencies and streets plowing times. Many cities now have email, Twitter and Facebook notices of snow emergencies. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio receiver is a great weather information option year-round. So is a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio for weather alerts, in case of a power outage. Mind the forecasts, and have adequate clothing and emergency supplies for home and motor vehicles.

Winter weather can mean slow going on the roads. with pocket knife. And keep a supply of medications in a purse or bag that is carried every day. Store items in the main vehicle as the trunk can freeze shut. It’s important have a small lock de-icer but even those can be ineffective if a lock is frozen solid.

canned food and a manual can opener. Stock up on foods such as breads, crackers and dried fruits that can be eaten without cooking. Have a stock of prescription and non-protection drugs and a first aid kit. Make sure flashlights and battery-powered lanterns are working, and extra batteries are on hand. To reduce the risk of accidental fires, don’t use candles. Service animals’ needs also should be considered, by stockpiling needed pet food and water. Be careful with space heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces as those can cause burns, start fires or in some cases add to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure home carbon monoxide

Going out and about Report unshoveled sidewalks and bus stops, and streets and roads that haven’t been plowed. Some communities have information and complaint hot-lines. Transit services also may have complaint lines if a transit stop isn’t cleared. Anyone with a disability that is aggravated by weather should keep outside trips brief, to avoid triggering any condition. Wear a hat, scarf or mask to cover the face and mouth, sleeves that are snug at the wrist, layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing and a water-resistant outer coat to stay dry and footwear. Make sure the outermost clothing layer is tightly woven to reduce the loss of body heat. Stay dry because wet clothing can cause chills. Avoid getting alcohol or gasoline on skin during cold weather because those liquids can cause greater heat loss from the body. Starting to shiver is a sign that it’s time to go inside and warm up. Walking on ice and snow can be dangerous. A fall can cause serious and even fatal injuries. To stay safe at home, stock up on salt, sand, clay cat litter or chemical de-icers for increased stability on sidewalks. Slip-on cleats that can be put on the bottoms of boots and shoes are a lifesaver. Very limited home snow shoveling help is available for people with disabilities and senior citizens. Faith-based institutions, neighborhood groups and neighborhood nurse/senior programs are possible options. Call the Senior Linkage Line 1-800-333-2433 or Disability Hub MN at 1-866-333-2466. Staying safe indoors Many Minnesotans, especially those in rural areas, face the risk of losing power during a storm. Prepare for longer waits in rural areas. Make a winter checklist and be ready for a week without access to food, water and electricity. Have drinking water,

MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Be safe if stranded in a vehicle Monitor weather conditions before travel. If a trip must be made during inclement weather, let a family member or friend know about a trip, and expected arrival time. Check in and use the buddy system. Being stranded in a motor vehicle can be dangerous. Vehicles cannot be counted on for warmth. Move to the side of the road and wait for help inside the vehicle. Use flashers. Raise the hood if it isn’t snowing, raining or windy. Only run the vehicle motor and heater for about 10 minutes per hour. Open a window slightly for fresh air and make sure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow. This will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. For a vehicle, make a winter emergency kit. Items can be placed in a plastic bin, sturdy bag, bucket or box. A kit could be a lifesaver if a vehicle gets stranded. Pack a shovel, windshield scraper and small broom. Have some road salt, sand or clay cat litter for traction. (Clumping litter doesn’t provide good traction.) A tow chain or rope is important, as are jumper or booster cables. Other needs are some roadside flares and reflectors, a distress flag and a whistle. A distress flag can something as simple as a homemade “Help” sign or a red cloth or scarf to hang on an antenna. A whistle is another good way to get attention if a vehicle is stranded. Remember to pack a flashlight with extra batteries, cell phone charger with an adapter for the vehicle, batterypowered radio, water and food. Good food options are energy bars, raisins, candy bars and things that can be eaten without preparation. Include food and water if an assistance animal travels along regularly. Include matches, a metal can and small candles in the kit. That can be used to melt snow for drinking water. Don’t eat snow because that lowers body temperature. Extra hats, socks and mittens are also important, as is a sleeping bag or heavy blanket for each person who regularly travels in the vehicle. Don’t fall asleep. Keep moving as much as able to stay warm and awake. Every vehicle should have first aid kit

MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

by Access Press staff

Do not pass snowplows, and give them the right-of-way.

and smoke alarms are in good working order. Close off rooms that aren’t in use to conserve heat. Close drapes or cover windows with blankets at night. Stuff towels or rugs beneath cracks under doors. Extreme cold can cause home water pipes to freeze and sometimes rupture. When very cold temperatures are expected, leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously. Keep the indoor temperature suitably warm. Improve the circulation of heated air near pipes. Visit www.minnesotahelp.info to find both linkage line websites and other useful information. Another good website is www.disability.state.mn.us/ emergency-preparedness. ■


November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 4

FROM OUR COMMUNITY

Clock is ticking on Medicare Open Enrollment, but help is available Time is running out for Medicare Open Enrollment, but Disability Hub MN can help with the daunting task of looking at providers. Medicare Open Enrollment runs October 15th through December 7th. During this time, you can switch from one plan provider to another or enroll for the first time. Open Enrollment is often the only time each year you can review your coverage, compare it with other options, and see if you need to make any changes for next year if you are not on Medical Assistance. There’s a lot to consider and only a few weeks to do it. One primary reason it is important to compare Medicare prescription drug plans is the constantly changing list of prescription drugs, both generic and brand names. Medicare plans update their list, drug costs, and reimbursements every two weeks. Usually, these changes are not too drastic, but over a full year, small changes in

pricing or coverage could cause immense differences in costs. Disability Hub MN is offering a new way for you to get assistance with finding the Medicare Part D prescription plan that is best for you. The Hub can help you look at your plan options, compare plans, and assist you in enrolling in the coverage you choose. Taking the time to talk to an expert about different prescription plan options could save you money and will also make sure you are in the right plan that fits all your prescription needs. For example, a person called the hub after receiving a letter from his insurance plan stating they are raising his prescription costs. In addition, his pharmacist said they are no longer an in-network provider. He wanted to see if there was a better plan for him. After comparing plans with an options counselor, he chose to change plans in

as having a disability, their parents/legal guardians and providers. Their team of experts can help solve problems, navigate the system and plan for your future. They know the ins and outs of community resources and government programs and have years of experience helping people fit them together. They can work with you to explore concerns around health, community, home, work, skills, and money, but you can ask them anything. Services include benefits planning, information referral and assistance, health insurance options counseling and follow along which pairs you with an options counselor that has specialized training to support people achieve goals. Call, email or live chat with a Hub Options Counselors anytime between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday thru Friday at www. disabilityhubmn.org or 1-866-333-2466. This information was provided by Disability Hub MN.

Looking for legislative agendas

LETTERS Self-advocacy group needs help with bills To the editor: Self Advocates Leading Together (SALT) is about people with disabilities learning about their rights, how to ask for them in an assertive way, and making sure our voices get heard, as well as getting together and having a great time. The group meets the first and third Thursday of each month, at locations in Arden Hills and Spring Lake Park. Its members meet to discuss issues including housing, transportation, legislative, employment and more. The group would like to have fun events for its members, but the recent Halloween party was a difficult learning experience. Signups placed the number of attendees at 140, so that was what was guaranteed for the event, which included food and a DJ. But fewer than 100 people showed up. What people need to understand is: when you RSVP to an event, the

organization hosting the event MUST pay for your meal whether you attend or not! Because so many people said they were coming and didn't, our organization didn't raise enough money to pay all of the bills for the event including the DJ. Both Banquets of MN and the DJ were kind enough to give us a little bit of a break, but we are still about $350 short of what is needed. Because of this, we will no longer be able to have fun events unless people pay ahead of time If anyone wishes to help the group defray its costs, donations can be mailed to Kathy Sanders, 2520 Fairoak Ave, #109, Anoka, MN 55303. Checks should be made out to: Self-Advocates Leading Together or SALT. Anything would help! Thank you! If anyone has questions about the group, contact Kathy Sanders at 763-443-4274 or Katie McDermott at 651-815-2263. Kathy Sanders, Anoka

WAGE From page 1

employment program. Itis a program of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. This is a program with a focus on competitive, integrated employment. The second exemption is for people with disabilities receiving home and community-based services identified in state statute. Follow the St. Paul wage debate, view public hearing podcasts and read information at www.stpaul.gov ■

advocacy groups have spoken out about the requirement. The complexities of paying different wages by locale has been raised by business advocacy groups, if the person with disabilities and staff are in the city for more than an hour. Two groups of workers with disabilities would be exempt from the higher minimum wage requirement. One is workers under the extended

order to reduce his prescription costs and stay with the same pharmacy. To talk with an expert, go to www. disabilityhubmn.org and click on “Get Started” in the purple box on the homepage. From there, fill out the Medicare Part D Plan Comparison Request form with your current medications. The hub staff will help find the plan options that will work for you. Once you submit the form, the hub staff will review your information and contact you to discuss your options. As a part of the form, you can let them know whether you'd like to be contacted by email or phone. You can also pick a time that is convenient for you. All information submitted via the form is secure. If you have questions while you're filling out the form, contact an options counselor by phone at 1-866-333-2466. Disability Hub MN is a free resource in Minnesota for individuals that identify

With the Minnesota Legislature starting its 2019 session on January 8, it’s time for disability advocacy organizations and groups to bring forward ideas for state spending and policy changes. Access Press is interested in receiving legislative agendas for publication in our December and January issues. Deadline for December is Monday, November 26 and deadline for January is Friday, December 21. The newspaper will publish as much information as it can, but it would be helpful to have documents indicate which items are an organization or group’s top

priorities, so those can be pulled out. Another area of interest is proposals brought forward by consortiums. It’s also helpful for the newspaper staff to get a reminder of which 2019 items were brought forward in the past, and what changes in language or approach are being made for the upcoming session. The newspaper staff is also interested in learning what if any legislative repeal efforts are out there. Documents can be sent to Managing Editor Jane McClure, at jane@accesspress. org. Call 651-644-2133 if there are questions and we’ll see everyone at the capitol.

TRIATHLON From page 1

“more of a mind game” because the biggest challenge is to keep mentally strong while sitting on the bike for hours. “It’s kind of boring to sit there for that long,” he said. “The nice thing is I’m on a tandem, so I can talk to my guide the whole time.” McGee said growing up with blindness has taught him a lot about service to others. “I often rely on others for help, and the people around me have to be open to providing that help,” he said. “That network of positive energy allows for the best to be brought out in people. A good leader cannot rise alone and that, I think, is where my strength lies.” As for the future, McGee said he looks forward to finishing his last year of high school and making the transition to college. He’s undecided on a major, but he’s contemplating psychology and perhaps going on to law school. Whatever his future holds, he intends to keep working on behalf of blind people. “I’ll use my Ironman experience as a platform to speak and show others with blindness that so much is possible,” he said. “Even if we don’t find a cure for blindness and I lose more of my vision, I know I’ll continue to have the opportunity to do more great things and help other kids like me get the most out of life.” This article is reprinted with permission from the Villager newspaper, St. Paul. ■

year in high school, not to mention the considerable time and cost involved in such an undertaking. “Our response was a pretty strong ‘No,’” Greg recalled. He floated the idea of perhaps considering a half-Ironman and was caught off-guard by his son’s response. “He said, ‘Doing half of something isn’t very inspirational.’ We thought he was onto something,” said Greg, who added that both he and Annie are “super-proud” of their son. At the Ironman event, McGee competed in the physically challenged class. He and a guide, Woodbury resident Milan Tomaska, were tethered together for the swim and run, and rode together on a tandem bike. McGee has long been an accomplished swimmer, but not a particularly avid biker or runner. Before he started training, his longest run was about 7 miles and he hadn’t gone more than 30 miles on a bike, he said. “After training for a few months, I was like, ‘Uh-oh. What have I gotten myself into?’” McGee joked. But the months of training paid off. As he headed into the Ironman, he was running more than 20 miles at a time and logging 100 miles on the bike. After a recent run of 20 miles, he felt strong enough to “tack on another mile,” he said. As for the cycling part, McGee said that’s

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We look forward to hearing from you! Higher wages could be a boon for people who work retail and service jobs.

Please call 612-726-9341.


November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 5

Jeff Bangsberg

FILE PHOTO

FILE PHOTO

state department representatives have reviewed the document to determine how they will respond. Alex Bartolic, who leads disability services for DHS, also cited the urgent need for action on the workforce crisis. One early focus is to be that of educating policymakers. One challenge is that on average a personal care attendant in Minnesota is paid $11.78 per hour. An increase of at least 20 percent is needed to be competitive. Another need is to look region by region in Minnesota to understand what is happening and what change would cost. Surveys of home and community-based service providers should help DHS get answers. “This is a big, big issue and a problem in the state,” said Darielle Dannen, government relations director for DEED. She said the review has Posters were prepared for a rally last year. A big focus of rallies was the need to focused on first steps and what can increase support staff wages. be done right away. Dannen said conversations about implementing the DISMAY From page 1 recommendations will continue. Human Service (DHS) Commissioner Emily Johnson Piper called for the delay during a subcabinet meeting October 29. She said the recommendations could be brought back to the subcabinet as soon as its next meeting November 26. That would give state department and agency representatives more time to meet. Piper said she needs to understand the implication of some of the recommendations for DHS. “I have questions about some of the action items.” The delay dismayed self-advocates who have worked for many months on the direct care staffing study. They noted that there are more than 10,000 direct care job openings statewide. Longtime disability community advocate Jeff Bangsberg served on the advisory committee that researched and drafted the report. He asked the subcabinet what more needed to be done. “We were under the impression that people were very pleased with the direction this report took,” he said. “Quite frankly, I’m awed and disappointed.” “We are in a period of crisis when it comes to finding direct care professionals,” said Bangsberg, who serves as board chairman for the Metropolitan Center for independent Living (MCIL). He pointed out that there hasn’t been a true wage increase for direct support workers for about a decade. Delays could affect what action items are presented to the 2019 Minnesota Legislature, which gavels into session January 8. It’s likely that several state departments and agencies would be making program or financing recommendations tied to the report. Another worry is what could happen to the report in the months ahead. Minnesota will have a new governor in 2019, which will mean new state department leaders. Department heads and their designees make up the subcabinet. It remains to be seen how supportive a new governor will be of Olmstead and its goals of inclusion in the community. Regardless of that, a new subcabinet will have a learning curve and will have to get up to speed on issues including the workforce issue and the study. “I am very concerned that if we table this now, we’ll slow down all of the good work that has been done over the past 18 months,” he said. Bangsberg asked the subcabinet what information it needs to approve the report and act. Piper said that while the report contains much analysis and many recommendations, she’d like more scrutiny of how to tie everything together. “My concern is not with the work itself,” she said. “It’s not my intent to slow things down.” But she wants to see more details, including delineation of responsibilities, and noted that meeting many of the report’s goals falls on DHS. Low pay for direct care workers has been debated for years. But the complication for Medicaid-supported workers is that a wage increase would mean asking state lawmakers to pass an increase in the reimbursement rate. A cross-agency direct care and support workforce shortage working group spent months studying Minnesota’s critical workforce shortage, to develop the report. Since the report was presented to the subcabinet in July, various

DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy, who chaired the October 29 subcabinet meeting, said her department is enthusiastic about how it can help address the workforce shortage, looking at labor market analyses, doing more training and finding ways to address the gaps in the system. The need to increase worker wages and/or benefits is a top recommendation in the report. Strategies to do so are led by the need to provide a livable wage to enhance job satisfaction and retention and address statutory limits on reimbursement rates that make it difficult for providers to pay direct care and support staff a livable wage. Another priority is to expand the worker pool. One way to do this would be to create incentives for high school and college students choosing direct care and support career paths, such as help with tuition. One barrier in expanding the worker pool is transportation, so the working group has proposed exploring options to address transportation barriers for direct care and support professionals and the people who depend on their services. Promoting use of existing training and development options and providing tiered credential options, increasing job satisfaction, enhanced training, promoting direct care careers, service innovations and improved data collection are among other report recommendations. ■


November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 6

REGIONAL NEWS Websites become access target Parking lots and building need to be accessible, so websites should be, too. Minnesota has its first lawsuit centered on inaccessible government websites. This fall Noah J. McCourt, a disability advocate with autism from Waconia, sued Carver County and the cities of Norwood Young America and Chanhassen in U.S. District Court. McCourt contends that the websites’ lack of access for users with disabilities violates both state and federal law. Violations are cited of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and a lesser-known federal law called the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The 1973 law makes it Noah McCourt illegal for entities to deny people with disabilities access to programs or activities that receive federal funding. McCourt, who serves on state-level disability groups and has run for public office, told the Pioneer Press, “I really think that this kind of issue is really a question of who we want to be as a community. Do we want a community that says we're open to business or we're closed?” Officials haven’t commented on the access lawsuits. Businesses and lack of physical access have been targets in Minnesota for several years, but this is believed to be the first time that website access has been a focus. Lawsuits have been filed in other states, and at the national level. About a decade ago, Target settled a lawsuit focused on its website. The National Federation for the Blind contended the site was inaccessible to people with visual disabilities. Most cases involved people with visual or hearing disabilities. Having a case focused on autism is less common. The Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t include language specific to websites, but cases elsewhere have been settled in the plaintiffs’ favor. Nationally, the number of lawsuits is increasing. That may be in part to delays by the U.S. Department of Justice to issue its interpretation of the ADA to websites. That hasn’t happened. The deadline to do so was last extended in 2015. (Source: Pioneer Press)

Social Security announces benefit increase

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 67 million Americans will increase 2.8 percent in 2019, the Social Security Administration announced. The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018. Some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $132,900 from $128,400. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail in early December about their new benefit amount. This year, for the first time, most people who receive SocialSecurity payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their “my Social Security" account. People may create or access an account online

atwww.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Information about Medicare changes for 2019, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2019 are announced. Final 2019 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center. The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity. gov/cola. (Source: Social Security Administration)

New funds help adults with disabilities find, keep housing

Grants totaling $2.97 million have been awarded to 46 counties and three American Indian tribes to help more people with disabilities have housing of their own through a new initiative from the state of Minnesota. Community Living Infrastructure Grants will fund initiatives aimed at helping people with disabilities with housing instability get housing, move out into the community or remain in their own homes. “Too many people with disabilities are stuck in institutions or group homes, bouncing between friends’ couches

and crisis beds, or sleeping in homeless shelters,” said Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “Minnesota needs to shift away from overreliance on group homes and other facilities by supporting and helping people to live in their communities.” The grants, which will be distributed over four years, support people with disabilities by providing outreach to people who are homeless, unstably housed, or who want to relocate from hospitals, treatment centers, corrections or other facilities. Local experts to provide information and resources for individuals who need housing will also be funded, as will support for counties and tribes to administer and monitor effective housing support programs. These grants aim to help people with disabilities know what housing resources are available to them in their area and how to get them. Moving people to more appropriate housing is expected to open beds in high level-of-care facilities for people with greater needs, reducing waiting lists. Funding for the grants was appropriated by the 2017 legislature within the Minnesota Housing Support Act. Additional funding will be awarded through a new competitive grant process next year, for a total of $7.07 million over four years. The grant recipients include Anoka County ($191,027), Carver County, ($118,820), Dakota County ($140,088), Hennepin County ($212,842), Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe ($102,720), Olmsted County ($150,000), Ramsey County ($214,357), St. Louis County with the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa ($256,175), Scott County ($79,750), Stearns County ($187,211), Washington County ($185,447) and White Earth Band of Chippewa ($169,296). Several consortiums were also funded, including Clay, Becker, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, Wadena and Wilkin counties ($385,875), Marshall, Kittson, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Polk and Red Lake counties ($191,908), Minnesota Prairie County Alliance of Dodge, Steele and Waseca counties ($102,580), Regional Metro Committee (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties ($181,904) and Southwestern Minnesota Adult Mental Health Consortium (Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties ($100,000). (Source: Minnesota DHS)

Spotlight on mental illness

The Minnesota Vikings’ threetime Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen’s time away from football this season put a spotlight on mental illness.

Griffen missed more than a month of practices and games this fall, after exhibiting erratic behavior. Speaking to reporters after his return, Griffen said, “I feel everything happens for a reason and I needed this, to figure out myself and it was a good thing.” Griffen told reporters that he is feeling good and taking it one day at a time. Mental health advocates said Griffen’s situation draw attention to mental illness and its challenges. “I often tell people we all have mental health – some of us struggle with mental illness,” said Jill Wiedmann-West, executive director of People Incorporated. Wiedmann-West said that when accomplished people such as Griffen admit their mental health struggles, it makes it more relatable to the common person. And that can go a long way to strip away a reluctance to talk about it. “It does not define the individual. Depression or anxiety or any mental illness does not define the individual,” Wiedmann-West said. “What that tells our community is that it can happen to anyone,” Sue Abderholden said. She is Minnesota’s executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She praises both Griffen and the Vikings organization for giving a mental health crisis the proper medical response and for giving Griffen the time he needed to address his mental health challenges without jeopardizing his place on the team. (Source: WCCO TV)

Mannequins light up lives

When the Winona J.C. Penney closed last year, Sheryl Miller saw an opportunity. The Winona resident didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do with the mannequins for sale in the store, but she knew she wanted to do something. So, she bought them, took them home and decided to give them a new purpose. Winona area artists and organizations have turned 12 mannequins into unique artistic lamps that were auctioned off, with all the money going to four local organizations who serve people with Down syndrome or other developmental disabilities. The Light Up a Life fundraiser helped organizations including Home and Community Options, Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin in La Crosse, the Winona ORC and Winona County Developmental Achievement Center. Local artists took on the task of recreating each mannequin, with a special theme. Each was unique. The artworks were displayed at a local bank before being auctioned off. “We Nohah” is a mannequin lamp that depicts landscape scenes from around Winona, painted by Mary Singer. And there’s the steampunk themed “Erstwilla” mannequin outfitted with painted gears, a few actual springs, black braids and REGIONAL NEWS To page 15

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November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 7

With the start of Medicare open enrollment on October 15, the Minnesota Board on Aging’s Senior LinkAge Line is prepared to help Minnesotans navigate significant changes to Medicare plans. But act soon as the first deadline is December 7. Due to a change in federal law, Cost Plans, a type of Medicare plan popular in Minnesota, will no longer be available in 66 counties for 2019. This means that about 375,000 affected Minnesotans on Medicare will need to change plans. Senior LinkAge Line, at 1-800-333-2433 and via chat at SeniorLinkAgeLine.com, is available to help Minnesotans on Medicare weigh their plan options by providing them with comprehensive, unbiased Medicare counseling. Senior LinkAge Line has temporarily extended its business hours and will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. “It’s important for consumers to review their health plans to make sure the plan is both affordable and provides access to doctors, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies they want and need,” said Kari Benson, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging. Minnesota has the most beneficiaries on Cost Plans of any state in the nation, with about 400,000 of the 756,000 people on Cost Plans nationwide. A small number of Minnesotans with Cost Plans will be able to keep their plans because they reside in counties that do not have enough other options. However, the majority of beneficiaries in Minnesota will have to change plans or risk returning to Original Medicare, which could be costly to individuals. Also new this year is a Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period in 2019 during which someone with a Medicare Advantage plan can: • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan • Drop their Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare; or • Add or drop a standalone Part D prescription drug plan. Upcoming key dates for Medicare-related events: • October 15-December 7, 2018 – Medicare Open

MINNESOTA BOARD ON AGING

First of many deadlines approaches for Medicare programs

Answers are available for Medicare questions. Enrollment. Any Medicare beneficiary can choose a new plan during this time. • November 2, 2018-March 5, 2019 - Beneficiaries who lost their Cost Plan and switched to Original Medicare for 2019 can buy Medicare Supplement coverage. • December 8, 2018-February 28, 2019 - Beneficiaries who lost their Cost Plan can choose a different Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D prescription drug plan than what they selected during open enrollment. • January 1, 2019 - Medicare beneficiaries whose Cost Plan ended Dec. 31, 2018, and who did not enroll in a new plan will return to Original Medicare (Parts A & B only). • January 1-March 31, 2019 – Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period (new for 2019) allows someone with a Medicare Advantage plan to switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan, or drop their Medicare Advantage plan and

return to Original Medicare or add or drop a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan. More information about plans is available on the Medicare Plan Finder. More information about Medicare open enrollment in Minnesota can be found at SeniorLinkAgeLine.com. Senior LinkAge Line, at 1-800-333-2433 is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging in partnership with Minnesota’s Area Agencies on Aging. Senior LinkAge Line provides help to older Minnesotans, all Medicare beneficiaries, and their families and friends by helping them connect to local services, find answers and get the help they need. (This information is from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.) ■

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In Memoriam

Kyrklund was autism educator

A leader in the field of autism education has died. Sarah Jane Kyrklund was 76 and lived in Edina. She was a native of Maryland, and held degrees from American University in Washington, DC, University of Minnesota and the University of Kansas. She held a PhD. and dedicated her career to teaching students with autism, and teaching teachers who worked in her field. She was also very much in demand as a speaker, and was highly regarded for her base of knowledge. Kyrklund was an accomplished designer in the art of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging). She is survived by her sister and many other family members. Services have been held. Memorials can be made to N C Little Hospice, Autism Society of Minnesota or Normandale Lutheran Church.

Pauley championed the rights of others

Barbara Joann Pauley is remembered for championing the rights of vulnerable adults. Pauley, 68, was remembered at a memorial service this fall in her hometown of Mankato. Pauley grew up in Madelia and attended Abbott Northwestern School of Nursing in Minneapolis. Her career experience included hospital and long term care and with clients in developmental disabilities and chemical dependence programs. She worked for the State of Minnesota for 20 years and inspected a variety of health facilities. She also conducted inspections in the cases of vulnerable adults. She is survived by a sister, brother-in-law, and many nieces and nephews.

Coal's artistry, activism burned brightly

Artist and advocate Char Diamond Coal believed strongly in promoting the work of visual art by people who live with mental illness. A celebration of her life was held in October at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, Minneapolis. A longtime artists and performer, Coal died in November 2017. She had moved back to Marietta, Ga. to be closer to family after she became ill. Born in Rochester, N.Y., Coal was born Charlene Waters. She developed an interest in fashion as a teenager, organizing fashion shows and training models. She moved to New York City where she was a disc jockey for the Playboy Club, owned a typing business, worked at Price Waterhouse Cooper and was involved in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program. Coal moved to the Twin Cities where she studied at the University of Minnesota. She won awards for her photography, painting and writing. She was a singer, was active in her church and did community outreach. She was involved with VSA Minnesota, Vail Place and other nonprofits. Coal was best known for founding and operating ZagZum, to showcase visual art by persons with mental illness. She often spoke of her personal struggles with mental health, and used that experience in her art and advocacy. One of her best-known annual shows was at Hennepin County Medical Center, during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. She was preceded in death by a brother. Coal is survived by her parents, two sisters and their families, and many other family members and friends. Services were also held last year in Georgia.

Be part of our Directory of Organizations! Next edition: January 2019

Potaczek provided living options

Michael Allen Potaczek’s career led to provide living options and other services for adults with disabilities. He did in September after a long battle with cancer. He was 51 and lived in Plymouth. The Wisconsin native was a graduate of Metropolitan State University, with a degree in psychology and business management in 1992. He pursued a career helping people with disabilities, establishing Progressive Habilitative Services, Inc. and M.A.P. Investments in 1996. As a successful owner in adult foster care with several facilities, he took great pride in making a difference in the lives of his clients and employees. He loved travel, the arts and creative endeavors. He is survived by his mother, sisters and many other family members and friends. No services were held at his request.


November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 8

PEOPLE & PLACES

PROACT

Treehouse Foods, DARTS honored for employment efforts in disability community

(left photo) Joe Murphy with Treehouse Foods accepts the Business Partner of the Year award from Mary McGeheran, ProAct’s business manager. Treehouse Foods has utilized ProAct to sort millions of snack bars over the past year. Murphy and the large food supplier were recognized at ProAct’s Annual Recognition Banquet held at Inwood Oaks event center in Oakdale. (right photo) Rob Haddorff, left, and Chamille Edmonds, center, with DARTS receive the New Employer Partner of the Year award from Mary McGeheran, ProAct’s business manager.

Canoeing at Vinland’s main campus in Loretto, Minnesota

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ProAct has announced its awards for 2018, honoring a food supplier and a services provider. Providing excellent work opportunities for people with disabilities based at ProAct in Eagan, Treehouse Foods and DARTS received annual awards. Treehouse Foods, a large food supplier, is the 2018 Business Partner of the Year and DARTS, which serves older adults in and around Dakota County, is the 2018 New Employer Partner of the Year. DARTS and TreeHouse were honored at ProAct’s Annual Recognition Banquet in Oakdale, held earlier this fall. A unique address was given by model Mikayla Holmgren, who is believed to be the first person with Down syndrome in the nation to compete at the state level. Before participating in the Miss Minnesota Pageant, she represented Minnesota in the national Junior Miss Amazing pageant in Los Angeles. “These partners are wonderful examples who work closely with us to provide opportunities for the people we serve,” said ProAct President and CEO Steven Ditschler. “We are grateful for their role in enhancing

the quality of life for people with disabilities.” TreeHouse Foods has been a source of work for almost 180 ProAct participants in the past year, said ProAct Business Manager Mary McGeheran. She said predictability, reliability, and longevity are hallmarks of Treehouse. The nonprofit’s relationship with the food company spans more than 15 years. “We set up a variety and number of production lines each afternoon to prepare for the following workday, and a sit-down line is used for those who are unable to stand, or who are in wheelchairs,” McGeheran said. The manager said TreeHouse is “part of the ProAct family” and is an important asset. “They understand our capabilities and ProAct has an understanding of the demands to meet TreeHouse needs,” she said. Participants sort and box prepackaged granola bars and other items for eventual shipping to grocers and other retailers. ProAct’s New Employer of the Year, DARTS, is based in West St. Paul. It serves senior citizens and people with disabilities in many ways. ProAct

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November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 9

PEOPLE & PLACES October brought kudos to workers, those who support them

Handi Medical wins ethics honors

St. Paul-based Handi Medical Supply was one of the companies honored with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Minnesota and North Dakota’s 2018 Torch Awards for Ethics. The ceremony was held in October at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. BBB’s Torch Awards for Ethics recognizes leading area businesses that uphold the highest standards and display an outstanding level of ethics and integrity, in every aspect of their day to day operations. Handi was honored in the

MOHR

October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Gov. Mark Dayton issued a special proclamation to commemorate the month. The official certificate was presented by the statewide disability organization Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) to two key legislators, Senators Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) and John Hoffman (D-Champlin). The governor’s proclamation states that Minnesota is committed to providing individuals with disabilities a “continuum of work options that best meet individual needs and choices in a person-centered manner.” It also states that employers are crucial to providing opportunities for work experience, career paths and the dignity that comes through labor. Individuals with disabilities typically find it more difficult to find work opportunities and are often assisted by nonprofit providers who help with everything from resume writing to job tryouts, job coaching, skill building and training for work.The senators have been strong advocates for people with disabilities. “This is great. We know that people with disabilities want to be part of the community at large in a huge manner and the Olmstead provision tells us that," said Hoffman. "We, as policymakers want to understand and make that a reality, and this is one step in the right direction. It makes a lot of difference to be able to acknowledge this whole month and say to folks with disabilities that we want to make sure that you're working and being included in society.” Abeler echoed Hoffman's comments. "This is a big deal. We get the privilege to work on this. The real heroes are the people every day who get out of bed and face their challenges or help people who are facing challenges. It's an honor to work with John and Foung on this, and with you all.” Hoffman and Abeler were joined by Sen. Foung Hawj (D-St. Paul). “Our state is productive because of the inclusion of people with disabilities,” Hawj said, “I'm glad I'm standing next to the two champions here in our Senate and I'm going to be a third.”

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Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) President Julie Johnson, left, met with Senators Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), John Hoffman (D-Champlin) and Foung Hawj (D-St. Paul) to proclaim Minnesota Disability Employment Awareness Month.

ATTENTION PCA CHOICE CAREGIVERS

Don’t Miss Your ONLY Chance to call for a New Union Vote!

The SEIU Union, like it or not, is your Exclusive Representative at the Capitol. SEIU is taking credit for pay and benefits provided by the legislature—and taking millions of dollars from the Medicaid funds intended for people with disabilities and caregivers like you, while providing nothing in return. PCAs need to collect thousands of confidential Election Cards by Thanksgiving so they can vote to decertify (remove) the SEIU for good.

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November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 10

ENJOY! W., St. Paul. ASL offered 3:15 p.m. Sun, Nov. 18. OC offered 4 p.m. Fri, Nov. 30. Purchase combination museum and planetarium tickets or planetarium-only tickets. Tickets start at $8 for planetarium only and $17 for planetarium and museum. Discounts available. Planetarium tickets go on sale three weeks before the date of the show. Pre-purchasing is recommended because shows sell out. To arrange ASL, open captioning or accommodations, call 612-626-9660 or email bellaccess@umn.edu A Christmas Carol Guthrie Theater presents the Charles Dickens classic, at Guthrie Theater, Wurtele Thrust, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. SF relaxed performance 6 p.m. Sun, Nov. 18. A relaxed performance is intended to be sensitive to and accepting of any audience member who may benefit from a more relaxed environment. Although these performances are open to all patrons, they are intentionally modified to accommodate patrons with sensory and vestibular sensitivities, anxiety, dementia, autism spectrum disorders, learning differences or challenges attending the theater. A variety of support materials in advance help ensure a positive experience, including a detailed narrative about what it's like to visit the Guthrie, an overview of the scenes and characters, and maps to help choose the best routes and spaces during the visit. Modifications to the show may include reducing the volume of loud noises and effects, eliminating strobe lights, keeping the house lights on, having a relaxed attitude toward sound and movement in the audience, and including quiet areas, sensory-friendly activities and increased staff in lobbies and public spaces to create a safe, welcoming environment. AD and ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Nov. 25, with free sensory tour at 10:30 a.m. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Nov. 29. AD and ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Wed, Dec. 5. ASL offered 10:30 a.m. Thu, Dec. 6. Tickets reduced to $20 for AD/ASL, $25 for OC, $15 to $29 for relaxed performance (regular $15-137). FFI: 612377-2224, www.guthrietheater.org

The Grinch and his faithful dog Max are ready to wreak holiday havoc in Whoville, in the Children’s Theatre production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It is one of many holiday plays and performances with accommodations. Make reservations as productions often sell out. Team ALLY Fundraiser The Team ALLY 2018 Fundraiser for ALLY is 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wed, Nov. 14 at Inwood Oaks Event Center, Oakdale. Enjoy a cash bar, dinner, silent and live auctions and more. Tom Whaley of the St. Paul Saints is emcee. Tickets are $115. FFI: www.allypeoplesolutions.org Hot Funky Butt Jazz Interact Theater presents the story of an after-hours jazz club, at Guthrie Theater, Dowling Studio, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. AD, ASL and OC presented 7 p.m. Fri, Nov. 16; 1 p.m. Sat, Nov. 17 (sensory tour 10:30 a.m.). Tickets $9. Large print and Braille playbills, and assisted listening devices are available for all performances from Level 9 usher staff. Accessible performances can be made available upon request. FFI: 612377-2224 (Guthrie), 651-209-3575 (Interact), www.interactcenter.org In the Margins Karen L. Charles Threads Dance Project presents a performance focusing on implicit biases faced by the deaf and hard of hearing community, at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. ASL and OC offered 7:30 p.m. Fri-Sat, Nov. 16-17. Patrons planning to use ASL should choose seats in the main floor left section. Post-show discussion Nov. 16. Tickets $30, $26 ADA/senior. Other discounts available. FFI: 651690-6700, www.threadsdance.org I Come From Arizona Children’s Theatre Company present the world premiere of a story about bravery, courage and finding power, at Children’s Theatre Company Cargill Stage, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. SF offered 7 p.m. Fri, Nov. 16. Sensory friendly performances aim to provide a supportive and welcoming environment for children and families affected by autism spectrum disorders and sensory, social and cognitive disabilities. Features include reduction of loud or jarring sounds, reductions in flashing or strobe lights, modification of the house lights, audience members are free to talk or move during the show, extra staff and volunteer support, designated Quiet Room and Take a Break Space, guidance and sensory supports (fidgets, earplugs, noise cancelling ear-muffs) available in the lobby before the show, audience members are welcome to bring their own manipulatives, seat cushions, comfort objects and extra support items to the show. Families may select their own seats, but if special assistance or a buffer seat is needed, call 612-874-0400 or email access@ childrenstheatre.org. For pre-visit resources to prepare for a visit, go to www.childrenstheatre.org/plan/sensory-friendly-programming. Tickets start at $15. Assistive listening devices, induction loop system, Braille programs and sensory tours available upon request. Discounts available. FFI: 612-874-0400, www.childrenstheatre.org Silent Night Minnesota Opera presents the musical story of the World War I Christmas Eve truce, at Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. Sung in English, German, French, Italian and Latin with English translations above the stage. Braille, large-print programs and infrared listening systems available at Patron Services in Ordway’s first level lobby. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Tue, Nov. 13; Thu, Nov. 15; Sat, Nov. 17 and 2 p.m. Sun, Nov. 11 and 18. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Nov. 18. Tickets reduced to half-price for AD patrons (regular $25-165). FFI: 612-3336669, www.mnopera.org Moving Words: Writers Across Minnesota University of St. Thomas Library, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul hosts Minnesota Book Award winners Linda LeGarde Grover, Will Weaver, Gary Kaunonen and Margi Preus. ASL offered noon, Tue, Nov. 13. Free. Moving Words is an opportunity for writers and readers to explore various themes together: the impact of literature in their lives, their connection as fellow Minnesotans, and the lens through which everyone reads. More listings around the state appear below. Free. FFI: Alayne Hopkins, 651-366-6488, alayne@thefriends.org Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas Children’s Theatre Company presents its original production of the Dr. Seuss tale, at Children’s Theatre Company, United Health Group Stage, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. AD and ASL offered 7 p.m. Fri, Dec. 14. To reserve ASL/AD seating, visit https://my.childrenstheatre.org and click on the ASL or AD link at the bottom of the page. ASL offered 5 p.m. Sun, Dec. 16. Assistive listening devices, induction loop system, Braille programs and sensory tours available upon request. SF offered 7 p.m. Fri, Jan. 4. Sensory friendly performances aim to provide a supportive

and welcoming environment for children and families affected by autism spectrum disorders and sensory, social and cognitive disabilities. Features include reduction of loud or jarring sounds, reductions in flashing or strobe lights, modification of the house lights, audience members are free to talk or move during the show, extra staff and volunteer support, designated Quiet Room and Take a Break Space, guidance and sensory supports (fidgets, earplugs, noise cancelling ear-muffs) available in the lobby before the show, audience members are welcome to bring their own manipulatives, seat cushions, comfort objects and extra support items to the show. Families may select their own seats, but if special assistance or a buffer seat is needed, call 612-874-0400 or email access@childrenstheatre.org. For pre-visit resources to prepare for a visit, go to www.childrenstheatre.org/plan/ sensory-friendly-programming. Tickets start at $15. Discounts available FFI: 612-874-0400, www.childrenstheatre.org Prescient Harbingers: Gloria, Hooded, Hype Man (in repertoire) Mixed Blood Theatre presents three full-length contemporary plays performed in rotation, at Alan Page Auditorium at Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Mpls. OC offered with English supertitles translation at all performances Nov. 14 – Dec. 2. Spanish supertitles for Hype Man offered 1:30 p.m. Sun, Nov. 18 and 7:30 p.m. Wed, Nov. 28. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Wed, Nov. 14 for Hype Man; Recorded AD for remaining Hype Man performances thru Dec. 2. ASL Access Night, with tactile tour 4.m. Sat, Nov. 24 for Gloria. No ASL planned for Hooded or Hype Man. See all three shows for $35, or choose options. Advance reservations $35 online or by phone, join as members for $9/month, Radical Hospitality admission is free on a first come/first served basis starting two hours before every show, or Mixed Blood’s Access Pass provides complimentary guaranteed admission for shows to patrons with disabilities and their companions, as well as free transportation to and from the theater for patrons with disabilities. FFI: 612-338-6131, boxoffice@mixedblood.com

Teen Idol: The Bobby Vee Story History Theatre presents the story of the Minnesota music legend, at History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul. ASL and AD offered 2 p.m. Sat, Dec. 1. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Dec. 1. OC offered 7:30 Sat, Dec. 8 and 2 p.m. Sun, dec. 9. Specify the accommodation needed. The accessible entrance is on the east side of the building off Cedar Street; the theater has six spaces for wheelchairs, plus companion seats; hearing enhancement devices and Braille or large print playbills are available. Tickets reduced to $25 for OC/AD/ASL patrons (regular $25-560. Discounts available. FFI: 651-292-4323, www.historytheatre.com Noises Off Guthrie Theater presents the comedy classic about a disastrous performance, at Guthrie Theater, McGuire Proscenium, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. OC offered 1 p.m. Wed, Nov. 21 and Sun, Nov. 25; 7:30 p.m. Fri, Nov. 30 and 1 p.m. Sat, Dec. 1. AD and ASL 7:30 p.m. Fri, Nov. 30 and 1 p.m. Sat, Dec. 8, with free sensory tour at 10:30 a.m. Tickets reduced to $20 for AD/ASL, $25 for OC (regular $15-93). FFI: 612-377-2224, www.guthrietheater.org Triple Espresso The Daniel Group is producing the popular comedy about three unlucky performers, at Park Square Theatre, Andy Boss Thrust Stage, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. OC offered 5 and 8 p.m. Sat, Dec. 1, 2 p.m. Sun, Dec. 2. Single ticket discount is half-price for patron using accommodations and one guest with code ACC (regular $39.50 to $52.50). discounts available. Assistive listening devices available. FFI: 651-291-7005, www. parksquaretheatre.org Winterlights: Celebrating the Season Mpls Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls., hosts a celebration of how world cultures mark the return of light, bringing rebirth and renewal. ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Dec. 2. Take the shuttle bus that day from institute for a 2:30-3:30 p.m. tour and ASL interpretation tour at the Purcell-Cutts House, Mpls. ASL offered at the institute only 7 p.m. Thu, Dec. 6. Free. FFI: 612-870-6323, mdahir@artsmia.org

ENJOY! To page 13

Moving Words: Writers Across Minnesota St. Peter Public Library, 601 S. Washington Ave., St. Peter, hosts Minnesota Book Award winners Cary Griffith, Peter Geye, Kao Kalia Yang and Karen Babine. ASL offered 6 p.m. Thu, Nov. 15. Free. FFI: Alayne Hopkins, 651-366-6488, alayne@thefriends.org A Christmas Carol GREAT Theatre presents the story of Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge, at Paramount Theatre, 913 St. Germain St. W., St. Cloud. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Nov. 30. Zone-based seating, adult $32-36. discounts available. FFI: 320-259-5463, www.GreatTheatre.org Prancer Lyric Arts Company of Anoka presents a Christmas revue with favorite songs, at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 420 E. Main St., Anoka. ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Nov. 18. Lyric Arts reserves seats in Row I for parties including persons using wheelchairs or with limited mobility. ASL interpreters are provided at the first Sun performance of each regular season production if a reservation is made three weeks before the show (reservations were due Oct. 28 so see if the ASL show is offered). If no ASL seating has been reserved, 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 available on request. Tickets $29-32; $5 discount for ASL seats. FFI: 763-422-1838, www.lyricarts.org Miracle on Christmas Lake Yellow Tree Theatre presents a Minnesota Christmas comedy, at Yellow Tree Theatre, 320 5th Ave. SE, Osseo. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Nov. 18. Please request ASL services no later than the Wed before the scheduled performance, which is pay what one can. AD is offered if requested no later than two weeks before the performance. Large print playbill and advance script available with one-week notice. Assistive listening units available. Tickets $25. Discounts available, ask about the Arts for All program. FFI: 763-493-8733, www.yellowtreetheatre.com Planetarium Show: Minnesota in the Cosmos Minnesota in the Cosmos – the first Bell Museum original production – explores the formation of the universe from a uniquely Minnesota perspective, investigating the deep cosmic and geological history of the land as seen through the eyes of a boy on a field trip to Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls. The museum is at 2088 Larpenteur Ave.

Noises Off

Now – Dec 16 by MICHAEL FRAYN directed by MEREDITH McDONOUGH

ents T H E AT E R p r e s THE GUTHRIE tion of AT E R’ S p r o d u c E H T T C A R E T IN

L A NEW MUSICA

N OV E M B E R 2 – 1 8

612.377.2224 • accessibility@guthrietheater.org www.guthrietheater.org/access


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OPPORTUNITIES work directly affects the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families. Learn about education and support programs and how to advocate for better mental health policies. RSVP to Kay King, 651-645-2948 x113 or kking@namimn.org 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.

Radio Talking Book needs stories Radio Talking Book celebrates 50 years on the air, in January 2019. Plans are underway to celebrate the important milestone, so the service staff wants to hear stories from listeners old and new. Radio Talking Book, part of State Services for the blind, was a pioneer in providing service to bring news and reading materials to people who are blind or have disabilities that make reading difficult. Any memories of listing to Radio Talking Book would be welcomed additions for the celebration. Email them to Radio Talking Book Supervisor Scott McKinney, at scott.mckinney@state.mn.us

Advocacy MNCCD training, meeting The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) has two upcoming events. The organization’s annual meeting is 1-3 p.m. Tue, Dec. 11 at Goodwill Easter Seals- 553 Fairview Ave. N, St Paul. The organization strategic plan will be shared, along with information about the upcoming legislative session. RSVP: Jack Malone, 612-387-6836, jmalone@mnccd.org The annual advocacy training is 9 a.m.-2;30 p.m. Fri, Jan. 18 at the State office building, St. Paul. Come learn and prepare for the 2019 legislative session. Cost is $20 and includes lunch. Preregister. Details will be posted soon. FFI: www.mnccd.org Present at 2019 conference Got a story to share or expertise that could help others in the autism community? Apply to speak at the 24th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference, held April 24-27, 2019 at the Marriott Minneapolis Southwest. Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) has issued a call for speakers. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, positive behavior supports; siblings; strategies for parents; strategies for educators; managing behaviors; transition; sex; gender identity; early intervention; mental health; employment; current research; Individual Education Plans (IEPs); emotion regulation; sensory integration and social skills. AuSM is specifically interested in sessions that address high needs and non-verbal populations, including topics like AAC, employment, housing, and self-determination. Proposals are due Fri, Nov. 16. FFI: Olivia James, ojames@ausm.org

Children & Families Autism social group for teens Reach for Resources offers Social Seekers for individuals (age 15+) on the autism spectrum. Social Seekers activities include games, crafts, discussions, outdoor recreation, and other opportunities for socializing. The program is designed to build group cohesion, sustain friendships, and provide gentle verbal redirection when needed to assist individuals with issues surrounding conflict, assertiveness, boundaries, and more. The next session will run on Wednesdays, 5:00-6:30 p.m., until Nov. 28, but participants can join at any time with advance registration and a required intake. The group meets at the Depot in Hopkins, and cost is $200 for the 10 weeks. FFI: 952-393-5866 Learn about substance abuse NAMI Minnesota sponsors a free Parent Training on Substance Use and Your Child 6-8 p.m. Thu, Nov. 15 at Northern Service Center, Room 110 B, 1 Mendota Road W. West St. Paul. Alcohol and other drug use can be a difficult topic to discuss with teens, especially when there are so many mixed messages in the media. Navigate those mixed messages by gaining a better understanding of current drug trends and how substances interact with adolescent brain development. Learn tips and tools for parents, including what to do if a teen is using drugs or alcohol, and when to seek treatment. The class will be led by Andria Botzet (M.A., LAMFT) with the assistance of NAMI Staff. FFI: 651-645-2948, www.namimn.org PACER workshop 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. Most are free. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Ask if workshops are live-streamed. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions catered to their needs. Special Education and the Important Role You Play for Your Child is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thu, Nov. 15 at PACER Center. Parents play an important role in the special education process. Participants will learn how parents can use their rights and abilities to advocate for their child and work effectively with the

school. The workshop will also provide valuable information for surrogate parents, foster parents and the professions who work with them on behalf of children. Funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education. Being an Active Participant in Your Child’s Transition from Early Childhood Special Education to Kindergarten is 9-11 a.m. Sat, November 17 at PACER Center. Kindergarten is a big step in any child’s life. The workshop will help parents of young children with disabilities plan for transition and learn strategies to help their child be successful. Becoming an Active Partner in Your Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mon, Nov. 26 at PACER Center. The workshop will help parents of children birth to age three understand early intervention services, the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), and how families can be involved in writing child and family outcomes and become active participants in the IFSP process. APPy Hour: Apps to Support Youth with Vision Loss in the Transition to Adulthood is 2-3 p.m. Tue, Nov. 27, at PACER Center. The workshop will provide an overview and demonstration of apps that support increased independence for youth who are blind or vision impaired. Apps will address accessing print and digital text, identifying objects, and transportation. Co-sponsored by State Services for the Blind. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800537-2237, www.pacer.org

Info & Assistance Suicide prevent classes offered QPR is a free, one-hour presentation sponsored by NAMI Minnesota that covers the three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide - Question, Persuade and Refer. Two classes are coming up, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tue, Nov. 13 at First Presbyterian of White Bear Lake, 4821 Bloom Ave., White Bear Lake and noon-1 p.m. Wed, Nov. 14 at NAMI Minnesota, Suite 400, 1919 University Ave., W., St. Paul. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. It is the most widely taught gatekeeper training program in the United States, and more than one million adults have been trained in classroom settings in 48 states. Preregister. Avenue. FFI: 651-645-2948, www.nami.org Mental health support offered NAMI Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI also has more than 70 free support groups for people living with a mental illness and their families. Get to Know NAMI in St. Paul is 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wed. Sept. 12, at NAMI Minnesota, 1919 University Ave., Suite 400, in St. Paul. Meet NAMI staff and volunteers and hear firsthand how NAMI’s

Family support groups help families who have a relative with a mental illness. A group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae. 651-484-0599. Open Door Anxiety and Panic support groups help people cope with anxiety disorders. One group meets 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the second and fourth Thu in Room 104, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. Another group meets 6:30-8 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul. A peer support group is offered for LGBTQ adults living with a mental illness. The group meets 1-2:30 p.m. Sat, Living Table United Church of Christ, 3805 E. 40th St, Mpls. FFI: David, 612-920-3925, 651-645-2948. Young Adult NAMI Connection is a free support group for persons ages 16-20. One group meets 7-8:30 the first and third Thu at Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul. A group also meets 7-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Thu at Dental Office of Dr. Crandall & Associates, 2300 East Highway 96, White Bear Lake. The group is facilitated by young adults who live with mental illnesses and are doing well in recovery. A full calendar of all events is offered online. FFI: 651-645-2948, www.namihelps.org Vision loss group offers activities Vision Loss Resources provides free and low-cost activities in the Twin Cities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Life skills classes for those with low vision; card games, craft classes, book clubs, walking groups, dinners out, special outings and technology classes are among the offerings. Participants need to RVSP to participate, at least three working days prior to an event. The calendar is also available on the Vision Loss Resources website and as a printable large-print PDF document for those who wish to print their own or additional copies. FFI: RSVP hotline, 612843-3439; activity line and audio calendar, 612-253-5155, www. visionlossresources.org MCIL hosts classes and activities The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events for people with disabilities. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website, www.mcil-mn.org. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. The People of Color with disabilities group meets 5:30-8 p.m. the third Thu of each month. FFI: 651-603-2030 ILICIL offers opportunities ILICIL Independent Lifestyles, 215 N. Benton Drive, St. Cloud, offers a number of classes, events and other opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities in central Minnesota. The center offers its own programming and hosts other groups. The free mental health discussion group 6-:30 p.m. Mon. Learn to live life to the fullest and support each other. The center has a full schedule of activities including support groups, martial arts, Nordic walking and more. FFI: 320-267-7717 Adult support groups offered AuSM offers free support groups for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Groups include those for adult family members, women with autism spectrum disorders and independent adults with

OPPORTUNITIES To page 12


November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 12

PEOPLE & PLACES PEOPLE AND PLACES From page 9 category for employers with 51 to 175 employees. Other winners are Monarch Builders & Commercial Services, Edina; Standard Water Control Systems, Inc., Crystal and Preferred Credit, Inc., St. Cloud. “We were proud to honor this year’s finalists and winners at our annual Torch Awards ceremony,” said Susan Adams Loyd, President and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “These local businesses deserve recognition for how they value and demonstrate the highest level of ethics in all that they do, both with their businesses and in the community.” About 300 business owners and community leaders attended the ceremony. Jason Matheson and Alexis Thompson of MyTalk 107.1 emceed the event, Dennis W. Schulstad, retired Brigadier General, USAF, and former Minneapolis City Council member, served as keynote speaker. BBB presents the Torch Awards for Ethics each year to several for-profit businesses located within the Minnesota and North Dakota region. Eligible businesses are offered the opportunity to submit an entry to BBB, where a panel of independent volunteer business and community leaders select the winners. Nominees must be in good standing with BBB; however, BBB Accreditation is not a requirement to compete.

and work crews are important partners in our efforts to provide person-centered services that improve people’s lives in Minnesota,” said Julie Johnson, president of MOHR. The organization represents more than 100 disability service providers across the state. MOHR’s selections for the 2018 Outstanding Disability Employer awards are AmericInn by Wyndham, Roseau; Kowalski’s Markets, Twin Cities; Sammy’s Pizza & Restaurant, Cloquet; Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake, Duluth; Taco John’s, Cambridge and 3M Fall Protection, Red Wing. MOHR’s mission is to advocate and support its nonprofit members by providing meaningful services to persons with disabilities and communities served. Members are committed to respecting, each individual with a person-centered approach and to expanding work opportunities. Celebrated every October, this year’s theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month was “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.” It celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. The national observance began under a different name in 1945.

Largest ceremony ever for training group

The Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) in October honored six Outstanding Disability Employer award winners from across the state. “Employers who hire individuals with disabilities

Can Do Canines has celebrated its largest graduation ceremony with 18 diverse teams graduating from its program October 27. Can Do Canines provides assistance dogs to those with disabilities involving mobility challenges, hearing loss or deafness, seizure disorders, diabetes complicated by hypoglycemia unawareness, or children with autism. The dogs are fully trained and provided free of charge. Not only is it the largest ceremony in the organization’s history, it’s also the most diverse. The ceremony included mobility, autism, seizure, and diabetes assist teams, representing all types of

OPPORTUNITIES From page 11

EFFORTS From page 8

autism. Check the website for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10, www.ausm.org

gets involved with housekeeping for DARTS at residences around Dakota County. Crews of five or six participants and two ProAct staff members perform the work. “It’s a win-win all around, one nonprofit working with, and for another,” said McGeheran. “Our missions align beautifully with one another in celebrating and

Outstanding Disability Employer award winners announced

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. Open to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s, their families, caregivers and the public. The group provides support, education, and awareness about the disease. FFI: 320-529-9000 Dementia Caregivers Support Jewish Family Service of St. Paul, in partnership with Sholom Home East and the Alzheimer’s Association, facilitates a caregiver support group for people who are providing care to a loved one suffering from dementia. Designed to provide proven resources and methods for caregivers who are caring for someone at home or considering in-home services or a transition to assisted living or long-term care. Meets 3-4 p.m. on the second and fourth Mon of each month in the Community Room at Sholom Home East, 740 Kay Ave., St. Paul. Free and open to the public. RSVP. FFI: Grace, 651-690-8903, glundquist@jfssp.org, or Cassandra, 651-328-2014, cnickell@sholom.com

Open the Door Education Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. Provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251- 9110, volunteer@mnliteracy.org, http://tinyurl. com/adult-opportunities

Two appointed to council

Gov. Mark Dayton has announced two appointments to the State Rehabilitation Council. The council guides decisions about Minnesota's Vocational Rehabilitation Services program, which serves thousands of people with severe disabilities statewide by helping them reach their vocational goals. The council is created under state law and the Federal Rehabilitation Act. One new member is Rebecca Puchtel of Elk River, who is an advocate member with a term expiring in January 2020. Puchtel replaces Andrea Redetzke. The other new appointee is Sonny Wasilowski of Faribault, who is seated as a current or former vocational rehabilitation services representative. Wasilowski replaces Jeannette Nevilles.

supporting diversity, aging and inclusion.” DARTS also holds training sessions, open house events and monthly meetings to build on the partnership. Meet and greet gatherings bring both parties together to review specific needs for each residence, and to establish expectations for the work, McGeheran said. The business manager said the community and companionship experienced by senior citizens and ProAct participants has been priceless. ProAct, Inc. offers person-centered services that enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities. It is headquartered in Eagan and has additional operations in Red Wing, Shakopee, Zumbrota and in Hudson, Wis.■

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assistance dogs that Can Do Canines trains. Also included in the lineup are six successor teams. These are clients who have previously had an assistance dog from Can Do Canines and are graduating for a second, or for some, even third time. One of these successor clients is Wendy, graduating with Hearing Assist Dog Yukon. A lot has changed since Wendy was matched with her first dog 15 years ago. “The training process is totally different,” Wendy said. “It used to be that you get the dog, and then you had to do obedience classes, and basically start from scratch. Now the dog is fully trained, and now it’s me that has to be trained.” The ceremony represented the culmination of a long journey for the assistance dogs and their human partners. Even before the pair goes through team training together, the assistance dog has experienced months of training with volunteers and staff. Each dog has been touched by numerous selfless volunteers who donate their time, energy, and love to raise and train a dog for someone with a disability.

Reach Minnesotans with disabilities and promote your business or nonprofit through an issue sponsorship. Mikayla Holmgren

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November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 13

ENJOY! 28-29 and 2 p.m. Sun, Dec. 30. Assistive listening devices available. ASL/AD/OC single ticket discount is half-price for patron and one guest with code ACC. Regular $40, $60. Discounts available. FFI: 651-2917005, www.parksquaretheatre.org

Learn about access options

Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's MARY POPPINS JR. Stages Theatre Company presents the story of a magical nanny, at Hopkins Center for the Arts, Mainstage, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. SF offered 10 a.m. Sat, Dec. 8. (Tickets not available online for SF show.) AD and ASL offered 4 p.m. Sun, Dec. 16. Tickets $16, with AD/ASL discount. Discounts available. FFI: 952-979-1111, option 4; www. stagestheatre.org

The Minnesota Access Alliance presents a workshop designed to help businesses and organizations that are struggling to provide access. Funding Accessibility is 3-4:30 p.m. Tue, Nov. 20 at Rondo Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale St., St. Paul. The workshop is a must for those who worry about limited budgets, who must look at issues ranging from the need for an elevator to providing interpretation and accommodations. Possible solutions and sources will be outlined. VSA Minnesota will discuss its ADA Access Improvement Grants. Several foundations or development offices will offer other options and strategies. The free information session is sponsored by the Minnesota Access Alliance, whose mission is to raise the bar for accessibility across the culture and arts sectors. The workshop is funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Minnesota Historical Society. Snacks and beverages will be provided. Advance registration is requested by email (info@mnaccess.org), via Facebook (https://www.facebook. com/groups/531876190333189/), or online (https://mnaccess.org/) or (https://mnaa-funding.eventbrite.com). Open captioning will be provided. If other accommodations are needed, contact Maren Levad, 651259-3480, maren.levad@mnhs.org. Green Line light rail and buses 16 and 65 stop near the library at Dale Street and University Avenue. Park in garage off eastbound University Ave. or on Aurora Avenue, not in lots owned by nearby businesses.

ENJOY! From page 10 It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play Commonweal Theatre Company presents George Bailey’s Christmas tale, as told in the format of a 1940s radio broadcast, at Commonweal Theatre, 208 Parkway Ave. N., Lanesboro. AD offered 1:30 p.m. Sun, Dec. 2, with preshow at 1:10 p.m. Call in advance for a tactile tour. Please make AD reservations at least one week in advance. Two-week notice requested for a Braille program. Five-week notice requested for ASL interpreting. Assistive listening devices available at the box office. Special seating available for persons with mobility issues. Tickets reduced to $15 for AD/ ASL patrons (regular $35). discounts available. FFI: 507-467-2525 or 800-657-7025, www. commonwealtheatre.org Minnesota Orchestra Small Ensemble Concert: Solo Cello Minnesota Orchestra cellist Katja Linfield and talented musicians from the audience perform an inclusive experience for patrons of all ages and abilities, at Orchestra Hall, Target Atrium, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. SF offered 11 a.m. Tue, Nov. 20. The concert is suitable for individuals on the autism spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities. Concerts take place in a relaxed environment – the Target Atrium – where audience members are welcome to be who they are and enjoy music with family and friends. Fidgets, noise-canceling headphones, and quiet spaces are available, and attendees can access online preparatory materials one month before performances. Stand-alone chairs provide for flexible seating, and open space is available for those who wish to sit on the floor or move around the room. Lyndie Walker, MT-BC, of Toneworks Music Therapy Services hosts the concerts. Tickets: $6.25. FFI: 612-371-5656, www. minnesotaorchestra.org Winter Wonderettes Lyric Arts Company of Anoka presents a 1960s-themed Christmas revue, at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 420 E. Main St., Anoka. ASL offered 5 p.m. Sun, Dec. 2. Lyric Arts reserves seats in Row I for parties including persons using wheelchairs or with limited mobility. ASL interpreters are provided at the first Sun performance of each regular season production if a reservation is made 3 weeks before the show (reserve by Sun, Nov. 11). If no ASL seating has been reserved, the ASL interpretation will be canceled and seats will be released to the general public. When ordering tickets, please indicate the need for seating in this section. Assisted listening devices are available on request. Tickets $32-35; $5 discount for ASL seats. FFI: 763-422-1838, www. lyricarts.org Go Back for Murder Theatre in the Round Players presents an Agatha Christie mystery, at Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave., Mpls. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Dec. 2. Tactile tour at 1 p.m. upon request based on reservations. Large-print programs and assisted-listening devices available at every performance Tickets $22. Discounts available. FFI: 612-333-3010, www. theatreintheround.org Freedom Daze Exposed Brick Theatre presents a multi-media production about the Muslim ban, at Southern

Theater, 1420 S. Washington Ave., Mpls. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, Dec. 2. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Dec. 7. Post-show discussions after most performances include an “Islamophobia in Minnesota and What You Can Do to Combat It” discussion led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) Dec. 2. Tickets $20 in advance, $24 at the door. Discounts available. Dec. 2 is pay what one can. FFI: 612-340-0155, www.exposedbricktheatre.org 2018 British Arrow Awards Enjoy England’s best commercials at Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater, 725 Vineland Ave., Mpls. OC offered 3 p.m. Sun, Dec. 2; 7 p.m. Fri, Dec. 7; 1 p.m. Sun, Dec. 16; 6 p.m. Fri, Dec. 21; 3 p.m. Wed, Dec. 26 and 7 p.m. Fri, Dec. 28, 7:00. AD and ASL offered 8 p.m. Thu, Dec. 13 and 2 p.m. Sat, Dec. 15. Assisted listening devices available at both desks. Tickets $14. Discounts available. FFI: 612-375-7600; Access line: 612-375-7564, access@walkerart.org Moving Words: Writers Across Minnesota Great River Regional Library, Upsala, 117 N. Main St., Upsala hosts Minnesota Book Award winners Andrew DeYoung, Andrea Swensson, Kao Kalia Yang and David Housewright. ASL offered 6:30 p.m. Wed, Dec. 5. Free. FFI: Alayne Hopkins, 651-366-6488, alayne@thefriends.org Tour for People with Memory Loss At 10 a.m. on the first Tue of every month the historic James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul, offers a sensory-based tour designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. Each themed tour, usually an hour or less, highlights three rooms and is followed by an optional social time until 11:30 a.m. with pastries and coffee. Private group tours are available for care facilities. Next tour is Tue, Dec. 4. Free but reservations required. FFI: 651-297- 2555, www.mnhs.org A Charlie Brown Christmas SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development presents the much-loved Peanuts tale, at SteppingStone Theatre, 55 Victoria St. N., St. Paul. AD offered 7 p.m. Fri, Dec. 7. ASL offered 3 p.m. Sun, Dec. 9. Tickets $10 when VSA is mentioned (regular $16). FFI: 651-225-9265, www. steppingstonetheatre.org Pride and Prejudice Normandale Department of Theatre presents the story of love and women’s status, at Normandale Community College, Fine Arts Building, Premanand Fine Arts Theatre, 9700 France Ave. S., Bloomington. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Dec. 7. Tickets $10. Discounts available. FFI: 952-358-8884, www. normandale.edu/theatre God of Carnage North Hennepin Community College Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning story of a playground fight that drew in parents and its consequences, at North Hennepin Community College Fine Arts Center, Blackbox Theatre, 7411 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Dec. 7. Tickets: $12. Discounts available. FFI: 763-493-0543, www.nhcc.edu/theatre Marie & Rosetta Park Square Theatre presents the story of legendary gospel guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe, at Park Square Theatre, Proscenium, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, Dec. 7. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, Dec. 9. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Fri-Sat, Dec.

Open Flow Forum Holiday Party Artists with Disabilities Alliance hosts its annual holiday party 7-9 p.m. Thu, Dec. 6 at Walker Community Church, 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls. Join the annual holiday party for the monthly group of artists with disabilities and supporters, in an informal and fragrance-free setting. Bring a food item and an inexpensive gift to share, as well as some of art, if desired. Facilitators are Dan Reiva, Tara Innmon and Kip Shane. Fully accessible, but anyone needing special accommodations should contact Jon at VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or jon@vsamn.org A Christmas Story: The Musical Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents the story of Ralphie Parker’s holiday season, at the Stage at Island Park, 333 Fourth St. S., Fargo. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Dec. 8, with pre-show description at 7:10 p.m. Tickets reduced to $10 for AD patron and companion, regular $25. Discounts available. Contact box office for audio description tickets; not available online. FFI: 701-235-6778, www.fmct.org The Santaland Diaries Theatre B presents David Sedaris’ story of life as a Macy’s Department Store elf, at Lincoln School, 215 10th St. N., Moorhead. AD and ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Dec. 8. Tickets $25. Discounts available. General admission. FFI: 701-729-8880, www. theatreb.org A Million Reasons to Believe Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus presents its annual holiday concert at Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 4th St. S., Mpls. ASL offered 8 p.m. Sat, Dec. 8. Listening devices, large-print and Braille programs available on request. Tickets reduced to half-price for ASL patrons (regular $25-48 in advance). 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. FFI: 612-624-2345, www.tcgmc.org Elf, The Musical Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington, St. Paul, hosts the story of a child who mistakenly climbs into Santa’s bag and lives his early years as an elf. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Dec. 13. ASL and AD offered 2 p.m. Sat, Dec. 15. Braille, large-print programs and infrared listening systems available at Patron Services in Ordway’s first level lobby. If using ASL or OC, recommended seating locations (subject to availability) are: ORCH-RGT G 307-310, ORCH-RGT H 308-311, ORCH-RGT J 309-312. Tickets $53-$114. FFI: 651-224-4222, www.ordway.org Minnesota Orchestra Small Ensemble Concert: Horn and Piano Duo Minnesota Orchestra Minnesota Orchestra horn player Brian Jensen and pianist Charles Scarborough present a sensory friendly concert with guest musicians, at Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. SF offered 11 a.m. Sat, Dec. 15. talented guest musicians from the audience will be part of the show. It is an inclusive experience for patrons of all ages and abilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities. Concerts take place in a relaxed environment – the Target Atrium – where audience members are welcome to be who they are and enjoy music with family and friends. Fidgets, noise-canceling headphones, and quiet spaces are available, and attendees can access online preparatory materials one month before performances. Stand-alone chairs provide for flexible seating, and open space is available for those who wish to sit on the floor or move around the room. Lyndie Walker, MT-BC, of Toneworks Music Therapy Services hosts the concerts. Tickets $6.25. FFI: 612-371-5656, www. minnesotaorchestra.org A Year with Frog & Toad Youth Performance Company presents the treasured children’s story, at Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Mpls. ASL offered 4 p.m. Sat, Dec. 15. Tickets $15. Ask about VSA discount. Discounts. FFI: 612-623-9080, www. youthperformanceco.org Planetarium Show: From Earth to the Universe Location: Bell Museum, shares a journey of celestial discovery, at the museum at 2088 Larpenteur Ave. W., St. Paul. OC offered at 4:20 p.m. Sat, Dec. 15. Purchase combination museum and planetarium tickets or planetarium-only tickets. Tickets start at $8 for planetarium only and $17 for planetarium and museum. Discounts available. Planetarium tickets

go on sale three weeks before the date of the show. Pre-purchasing is recommended because shows sell out. Call to arrange ASL, OC or accommodations. FFI: 612-626-9660, www.bellmuseum.umn.edu It’s a Wonderful Life Lakeshore Players Theatre presents the Frank Capra classic, at Hanfil Performing Arts Center, 4941 Long Avenue, White Bear Lake. ASL: Sun, Dec. 16, 2:00 PM. (If no ASL seats are reserved within two weeks of the performance – by Dec. 2 – the ASL-interpretation will be cancelled). Tickets $20; reduced to $10 for ASL patrons, who can purchase tickets online with a direct link that is active until two weeks before the performance. The $10 ASL seats highlighted in purple have the best view of the interpreter, are only visible via this link, and will not be released to the general public until the Mon after the ASL reservation deadline. Assisted listening devices available. FFI: 651-429-5674, www. lakeshoreplayers.org The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley Jungle Theater presents the premiere of an Edwardian Christmas story, at Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Dec. 20. Contact the theater to request an ASLinterpreted show. Tickets reduced to $27 including fees (regular $37 plus fees). FFI: 612-822-7063, www.jungletheater.com Les Miserables Touring company presents the musical about 19th century France and broken dreams, at Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls. OC offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, Dec. 20. ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, Dec. 23. AD offered 6:30 p.m. Sun, Dec. 23. Tickets: $39 to $199. Limited seats are available at the lowest price level to patrons using ASL interpreting or captioning services on a first-come, first-served basis. Prices apply for up to two tickets for each patron requiring ASL interpretation or captioning. Additional seats may be sold separately and at regular price. Audio description receivers may be used in any price level in Hennepin Theatre Trust theatres. FFI: 612-339-7007, www. hennepintheatretrust.org Sounds of Blackness – The Night Before Christmas Sounds of Blackness bring a family-friendly Christmas show to Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls. ASL offered 8 p.m. Sat, Dec. 22. Limited seats are available at the lowest price level to patrons using ASL interpreting on a firstcome, first-served basis. Prices apply for up to two tickets for each patron requiring ASL interpretation. Additional seats may be sold separately and at regular price. Tickets $28.50 to $58.50. FFI: 612339-7007, https://hennepintheatretrust.org/events/ accessible/ Planetarium Show: No Limits! An interactive planetarium program takes visitors on a journey through space and time, at Bell Museum, 2088 Larpenteur Ave. W., St. Paul. ASL offered 2 p.m. Thu, Dec. 27. Purchase combination museum and planetarium tickets or planetariumonly tickets. Tickets start at $8 for planetarium only and $17 for planetarium and museum. Discounts available. Planetarium tickets go on sale three weeks before the date of the show. Pre-purchasing is recommended because shows sell out. Recommended for ages eight and older.

ENJOY! To page 15

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Polar Plungers start time of chills, thrills

November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 14

RADIO TALKING BOOK

Tune into Tanner’s Tech Den Tanner’s Tech Den with David Tanner airs at 8 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. It is part of Radio Talking Book’s emphasis on disability advocacy programming on Sunday evenings. Enjoy an hour of news, reviews, and explorations of the latest in accessible technology. 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. Mon through Fri. The catalog is online at www. mnbtbl.org, click on the link Search the Library Catalog. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books via an inter-library loan by contacting their home state’s Network Library for the National Library Service. Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived program from the last week, on the Internet at www. mnssb.org/rtb. The sampling published monthly in Access Press doesn’t represent the full array of programming. Many more programs and books are available. Call the Talking Book Library for a password to the site. To find more information about Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network events go to the Facebook site, Minnesota Radio Talking Book. Audio information about the daily book listings is also on the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) Newsline. Register for the NFB Newsline by calling 651-539-1424. Access Press is featured on It Makes a Difference, 9 p.m. Sun. Donate to the State Services for the Blind at mn.gov/deed/ssbdonate Chautauqua* Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. God’s Hotel, nonfiction by Victoria Sweet, 2018. A physician stays for 20 years at a San

Francisco hospital, treating those unable to support themselves. Read by Eileen Barratt. 14 broadcasts; begins Tue, Nov. 13. Past is Prologue* Monday – Friday 9 a.m. Revolution on the Hudson, nonfiction by George C. Daughan, 2016. During the American Revolution, no area was more contested than the Hudson River. Read by John Potts. 14 broadcasts; begins Thu, Nov. 29. – V, L, S

PM REPORT* Monday – Friday 8 p.m. Fear, nonfiction by Bob Woodward, 2018. Reporter Bob Woodward describes in unequaled detail the Trump White House and its foreign and domestic policies. Read by Scott McKinney. 18 broadcasts; begins Thu, Nov. 15. – L

Peace like a River, fiction by Leif Enger, 2001. A family is on a cross-country quest to find their son and brother, who has been charged with murder. Read by Peter Danbury. 13 broadcasts; begins Tue, Nov. 20.

BOOKWORM* Monday – Friday 11 a.m. She Would Be King, fiction by Wayetu Moore, 2018. The dramatic story of Liberia’s early years, as seen by three characters who share an uncommon bond. Read by Brenda Powell. 12 broadcasts; begins Wed, Nov. 28.

NIGHT JOURNEY* Monday – Friday 9 p.m. Nothing Stays Buried, fiction by P.J. Tracy, 2017. To stop a serial killer, two Minneapolis detectives enlist a quirky software company. Read by Therese Murray. Nine broadcasts; begins Thu, Nov. 22. – V

THE WRITER’S VOICE* Monday – Friday 2 p.m. Bus to Brookhaven, nonfiction by John DeHaven, 2017. RTB volunteer and former staff member DeHaven presents tales from his self-described “rather ordinary life.” Read by the author. Five broadcasts; begins Mon, Nov. 19.

OFF THE SHELF* Monday – Friday 10 p.m. The Sandman, fiction by Lars Keplar, 2014. A man was thought to have been murdered by a notorious serial killer. But years later the victim is found alive. Read by Robb Empson. 12 broadcasts; begins Mon, Nov. 12. – V

Now I See You, nonfiction by Nicole C. Kear, 2014. A young woman diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa discusses life, work, love and her emotional journey. Read by Esmé Evans. Eight broadcasts; begins Mon, Nov. 26. - L, S

A Simple Favor, fiction by Darcey Bell, 2017. After Emily asks neighbor Stephanie for a favor she vanishes, and Stephanie suspects Emily’s husband. Read by Mary Hall. Nine broadcasts; begins Wed, Nov. 28. - L

CHOICE READING* Monday – Friday 4 p.m. Scribe, fiction by Alyson Hagy, 2018. After a brutal civil war, a mysterious man asks a young woman to write a letter for him. The request sets off events that lead to a turning point. Read by Esmé Evans. Five broadcasts; begins Mon, Nov. 19.

POTPOURRI* Monday – Friday 11 p.m. The War on Science, nonfiction by Shawn Otto, 2016. Minnesota author Otto describes a decades-old attack on science, threatening societies around the world. Read by Jack Rossmann. 22 broadcasts; begins Thu, Nov. 15.

A Lucky Man, fiction by Jamel Brinkley, 2018. Fathers and sons strive to salvage personal relationships, and amend for

GOOD NIGHT OWL* Monday-Friday midnight West, fiction by Carys Davies, 2018. A

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widower reads that ancient bones were found in Kentucky, and sets out from his Pennsylvania farm to see if the rumors are true. Read by John Gunter. Four broadcasts; begins Wed, Nov. 14.

past mistakes. Read by Don Gerlach. 10 broadcasts; begins Mon, Nov. 26.

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AFTER MIDNIGHT* Tuesday-Saturday 1 a.m. West, fiction by Carys Davies, 2018. A widower reads that ancient bones were found in Kentucky, and sets out from his Pennsylvania farm to see if the rumors are true. Read by John Gunter. Four broadcasts; begins Wed, Nov. 14. WEEKEND BOOKS Your Personal World, 1 p.m. Sat, presents I’ll Have It My Way by Hattie Bryant, followed by Slow by Brooke McAlary, both read by Beverly Burchett. For the Younger Set, 11 a.m. Sun, presents The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd, read by Esmé Evans. Poetic Reflections, noon Sun, presents American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time edited by Tracy K. Smith, read by Scott McKinney. The Great North, 4 p.m. Sun, presents Minnesota 1918 by Curt Brown, read by Don Lee; followed by The Northern Gardener by Mary Lahr Schier, read by Myrna Smith. Remember that all program times are U.S. Central Standard Time. ABBREVIATIONS: V – Violence, L – Offensive Language, S – Sexual Situations, RE – Racial Epithets, G – Gory Depictions

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November 10, 2018 Volume 29, Number 11 Pg 15

Grants available for arts organizations

projects. Contact VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888 or access@vsamn.org. Grant guidelines can be downloaded at www.vsamn.org. Over the past nine years $1,623,000 has been awarded to 140 projects conducted by 70 Twin Cities organizations. Projects have included accessibility improvements to: • facilities including automatic door openers, lifts, ramps, bathrooms, more spaces for patrons using wheelchairs, signage, and wider doorways; • communication such as assistive listening systems, audio description equipment, portable sound systems, expanded ASL interpreting, captioning and audio description opportunities for people with hearing or vision loss, assistive technologies and apps; • programs that have included inclusive arts and dance classes, adjustable-height art tables, adaptive pottery wheels and sensory tours); • training of staff/board/volunteers including accessibility consultants, disability service coordinators, universal design and other seminars, and input from advisors with disabilities in updating access plans.

Metropolitan nonprofit arts organizations have two upcoming funding opportunities to help make arts facilities, programming and activities more accessible to people with disabilities. ADA Access Improvement Grants of up to $15,000 are available in the seven-county Twin Cities area. The grants are administered by VSA Minnesota, the state organization on arts and disability, for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC), with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, which voters approved in 2008. The grants are intended to make significant or long-term improvements with potential to involve more people with disabilities as participants or patrons in arts programs. Shorter-term projects may also be funded (with a maximum $7,500 grant). Application deadlines are December 14 and May 1, 2019. $160,000 is available to be awarded. Information meetings, workshops on accessibility subjects, personal appointment, or phone/email contacts can help answer questions about possible

Call to arrange ASL, OC or accommodations. FFI: 612-626-9660, www. bellmuseum.umn.edu Holiday Inn Chanhassen Dinner Theatres presents the story of a farmhouse-turnedinn and the holidays celebrated there, at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, 501 W. 78th St., Chanhassen. ASL offered Sun, Dec. 30 with 4:30 dinner and 6:30 show. Limited seating in ASL area, first-come first-serve. Tickets: $15 discount off regular price: Sun eve regular $84. Discounts available. Tickets may be purchased for the show only. FFI: 952-9341525 or 800-362-3515, www.ChanhassenDT.com Open Flow Forum The Artists with Disabilities Alliance is the first Thu of the month, 7-9 p.m. at Walker Community Church, 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls. Upcoming dates are Jan. 3 and Feb. 7. Join artists with disabilities and supporters to share visual art, writing, music, theater and artistic efforts or disability concerns. Informal, fragrance-free, shared refreshments. Facilitators are Dan Reiva, Tara Innmon and Kip Shane. Fully accessible, but anyone needing special accommodations should contact Jon at VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888, jon@vsamn.org Weaving Wellness: Art, Community, and Mental Health Resilience Martha Bird has put together an exhibit about wellness, community and art, at Minnesota History Center Library Gallery, 345 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Runs through Dec. 15 and open during gallery hours. Free. The heart of the exhibit highlights the relationship between creativity and resilience. Elements of Bird’s life are woven into each display case, which connect to her life as an artist, her work as a nurse, and her personal experience living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

REGIONAL NEWS From page 6 a round globe for a head with a metal gear fashioned mask — made by Christine Petersen. Whether the lamps end up in businesses or homes, fundraiser organizers expressed excitement about finding a way to raise funds for organizations that help individuals with Down syndrome or developmental disabilities find jobs, learn life skills and/or find housing. (Source: Winona Daily News)

Mental health grants awarded

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has awarded 57 mental health providers a total of $33 million – $11 million per year for three years – to bring mental health services to more than half of Minnesota schools. Minnesota’s School-Linked Mental Health program is a critical piece of the state’s mental health services for children. Programs help identify mental health needs early, make services available to more children in need, and improve outcomes for children and youth with a mental health diagnosis. Services include assessment, treatment and care coordination, teacher consultation and school-wide trainings. Placing children’s mental health services in schools provides an opportunity for mental health promotion, prevention and early identification and intervention in a place that is familiar and comfortable for them and their families. “School-linked mental health services meet kids where they are at,” said Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. “These grants will help us provide needed services to those in need, which is good for parents and kids.” The School-Linked Mental Health Program began in 2006 and has since expanded to serve schools in 83 of Minnesota’s 87 counties. Over the previous five-year grant that ended June 2018, 15,000 students received mental health services from 953 school programs in 287 school districts across the state. These services help children who have mental illness stay in school and be successful. The program has proven particularly effective in reaching children who have never accessed mental health services, and many children with mental illness are first identified through this program. “We know that untreated mental health issues make it harder for kids to learn,” said Piper. “Children need a good start, and if they get the right help at the right time, they can be successful in school and in life.” A full list of grantees is available on the DHS website, along with more information about the School-Linked Mental Health program. (Source: DHS)

The intention is to bridge the past with the present and highlight the vitality of the human spirit when confronted with challenges. FFI: 651259-3015, www.mnartists.org/martha-bird Art Show by Ken Dobratz The exhibit, part of a rotating series of exhibits coordinated by VSA Minnesota, features the artwork of Ken Dobratz of Bloomington. The paintings represent a new beginning for Dobratz, who lost his sight 13 years ago to ischemic optic neuropathy. Like many fellow veterans who experience life-altering events due to injury or illness, he passed through a period of mourning, anger and eventually acceptance before he could move forward. He was helped by the Mpls VA Medical Center, and began to paint as part of his recovery. He is inspired by nature and strives to capture its beauty. At Vision Loss Resources, 1936 Lyndale Ave. S. (at Franklin), Mpls. The exhibit is on display through November. Lobby hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon-Fri. Free. FFI: VLR, 612-871-2222, http://vsamn.org Black Nativity Penumbra Theatre stages the Langston Hughes classic, at Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, Dec. 22. ASL patrons, for $5 discounted ticket, contact Dahlia Stone at dahlia. stone@penumbratheatre.org. Tickets $40. Discounts available. FFI: 651224-3180, www.penumbratheatre.org More Events Information VSA Minnesota VSA Minnesota is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to create a community where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and access the arts, at http://vsamn.org. The website has a comprehensive calendar at the upper right-hand corner of its homepage. For galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at access@ vsamn.org or call

Getting back to work is grant’s goal

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $2.5 million grant to a project that helps injured employees get back to work faster. Funds were awarded to the Minnesota RETAIN project, a group of organizations and government departments serving Minnesota residents with work-related disabilities. Mayo Clinic is a participant in the RETAIN project, and eligible to receive part of the grant. Dr. Laura Breeher, a senior occupational medicine physician at Mayo Clinic, described their contributions to the project as threefold: keeping employees at work if they can, getting them back to work if they cannot and educating employers to tell the difference. Breeher described a proactive approach to helping employees suffering from injury or illness. “One of the things that we do is we focus on what they can do instead of what they can't do,” she said. “Just because this person had an injury, or just because they had an illness doesn't mean they can't do anything at all.” Mayo Clinic will also supervise programs that help employees readjust after an injury. She said that these programs are adapted from ones already in operation within Mayo Clinic, and that they will send out return-

Holmes Greenway Housing Now accepting waitlist applications for 1 BR & 2BR, Section 8 unit from November 10 to November 30, 2018. Designed for persons with mobility impairments. Send an email to rmadry@DEC-MN.com, or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope, or stop by the office Mon. – Thurs from 9:00AM to 1:00PM to receive application packet.

Holmes Greenway Housing 114 Fifth Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55414 612-378-0331 Equal Housing Opportunity

VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612- 332-3888 or 800-801-3883. Access Press only publishes performance dates when accommodations are offered. Contact the venue to find out the entire run of a particular production and if discounts for seniors, students or groups are provided. VSA Minnesota advises everyone to call or email ahead, to make such that an accommodation is offered, as schedules can change. VSA Minnesota can also refer venues and theater companies to qualified describers, interpreters and captioners. Additional Resources Another web events listing is http://c2net.org (c2: caption coalition, inc., which does most of the captioned shows across the country. Facebook is another way to connect with performances. Sign up to connect with Audio Description across Minnesota http:// tinyurl.com/ d34dzo2. Connect with ASL interpreted and captioned performances across Minnesota on Facebook http:// tinyurl.com/FBcaption. Another resource is Minnesota Playlist, with a recently updated website calendar with all the ASL-interpreted, audio-described, captioned, pay-what-you-can shows and other features. Go to http://minnesotaplaylist.com/calendar Arts festivals are held throughout the state. Check: www. exploreminnesota.com/index.aspx, http:// festivalnet.com/state/ minnesota/mn.html, www. fairsandfestivals.net/states/MN/ Abbreviations Audio description (AD) for people who are blind or have low vision, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, Open captioning (OC) for people who are hard of hearing, and sensory-friendly (SENS) performances. Performers and artists with disabilities are noted.

"If an employee is injured and can't do their regular job, we will look for another temporary job within the clinic here to help her stay engaged and keep coming to work until she heals enough to go back to her regular job," she said. Breeher added that Mayo Clinic is trying to break a vicious cycle that typically starts with employees suffering injuries that keep them from work and ends in prolonged unemployment. "Not being able to work can be very stressful for someone. It can have financial impacts," she said. "So, this program is basically bringing together a bunch of existing programs and knowledge to give that injured worker a whole team behind them to help get them back to work." (Source: Minnesota Public Radio) WINNETKA WEST 8151 45th Avenue N. New Hope, MN 55428 (763) 537-4410 NOTICE: OPENING THE 1 & 2 BEDROOM WAIT LIST For people living with disabilities, rent based on income for qualified applicants. Applications may be downloaded at www.commonbond.org from 9am November 6, 2018 until 4pm November 8, 2018. Completed applications must be received by mail only, on or before November 22, 2018. All qualified Applicants will be placed on the Waiting List in the order they are received. CommonBond Communities Equal Housing Opportunity FOR RENT Calvary Center Apts: 7650 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN. A Section 8 building now accepting applications for our waiting list. Call 9 am to 4 pm, Mon – Fri 763-546-4988 for an application. Equal Opportunity Housing. Find your new home with At Home Apartments. Call 651-224-1234 or visit AtHomeApartments.com for an apartment or town home. Equal Opportunity Housing.

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