February 2014 Edition - Access Press

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Activist remembered , Pg 7

Volume 25, Number 2

Program changes debated by Jane McClure

As the start date for the new Community First Services and Supports (CFSS) Program draws near, members of Minnesota’s disability community are unsure as to whether or not it will improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Dozens of people weighed in on CFSS prior to the February 12 comment deadline. The program is planned to start April 1, or when it obtains federal approval. The change could affect as many as 25,000 Minnesotans. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) hopes to make the change to CFSS as soon as possible. But with state-specific waiver request going to the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as many questions about CFSS implementation here, some disability community leaders doubt the changes could be made by April 1. Some asked whether it will have to be postponed. Program start worrisome - p. 10

www.accesspress.org King Day awards

Disability community leaders honored for civil rights activities Kim Wassenaar and Rick Cardenas, two Minnesota disability activists, were honored by the Governor's Council on the Martin Luther King Day Celebration. They received awards on January 20 at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. The ceremony was preceded by a civil rights march from the Cathedral of St. Paul to the history center. An overflow crowd heard keynote speaker Congressman Keith Ellison, Gov. Mark Dayton and other political leaders also spoke. A lifetime achievement award was given to Josie Johnson, a community organizer and lobbyist who was the first African-American to Congressman Keith Ellison congratulated Kim Wassenaar on her award serve on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. and her civil works work on behalf of Minnesotans. The award was presented at the Minnesota History Center as part of King Day events. She also served as the Photo courtesy of Minnesota Governor’s Council university’s associate vice of Dead Citizens (MADC). MADC is a nonpresident for academic affairs. profit organization serving and representing Wassenaar is the first deaf person honored Minnesotans who are deaf, deaf blind or hard with one of the awards. She is founder and of hearing. MADC’s services include advocatpresident of the St. Paul/Minneapolis Black ing for the social, cultural, and economic status Deaf Advocates Chapter #25, starting the of people in Minnesota with hearing loss, and group in 1997 to help others feel less isolated. protecting their rights as citizens. She has served as an at-large board member King Day honors - p. 15 for the St. Paul-based Minnesota Association

Parking at the capitol? Good luck with that When the 2014 Minnesota Legislature gavels into session February 23, Minnesota’s disability community will be there in force. But during a two-year period of capitol renovations and new construction, getting in and around may be an adventure. “If you find a parking place, camp out there for two years,” said Margot Imdieke Cross, accessibility specialty for the Minnesota State Council on Disability. “And getting into the building will be a feat unto itself.” The capitol, which was built in 1905, doesn’t comply with current building codes. The $272.7 million renovation began in September 2013 and will continue through the end of 2016. The project will bring many amenities for people with disabilities

including, improved accessible entrances, reconfigured hearing rooms accessible door handles and larger restrooms will all be welcomed. But until the work is done, those who visit the capitol need to plan ahead for parking and access. In the meantime, capitol renovation and work on the State Office Building will be a challenge. Last year the capitol’s front lawn was converted into temporary parking for construction crews. Over time almost every office and meeting space will be renovated. Everything and everyone, including the governor’s office, will have to move at some point. At a press briefing on the project last year, Gov. Mary Dayton said, “It’s going to be miserable.” Imdieke Cross said, “We will see many nice improvements, especially in the areas of accessibility.” “We’re not losing any parking but we will be moving around,” she said. MNSCOD plans to post parking updates on its website. The state also has a web page, http://tinyurl.com/o4dmk5k, which can provide information about parking and other services for visitors with disabilities. People with disability should plan ahead before arriving to testify at hearings or meet with elected officials. Most visitors compete for the dozen signed spaces in Lot B, which is north of the capitol on the north side of University Avenue. Lot B has an elevator and tunnel to the capitol. But Capitol parking - p. 12

February 10, 2014 Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Twin Cities. MN Permit No. 4766 Address Service Requested

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” — Martin Luther King, Jr


The Minnesota Legislature convenes in February and the disability community is ready. Page 3

Read the pros and cons of the pending Community First Supports Services program. Page 4

What stinks? She would breathe easier in a fragrance-free world. Page 5

Flags fly for Can Do Canines. Page 7

Without waiver, couples face hardships. Page 10

INSIDE Accessible Fun, pg 11 Events, pg 12 People & Places, pps 7-9 Radio Talking Book, pg 14 Regional News, pg 6

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Tim Benjamin January was a frigid month—I can’t remember the last winter when I took time off work because it was too cold for safe travel the three miles to work. One cold night, I ran across a 1990s documentary called “Bring Warm Clothes,” about how Minnesota pioneers struggled (you can view it online). One letter quoted told how, because a family had no food, the kids went out fishing and stood on hay, which they brought along to keep their bare feet from freezing on the ice. These letters depicted how difficult it was for our ancestors, some of them only a generation or two back. After watching it, you may want to reconsider your parents’ and grandparents’ tales of walking uphill, both ways, barefoot, dragging firewood to the schoolhouse. They may be truer than we ever thought. We have to consider ourselves lucky to live in a time with indoor plumbing, central heat and heated transportation. One of the best surprises for me was to realize, halfway through the first scene, that it was our own Kevin Kling narrating, but trying to disguise his Minnesota accent—the one that now gives him such a recognizable and memorable voice. Joan Willshire, director of the Minnesota State Council on Disability, out to do some very ordinary

work activities that shouldn’t have been at all daring, had a very treacherous experience on a below-zero day. Her scooter got lodged in four inches of un-shoveled snow on a sidewalk near University and Raymond and she couldn’t free it independently. She screamed for help, for what must have seemed to her to be hours, and was eventually heard by a passerby. A Good Samaritan ended up having to get the aid of a postal worker to free the scooter. Willshire, who has been advocating for people with disabilities most of her adult life reported to several news outlets: “What might have happened had people not heard me, or if I didn’t have a phone? To shovel or not should never be a question—just do it. It could mean someone’s safety.” The Community First Service (CFSS) and Support program, part of Reform 2020, is moving along towards its targeted start date of April 1. Although it’s the intended date, I don’t think that the April 1 start will be achieved. A delay might be a blessing in disguise, giving the Department of Human Services, the provider agencies and all of us more time to figure out exactly how this new program will affect us on an everyday basis. There are two models of the program to choose from, and it is still a little unclear which will be the best choice for each individual. At first glance, it looks like there’s going to be a lot more flexibility, but with that flexibility come many known and unknown responsibilities that will take a lot of the CFSS recipient’s time and energy. They might deter from other opportunities, like employment-seeking, for one.

I guess I’m just not sure why the original Personal Care Attendant program could not have been expanded to cover some other disability-related necessities. Supposedly, the two programs, PCA and CFSS, will cost the state approximately the same. So how can the new program offer more expanded services? As I said to some department heads, if there’s only one pot of gold to pay for assessed PCA care how can we take that gold to provide other expanded non-PCA services? If you were assessed for 12 hours of personal care, then you should use that money for personal care; if you don’t use it that way, it seems to me you should not have been assessed for 12 hours of personal care—or you’re being put at a health risk by deferring assessed personal care to pay for other services. There is still throughout the community a lot of concern and debate about the program. I do think the legislature’s intent was to create a better, more independent, and more flexible cost-effective program. But instead it seems to have created confusion. With many of the Reform 2020 programs coming into effect, it’s more important than ever to voice your opinions to DHS and at the capitol. Be aware, though, that for the next couple of years, the state will be completing some needed renovations, and getting in and out of the capitol building could be very difficult for people with disabilities. On our page 1 article, you’ll find details about the parking difficulties and advice about websites to check for where the accessible parking will be. Be sure to check it out on the days you will be at the capitol. Stay warm and I’ll see you in our search for parking on the hill! ■


American Sign Language has a long and proud past American Sign Language or ASL is believed to be the fourth most-used language in the United States. In oral history interviews by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Metro Division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Kim Wassenaar and the late Douglas Bahl are among those who spoke of the importance of ASL as a means of communications. In fact, both used ASL as the first language in their interviews, which were later transcribed. Histories indicate that today’s ASL is believed to have its roots in languages dating back centuries. The Perigee Visual Dictionary of Signing by Rod R. Butterworth and Mickey Flodin notes that the first book on teaching sign language that contained the manual alphabet was published in 1620 by Juan Pablo de Bonet. That book credits an Italian physician with helping to develop the first sign language. More than a century later in Paris, the first free school for deaf people was founded by Abbe Charles Michel de L’Epee. There students learned a system of conventional gestures, hand signs, and finger spelling, which evolved into French Sign Language. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was a Congregational minister who became interested in helping his neighbor’s young deaf daughter, Alice Cogswell. Gallaudet, for whom Gallaudet University is named, is cited by many historians as pioneering sign language in this country. He traveled to Europe in 1815, when he was 27, to study methods of communicating with deaf people. While in England he met Abbe Roche Ambroise Sicard, who invited him to study at his Paris school.

Volume 25, Number 02 • Periodicals Imprint: Pending ISSN Co-Founder/Publisher Wm. A. Smith, Jr. (1990-1996) Co-Founder/Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Charles F. Smith (1990-2001) Board of Directors Brigid Alseth, Steve Anderson, Kristin Jorenby, Elin Ohlsson, Halle O'Falvey, Carrie Salberg, Walt Seibert and Kay Willshire

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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. News, display advertising and classified advertising deadline is routinely the 25th of the month. When the 25th falls on a weekend, deadline is the next Monday. 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. Application to mail at Periodicals Postage Prices is Pending at the St. Paul, MN 55121 facility. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Access Press at 161 St. Anthony Ave, Suite 901, St. Paul, MN 55103. Inquiries and address changes should be directed to: Access Press; 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

After several months Gallaudet returned to the states with Laurent Clerc, a deaf sign language instructor from the Paris school. In 1817 Gallaudet then founded the American School for the Deaf (ASD), in Hartford, Conn. Students who came to the school in the early days sometimes brought regional versions of sign language with them. Over time a new form of language, ASL, emerged. Similar schools began to open throughout the country. Deaf community organization and conferences sponsored by groups including the National Association of the Deaf and the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf drew people from all over the United States. This helped spread ASL use. By 1863, when what is now Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf opened, the nation had 22 schools for deaf community members. That was followed a year later by the opening of Gallaudet College, in Washington, D.C. What is now Gallaudet University is the only liberal arts college for deaf people in the world. Minnesotans who are deaf are featured in this issue of Access Press. Longtime activist Wassenaar was honored by Gov. Mark Dayton. She was the first person from Minnesota’s deaf community to receive the award. While Wassenaar ’s award was celebrated, there was also sadness as longtime community activist and historian Bahl passed away last month. ■ The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, www.mnddc.org or www.mncdd.org and www.partnersinpolicymaking.com

February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2

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The ‘unsession’

Legislature asked to address many complex issues by Jane McClure

The Minnesota Legislature’s “unsession” starts February 25. While the session has been touted by Gov. Mark Dayton as one where outdated laws, language and policies are swept off of the books, plenty of other bills are already in the hopper. That includes almost 300 House bills alone. Disability advocacy groups already have dozens of issues to rally around, including anti-poverty efforts, anti-bullying measures in schools and the campaign for more pay for personal care workers. Groups will kick off the session 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Friday, February 14 at the I “Heart” Advocacy gathering at Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota, 533 N. Fairview Ave, St. Paul. To register, call 952-8188719 or email Jo@mnccd.org MN-CCD’s Tuesdays at the Capitol will also get underway, as well as the Friday update sessions. Check www.mnccd.org for locations. One of the first events is Tuesday, March 18, Disability Day at the Capitol, which starts with registration at 10 a.m. and a rally at 11 a.m. in the capitol rotunda. Advocating Change Together, Direct Service Professionals of Minnesota, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, Minnesota State Council on Disability, People First of Minnesota, Self-Advocates Minnesota, The Arc Minnesota and Youth Legacy Foundation are sponsors.

The event is free but sponsors want everyone to register, by contacting Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance at 1-800-669-6442 or info@braininjurymn.org The shorter session, combined with an election year and high-profile issues ranging from the bonding bill to the drive to raise the minimum wage, could make for an interesting time. MN-CCD and the Minnesota State Council on Disability are working to draw attention to issues through a new “Wednesday Wonk” post on the MN-CCD blog, at http:// mnccd.wordpress.com The council will post weekly updates about a public policy issue that is timely and relevant to the disability community. Two issues MN-CCD will be closely involved in are the 5 Percent Campaign, which aims to give personal care attendants a 5 percent wage increase, and the breaking through poverty campaign. The latter effort is meant to address laws and policies that unfairly impoverish people with disabilities. The 5% Campaign, which will be the focus of a capitol rally March 4, already has many House and Senate supporters. Another effort that many groups have joined would change the state’s bullying prevention law. Many groups, including PACER Center and The Arc Minnesota, are involved. Advocates note that current state anti-bullying law is only 37 words long. The proposed Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools

It’s easy to donate to Access Press, to support quality journalism for Minnesota’s disability community Donations through the newspaper website and through IRAs are two ways to donate. Visit www.accesspress.org/donate to learn about electronic donation options. Donate via GiveMN, by credit card or PayPal. The website’s donations page has clickable links to make a direct, secure donation using Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. It’s easy to go to the page, select a donation amount and then input card information. Another way to donate through the website is to use the PayPal site and click that button. Donors need a PayPal account to use this option. A third online giving option, with a link on the donations page, is through the GiveMN website. Every November, Access Press is one of the charities supported through the annual Give to the Max Day. Nonprofit groups across the state benefit from this outpouring of support. Many people may not realize that the GiveMN option is available year-round. As everyone is preparing and filing taxes, it’s worth mentioning another giving option that can be discussed with a personal tax advisor. Support Ac-

cess Press with non-taxed dollars, through the Charitable IRA Rollover. It allows taxpayers who are more than 70 years old to make tax-free distributions from traditional IRA’s directly to any one charity. IRA account owners must withdraw a yearly required minimum distribution one they reach the age of 70.5 years, and pay tax on the withdrawals. The Charitable IRA Rollover permits IRA owners to make outright “qualified charitable contributions” directly from an IRA to qualifying nonprofits, including Access Press. This can be done without including the distribution in their income, subject to taxation. Such charitable contributions can be made up to $100,000 from an IRA. Because this contribution needs to be done through an account custodian and not directly withdrawn, it’s best to talk to a tax advisor about such a donation. Why not ask while having 2013 taxes prepared, as a potential donation for 2014 tax purposes? Contact us at access@accesspress.org with any questions about giving. ■

Jean Bender, a recent WCCO Good Neighbor Award winner, is one of many who will be heading to the capitol. File photo

Act would help protect Minnesota students from intentional negative and aggressive behavior, as well as provide resources for schools, parents and students. Anyone interesting in the effort can visit www.PACER.org Another effort, which the Arc Minnesota is involved in, is to pass measures to improve quality care and support of House File 1897. This bill will fund state efforts to help ensure that the services that support people with disabilities are of the highest possible quality and are meeting individual needs. Recent instances of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities have pushed this need to the forefront. State licensing of disability services may ensure those programs comply with minimal standards, but it does not ensure that the programs are meeting the needs of those they serve. Better systems of ensuring quality will help determine if services are using public funding as effectively as possible. The state has had a quality council since 2011 and has charged that group with improving the state’s system for ensuring that disability services are the highest possible quality. The council made several recommendations for improvements almost a year ago. The push is on to get those measures funded and implemented. Many groups have their own legislative agendas, covering everything from mental health, to transportation. Those were covered in detail at the MNSCOD legislative forum January 27. MNCCD, The Arc Minnesota, MNSCOD and PACER Center supplied information used in this article. ■

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PRO & CON: NEW STATE PROGRAM The new Community First Services and Supports (CFSS) Program is to start April 1. It is a statewide assistance and support program for people with disabilities, the elderly and others with special health care needs. It is part of the Minnesota Department of Human Service’s’ (DHS) Reform

2020 Program. DHS has been working to implement CFFS, which restructures the existing Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program. CFSS has drawn a mixed reaction. Below are two viewpoints, pro and con.

Limitations, timeline issues are potential problems

The promise of self-direction/community living

by Chris Bell

by Galen Smith

Here are some of the major problems with the DHS proposal to switch from the PCA program to CFSS: • “Stuff happens” to everyone, but the unexpected calamity frequently falls most heavily on people with disabilities. To enable a person to move into a more integrated community than the one he or she left, or to enable a person to remain at home and in such a community even when disaster strikes requires a backup inter-disciplinary team which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is flexible enough to timely and effectively respond to an individual’s emergency situation. Enabling the person to remain home is the best outcome. If a person must leave home for treatment, the second-best outcome would be to do what is required to allow the person to come back to his home and community after treatment. These rapid response teams exist in many states, but Minnesota’s emergency reaction program is only limited to persons with mental illness. • Unfortunately DHS’ state plan amendment completely lacks such supports and services for people with other disabilities which are necessary if home- and community-based living is to be a reality for many people. This failure will inevitably result in loss of housing and re-institutionalization or homelessness for many people with disabilities. • In addition, the DHS proposal limits personal assistance to 275 hours per calendar month. Paid family members, likewise, are not allowed to work more than 40 hours a week. An exception to these restrictive limitations should be allowed when a crisis or emergency may require the aid of personal assistance beyond what is permitted. • A person needs hands-on assistance or constant supervision and cueing in order to be eligible for CFSS. This highly restrictive service definition particularly penalizes persons with mental and cognitive disabilities, including mental illnesses, developmental disabilities and brain injuries, who require assistance with supervision and/or cueing, but who do not need constant supervision to do so. • The CFSS proposal may be interpreted to exclude paying for Internet access. The proposal should be revised to make clear that payment for Internet access is available under CFSS. DHS claims that its state plan amendment should take effect on April 1, 2014. This self-imposed deadline cannot be met if the CFSS program is to get off to a good start. MnChoices is a tool to be used to assess eligibility, as well as an individual’s abilities and limitations and their desires and goals although this program is not specifically mentions. MnChoices will not be rolled out to all of the counties until June 2014 under the existing DHS timeline, assuming there are no more delays. Under an April 1 effective date, persons with disabilities will be assessed or reassessed by a variety of different tools until MnChoices is fully implemented. One concern is that assessment of individuals with disabilities between April 1 and June 2014 may lead to different and inferior CFSS services. Whether or not Guest commentary on CFSS - p. 13

In 2007 I participated in my first direct action and civil disobedience with ADAPT. (ADAPT is a national grassroots community that organizes disability rights activists to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities.) I joined hundreds of other activists with disabilities in shutting down the offices of the American Medical Association (AMA) in Chicago. We were there to exercise our collective power and demand that the leaders of the AMA to join us in publicly urging Congress to pass the Community First Choice Act. The Community First Choice Act didn’t make it through Congress but in 2010 the Community First Choice Option was included in the Affordable Care Act. The option isn’t quite the mandate we were hoping for but it is a step in the right direction toward home- and community-based services. The option offers additional funding to states that provide consumer-directed home and community-based services to people who qualify for Medicaid funded long-term care in an institution. In 2012 Minnesota was one of the first states to take the federal government up on their offer by creating its own version of the Community First Choice Option called Community First Services and Supports (CFSS). It was approved by the 2013 Minnesota Legislature. As a part of the CFSS Implementation and Development Council I have had the opportunity to give input on the design of this new program. It will soon replace the Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program. The work of implementing policy change isn’t quite as exciting as fighting for it out on the streets, but it’s no less important. My work on the council has been engaging, challenging and sometimes infuriating. But after nearly 1½ years, we are very close to seeing a new program that will bring real benefits to people with disabilities in Minnesota. When CFSS is implemented later this year: • Everyone who is currently eligible for PCA services will be eligible for CFSS services. • People who currently receive only 30 minutes of PCA services per day will be eligible for at least 75 minutes per day. • People receiving services will develop their own person-centered service delivery plan, with assistance as needed. • People may choose to use the money that is allocated for their services to purchase items that will increase their independence. • Support workers will be allowed to help people learn to be more independent, instead of simply doing things for the person they support. • Everyone receiving CFSS services will have the right to play a significant role in choosing their own support workers. • Parents, step-parents and legal guardians will be able to work as paid support workers for their minor children. • People may choose to have their spouse work as their paid support worker. • People who receive CFSS services will be allowed to work as a support worker for another CFSS recipient. • People will have the choice to employ their own support workers, with assistance from a financial management service. Even with all of these potential benefits, there are still many questions about how CFSS will be implemented. The comment period ended February 12. Nonetheless, it is crucial that everyone involved with the PCA program to stay engaged with the transition to CFSS, especially people who receive services. ■ Galen Smith is involved with ADAPT and the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) although he has submitted these comments as an individual. He is also a member of the CFSS Implementation and Development Council.

February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2


Fragrances can create barriers The air belongs to everyone. But fragrances in today’s world are invading our air space more than ever before. They are as formidable a barrier as tobacco smoke, and are especially injurious to those with disabilities. Scented products contain many of the same toxic chemicals that are in tobacco smoke. These include carcinogenic and hormone-disrupting compounds that are also respiratory irritants. Even essential oils, though “natural” to begin with, generate hazardous solvents in the distilling process. Fragranced products are implicated in asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature deaths. But long and short-term exposures can actually cause asthma, Chronic obstructionary pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, birth defects and other disabilities. It is no surprise that the rampant use of scented products coincides with skyrocketing asthma rates in children and the alarming rise in all disabilities, including autism. Fragrance chemicals in the air prevent many people from accessing public spaces and participating in public events. Outdoors, scented laundry products routinely contaminate neighborhood air through laundry vents, interfering with the ability to be outdoors. Where is the justice when asthmatics and others are forced to retreat indoors due to fragrances, when they have a right to be walking on city streets or gardening on their own property? Indoors, children with asthma and other disabilities are required to spend their entire week days in school, breathing noxious fumes from scented laundry products and other fragranced products on many others. It is extremely challenging to breathe and perform at their best under these conditions. Shouldn’t true clean air should be the rule for all students and for all teachers? Fragrances - p. 14

2013 ‘Year in Review’ for the mental health community by Sue Abderholden

Access Press recently reviewed there last year’s headlines for the disability community. There were also some very important changes to the mental health system that should be noted. Several major changes were made to psychiatric facilities including a new beautiful psychiatric hospital at Regions and Prairie Care opened a new hospital for children. University of Minnesota Hospital at Riverside opened a remodeled unit for youth, Rising Cedar was opened by Touchstone and South Metro Human Services opened a new intensive residential treatment services facility. A new urgent care facility for adult mental health opened in St Paul. A new rule was implemented moving Minnesota closer toward having true integrated dual diagnosis treatment programs where evidence-based practices are used to treat people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The Make It Ok Campaign was launched by HealthPartners, NAMI and others to raise awareness, reduce stigma and to encourage people to start talking about mental illnesses. Ads and billboards are part of the campaign along with a series of documentaries interviewing people who live with a mental illness. President Barak Obama came to the Twin Cities to discuss his plans to reduce gun violence and improve the mental health system. NAMI’s executive director was present at the small meeting and spoke to the need for more mental health services targeted at children and youth. Youth Mental Health First Aid, a proMental health community - p. 15

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Snow shoveling a problem City regulations almost always require that property owners shovel the snow from the sidewalks within a set time period. However, property owners may not always be required to shovel the ice-snow heaps on crosswalks at intersections. Even if the sidewalks are shoveled to the concrete, mobility problems can prevent pedestrians from crossing the heaps at intersections. For them, the shoveled sidewalks are no help and they must seek other transportation. All the tax money invested in making sidewalks accessible to people with disabilities is wasted for perhaps a quarter of the year. A partial solution is planning to shovel the sidewalk intersections at future light rail stops. That way passengers with mobility problems will be able to travel on at least one block north, south, east and west. This is important to me because one friend got stuck with her wheelchair in a snow-ice heap, I saw one woman wheel her chair down the middle of the street because it was smoother than the sidewalk. When I was getting off of a bus I slipped, my shopping cart broke and my groceries went flying. Luckily none of my bones were broke.

Russ Stark, Ward Four St. Paul City Council Member, shares my views. He says, “I am an advocate for safe conditions for people of all ages and ability to be able to move around our community safely. I have been talking to Public Works about piloting additional city or Metro Transit efforts to clear corners at light rail stops, but there is no definite plan yet.” In the future, should I be less mobile, I don’t want to be forced to stay home unless I can afford Metro Mobility or a taxi or I can find a ride. I want to be as independent as possible. If the corners at light rail stops are shoveled, I will go my own way, on my own schedule at least on the light rail year-round. To make certain Stark’s vision becomes a reality, people need to contact their mayor or council member and voice their concerns on winter access. ■ Linda Main, St. Paul Editor’s note: Central Corridor or Green Line light rail will start operations on June 14, serving St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has determined that a state psychiatrist committed emotional maltreatment when he threatened a mentally ill patient at the Minnesota Security Hospital with electroshock therapy. The January decision by DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson overrules the department’s inspector general, who decided last month that the Dr. James Christensen’s threats didn’t merit a finding of maltreatment. Jesson’s action is significant because it is a response to a rare, formal objection filed against DHS

by a state ombudsman whose office advocates on behalf of those with mental illness and developmental disabilities. Jesson was asked to review Inspector General Jerry Kerber’s initial decision to reject the maltreatment finding that was made by his own licensing investigators. Roberta Opheim, the state ombudsman for mental health and developmental disabilities, is the official who asked Jesson in December to reconsider Kerber’s actions. She told the Star Tribune that she is concerned about the difference in power between a patient and a psychiatrist. There was another staff member who witnessed the incident, in which Christensen reportedly told the patient, “You should be afraid of me. I am the one who is going to shock your brain with electric-

Deaf man is robbed, beaten

Autism spending on rise in St. Cloud

Four people are charged in connection with a midJanuary incident in which a deaf man was robbed and beaten in downtown St. Paul. The 35-year-old crime victim, who knew his attackers, sustained bruises and a deep laceration to the back of the head. When St. Paul Police found the bloodied victim on Wabasha Street, he was trying to get help. Officers used pen and paper to learn he had been attacked and had his phone stolen. Surveillance video was used to see the group of four people assault the man, kicking and punching him. He was also hit with a liquor bottle. His pockets and backpack were searched during the assault. Police caught all four. They are Tanisha Ann Wilson, 29; Brandon Lee Anderson, also known as Brandon Balterman-Werlich, 23; Michael Dewayne Bordeaux, 22, and Rianot Nikky Nelson, 24, as they tried to board a bus at Fifth and Minnesota streets. The hometowns for all four suspects were unknown, according to the complaints. The Ramsey County Attorney’s office charged all four with aiding and abetting first-degree aggravated robbery and Bordeaux with second-degree assault. ■ (Source: Pioneer Press)

Special education spending on autism spectrum disorders in the St. Cloud school district has nearly doubled in the last seven years, according to a report in the St. Cloud Times. During that time period the student body has grown roughly 2 percent. A significant part of the 10 percent increase in special education expenses has fallen under autism spectrum disorders. The increase mirrors a nationwide increase in the prevalence of autism among children. The rate of students in the St. Cloud school district with autism spectrum disorder as a primary disability, as of last year, was one in 51. During the 2012-2013 school year, the district had 267 of its 13,717 students with an autism spectrum disorder as a primary disability, said Patty Popp, the district’s director of special education and student services. That’s a significant increase over the 148 students in 2006-2007, or 1 in 90 students. “It’s not completely out of line with other prevalence studies,” principal investigator Amy Hewitt said of St. Cloud’s numbers. School district leaders are looking at the numbers and deciding how to address the changing trends. ■ (Source: St. Cloud Times)

REGIONAL NEWS Psychiatrist maltreated patient

ity.” That statement is included in a state licensing report. Christensen has been warned that he will be automatically disqualified from working for the state if he commits any further maltreatment over the next seven years. The actions against Christensen are outlined in the licensing report. “The reasonable person on the street of St. Paul or St. Peter probably would find a psychiatrist saying— in a raised voice with some anger—that he was going to ‘shock your brain’ to a committed patient to be threatening,” Jesson said in a letter explaining her decision. “Clearly, this interaction was improper, inconsistent with the manner expected of a professional caregiver. I believe the preponderance of evidence shows the conversation constitutes abuse.” Christensen has denied making the theat. He is the only full-time psychiatrist at the St. Peter treatment facility. More than 300 of the state’s most dangerous and mentally ill patients are housed there. The facility has been under scrutiny for the past few years. ■ (Source: Star Tribune)

Post-concussion issues affect ex-Viking For seven years following his retirement from the Minnesota Vikings after the 1999 season, LeRoy Hoard battled the pain of knee and shoulder injuries. But the former Pro Bowl running back also was plagued by constant headaches and memory problems. Doctors told him he was suffering from postconcussion syndrome related to all the hits he took playing football. Hoard, who now lives in Florida, struggled to hold a job in the mortgage loan business and often could do little but rest. The turning point was in November 2006. “I remember it was, like, a Monday,” Hoard told the Pioneer Press. “I was lying in bed, and I didn’t go to work. I took migraine medicine, which makes you a little loopy. And then I hadn’t slept in a couple of days, and I took some Ambien and I got up on a Thursday.” Regional News - p. 13

February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2


Douglas Bahl Photo courtesy of Deaf Seniors USA

Deaf community mourns loss of historian, activist Bahl Minnesota’s chief historian of the deaf community activist Douglas Bahl passed away January 21. On New Year’s Eve, Bahl, 62, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Bahl and his wife, Sue Kovacs-Bahl, were in Arizona on a vacation when he became ill. They had been longtime residents of St. Paul. The couple had looked forward to moving to Arizona after retirement in two years. Prior to his death members of Minnesota’s deaf community gathered to prepare American Sign Language (ASL) messages of support and encouragement for Bahl. Bahl’s work to compile deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing history gave him worldwide recognition. One of his major projects was the book commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in Faribault, where he had been a student and later, a teacher. Bahl’s historical expertise covered other topics, ranging from treatment of the deaf during the Holocaust to work and life of architect Olof Hansen and his buildings. Hansen, who was also deaf, designed St. Paul’s Charles Thompson Memorial Hall and many other prominent buildings. Thompson Hall was close to Bahl’s heart, Bahl was a leader in efforts to preserve Thompson Hall. the nation’s oldest social

hall for the deaf. The building at Marshall and Fairview avenues in St. Paul is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1916, Thompson Hall, with its large windows that let ample light in was designed for ease in use by those who communicate through ASL. Work to create and preserve archives of deaf community history and historical plays staged at Thompson Hall were also part of his work to promote community history. He also donated much time to volunteering at and organizing community events. “My dad always felt it was so important for deaf people to know about their own heritage,” his daughter Kari Bahl told the Pioneer Press. “He dedicated his life to researching various topics and various deaf individuals throughout history in order to encourage those to aspire to higher standards.” Bahl served on numerous boards, commission and committees, including serving as president of the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens and director of the Miss Deaf Minnesota pageant. Bahl was also involved with the National Association of the Deaf and its programs including the interpreter assessment program. Bahl was a strong proponent of learning and teaching ASL. Both of his children are ASL teachers. Bahl was equally well-known as an activist, working to shape and pass policies and laws at the local, state and federal levels. Recently he made headlines after a 2006 traffic stop in St. Paul. Bahl was pulled over for a traffic violation. His wife was hospitalized and Bahl was hurrying to be with her. He asked the officer, who didn’t know ASL, to communicate in writing. Instead the officer spoke loudly at Bahl and gestured at him. Bahl was eventually sprayed with a chemical irritant, dragged out of his car and beaten. He was also jailed for three days and not given access to a TTY device or other means to communicate. Family and friends had no idea where he was. A jury later convicted Bahl of misdemeanor obstructing legal process. He was acquitted of a more serious charge of obstructing legal process with force. He then sued the city in federal court, settling in May 2013 for $93,450 and for the St. Paul Police Department to make changes in how it communicates with deaf people in the future. One key step is ensuring that ASL interpreters will be available for those who need them. In 2011, Bahl received a $230,000 settlement from Ramsey County, due to how he was treated while

Emerging artists receive Jerome grants Seven Minnesota artists, selected from a field of 45 candidates, have been awarded grants of $1,500 each by VSA Minnesota. The 18th annual competitive grant is funded by the Jerome Foundation. The grants are given to recognize excellence by emerging Minnesota artists with disabilities and encourage them to complete new work. Arts from Minneapolis are Caleb Belleveau, visual art – sculpture installation; Christi Furnas, visual art – painting; Mari Alice Newman, visual art – collage, acrylics; Leili Tajadod Pritschet, visual art – painting and Anne Sawyer-Aitch, performance art-puppetry. Other grant recipients are Wendy

Lee Savage, a millinery/multi-media artist from Duluth and Coon Rapids resident Jill Lynne Ness, multi-media – creative non-fiction, poetry, images. A jurying process, conducted by peopled with extensive arts backgrounds, was used to select the winners. Samples of the artists’ work, resumes and artist statements were considered. VSA Minnesota is a nonprofit organization working to make the arts accessible to people with all types of disabilities. A short biography about each artist will be available shortly on the VSA Minnesota website: www.vsamn.org ■

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jailed. The county made a number of procedural changes to provide accommodations for people who are deaf, in addition to added training for jail staff. The settlement required the jail to have a videophone, text-only cell phones, teletypewriter for inmates, to have qualified sign-language interpreters available and guarantee their availability, without charge. In a 1997 interview as part of an oral history project, Bahl discussed his life with interviewer Robert Cook. Bahl was born in west central Minnesota near Montevideo. His parents were farmers. When he was 2½ years old, he developed a high fever which was later found to be viral encephalitis. His father was working in the fields and his mother couldn’t drive, so he wasn’t taken to the doctor that day. Although he went to sleep and appeared to be fine the next day, Bahl became deaf overnight. When he was almost five years old, Bahl was enrolled in the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf in Faribault. After graduation he attended and graduated from Gallaudet University. There he met his wife Sue, an Oklahoma native. The couple returned to Minnesota, where they raised two children. He taught ASL at Faribault from 1976 and also headed the drama department there. In 1990 he accepted a teaching job at what is now St. Paul College. He also held a master’s degree in deaf education from the University of Minnesota. Bahl had many hobbies, including world travel to conference and historic sites for the deaf community. He also collected and restored antique furniture. One of his prized collections was postcards from different schools for the deaf. Survivors include his wife; son Chris, daughter Kari, parents, four step-children, brothers and sisters, and his former wife, Ann Billington Cassell. Funeral arrangements are pending, with a memorial service planned for spring in Faribault. Memorials can be directed to the Douglas D. Bahl Memorial Fund at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf or Thompson Hall. ■

Flags fly for Can Do Canines Flags are flying to recognize Can Do Canines’ 25 years of service to people with disabilities. On January 8, United States flags flew over both the United States and Minnesota capitol buildings in honor of the Can Do Canines and Alan M. Peters, the service dog training organization’s founder and executive director. The date was chosen because it is Peters’ birthday. The flags will be presented to the organization at its anniversary celebration in May. The flags will then be used at future special events, including graduation ceremonies for service animals. Additional anniversary-centered events are planned throughout the year to spotlight the people and events that have helped Can Do Canines grow during the past 25 years. ■

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

We look forward to hearing from you! Please call (612) 726-9341.

Pg 8 February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2

PEOPLE & PLACES State grant to help with training A $200,000 state grant through Minnesota Southeast Technical is bringing an infusion of help to enhance ProAct’s training for staff members and people with disabilities, while improving the nonprofit’s production capabilities, as well. The funds are from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Program and will impact about 140 ProAct employees over an 18-month period. Entry level training and retraining are to be emphasized. ProAct President Steven Ditschler said one element in the new grant-funded curriculum is the first of its kind in the state, and possibly in the country. The funds will help with greater productivity and self-sufficiency, better value to business customers, increased wages and a higher level of professionalism. The grant provides assistance in several areas, including: cutworks (AutoCAD), trained medication administration, special needs job coaching and team building, adapted Lean systems, electronic documentation and “Train the Trainer” in Lean, CPR and first aid. Lean manufacturing, lean enterprise, or lean production is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. The Job Skills Partnership is a part of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The ceremonial signing of a $200,000 training grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development brings several benefits for ProAct staff and clients, including Lean manufacturing training, electronic documentation and medicine administration training. From left are: Paul D. Moe, executive director of the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, Jim Johnson, president of Minnesota State College Southeast Technical and Steve Ditschler, president and CEO of ProAct. Photo courtesy of ProAct

Southeast Technical President Jim Johnson said the grant to ProAct is one of four that total about $800,000. It’s unusual for the school to administer four grants at once. “ProAct is a really exciting grant for us, especially the Lean training for client employees,” he said. The Lean system was first popularized by the world’s largest carmaker, Toyota, in its manufacturing. The Job Skills Partnership has a long history in the state, Johnson said. Its goal is to leverage state, local and private resources to address the critical training needs of businesses in the region, Johnson said. The school has been given more than 30 business grants since the program started about 30 years ago. Southeast Technical Director of Business Relations Calli Ekblad was a leader in securing the grant funds. “We

are committed to helping local employers develop a well-trained, skilled workforce,” she said. Jim Bohmbach, production manager for ProAct in Red Wing, said Lean typically allows for greater efficiency by cutting unneeded steps. He and a key production staff member had received some Lean training at Red Wing Shoe Company. Much of the training will benefit ProAct’s Red Wing location, but Eagan employees will also be involved, explains Red Wing Director of Programs and Services Sally Ogren. She is particularly interested in improving the location’s financial performance. ProAct’s major business partners have also shown an interest in potential efficiency improvements for enclave work crews, she said. The training intends to ProAct - p. 9

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February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2

PEOPLE & PLACES Accessible playground project issues fundraising challenge A Shoreview elementary school is moving closer toward its goal of a fully accessible playground. The Shoreview Community Foundation is providing a challenge grant to the Turtle Lake Elementary: A Playground for Everyone Campaign. The foundation will match, one to one, any new money from individual Shoreview residents toward the project up to $5,000.00. Donations must be made between February 1 and April 1. “The Turtle Lake Playground for Everyone will enrich our whole community for healthy recreation in an inclusive environment. We are pleased that these funds, donated by residents and businesses, will help move the project to completion and encourage members of the Shoreview community to support the campaign,” said Shoreview Community Foundation Vice Chairman Kent Peterson. As of January 24, the Turtle Lake Elementary Playground Committee had $115,709 toward the campaign goal to raise $280,000 by April 1. With only two months remaining to reach their goal, every gift will bring the volunteers closer to completing the campaign and allow an inclusive playground to be built. For more information, visit http://turtlelakeplay ground.weebly.com. Checks can be made out the Turtle Lake Elementary PTA (memo: Playground) and mailed to Turtle Lake Elementary PTA, 1141 Lepak Ct., Shoreview, MN 55126. ■ ProAct - from p. 8 make ProAct’s consumers with disabilities more employable, which meshes well with the nonprofit’s overall mission. The program also benefits the college by creating business partnerships which help the school to more effectively build its curriculum and increase its value as an education and training institution, said Johnson. ProAct is headquartered in Eagan and has additional operations in Red Wing, Zumbrota and in Hudson, Wis. Its mission is to serve individuals experiencing barriers to employment and self-sufficiency due to intellectual and developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health issues, traumatic brain injuries, and other challenges. ■

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Pg 10 February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2

Federal changes cause serious concerns

Waiver request would preserve families, protect assets by Jane McClure

About 1,400 Minnesotans with disabilities and their spouses are hoping for a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Changing longstanding state practice called spousal disregard or anti-impoverishment provisions which could be very disruptive, possibly resulting in individuals losing Medical Assistance (MA) Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS). The proposed federal change, which is tied to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), would affect married couples who are age 65 and younger with one spouse using home- and community-based waiver services. Families that could be affected worry that the federal change would force them into poverty, divorce, or that the spouse with disabilities would lose MA coverage. “Please don’t devastate our lives any further,” a speaker told state staff at a January 14 public hearing. Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) staff gathered comments on the proposed change and waiver request in January, holding two public hearings and collecting additional comments online. The comment period closed January 22. “For us the change would result in a number of people losing coverage,” said Gretchen Ullbee of DHS. She noted that while the federal change may be benefiProgram start worrisome - from p. 1 Start date was one of the concerns raised repeatedly in January at a session organized by the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD). The group discussed a number of technical issues tied to CFSS, as well as inconsistencies in state and federal program language and definitions that need to be addressed as the program goes forward. Other disability community advocates say it’s likely that during 2014 legislative session, bills will be introduced to address some of these issues with CFSS. CFSS is meant to allow people more say in hiring and directing their own staff, and more responsibility and control over there outlined supports and services. The program is for people who are recipients of Medical Assistance (MA); alternative care programs or traditional MA waiver recipients. It also is for people who have medical services identified in an individualized education program and is eligible for MA special education services. Many people believe it will improve delivery of services and supports, that it will provide participants more choices, more control over the services and who will provide those services. Yet others worry that the program hasn’t been completely worked through and that there will be unintended consequences because of the unresolved and unex-

cial in some states, that wouldn’t be the case in Minnesota. The federal change was to have taken effect January 1. But because Minnesota has a waiver request pending, the change isn’t taking effect here yet. Those who presented oral and written testimony said that making the change could harm marriages and in some cases, force couples to divorce so that services or assets wouldn’t be lost. It was noted that people have already planned their lives around the current system, and that a change wouldn’t be fair. It would also be disruptive to family plans. Another issue raised in favor of retaining Minnesota’s current practices is that it could be a huge disincentive for people with disabilities to get married and for those families to continue to help with care. It could even have the unintended consequence of forcing people into nursing home care instead of allowing them to stay in the community. Yet another argument made is that the spousal anti-impoverishment provisions were developed to meet the needs of elderly couples when one spouse entered a nursing facility and the other spouse needed income and assets to remain in the Waiver request - p. 15

pected questions. One need raised is for more detailed information to consumers, including more detailed information about choices for service. Another is that of monitoring of those who will provide services. Anne Henry, an attorney with the Minnesota Disability Law center outlined the pros and cons of CFSS during the Minnesota State Council on Disability legislative review discussion January 27 in St. Paul. “The change could unlock opportunities for some people,” she said. “People could hire assistance but could also tap into training and assistance and substitute that for the paid help. There’s a wonderful opportunity for people to use their personal care assistants to provide personal development and personal improvement help and training. Another plus is for parents and spouses to be paid for assistance. The caveat to that is that the program is the lowest paid system in Medicaid.” she said. But one concern is that the change could affect people who are eligible for nursing home care, but could not get less expensive community services. Henry called that possibility “flat-out wrong” and a violation of the state’s Olmstead Plan. She also said it could result in more being spent on nursing home care, rather than a more economical community-based setting. Cuts made to the PCA program in 2009 and enacted in 2011 could also have major implications for CFSS, in terms of funding and programmatic restrictions. Those cuts were made by the type of disability a person has and knocked some people with brain injuries, mental health issues and developmental disabilities out of the PCA program. Some advocates are asking that people with those disabilities get help under CFSS. Some at the meeting said, processes and even word definitions needs to be spelled out more clearly for some aspects of the program. Other questions were raised about how people will qualify for services and how “dependency” and “needs” for service are assessed. Another concern is that not all of Minnesota’s 87 counties will have the administrative staff and other related CFSS programs in place by the time the program is slated to begin. CFSS will be a federal-state funded service, with 56 percent paid with federal MA funds and 44 percent paid with state MA funds. The program is for people living independently in the community. It’s meant to be more accessible and flexible than the PCA program, and to make it easier for people to transition out of institutional care back into the community. Other goals of CFSS include more support of community living, more self-directed services and for children, testing of innovative models of coordinating services across home, school, and community. Those eligible for CFSS must be determined dependent in one activity of daily living or behavioral needs based on an assessment; not receive family support grants and live in one’s own home or apartment, not a hospital or institutional setting. CFSS services are to include assistance with daily living task including; eating, toileting, grooming, dressing, bathing, mobility, positioning, and transferring. The services also include assistance with many other activities related to daily living, ranging from meal planning and preparation, help with travel in the community. Other services include assistance to acquire, maintain, or enhance the skills necessary for the participant to accomplish daily living tasks and health-related procedures that can be delegated or assigned by a state-licensed health care or mental health professional and performed by a support worker. It covers, in terms of material things, expenditures including services, supports, or environmental modifications, or goods, including assistive technology. It does include funding for mechanism such as use of Communication technology and other electronic devices, to ensure continuity of services and supports for participants. Funding is also covered for transition costs for participants moving out of an institution and into the community. CFSS services will be provided by support specialists and support workers who will be employed by agency providers or the participant. Support workers must enroll with DHS, complete a background study, and meet a number of other requirements. Agency providers must be MA-enrolled health care program providers and meet all applicable provider standards and requirements, including compliance with background study requirements, and reporting maltreatment of minors and vulnerable adults. Agencies must also provide participants with information on service-related rights.■

February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2 Pg 11

Pedal in Place Stationary Bike Race

ACCESSIBLE FUN Welcome to the Access Press Accessible Fun listings, a sampling of theater, music, arts, walks, runs, dances and gala events for our community. Readers looking for additional opportunities to enjoy the arts have these options: For information on galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at access@vsamn.org or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883. VSA Minnesota is unveiling is new website in February, so links to the calendar will be changing. Go to www.vasmn.org and check out the new look. Another web events listing is http://c2net.org (c2: caption coalition, inc.), which does most of the captioned shows in Minnesota and across the country. Facebook is another way to connect with performances. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota (http:// tinyurl.com/d34dzo2). Connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances across Minnesota on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/FBcaption

Sweetheart Dance & Fundraiser Opportunity Partners hosts a Valentine’s Sweetheart Dance and Fundraiser 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sat, Feb. 15 at Opportunity Partners-Koch Campus, 5500 Opportunity Court, Minnetonka. Cost is $10. RSVP. Enjoy dancing, appetizers and refreshments. Proceeds support members of Opportunity Partners’ Committee of Advocacy and Leadership (COAL) to attend the 2014 Self Advocates Becoming Empowered National Conference in Oklahoma City. Staff are required to escort self-advocates per individual need. FFI: Alicia Munson, amunson @opportunities.org

Diana Ross is headliner PACER Center’s annual benefit will feature Diana Ross, one of the most remarkable entertainers of all time. The benefit is Sat, May 3 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. As lead singer of The Supremes, Ross helped shape the sound of popular music, achieving the unprecedented feat of 12 number one singles. Ross earned six number one singles and 31 top ten hits as a solo artist. She is also an Oscar-nominated actress and winner of both Golden Globe and Tony Awards. The benefit supports free PACER Center programs for children with disabilities and their families as well as PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Tickets start at $70 and include Ross’ performance plus silent and live auctions. A post-concert patron party is included with tickets valued at $150 or more. FFI: 952-838-9000, www.PACER.org

Step to Steps of Hope Steps of Hope, the Autism Society of Min-nesota’s (AuSM) largest annual fundraiser is 9:30 a.m. Sun, March 2, 2014 at Ridgedale Center. Minnetonka. Participants will walk at their own pace, while connecting with resources that support individuals living with autism. Live music, face painting, fun hairdos, and free snacks and beverages are part of the fun. The winning design for the first Steps of Hope T-Shirt Design Contest will debut at the walk. Families, businesses, organizations and community groups can register as teams and raise money to support programs and services for individuals and families in Minnesota who are touched by autism. Donations also fund Steps of Hope Support Grants, a program created to stimulate creativity, encourage successful programming and expand opportunities for individuals living with autism for many years to come. In recognition of the current autism diagnosis rate of 1 in 88, the Steps of Hope 2014 fundraising goal is $88,000. Participants are encouraged to provide photos and details representing why they walk. Register by Sat, Feb. 15 and be eligible for prizes. FFI: www.SOHwalk.org

Raise a Glass Sample the best Minnesota’s local brewers and winemakers have to offer at Raise a Glass – A Toast to PACER, a beer and wine tasting event 6 p.m. Fri, Feb. 21 at The Venue, 315 1st Ave. N., Mpls. Tickets are $35 and include a signature tasting glass. Tickets for non-alcoholic drinkers are $15. Attendees must be age 21 and older. FFI: 952-838-9000, www.pacer.org

Red and White Ball Opportunity Partners will host its benefit The Red and White Ball at 5:30 p.m. Sat, April 12 at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest. 7025 Northland Drive N., Brooklyn Park. This year’s event, which features KARE-11’s Karla Hult as emcee and social hour, dinner, games, dancing and auctions, has a baseball theme. Red, white or black

Spring means race season, with two fundraisers coming up. Pedal in Place and help raise money for Gillette Children’s United Cerebral Palsy of Minnesota. This year’s Pedal in Place Stationary Bike Race event starts at 9 a.m. Sat, Feb. 15 and lasts all day at Wilder Center, 451 N. Lexington Parkway (Lexington and University Avenue), St. Paul. Admission is free to watch the teams. Teams of 10 people each can sign up, raise at least $1,000 in pledges and join the fun. Pledges are due on event day and all contributions are tax-deductible. After registration, the race starts at 10 a.m. The day is divided into 20-minute increments for each team rider. Each team member pedals for 20 minutes at any pace. Teams pedal for Minnesotans who have cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Each team members gets a T-shirt and the satisfaction of helping others. The day ends with a 3:15 p.m. awards presentation. Riders are eligible for prizes. FFI: 651-265-7361, 800-719-4040 (toll-free), TaraSwedberg@gillettechildrens.com, ucpmn.org Or go to Minneapolis and St. Paul locations on Sat., March 15 and cheer on the Team Ortho Get Lucky race runners. The Get Lucky 7K and Half Marathon raises money for Team Ortho Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity, tax id: 20-0685151 founded in February 2004 to get and keep people active and raise and for causes including orthopedic research. Team Ortho athletes run/ walk, bike, swim and ski to raise funds for medical research. Many also volunteer at events supported around the country. Fund the race routes and ways to contribute at www.getluckytc.org/ ■ cocktail attire should be worn. Tickets are $85 and all proceeds support Opportunity Partners’’ programs. To sponsor the event or donate an auction item, contact Dawn Piburn at 952-912-7448 or dpiburn@opportunities.org To volunteer, contact Liz Burgard at 952-912-7454 or eburgard@opportunities.org FFI: 952-930-4286, events@opportunities.org.

Freedom Riders Youth Performance Company presents a story of the 1960s civil rights movement, at Howard Conn Fine Arts Center, 1900 Nicollet Ave., Mpls. AD and ASL shows are 7:30 p.m. Sat, Feb. 15. Tickets are $12, student 18 & under or senior 62+, $10. FFI: 612-623-9080, www.youthperformanceco.com

The Incredible Season of Ronnie Rabinovitz History Theatre presents a story of a family where baseball, civil rights and politics intersect, at the History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul. ASL and AD shows are 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 16. Tickets are reduced to $20 for ASL/ AD patrons (regular $30-40). Accessible entrance is off of Cedar Street. The theater has wheelchair and companion seating, hearing enhancement devices and Braille or large print playbills. FFI: 651-292-4323 or 651-491-7967, www.historytheatre.com

Godspell Lyric Arts Company of Anoka presents the updated version of the popular musical at the Lyric Arts Main Street Stage, 420 E. Main Street, Anoka. ASL show is 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 16. 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 a week before the show, the interpretation will be canceled. Tickets are $13-26. FFI: 763-422-1838, boxoffice@lyricarts.org, www.lyricarts.org

Shakespeare’s Will Jungle Theater presents the story of events before William Shakespeare’s funeral, at the Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. AD show is 7:30 p.m. Thu, Feb. 20. Tickets are Reduced to $14 (regular $25-43); AD season ticket $70. Ask about assistive listening devices. FFI: 612-822-7063; boxoffice@jungletheater.com, www.jungletheater.com

Schiller’s Mary Stuart The story of Mary, Queen of Scots and the rebellion that swirled around her is presented by Red Eye Theater, 15 W. 14th St., Mpls. AD show is 7:30 p.m. Thu, Feb. 20. ASL show is 7:30 p.m. Fri, Feb. 21. Tickets are reduced to $10 for AD/ASL (regular $15 to $30); Brown Paper Tickets. FFI: 612-375-0300, 1-800-838-3006; www.brownpapertickets.com/event/423577, www.walkingshadowcompany.org

Music Man Meredith Willson’s musical about River City is reinterpreted by Ten Thousand Things, at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis. AD show is 8 p.m. Fri, Feb. 21. Tickets are reduced to $18 (regular $25; students on Sundays $15)/ FFI: 612-203-9502, www.tenthousandthings.org

Dance Concert: Off the Record University of Minnesota Duluth Theatre and Dance Department present an eclectic show of dance styles at the Marshall Performing Arts Center, Mainstage Theatre, UMD Campus, 1215 Ordean Court, Duluth. AD & ASL shows are 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 23; with pre-show at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $18, $13 senior 62+/student, $6 UMD student, $8 child to age 12. FFI: 218-726-8561.http:// tinyurl.com/l2t7hgg

The Sun Serpent A story of Aztec culture is presented with many masks and media by Mixed Blood Theatre at the Alan Page Auditorium at Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St., Minneapolis. All performances will use projected subtitles in both English and Spanish during the run Feb. 28-Mar 22. Choose between first-come, firstserved, no-cost admission under Mixed Blood’s Radical Hospitality program, or guarantee admission ($20). Any patron that self-identifies as having a disability is eligible for a no-cost advance guaranteed reservation and for a free cab ride to and from the theatre. Call the box office for more information and to reserve these services. FFI: 612-338-613, boxoffice@mixedblood.com, www.mixedblood.com

Bully After more than a year of improvisation, writing and workshops, SteppingStone Theater presents this play, created by six young Twin Cities playwrights aged 1519, and six more from Action Transport Theatre in Ellesmere Port, England, who worked on the same questions. Presented at SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development, 55 Victoria St. N., St. Paul. AD: show is 7 p.m. Fri, March 14. ASL show is 3 p.m. Sun, March 16. Tickets are reduced to $10 access rate (regular $15; youth/senior 55+ $12). FFI: 651-225-9265; info@steppingstonetheatre.org, http://www.stepping stonetheatre.org ■

Pg 12 February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2

UPCOMING EVENTS Advocacy Cystic fibrosis supporters needed Volunteers are sought to support a proposed federal law for people with cystic fibrosis. David’s Law, which is based on a Minnesota case, has more than 14,000 supporters. This law would allow students to carry and administer their own pre-mealtime pancreatic enzymes, with doctor’s approval. Volunteers can check in monthly via Skype, write letters or sign a petition. FFI: 612-282-1211; www.petition2congress.com/2418/ davids-law/ Discuss legislative issues The Arc Greater Twin Cities and ConnectWC invite residents of Senate Districts 38, 39, 43 and 53 to discuss issues affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families at a legislative visit with their elected officials, 6:30-8 p.m. Thu, Feb. 20 at Community Thread, 2300 Orleans St. W., Stillwater. Elected officials invited to participate are Sen. Chuck Wiger, Rep. Peter Fischer, Sen. Susan Kent, Rep. Andrea Kieffer, Rep. JoAnn Ward, Sen. Karin Housely, Rep. Bob Dettmer, Rep. Kathy Lohmer, Sen. Roger Chamberlain, Rep. Matt Dean and Washington County Commissioner Gary Kriesel. ConnectWC, an initiative of CCP Foundation, is a network of individuals active in the development of an inclusive community for people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in the Washington County area. The event is free but participants should pre-register by Wed, Feb. 19. FFI: 952-915-3665, denafelper@thearcgtc.org Celebrate Opportunity Grow business partnerships by meeting with up to 450 area business leaders at Celebrate Opportunity—An Executive Networking and Business Recognition Luncheon, hosted by nonprofit organization Opportunity Partners. The event is 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wed, Feb. 26 at Marriott Minneapolis West, 9960 Wayzata Blvd., Mpls. Keynote speaker is Sam Richter, internationally recognized expert on sales intelligence and author of the best-selling book, Take the Cold out of Cold Calling. It will include a business Partner Showcase, customer awards presentation, two executive networking sessions and a three-course lunch, allowing attendees the opportunity to meet and network. The event will be emceed by WCCO-TV’s Frank Vascellaro. Tickets $50 and sponsorships are available. FFI: 612-723-7181 sfeine@opportunities.org, http:// celebrateop2014.eventbrite.com.

Youth and families Hmong family group begins Hmong families enrolled in St. Paul Public Schools, with a child with an intellectual or developmental disability, can join the Hmong Family Group. The free networking group from The Arc Greater Twin Cities meets 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fridays Feb. 7, March 7, April 11 and May 2 at the St. Paul Public Schools Administration Building, 360 Colborne St., St. Paul. Meeting dates are Jan. 17, Feb. 7, Mar. 7, Apr. 11 and May 2. The entire family is welcome to the group’s meetings. While parents attend the informational segment of the meeting, children enjoy games and activities. Meals, transportation, interpretation and childcare are provided at no cost to families. The group is free but preregistration is required. FFI: 952-915-3624 PACER offers workshops PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any kind of disabilities. Workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Advance registration is required for all workshops. Check out PACER’s website and link to a new bimonthly newsletter of workshops statewide that allows participants to pick and choose sessions catered to their needs. One upcoming workshop is Transitioning to Employment and Independent Living, for parents and professionals, 6:30-8 p.m. Wed, Feb. 19 at the Anoka-Hennepin Staff Development Center (Erling Johnson Room C & D), 2727 N. Ferry St., Anoka. Planning for employment is an important step in preparing young adults with disabilities for life after high school. This workshop will provide information on career exploration and planning, along with information from agencies that provide independent living, financial, and employment services and supports. Parents of students in ninth grade and older are encouraged to attend. Another upcoming workshop is Use the IEP to Help Your Child: A Guide for Minnesota Parents to the Individualized Education Program, 6:30-9 p.m. Thu, Feb. 20. This workshop will help parents understand how to use the IEP to benefit their child. FFI: 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237 (toll free), www.PACER.org

Information and assistance Vet Connection Group meets in Minneapolis NAMI Vet Connection gives veterans the opportunity to talk with other veterans and share their experiences, and the successes and hardships of the reintegration process. The group meets 2:15-3:45 p.m. Mondays at the Mpls VA, 1 Veterans Drive, in Room 1B-102 (1st floor). FFI: Rebecca, 612-801-7415 or Brian, 651-645-2948 x116.

Kent’s Accounting Service, LLC Kent Fordyce 612-889-2959 • fordyce6@aol.com Fax: 952-472-1458 6371 Bartlett Blvd, Mound, MN 55364

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UCare meetings UCare hosts informational meetings about its UCare for Seniors Medicare Advantage plan, as well as informational meetings about the UCare’s new UCare Choices and Fairview UCare Choices health plans available on MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace. Learn about the various plans, as well as key dates and penalties associated with health care reform.. Meetings are held all over the region. UCare for Seniors has more than 75,000 members across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. UCare serves Medicare-eligible individuals and families enrolled in income-based Minnesota Health Care Programs, such as Minnesota Care and Prepaid Medical Assistance Program; adults with disabilities and Medicare beneficiaries with chronic health conditions and Minnesotans dually eligible for Medical Assistance and Medicare FFI: 1-877-523-1518, www.ucare.org Mental health support offered NAMI-MN offers free support groups for families who have a relative with a mental illness. NAMI has about two dozen family support groups, more than 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators, groups provide help and support. FFI: 651-645-2948. A full calendar of all events is offered online. Partners and Spouses support group meets 6:45 p.m. the first Tue of each month at Falcon Heights United Church of Christ, 1795 Holton St. FFI: Lois, 651-788-1920, or Donna, 651-645-2948 ext. 101. Open Door Anxiety and Panic support, meets at 6:30 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul and 6:30-6 p.m. on the second and fourth Thu at Goodwill-Easter Seals, 553 Fairview Ave. N., St. Paul. FFI: 651-645-2948. NAMI Connection peer support group for adults are led by trained facilitators who are also in recovery lead NAMI Connection groups. One group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tue. A group meets at 6:30 p.m., on the 4th Tuesday of the month, at Goodwill-Easter Seals, 553 Fairview Av., St. Paul (The group previously met at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.) FFI: Shelly, 651-228-1645. Bi-weekly adult recovery groups meet at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Will, 651-578-3364. A family support group meets in St. Paul on the second Wednesday of each month from at 6-7:30 p.m., at Goodwill-Easter Seals, 553 Fairview Ave. N., St. Paul, in room 123. FFI: Sonja, 651-357-2077. A family support group meets in Oakdale on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., at Canvas Health, 7066 Stillwater Blvd., in the community room. FFI: Dan, 651-341-8918. A group also meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. FFI: Anne Mae, 651-730-8434.

Volunteer, Donate Share a smile Brighten the day of a senior citizen in north or southwest Minneapolis and have fun. Visit an elder and do things together: movies, games, crafts or just friendly conversation. Hang out with an elder on a regular basis and do things that you both enjoy, like watching a movie, building stuff, playing games or friendly conversation. One-time or ongoing opportunities through the NIP Senior Program. FFI: Jeanne, 612-746-8549, srvolunteer@neighborhoodinvolve.org, or www.neighborhoodinvolve.org Open the Door to Education Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give just 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. The literacy council provides training and support and accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, volunteer@mnliteracy.org, www.mnliteracy.org/ volunteers/opportunities/adults ■

Capitol parking - from p. 1 that lot is the future site of a new and controversial $90 million Senate office building. The building plans are tied up in court but when work starts, those spaces will be relocated to the parking on Aurora Avenue south of the capitol. That street now has only two disability spaces. The new fully accessible Senate office building will include structured parking, including 20 disability parking spaces. One block to the west, at Rice and University, a new parking structure planned there will provide additional disability spaces. Visitors should also watch for future changes in Lot F, by the Minnesota Department of Transportation building. All parking there, including disability parking, will be displaced in a few years when that lot is replaced with structured parking. ■

February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2 Pg 13

ACCESSIBLE MOVIES What’s more fun than a trip to the movies? Several technologies are available to make movies accessible for people with vision or hearing loss. This summary is from VSA Minnesota. Rear Window Captioning displays reversed captions on a light-emitting diode (LED) text display which is mounted in the rear of a theater. Patrons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing use transparent acrylic panels attached to their seats to reflect the captions so they appear superimposed on the movie screen. The reflective panels are portable and adjustable, enabling the caption user to sit anywhere in the theater without bothering patrons in surrounding seats. The LED display is easy to read. DVS Theatrical presents concise descriptive narration of visual cues, including actions, settings, scene changes, facial expressions and silent movement, through an FM or infrared system, making movies more meaningful to people with vision loss. The moviegoer hears the narration on a headset without disturbing other audience members and at no extra cost. The Media Access Group at WGBH in Boston developed Rear Window Captioning and DVS Theatrical. Films equipped with MoPix or motion picture access) technology can be found by calling 617-300-3400 or TTY: 617-300-2489. The website is http://ncam.wgbh. org/mopix/nowshowing.html#mn. Or e-mail: access@wgbh.org Some cinemas use other variations of open caption-ing, which is a text display of words and sounds heard during a performance, film, video, speech or dialogue. The display is “open” for anyone to see in a particular seating area. The website www.captionfish. com lists cinemas with these access features. Put in your zip code and the site will give current listings of nearby movies with open or closed captioning, an au-

Continued from p. 6

REGIONAL NEWS Hoard said the incident “terrified” him. He then learned of another athlete who had committed suicide. It was a wake-up call for Hoard. He is among a growing number of former NFL players whose postfootball lives are changed by curtailed by concussion problems. With help from family and friends, particularly former backfield mate Robert Smith, Hoard, 45, is now dedicated to his young family and working as an analyst on South Florida sports radio station 790 The Ticket. He is also getting help for his past concussive injuries. (Source: Pioneer Press)

Charges in murder at security hospital In January at Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, Michael Francis Douglas, 41, of Mankato was severely beaten by Darnell Dee Whitefeather, 41. Douglas died while being treated by paramedics from River’s Edge Hospital’s ambulance service. Douglas had been released from prison in 2013 after serving 20 years for beating a man to death during a 1991 Mankato burglary. Whitefeather was arrested at the hospital and taken to the Nicollet County Jail. He faces murder charges. Both men were committed to the hospital last year. The security incident casts a light on going problems at the hospital. State Rep. Clark Johnson (RNorth Mankato) said while he is saddened by the news, it also points to the need for charges to protect patients and staff at the hospital. “We have to deal with this (facility). We need to get to the bottom of how to address safety at this location,” Johnson said. “There were concerns before the incident. The physical place itself is not safe. There are problems with blind spots in halls.” Johnson also called for support of Dayton’s bonding proposal of $56 million to reconstruct Security Hospital. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Minnesota Department of Health and the state’s ombudsman for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled also will be involved with local law enforcement officials in investigating the incident. ■ (Source: Mankato Free Press)

dio description track, or English subtitles in foreign films. Minnesota theaters offer a variety of services. Contact the theater before attending as options may change. Science Museum of Minnesota Omnitheater, 120 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul, is showing five new films as part of its Omnifest 2014. The films are shown in daily rotation through Feb. 28. The films are Blue Planet, To the Limit, Great White Shark, Stomp’s World Beat (no access accommodations) and Ring of Fire. Accommodations vary by film, with some offering Captioning as well as Audio Description. Tickets are $8 adults, $7 senior/ child (first film, subsequent shows get 15% discount), additional cost to tour museum; members free. Online ordering add $3 service fee.. Omnitheater tickets are $8 adults, $7 senior/child, additional cost to tour museum; members free. See more than one film and get a discount for subsequent shows. Online ordering add $3 service fee. To request accommodations for exhibits, call at least 72 hours in advance, at 651-221-9406. The museum is open Tue-Wed 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thu-Sat 9:30 a.m. -9 p.m., Sun 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., closed Mon. Phone is 651-221-9444 or 800-221-9444, option 2 for Omnitheater film times, reservations or questions; TTY is 651-221-4585. For accessibility information, visit www.smm.org/accessibility; the main website is www.smm.org Landmark Theatres offer CaptiView Closed Caption Viewing Systems, which allow people to read movie dialogue from the comfort of their seat anywhere in the auditorium, and Fidelio, a wireless audio system that delivers descriptive narration for people with vision loss and amplified sound for people with hearing loss. Patrons can get a compact audio receiver with a plug-in headset at the box office or bring their own headsets. Descriptive Narration and closed captioning availability is subject to the content made available from distributors. All films are available with amplified sound through Assisted Listening Devices. The theaters are Edina Cinema, 3911 W. 50th St., Edina, phone 952-920-8796; Uptown Theatre, 2906 Hennepin Ave., Mpls, phone 612-823-3005; and Lagoon Cinema:,1320 Lagoon Ave., Mpls, phone 612823-3020. Website for the theaters is www.Landmark Theatres.com or www.landmarktheatres.com/ada/ captiview_fidelio.htm. AMC Theatres offer accessible films. Eden Prairie Mall 18 Theatres, Auditorium 7, Eden Prairie Shopping Center, 8251 Flying Cloud Drive Suite 4000, Eden Prairie; phone is 952-656-0010. Park in upper level lot between Sears and Kohl’s. AMC Rosedale 14 Theatres, Auditorium 14, 850 Rosedale Center, Roseville; phone is 651-604-9347. AMC Showplace Inver Grove 16, 5567 Bishop Ave., Inver Grove Heights, offers open captioned films generally Wed-Thu; phone is 651-453-1916. General information for all AMC Theatres is 1-888-262-4386. Website is www.amcentertainment.com Regal Theatres offers films with open captioning or descriptive video. Regal Brooklyn Center 20, 6420 Camden Ave N, Minneapolis; phone is 763-560-6300. Regal Eagan 16, 2055 Cliff Road, Eagan; phone is 651452-8329. Website is www.fandango.com/ 55122_movietheatershowtimes

Marcus Theatres in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and Duluth now offer accessible CaptiView technology for deaf and hard of hearing guests at its digital cinemas. This closed captioning system is available for most movies and can be used at any showing for movies that are captioned using this technology. When purchasing a ticket, a guest requests the CaptiView device (about the size of a large smartphone with a screen to display the captions). Its flexible support arm is designed to fit into the cup holder of the guest’s seat, and the viewing angle can be adjusted. Patrons can also request assistive listening devices at the box office at all film showings. The wireless headphones have adjustable volume. Guests with vision loss can use these headphones as descriptive audio devices when a movie offers a descriptive audio option. Not all films are produced this way, but the number of available films is increasing. Marcus Theatres are Oakdale Ultrascreen Cinemas, 5677 Hadley Ave. N., Oakdale, 651-770-4992; Marcus Lakes Cinema, 4351 Stebner Rd., Hermantown, and Marcus Duluth Theatre, 300 Harbor Drive, Duluth, 218-729-0335. Website is www.marcustheatres.com ShowPlace ICON at West End offers listening devices. The theater is at 1625 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park, 763-515-1177, www.showplaceicon.com/ showtimes.aspx The Film Society of Minneapolis/Saint Paul doesn’t currently have audio described or captioned films, but does offer foreign films with English captions, at St. Anthony Main Theatre, 115 SE Main St., Mpls. Phone is 612-331-7563. Website is www.mspfilmsociety.org ■

Guest commentary on CFSS - from p. 4 this result would violate Medicaid nondiscrimination law or the ADA, it is poor policy. It is hard to see what harm would be if the start of CFSS was delayed until MnChoices is implemented in all 87 counties. The inadequacies of the current draft amendment may be inconsistent with the state’s Olmstead Plan and this question cannot be answered without a thorough review of both the Olmstead Plan and the CFSS proposal. ■ Christopher Bell is a retired attorney, former cochair of the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and board member for the American Council of the Blind of Minnesota.

Pg 14 February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2

February Sampling

Radio Talking Book Hear what’s happening in Brainerd The Brainerd Dispatch is the latest newspaper to be offered in the State Services for the Blind’s Dial-In News Program. The program began in 1990 with the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press and City Pages. Dial-In News is a free service in which people can access all the articles of the newspaper via a touch-tone telephone. Register for Dial-In News by calling either 651-642-0885 or 651-539-1424. Other local newspapers are offered in local broadcasts of the Radio Talking Book in Fergus Falls, Saint Cloud, Rochester, Duluth, Mankato and Grand Rapids.

Books available through Faribault Books broadcast on the Minnesota Radio Talking

Fragrances - from p. 5 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that students are entitled to a “safe learning environment” in the schools. Yet little or nothing has been done to accommodate those with fragrance sensitivities or breathing disabilities. The Minneapolis Teachers Contract states the need to reduce fragrance use, due to growing numbers of students with sensitivities. But teachers are often afraid to complain about their own need for clean air, for fear they could lose their jobs. It is urgent that these blatant examples of discrimination be remedied. Two recent ADA settlements offer hopeful precedents. The City of Detroit agreed to pay a city planner $100,000 and post notices in city workplaces regarding chemical sensitivity, as an accommodation. And a chemically sensitive Detroit disc jockey received $815,000 in settlement from her production company for allowing another employee to harm her health and making it difficult to work, by wearing perfume. We must do everything possible to restore environment justice for students and others with disabilities. We must demand that our schools, work places and hospitals restore the basic civil right to breathe clean air as an accommodation for all people. We must press for fragrance free policies and fragrance free spaces where people can breathe freer. This should not be difficult, because fragrance-free alternatives are now readily available at grocery stores, Walgreens drugstores and Target stores. See www.takeback theair.com for more information, and to connect with others working on these issues. ■ Julie Mellum Organizer, Take Back the Air Minneapolis

Book Network are available through the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault Call 1-800-722-0550, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The catalog is online at www.mnbtbl.org, click on the link Search the Library Catalog. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books via inter-library loan by contacting their home state’s Network Library for the National Library Service. Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived programs from the previous week, on the Internet at www.mnssb.org/rtb. Call the Talking Book Library for a password to the site. To find more information about Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network events go to the Facebook site at http://tinyurl.com/ RadioTalkBook. Audio information about the daily book listings is also on NFB Newslines. Register for NFB Newslines by calling 651-539-1424. Access Press is one of the publications featured at 9 p.m. Sundays on the program It Makes a Difference.

Weekend Program Books Your Personal World (Saturday at 1 p.m.) is airing The Slow Fix, by Carl Honore; For the Younger Set (Sunday at 11 a.m.) is airing Shadow on the Mountain, by Margi Preus; Poetic Reflections (Sunday at noon) is airing Scratching the Ghost, by Dexter L. Booth, and The Earth Avails, by Mark Wunderlich; The U.S. and Us (Sunday at 4 p.m.) is airing Black White Blue, by William Swanson. Chautauqua • Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. Your Legacy Matters, Nonfiction by Rachael Freed, 2013. 12 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 18. Blessings can be made manifest in words and action. We need to focus on what really matters in our lives, as well as in those we serve and those we love. Your Legacy Matters gives us the tools to do that. Read by Rachael Freed. Past is Prologue • Monday – Friday 9 a.m. The Girls of Atomic City, Nonfiction by Denise Kiernan, 2013. 14 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 12. At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, had 75,000 residents and used more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, it did not exist. Thousands of civilians were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Read by Marylyn Burridge. Bookworm • Monday – Friday 11 a.m. Duplex, Fiction by Kathryn Davis, 2013. Seven broadcasts. Begins Feb. 17. In an ordinary suburb, a sorcerer’s car speeds down the street, and past and future fold into each other. The eternal present that is a young girl’s childhood will close forever and beyond is adulthood, full of robots and sorcerers, slaves and masters. Read by Beth Marie Hansen.

moment of cross-pollination that reshaped much of American culture and society. Their differences were a key to their bond yet a source of constant strife. Read by John Potts. Choice Reading • Monday – Friday 4 p.m. Snapper, Fiction by Brian Kimberling, 2013. Seven broadcasts. Begins Feb. 24. Nathan Lochmueller studies birds earning just enough money to live on as life goes on around him. Nathan is love with Lola, a free-spirited woman who can break a man’s heart with a sigh or a shrug. Around them both is a swirl of characters in their own Indiana backwater, as Nathan creeps through the forest to observe the birds he loves. Read by Bill Studer. PM Report • Monday – Friday 8 p.m. Fighting for Common Ground, Nonfiction by Olympia Snowe, 2013. 11 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 17. About our Congress, Senator Snowe asks: How did we get here? How did the world’s greatest deliberative body devolve into partisanship and inaction? And what can we do about it? Read by Jan Anderson. Night Journey • Monday – Friday 9 p.m. If You Find Me, Fiction by Emily Murdoch, 2013. Seven broadcasts. Begins Feb. 20. Fifteen-year-old Carey and her sister live in a camper in a national forest with her younger sister. Their mentally ill mother comes and goes. One day, their mother disappears forever, the girls are found by their father, who is a stranger to them, and they re-enter “normal” life. L - Read by Diane Ladenson. Off the Shelf • Monday – Friday 10 p.m. The Son, Fiction by Philipp Meyer, 2013. 23 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 19. When Eli is captured by the Comanches, he adapts and lives as they do. But when the tribe is decimated, he finds himself alone without an identity. V,L,S - Read by Jack Rossmann. Potpourri • Monday – Friday 11 p.m. Worldly Philosopher, Nonfiction by Jeremy Adelman, 2013. 29 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 25. Born in 1915, Hirschman was one of the twentieth century’s most original and provocative thinkers. Read by Leila Poullada Good Night Owl • Monday – Friday midnight The Suitors, Fiction by Cécile David-Weill, 2013. Nine broadcasts. Begins Feb. 26. After two sisters, Laure and Marie, learn of their parents’ plan to sell the family’s summer retreat, L’Agapanthe, they devise a scheme for attracting a wealthy suitor who can afford to purchase the estate. L - Read by Sue McDonald. After Midnight • Tuesday – Saturday 1 a.m. The Comfort of Lies, Fiction by Randy Susan Meyers, 2013. 12 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 24. Five years ago, though he was married to Juliette, Nathan had an affair with Tia. She became pregnant, he disappeared, and the baby was adopted by Caroline. Now Juliette intercepts a letter to her husband with pictures of a child with a deep resemblance to her husband. L – Read by Cintra Godfrey.

The Writer’s Voice • Monday – Friday 2 p.m. The Force of Things, Nonfiction by Alexander Stille, 2013. 17 broadcasts. Begins Feb. 13. The marriage of Alexander Stille’s parents was a micro-story of the Abbreviations: V - violence, L - offensive language, S - sexual situations.

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February 10, 2014 Volume 25, Number 2 Pg 15

Waiver request - from p. 10 community. The effect isn’t the same for younger couples and their families. “Spousal deeming is working here and I would urge you to leave it alone,” another person said. Spousal deeming means that authorities might consider or “deem” that part of a spouse’s income is not available to the person with disabilities. The Minnesota Disability Law Center and MidMinnesota also submitted comments, outlined the hardships Minnesota families would face if the state’s waiver request is denied. “Because Minnesota has implemented the exemption of spousal deeming policy under institutional rules for many years, the change required by the spousal anti-impoverishment provisions would seriously destabilize and disrupt those affected. We believe the scale of the disruption, while different for each family, will include the loss of HCBS waiver eligibility for some due to the asset limits under the spousal anti-impoverishment rules,” the comments stated. “Couples will struggle with the new requirements and face extremely difficult choices including forgoing college for their children, whether or not to pay mortgage and home maintenance costs or cash in retirement accounts, in order to divide assets and spend the excess amount on Medicaid health costs. Certainly the ACA provision requiring spousal anti-impoverishment rules for all states was meant to improve the circumstances for married couples with one spouse who needs HCBS waiver services, not to result in the harsh and destabilizing impact which affected Minnesotans would suffer. This waiver request is necessary to avoid the increased risk of institutionalization and the harsh consequences for families.” Because the CMS project is a five-year pilot, there are also questions as to whether or not the changes will be made long-term or whether states will have to switch again. But by then couples would have been forced to divorce or lose assets. The 2013 Minnesota Legislature required the Commissioner of Human Services to seek authority from CMS to allow Minnesota to continue its existing eligibility policy for people receiving services under the waivers for brain injury, community alternative care, community alternatives for disabled individuals and developmental disabilities. Getting an exemption from federal rules would allow Minnesota to continue the current practice of disregarding income and assets of spouses instead of implementing the anti-spousal impoverishment provisions under the ACA. The request, which was submitted to CMS in draft form last year, is called a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver request. A final request and comments will be submitted after the January 22 deadline. Ulbee said that studied the potential number of people involved and did a fiscal analysis as part of its CMS request, outlining costs and potential savings. Staff said the numbers show it is basically a wash to the state. Another factor DHS is asking CMS to consider is that Minnesota is in the process of converting its existing state plan personal care attendant benefit into a consumer-directed benefit modeled after the Consumer First Choice program as set out in the Social Security Act. This change is part of DHS’s Reform 2020 demonstration. In its waiver request, DHS states that Minnesota officials are concerned that the spousal anti-impoverishment changes will affect the state’s reform of the personal care benefit “in a manner that will cause confusion and disruption” DHS noted that it isn’t clear how CMS might apply the new law to other groups. As of Access Press deadline, DHS staff was compiling the comments and submitting the waiver request to CMS. Anyone who missed the state comment period, or who wants to weigh in again, can comment directly to CMS during the upcoming 30-day federal comment period. That can be done by going directly to www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Waivers/Waivers.html and entering Minnesota in the search box. The federal comment period starts when the Minnesota waiver request is deemed to be complete. DHS will post a copy of the final waiver request on its own website after it is submitted to CMS. ■

King Day honors - from p. 1 Wassenaar has held leadership roles on the Minnesota Commission for Deaf, Deaf Blind and Hard of Hearing, Minnesota Deaf Campers and Deaf Women of Minnesota. Her other activities have included membership in the Great Lakes Deaf Bowling Association, league bowling and the Twin Cities Bowling Association. A resident of Coon Rapids, Wassenaar is a native of Dayton, Ohio. In a 1997 interview, Wassenaar explained that she grew up partly hearing and partly hard of hearing. She attended the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C., where she learned American Sign Language. Wassenaar moved to Minnesota after graduation in 1978. Two days after arriving in the Twin Cities to attend technical college, she became totally deaf. She transferred to what is now Northeast Metro Intermediate School District 916, and graduated from there with a degree in early childhood education. Wassenaar and her husband Gerry, who is also deaf, have two grown daughters. Cardenas is co-director of St. Paul-based Advocating Changes Together (ACT). ACT is a statewide self-advocacy group, run by and for people with disabilities. He began working at ACT in 1996 and became its co-director in 1998. Cardenas grew up in a union family, with politically involved parents. His own days of working on campaigns began as a youth. Shortly after his high school graduation in 1960, Cardenas was injured in an auto accident that left him quadriplegic, He is now one of the oldest quadriplegics in Minnesota. He studied sociology and political science at Hamline University, and then pursued a master’s degree in social work at the University of Minnesota. Instead of becoming a social worker, Cardenas became a community organizer. He first worked with Mental health community - from p. 5 gram that the president advocated for, began being offered in Minnesota in summer 2013. A large press conference was held February 1 to present bills that were being introduced to improve the children’s mental health system. By the end of the session major victories were declared as 17 of those 27 provisions were passed. Funding was doubled for school-linked mental health, services were added to the MA benefit set, family peer specialists were created and more. Additional funding was secured for housing and employment for people with mental illnesses. Efforts to link gun violence and mental illnesses were defeated. An international conference on postpartum depression was held in Minnesota in June bringing experts from across the world to talk about this important issue. Almost 20 community conversations on mental health took place in October and November around the state. They provided an opportunity for people to learn more about mental illnesses, hear personal stories and identify what steps should be taken to improve the mental health system in their counties. Last but not least, the final regulations for the Mental Health and Parity Addiction Equity Act were released in November, ending years of waiting since the law passed in 2008. This landmark law and regulation requires insurance plans to provide equal treatment for mental health and substance use disorder treatment. This is an incredible important issue to the mental health community and has been long awaited. ■ Sue Abderholden is executive director of NAMI Minnesota. For more information, visit www.namihelps.org

legendary labor figure Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers’ organizing committee. He also worked as an organizer with the late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone, before going to ACT. At ACT Cardenas has worked mainly in public policy and leadership development. Cardenas is a familiar figure at the state capitol and many area meetings where disability issues are discussed. He has worked extensively with ACT’s Remembering with Dignity Coalition which works to honor people who died in Minnesota’s state institutions. Cardenas has also led numerous workshops to empower people with disabilities and help them become confident and effective self-advocates. Cardenas recently received an award from the city of St. Paul, for his work to get a street-to-skyway elevator and stairway connection built in time for the opening of the Central Corridor or Green Line light rail service. One honoree, attorney and civil rights advocate Manuel Paul Guerrero, was honored posthumously. He died in January, just days before the event. Other honorees are Cameroonian Community of Minnesota leader Michael Fondungallah, human rights advocate Jocelyn Ancheta, motivational speaker and performer Tou Ger Bennett Xiong, Chicano Latino Affairs Council Executive Director Hector Garcia, former St. Paul School Board Member Elona Street-Stewart, domestic violence victims’ advocate Margaret Bushinger, Native America community leader Altin Paulsen, and Sierra Leonean activist Rebecca Johnson. ■

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