January 2015 Edition - Access Press

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Take a trip, p 12

Volume 26, Number 1

‘ABLE act’ celebrated across state by Access Press staff

Federal legislation that was eight years in the making is being celebrated across Minnesota and the rest of the United States. The long-awaited Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama before he left for Christmas vacation. This new law allows people with disabilities to open tax-free savings accounts to cover specific life expenses. For many years people with disabilities had to spend down most assets to qualify for Medicaid-based benefits and Social Security. Before the act, families could not receive benefits if they had saved more than $2,000 in cash savings. The ABLE Act allows families to save up to $100,000. Money can be taken out of the account as needed, without additional tax penalties. Money could be used for expenses including housing, education, employment supports and other costs not covered by insurance. The

January 10, 2015

www.accesspress.org A budget year

Legislative session starts with expectations, uncertainties

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

by Access Press staff

As the 2015 Minnesota Legislature gaveled into session January 6, many disability advocacy groups were ready with proposed bills and action items. The 2015 session will center on the state budget. It will be a long session in a state capitol undergoing major renovations, so everyone needs to be prepared for some busy days and nights. The session starts with a surplus projected of $1.037 billion for the two-year budget cycle. But there are cautions that the surplus is roughly the rate of inflation, so adding new programs or spending may be a challenge. It is also a session with a changed political landscape at the state capitol. The Republicans have taken control of the Minnesota House, meaning changes in committee and main body leadership. The disability community has also seen some key retirements among some of its longtime supporters, including Representatives Jim Abeler and Tom Huntley. Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL - Kerrick) recently met with advocates at a Minnesota State Council on Disability legislative update session. He noted that while the disability community has enjoyed success at the capitol in recent sessions, more needs to be done. He also said that although a surplus does offer a bit of breathing room, tough choices remain. Lourey believes that because some of the state surplus is tied to reductions in health and human services spending, there does need to be a focus on money going back into those

ABLE - p. 4

“In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.”

— Ralph Marston


The 5% Campaign’s recent press conference drew Melanie Kett and her caregiver, Rosie Moriarty of Living Well Disability Services. Both will be active in the effort to increase caregiver wages, one of many issues in play at the state capitol this session. Both women live in Mendota Heights. Photo courtesy of ARRM

programs. But that may not be an easy sell to a majority of legislators. A number of health and human services-related issues will be in play this session, including changes to programs that are related to the federal Affordable Care Act and access to Medicaid programs, parental fees, mental Legislative roundup- p. 5

A look back at 2014

Changes in community leadership were seen January Remembering With Dignity, the initiative to properly mark graves at Minnesota institutions, enjoyed nationwide recogni-

Longtime Minnesota disability community leader John Tschida became the new director of the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research in Washington, DC. File photo

tion. It is a program of the statewide self-advocacy group Advocating Change Together (ACT) and was featured on two PBS shows, News Hour and Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. The reports featured work at the Faribault State Hospital cemetery. U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank scolded Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) officials after it was learned that the Minnesota Specialty Health Systems facility in Cambridge had operated without a proper state license for 10 months and then tried to hide that status. The facility, which was at the center of a major federal lawsuit for mistreatment of residents, closed later in 2014. Sen. Torrey Westrom (R – Elbow Lake) launched his campaign for Congress. Westrom, who is blind, is one of Minnesota’s most high-profile legislators with a disability. Westrom lost in the general election to incumbent DFLer Collin Peterson.

Workers find meaningful jobs they enjoy and the workplace support they need at the Mayo Clinic. Page 11 Rely on our Directory of Organizations for the latest contact information for community resources. PP 7-10 Are you unmovable? Can that be changed? Page 4 ALLY People Services seeks help in finding, replacing needed van. Page 5 Resolve to enjoy a theatrical performance or art show in 2015. Page 12



Accessible Fun, pg 12

Minnesota’s deaf community mourned the death of Douglas Bahl. Bahl was a strong proponent of teaching American Sign Language. He was considered Minnesota’s deaf community historian. He was also involved as an activist at the local, state and federal levels, and made headlines as result of a 2006 traffic stop. The case resulted in many police and jail procedural changes for people who are deaf or hearing impaired. A look back on 2014 - p. 3

Events, pg 13 People & Places, pg 11 Radio Talking Book, pg 14 Regional News, pps 6, 13, 15

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Tim Benjamin At the New Year, it’s good to look backwards and forwards. Access Press had a successful 2014, publishing 12 issues that were jam-packed with good information on upcoming events, people and places around the country, as well as progress reports on local public policy developments and a few success stories. We are fortunate to have a talented and loyal staff and a strong and enthusiastic board of directors. Now for 2015 we are looking for a few new board members, so if you are interested please contact the office for information on how to apply. Finally, we were successful in our pursuit of a grant from the Bremer Foundation that will make our work much easier in 2015. Unfortunately for me, at the end of the year I got quite sick and was out of the game for a couple weeks. But I wasn’t the only one; a lot of people with disabilities have been slammed by the flu and cold viruses that are going around. Every fall we are warned about the upcoming flu and cold season. Most of us take heed of the warnings and do our due diligence to protect ourselves from traumatic weather changes and

the nasty viruses. We all know how hard it is on those of us with other forms of compromised health or immunity. As the hospitals are besieged by the general population’s flu, colds and lung crud, it becomes terribly hard when any of us with an existing disability or “pre-existing diagnosis” get sick. It seems as though the medical world wants to diagnose and treat our illnesses with long stays in the hospital—while they try and separate our idiosyncrasies from the symptoms. Unfortunately, during those hospital stays, there’s little support for our existing disabilities and less support for the kinds of things other patients do for themselves suck as shaving, showering and other normal tasks of daily living. One of the very odd things that’s ever happened to me occurred during this stay at the hospital. A young intern came into my room and asked me if I was sneaking sips of water and not telling anyone—when I knew they were trying diligently to track my fluid intake. Of course I asked if she was accusing me of somehow deceiving or lying to the nursing staff. She began backpedaling quickly. “I’m not calling you a liar; I’m just wondering if you’re sneaking sips.” I asked her, “How is that not calling me a liar?” and she apologized for the “misunderstanding.” One of the things that annoyed me was that it probably never even crossed her mind how a quadriplegic would somehow sneak a sip of water from a glass that was

out of reach, or for that matter, pick up and use a glass that was within reach. There were others examples, but that was one remarkable demonstration of the lack of knowledge of disabilities within the general medical community. Those of us lucky enough to have PCA support know that our PCAs cannot get paid while we’re in the hospital, even though they would be the workers most able in that environment to help us. So as a result, we too often are made to feel that we are overtaxing the hospital staff. More importantly, the lack of personal care support can create bigger problems through lack of continuity of care for our existing disabilities. While I am truly grateful for the efforts of the many nursing assistants, nurses and doctors who may literally have saved my life over the holidays, I also wonder how many able-bodied patients had to spend as long as eight days hospitalized with a pneumonia diagnosis. One doctor said, “We’d like to get you home as soon as possible. The hospital’s a place where you’re at risk of more problems.” I agree: let’s figure out how to get better acute care specifically for people with disabilities, and then just let us go home with enough added home care to help us get ongoing lab tests and coordinate care with hospital experts. It just seems that the technology we have today could easily be monitored by the hospital while we are at home getting healthy with care from our existing home care professionals. Well, this New Year is starting out very cold, and I wish us all good health and a return to sunshine ■


Brush up on some disability history during the new year With the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being celebrated in 2015, make a New Year’s resolution to learn some ADA history. Many good print and online resources are available. One new publication has been issued by the national ADA Legacy Project. It is titled Equal Access, Equal Opportunity and is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the ADA and the disability rights movement. Find the link at http://adalegacy.com/official-ada25-publication This publication is available online and in accessible versions. Sponsors are being sought to provide a print edition. The ADA Legacy Project celebrates the impact of the ADA on disability rights, and honors the contributions of individuals with disabilities and their allies who persevered in securing the passage of this landmark civil rights legislation. In order to fully realize a world where all people are accepted and valued, it is crucial to preserve and promote the history of the ADA and the disability rights movement. The project’s vision is to have a world in which all people are accepted and valued for whom and how they are; where all are welcomed with respect and given equal opportunities to contribute to the human experience. The mission of The ADA Legacy Project is to honor the contributions of people with disabilities and their allies by preserving and promoting the his-

tory of the disability rights movement; celebrating the impact of the ADA, as well as other related disability rights legislation and accomplishments; and creating opportunities for inclusion, access, and equal rights for the future. The ADA Legacy project counts the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities as one of its partners. Another partner is Georgetown University, which has not only compiled many ADA historical documents in its collection, it also has produced more than two dozen presentations about ADA history. These valuable lessons in history can be easily accessed online. The selection of Moments in Disability History features cover a wide range of audio and video clips, historical documents, images and slides from over a span of decades. These chosen moments draw upon seminal work from the past that laid the foundation for the ADA and other disability policy. They are the moments every self-advocate, parent and professional advocate should know and be literate about in order to create future policy. For purposes of focus and specialization, the moments selected do not include activities, events, programs and projects that are about the delivery of programs and direct services. The selection of Moments in Disability History provides a common ground and foundation for the

Volume 26, Number 1 • Periodicals Imprint: Pending ISSN Advertising Sales Business Manager/Webmaster Michelle Hegarty Dawn Frederick 612-807-1078 Cartoonist Co-Founder/Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Co-Founder/Publisher Wm. A. Smith, Jr. (1990-1996) Charles F. Smith (1990-2001)

Scott Adams Executive Director Tim Benjamin Production Board of Directors Brigid Alseth, Steve Anderson, John Clark, Ellen Houghton with Presentation Images Managing Editor Kristin Jorenby, Elin Ohlsson, Halle O'Falvey, Jane McClure Distribution Carrie Salberg, Cheryl Vander Linden, Walt S. C. Distribution Seibert and Kay Willshire 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

study of disability history. They have left an indelible mark on public policy and reflect many defining moments of the last 50 years. These are events that have contributed to the forming of American society as we know it today. The events, or aftermath of the events, changed history and their impact still resonate today. The moments cover topics including the birth of the movement, the rights to education, watershed moments such as the changes at New York’s Willowbrook institution, the Olmstead decision and stories of discrimination. One presentation features Minnesota U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank. The latest Moments in Disability History presentation is Behind the Scenes in the Reagan and Bush Administrations – Stories from No Pity. In his award-winning book on the disability rights movement, No Pity, Joseph Shapiro told many background stories about overlapping events and processes through which the ADA became law. Find the link to the moments series at http:// mn.gov/mnddc/ The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, www.mnddc.org or www.mn cdd.org and www.partnersinpolicymaking.com ■

January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

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The 5% Campaign is back for 2015 session for wage hike

Sen. Kent Eken outlined the impact a second wage increase would have, during a December press conference. Photo courtesy of ARRM

by Access Press staff

The 5% Campaign is back at the state capitol this session, making the case for a second five percent rate increase to support older adults and people with disabilities who receive services in Minnesota’s communitybased programs. The group’s efforts met with success with the 2014 Minnesota Legislature, so all are hoping for a repeat in 2015. Members are encouraged by a state surplus but are mindful that it may not be easy. A look back on 2014 - from p. 1 Debate continued over how to implement the Community First Services and Supports Program (CFSS), which was supposed to take effect April 1 or when it obtained federal approval. The change from the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program would affect 25,000 Minnesotans. State-specific waiver issues were seen as causing delays. The switch from PCA to CFSS is still months away. As the start of the Minnesota 2014 legislative session neared, disability community members were scoping out parking lot changes caused by capitol complex construction.

The campaign is led by a coalition of more than 100 disability and senior community organizations. At a December press conference supporters asked that Minnesota lawmakers continue the commitment that began last session. In 2014 a five percent increase was approved and signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton. That increase, effective July 2014, was the first significant wage increase in many years. Advocates said that community-based services that provide support to older adults and Minnesotans with disabilities are a critical component to helping them live as independently as possible in the community, develop strong job skills, and find employment opportunities. Additional funding will ensure that these services are available, stable and sustainable as the number of people needing these supports continues to increase. “Even with the July increase, rates for Home and Community-Based Services are far behind the pace of inflation,” said Bruce Nelson, 5% Campaign spokesperson and CEO of disability trade association ARRM. “Between 2006 and 2015, provider rates that pay for caregiver wages increased only 10.4 percent while inflation rose 23.3 percent.” The 5% Campaign’s pending bill language will include a 5 percent increase for home and communitybased services and Intermediate Care Facilities for Developmental Disabilities effective 2015 and 2016. These programs support 90,000 older adults and people with disabilities, and just as many jobs across the state. The bulk of the money would go to wage and benefits increases for caregivers.

Sen. Kent Eken (DFL – Twin Valley), author of the Senate’s five percent rate increase bill, said last year’s increase “stopped the hemorrhaging” and noted how wages haven’t kept up with inflation. He was also an author in 2014. Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), House author of the five percent bill, was unable to attend the news conference. In a statement, he called the increase “the right thing to do.” Parent Joan Rothfuss, whose son receives services from Mary T. Inc. and caregiver Rosie Moriarty of Living Well Disability Services, were among those speaking for the increase. Rep. Jerry Newton (DFLCoon Rapids) and Senator John Hoffman (DFLChamplin), co-authors of the 2014 senate bill, also attended the event. The 5% Campaign’s supporters say wages for caregivers have gone without wage increases for too long. Past budget cuts, freezes, and economic stagnation have produced significant challenges. These reductions have resulted in high turnover and difficulty retaining consistent, trusted staff, which affects quality of care. “While the 2014 increase helped address a crisis, we need to continue to make services for people with disabilities and older adults a priority,” said Armando Camacho, President and CEO of Opportunity Partners. “Even with the recent increase, staff turnover remains a serious challenge. Additional funding will result in better compensation for dedicated caregivers, thereby boosting stability and ensuring higher quality care.” The 5% Campaign - p. 13

A brutally cold winter didn’t deter the Polar Plungers, the Minnesotans who jump into frigid waters to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota. Statewide 17,748 plungers raised more than $3.7 million. The number of plungers was about the same but pledge amounts had increased.

court for review, to make sure the state was on track toward the goal of achieving integrated and inclusive communities in Minnesota. The television program Disability Viewpoints was eyeing major changes at its longtime home with the North Suburban Communications Commission. Proposed changes to a franchise agreement with Comcast would mean major funding cuts for community interest, youth activity and sports programs including the show. Program leadership studied options in case the show had to move. Changes had been delayed as the year ended. Longtime Access Press writer and disability community activist Clarence Schadegg was remembered after his death as someone who made a difference through his coverage of issues as well as his many years of volunteer work.

March Minnesota’s disability advocacy community said farewell as John Tschida became the new director of the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research in Washington, D.C. While Tschida’s new appointment is a huge plus nationally, colleagues agreed his depth of knowledge, advocacy skills and political savvy would be missed here. He had worked at what is now Courage Kenny Institute for many years. In the U.S. Department of Education, Tschida would help to lead much of the nation’s work to understand and reduce barriers in education, employment and community participation for people with disabilities. Tschida succeeded fellow Minnesotan Charlie Lakin as director. The 2014 legislative session began with a flurry of bills and many rallies. Momentum seemed to be in the disability community’s favor, but it meant moving quickly as a myriad of bills and amendments move through the process. All eyes were on the state’s $1.2 billion surplus.

April The 5% Campaign’s high-profile effort to raise wages for caregivers dominated legislative attention and was the focal point of the annual Disability Day at the Capitol. The caregiver wage increase made it into both House and Senate budgets and got Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature. The caregiver wage increase will cost $84 million a year to implement and will affect about 91,000 workers statewide. It was seen as helping the 92,500 people with disabilities and elderly Minnesotans who want to remain in their home communities. The increase for care workers was seen as consistent with a 2013 five percent increase for nursing home workers.


Polar Plunge participants didn’t let cold winter deter them from raising money for Special Olympics Minnesota File photo

May Work on Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan continued, with a round of listening sessions and plan revisions underway through the spring and summer. The plan’s subcabinet sent its latest plan revisions to the federal

The 2014 legislative session had produced many more gains than losses for the disability community. The 5% Campaign celebrated its accomplishments as did those who had work for capital projects, programs for people with autism, mental health programs, and various health, education and job training programs. Groundwork was laid for 2015 efforts to change the Medical Assistance spend down rate and make other needed changes. The biggest winner in bonding programs may have been the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, which was awarded more than $65 million for various facility improvements. A look back at 2014 - p. 14

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Are you ‘unmovable’? Therapy seen as changing that by Matthew Rodreick

I like T-shirts. I especially like T-shirts that remind me of places I’ve been or things I’ve experienced. One of my T-shirts has Japanese characters on the front, and since I don’t speak or write Japanese I’ve had to trust what I have been told the characters mean: Perseverance and Determination. It turns out that what I was told is not entirely accurate. Over the years more than a few Japanese strangers have commented positively on my shirt and have either struggled to translate what is idiomatic or struggled with their English skills. The last person I bumped into recently connected, in poetic fashion, all of the previously attempted dots. The best translation of the characters is: Someone with very deep roots who therefore cannot be easily moved or thwarted. Unmovable. This translation is a beautiful irony, because the shirt comes from Project Walk, a paralysis recovery and fitness center in San Diego that just opened a center here in the Twin Cities. To say that folks with paralysis are not easily moved is an understatement both literally and metaphorically, it typifies both the body and the spirit of the clients who roll into a Project Walk facility week after week. Two weeks after my son was discharged from his three-month stay at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, we flew from Minneapolis to California in order to attend Project Walk. The trip was not only a challenge, but even a bit scary. This was the first time we had travelled unaccompanied by any medical professional since he was paralyzed between the jaws of a wave and a sand bar 2,500 miles from home. In 2008 it was one of the few if not only places you could go for what is most often referred to as activity-based therapy (ABT). This therapy initially grew up out of exercise science, not traditional physi-

cal therapy (PT). The fundamental difference being traditional PT has historically focused more attention upon a compensatory model of therapy: working on the functions you have left, at or above your level of injury so that you can best learn to compensate for your paralysis. ABT with its roots in exercise science, suggests that we work the areas above and below the injury and thereby place the demand back on the body that paralysis has taken away. ABT is also an outgrowth of the relatively new understanding of brain science, referred to as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity has essentially re-

“To say that folks with paralysis are not easily moved is an understatement both literally and metaphorically, it typifies both the body and the spirit ...” placed the formerly held notion that the brain (and central nervous system) was thought to be an organ that could not change after injury. In other words, once the brain and central nervous system fully develop, they are now hardwired. If the wires are damaged then the corresponding functions are lost. Neuroplasticity on the other hand suggests that the brain’s physical structure as well as its function have the capacity for change when given the proper stimulation and experience. This is the heart of ABT: providing the proper, repetitive and challenging stimulation to the body creates the possibility to rewire spared nerve pathways, regrow some connections that have been lost as well as give an individual, who has lost the ability to independently ‘get a workout,’ the opportunity to improve and maintain some physical fitness. This is accomplished by a therapist or trainer actively assisting an individual with movements they are not capable of performing on their own. In addition, most of these

activities are “load bearing,” meaning they are performed out of the wheelchair and with either the full or partial effects of gravity, such as body weight supported walking, standing, squats, elbows and knees, wrestling and more. Even for those clients who may not find significant functional change, it is nonetheless incredibly important to continue exercising given the complications associated with paralysis. These are complications most akin to accelerated aging as a result of the body’s sedentary state. Exercise, especially exercises that engage the whole body like walking, help to mitigate complications like (but not limited to) pressure sores, urinary tract infections, respiratory ailments, spasticity and depression. New developments in neuroscience such as the announcement of the four paralyzed gentlemen in Louisville moving lower extremities and recovering bowel, bladder and sexual function with the aide of epidural stimulation captured the attention of the world back in April 2014. It should specifically alert those with paralysis regarding the need to be physically prepared. The innovations that are being developed will not have the maximal benefit without the aggressive activity based exercise to battle or work back from bone loss, contracture, muscle atrophy and learned non-use. This is also true for other CNS disorders such as MS, cerebral palsy and stroke, which is why Project Walk is a paralysis recovery center, no longer specific to spinal cord injury. In addition to the beautifully constructed characters on the front of my T-shirt is a quote from Confucius on the back: “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop”. Are you unmovable? Matthew Rodreick is the site manager for Project Walk Twin Cities. He can be reached at mrodreick@projectwalk.com ■

‘ABLE act’ - from p. 1 act has its origins in the efforts of a father in Virginia who wanted to save money for his daughter, who has Down syndrome. Specific rules must be written by the Internal Revenue Service, with amendments by state. It’s hoped that ABLE Accounts can be made available later this year. To be eligible for an ABLE Account, individuals must have a severe disability with an age of onset below 26. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar traveled the state to celebrate the law’s passage, meeting with disability ad-

vocacy and service organization and people with disabilities in Plymouth and Duluth. Klobuchar worked to get the act passed. Klobuchar visited the Hammer Residences Kentucky Home in Plymouth to meet and be thanked by families for her work supporting the act. She called it “one of the best laws that happened all year.” She praised the act’s passage not just for its needed help for people with disabilities but for its strong bipartisan support. “So many times when people are throwing daggers

Did you know that Access Press is a nonprofit organization? One of the reasons we’re able to continue to bring disability related news to our readers is thanks to our advertisers. We ask that you take the time to support them with your dollars—and to take the time in thanking them for their support! Accessible Homes LLC Accessible Space AccessAbility Design Accessibility Options, Inc. Accra Care ADA Minnesota Advocating Change Together AgStar Ally People Solutions AmRamp The ARC Greater Twin Cities The ARC of Minnesota ARRM Axis Healthcare Bethel Healthcare Community BDC Management Blue Cross/Blue Shield Break–Thru Home Care Calvary Center Apartments Camp Winnebago Capable Partners Community Education Network on Disabilities Comm. Involvement Programs Cornerstone Solutions Courage Kenny DeafBlind Services Diamond Hill Townhomes Dungarvin Minnesota, LLC East Suburban Resources

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in Washington and throwing fights, you forget why you’re there and who you’re supposed to be helping,” Klobuchar said at one of the press conferences. “By passing a bill like that, that was actually significant and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar had to be paid for; I think it also shows continuing support.” Klobuchar noted that while the law didn’t attract the attention as other, more contentious legislation, the word needs to get out on ABLE. It passed 76-16 in the Senate as part of larger tax credit extension bill. It passed 404-17 in the House. Hammer, Inc. and The Arc Minnesota representatives were among the advocacy groups on hand in Plymouth to meet with Klobuchar, along with many affected family members. At the Plymouth press conference, Hammer Residences CEO John Estrem spoke about the importance of ABLE. “It’s seeing the person first,” he said. “Seeing the person before the disability, and understanding that people with disabilities can live lives, meaningful lives, in the community.” A similar scene played out in Duluth. Pete Barnett described what happened with his family. “Two years ago I received a letter from S.S.I. telling me that I was going to lose my benefits because our combined income was too high. But we’re barely making enough money to live on and could not save any money. Because of this we had to get legally divorced in order to save my benefits,” said Barnett. It’s expected that roughly 10 percent of the 58 million people with disabilities in the United States will take advantage of the new law. ■ To see Klobuchar’s Plymouth press conference, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUa0ryumZwg

January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

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Thief steals nonprofit’s van that met important needs ALLY People Solutions, which provides employment opportunities and other services for people with disabilities, entered the holiday season feeling as if the Grinch had paid a visit. During the night of December 15, one of the vans needed for worker transportation was stolen from the nonprofit’s facility on St. Paul’s White Bear Avenue. The theft was captured on security cameras. The thief got into the van at about 3:30 a.m., and then got out to clear snow off of the windshield and hood before driving away. The theft took about 35 minutes. Legislative roundup - from p. 1 health programs, waiver programs, accessible housing, special education and transit and paratransit services. Advocacy groups have posted legislative agendas on their websites and Facebook pages. Many offer regular updates via email. Some legislative issues, such as the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD)led campaign to seek equity in Medical Assistance programs, have been at the forefront for several weeks. The 5% Campaign’s work for another five percent wage increase for caregivers has also been launched. (See related story on page 3.) Other groups are working together on other issues. One example of this is The Arc Minnesota, Advocating Change Together (ACT) and Metropolitan Center for Independent Living’s quest for an appropriation from the workforce development fund. This money would be used for implementation of an employment training pilot program for people working in segregated settings. Other important issues are also on the table. One, which was recently discussed by Lourey and then later last month at an Olmstead SubCabinet meeting, is the need to adequately fund the state’s efforts to plan for and implement its Olmstead Plan. The plan will indicate how people with disabilities will be fully integrated into community life. Related to Olmstead, ACT is seeking funds to provide training for self-advocate leaders, helping work on issues to advance community integration under the Minnesota Olmstead Plan. Funds will be used for program coordination, consultants and program evaluation, program facilitators and guest speakers, meals and lodging, administration and action plans to support subgrants to regions across the state. The focus would be to facilitate Olmstead integration mandates. Lourey’s belief is that there needs to be more awareness about the Olmstead Plan and the costs of implementation. “My worry is that legislators not think of Olmstead as the county Rochester is located in.” He said that implementing the plan will be “incredibly complex” with efforts across many state departments and that funding needs to be found to support programs in various state departments. So how can community members make their case for legislation? Lourey noted that one way disability community members can succeed with their issues is to tell their stories, and to show lawmakers first-hand what issues are. Part of the success of the 5% Campaign was that legislators visited people in their home stetting’s, he said. Another way is to subscribe to e-lists and action alerts on various disability advocacy group websites and to follow Facebook pages for groups of specific campaigns. Advocates are already gearing up for Tuesdays at the Capitol and regular Friday updates, organized by MNCCD. Learn more at www.mnccd.org ■

Clarification The December issue of Access Press inaccurately reported that DHS has sent CMS a transition plan for Community First Services and Supports for review. The transition plan DHS has submitted to CMS addresses new rules governing home and communitybased services funded through Medical Assistance. DHS continues negotiations with CMS on CFSS. ■

This isn’t the first time ALLY People Solutions has had problems at the facility. Two other vans had catalytic converters stolen in the fall. Those are often stolen because of the valuable metal in that particular vehicle part. Replacing them can be very costly. Two years ago, three vans were set on fire. What is puzzling about all of the incidents is that ALLY’s St. Paul East Side facility is in Hillcrest Shopping Center, along a busy section of White Bear Avenue. ALLY President Bob Brick questions why anyone would victimize an organization that serves people with disabilities. Losing the van forced the organization to make alternative transportation arrangements for its workers. It also led to a campaign to replace the van. The van was used to transport people to the branch and to their community jobs. If it is recovered there will likely be repair costs and if not recovered, the organization will need to use scarce funds to replace the

ALLY People Solutions needs to recover or replace a stolen van. Courtesy photo

vehicle. As of Access Press deadline the van hadn’t been found It is a white Dodge van with the nonprofit name on its side if red and gold letters. A fund has been set up to replace or repair the van. Call 651-641-0709 to help or go to www.allypeople solutions.org/ ■

Pg 6 January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

REGIONAL NEWS Settlement reached with McDonald’s A Minneapolis man who claimed that a McDonald’s restaurant resisted providing service has had a lawsuit settled out of court. Robert Mingo had claimed the north Minneapolis restaurant refused him service in 2012 because he had his service dog, Max, with him. Mingo, who uses a wheelchair, then went to the drive-through window and was refused service there. An employee reportedly said, “We don’t serve those things in the drive-through.” Mingo eventually got food in the restaurant that day but was banned from coming back. He returned in May 2013, ordered and was served food, but was then told by the manager to leave and not come back. That staffer said, “I am the manager and I am the law.” The settlement is confidential but Mingo said he is satisfied with it. An attorney for McDonald’s said the settlement states that the agreement does include some requirements that all customers, whether or not they have service animals, will be welcomed, and that there are not future misunderstandings. Mingo also spoke to the restaurant owner and was satisfied with his response. Federal law requires the restaurant to allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities. ■ (Source: Star Tribune)

Hospital hires new director A new medical director is on board at the Minnesota Security hospital in St. Peter. Dr. KyleeAnn Stevens, who led the turnaround of a once-troubled facility in Washington, D.C., is expected to make significant changes at the facility in St. Peter. Stevens is now medical director of a facility that has seen its share of problems, including violence, lapses in patient care, high leadership turnover and demoralized staff. She was part of team that turned St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. into a national model of innovative psychiatric care. At the Minnesota facility, Stevens is expected to continue a number of measures that are already underway. These include more of a focus on patient-centered care, and continued efforts to reduce use of restraints and seclusion. The appointment comes as the Minnesota Department of Human Services launches a widespread reorganization of state services for people who are vulnerable. The department announced plans in December to create a new division to oversee services for people with disabilities and mental illness, as well as services related to alcohol and drug abuse. The new division will be led by Jennifer DeCubellis, a Hennepin County administrator with a strong background of integrated medical and behavioral health care combined with social services. ■ (Source: Star Tribune)

Reforms sought in mistreatment Allegations of mistreatment of students with disabilities at the L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion school led to a federal investigation and a series of reforms. St. Paul Public Schools agreed to the changes in December, in the wake of a U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights investigation that began in 2012. Parent Cherste Eidman had filed a complaint over the treatment of her daughter, who has obsessive compulsive disorder and ADHD, stating that former principal, Fatima Lawson, made the school a hostile environment. Eidman said the treatment of her daughter grew worse after she complained about it. Ten other families supported the claim. Lawson would deliberately block parents’ requests for individualized education plans or other special education plans for their children or fail to share those documents with school staff. Families also claimed Lawson retaliated against those who asked for special services. Children were bullied and parents were told to enroll their children elsewhere. Lawson left her position after the past school year. She now oversees the district’s alternative learning

programs. In a statement to the Pioneer Press, she denied the allegations and defended her work. St. Paul Public Schools has agreed to issue an antiharassment statement related to students with disabilities, and update district policies and procedures to ensure they address claims of anti-disabilities discrimination and harassment. L’Etoile du Nord staff will be trained annually on the practices and how to refrain from harassing students. The district will conduct annual climate surveys at the school and will create a task force of parents and teachers to monitor special education at the school. Some measures are in place, according to school district officials and others are being developed. Lawson was the focus of complaints during her tenure at the school, including one 400-page complaint. It detailed clashes with the parent-teacher organization, discrimination against students with disabilities and severe bullying that went unaddressed. The Office of Civil Rights has opened five cases involving L’Etoile du Nord since 2010. One remains active. State officials have also had to get involved. ■ (Source: Pioneer Press)

Allegations made against cab drivers A Twin Cities man with disabilities said five different cab drivers refused to take drive him home after a December birthday party celebration at Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in St. Louis Park. Mike Cohn, who enjoys live music and dancing, is a regular at the bar. “I go there a lot to see bands and dance,” he told WCCO-TV. Around midnight he walked to the taxi stand, ready to take the 1.5 mile trip home. After more than two hours he wound up getting a ride home from a bouncer. The first cab driver tried to charge him $20, including a fee for his walker. The second driver ignored his request for a ride. “Didn’t even try to help me at all,” Cohn said. He asked for help but the driver wouldn’t respond to Cohn or Shawn Johnson, the head of security at Toby Keith’s. “I knocked on his window and the guy wouldn’t even look at me. He knew I was there, knew I worked

here and wouldn’t even face me,” Johnson said. Three more drivers, all from Blue and White Taxi, turned him down. Johnson said the experience was upsetting. Cohn’s cousin Suzie Buchkoski is Cohn’s personal care assistant. She was shocked at how he was treated. “Nobody should be treated that way. All he was trying to do was to get home just like anybody else,” Buchkoski said. Blue and White will determine who refused service. Jeremy Kramer of the cab company said in the four years he’s been at Blue and White, he’s never heard a complaint of something like this before. The company employs 300 drivers. Federal law states that taxi drivers can’t charge additional fees for the storage of a walker or wheelchair, and drivers can’t deny a ride based on a disability. ■ (Source: WCCO-TV)

Four charged with bilking state programs Four people have been charged with bilking the state out of about $4 million, by falsifying records at a home health care and child care businesses. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office filed 96 felony charges in mid-December. Charged are Yasmin A. Ali, 33, of Fridley; Joshua J. Miller, 31, of St. Paul; Ahmed A. Mohamed, 46, of Fridley and Jordan C. Smith, 31, of Cottage Grove. Ali and Mohamed are married. The attorney’s office describes the crimes as a “massive” benefits scheme. The alleged fraud is the largest ever in the state’s child case assistance program, according to Minnesota Department of Human Services officials. The scheme took two years to investigate. The four face

counts including theft by swindle, racketeering, filing false tax returns and concealing criminal proceeds. From 2009 to 2012 Ali, Mohamed and Miller owned a group of businesses including a home health care business and child care businesses. They collected $500,000 from the state for a business called All Nations Home Health Care by allegedly submitting false claims for personal care assistant work. Smith is alleged to have filed false claims for personal care assistant work at Miller’s direction. Court appearances for the four began last month in Ramsey County District court. ■ (Source: Pioneer Press)

Find more People & Places on page 13

BDC Management Co. is now accepting applications for our accessible waiting lists at the following affordable communities Albright Townhomes Buffalo Court Apartments Elliot Park Apartments Evergreen Apartments Franklin Lane Apartments Hanover Townhomes Lincoln Place Apartments Olson Towne Homes Prairie Meadows Slater Square Apartments Talmage Green Trinity Apartments Unity Place Vadnais Highlands Willow Apartments Woodland Court Apartments

Minneapolis Buffalo Minneapolis Hutchinson Anoka St. Paul Mahtomedi Minneapolis Eden Prairie Minneapolis Minneapolis Minneapolis Brooklyn Center Vadnais Heights Little Falls Park Rapids

(612) 824-6665 (763) 684-1907 (612) 338-3106 1-800-661-2501 (763) 427-7650 (651) 292-8497 (651) 653-0640 (612) 377-9015 (952) 941-5544 (612) 340-1264 (612) 623-0247 (612) 721-2252 (763) 560-7563 (651) 653-0640 (320) 632-0980 1-888-332-9312

We are accepting applications for our large number of mobility impaired accessible units. Please call us for more information.

1 BR 2 BR 2 BR 1 BR 1 & 2 BR 1 BR 2 BR 1 BR 2 & 3 BR EFF & 1BR 2 BR 1 BR (sr) 2 BR 3 BR 1 & 2 BR 1 BR

January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

Pg 7

Curious to see if there are accessible properties? Contact me to do a search for you at NO COST!

ADVOCACY Advocating Change Together (ACT) Arc Greater Twin Cities The Arc of Minnesota Association of Residential Resources in MN MCIL MN Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities PACER Center, Inc. SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Take Back the Air

V-651-641-0297 V-952-920-0855 V-651-523-0823x115 V-651-291-1086 V-651-646-8342 V-952-818-8718 V-952-838-9000 TF-855-282-3769 V-952-303-6218

TF-800-641-0059 F-952-920-1480 TF-800-582-5256 TTY-800-551-2211 F-651-603-2066 F-952-818-8719 TTY-952-838-0190

V-651-645-7271 V-651-699-6050 V-763-754-2505

TTY-800-466-7722 TTY-651-695-5802 TF-888-255-6400

www.accessiblespace.org www.dungarvin.com www.marytinc.com

V-651-699-6050 V-763-754-2505 V-612-378-2742 V-651-641-0491x315 V-612-869-3995

TTY-651-695-5802 TF-888-255-6400 TTY-800-669-6442 F-651-645-2780 V-651-457-4756

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V-612-362-8454 V-651-699-6050 V-651-688-8808 V-763-754-2505 V-651-646-8342 V/TTY-612-729-7381 V-952-938-5511 V-952-988-4177 V-952-945-4952 V/TTY-507-345-7139

TTY-612-362-8422 TTY-651-695-5802 F-651-688-8892 TF-888-255-6400 F-651-603-2066 F-612-729-7382 TTY-952-930-4293 F-952-988-6728 F-952-922-6885 TF-888-676-6498


www.selfadvocacy.org www.arcgreatertwincities.org www.thearcofminnesota.org www.arrm.org www.mcil-mn.org www.mnccd.org www.pacer.org www.UnitedCareWorkersMN.org www.takebacktheair.com

ASSISTED-LIVING PROGRAMS Accessible Space, Inc. (ASI) Dungarvin Minnesota, LLC Mary T. Inc. Assisted Living

BRAIN INJURY Dungarvin Minnesota, LLC Mary T. Inc. Human Service Programs Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance Tandem Residential TBI Metro Services - Richfield & W. St. Paul

CHEMICAL HEALTH Vinland National Center


COMMUNITY LIVING DeafBlind Services Minnesota (DBSM) Dungarvin Minnesota, LLC Living Well Disability Services Mary T. Inc. Human Service Programs MCIL Metro Work Center, Inc Opportunity Partners Reach for Resources REM Minnesota S. MN Independent Living Enterprises & Services

www.dbsmllc.org www.dungarvin.com www.livingwell.org www.marytinc.com www.mcil-mn.org www.metroworkcenter.org www.opportunitypartners.org www.reachforresources.org www.remminnesota.org www.smilescil.org

CONSUMER-DIRECTED COMMUNITY SUPPORTS Community Involvement Programs (CIP) Lifeworks Services, Inc.

V-612-362-4437 TF-866-454-2732


www.cipmn.org www.lifeworks.org

V-612-752-8100 V-612-331-4584

TTY-612-752-8019 F-612-353-6638

www.mrc-mn.org www.upstreamarts.org

V-651-641-0709 V-952-974-0339 V-612-353-4595x101 V-612-775-2569

F-651-641-0976 F-952-974-0307 V-612-353-4595x102

EDUCATION MRC - Minnesota Resource Center Upstream Arts

EMPLOYMENT/VOCATION Ally People Solutions Chrestomathy, Inc. Community Involvement Programs (CIP) Courage Kenny Rehabilition Institute


www.allypeoplesolutions.org www.chrestomathyinc.org www.cipmn.org www.allinahealth.org/couragekenny

Pg 8 January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

EMPLOYMENT/VOCATION (continued) Dungarvin Minnesota, LLC East Suburban Resources, Inc. Equip A Life (formerly Assistive Techology of MN) Fraser Transition Services Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota Kaposia Inc. Lifetrack - Minneapolis Lifetrack - St. Paul Lifeworks Services, Inc. Merrick, Inc. Metro Work Center, Inc. Midwest Special Services, Inc. Minnesota Diversified Industries (MDI) Opportunity Partners Opportunity Services Partnership Resources, Inc. Partnership Resources, Inc. - Minneapolis Partnership Resources, Inc. - Older Adults Program ProAct Inc. Rise, Inc. TBI Metro Services - Richfield & W. St. Paul TSE, Inc. Work Incentives Connection

V-651-699-6050 V-651-351-0190 V-763-479-8239 V-612-767-5180 V-651-379-5800 V/TTY-651-224-6974 V-612-788-8855 V-651-227-8471 TF-866-454-2732 V-651-789-6231 V/TTY-612-729-7381 V-651-778-1000 V-651-999-8200 V-952-938-5511 TF-877-873-0500 V-952-925-1404 V-612-331-2075 V-952-746-6206 V-651-686-0405 V/TTY-763-786-8334 V-612-869-3995 V-651-489-2595 V-651-632-5113


F-952-925-6055 F-612-331-2887 F-952-746-6209 F-651-686-0312 F-763-786-0008 V-651-457-4756 F-651-489-0410 TF-800-976-6728

www.dungarvin.com www.esrworks.org www.equipalife.org www.fraser.org www.goodwilleasterseals.org www.kaposia.com www.lifetrack-mn.org www.lifetrack-mn.org www.lifeworks.org www.merrickinc.org www.metroworkcenter.org www.mwsservices.org www.mdi.org www.opportunitypartners.org www.oppserv.org www.partnershipresources.org www.partnershipresources.org www.partnershipresources.org www.proactinc.org www.rise.org www.opportunitypartners.org www.tse-inc.org www.mnworkincentives.com

V/TTY-651-361-7800 V-651-296-4018 V-651-201-2640

TTY-800-945-8913 TF-800-627-3529 TF-888-234-1267

www.disability.state.mn.us www.mncdd.org www.starprogram.state.mn.us

TF-866-535-8239 F-612-861-6050 F-651-379-5803 F-651-224-7249 F-612-788-8577 TTY-651-227-3779 TTY-651-365-3736 F-651-789-9960 F-612-729-7382 F-651-772-4352 F-651-999-8242 TTY-952-930-4293

GOVERNMENT Minnesota State Council on Disability MN Gov. Council on Developmental Disabilities STAR Program





TF-888-562-8000 V-800-266-2157 V-800-707-1711

TTY-800-627-3529 TTY-800-855-2880 TTY-800-688-2534

www.cornerstone-solutions.org www.medica.com www.ucare.org

V-763-502-1505 V-763-546-1000

F-763-502-6777 F-763-546-1018

www.breakthrucare.com www.inhomepersonalcare.com

HEALTH CARE PLANS Cornerstone Solutions Medica UCare

HOME HEALTH CARE SERVICES Break-Thru Home Care, Inc. In Home Personal Care


January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

Pg 9

HOME HEALTH CARE SERVICES (continued) Mary T. Inc. Home Health Care Rolling Acres Home Health

V-763-754-2505 V-952-474-5974

TF-888-255-6400 F-952-474-3652

www.marytinc.com www.rollingacreshomehealth.org




HOSPICE CARE Mary T. Inc. Human Services Programs

HOUSING-CONSTRUCTION/REMODELING AccessAbility Options, Inc. Accessibility Design Accessible Homes, LLC. Equal Access Homes, Inc. Equip A Life (formerly Assistive Techology of MN)

V-763-571-6789 V-952-925-0301 V-612-978-1054 V-651-249-7751 V-763-479-8239

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TTY-800-466-7722 TTY-651-695-5802 TTY-612-879-8889 F-612-521-1577 F-651-639-9699 TF-888-255-6400

www.accessiblespace.org www.dungarvin.com www.fairviewebenezer.org www.housinglink.org www.nhhiaccessiblehousing.com www.marytinc.com

V-651-603-2015 V-763-479-8239 V/TTY-651-361-7800 V-952-838-9000 V-651-201-2640 V-651-265-7361

TF-888-630-9793 TF-866-535-8239 TTY-800-945-8913 TTY-952-838-0190 TF-888-234-1267 F-651-628-4484

www.adaminnesota.org www.equipalife.org www.disability.state.mn.us www.pacer.org www.starprogram.state.mn.us www.ucpmn.org







HOUSING-RENTAL Accessible Space, Inc. (ASI) Dungarvin Minnesota, LLC Ebenezer Park Apartments HousingLink National Handicap Housing Institute, Inc Villas and Townhomes by Mary T. Inc.

INFORMATION AND REFERRAL RESOURCES ADA Minnesota; a program within MCIL Equip A Life (formerly Assistive Techology of MN) Minnesota State Council on Disability PACER Center, Inc. STAR Program United Cerebral Palsy of MN

INSURANCE Lee F. Murphy Insurance Group

LEGAL MN Disability Law Center

MEDICAL SUPPLIES/EQUIPMENT Handi Medical Supply Key Medical Supply Liberty Oxygen & Medical Equipment Phoenix Medical Services Inc.

Kent Fordyce

Kent’s Accounting Service, LLC

Certified QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor 2015 2005-2014 6371 Bartlett Blvd Mound, MN 55364

Fax: 952-472-1458

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F-651-644-0602 F-651-792-3867 F-952-920-0480 F-651-636-5746

www.handimedical.com www.keymedicalsupply.com www.libertyoxygen.com www.PhoenixMedical.org



Pg 10 January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

MENTAL HEALTH Community Involvement Programs (CIP) Dungarvin Minnesota, LLC Fraser Lifetrack - St. Paul National Alliance on Mental Illness of MN Vinland National Center

V-612-362-4434 V-651-699-6050 V-612-767-5180 V-651-227-8471 V-651-645-2948 V/TTY-763-479-3555

V-612-362-4452 TTY-651-695-5802 F-612-861-6050 TTY-651-227-3779 TF-888-NAMI-Helps F-763-479-2605



www.cipmn.org www.dungarvin.com www.fraser.org www.lifetrack-mn.org www.namihelps.org www.vinlandcenter.org

PHYSICIANS Wound Healing Center


RECREATION-ADAPTIVE HOBBY/EXERCISE/SPORTS/ARTS Capable Partners Inc. Community Education Network on Disabilities Courage Kenny Rehabilition Institute Drama Interaction, 501(c)3 Mind Body Solutions Mixed Blood Theatre Company Simply ArtAble (formerly Simply Jane) Upstream Arts

V-763-439-1038 V-651-748-7437 V-612-775-2277 V-952-220-1676 V-952-473-3700 V-612-338-6131 V-612-354-3961 V-612-331-4584

www.capablepartners.org www.CENDMN.org 218-726-4762 www.allinahealth.org/couragekenny www.cokartscenter.com/opportunitypartnersprog.html www.mindbodysolutions.org www.mixedblood.com www.simplyjanestudio.com F-612-353-6638 www.upstreamarts.org


Do you want to make a major impact with our readers? Then consider being an Issue Sponsor for any issue of Access Press!

To be a full or partial sponsor, call 651-644-2133 or email us at Access@AccessPress.org

Camp Character Camp Winnebago Hammer Travel True Friends Ventures Travel Wilderness Inquiry

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F-507-724-3786 TF-877-345-8599 TF-800-450-8376 TF-866-692-7400 TF-800-728-0719

info@familyfoundationsmn.com www.campwinnebago.org www.HammerTravel.org www.truefriends.org www.venturestravel.org www.wildernessinquiry.org

REHABILITATION (PHYSICAL, OCCUPATIONAL, SPEECH, AUDIOLOGY THERAPISTS) Courage Kenny Rehabilition Institute DeafBlind Services Minnesota (DBSM) Fraser Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare In Home Personal Care Lifetrack - St. Paul

V-763-588-0811 V-612-362-8454 V-612-767-5180 V-651-291-2848 V-763-546-1000 V-651-227-8471

V-612-262-7979 TTY-612-362-8422 F-612-861-6050 TF-800-719-4040 F-763-546-1018 TTY-651-227-3779

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F-651-645-2780 V-612-362-4417 TTY-651-695-5802 F-612-861-6050 F-651-688-8892 F-218-829-9726 TF-800-582-5260 TF-888-255-6400 F-952-474-3652 TTY-952-930-4293 F-651-227-6847 F-952-767-3351

www.capstoneservices.net www.cipmn.org www.dungarvin.com www.fraser.org www.livingwell.org www.lssmn.org www.lssmn.org www.marytinc.com www.mtolivetrollingacres.org www.opportunitypartners.org www.phoenixresidence.org www.restartincmn.org

RESIDENTIAL/GROUP HOME PROGRAMS Capstone Services, LLC Community Involvement Programs (CIP) Dungarvin Minnesota, LLC Fraser Living Well Disability Services Lutheran Social Service of MN - Brainerd Lutheran Social Service of MN - St. Paul Mary T. Inc. Human Services Programs Mt. Olivet Rolling Acres Opportunity Partners Phoenix Residence Restart, Inc.

V-651-641-0042 x211 V-612-362-4403 V-651-699-6050 V-612-767-5180 V-651-688-8808 V-218-829-9214 V-651-642-5990 V-763-754-2505 V-952-474-5974 V-952-938-5511 V-651-227-7655 V-952-767-3350

SERVICE ANIMALS Can Do Canines V-763-331-3000 Helping Paws, Inc. V-952-988-9359 Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (PawPADs)

F-763-331-3009 F-952-988-9296 V-952-226-2063

www.can-do-canines.org www.helpingpaws.org www.PawPADS.org

SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES Bethel Healthcare Community Ebenezer Care Center

V-651-224-2368 V-612-879-2262

F-651-224-1014 TTY-612-879-8889

V-612-623-3363 V-952-767-3350

F-612-331-9401 F-952-767-3351

V-763-479-8239 V-651-291-2848 V-763-755-1402 V-763-754-2505 V-952-838-9000 V-651-201-2640

TF-866-535-8239 TF-800-719-4040 TF-888-755-1402 TF-888-255-6400 TTY-952-838-0190 TF-888-234-1267

www.welcov.com www.fairviewebenezer.org

SOCIAL SERVICES Metro Meals On Wheels Restart, Inc.

www.meals-on-wheels.com www.restartincmn.org

TECHNOLOGY Equip A Life (formerly Assistive Techology of MN) Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare Marbesoft - Simtech Mary T. Assistive Technology PACER Center, Inc. STAR Program

www.equipalife.org www.gillettechildrens.org www.marblesoft.com www.marytinc.com www.pacer.org www.starprogram.state.mn.us




V-612-871-2222 V-763-544-2880

F-612-872-0189 F-763-544-3612

V-612-262-8800 V-651-699-6050 V-763-479-8239 V-612-767-5180

F-612-262-8801 TTY-651-695-5802 Hibbing-218-741-9134 F-612-861-6050


VISION IMPAIRMENT Vision Loss Resources Volunteer Braille Services

www.visionlossresources.org www.vbsmn.org

WAIVER CASE MANAGEMENT AXIS Healthcare Dungarvin Minnesota, LLC Equip A Life (formerly Assistive Techology of MN) Fraser

www.axishealth.com www.dungarvin.com www.equipalife.org www.fraser.org

January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1 Pg 11

Technology for HOME is excellence award winner


Technology for HOME, which provides in-person assistive technology consultation and technical assistance to help people with disabilities statewide live more independently, was honored as one of eight 2014 Circle of Excellence Award winners by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, left, presented the award to Technology for HOME Program Director Sue Redepenning. Photo courtesy of DHS

Technology for HOME is one of eight 2014 Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards winners. The awards were given in December by Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. The awards honor Minnesota programs that make outstanding contributions to human services clients. Recipients were recognized at a ceremony at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services

Building in St. Paul. 2014 marked the fourth year for the awards program. Jesson said winners in share the department’s commitment to supporting healthy people, stable families and strong communities. “The work we do in human services has real, profound impact – it’s a safe place to sleep, the chance for better employment, the ability to remain independent. So what an honor it is to recognize these organizations for being leaders and innovators in this field,” Jesson said. “Together we are helping countless Minnesotans live more dignified and fulfilling lives.” Technology for HOME, a program that offers at home, in-person assistive technology consultation and technical assistance to help people with disabilities live more independently statewide, was honored. It is a partnership between Bloomington-based Live Life Therapy Solutions, Inc. and DHS. Technology for HOME works with people who want to stay home or move home. Expert consultants provide possible, cost-effective solutions using assistive technology and communicate with the county to develop a plan for people who receive home care or home and community-based waiver services. Since its launch in spring 2013, Technology for HOME has supported more than 500 individuals, and trained, assessed and followed up with people more than 3,000 times Another award winner that provides services for people with disabilities is the Central Minnesota Mental Health Center, a community-based mental health center based in St. Cloud that provides integrative services for families in Stearns, Benton,

Sherburne and Wright counties. The center provides an array of behavioral health services including outpatient, crisis, case management, residential, and chemical dependency programs. It is implementing integrative care, a multigenerational clinical treatment for parents with serious mental illness who have children ages 0-5. Integrative care helps keep families together and promotes healthy development of young children through programming such as Circle of Security support group and Incredible Years Parenting Group, by building on relationships with in-home providers, and through close collaboration among mental health staff. Center leadership plans to continue implementation of integrative services within all of its programs with a focus on multi-generational, trauma informed care. Other winners are the Ain Dah Yung (Our Home) Center, an American Indian youth and family-focused social service organization in St. Paul; FastTRAC Healthcare Pathways Program, a skills education and career-specific training program for adults with low incomes in Anoka County; Lake Region Healthcare, an independent, non-profit healthcare system working to improve the health of people living in Fergus Falls and the surrounding community; the Parent Aware.org child care and education referral website; PrimeWest Health, a county-based purchasing managed care organization serving more than 35,000 Minnesota Health Care Programs participants in 13 rural counties; and the Red Lake Alcohol Rehabilitation Prevention Program, an alcohol and drug abuse prevention program on the Red Lake Reservation. ■

Workers enjoy opportunities at Mayo Five Opportunity Services clients from the Rochester area are enjoying jobs at the Mayo Clinic, working independently full-time with benefits. They are working with Sodexo, which provides facilities management and food service operations at Mayo. Opportunity Services helps people with disabilities find jobs. One worker is Ryan, a 24-year-old Opportunity Services client who has been employed fulltime at Sodexo for more than two years. He works in the dish room in the Harwick building where he loads and unloads the dishwasher throughout the day. He also puts away all the dishes and serving utensils in the food preparation and kitchen areas. Opportunity Services Supported Employment Supervisor Betty Lamecker works with Ryan She said the company has gone above and beyond to provide employment opportunities for him and other clients. Esteban marked his one-year anniversary with

Sodexo in November 2014. An energetic and vibrant 20-year-old, Esteban runs around the Mayo campus to ensure everything is working correctly throughout the buildings. From moving food, stocking vending machines to jumping into a job he’s never done before – Esteban stays on his toes. “I have fun doing my job because I love being around people,” he said. “I’m very much a people person and this job keeps me very busy.” Angelo, another Opportunity Services client, has been with Sodexo for more than a year. He works at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center where he works with food preparation throughout the day and serves meals to patients and families. “This job opportunity is truly a career for me. I absolutely love working with Sodexo at the Mayo Clinic,” said Angelo. “My coworkers are wonderful and very welcoming. It’s fun coming to work every day.” ■

Youth Sports grants awarded Hennepin County has awarded $1,849,665 in Youth Sports grants for 2015. The Hennepin Youth Sports Program awards capital grants to build, repair, renovate or expand youth sports facilities in Hennepin County. Fourteen projects will be funded, including $40,000 to the city of Eden Prairie for an accessible playground at True Friends Camp.

Sixteen small equipment and/or other small capital projects also received $124,955 in funding. Since the program began in 2009, the county has awarded $13.2 million to 80 facility projects and 113 small equipment projects. ■

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.

Sodexo employee Ryan ran a dishwasher at Mayo Clinic. He is one of five workers enjoying jobs and supportive services at Mayo Clinic. Courtesy photo

Pg 12 January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

Enjoy an expedition

ACCESSIBLE FUN Polar plunges get underway The 2015 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Minnesota is back and bigger and better than ever. Plungers, many in costumes, jump into frigid waters to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota, helping more than 8,000 athletes. Plunges start Jan. 31 at White Bear Lake. The Mpls Plunge will be held at Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun, Thomas Ave. S and West Calhoun Parkway. This Plunge begins at 11 a.m. Sat, March 7. This year children ages 10 and younger can take the Pee Wee Plunge at the Mpls Polar Plunge. Those wanting to do a 5K on a home treadmill or too “chicken” to plunge also have opportunities to help raise money. FFI: plunge@somn.org, www.plungemn.org

Puppet workshops for families The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) and Z Puppets Rosenschnoz offer free theater workshops for families with autism in February and March. The workshops, which will take place at the Nokomis Community Center in Mpls, Duluth and Rochester, are open to parents, caregivers, siblings ages seven and older and young people with autism. Workshops incorporate basic yoga and mindfulness techniques, singing and puppetry. The Monkey Mind Pirates provide entertainment while helping families navigate the seas of stress. Two workshop sessions are offered on Sundays from Feb. 1-March 29. Session 1, held from 1-2:30 p.m. is open to individuals of all abilities and their families. Session 2, held from 3:305 p.m. is open to individuals who are group ready and their families. Workshop sessions will culminate in participants performing alongside Z Puppets as the “Sailor Chorus” in a sensory-friendly performance of Monkey Mind Pirates in late March at Children’s Theatre Company, Mpls. This performance is open to the public. Watch for details. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 19, www.ausm.org

Five Sundays of exploration await visitors to Landmark Center’s Urban Expedition. These free and family friendly events feature a different country each Sunday, and explore all aspects of its culture including music, dance, art, food, language and live animals. The 2015 Urban Expedition season begins Jan. 18 and closes April 19. Urban Expeditions are held on Sundays from 1-3 p.m. Upon arrival, guests can get their photo taken and placed in an Urban Expedition Passport. Once getting the passport stamped, families are invited to explore the different areas of the event. Each Urban Expedition presents live animals native to the featured country, crafts representative of the culture, traditional music or dance performances, and a language lesson. Samples of traditional foods are sold by a local restaurant or caterer specializing in the featured county’s cuisine. At the end of the season, guests with passport stamps from each Urban Expedition will be entered into

2 Sugars, Room for Cream

Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps

Park Square Theatre presents an original comedy about why we drink coffee (and other things), at Park Square Theatre, Boss Stage, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. AD show is 7:30 p.m. Fri, Jan. 16. Captioning is 7:30 p.m. Sat, Jan. 17 and 2 p.m. Sun, Jan. 18. ASL can be arranged upon request. ASL/AD/OC single ticket discount is half-price for patron and one guest (regular $38-58); age 30 and under: $21; senior age 62+: $38; rush tickets: $22 cash only, available 10 minutes before performance; subject to availability; Assistive listening devices available. FFI: 651-291-7005, www.parksquaretheatre.org

Lakeshore Players Theatre presents a fast-based and sometimes funny mystery at Lakeshore Players Theatre, 4820 Stewart Ave., White Bear Lake. ASL show is 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 1. (If no ASL seats are reserved within two weeks of the performance, the ASL interpretation will be cancelled). Tickets are reduced to $10 for ASL patrons (reg. $23, senior $21, student $18). FFI: 651-429-5674; tickets@lakeshoreplayers.com; www.lakeshoreplayers.com

Eat, Drink & Be Married One Voice Mixed Chorus presents a show about those who have worked for equal rights in Minnesota and around the world, at Hopkins High School Auditorium, 2400 Lindbergh Dr., Hopkins. ASL interpretation is provided during the show at 7:30 p.m. Sat, Jan. 17. Tickets are $25 Section A; $20 Section B; $15 student/senior. FFI: 651-2981954; info@OneVoiceMN.org, www.OneVoiceMN.org

Attend Loondi Gras fundraiser VSA Minnesota hosts the Loondi Gras fundraiser 6-9 p.m. Mon, Feb. 9 at Gaviidae Common, 4th floor, 6th and Nicollet, Mpls. This event, which offers interpretations, is inspired by the New Orleans carnival culture of Mardi Gras (Fat Tue) and Lundi Gras (the Mon before Mardi Gras), with a Minnesota twist. Enjoy delicious food and music with the Jack Brass Band and other performers. Advance tickets are $40; student/low-income $25; day of event $50. FFI: 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883, www.vsamn.org

Crosby, Stills & Nash to play More than four decades since Crosby, Stills & Nash first harmonized in southern California, and played their firstever concert as a trio at the legendary Woodstock festival, its members continue a creative partnership that is one of the most influential and enduring in music. The award-winning band will be featured at the PACER Center benefit Sat, May 2 at the Mpls Convention Center. Advance tickets are on sale. FFI: 952-838-9000, www.pacer.org

a prize drawing. Landmark Center is located at 75 West 5th St., on St. Paul’s Rice Park and is accessible to persons with disabilities. Call a few days before each performance to request accommodations. Parking is available on street and in nearby Lawson, Science Museum and RiverCentre Ramps. FFI: 651-292-3063, www.landmarkcenter.org ■

Peter Pan The story of Peter Pan and Neverland is performed by GREAT Children’s Theatre at Escher Auditorium, Benedicta Art Center, College of Saint Benedict, 37 S. College Ave., St. Joseph. ASL is 2 p.m. Sun, Jan. 18. Tickets are $12-23. FFI: 320-259-5463, www.GreatTheatre.org

The Elixir of Love Minnesota Opera presents the classic Italian comic opera, at Ordway Center Music Theatre, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. Captioning is 7:30 p.m. Sat, Jan. 24 and 29, 2 p.m. Sun, Jan. 25; Sun, Feb. 1, and 8 p.m. Sat, Jan. 31. Sung in Italian with English captions projected above the stage at every performance. AD show is 2 p.m. Sun, Jan. 25. Tickets are reduced to half-price for AD patrons (regular $25-200). FFI: 612-333-6669, www.mnopera.org

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Theatre in the Round Players presents the story of a popular yet controversial schoolteacher in 1930s Scotland, at Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave., Mpls. AD show is 2 p.m. Sun, Jan. 25. Tickets are $22 with student and senior discounts on Fri and Sun. FFI: 612333-3010, www.theatreintheround.org

Open Flow Forum The Artists with Disabilities Alliance and supporters gather on the first Thu of each month for a free opportunity to share visual art, writing, music, theatre and other artistic efforts with each other in an informal, fragrancefree setting, at Carleton Artists’ Lofts community room, 2285 University Ave. W., St. Paul. Refreshments served. Enter on the north side of the building (not the light rail side). The meeting room is directly opposite the security entrance. Facilitators are Pamela Veeder, Mike Price and Dan Reiva. Upcoming gatherings are 7-9 p.m. Feb. 5, March 5, April 2, May 7 and June 4. Ask about accommodations. FFI: Jon, 612-332-3888 or jon@vsamn.org, www.carletonartistlofts.com/, vsamn.org/artists-disabilities/

Snowflake Children’s Theatre Company presents a silly and light-hearted story recommended for grades K-4, at Children’s Theatre Co., United Health Group Stage, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. AD show is 7 p.m. Fri, Feb. 6. The sensory friendly show is 7 p.m. Fri, Feb. 20. Ask about special price rates for ASL/AD patrons (regular $16-40); FFI: 612-874-0400; tickets@childrenstheatre.org, www.childrenstheatre.org

La Cage Aux Follies Bloomington Theatre and Art Center presents the comedy about two men whose son is marrying into a family with very different values than theirs. The men run a drag nightclub in St. Tropez, which has to be kept secret from the new in-laws. The show is at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington. AD show is 7:30 p.m. Fri, Feb. 6. ASL show is 7:30 p.m. Sat, Feb. 7. Tickets are reduced to $25 for AD/ASL (regular $32, $29 senior, $25 age 25 & under). FFI: 952-563-8575; boxoffice@btacmn.org, www.btacmn.org

The Color Purple Alice Walker’s classic story is performed by Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. AD show is 7:30 p.m. Fri, Jan. 30. ASL show is 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 8 (ASL promo video online). Captioning is 7:30 p.m. Fri Sat, Feb. 13-14 and 2 p.m. Sun, Feb. 15. ASL/AD/OC single ticket discount is half-price for patron & one guest (regular $38-58); age 30 and younger: $21; senior age 62+: $38; rush tickets: $22 cash only, available 10 minutes before performance; subject to availability; assistive listening devices available. FFI: 651291-7005, www.parksquaretheatre.org

Tony Pappas art show Tony Pappas, who has been in Ally People Solutions’ Artful Employment Project in 2014, has painted and drawn since he was three years old. He is currently exploring his medium more deeply. His exhibit is part of a rotating series of exhibits coordinated by VSA Minnesota and is hosted by Vision Loss Resources, 1936 Lyndale Ave. S. (at Franklin), Mpls. The exhibit is free and will be on display through April, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mon through Fri. FFI: 612-871-2222; 612-332-3888, vsamn. org/gayle-wyant-art-exhibit-vision-loss-resources/

Goodnight Moon

More events information

Stages Theatre Company presents the story of a little bunny who doesn’t want to go to sleep, at Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. Sensory friendly show is 10 a.m. Sat, Jan. 31. ASL show is 1 p.m. Sat, Jan. 31. Tickets are $16, $14 senior 60+, $12 student. FFI: 952-979-1111, option 4, www.stagestheatre.org

VSA Minnesota is at http://vsamn.org The website has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of its home page. 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. Another web events’ listing is c2net.org (c2: caption coalition, inc.), which does most of the captioned shows across the country. Facebook is another way to connect with performances. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota (http://tinyurl.com/d34dzo2). Connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances across Minnesota on Facebook http:// tinyurl.com/FBcaption ■

Celebration of African American Art in History Mpls Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Ave. S. offers free monthly tours, starting at the information desk in the museum lobby. ASL tours are offered at 1 p.m. Sun, Feb. 1. Meet at the Information Desk in the museum lobby. Interpreted tours are also scheduled on other days. On the second weekend of each month, free tours are offered for visitors with memory loss, Alzheimer’s and their friends or care partners. FFI: 612-870-3131; dhegstro@artsmia.org, www.artsmia.org

January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1 Pg 13

UPCOMING EVENTS Advocacy Serve on state council The State Advisory Council on Mental Health and the Subcommittee on Children’s Mental Health are seeking individuals who are interested in making recommendations to the Governor and legislature on mental health policies, programs, and services. Consumers, family members, service providers and people with specific types of expertise are needed. The council and subcommittee meet at the Department of Human Services Elmer L. Andersen Building in St. Paul on the first Thursday of each month, excluding July and December. Each body has work groups that precede the full meetings. Members are paid a $55 per diem if not otherwise paid for their time. There also is reimbursement for mileage and other expenses. Terms are four years and members are appointed by the governor. Applications are due Jan. 27. FFI: Bruce.Weinstock@state.mn.us, www.sos.state.mn.us/index.aspx?page=5, http:// mentalhealth.dhs.state.mn.us. New web address Those following the formation of Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan will be checking on a new web address. The address was changed and simplified recently. It is now www.mn.gov/olmstead As the Olmstead Implementation Office continues to evolve, staff members will update and change the site. The first step of that process was simplifying the address to offer quicker and more direct access. The Olmstead Office urges everyone to visit the site as it grows and changes, and to share suggestions on what information would be most useful. Poster and video contest deadline extended Get out the art supplies and the cameras. The Minnesota State Council on Disability has extended the deadline for its poster contest tied to the 2015 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The deadline for the poster and video contest has been extended to Jan. 17. Winning entries will be featured at the Statewide 25th ADA Anniversary Celebration on July 26. The theme is “What does the ADA mean to you?” FFI: 651-361-7803, www.disability.state.mn.us/ada

Youth and families 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 the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions catered to their needs. Getting the Help You Need is 6-8 p.m. Tue, Jan. 20 at East Ridge High School in Woodbury. Families will learn about public programs such as Medical Assistance, TEFRA, home and communitybased waivers, consumer directed community supports, county services, and county grants. FFI: 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237 (toll free) www.PACER.org

Information and assistance Vision loss group offers activities Vision Loss Resources offers free and low-cost activities in the Twin Cities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Life skills classes for those with low vision, card games, craft classes, book clubs, walking groups, dinners out, special outings and technology classes are among the offerings. Participants need to RVSP to participate. FFI: RSVP hotline 612-843-3439; activity phone 612-253-5155, www.visionlossresources.org MCIL offers classes, activities The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living offers many life skills classes as well as fun outings and activities for people with disabilities. MCIL is located at 530 N. Robert St., St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website, www.mcil-mn.org Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print this calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030 Adult support groups offered Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) offers free sup-

port groups for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Groups include those for adult family members, women with autism spectrum disorders and independent adults with autism. Check the web site for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St., St. Paul. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10, www.ausm.org 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 Medicareeligible individuals and families enrolled in incomebased 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 Minnesota 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 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. Another family support group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae at 651-484-0599.

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 a senior on a regular basis and do things that you both enjoy, like watching a movie, playing games or friendly conversation. One-time or ongoing opportunities through the NIP Senior Program. FFI: Jeanne, 612-746-8549, 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 ■

The 5% Campaign - from p. 3 The challenge will be making the case for the second five percent increase to be approved in two years. Eken acknowledged that the cost of inflation wasn’t factored into the spending projections, but said that legislators will have to decide how to apply inflationary increases. He said no need is greater than the quality of care for Minnesotans with disabilities and older adults. Minnesota has a projected state budget surplus of $1.037 billion for 2015-16, according to figures released in December. Part of the surplus results from reductions in spending on health care. While a surplus can make it easier for legislators and the governor to reach agreement on a budget, 5% Campaign supporters know that getting the added increase isn’t a slam dunk. State officials are looking at a projected $373 million surplus in the current biennium budget ending June 30, and a projected $1 billion surplus in the next biennium cycle beginning in July. But a slowdown in parts of the economy and projected drops in state revenues are red flags ■ More information can be found at www.facebook. com/5PercentCampaign

REGIONAL NEWS Worker receives $65,000 after discrimination An Alexandria municipal utility company will pay a disabled former employee $65,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit. Richard Hinrichs was an IT specialist for Alexandria Light and Power. He claims the harassment began shortly after he had his leg amputated in 2010. “It was about a month after that that my boss came in with a new job description and he required me to climb ladders, lift 50 pounds and crawl under tight spaces.” Hinrichs said his job prior to 2010 involved very little physical labor. He was fired a few months after going back to work. Hinrichs then filed a discrimination lawsuit with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

“There didn’t seem to be a legitimate reason for the employer to make such changes,” said Commissioner Kevin Lindsey. Lindsey said that since his appointment in 2011, he has steadily increased the number of discrimination complaints his office handles. About 900 investigations were completed in 2014. Under the terms of the settlement, he will receive $65,000 but Alexandria Light and Power will still not admit any wrongdoing. Hinrichs is sharing his story to encourage more employees who have been treated unfairly to come forward. ■ (Source: Associated Press)

Pg 14 January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

January Sampling

Radio Talking Book On board with BARD

This BARD is not a poet. It is the National Library Service’s online library, the Braille Audio Reading Download (BARD). Readers can browse for books and magazines on BARD and download them 24/7 at their convenience. The Communication Center staff is working with the National Library Service to include some of Radio Talking Book’s offerings on BARD, such as Minnesotaoriented casual reading. The staff is working through computer file technicality issues and once these are resolved, Radio Talking Book will be on BARD. Stay tuned!

Books available through Faribault Books broadcast on the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network are available through the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault Call 1-800-722-0550, 9 a.m.- 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 Recover to Live, by Christopher Kennedy Lawford, and The Confidence Code, by Katty Kay and Claire

Shipmen; For the Younger Set (Sunday at 11 a.m.) is airing sometimes never, sometimes always, by Elissa Janine Hoole; Poetic Reflections (Sunday at noon) is airing Dog Songs, by Mary Oliver, and Underground, by Jim Moore; The U.S. and Us (Sunday at 4 p.m.) is airing The Lure of the North Woods, by Aaron Shapiro. Chautauqua • Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. For the Benefit of those Who See, Nonfiction by Rosemary Mahoney, 2014. 12 broadcasts. Begins Jan. 14. Rosemary Mahoney traveled to Tibet to report on Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind there, and on its founder Sabriye Tenberken. She also spent three months teaching at Tenberken’s international training center for blind adults. Read by Sally Browne. Past is Prologue • Monday – Friday 9 a.m. The Empire of Necessity, Nonfiction by Greg Grandin, 2014. 12 broadcasts. Begins Jan. 15. The early years of American expansion were marked by human exploitation and environmental destruction. A prime example of this was when Captain Delano, a seal hunter, met up with a shipload of Africans who had mutinied against their slavers. Read by Jeanne Burns. Bookworm • Monday – Friday 11 a.m. In Certain Circles, Fiction by Elizabeth Harrower, 2014. Seven broadcasts. Begins Jan. 20. Zoe and Russell, and Stephen and Anna, are two sets of siblings. They may come from different social worlds but all four will spend their lives moving in and out of each other’s shadow. Read by Michele Potts. Moonrise, Fiction by Cassandra King, 2013. 14 broadcasts. Begins Jan. 29. Helen marries Emmet Justice, a newly widowed television journalist and their marriage causes a rift between Emmet and his oldest friends who resent her presence. Hoping to mend fences, they join the group for a summer at his late wife’s home, Moonrise. Read by Beth Marie Hansen. Choice Reading • Monday – Friday 4 p.m. The End of Always, Fiction by Randi Davenport, 2014. 12 broadcasts. Begins Jan. 22. In 1907 Wisconsin, seventeen-

A look back on 2014 - from p. 3 Self-advocates visited the historic Fergus Falls state hospital buildings, which were in danger of demolition. Saving the buildings was a priority for preservationists but the structures’ age and condition was a challenge. As the year ended the buildings’ fate was still in question. The new Green Line light rail route was “greened up” and cleaned up by workers from Ally People Solutions.

year-old Marie Reehs is determined to not marry a violent man, as her mother and grandmother did. Working in a job arranged by her father, Marie toils under the eye of an older man who has claimed her for his own. Read by Michelle Juntunen. Night Journey • Monday – Friday 9 p.m. Ghost Month, Fiction by Ed Lin, 2014. 12 broadcasts. Begins Jan. 19. August is the month for honoring the dead in Taiwan. But Jing-nan is shocked to find that the dead include his ex-girlfriend from high school, Julia Huang. She was supposed to be in New York, so what was she doing selling betel nuts to truck drivers on the highway. The facts don’t add up. L - Read by Mike Piscitelli. Off the Shelf • Monday – Friday 10 p.m. All the Light We Cannot See, Fiction by Anthony Doerr, 2014. 16 broadcasts. Begins Jan. 19. MarieLaure and her father flee from the Nazis to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo. In Germany, the orphan Werner becomes aware of the human cost of his activities with the Nazi Youth, so he travels, ending up at Saint-Malo, where he meets Marie-Laure. Read by Holly Sylvester. Potpourri • Monday – Friday 11 p.m. Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist, Nonfiction by Bill McKibben, 2014. Nine broadcasts. Begins Jan. 22. In the summer of 2011, Bill McKibben was jailed after leading the protest of the Keystone XL pipeline in front of the White House. He recognized that action was needed if solutions to global warming were to be found. Read by John Hagman. Good Night Owl • Monday – Friday midnight The Abomination, Fiction by Jonathan Holt, 2013. 14 broadcasts. Begins Jan. 20. A murdered woman is pulled out of the Grand Canal at Venice and, since she was dressed in the sacred robes of a Catholic priest, she is known as the Abomination. Working her first murder case, Captain Kat Tapo of the Carabinieri is on the case. L,S – Read by Jack Rossmann. Abbreviations: V: violence, L: offensive language, S: sexual situations

July Changes were made at Metro Mobility, effective July 1. The changes affected the “no show” practices and the maximum ride times. Adding an automated phone system, reducing the number of paratransit providers and restricting service were also in the works and would be rolled out in the months ahead. Metro Mobility provides more than 1.7 rides each year in the Twin Cities region. Completion of a stairway/elevator tower would provide needed access from St. Paul’s skyway system to buses and Green Line light rail. Getting the tower in place had taken years of lobbying by self-advocates, downtown residents and St. Paul city officials. Rick Cardenas, co-director of ACT, spoke at the dedication on behalf of transit riders and downtown residents with disabilities. PrairieCare announced plans for a new child and adolescent psychiatric hospital, to be located in Brooklyn Park. The planned hospital will be the largest of its kind in Minnesota.

August New regulations for Medicaid, Home and Community-Based Services could alter the livers of many people with disabilities. That’s why people were urged to weigh in on proposed federal community settings regulations and their impacts. The Minnesota Disability Law Center provided information about the potential impacts. Work on Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan continued as the new office director, Darlene Zangara, introduced herself to community members. Zangara was a featured speaker at the 24th anniversary Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebration in St. Paul. She gave an overview of plan progress as to date and urged everyone to get involved. Celebration participants were also urged to start getting involved with plans for a big ADA 25th anniversary celebration in 2015. Changes to accommodations at the Minnesota State Fair were announced. One big change was the new West End Market, which was the new main bus pickup and drop-off point, and its new accessible features.

September Home care providers voted to form their own union, capping a process that had extended over several years. About 60 percent of workers voting approved forming a union with the Service Employees International Union. This would allow workers to bargain with the state for Care union supporters celebrated at the Minnesota State wages and benefits. It was fair, after the vote to unionize. File photo the largest union election in Minnesota history, with 5,800 people voting. Christine Marble and Wendy DeVore were honored as winners of the 2014 Access Press Charlie Smith Award. The women, who run Career Ventures in St. Paul, were honored for their tireless work in helping people with disabilities find meanA look back on 2014 - p. 15

January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1 Pg 15

A look back on 2014 - from p. 14 ingful employment and social activities. They work closely with deaf, blind and deafblind Minnesotans. St. Paul city officials were eyeing proposed regulations for so-called alternative transportation service companies, including Uber and Lyft. The companies provide competition for traditional cab and paratransit services. One concern about the companies is accessibility for riders with disabilities.

October Citing vagueness and a lack of measureable goals, U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank sent back Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan. That sent Olmstead office staff and a subcabinet of state officials back to the work table to make plan changes and resubmit. The plan was criticized for having “significant shortfalls” and not showing that people could be successfully moved into integrated settings. The judge’s concerns mirrored what a number of disability advocates had said about the plan. Mike Bjerkesett stepped down from his longtime post as leader of the National Handicapped Housing Institute (NHHI). He founded the nonprofit in 1975, to improve housing options for people with disabilities. Bjerkesett and his staff created more than 2,000 specialized housing units over the years. The longtime community leader planned to take some time off and then do consulting. The popular Rides to the Polls program wouldn’t be rolling for the November election, due to a lack of grant funding.

November Efforts to unionize home health care workers could move ahead, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis decided. He denied an injunction sought by the National Right to Work Foundation. Davis’ 25-page opinion indicated that it would be unlikely for union foes to win in court. He also cited the benefits of worker unionization. The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities announced its work on equity for persons receiving Medical Assistance. The focus is to increase the income standard, raise the asset limits and reduce spend downs, to help 12,000 people with disabilities and older adults. Campaign leaders were gearing up for the 2015 legislative session, as the issue would be the consortium’s top priority. The state capitol would be a more challenging place to navigate during the upcoming session, with much renovation work going on. Rallies would have to be moved outdoors or to places other than in the capitol rotunda.

December Reliable Medical Supply, Inc. celebrated 25 years in business in 2014. The company had grown over that time, with additional locations including one near Mayor Clinic in Rochester. Company owner Jeffrey Hall and his staff not only had the anniversary to celebrate, the company was enjoying an award from Home Medical Equipment News. A Summit Avenue mansion being converted into a luxury boutique hotel needs changes to be accessible.

Making this Summit Avenue mansion accessible, for luxury hotel use, is under study. File photo

But how to do that prompted debate between the owner and the St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission. Some commissioners wanted side or rear doors used, but the owner and other commissioners wanted modifications made to the building’s front door instead. The issue was tabled until early 2015. AXIS Healthcare announced its move from St. Paul to the Park Avenue Medical Services building in Minneapolis. The new quarters are in a wing of the Phillips Eye Institute on the Allina campus. ■

REGIONAL NEWS Assisted care administrator faces charges An administrator at an assisted care facility faces charges of stealing medication from facility residents. Clinical administrator Kent Boldt was charged December 22 with theft at Farmstead, a facility in Andover. The theft was discovered after an employee at the facility received an anonymous email. While Boldt wasn’t involved in residents’ care he was involved with the distribution and logging of narcotics for residents. He was suspended from work last year pending an internal investigation after claims were made that medications he ordered for residents never were given to them. He resigned during the internal investigation. Numerous prescription medications were found behind file cabinets and under baseboard heaters after Boldt resigned. ■ (Source: Star Tribune)

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FOR RENT Lewis Park Apartments: Barrier-free housing with wheelchair users in mind. Section 8 subsidized. One- and two-bedroom units. For more information on availability call 651-488-9923. St. Paul, MN. Equal Opportunity Housing. Oak Park Village: We are accepting applications for the waiting list for onebedroom wheelchair accessible apartments. Section 8 subsidized. Convenient St. Louis Park location. Call 952-935-9125 for information. Equal Opportunity Housing. Calvary Center Apts: 7650 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN. A Section 8 building now accepting applications for our waiting list. Call 9 am to 4 pm, Mon – Fri 763-546-4988 for an application. Equal Opportunity Housing. Holmes-Greenway Housing: One- and two-bedroom wheelchair-accessible apartments. Section 8 subsidized. Convenient SE Minneapolis location. Call 612-378-0331 for availability information. Equal Opportunity Housing.

FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY Temporary, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. For details go to www.mylegalaid.org/jobs

Pg 16 January 10, 2015 Volume 26, Number 1

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