February 2012 Edition - Access Press

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David Dreier - page 3

Volume 23, Number 2

www.accesspress.org

Voter ID issue causing debates

Hockey is Minnesota’s favorite sport but when it becomes dangerous there are consequences. Two young Minnesota hockey players have sustained serious injuries this season, putting a spotlight on sports-related injuries and the disabilities that can result. Read more about it on page 3.

by Access Press staff

One of the biggest battles shaping up during the Minnesota Legislature’s 2012 session centers on proposals to require voters to produce identification at the polls. For many people with disabilities, requiring ID to be shown before a vote is cast is seen as a barrier to voting. Voter identification was a flashpoint during the 2011 legislative session, with support from House and Senate Republicans and opposition from Democrats. Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the voter ID bill in May 2011. That renewed supporters’ efforts for a constitutional amendment. Forcing voter ID through that method would require putting a question on the ballot, possibly as soon as this fall. Under current state law, registered voters don’t have to produce identification when voting. Voters sign a roster book at the polling place. Signing in and voting as someone else is a felony. Nine states require voter identification and several other states are considering similar measures. Advocates contend voter ID is needed to prevent voter fraud, and that it would not Voter ID - p. 15

St. Paul man battles bureaucracy, fights to retain assets, his home

February 10, 2012 Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Twin Cities. MN Permit No. 4766 Address Service Requested

“This liberty will look easy by and by when nobody dies to get it.” — Maxwell Anderson (1888 - 1959)

NEWS DIGEST

by Tim Benjamin

Chuck Van Heuveln is been a lifelong Minnesotan, a resident of St. Paul and a member of the disability community. Born with cerebral palsy, he has worked all of his adult life. He now is having a difficult time understanding why he can’t keep what he’s earned and why some citizens, just because they require state services, are being forced to give up everything they worked for and live in poverty. “I am a working, taxpaying citizen who just wants to continue contributing and live out my life on my own pension and savings,” said Van Heuveln. “Now the state is taking it all away.” The St. Paul resident is caught in a bureaucratic snafu that could soon result in the loss of his home and many of his other assets. Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) officials are aware of Van Heuveln’s situation. About 30 people face similar issues every year. But making changes could take time. “We Chuck Van Heuveln in his standing frame [DHS] don’t have the authority to make any exPhoto courtsey of Van Heuveln emption for this gentleman [Van Heuveln], at this point in time, it’s just not for DHS to decide,” Assistant Commissioner, Continuing Care Administration Loren Colman said. Many of Van Heuveln’s friends and fellow activists are sympathetic to his plight. “Chuck ushered in the dawn of the disability rights movement in Minnesota, said veteran activist Mel Duncan. Van Heuveln - p. 5

Advocacy groups gear up for 2012 session By Access Press staff

Representatives of Minnesota’s numerous disability advocacy groups are already making treks to the state capitol. The Jan. 24 start of the legislative session has kicked a number of lobbying efforts into high gear. Several groups have already announced their advocacy days. Despite what has been touted as a short legislative session, disability community members will be involved in a number of lobbying efforts. Not only will a large group work on issues through the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD), a number of advocacy groups are bringing forward their own agendas. But advocacy groups also have to respond to proposed legislation. One proposal that is raising red flags for those who live in or work at group homes is out of Burnsville, where concerns about a spike in police calls to group homes has promoted a proposal to limit the number of such facilities per community. According to a recent Star Tribune article, Burnsville officials began discussing the law enforcement costs tied to group homes as part of 2012 budget deliberations. “We might get three or four calls the same day on the same person,” Burnsville Police Chief Bob Hawkins said. “It really started to drain our resources.” One A group from Merrick in St. Paul lobbied at the capitol last year at one of the concern for police is that some group home calls are when resiadvocacy events. dents are angry with each other or with staff. Photo by Jane McClure The calls accounted for 78 of the 230 police calls to group homes in 2011. That’s up from 2009, when just 12 of the 239 Advocacy - p. 7

Veteran Twin Cities social services leader John Estrem has taken the helm at Hammer Inc., replacing the late Tim Nelson. Page 7 People Incorporated’s recent merger is allowing the agency to expand its mental health services to children. Page 4 It’s official: Thompson Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places. Read Regional News in Review. Page 6 Learn about an arts competition for children in Accessible Fun. Page 10 Read about a banquet to honor the attorney who won the METO settlement. Page 11

Issue sponsor: The Arc Minnesota INSIDE Regional News, pg 6 People & Places, pg 8-9 Accessible Fun, pg 10 Events, Pg 11 Radio Talking Book, pg 12


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EDITOR’S DESK

Tim Benjamin Well, winter is half over and we’ve hardly had any snow or cold. No one I talk to has had to complain this year about blocked access due to snowdrifts. Although I was born here and have lived in Minnesota for the past 40 years, I grew up in Arizona. Until I was in my very late teens, I had never seen snow fall. Missing the snow this year is okay with me. The legislative session began with a big bang, with the vote against confirming Gov. Mark Dayton’s Public Utility Commissioner, Ellen Anderson. I don’t think Anderson’s knowledge of alternative energies is necessarily a bad thing for someone in her position, especially when her decisions over the past 10 months showed that she could balance the public’s interest in a variety of energy sources. The media reported that the vote was mostly payback from one side of the aisle to another for not confirming one of our previous governor’s commissioner appointees. Blow-forblow, tit-for-tat, even score? Or will there be another payback, and then who will be affected most deeply? We all oppose these games from our legislators. Whichever side of the aisle it comes from, it always hurts the constituents. Around the state, people with disabilities have been watching the news about the terrible injuries to sev-

eral of our male and female high school hockey players this year. We have to be concerned about the number of injuries in high school sports. I wondered how many disabling injuries happen that are not as widely reported as these recent hockey injuries, and found a good source of information at the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina. It turns out that ice hockey does not have a record as a particularly dangerous sport, especially when compared to field hockey or football. But all of the numbers are much higher than they should be. Our high school athletes have to be very cautious and the rules have to be enforced, to maintain the safety and enjoyment of these extracurricular activities. Sports activities are such a huge part of young peoples’ growth and development. It’s important for our youth to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, and team sports can build a strong sense of community and citizenry. But all sports activities should provide encouraging, structured activities with rules and boundaries in order to have positive and safe results. A veteran disability activist who is also a long-term employee of the St. Paul School District is about to lose everything he has worked for while on the state’s Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities program. Charles Van Heuveln will hit the program’s age limit of 65 in a couple months and will have to give up his earned pension to be eligible for Medical Assistance and receive personal care attendant (PCA) services. Van Heuveln has challenged Minne-

sota legislators to try accepting the same provisions, but none of them has stepped up to this challenge. Only one legislator, Rep. Alice Hausman, (DFL District 66B—not Van Heuveln’s district), has responded to this dilemma. Recently, Access Press spoke with Loren Colman, Assistant Commissioner of Community Care Administration at the Department of Human Services. He said that he is aware of Van Heuveln’s situation and confirmed that MA-EPD has not kept pace with the needs of those reaching age 65 with disabilities. DHS is waiting for new rulings from the governor and the Minnesota Legislature. Rep. Hausman and Rep. Paymar have agreed they would re-introduce the bill [Sen. Sheran, Asset Limit Modification bill] that didn’t pass last year. “At least one reason it didn’t advance last year was the cost; new initiative were not considered. As Charles pointed out, it’s ultimately a pennywise, pound-foolish, it will cost far more if Charles gives up independent living and moves to a care facility. Charles isn’t alone, there are many people who have been adversely affected by ‘no new taxes, limited government’ era,” Hausman said. Unfortunately for Chuck, their decisions won’t come in time for him to save his liberty and self-reliance. This is a situation where they’re just taking away what people have worked for as they were encouraged to do by our society and by the MA-EPD program. Our legislators need to look at this as being a moral and ethical responsibility as much as a fiscal issue. I look forward to seeing you at the capitol over the next couple months. Don’t forget that pretty much every Tuesday, disability issues are addressed and there are many disability activists demonstrating and lobbyists leading discussions, all to preserve our autonomy. Everyone stay warm and safe. ■

HISTORY NOTE

Christ Child School provided early education option by Jane McClure

Thirty-five years ago, a remarkable era of education ended on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. Christ Child School for Exceptional Children, which operated in a low-slung, brick building at the southwest corner of Summit and Cleveland avenues, closed its doors. The school was torn down in 2005 to make way for the University of St. Thomas’ McNeely Hall.

Volume 23, Number 2 • Periodicals Imprint: Pending ISSN Co-Founder/Publisher (1990-1996) Wm. A. Smith, Jr. Co-Founder/Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief (1990-2001) Charles F. Smith Board of Directors Brigid Alseth Steve Anderson Kristin Jorenby Anita Schermer Carrie Salberg Kay Willshire

Advertising Sales 651-644-2133 Executive Director Tim Benjamin Assistant Editor Jane McClure Business Manager/Webmaster Dawn Frederick Production Ellen Houghton with Presentation Images

Distribution S. C. Distribution Cartoonist Scott Adams 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 does not necessarily reflect the view of the editor/publisher of Access Press. Paid advertising is available at rates ranging from $12 to $28 per column inch, depending on size and frequency of run. Classified ads are $14, plus 65 cents per word over 12 words. Advertising and editorial deadlines are the last day of the month preceding publication, except for employment ads, which are due by the 25th. Access Press is a monthly tabloid newspaper published for persons with disabilities by Access Press, Ltd. Circulation is 11,000, distributed the 10th of each month through more than 200 locations statewide. Approximately 450 copies are mailed directly to individuals, including political, business, institutional and civic leaders. Subscriptions are available for $30/yr. Low-income, student and bulk subscriptions are available at discounted rates. Inquiries and address changes should be directed to: Access Press care of The Kelly 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

But memories of the school live on through its former students, families and staff. Christ Child School was founded in 1948 by the late Sister Anna Marie Meyer and operated on Summit from 1950 to 1977. Meyer, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, dedicated most of her adult life to educating children with physical and cognitive disabilities. In her wheelchair, she was a familiar figure on the area. In 2005, before the building came down, many people shared their memories. “It was so small, it was like a family,” said former school secretary Peggy Schleck. “That school meant a lot to me. I still think about it,” said Mark Thomford, who attended the school from 1960 to 1972. “We had a lot of fun there,” said Kathy Donohue, who attended the school in the 1960s. She and others wanted to save the building’s beige bricks as mementos when Christ Child was razed. “I loved Christ Child School,” said Sister Carol Podlasek, who taught students there from 1964 to 1972. “I loved the children and their families.” She

recalled that the parents were “especially good to work with” and very dedicated to helping their children and the school itself. For many St. Paul families, Christ Child provided a badly needed educational option. “There weren’t many other programs for our children,” said Jayne Frank, the mother of a student in the 1950s. “It was so tough in those days.” Were it not for a terrible car accident, Christ Child School might have never opened at all. Meyer was head of the speech department at the College of St. Catherine and was preparing to open a speech and reading clinic at the college in 1932. She was paralyzed from the shoulders down from a car accident while attending a conference in California. She spent the next 8½ years as a patient at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul. During her stay, she began teaching speech and reading at the hospital to disabled children. After leaving the hospital, Meyer taught in St. Paul parochial schools. She continued to work with students with special needs and opened the St. Paul Delayed Speech School in 1948 at the Christ Child Community Center, which is now Merrick Community Services on St. Paul’s East Side. “It was a bare and simple school,” Meyer once recalled in a St. Paul Pioneer Press interview. “Its equipment was a preprimer, a little paper, a box of crayons and a borrowed Victrola.” Enrollment quickly grew and the school soon moved to larger quarters in a home at 2078 Summit Ave. Parents helped paint the walls, varnish the floor, sew curtains and prepare for opening day in the fall of 1950. The school was full the day it opened. That’s when one History Note - p. 14


Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

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Hockey safety promoted in the wake of serious accidents by Access Press staff

Hockey injuries have drawn attention in Minnesota as two hockey players, Jack Jablonski from Benilde-St. Margaret and Jenna Privette from St. Croix Lutheran, have sustained serious injuries. The injuries have not only drawn attention to disabling sports injuries, they have also prompted efforts to make sports safer and to educate athletes about sports injuries. Courage Center has helped provide education and rehabilitation services for people who have sustained catastrophic injuries. The Wayzata Boys Bantam B12 hockey team visited Courage Center on Jan. 27, to learn more. Following a tour, the boys, their coaches and parents spent time with Courage Center’s current and former clients, John Kujda and his son Jonah, Joe Stone, Joey Carlson and Shawn Dean, discussing life after a spinal cord injury. Jablonski, 16, a sophomore at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School in St. Louis Park, sustained spinal cord injuries on December 30 when he was checked from behind in a junior varsity hockey game against Wayzata and hit the boards head first. Privette, 18, of Lakeville, a senior at St. Croix Lutheran High in West St. Paul, was injured in a hockey game about a week later, on January 6. Privette played on the Minnehaha Saints, a team made up of players from St. Croix Lutheran, Minnehaha Academy of Minneapolis and St. Agnes of St. Paul. They were playing the Blades, a team from St. Paul public high schools. Both young people were hospitalized at Hennepin County Medical Center before transferring for rehabilitation. While Privette has had an MRI showing no damage to her bones or spinal cord, Jablonksi’s injuries are more severe. Media reports, the medical professionals have indicated he isn’t expected to walk again, although the determined young man has vowed to walk and skate again. Checking from behind was already illegal in Minnesota boys prep hockey before Jablonski’s injury. Players don’t see the hit coming and can’t protect themselves, while checking of any kind is not allowed in girls’ hockey, under Minnesota State High School League Rules. Privette’s injury is more controversial. She and family members insist she was hit from behind; others at the game said she appeared to have just fallen. A report in the publication Let’s Play Hockey indicates that a video shows her being hit from behind. In January, the Minnesota State High School League approved a recommendation to stiffen several penalties in hockey that become effective immediately. The goal is to continue the league’s efforts to reduce and remove dangerous contact that has led to severe injuries to players. Recommendation came from staff, the League’s Hockey Advisory Committee (girls’ and boys’ coaches), and officials association representatives. The penalties for these infractions of the rules have been significantly increased in an effort to thwart players from making dangerous hits on the ice. Checking from behind, boarding (defined as a “check, cross-check, elbow, charging or tripping” that sends an opponent “violently into the boards”) and contact to the head all will draw much stiffer penalties. In some cases players

In the wake of recent injuries sustained by two local prep hockey players, the Wayzata Boys Bantam B12 hockey team visited Courage Center on Friday, Jan. 27, to learn more about spinal cord injury and the services Courage Center provides. Following a tour, the boys, their coaches and parents spent time with current and former Courage Center clients for a discussion about life after spinal cord injury. The participating clients were, from left, John Kujda and son Jonah, Joe Stone, Joey Carlson and Shawn Dean.

Photo courtesy of Courage Center

who violate rules can not only be ejected from the game where the violation occurs, they must also sit out the following game. The boys’ and girls’ coaches on a league committee quickly agreed that the best way to address increasing violent hits was to escalate the penalty structure and to get all parties involved to seek to change the culture of the game. The coaches need to accept the stiffer penalties and need to instruct their players the proper and legal ways of making contact with opponents. The officials need to make the calls when the violation is made; they need to be supported by not only the coaches, but also by the players and the fans. The league also is providing an online education module about the changes. “Hockey is a contact sport, and when it is played correctly it should be a safe game with minimal risks,” said Craig Perry, league associate director who oversees hockey. “This video will allow all participants in the game to see exactly what kind of contact is permitted and what kind of contact is going to draw the new tougher penalties. The players have to be kept as safe as possible, and with a little bit of education and clear thinking while they are on the ice, I firmly believe we can change the culture of the game.” “There is absolutely no reason why the State of Hockey cannot become the State of Safe Hockey,” he added. ■

He went the extra mile for his clients Clients, coworkers and friends at Metropolitan Independent Living Services (MILS) are mourning the death of owner David Michael “Mike” Dreier. Dreier, age 57, of Coon Rapids, passed away unexpectedly Jan. 23. Dreier is remembered as a kind-hearted man and as a pioneer in both the home care and transportation industries. Dreier grew up enjoying working with his father, learning to work on motor vehicles and working as a delivery driver as soon as he could drive. He graduated from Central High School in Omaha, NE, and then went to vocational school to David Michael “Mike” Dreier Dreier - p. 13

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Agencies’ merger allows People Inc. to help children People Incorporated Mental Health Services, the state’s largest nonprofit working exclusively in the adult mental health field, is expanding its care to children. The organization announced in January that it has acquired an array of programs supporting children’s mental health from St. Paulbased Children’s Home Society & Family Services (Children’s Home). The programs, which will continue without disruption, serve clients in the Twin Cities area, serving clients in six counties. The programs currently serve about 1,000 clients.

“This move combines People Incorporated’s long history of managing and growing programs for people with mental health needs with the expertise Children’s Home has working with children,” said Dr. Tim Burkett, chief executive officer of People Incorporated. “We’ll use this acquisition as a springboard to develop innovative early intervention programs for children and families.” The programs began operating as the new People Incorporated Children’s Services division on Jan. 1. Services will include individual and family

counseling, early childhood mental health, school-linked counseling, day treatment for children, domestic abuse prevention, anger management, and parent support services. The merger reflects national and Minnesota trends of nonprofit agency mergers, as groups seek efficiencies by merging programs and services. According to Jill Wiedemann-West, chief operating officers of People Incorporated, the acquisition mirrors the trend of nonprofits finetuning their missions. “Small nonprofits are find-

ing it harder to make diversified services work in the harsh economy. This acquisition allows each organization to focus on its specialty services, but more efficiently,” said Wiedemann-West. The Children’s Home acquisition will add approximately $3.8 million to People Incorporated’s 2012 budget of $33.5 million. Children’s Home Society & Family Services was founded in 1889. The agency works to provide every child with security, opportunity and a loving family. Beginning Jan. 1, it will focus on its adoption and

early learning services. People Incorporated Mental Health Services was founded in 1969, promotes and secures independence for people with mental illness. The organization operates more than 40 programs throughout the Twin Cities metro area, including services for the homeless, crisis management services, dropin centers, in-home livingskills programs, and a range of residential homes. People Incorporated serves more than 6,500 people with mental illness annually. ■

Hockey partnership wins grant, is on ice The Amputee Coalition and the Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program, an ice hockey team of disabled American veterans, have formed a partnership to promote and expand the team. The Minnesota Warriors Hockey Recruitment Initiative, powered by a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Olympic Committee through Veterans Affairs, will be a joint effort to build recognition and recruitment for the team through stepped-up marketing, media and fundraising efforts. The Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program, all of whose members are disabled American veterans, is divided into two teams: standup/amputee and sled hockey for both men and women. The team has grown from four players in 2010 to 24 today. Based on the number of disabled veterans

living in Minnesota and the popularity of the game, it is estimated that the Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program should be able to support a minimum of 12 teams throughout the state with at least 240 players. “The Amputee Coalition is proud to join forces with the Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program, an organization that aligns with our goals to educate, integrate and to help people reach their full potential after a loss,” said Kendra Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of the Amputee Coalition. “We thank the U.S. Olympic Committee and Veterans Affairs for awarding this grant, which will be designed to increase recruitment and public awareness so the team can realize their goals for expansion for fundraising

Members of the Minnesota Warriors want to expand their team and interest in their sport.

Photo by Minnesota Warriors ice Hockey Program

to achieve sustainability of the program into the future.” The Amputee Coalition works with the military and the Veterans Affairs on numerous projects designed to support service men and women who have lost limbs in battle. These projects include support for caregivers who suffer from stress and to education for health care providers on issues unique to amputee health care. “The Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Board is excited to work alongside the outstanding professionals at the Amputee

Coalition, who have done so much to enhance the lives of our disabled veterans,” said Heidi Y. Pierson, president, Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey. “It is the intent of the Warriors program to focus on building connections through the Amputee Coalition that will lead to a dynamic and dramatic growth of the team and to expand to other rural regions of Minnesota. This has been a goal of the Warriors from the beginning. Now, with the assistance of the Amputee Coalition we will gain the

credible connections and media expertise that match the Warriors’ goals.” Honoring veterans on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the Minnesota Warriors and the National Hockey League (NHL) Alumni will blend teams to play the Veterans Day Classic in Chaska. The NHL Alumni is an organization of former NHL pros who are dedicated to giving back to the community. The event is open to the general public. For more information, visit amputee-coalition.org or 888/267-5669. ■


Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

ISSUE SPONSOR People with disabilities have often been invisible members of our community—in the shadows, forgotten by some, ignored by others. John was one of the individuals. John lived in a nursing home for eight months when he should have been in rehab for back surgery. He was then moved to a group home and lived there for one year. John didn’t need to be in a group home and didn’t want to be there. Because of the work of The Arc Minnesota and our partners, housing legislation was passed in 2007, and John now lives in a place of his own. For sixty years, The Arc Minnesota has brought people out of the shadows. We protect the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and ensure they are full, participating members in our communities throughout their lives.

The Arc Minnesota’s Goal:

Bringing Light to Those in the Shadows The Arc movement began in Minnesota at a time when people with developmental disabilities lived in institutions, where their care was substandard and their treatment inhumane, and they were isolated from society. Since then, support for Minnesotans with disabilities has improved dramatically. People with disabilities now live, learn, work, and play in our communities alongside their non-disabled peers and are reared at home with their families. The Arc Minnesotahas been at the forefront in creating those changes for the better. Threats to this progress remain, so they must continue their work on several fronts. We are active in public policy—testifying at the Capitol, meeting with legislators, partnering with other agencies, activating citizens to share their stories, communicating through the media, and tracking legislation and regulations.

Van Heuveln - from p. 1 “I well remember all the indignities and barriers he witnessed in registering voters for the 1972 election which propelled him to seek changes in the 1973 legislative session. Now, 40 years later, he once again meets the indignities of an inaccessible community with the same courageous activist spirit.” “We do think the issue of encouraging employment, especially people with disabilities is something we strongly support. We are aware that there are increasing numbers of people that want to work after the age of 65 and the policies really has not kept pace with these changes,” Colman said, “We are interested in more options for an aging population, in this case an aging population that’s on MA-EPD. At this point, we have to wait in accordance with the governor’s instructions until we see the release of February forecast. Then we will be able to reassess and see what option may be available to modify the policies around employment of MAEPD. We are very much aware of the dilemma that this situation causes people who are reaching ages 65 in the MA-EPD program. Were very interested in strategies that help people continue employment and we certainly interested in looking into this issue again.” Van Heuveln has worked for the St. Paul Public School System for the past 18 years. During that time he has been enrolled in the Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities (MA-EPD) program. MA-EPD is a program permitting him to pay a percentage of his earning over the poverty level towards his medical expenses to Ramsey County Human Services. Van Heuveln needs MA because of his need for PCA service that is not covered by Insurance or Medicare. “Over the years, I’ve earned enough to buy a small condominium, which I am proud to call my home,” said Van Heuveln. But he was notified last spring by

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We touch lives not only through public policy, but through personal contacts as well. • Our Housing Access Services (HAS) staff have helped more than 350 people with disabilities move into homes of their own. HAS is a partnership with Minnesota’s Department of Human Services and our affiliated chapters across Minnesota. • Staff in our Master Pooled Trust Program work with individuals with disabili-

Then-Minnesota Governor Wendell R. Anderson, sensitive and dedicated to the needs of handicapped persons, called the first governor's conference on handicapped persons in October of 1972. Highly successful both as an event and in legislative results, the second governor's conference was held October 1974 at the St. Paul Civic Center. Van Heuveln is second from the left.

Ramsey County that the day he turns 65 years of age, he will be cut off the MAEPD program and be placed on the straight Medical Assistance (MA) program. An individual is only eligible for MA-EPD from age 16 to their 65th birthday. Under the MA program a person pays back to the county whatever the amount of their gross income (SSDI or other earned income) is over $677 a month as a medical spend down and is only allowed $3,000 in assets. “Everyone’s encouraged to work and people with disabilities were even given more incentive with the MA-EPD program. It’s the American dream, work hard, buy a house and retire on a pension. But everything I work for including my pension will be taken away when I turn 65 because of the assets and income limits; what kind of American dream is that?” said Van Heuveln. “I thought that the word ‘disability’ was included in the equal rights amendment of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Minnesota equal rights bill of 1972. If this disability and age rule isn’t discrimination, what is it?” he added. “I have worked hard all my life and I have volunteered in the community. I was involved with legislation for people with disabilities,” Van Heuveln said. “I was partly responsible for five major bills in the 1970s’ legislative session involving people with disabilities. The bills which all became law, were as

follows: 1) Requiring all public buildings built after 1972 to be accessible to the disabled, 2) Requiring polling places to be barrier free, 3) Public transportation accessible to the disabled, 4) The signature stamp bill making a rubber stamp a legal signature, and 5) Adding the word disability to the state human rights law.” Van Heuveln wouldn’t be required to give up his home according to state policy. But, he could no longer afford the mortgage payments with $677 a month as an income restriction. He would have to move into state subsidized housing or a nursing home. In addition to the loss of his home and independence, this would be far more costly to the state and the county.

ties and their families so these individuals have a stable source of funding that meets their needs once loved ones can no longer care for them. • Our local affiliated chapters work with individuals with disabilities and their families daily, connecting them with local resources, providing them with timely information, and standing with them when they need an advocate. For more information, go to www.arcmn.org or www.facebook.com/arcmn. ■

Van Heuveln said, “who’s profiting here, not me, not the taxpayers of Minnesota but those owning the subsidized housing and for the wrong reason. I’m not saying subsidized housing is bad but why use it when you don’t have to; subsidized me, it’s cheaper! I just want to continue working so I can subsidize myself.” During the 2011 legislative session, state lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton had a chance to change this age restriction. Legislators voted against the amendment to extending the age limit on the MA-EPD which forces people with disabilities to retire. The amendment was rejected because it is seen as a cost savings measure to not allow people with disabilities to continue working, even if they want to and are fully capable of staying employed. Van Heulven notes that this action was taken because there wasn’t enough money in the state budget to cover human services, which will force many disabled senior citizens to live at poverty level. “However, now the governor and the legislators are seeking huge amounts of taxpayer money to fund a Vikings football stadium, a privately owned company. Is the state of Minnesota using our tax dollars in the proper way?” he said. ■

We would like to acknowledge and thank The Arc Minnesota and UCare for their generous Issue Sponsorship. ™

Please consider joining as an Issue Sponsor. Call: 651-644-2133


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REGIONAL NEWS Texting helps suicide prevention Minnesota’s suicide call center is getting as many cell-phone text messages from teens in a day as it used to get phone calls from teens in a month. That’s because Carlton County applied for and received a $1.44 million federal grant to roll out a seven-county texting hotline for suicide prevention. “We looked at recent suicides, and we looked at what kids were doing prior to those suicides,” said Dave Lee, director of Carlton County’s public health and human services. “They were texting people or they were on Facebook.” The texting hotline has already been promoted in all Carlton County school districts and the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School. The Carlton County Public Health and Human Services Department is in the midst of meeting with other districts, Indian reservations and mental health centers in St. Louis, Cook, Lake, Aitkin, Itasca and Koochiching counties. When work is complete this school year, about 22,000 middle and high school students are expected to be in possession of both texting and telephone numbers to the state suicide hotline. Northeastern Minnesota has one of the highest suicide rates among all ages in the state, Lee said, and data from a 2010 Minnesota Student Survey shows an “alarming rate” of suicidal tendencies and behavioral health issues among area youth. In St. Louis County, for example, eight freshmen and six seniors said they had attempted suicide in the last year, and 37 freshmen and 29 seniors said they had suicidal thoughts in the last year. In Carlton County, seven freshmen and three seniors said they had attempted suicide in 2010. ■ [Source: Duluth News-Tribune]

Thompson Hall wins historic status

Wrong letter sent, say state officials

Thompson Hall, the nation’s oldest social hall for the deaf, has won a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Club officials recently learned of the decision, after it was published in the National Register. The quest for national historic status began several months ago. The national designation will help with preservation efforts for the historic structure, which is in the Merriam Park neighborhood of St. Paul. Charles Thompson Memorial Hall was built in 1916 in St. Paul. The National Register of Historic Places designation recognizes Thompson Hall’s historical significance as a building that continues to serve its original mission as a clubhouse and civic center for the deaf community, and also recognizes the historical contributions of the community in establishing and maintaining this cherished building. It was a gift from a deaf woman, Margaret Thompson, in memory of her deaf husband’s desire to give the deaf community a place to gather and find strength in numbers. It was designed by a nationally recognized deaf architect, Olof Hanson. Supporters hope that the National Register designation will help increase awareness about this unique “living history” property, and enable Thompson Hall to receive preservation and interpretation funding so that it can become more accessible to the community and the public in the future. The Thompson Hall Board of Trustees, the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens, Will Stark of Stark Preservation, Dan Pratt of ARCH3 and the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans (MCDHH) worked on the designation effort. ■ [Source: Minnesota Association for Deaf Citizens]

The controversy over changes to Special Needs BasicCare grew more complicated last month when state officials mistakenly sent out letters to some Minnesotans. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) inadvertently sent out letters in January informing some people under age 18 that they would be enrolled in Special Needs BasicCare (SNBC) effective March 1, 2012. The notice was sent in error as DHS is not enrolling people under age 18 into SNBC for March 2012. Individuals who were mistakenly sent a notice do not have to return the form included in the letter. The individuals who received the letters will continue to receive their Medical Assistance coverage through fee-for-service at this time. If and when a person under 18 becomes eligible to enroll in SNBC, a new letter will be sent. State officials have apologized for the confusion. Anyone with questions should contact DHS. ■ [Source: State of Minnesota]

Girl’s wheelchair stolen A seven-year-old Minneapolis girl has a new wheelchair, thanks to a generous donor. But police are still looking for the persons who stole her chair last month. Moira Stomberg has cerebral palsy and can only walk short distances. She wears leg braces and can only be on her feet for about 20 minutes at a time. “Any time the distance exceeds a block, she needs to be in her wheelchair,” Moira’s mom, Katie Copeland Stomberg, told KMSP-TV. “If I go long distances, sometimes my legs will start to hurt,” said Moira. “Sometimes I get red marks on my legs.” The girl’s chair was stolen from the family’s yard. Her father recently lost his job and family members questioned how they would be able to replace a $3,000 chair without insurance. The missing child-sized wheelchair is a black and grey Invacare. It isn’t motorized. Regional News - p. 14


Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

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Social services veteran to lead Hammer Residences, Inc. Hammer Residences, Inc. has selected John Estrem as its new chief executive officer. The appointment was announced Jan. 27. He replaces the late Tim Nelson, who passed award unexpectedly in August 2011. “Our diligent search process led us to an exciting choice in John Estrem,” said Jon Matejcek, Hammer Board President. “His business acumen and experience in advocacy, fundraising and public affairs are what Hammer needs right now. John’s experience will be an excellent complement to the quality and operational expertise already in place at Hammer.” Estrem’s background includes 24 years’ experience at local social service organizations. As CEO for Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Estrem led 550 people and 42 different programs serv-

Advocacy - from p. 1

ing families in crisis and manEstrem is a servant leader with a passion for advocacy. aged a $36 million operating budget. Most recently he served He has significant leadership as executive director of Episco- experience in operational efpal Community Services, a fectiveness, fundraising, public multi-service social services affairs, volunteer management and working with boards of agency in Minneapolis. directors. Estrem began his “Joining Hammer is a great academic career at St. Cloud honor for me,” said Estrem. “I worked as a direct support pro- State University studying special education; he completed fessional early in my career. I have always held in my his undergraduate work at St. Thomas University. He also thoughts that I might return to this field and holds a Joining Hammer is a great Master’s support people with honor for me, said Estrem. Degree in Divinity developmenfrom St. Paul Seminary and a tal disabilities once again.” “John’s passion for our mis- Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Administration from the Unision was evident at our first versity of Notre Dame. meeting. His dedication to “My vision is to continue a serve and to provide exemplary services closely mirrors legacy of service in the disability services field unmatched in mine and that of all of our emMinnesota,” said Estrem. ployees. I look forward to “Since Alvina Hammer working with him as we begin a new chapter at Hammer,” founded this organization in said Armstrong. 1923, this organization has

held a unique place in the hearts and minds of Minnesotans. Hammer is a community that breathes life into words like ‘respecting an individual’s abilities and realizing dreams.’ It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to work side by side with the men and women who have made Hammer the thriving organization it is today.” Nelson had served as the organization’s leader since 1998. For the past several months Lisbeth Armstrong acted as Interim CEO at Hammer. Armstrong will resume her position as the Director of Program Services when Estrem begins his responsibilities as CEO on Feb. 21. Hammer is a nonprofit organization with a passion for providing quality services for adults and children with developmental disabilities. Hammer currently supports 275 indi-

control the concentration, if you will, of those folks? Why are people with disabilities any different than anybody else in having a right to live in our neighborhoods that belong to all of us?”

The largest of the advocacy ARRM sponsors its Day at the events is the annual Disability Capitol. Typically about 1,000 Day at the Typically about 1,000 people people atCapitol, tend this attend this event . . . set for 10 event, ina.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, April 4. cluding direct support profesThis event is sponsored by sev- sionals (DSPs), mid and execueral advocacy groups. Preregis- tive level provider management, self-advocates, and famtration is due by Monday, ily members. ARRM is seekMarch 26. For a flyer on this ing participants as well as event, go to http://tinyurl.com/ sponsors for this event. Go to 86ede9c Arc’s Day at the Capitol was www.arrm.org for more details. Jan. 31, after deadline for this Other upcoming advocacy issue of Access Press. days include Courage Center’s Mental Health Day on the Advocacy Day, Tuesday, Hill, is led by NAMI-MinneMarch 6, web link sota, is Tuesday, Feb. 14. The www.couragecenter.org; day begins with a 10 a.m. Lutheran Social Services advobriefing at Christ Lutheran Church, which is on University cacy day Tuesday, March 20, web link www.lssmn.org; Avenue just northwest of the MCIL/DSPAM Day, Thurscapitol. This will be followed day, March 15, web link with a noon rally in the state capitol rotunda. Advocates can www.mcil-mn.org ■ then visit their state legislators between 1-3 p.m. The Mental Health Legislative Network has chartered a number of buses, each beginning in different locations, to make it easier for people to attend. Buses will start from Winona, Kerkhoven (Willmar), Marshall, Fergus Falls, Duluth and Baxter, each making multiple stops along the way. The NAMI website contains links for people needing to set up timers to talk to their state lawmakers. The website links can also help advocates make bus transportation arrangements or find convenient parking near the capitol. Go to www.namihelps.org Another advocacy day is Thursday, March 1, when

legislators, a document with calls to group homes. The general speaking points around costs and time are a concern, disability services to share so in the city’ 2012 legislative with legislators, specific issue platform, Burnsville is asking information when appropriate, for state help in regulating the and the legislative hearing concentration of group homes schedule for the day with highin neighborhoods or cities. If lights of particularly relevant the law passes it would be Sign up for advocacy days hearings. Assistance will be statewide. City officials cite available for locating legislaMN-CCD sponsors Tuesthe strain on city resources in tive offices and/or accompanydays at the Capitol. Attend having too many group homes ing advocates to meetings with these sessions every Tuesday, in one area. legislators. Help is also avail10 a.m.-3 p.m. and learn how Minnesota currently has a able if advocates haven’t preto be an statewide pared their personal stories in effective morato- . . . the number of homes or advance. rium on community residential facilities advocate It is best to set up meetings for yourlicensed is regulated through zoning. with state lawmakers well in self or for advance. Call 1-800-657-3550, corporate a family member. adult foster care facilities. or go to www.gis.leg.mn/ Groups sponsor some days Many Minnesota cities already OpenLayers/districts to find but not every advocacy day is regulate group homes. In St. contact information. MN-CCD on a Tuesday. The days begin Paul and Minneapolis, for exand other groups typically end ample, the number of homes or on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. their training at 10:30 a.m. so No session is held April 10 becommunity residential facilitry to set up meetings after cause state lawmakers will be ties is regulated through zon10:45 a.m. with your legislator on spring break. ing. Advocates should bring inforMN-CCD will be at the “The impact to a neighbormaction, typically no more capitol to help people share hood is pretty detrimental if than one page, to tell their pertheir stories about the importwo or three [group homes] sonal stories. Fact sheets from tance of disability services cluster together,” Burnsville specific disability advocacy with legislators and to ensure Mayor Elizabeth Kautz said. groups are also helpful. there is a disability community She said concerns center on There are options for lunch. presence at the capitol. The property values. The city is Either consoralso trying to encourage more Each Tuesday starts at 10 a.m. bring tium ofowner-occupied homes. food or with a briefing on current fers tips Burnsville has 50 licensed purchase and help disability policy issues . . . group homes and an unknown food in for those number of unlicensed facilithe accesattending the days. One of the ties. sible cafeteria of the Transporfirst steps is to contact Anni Bruce Nelson of the Assotation Building (connected to Simons, either at asimons@ ciation of Residential Recapitol and State Office Buildarcmn.org or at 651-523-0823, ing by accessible underground sources in Minnesota, an orgaext. 112. Advocates should let tunnel). nization that represents group home providers, told the news- her know which Tuesdays they Check for parking informaplan to attend and what accom- tion at www.leg.state.mn.us/ paper that trying to limit the modations will be needed. locations of those facilities is leg/capitolcmplx.asp Several Each Tuesday starts at 10 wrong. “Would a community Metro Transit buses stop near a.m. with a briefing on current that is seeing an influx of the capitol and State Office people of color or another non- disability policy issues and a Building. review of tips for meeting with Caucasian ethnicity move to

John Estrem

viduals in both residential and in-home settings, and more than 500 individuals through customized support services. It manages 36 residential sites and runs 9 apartment programs throughout the western suburbs of the Twin Cities. Hammer has 443 dedicated employees and 550 active volunteers. At the time of its founding, Hammer was one of only two Minnesota organizations at that time to offer people with disabilities the opportunity to thrive in a school and home setting. ■


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PEOPLE & PLACES Advocate wins Pathfinder award A New Ulm area advocate for people with disabilities is one of the 2012 Pathfinder Award winners. The awards were given on January 16 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Wilbur Neuschwander-Frink received the Pathfinder Award, given annually to people who embody the spirit and work of Dr. King. Neuschwander-Frink has been an advocate for people with disabilities for 17 years. She sees parallels between the work of King and the advocacy she does for people with disabilities. “Getting a Martin Luther King Jr. award is, for me, the pinnacle,” Neuschwander-Frink said to the Mankato Free Press newspaper.

She said advocating for people with disabilities has been her passion since high school when she’d watch in horror as people with disabilities were bullied and treated with disrespect. Even in high school she started standing up to that kind of treatment, even if it made her unpopular with others at her school. As a nurse, she continued her work with people with disabilities, but it wasn’t until she attended a meeting at the New Ulm Public Library that she really responded to what she believes is her calling. After that day at the library, she spent the next chapter of her life working to change society’s attitudes about people with disabilities. Among her most public efforts are the plays she writes and directs featuring people with disabilities, including “Soph and Nana” and “Words.”

Courage Center awarded grant U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), has selected Courage Center and its Operation Liberty program as a recipient of $75,000 in funding in support of Paralympic sport and physical activity programming for disabled veterans and disabled members of the armed forces. More than $4.4 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been awarded to 95 community organizations around the country, including Courage Center. At Courage Center, the funds will be used to expose, teach and expand its Operation Liberty Paralympic sports program for disabled and injured veterans. It also means that Operation Liberty programming can continue to be offered free of charge to veterans, helping remove financial and physical barriers to their participation. Through this program, grants ranging from $2,500 to $500,000 were provided to USOC partner organizations and community programs to increase the number and quality of opportunities for physically or visually impaired veterans to participate in physical activity within their home communities and in more advanced Paralympic sport programs at the regional and national levels. “The grant funding gives Courage Center the opportunity to give back to disabled and injured veterans, helping them discover or rediscover competitive and athletic activities,” said Ta’avasa “JR” Mamea, Paralympic sports coordinator/Operation Liberty with Courage Center. Research has shown that regular participation in physical activity has a positive effect on a client’s rehabilitation, self-esteem, education, employment and overall health. “We couldn’t be happier with this latest round of grants to be awarded to these new partner organiPeople & Places - p. 13


Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

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Awards recognize contributions to human services clients

DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, left, presents an award to Courage Center CEO, Jan Malcolm.

Photo courtesy of DHS

Several Minnesota organizations and individuals were honored recently by Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. Jesson gave the Commissioners’ Circle of Excellence Awards to recognize outstanding contributions to human services program clients. Eleven individuals and organizations were recipients of the awards, which were presented during a ceremony at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building in St. Paul. The Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award winners stand out among the many individuals and organizations on the front lines throughout the state, providing critical human services programs and promoting healthy and productive communities. “These award winners are outstanding examples of how, collectively, we foster healthy people, stable families and strong communities,” Jesson said. “By shining a light on their work, we honor all our partners in human services.” The 11 2011 DHS Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award recipients are: • Courage Center, health care home for people with disabilities, Golden Valley. For the past two years, Courage Center has provided a health care home,

Desktop Publishing: Advertisements Brochures Catalogs Flyers Logos Newsletters Newspapers Scanning ... & More! Ellen Houghton 952-404-9981 presentationimages@comcast.net

coordinating the primary care needs of its clients with physical disabilities. The project was initially funded by a grant from DHS and has received high satisfaction ratings from participants. • White Earth Home Health, home care and long-term care consultation, White Earth. Serving the White Earth Nation for more than 25 years, agency staff provide skilled nurse visits, home-delivered meals, nutrition education and long-term care consultation. Many of their clients have chronic health care needs, such as diabetes. • Empira, falls prevention program, Eden Prairie. Using a DHS Performance-based Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) grant, Empira implemented a comprehensive program with falls prevention strategies and post-falls management interventions aimed at improving the health and safety of nursing facility residents and reducing costs. • In Reach Social Worker Initiative, a partnership of South Country Health Alliance, Owatonna Hospital, South Central Hu-

man Relations Center, Steele, Waseca and Dodge counties. Based out of Owatonna Hospital, a social worker works closely with frequent emergency department users to provide better service Awards - p. 13

Your home, your independence . . . 763-546-1000 At In Home Personal Care, we pride ourselves not only on the help we provide, but also on our ability to listen. We understand that each of our clients has different needs at different times. Serving Adults and Children with Long-Term Needs since 1991 SERVICES: • Personal Care Assistants (PCA) • Live-ins • PCA and PCA Choice Provider • Home Health Aides (HHA)

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“I know something about the word “personal” in our company name because I’m not only the founder – I’m also a client. Our quality home care services are formed around a plan that works for you and your individual situation.” - Kevin Sullivan”


Pg 10 Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

ACCESSIBLE FUN Welcome to the Access Press Accessible Fun listings. Get further information on things to do around Minnesota at www.access minnesota.org and click on the calendar. For info on galleries and theater performances around the state, visit www.vsamn.org or call 612-332-3888 or 1-800-8013883 (voice/tty). Or check c2 (caption coalition) inc., which does most of the captioned shows in Minnesota, also captions shows across the country: http://c2net.org\

Fabulous ’50s set Mark your calendars for the Opportunity Partners 2012 gala set for April 27. Step back in time to the “Fabulous ’50s” benefit gala Fri, April 27at the Hotel Sofitel Mpls, 5601 W. 78th St., Bloomington. This year’s theme celebrates the 1953 founding of Opportunity Partners, a Twin Cities nonprofit organization that for nearly 60 years has been helping people with disabilities live, learn and work more independently. Festivities start at 5:30 p.m. and include a silent auction, interactive games, updated ’50s comfort food, and live auction featuring professional auctioneer Karen Sorbo. The night will conclude with dancing to the 1950s tunes of The Rockin’ Hollywoods. Ian and Margery Punnett of myTalk 107.1 radio are emcees. Wear formal attire or 1950s garb. Tickets are $90; a variety of sponsorship opportunities are available starting at $250. FFI: www.fabulous50s.eventbrite.com

Creative Kids contest Join PACER, other families, and celebrated artist Tony Whelihan 10 a.m.-noon Sat, Feb. 25 for a fun family event where imaginations run wild. Children spend the morning creating artwork by expressing themselves and their creative ideas through various mediums and vibrant colors. The masterpieces are then entered in PACER’s Annual Creative Kids Contest and the winner’s artwork will become the cover design of the 2012 PACER Greeting Card, which will be sold online and at the PACER Benefit. Children ages 4-17 with disabilities can enter the contest. The original artwork of the top 10 designs will be sold at PACER’s Benefit Silent Auction. Participants must preregister and space is limited. Event is at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd. Bloomington. Art supply donations welcome. FFI: 952-8389000, www.pacer.org, danna.mirviss@pacer.org

Attend Research Dinner The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota will host their 10th

Annual Research Dinner 5:30 p.m. Tue, Feb. 28, at Radisson Hotel, 2540 N. Cleveland Ave., Roseville. The event will feature leading researchers on the treatment of mental illnesses. Registration is required. FFI: 651645-2948 or 1-888-NAMI-Helps, or go to www.namihelps.org

Enter Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota Applications are being sought for Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2012. The pageant, which recognizes the accomplishments of Minnesota women who use wheelchairs, is April 2. Entry forms are now available. The pageant is open to the public. Jenni Taylor is the reigning Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota. The group has a Ms. Minnesota Wheelchair Facebook page for those who want to compete in, help with or be guests at the pageant. FFI: 952388-0500, www.mswheelchairamerica.org, www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Ms-Wheelchair-Minnesota/ 174180105949729

Eat healthier in 2012 Learn about healthy eating at the inaugural Minnesota Food and Nutrition Expo 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat, Feb. 25 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Learn how every member of your family can start eating better and healthier. Get your plate in shape at great-tasting cooking demos. Talk with more than 30 exhibitors about the latest healthy foods. Ask an expert dietitian your toughest nutrition questions. Visit the bookstore and meet the best Minnesota authors in the food and nutrition field. An interactive Kid Zone is offered and children can meet Power Panther, official mascot of the US Department of Agriculture, who will be on hand for photos and fun. Admission is $7 per family, or free for each person who brings a non-perishable food donation for Second Harvest Heartland. Sponsored by the Minnesota Dietetic Association. FFI: 952-830-7022, www.eatrightmn.org, mda@eatrightmn.org

Earth, Wind & Fire to perform Earth, Wind & Fire—one of America’s top-selling musical groups of all time—is bringing its soul-funk fusion to PACER Center’s 30th Annual Benefit on Saturday, May 5, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Tickets are available now. Inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, Earth, Wind & Fire has earned six Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards alongside numerous other accolades. The band recently received the prestigious Legend Award at the 2011 Soul Train awards on Nov. 27, 2011. In addition to the Earth, Wind & Fire concert, PACER’s benefit includes silent and live auctions. Proceeds from the Benefit support PACER Center programs for children with disabilities and their families and PACER’s Bullying Prevention Center. FFI: 952838-9000, PACER.org

Accessibility improvement grants available ADA Access Improvement Grants for Metro Arts Organizations are now available in the Twin Cities sevencounty area. The focus of these grants, up to $15,000 each, is to help make arts programming, activities and

facilities more accessible to people with disabilities. Made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, the grant program is administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC). Over the past two years $440,785 was awarded to 36 Twin Cities organizations. In 2012 approximately $180,000 is available to be awarded over two rounds, with application deadlines on Feb. 17 and May 11, 2012. A series of information meetings will be announced shortly. The project grants are not intended for one-time activities such as a sign language interpreter or a Braille program for one play, but to have the potential for significant or long-term impact in involving more people with disabilities as participants or patrons in arts programs. Minnesota nonprofit arts organizations in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties are eligible if their annual budget is under $4,460,000. Download 2012 grant guidelines and application at www.vsamn.org/forms.html#adagrant FFI: 612332-3888 voice/tty, access@vsamn.org

Almost to Freedom SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development presents Almost to Freedom, a Black History Month play. A young girl is given a rag doll, through whose eyes we see the extremes of slave life—the cruelty, the love, and the daring escape from slavery via the Underground Railroad. Performances are at the theater at 55 Victoria St. N., St. Paul. ASL interpretation is 3 p.m. Sun, Feb. 12 and AD interpretation is available 7 p.m. Fri, Feb. 24. Tickets are reduced to $10 access rate (regular $14; youth/senior 55+ $11). FFI: 651-225-9265, info@steppingstone theatre.org, www.steppingstonetheatre.org

As You Like It Ten Thousand Things Theater performs As You Like it by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s tale is about those who have suffered great loss, their exile into the forest, and the hope and comfort they find there. The play will be at two locations. AD performance is at 8 p.m. Fri, Feb. 17 at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls. ASL is 6:15 p.m. Tue, March 6 at People, Inc., 317 York Avenue, St. Paul. Tickets are reduced to $18 (regular $25; students on Sundays $15). FFI: 612-203-9502, www.tenthousandthings.org/

Oklahoma! Lyric Arts Company of Anoka presents the Rodgers and Hammerstein music at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 420 E. Main Street, Anoka. ASL performance is 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 19. Seats for ASL patrons are held in reserve until two weeks prior to the show, then released to the general public. When ordering tickets, please indicate your need for seating in this section; if there are no reservations, the interpretation will be canceled. Tickets reduced to $13-16 each for guests requiring ASL interpretation and a companion. FFI: 763-422-1838; boxoffice@lyricarts.org, www.lyricarts.org

Harvey Tin Roof Theatre Company presents the comedy Harvey at the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre, 333 Fourth St. S., Fargo. This 1944 Pulitzer prize-winning comedy revolves around the character Elwood P. Dowd, an affable man with a bit of a drinking problem, who claims to have an unseen friend named “Harvey”—whom Elwood describes as a tall “pooka” resembling an anthropomorphic rabbit. His social-climbing sister, who increasingly finds his eccentric behavior embarrassing, decides to have him committed to a sanitarium to spare their family embarrassment. A comedy of errors ensues. AD performance is 7:30 p.m. Sat, Feb. 25; pre-show description at

Fun - p. 15


Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

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METO attorney, families to be honored March 7

UPCOMING EVENTS Get help Free house painting Metro Paint-A-Thon helps low-income seniors and people with disabilities continue to live independently in their own homes, enriching their lives and neighborhoods. Thousands of volunteers scrape, prime and paint these homes at no cost to the homeowner. Volunteers from companies, congregations, civic groups, and schools will paint homes the weekend of Aug. 4-5. To qualify for Paint-A-Thon, homeowners must own and occupy a single-family home, in need of paint, but not in need of major repairs; live in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott or Washington counties; be 60 years of age or older, or have a permanent physical disability if under age 60 and meet monthly income guidelines. Deadline is May 4. FFI: 612-276-1579; paintathon.gmcc.org

Adult classes Independent living classes offered The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) offers free and accessible classes on living independently for people with disabilities. Most classes are held at 1600 University Ave., #16, the green tile building at University and Snelling, St. Paul. Self-esteem class is at 10 a.m.-noon Tue. Feb. 21. How do you see yourself? Does your inner voice say hurtful things? Come and join us as we discuss ways to change that inner voice and make it be a supportive voice instead. Please bring an open mind and willingness to change. Knitting circle: Learn simple techniques, patterns and designs of knitting. Adaptive knitting equipment available; for all levels of knitters. Other crafts are welcome, 1-3p.m. on Mon. Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-noon Mon. March 5 and 1-3 p.m. Mon. March 26. Join us for cooking handmade candy/salads/main course is Tue. Feb. 28 1-3:30 p.m. Learn to follow a recipe and make some delicious treats and food. Cooking side dishes will be on Tue. March 27 1-3:30 p.m. Side dishes are an important part of any meal, learn how to create healthy and simple side dishes. The Weekenders outings are for those who are tired of sitting home all weekend. Meet other people who share similar interests and want to meet new people. Guests are welcome and encourages. Our Sat. Feb. 25 11 a.m. 2 p.m. outing is bowling at Memory Lanes, 2520 26th Ave. S. Minneapolis. On Sat. Feb. 24, 1-3:30 p.m. we will go to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S. Minneapolis. Please bring money for both events. Wii fun is Wed. Feb. 15 11 a.m.-1 p.m. This is a great way to meet new people, have fun and even get a workout. Events are free (with the exception of Weekenders outings), accessible and mostly scent-free. Please RSVP and give two weeks’ notice of needed accommodations. FFI: Corbett Laubignat, corbettl@mcil-mn.org. 651-603-2028. Free technology classes Free adaptive technology classes are offered by Hennepin County Library, at the downtown Mpls library, 300 Nicollet Mall. Classes are free but you must pre-register for these classes for persons who are blind or have low vision. In addition to classes there are often volunteers available to introduce patrons to the equipment and software available. Volunteer hours vary, so it’s best to call ahead. FFI: 612-630-6469, www.hclib.org

Workshops, conferences Child and adolescent mental health conference The Minnesota Association for Children’s’ Mental Health (MACMH) conference is April 22 – 24 in Duluth. Early deadlines are approaching. Register by Jan. 31 for a $50 savings. Also, exhibitors, sponsors and marketers need to sign on by April 2 for the April 23-24 exhibit days. New offerings this year include a sponsors’ row for event sponsors, a “friend” discount for longtime exhibitors and the ability to select an exhibit space through online registration. Ask about exhibit and conference attendee rates or check the organization website. FFI: info@macmh.org, or www.macmh.org

Youth and families Family course on mental illness Do you have a family member living with a mental illness? The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of

Shamus O’Meara and the plaintiffs in the Minnesota Extended Treatment Options (METO) lawsuit will be the honored guests at The Arc Minnesota’s 2012 Public Policy Recognition Event. The event will be held at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 7 at the Midland Hills Country Club, 2001 Fulham Street in Roseville. Attorney Shamus O’Meara served as settlement class counsel for a landmark decision against METO in June 2011, and three families served as plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the facility. On December 1, 2011, O’Meara and the plaintiff families finalized a settlement with the Minnesota Department of Human Services on behalf of several hundred Minnesotans with disabilities who were restrained or secluded illegally at METO. The agreement immediately discontinued restraints and seclusion, except for true emergency situations, and provided a financial settlement for those mistreated and abused at METO. The agreement also ordered creation of a commission based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, as well as a committee to review Rule 40, the Minnesota rule on the use of aversive and Shamus O’Meara deprivations procedures against people with disabilities. The goal of the commission and the committee is to develop a statewide plan so all Minnesotans with disabilities have opportunities to live in the community and be free from abuse. “Because of their commitment to see justice done and ensure that people with disabilities Sponsored by will not be subjected to the same cruel and inhumane treatment again, O’Meara and the plaintiff families have done Minnesotans with disabilities a tremendous service,” said Steve Larson, The Arc Minnesota’s Senior Policy Director. “Their advocacy will dramatically improve treatment for all Minnesotans with disabilities. We are proud to honor them.” Tickets for the event are $50 per person. Register and pay online at www.arcmn.org. Please RSVP by Feb. 24. FFI: Sara Larson at 651-604-8050 or saral@arcmn.org ■ Minnesota is offers a free educational course that helps families gain a greater understanding of mental illness, discuss resources, build communication skills, reduce stress and find support. The Family-to-Family course meets weekly for 12 weeks and will start in St. Paul 6:30-9 p.m. Tue, March 6 at Ramsey County Mental Health, 1919 University Ave., St. Paul. Pre-registration required. FFI: Marilyn, 651-497-6858. Parents with Disabilities group Parents with Disabilities is a new group offered by Metro Center for Independent Living. This group is for people who have disabilities and have children. Learn from and grow with others who are dealing with the intricacies of disability and parenting responsibilities. Everyone’s experience is valuable and questions are important. The next four meetings are at MCIL 1600 University Ave W, St. Paul, 5-7 p.m. Mondays Jan 23, Feb 20, March 19 and April 23. Pre-registration requested. FFI: Corbett, 651 603 2028, corbettl@mcil-mn.org PACER offers workshops PACER Center offers useful free and low-cost workshops for families of children with disabilities. Register in advance. All workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Creating Your Independent Living Plan, a free workshop for parents of teenagers and young adults with disabilities, is 7-9 p.m. Mon., Feb. 13.This workshop will provide an opportunity for families to learn about the person-centered planning process and begin to create their son or daughter’s independent housing plan. The workshop is the first of a threepart housing workshop series that will also include “Housing Eligibility and Funding” on Feb. 27, and “Creative Housing and Services Options” on March 12. Preregistration required. FFI: 952-838-9000, 800537-2237 (toll free), www.PACER.org. Fraser offers groups Fraser offers a wide variety of classes and programs for families dealing with disabilities. Classes, which typically cost $30 per person or $50 per couple, are held throughout the region. Preregistration required. Fraser offers a wide variety of classes and programs for families dealing with disabilities. Classes,

which typically cost $30 per person or $50 per couple, are held throughout the region. Preregistration required. FFI: 612-798-8331 or workshops@fraser.org.

Support groups, meetings UCare meetings UCare hosts informational meetings about its UCare for Seniors Medicare Advantage plan. Meetings are held all over the region. UCare for Seniors has more than 75,000 members across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. UCare is an independent, nonprofit health plan providing health care and administrative services to more than 185,000 members. UCare serves Medicareeligible individuals throughout Minnesota and in western Wisconsin; individuals and families enrolled in incomebased Minnesota Health Care Programs, such as MinnesotaCare and Prepaid Medical Assistance Pro-

Upcoming events - p. 12


Pg 12 Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

Radio Talking Book February sampling Bookstore Connections The Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network has a new relationship with Magers & Quinn, an independent bookstore in Minneapolis. Many of the radio’s books have either been donated or discounted by the bookstore.

Minnesota Connections A number of this month’s books are written by Minnesota authors. These authors include Minneapolis resident Martin Kihn, author of Bad Dog (begins Feb. 16 at 2 p.m.) and St. Paul resident William Kent Kruger, whose book Northwest Angle begins at 9 p.m. Feb. 21 at 9 p.m.

Weekend Program Books Your Personal World (Saturday at 1 p.m.) is airing Passages in Caregiving, by Gail Sheehy; For the Younger Set (Sunday at 11 a.m.) is airing Across the Great Barrier, by Patricia C. Wrede; Poetic Reflections (Sunday at noon) is airing The Sky Is Great, the Sky Is Blue, by Sharon Chmielarz, and Midnight Lantern, by Tess Gallagher; The U.S. and Us (Sunday 4 p.m.) is airing Lucien Galtier, by Marianne Luban, and North Country, by Mary Lethert Wingerd.

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. Phone is 1800-722-0550 and hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The catalog is online and can be accessed by going to the main website, http:// education.state.mn.us, and then clicking on the link. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books by contacting their home state’s Network Library for the National Library Service. Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived programs from the last week, on the Internet at www.mnssb.org/rtb. Call the staff for your password to the site. See more information about events on the Facebook site for the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network. Access Press is one of the publications featured at 9 p.m. Sundays on the program It Makes a Difference. Chautauqua • Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. What Language Is, Nonfiction by John McWhorter, 2011. Most assumptions about language are wrong: it is not pure, not only words, not divided into languages and “dialects,” nor is it what we write on the page. It is a world of human communication. L - Read by Esmé Evans. Seven broadcasts. Begins Feb. 28. Past is Prologue • Monday – Friday 9 a.m. Alexander the Great, Nonfiction by Philip Freeman, 2011. Only a handful of people have influenced history as much. For 2,000 years, people have studied his strategy. Read by Arlan Dohrenburg. 17 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 16. Bookworm • Monday – Friday 11 a.m. The Charming Quirks of Others, Fiction by Alexander McCall Smith, 2010. Isabel Dalhousie has been asked to

look into the background of one of the candidates for the headmaster position at a boys’ school. What she finds about each of the candidates is surprising. Read by Eileen Barratt. Eight broadcasts. Begins Feb. 20. The Writer’s Voice • Monday – Friday 2 p.m. Bad Dog, Nonfiction by Martin Kihn, 2011. Marty, is a high-functioning alcoholic, in debt, out of shape, and about to lose his job and his wife. Desperate to save his marriage, Marty throws himself into the world of dog training, but he knows less than Hola. Read by John Beal. Seven broadcasts. Begins Feb. 16. A Widow’s Story, Nonfiction by Joyce Carol Oates, 2011. In 2008, Joyce’s husband entered a hospital with pneumonia. As Joyce was preparing for his discharge, he died of a hospital acquired infection and she was suddenly faced with widowhood. Read by Laura Rohlik. 16 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 27. Choice Reading • Monday – Friday 4 p.m. The Tiger’s Wife, Fiction by Téa Obreht, 2011. In a Balkan country, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives to work at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her friend begin to inoculate children, she feels surrounded by superstitions and secrets. Read by Natasha DeVoe. 11 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 22. PM Report • Monday – Friday 8 p.m. I Shall Not Hate, Nonfiction by Izzeldin Abuelaish, 2011. Abuelaish is a Palestinian doctor with a degree from Harvard. He has been crossing the divide between Israelis and Palestinians most of his life, treating patients on both sides. When three of his daughters were killed by Israeli soldiers, his response was to call for peace. Read by Bob Malos.10 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 21. Night Journey • Monday – Friday 9 p.m. Northwest Angle, Fiction by William Kent Krueger, 2011. Cork and his daughter are pursued to the isolated Northwest Angle, where it’s impossible to tell who among the residents is in league with the devil. L - Read by Neil Bright. 14 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 21. Potpourri • Monday – Friday 11 p.m. The New Cool, Nonfiction by Neal Bascomb, 2011. In Goleta, California, a high school physics teacher had a dream. Amir Abo-Shaeer had a vision for education based more on creation than on rote learning. Read by Tony Lopez. 12 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 14. Good Night Owl • Monday – Friday midnight The Lonely Polygamist, Fiction by Brady Udall, 2010. Golden Richards, husband to four wives, father to 28 children, is having a major midlife crisis. Crippled by grief and the demands of work and family, he becomes entangled in an affair that may destroy his family’s future. L - Read by John Schmidt. 21 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 20. After Midnight • Tuesday – Saturday 1 a.m. Good to a Fault, Fiction by Marina Endicott, 2010. Clara Purdy is43, divorced, and leading a non-interesting life when she crashes into another car. The bruises on the mother prove to be cancer and Clara’s life suddenly becomes interesting. L,S - Read by Natasha DeVoe. 12 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 22. Abbreviations: V - violence, L – offensive Language, S – sexual situations

Events - from p. 11 gram; adults with disabilities and Medicare beneficiaries with chronic health conditions, and Minnesotans dually eligible for Medical Assistance and Medicare FFI: 1-877523-1518 (toll free), www.ucare.org Mental Illness support groups The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota (NAMI-MN) sponsors free support groups for families who have a relative with a mental illness. NAMI has about two dozen family support groups, over 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators who also have a family member with mental illness, the support groups help families develop better coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. A family support group meets in St. Paul from 5:45-7p.m., on the second Tuesday of the month, at Snelling Office Park, 1625 Energy Park Drive, Suite 100, St. Paul. FFI: Sonja, 651-357-2077. One NAMI group, Open Door Anxiety and Panic support, has changed location, from Gloria Dei Church in St. Paul to Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St, St. Paul. It meets at 6:30 p.m., on the first and third Thursday of the month. FFI: NAMI at 651-645-2948, www.namihelps.org A NAMI Connection peer support group for adults recovering from mental illness meets bi-weekly in Roseville. Trained facilitators who are also in recovery lead NAMI Connection groups. The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m., at Centennial Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West. FFI: Will, 651-578-3364. NAMI has a support group for those living in the GLBTQ community and their allies. The group meets 1-2:30 p.m. Saturdays, Minnehaha Spirit of the Lakes Church, 4001 38th Avenue S., Mpls. The support group will be a safe place to confront the challenges that many members of the GLBTQ communities face including low self-esteem, social isolation, stigma, discrimination, anxiety and depression. FFI: Kim 763-267-5881, Gabi 314-800-4134.

Volunteer, Donate Give away that car Autos for Arc can take old vehicles off your hands, give you a tax deduction and say “Thank you” for helping change the lives of people with disabilities. Autos for Arc accepts cars and trucks of any model and condition and other vehicles including boats (with trailers), RVs, ATVs, golf carts, personal watercraft, motorcycles and snowmobiles. Within the seven-county metro area, Autos for Arc can arrange to have a vehicle towed free of charge. Call the toll-free Autos for Arc hotline, 1-877-778-7709, to arrange a pickup. Or drop off vehicles at a Value Village location. FFI: 1-877-778-7709, www.autosforarc.org Volunteer with RSVP Volunteers age 55 and older are eligible to receive free supplemental insurance, mileage reimbursement and other benefits through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) sponsored by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. RSVP/Volunteers of America of Minnesota and AARP Foundation need volunteers with good budgeting and organizational skills to help manage finances of older or disabled low-income individuals. Have a few hours a month to volunteer? Money Management Program staff will train and match you with someone in the community. FFI: Money Management Program Coordinator, 612-617-7821. ■

Diamond Hill Townhomes Diamond Hill Townhomes is a great property located near the Minneapolis International Airport. Our waiting list is currently closed. Call for updated openings as this can change from time to time. We have two and three bedroom townhomes that are HUD subsidized and rent is 30% of the total household's adjusted gross income. We have a large number of mobility impaired accessible units.

To check for future waiting list openings please call (612) 726-9341.


Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

Awards - from p. 9 and more appropriate community-based care at a lesser cost. • Recovery Resource Center, integrated dual diagnosis chemical dependency treatment, Minneapolis. Center staff work closely with clients, many of whom are homeless, who have complex conditions, providing dual mental illness and chemical dependency treatment, relapse prevention and treatment for mothers with dependent children. • Affiliated Community Medical Centers - Litchfield East Clinic, optimal diabetes care,

People & Places - from p. 8 zations,” said Chris Nowak, director, VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events. “These grants provide more outlets for our disabled veterans and injured service men and women to stay active and perhaps, ultimately, the opportunity to take their athleticism to the next level of competition as a U.S. Paralympian.” “This funding is already having a tremendous impact on disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “Through the USOC/Veterans Affairs partnership many community programs have been able to expand their programming and provide increased opportunities for veterans to participate.” Grant funding for this pro-

Dreier - from p. 3 become an auto mechanic. He owned several 1960s vintage muscle cars and tinkered with them throughout his life. He enlisted in the Air Force as a young man. Shortly before leaving for basic training in July 1973, he dove into a shallow spot in a lake and sustained a spinal cord injury, just before he was to leave. In the early days of Metro Mobility, Dreier was a primary dispatcher for the paratransit service. In 1988, Dreier opened the doors to MILS, his home care agency. He became an effective advocate for people with disabilities and went the extra mile to seek out the information his clients needed. Dreier always made it his clients’

Pg 13

Litchfield. Clinic staff have taken a team approach to providing care to the growing client population with diabetes. The Minnesota Community Measurement Health Care Disparities Report noted that the clinic’s rate for optimal diabetes care was higher than the average clinic rate for Minnesota Health Care Programs enrollees. • Larene Randle, parent advocate, Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota, St. Paul. Randle has served on various advisory boards to bring the voice of a parent who has been involved with the child protection system to the table. She also is involved in many par-

ent outreach and education efforts. • Patricia Nordahl, former executive director, Cooperation Station Inc., Grand Marais. Longtime child care provider Nordahl not only served as director of an innovative child care center but assisted with efforts to develop the Parent Aware child care rating system. She advised DHS on its federal Child Care Development Fund Plan and serves on the Governor’s Early Learning Council. • West Central Minnesota Communities Action, Food Support outreach, Elbow Lake. By collaborating with the University of

Minnesota’s Simply Good Eating Program and local food shelves, the agency provides Food Support application assistance, nutrition education and cooking classes for residents of Douglas, Grant, Traverse, Stevens and Pope counties. The agency has been a successful partner in efforts to raise awareness and increase participation in the federal Food Support program. • Mary Regan, executive director, Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies, St. Paul. Regan has helped lead innovations and reform in children’s mental health and child welfare for more than a

decade. She served as chair of the Child and Adolescent Intensive Services workgroup, helping to write a report to the Minnesota Legislature on service capacity and needs. • Bao Vang, president and chief executive officer, Hmong American Partnership, St. Paul. Vang has been a contributor to the DHS Disparities Reduction Advisory Committee and has been an advocate for small, culturally based agencies. As the leader of a growing social services agency that serves the Hmong and other communities, she has been instrumental in its success. ■

gram is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

time the United States has hosted a major Paralympic Nordic ski event in seven years. “We’re excited to bring elite competition onto our home soil,” said John Farra, director of High Performance Paralympic Nordic Skiing for the U.S. Olympic Committee. “This is an exceptional opportunity for many of our up-andcoming athletes to get some international experience two years out from the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.” Events featured four cross country and two biathlon races where athletes could earn World Cup points. The first half of the competition was held Jan. 26-30 at Telemark Lodge in Cable, home of the famed Birkebeiner ski race. Competition concluded Feb. 1-2 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. Top athletes scheduled to compete included Paralympic and world champion Katarzyna Rogowiec of Poland, who lost both forearms in a childhood farming accident. She claimed victories in the sprint, 5K and 15K at the recent World Cup stop in Sjusjoen, Norway. The men’s circuit has been dominated by Russians, who won nine out of the 10 races in Norway. There were several U.S. na-

tional team members to watch, including a St. Paul resident. Kelly Underkofler has a long record of success. Born without one of her forearms, Underkofler began cross country skiing at age 3 and later competed for St. Olaf College. She’s a multiple national champion and has represented the United States in three Paralympic Winter Games, in 2002, 2006 and 2010. Another was Dan Cnossen, a Jamestown, Mich. Resident. The recent double-leg amputee Navy SEAL competes in the sit-ski division. He finished a career best seventh place in Norway with 9 for 10 shooting in the biathlon. Sean Halsted of Ephrata, Wash. is a sit-skier who became paralyzed in 1998 after surviving a 40-foot fall from a helicopter during a rescue exercise with the Air Force. He has several top-10 finishes in World Cup and Paralympic Games competition.

Another athlete to keep track of is Andy Soule of Pearland, Texas. A sit-skier who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan in 2002, Soule became the first American to win an Olympic or Paralympic biathlon medal, earning a bronze during the Vancouver Games. After the World Cup races, athletes had the opportunity to participate in the City of Lakes Loppet Feb. 4-5 in Theodore Wirth Park. The annual cross country ski festival draws 10,000 participants. The Loppet didn’t offer points for the World Cup but it traditionally is a popular event for adapted skiing. U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, hosted the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup in partnership with Central Cross Country Ski Association of Madison, Wisc. and the City of Lakes Nordic Ski Foundation of Minneapolis. ■

Nordic Skiing World Cup events are held throughout the area Some of the world’s best cross country skiers with physical disabilities competed in the upper Midwest in January and February on the second of three stops as part of the 2012 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Nordic Skiing World Cup series. The events in Cable, Wisc. and Minneapolis marked the first

quality of life his top priority. He made sure his clients had the proper durable medical equipment, and always made himself available to each of his clients to resolve any conflicts between clients and caregivers. He kept abreast of changes to rules and regulations affecting his clients. He also helped others who were interested in starting businesses like his, and made it a point to employ other people with disabilities. He also started MAT, a transportation company for people with disabilities. Dreier was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by three brothers, two sisters and many nieces, nephews and friends. Services were at Washburn McReavey Coon Rapids Chapel. ■

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Pg 14 Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

Regional News - from p. 6

Man accused of swindle A St. Paul man faces potentially thousands of dollars in civil penalties and possible revocation of his insurance producer license for allegedly befriending vulnerable senior citizens and encouraging them to invest more than $71,500 in fictional annuities. The Minnesota Department of Commerce’s case against James Ronald Redden of JRR Enterprises LLC will be considered during a prehearing conference Feb. 16 at the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings. Redden faces eight administrative violations, including failing to repay a loan. He faces a potential penalty of $10,000 per violation, according to the department. “Establishing phony friendships with impressionable seniors is exactly how many unscrupulous fraudsters get their foot in the door,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. Redden allegedly scammed Lloyd Abraham, an 85year-old retired St. Paul police officer, now dead, and Norman Anderson, 88. In October 2009, Redden persuaded Abraham to lend him $10,000. After he sold his mobile home and moved into an assisted-living center, Abraham then invested $40,000 from the proceeds of that sale into JRR Enterprises. Other neutral third parties or his family members weren’t consulted. Before he died in September 2010, Abraham’s family learned of the payments to Redden before his death in September 2010 and sought repayment, the department said. Anderson had sued Redden in October 2009 over the $21,500 in unpaid loans. That lawsuit apparently was settled and

Redden paid Anderson a “substantial” sum, the department said. ■ [Source: Pioneer Press]

Well-liked teacher dies A well-liked, veteran Minneapolis Public Schools special education teacher has died in a one-vehicle accident. Minneapolis Roosevelt High School teacher Holly Brett died in a car crash in her hometown of Lakeville on January 20. Brett, 56, was killed when her sport-utility vehicle left the road, struck a tree and rolled several times. The crash occurred after she’d left school for the day, said Roosevelt Principal Michael Bradley, whose school was closed Monday in preparation for a new semester the next day. “There are a lot of students who are going to miss her,” Bradley told the Star Tribune. “She was very caring and really connected well with her students.” Brett started her teaching career in special education in 1993 at Barton Elementary in Minneapolis and moved to Roosevelt in 2008. Her family has asked that memorials be directed to the special education department at Roosevelt. ■ [Source: Star Tribune]

County government service center is closed The Hennepin County Eden Prairie Service Center, located at 479 Eden Prairie Center Drive, closed Jan. 20. That means longer trips for service for some Hennepin County residents. The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, facing significant budget cuts for 2012, approved closing of the center as part of the 2012 budget.

The decision was made to close the Eden Prairie Service Center because it handles fewer transactions, and residents are served by other nearby service centers, said Kathy Schons, service centers division manager. The closest county service centers to Eden Prairie are at Southdale in Edina and at Ridgedale in Minnetonka. The county also has service centers at the Government Center in downtown Minneapolis, the Midtown Exchange in south Minneapolis, at Brookdale in Brooklyn Center, and in Maple Grove. For service center locations and hours, go to the service centers website— www.hennepin.us/servicecenters— or call 612-348-8240. To save time, make an appointment online by going to the website. The service centers offer more than 40 services, including driver’s license duplicates, renewals and reinstatements; driver’s permit renewals; motor vehicle tabs, plates, titles and registration; birth and death certificates; marriage licenses and certificates; passports; Minnesota state ID duplicates and renewals; notarizations; watercraft, snowmobile and ATV registrations; hunting and fishing licenses and more. In late January commissioners agreed to look closely at its remaining service centers. ■ [Source: Hennepin County]

Changes in autism definition Proposed changes in the definition of autism would sharply reduce the skyrocketing rate at which the disorder is diagnosed. The changes also might make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services, a new analysis suggests.

History - from p. 2 of Christ Child School’s most generous benefactors stepped forward. Richard Lilly, president of First National Bank of St. Paul and a member of Christ Child School’s board, had led the effort to purchase the Summit Avenue house and he was soon organizing the effort to construct a new facility. St. Paul philanthropist Ignatius O’Shaughnessy donated four vacant lots west of the school and the Carrie Zimmerman family donated two lots to the east. More than $300,000 was raised to construct and equip the new building. Seven lay teachers and a speech therapist were on hand when the building opened in the fall of 1955. Lilly convinced the archdiocese to take over Christ Child School in 1957. He provided the money for the school to operate, with the stipulation that Meyer be head of the school for as long as she wished. In 1960, a house at Cleveland and Summit avenues was purchased and converted into an extension school for students ages 16-21. That gave Christ Child graduates a place to learn skills for independent living. Boys learned woodworking and girls learned to cook and sew. That program evolved into an occupational training center, which eventually was spun off a separate agency. The house was later torn down to expand Christ Child. Young men from St. Thomas and St. Paul Seminary were recruited in the

The definition is under review by an expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association, which is completing work on the fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is the standard reference for mental disorders, driving research, treatment and insurance decisions. The proposed change would consolidate all three diagnoses under one category, autism spectrum disorder, eliminating Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) from the manual. Tightening the criteria for autism could affect the rate of diagnosis. Rates of autism and related disorders such as Asperger’s syndrome have taken off since the early 1980s, to prevalence rates as high as 1 in 100 children in some populations. Many researchers suspect these numbers are inflated because of vagueness in the current criteria. “The proposed changes would put an end to the autism epidemic,” said Dr. Fred Volkmar, director of the Child Study Center at Yale University School of Medicine and an author of the new analysis. “We would nip it in the bud think of it that way.” But some families say that changing the criteria could block their children from receiving needed services. At least 1 million children and adults have a diagnosis of autism or a related disorder, such as Asperger’s syndrome or PDD-NOS. People with Asperger’s or PDD-NOS endure some of the same social struggles as those with autism but do not meet the definition for the full-blown version. ■ [Source: New York Times]

later years to transport children to and from the school and help Meyer get around. The college and seminary students also organized activities for the kids, including their own prom. Meyer became director emeritus of the school in January 1968. Before her death in September 1975, she received numerous honors. Minnesota Gov. Harold LeVander named her “Handicapped Minnesotan of the Year” in 1967. She also won a citation for meritorious service from the President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. Meyer was succeeded by the late Sister Madaleva Conway, who is also remembered fondly. “She was the epitome of kindness,” Podlasek said. “I always think of her as one of the greatest teachers I ever knew.” Podlasek said that teaching at Christ Child was one of the most rewarding experiences of her career. “It took a lot more out of you to teach at a school like Christ Child, but it was very rewarding,” she said. The St. Paul Public Schools’ special education programs eventually took over serving mentally and physically disabled students and Christ Child School ceased operating in 1977. St. Thomas bought the building for use as classrooms, offices and a child development center. ■ (This article appeared previously in the Villager, a St. Paul neighborhood newspaper.)


Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2

Voter ID -

from p. 1 be a costly program to implement. Foes, organized as Protect the Vote, have been meeting to discuss the prospect of voter ID. Several disability advocacy groups are part of the coalition. One concern is that there won’t be time to mount an effective campaign during a short legislative session, or to get the word out before the November election. The 2011 voter ID bill not only would require registered voters to show Minnesota photo identification to vote, it

also would eliminate vouching as a method for Election Day registration. Through vouching, a person can register to vote if he or she brings a registered voter from the precinct to vouch for him as a precinct resident. Otherwise voters who register on Election Day must bring specified ID to register. In response to the argument about costs, supporters say Minnesota would offer free voter ID cards. But the costs of the cards, as well as an estimated $2.8 million public education campaign, have been raised as red flags.

The bill introduced in 2011 by Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, RBig Lake, and former Minnesota Secretary of State had a $60 million price tag at first but various amendments reduced the costs to $5 million. One expensive aspect of the bill called for all precincts to have ID scanning machines; that was quickly dropped. The proposed legislation would also have created a new system of provisional balloting, in which challenged ballots would not be not counted until voters can supply proper identification.

Fun - from p. 10

said TSA Administrator John Pistole. “This additional level of personal communication helps ensure that even those who do not travel often are aware of our screening policies before they arrive at the airport.” When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passenger’s specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts

at TSA. TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary. Every person and item must be screened before entering the secure area of an airport and the manner in which the screening is conducted will depend on the passenger’s abilities and any specific equipment brought to the security checkpoint. ■

7:10 p.m. Tickets are reduced to $8 (regular $15, student/senior $10); FFI: 701-235-6778 or 701205-5788, www.tin rooftheatre.org or www.fmct.org

Enjoy a movie tonight Several theaters around the state offer accommodations for movie-goers, such as captioning or descriptive services. www.captionfish.com lists cinemas with access (AD/CC) features. Find theaters in your area by typing in your zip code. MoPix-equipped Rear Window Captioned Films are listed at cam.wgbh.org/mopix/ nowshowing.html#mn.

New TSA Cares toll-free helpline Are you a person with disabilities who likes to travel? The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the launch of TSA Cares today, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions, prior to getting to the airport. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. “TSA Cares provides passengers with disabilities and medical needs another resource to use before they fly, so they know what to expect when going through the screening process,”

FRIEND SPONSOR ($50 and above) Ellen Boucher Martha Brown Leo & Susan Bulger Teresa Dock Dawn Doering Robert Engstrom Steve & JoAnn Erbes Skip Finn Thomas & Mimi Fogarty Lael Gatewood Patty Hoy Marjorie Huebner Barb Kane Elin Ohlsson William & Joen Overby Annette Pantel Linda Paulson Kelly Rathcke Virginia Schwartzbauer Anni Simons John Sherman Jobs Foundation IN KIND (For this issue) Soctt Adams

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Central Minnesota Legal Services (CMLS): Volunteer Attorney Coordinator – 80% position available Volunteer Attorney Coordinator for CMLS Willmar office. Duties include: conduct intake, screen & refer cases to volunteer and contract attorneys; build and maintain relationships with local bar, judiciary and community resources; assist with planning, organizing, administration of CLE events. Paralegal experience, certficate or degree preferred. Excellent verbal and written skills; strong organizational, time management and administrative skills; Strong proficiency in computer applications–MS Word, Outlook and Excel. Valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle. Salary 80% D.O.E.; Ex. Benes. Resumes to Amber Bougie, Managing Attorney, CMLS, 830 W. St. Germain, Ste. 309, St. Cloud, MN 56302 or abougie@centralmnlegalstc.org. No calls. EOE

BRONZE SPONSOR ($75 and above) Brigid Alseth Anonymous Donor Bill & Alex Bartolic Monte Blair Robert & Gail Buuck Pat Chelf Mike Chevrette Stephanie Cunningham Christopher Duff Craig Dunn Nancy Eustis Kent Fordyce Leigh Gleason Anne Henry Mary Kay Kennedy Dianna Krogstad Dave & Carol Larson Christopher Meyer Richard & Vicki Dalle Molle Scott Neamy Donn Poll & Eric Nelson Henn. Cty Commissioner Mike Opat Mark & Mary Payette Julee Quarve-Peterson Ann Roscoe John Schatzlein Peter Vaill Patty Woodey Hennepin County Library MN-DACA NAMI Minnesota Ted Cole Memorial

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SILVER SPONSOR ($150 and above) Jeff Bangsberg & Anita Boucher Ellen & Skip Houghton Kim Kang Manley and Ann Olson Debra Shriver John G. Smith Accessible Homes, LLC Courage Center Handi Medical Kowalski’s – St. Paul Land O’ Lakes LOTTSA Tax & Accounting Services Lucy Coffee Café Rise, Inc. Ten Thousand Villages Vinland Center GOLD SPONSOR ($500 and above) Phyllis A. Benjamin (In Memoriam) Michael Bjerkesett Ronna Linroth Natl. Handicapped Housing Institute Tamarack Habilitation Tech., Inc. BENEFACTOR SPONSOR ($1000 and above) In Home Personal Care Lynda Milne Paul Mueller The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation The Medtronic Foundation The Minneapolis Foundation The Otto Bremer Foundation UCare

One group speaking out against voter ID is The Arc Minnesota. Leaders said that the proposal will restrict the right of people with disabilities to vote. “Voter ID would suppress voting among many eligible Minnesota voters, including people with disabilities,” said Steve Larson, The Arc Minnesota’s Senior Policy Director. “Should this measure be put into our state constitution, it would affect 27,000 people with disabilities. This would mean that a population equal to all the residents of Fridley, or all those living in LeSueur County would face a roadblock to exercising their right to vote.” “Voting gives all of us a voice in deciding who are leaders are and how our city, state and nation are run,” said Hunter Sargent, past board member of The Arc Minnesota and The Arc Greater Twin Cit-

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ies. “As a person with a disability, I know what it’s like to feel that you don’t have a voice and aren’t being heard. A voter ID bill could take away the voice that many people with disabilities now have.” “We shouldn’t be putting up barriers that keep people with disabilities from being full members of our community,” Larson said. “They have fought for decades to come out of the shadows of our society. Let’s not pass legislation that makes them less than full participants in our cities and towns.” For more information on the voter id issues, check www.wewantvoterid.com to read why there is support for the measure. The website for www.thearcminnesota.org contains a fact sheet against voter id. Also look at the League of Women Voters website, at www.lvwmn.org, for more arguments against voter ID. ■

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FOR RENT Lewis Park Apartments: Barrier-free housing with wheelchair users in mind. Section 8 subsidized. One- and two-bedroom units. For more information on availability call 651-4889923. St. Paul, MN. Equal Opportunity Housing. Oak Park Village: We are accepting applications for the waiting list for one-bedroom wheelchair accessible apartments. Section 8 subsidized. Convenient St. Louis Park location. Call 952-935-9125 for information. Equal Opportunity Housing.

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. Holmes-Greenway Housing: One- and two-bedroom wheelchair-accessible apartments. Section 8 subsidized. Convenient SE Minneapolis location. Call 612-378-0331 for availability information. Equal Opportunity Housing.

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Pg 16 Feb. 10, 2012 Volume 23, Number 2