April 2023 Edition - Access Press

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Volume 34, Number 4

Targets to launch the numbers game

A potential spending outline that would use up most if not all of the state’s record surplus is on the table as state lawmakers near the halfway point of the 2023 regular session.

Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders announced the framework in late March. The proposal would increase the state budget by almost $17.9 billion over the next two years, and would represent a plus-30 percent hike in the state’s $52 billion biennial budget.

It’s unusual for spending targets to be announced at this point in a legislative session. Typically targets are released later on. House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) said the intent is to get targets to committees and department leaders sooner.

The announcement has disability advocacy groups and individuals combing through the details, to see what could be included. Human services has a $1.3 billion target, with a health and human services target at $755 million.

With so many bills and competing interests at the capitol, this session, it’s inevitable that not everything will make it through the process. There are already calls for more human services spending beyond what is proposed.

The budget agreement was reached by Walz, Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic (DFL – Minneapolis). Republicans immediately criticized the proposal, saying it is too large and calling it a spending spree.

At a March 21 news conference, Walz said, “Government can work together for the people. We can reach compromises. We can get our work done on time, and we can deliver a budget that Minnesotans can be proud of.”

Much focus is on education, with state public schools tabbed for an additional $2.2 billion more over the next two years, with $650 million more for higher education. The children and families target is $1.17 billion (HHS – children and families, $875 million; early education at $300 million).

The proposal also contains $1 billion for housing, and $670 million for a statewide paid family and medical leave program. Tax relief is also a big focus with $3 billion.

A complete list of targets is at https:// www.house.mn.gov/SessionDaily/ Story/17838

Legislators passed the second bill deadline March 24, and have a third and final deadline April 4. The session ends May 22. The budget year begins July 1.

How everything will fare begins to play out in April. Democrats hold narrow margins in the House and Senate, and that of course affects whether or not bills will pass. Republicans in the Senate already blocked a $1.5 billion infrastructure bill.

Disability-related legislation is moving ahead on many fronts, which is encouraging for advocates and advocacy groups. Many measures are being considered for inclusion in larger omnibus bills. Everything from PTSD for first responders to the need for adult-sized changing tables in public restrooms is still in play. Advocates are also watching high-profile bills including legalization of cannabis.

Disability groups are wrapping up

Lifelong Northland resident Scott “Scottie” Anderson is remembered as someone who enjoyed the outdoors, and was eager to share his love of sailing. He was a tireless advocate for Northland area residents with disabilities.

Anderson, 64, died recently at Essentia St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, after a bout with bladder cancer. A celebration of life was held in March.

He grew up in Cloquet in a blended family, enjoying sports and the outdoors.

Anderson sustained a spinal cord injury and became a T-5 paraplegic after an accident. Teenage friends were playing with a revolver when it discharged. He was 15 years old.

Paralyzed from the chest down, Anderson began using a wheelchair for

mobility. In a 2014 interview, he said, “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Stuff happens, you know, life goes on. . . . Here I am in this position now. I’m not going to feel sorry for myself. Let’s find out what I can do.”

Anderson attended the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he was a member of the first Twin Ports Flyers Wheelchair basketball team. The team began in 1979 through the new Courage Center Duluth Adapted Sports, Physical Education and Recreation Department.

He enjoyed downhill sit-skiing, swimming, wheelchair softball, tennis, archery, pool and curling. His athletic abilities led to national and international competitions in multiple sports.

ANDERSON To page 10

Changes at DHS

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Consider assisted suicide carefully

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Judy Heumann tribute Page 4

Use the Access Press Directory to find services and programs

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Teams win titles

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Mental health system changes are championed

Building Minnesota’s mental health system requires work on several fronts, and addressing needs of many different groups. Children’s mental health, employment accommodations, stable housing, suicide prevention, adequate reimbursements for services and addressing the ongoing workforce shortage are among topics the Minnesota Mental Health Network is championing this legislative session. The ability to access proper care when it is needed, and break down barriers to care, were also emphasized.

A large and enthusiastic group of advocates attended 2023 Mental Health Day on the Hill March 9, glad to be back in person after two years of virtual events. Hundreds of people filled a church sanctuary and the capitol rotunda, to hear updates and speakers.

They discussed 18 comprehensive mental health bills which they say would solve many problems if passed.

They also gave legislators tiny foam bricks, to indicate the importance of building a quality mental health system.

“The mental health system was never broken. It was never built,’” said Sue Abderholden, executive director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Minnesota.

The Mental Health Legislative Network represents more than 40

organizations. Members said they are confident they’ll enjoy some success this session.

A message from several speakers is that mental health service needs have increased, in some cases dramatically, in recent times. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health. In some cases, services must be

created. For others, such as the 988 crisis line, adequate resources are needed.

The overriding message March 9 was how missing pieces in the current mental health system affect Minnesotans, and how employment, housing and health needs are among issues tied to improving mental health. Speakers discussed the disconnect between some services, the long waits for services, the

Anderson remembered for love of sailing, the outdoors
SURPLUS To page 3
Scott "Scottie" Anderson
RALLY To page 3
A crowd gathered on the capitol's west steps before going inside for the rally.

Assisted suicide is one of the most contentious issues for Minnesotans with disabilities and their loved ones. We’ve had many emotional hearings over the years, with testimony for and against legislation that would allow the practice. And here we go again. In February, Minnesota lawmakers introduced the End-of-Life Option Act Senate File 1813/House File 1930. If passed and signed into law, this would allow Minnesotans what is called the ability to “access medical aid in dying.”

We at Access Press respect the arguments of those who wish to have the right to die with dignity, and relieve suffering. Minnesota doesn’t allow the practice of assisted suicide now. People must either make that kind of end-of-life decision and take steps outside of the law, or travel someplace where assisted suicide is allowed. We understand all too well the desire of some people to die on their own terms and to leave this earth with dignity.

It's concerning on one level that someone cannot work with their doctor to make an informed choice about assisted suicide. In many states physicians and other medical professionals can be prosecuted for helping a patient die at their request.

But suicide as a matter of public policy can be fraught with problems for those of us who live with disabilities. Any attempt at legislation in Minnesota must keep us and our rights at top of mind. We people with disabilities must look at assisted suicide in many contexts. We know it’s an issue that there is not unanimous community support or opposition to.

It is an issue with many nuances that

must be considered. Our history must be considered and respected. We are wary of past historic trends such as efforts to create a “master race” and only let the strong survive. One example is that disabled infants were considered not worthy of living. It was only in the late 19th century that infant incubators were even invented. Widespread use only began in the 20th century when such devices were used at county fairs and amusement parks as a novelty or freak show. See the tiny babies kept alive! The assisted suicide issue also ties into the current staffing shortages and catastrophic situation with many of us unable to hire and retain caregivers. Too many of us in recent years have had our


Our search for topics for the History Note is often an entertaining trip back in time. It’s often cause to reflect on the longtime role of middle-class and wealthy women in helping the earliest disability service groups. Women who didn’t have to work outside of the home often joined clubs focused on civic betterment, benevolent efforts, philanthropy and education.

Our History Note has described how specific disability service organizations arose from the work of such clubs, or how early organizations were the beneficiaries of the clubs’ work. History seldom tells us why a particular group may have focused on a specific disability group as its cause. Did someone have a close friend with hearing disabilities? Did someone’s child use a wheelchair or crutches to get around? Those details have all too often been lost in the mists of time.

Women eagerly threw themselves into such fundraising and charity work. In describing their good deeds, we cringe

today to read patronizing language and calls for pity for the poor souls being helped.

The need for fundraising for disability service organizations and groups hasn’t changed over the decades. What’s noteworthy is how fundraising itself has evolved. The newspaper women’s sections were often filled with vivid descriptions of charity luncheons and fashion shows, right down to the color and type of flowers in the centerpieces.

What may raise eyebrows for readers is this event in April 1933, when the Minneapolis Society for the Blind and Council of Jewish Women announced the opening of the “famous” Foshay Tower apartment suite for public tours. A Minneapolis Star picture showed organization representatives looking at the $15,000 master bathroom, with its marble walls and gold-plated faucets. The article headline boasted of the bathroom features. Costs for tours were 25 cents evenings, Saturdays and Sundays and 50 cents

disabilities and related health conditions exacerbated due to inconsistent care or lack of care. What if someone with power of attorney over someone with a disability decided that the disabled person is too much of a bother?

Any measure enacted into law needs to protect us, especially those of us who cannot speak for ourselves. We already deal with the stereotype of being nuisances or drains on society and resources. How easy it would be if some of us were not here. Those of us who grew up labeled as problems or burdens are rightfully wary of this.

What does assisted suicide do in the context of our legal rights to selfdetermination and life choice for

ourselves? That is a huge question that must be answered before any legislation is signed into law.

Legally, physician-assisted suicide differs from euthanasia. Euthanasia is defined as the act of assisting people with their death in order to end their suffering, but without the backing of a controlling legal authority. We worry that it’s all too easy to confuse the two.

Disability community members’ opposition to assisted suicide also stems in part from factors that surround the practice of assisted suicide. There’s way too much secrecy for our tastes, even in states where it is legal.

Assisted suicide, if it becomes legal in Minnesota, needs very strong oversight. We need to know who is using this option in the states where it is currently legal. We need to know the history of abuse and potential abuse, and how that can be avoided in Minnesota.

Frankly, some legal models may be better for us than others are. Is it better to allow assisted suicide by law, as it is in eight states and the District of Columbia? Or should we be looking at Montana and California, where the courts must make a ruling based on set terms to allow an assisted suicide to move ahead.

Everything needs to be explored carefully, especially with a health care system that is so profit-drive and so stressed in many ways. And we people with disabilities need extensive involvement before anything is signed into law in Minnesota.

fundraiser focused on opulence

weekday afternoons. “Proceeds will go for charitable work of the Society for the Blind,” the newspaper article noted.

Other charities and groups helped with the tours, including the Junior League, Kiwanis Club, Civic and Commerce Association, Minnesota State Sunshine Society, League of Catholic Women, Council of Jewish Women and the Minneapolis Woman’s Club.

The 27th floor apartment, which had a $100,000 price tag, had its “luxurious” furniture and art on display. Visitors could also go to the tower’s observation deck and get a view of Minneapolis.

It seems ironic that people who had visual disabilities would be unable to enjoy the spectacle of a fine apartment and beautiful views. The timing of tours of opulence also seems insensitive today, when so many people suffered during the Great Depression.

The suite was designed by Wilbur Foshay, whose meteoric financial career crumbled under the weight of the Great

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Editor ............................................................................................................................................................................................ Jane McClure

Depression. At the time of the tours, Foshay faced mail fraud charges. Foshay, who made his fortune in utilities, planned to house his business enterprises and himself in his namesake tower. He invited 25,000 guests to the dedication ceremony in 1929 and gave each a gold pocket watch.

Weeks later, the Foshay business empire went into receivership. Foshay never lived in his beautiful suite.

The 32-story building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is hailed as a fine example of Art Deco architecture. It is considered to be Minneapolis’ first skyscraper. It is now the W Hotel –Minneapolis.

The History Note is a monthly column produced in cooperation with the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Past History Notes and other disability history may be found at www.mnddc.org

EDITORIAL: Editorial submissions and news releases on topics of interest to persons with disabilities, or persons serving those with disabilities, are welcomed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Editorial material and advertising do not necessarily reflect the view of the editor/publisher of Access Press.

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April 2023 Volume 34, Number 4 Pg 2
‘Gold plated faucets in $15,000 bathroom’ –
In-Fin Tuan
Consider rights of the disabled before allowing assisted suicide
Legally, physician-assisted suicide differs from euthanasia. Euthanasia is defined as the act of assisting people with their death in order to end their suffering, but without the backing of a controlling legal authority. We worry that it’s all too easy to confuse the two.

From page 1

lack of culturally specific services and the complexity of getting proper care for someone in crisis. Problems of all types are especially acute in Greater Minnesota, where there are severe staffing shortages and fewer resources.

Legislators and community members spoke of their own experiences trying to help family members get needed mental health services, or in getting help from themselves. One foster care provider described the months she and her family struggled to help a teen who needed services.

“If our system can’t do better for these kids, who will?” said foster parent Abigail Morgan.

"I think this is going to be record investments because we're in a record crisis," said Rep. Jessica Hanson (DFL-Burnsville). She is sponsor of a


From page 1

their rally days, with the large ARRM and MOHR rally at the end of March after this issue of Access Press went to press.

Advocates are being urged to continue contacting legislators about their priorities, to make sure issues are included in larger bills.

Advocacy groups continue to post legislative updates, so those are great source of information. The Minnesota Council on Disability offers updates as well as a bill tracker. Several news media outlets also offer bill trackers.

Editor Jane McClure compiled the March legislative coverage.

comprehensive bill aimed at improving children's access to mental health services and providing more assistance for families. She is also involved with 988 legislation.

“We hear stories all the time. ‘I can't get care for my kid. I sat in the ER for hours’ . . . I have personally navigated the mental health system. It is not easy to do,’” said Hanson.

Patrick Rhone, chair of the Mental Health Minnesota Board, described his years of live with mental illness. He focused on the need for culturally services when a BIPOC person is in crisis. “I’ll be honest, I’m a Black man,” he said. “I’m not going to call 911. We know how that’s going to go.”

Craig Warren, CEO of Washburn Center for Children, also spoke of the need for culturally specific resources as well as more resources for children’s mental health. Warren described the mental health system he works in as

something “cobbled” together. Washburn has seen demand for services explode since the pandemic, with a waiting list that has tripled.

“Kids and families are suffering now,” said Warren.

Warren and others spoke of the need for more people to see who in the mental health field as a career choice. There is especially a need for BIPOC and LGBTQ-plus mental health providers. But since rates have not kept up with costs, it is more and more challenging to even hire and pay providers. New hires have not kept up with the number of people who have retired due to burnout or aging out of the system.

The need to raise Medical Assistance reimbursement rates was cited by several speakers. While the state is studying the rate structure, advocates are calling for changes now as a bridge rate.

Ashley Kjos is CEO of Woodland Centers in west central Minnesota. She

was one of the speakers focusing on the rate issue, saying that the rates paid to behavioral health and substance abuse treatment providers need change.

“We have been underpaid for decades. It is time for us to get paid what we are worth,” Kjos said. She said more centers will close if rates aren’t addressed.

Rate increases and the ability to pay more would especially help providers in Greater Minnesota, Kjos said. Woodland has at least 15 open jobs at a time, something that would have been unheard of not too many years ago.

The center also has more than 100 people waiting for services.

Lt Gov. Peggy Flanagan urged those present to keep working for and demanding what they need for mental health. “You are the experts in your own lives,” she told the group, noting that they know best about their own lives and lived experiences.

April 2023 Volume 34, Number 4 Pg 3
Patrick Rhone, chair of the Mental Health Minnesota Board, was one of the speakers. A small group objecting to the closing of mental health councils was at the rally.
People displayed banners and watched the rally below..
Reach our valued readers! 651-644-2133
Medical professionals and students attended the rally to show support.


Judy Heumann leaves us with a lasting legacy of leadership, activism

Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, such as education or employment services, and its implementation was a milestone step in advancing civil rights for people with disabilities. It was the first federal legislation to address the notion of equity for people with disabilities, and it laid the foundation for the more comprehensive Americans with Disabilities Act to come.

And Judy was at the heart of it all.

Much has been written and spoken about Judy since her death, and undoubtedly all of it will honor her remarkable impact. But in the end, there simply may not be enough words to adequately capture her spirit, love of family and passion for connecting others. She made the world a better place. She was a guiding light to many, me included. I was proud to call her a mentor and friend, and I benefitted greatly from her warmth, wit and wisdom.

It is often said that true leaders don’t build followers, they build more leaders. If this is true—and I believe strongly that it is—there is no greater example of a leader than Judith (Judy) Heumann, who passed away on March 4 at the age of 75. Judy’s impact was profound. Her name is intertwined with the disability rights movement, and her activism embedded in nearly every policy advancement for people with disabilities in America.

These include, of course, efforts to build a more equitable and inclusive workforce—the goal at the forefront of our work at the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

If you’ve seen the 2020 award-winning documentary Crip Camp, you know that Judy’s activism started young. As a camper and later counselor at a summer camp in New York for teens with disabilities, she developed and honed her leadership skills and instilled them in

others, several of whom would later join her in leading the fight for equal access and opportunity.

As just one of so many examples, Judy helped lead the historic 1977 “504 sit-in” at the San Francisco Federal Building. This demonstration resulted in the long-awaited signing of regulations implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 —the 50th anniversary of which we are recognizing this year.

I know that I speak for many in the disability community when I say we were not ready for Judy to leave us, and we join her family, including her husband Jorge Pineda, brothers, sisters-in-law and niece and nephew and others, in mourning her loss. But it is because of her extraordinary leadership that we are prepared—and committed—to taking on the torch she lit and carried for so long. Her light shines on, in all of us. That’s the legacy of true leadership, and hers will endure, always.

Taryn M. Williams is the Assistant U.S. Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy.

Guardianship fight indicates Minnesotans face a human rights crisis

With respect to news coverage of a Minnesota woman’s fight to overturn a guardianship and leave a hospital, we are in a crisis of human rights.

The Minnesota Statewide Independent Living Council (MNSILC) provides statewide planning and policies necessary to provide independent living services to people with disabilities. We want to take a moment to provide our viewpoint.

Independent living is more than a philosophy, it is a way of life. Independent living is having opportunities to make decisions that affect one's life, able to pursue activities of one's own choosing, limited only in the same ways that one's nondisabled neighbors are limited. Basic physiological needs including accessible housing, health care, staffing, food and so much more are not being provided despite federal and state programs. The ability to thrive includes financial stability, employment, education, belonging and so much more is not accessible without recognizing

the systemic barriers in the disability services, health care, transportation, public health, and more.

This is not about charity; this is about having basic human rights met. Decisions being limited due to lack of resources, information, and knowledge of what is

We welcome your letters and commentary

Access Press welcomes letters to the editor and commentary pieces from readers, on topics of interest to Minnesota’s disability community. Letters should be no more than 500 words, with 750 words per commentary. Ask the editors if more space is needed.

Letters and guest commentaries must be signed by the authors or authors. With letters, a writer’s hometown is published but not a street address. Please send contact information, in the form of a phone number or email, in case the editor has questions about a letter or commentary. Contact information isn’t published unless the writer specifically requests that the newspaper do so.

Pictures of the author or content subject matter can be published with a guest commentary but aren’t required.

Access Press asks that letters and guest commentaries be specifically written for the newspaper. Letters must have a focus on disability issues and ideally, a focus on those issues as they affect Minnesotans. Form letters will not be published.

Here’s an important reminder during an election year. Because a non-profit publication and must follow regulations on political partisanship, political endorsement letters are not published. That is true for candidates’ endorsements as well as for ballot questions.

are always encouraged to contact the newspaper to discuss ideas or to ask questions about From Our Community submissions, at 651-644-2133 or accesspress.org.

accommodations are needed to submit a letter or commentary, and we will help you.

available are barriers to independent living. There are options to help, their resources are stretched, but they are available.

• Centers for Independent Living (CIL) are out there. All 87 counties of Minnesota are regionally served by a local, independent 501c3 non-profit organization of people with disabilities for people with disabilities. They serve people who identify a barrier to accessing an independent life defined on their terms. You can search for your local center at the MACIL website.

• Online resources like Disability Hub provide links and tips for everything from health to money and work.

MNSILC’s message:

We want it well-known what independent living is and its criticality in the health and well-being of all involved. We want everyone who plays a role in any decision making to be well educated about the options and resources available. We want all to “live their best life”

without barriers.

• To those in hearings, presiding over cases, representing individuals - take the time to educate yourselves fully on what is available, exhaust all options that provide the greatest amount of independent living to the individual.

• To the medical profession – learn what you can about resources to recommend to your patients. Reach out to your local CIL, reach out to MNSILC or many other organizations serving those with disabilities.

• To legislators: recognize we are talking about basic human rights and consider that in all that crosses your desk. Issues like these should never be partisan.

Robyn Block, chairperson, Minnesota Statewide Independent Living Council Jacob Schuller, chairperson, Minnesota Association of Centers for Independent Living and executive director of Southeastern Center for Independent Living

Letters and commentaries reflect the view of the authors and not the views of the staff and board of directors of Access Press.

Deadline for the print edition of the newspaper is the 15th of each month, with publication the following month.

April 2023 Volume 34, Number 4 Pg 4

Deaf Minnesotans seek improved access to education and entertainment

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to improve the lives of deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing Minnesotans. Several bills before the 2023 Minnesota Legislature would help our community with communications and information access.

Rep. Brian Daniels' (R-Faribault) own son, Jeremiah, is deaf. Daniels has spoken about how his son's disability has shaped his views on disability rights.

One of the most important issues facing deaf and hard of hearing Minnesotans is access to education. Many deaf and hard of hearing students struggle in traditional public schools, and they often fall behind their hearing peers. HF 0612 would ensure that all children have access to language and the acquisition of language, such as teaching American Sign Language (ASL) to a deaf child.

Another important issue facing deaf and hard of hearing Minnesotans is access to communication. Many deaf and hard of hearing people have difficulty communicating with hearing people, and they often feel isolated and alone.

HF 0842 would require school districts to provide direct instruction to students who are deaf or hard of hearing by teachers who are licensed to teach. This bill would help to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing students have access to quality education.

HF 0909 would require televisions in public spaces to have closed captions readily enabled within its settings. This would help to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing people have access to information and entertainment.

HF 1282 creates a board of sign language interpreters and transliterators with rulemaking authority to have licensure(s) required. This would help to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing people have access to quality interpretation services.

These four bills are important because they would help to improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing Minnesotans. By providing access to education, communication and information, these bills would help to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing Minnesotans can live full and independent lives.

The bills are also important because

they would help to raise awareness of the needs of deaf and hard of hearing Minnesotans. Many people are not aware of the challenges that deaf and hard of hearing people face. These bills would help to educate the public about these challenges.

The bills were among issues covered at the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Day at the Capitol March 7.

Editor’s note: Wasilowski is a selfadvocate from Faribault. He attended the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Day at the Capitol March 7.

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Leaders dismissed at veterans’ home

Caregivers at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Hastings say a long-standing culture of workplace harassment, retaliation and bullying has led to an exodus of workers and hazards for both residents and staff. Current and former workers say unsafe conditions are ignored, medical decisions are made by unqualified people and staffing levels are dangerously low, according to interviews and documents obtained by the Pioneer Press.

The problems endanger some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable veterans who turn to these state-run homes, called domiciliaries, as a last hope. The Pioneer Press reviewed allegations from more than a dozen caregivers at the Hastings veterans home that described an ongoing pattern of ignoring safety concerns and consequences for those who spoke up.

Two top officials in the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs lost their jobs just before a Minnesota Senate committee held a hearing about allegations of the toxic workplace environment at the Hastings Veterans Home. The commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs answered questions about the Hastings home after Doug Hughes, the department's deputy commissioner, and Mike Anderson, administrator of the Hastings facility — were relieved of their duties.

“I am aware of ongoing issues that have been raised at the Hastings Veterans Home,” Larry Herke, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, wrote in a staff-wide email sent in March. Herke said the home will move forward with new leadership.

Senate State and Local Government and Veterans

Grant program’s focus is opioids

As opioids continue to devastate people and families across Minnesota, a new set of state grants focuses on communities bearing the greatest burdens of the crisis.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is awarding $5.7 million to 12 grantees to expand services available to support people suffering from opioid use disorder and make it easier to get help. Organizations funded are around the state, and will serve an array of Minnesotans.

More and more Minnesotans are losing their lives to opioid use disorder. The number of opioid-involved deaths in Minnesota reached 924 in 2021, up from 343 in 2018. American Indians and Black Minnesotans are experiencing the opioid epidemic more severely. American Indians are seven times more likely to die from a drug overdose than white Minnesotans, while Black Minnesotans are twice as likely to die from a drug overdose.

“Minnesota cannot and will not accept this continued pain and heartbreak for families and communities,” said DHS Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “With this funding, our partners can save lives now and in the years to come through a range of programs that are personcentered, trauma-informed and culturally responsive.”

The new grants will support culturally specific practices, including primary prevention and overdose prevention, workforce development and training, and expansion and enhancement of the continuum of care.

Gov. Tim Walz’s budget proposal to the 2023 Legislature includes a package of measures addressing the opioid epidemic. His recommendations, totaling $21.5 million over four years, include stronger representation of disproportionately impacted communities on the state Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council, ongoing funding for traditional healing and overdose prevention grants, and more education for opioid treatment professionals.

The current awards are the second set of grants recommended by the Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council, after an earlier round totaling approximately $5 million in 2022.

“I’m proud of the work we have been focused on over the past three years.

Providing over $10 million to tackle many different objectives across the state is what we have worked for,” said Rep. Dave Baker (R-Willmar), the council’s chair. “Our needs are endless, but we must deploy resources and help support families facing this deadly crisis.”

In the coming months, the Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council will announce additional funding

Committee Chair Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul), said her panel first started hearing in January about waiting lists for veterans to get into homes during a field hearing at the Minneapolis facility. Then she said information started to trickle in about issues in Hastings. Numerous whistleblowers brought forward many problems. The veterans home in Hastings is not a nursing home. The 145-bed facility's domiciliary program provides an independent living environment for veterans from

recommendations and begin soliciting proposals for new funding.

(Source: Minnesota DHS)

Training to understand disabilities

An interaction between an Olmsted County detention deputy and a detainee was not going well. But this wasn't a case of someone bucking authority in the jail. Instead, the inmate was autistic. The behaviors the detainee exhibited, which could easily be misunderstood as defiance, were actually just miscommunication.

Olmsted County Sheriff's Capt. Macey Tesmer has a disabled cousin and realized what was happening. “There's no way that she would be able to answer those questions, and then she would get frustrated and more nervous and more anxious and then less willing to communicate.”

Since 2019, Olmsted County has focused on training jail and law enforcement staff to be mindful of disabilities. Finding appropriate training materials and courses has not been easy.

“Our biggest challenge has been how do we take bits and pieces of what we can get, that's available to us, and apply that to what we do,” Tesmer said. Questions and issues such as strip searches must be handled carefully. A manual with pictures helps explains to detainees what is happening and why. Social workers and devices including fidget spinners and weighted blankest are also available.

“It's scary to go to jail for anybody, but then you add somebody who doesn't really understand what's happening, and that makes it even scarier,” Tesmer said.

“So we want to try and be able to get them through the process with as little interruption for them as possible.”

The program is working, according to Tesmer, with the team focusing on individual needs and what might help the process along.

The training has helped Olmsted County personnel help other law enforcement agencies, outside of jail.

(Source: Rochester Post Bulletin)

Parents sue over suicide

Parents of a former Rosemount High School graduate who died by suicide are taking legal action against the Florida university their daughter attended and her cross-country coach at the time. In a lawsuit, they say the coach bullied her about her weight and learning disabilities.

The case was filed by Ray and Lynne Pernsteiner in Florida state court in February and then moved to U.S. District Court in Florida in March. Julia Pernsteiner died in her Jacksonville University dorm room on Nov. 8, 2021 at age 23.

The lawsuit alleges that Pernsteiner's

all military branches who need assistance with mental health, chemical dependency issues and financial or social well-being.

The complaints allege the home's environment took what naturally was a difficult time — the COVID-19 pandemic that brought lockdowns and mental health struggles — and made it significantly worse.

More than 20 of the facility's fewer than 100 employees have left in the past year and a half, one former supervisor said, pointing out the facility has been operating without a nurse practitioner since the previous one left.

“It was a matter of putting a lot of work on people that shouldn't be doing it, and transferring work to other people who shouldn't be doing it, and then throwing people under the bus when they did something wrong — when it wasn't something they should have been doing in the first place,” said Tori Pearce, an Air Force veteran who was director of nursing at the Hastings facility until she left in September 2021. “I want to feel these homes are ready for what special-needs veterans will need in the future.”

State veterans groups have expressed outrage that this work environment could have led to subpar care for some of the state's most vulnerable veterans. Trent Dilks, the legislative director for Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota who served two tours in Iraq, said the most pressing concerns at the Hastings home involved nonmedical administrators overruling medical professionals in caring for veterans.

(Source: Pioneer Press, Star Tribune)

constitutional rights were violated under both Title IX and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Calls from the Pioneer Press to attorneys for the former coach Ronald E. Grigg Jr., 52, and Jacksonville University for comment on the lawsuit were not returned. Jacksonville University sent this statement: “The students, faculty, and staff of Jacksonville University continue to mourn Julia's tragic death and we sympathize with the Pernsteiner family for their loss. Per University policy, we do not comment on pending litigation.”

According to the civil complaint, Grigg, who coached the university's cross-country team from 1998 until his resignation in July, targeted Pernsteiner with “malicious, humiliating and demeaning” comments, text messages and emails.

“As a coach, defendant Grigg was oppressive, threatening, bullying, condescending and demeaning to many of the young women on the team,” said the complaint. “He created a toxic atmosphere of humiliation and intimidation by belittling, disparaging and ridiculing runners who did not meet his standards.”

Pernsteiner and other members of the cross-country team reached out to the JU athletic director, trainers and administrators to report Grigg's conduct, but no action was taken against the coach, according to the complaint.

In addition to failing to supervise Grigg, the lawsuit also states that JU failed to provide the necessary academic and athletic resources to Pernsteiner.

Pernsteiner used an Individualized Education Plan from a young age to help with her ADHD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities, which JU allegedly agreed to comply with in addition to other disability and mental health

resources. However, JU failed to provide accommodations, including a scribe, reader, professors' notes and assistive technology, the complaint said.

Grigg dismissed Pernsteiner from the cross-country team in September 2021 and after leaving the team, Pernsteiner sent an email to the JU athletic director seeking advice because she was concerned about staying in school without resources from the athletic department. But her pleas went unanswered and she struggled with depression.

In a statement through their attorney, Ray and Lynne Pernsteiner said, “For Julia, running was a big part of her life and being part of the team was the biggest, most important, thing to her … Julia used running as a key outlet to help her manager her disabilities.”

The Pernsteiners are seeking monetary damages and a judge's determination that JU discriminated against their daughter.

(Source: Pioneer Press)

April 2023 Volume 34, Number 4 Pg 8
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Blazing Cats and Warriors are 2023 adapted hockey champions

The 2023 Minnesota State High School League’s adapted floor hockey state championship games may have had spectators wondering if they had traveled back to 2022. Both PI and CI division title games were a repeat match for the teams. But the outcomes would not be the same.

CI Division

The Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville Blazing Cats avenged last year’s state tile loss in the CI championship, topping the Trojans of New Prague/Tri-City United/ LeSueur-Henderson/Belle Plaine/Jordan, 15-6.

The win gave the Blazing Cats their first state championship in school history.

The Blazing Cats opened up the title game after a close first period, The second period ended 12-5 and there was no looking back. Several Blazing Cats scored more than once. Caden Roseth led all scorers with nine goals. Teammate Riley Deutsch recorded a hat trick and senior Clarke Ruhland was the final Blazing Cat with multiple goals, scoring twice. For the Trojans, Aaron Adamson finished with three goals and Raymond Parker had two.

The Blazing Cats got to the title game by topping White Bear Lake Area and Maple Grove Maple Grove defeated Dakota United, 6-5, for third place. Crimson senior Gaetano Sanders would be successful in overtime, scoring with 1:32 left in the five-minute period.

The Stillwater/Mahtomedi Ponies

Tura takes MDH post

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has announced the appointment of Dr. Robsan (Halkeno) Tura as the new assistant commissioner for the department’s health equity bureau. Tura assumes the post held previously by Dr. Brooke Cunningham, prior to her appointment in January as commissioner of health.

In his new role, Tura will oversee the department’s Center for Health Equity; diversity, equity and inclusion efforts; and the Office of American Indian Health. He will also serve as the department’s lead for proactive and strategic health equity partnerships and will lead the department’s work to advance equity in its day-to-day services and programs.

He previously served as the director of the department’s Center for Health Equity, where he directed the development, implementation and evaluation of efforts to advance health equity in Minnesota. Before joining MDH, Dr. Tura served as deputy director for Blackhawk County Public Health in Waterloo, Iowa. In that role he drove health equity initiatives, strategic planning and implementation of other programs, including disease surveillance and investigation, maternal and child health, and chronic disease prevention.

He also oversaw the county’s first joint assessment of community health needs, including outreach to underrepresented populations. Prior to that role, he served as director of Refugee and Immigrants Health Programs for EMBARC IOWA in Des Moines. He also has extensive experience in international health initiatives serving Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He earned his doctorate in public health from the University of Iowa and has master’s degrees in public health education and public health nutrition.

“Halkeno brings a great mix of practical experience and skill to our equity work, and I am thankful for his willingness to step into this new role as part of our management team,” Cunningham said. “The challenges of recent years demonstrated how the health – or lack of health – in any

claimed the CI consolation crown with a 6-1 win over the North/Tartan Polars. Mason-Mora Clark led scoring for the Ponies with five goals.

The St. Cloud Crush was the eight team in the tournament. The team is made up of athletes from St. Cloud Apollo, Sauk Rapids-Rice, St. Cloud Tech and Sartell high schools.

All-tournament team members are Aaron Blood, Clarke Ruhland and Angel Figueroa, Burnsville/Farmington/ Lakeville; Ada Kramer and Thomas Christopherson, Dakota United;

Alec Singh and Gaetano Sanders, Maple Grove; Landon Malecha, Aaron Adamson and Trystan Seger, New Prague/TCU/LSH/Belle Plaine/Jordan; Kaylee Larios, North/Tartan and MasonMora Clark, Stillwater/Mahtomedi.

The CI Division is for student-athletes with cognitive disabilities.

PI Division

The Brainerd Warriors came away with the title, their sixth state championship and their first since 2019. The Warriors defeated the Hawks of Dakota United,

4-3, in overtime.

Seventh-grader Aiden Olsen scored the game-winning goal about a minute into OT. It was a back-and-forth game, and very exciting for spectators.

Brainerd defeated the St. Paul Humboldt Hawks and Anoka Hennepin Mustangs to reach the title game.

The Robins of Robbinsdale/Hopkins/ Mound Westonka defeated the AnokaHennepin, 5-2, for third place. Jose Leon Estrada helped lead the Robins with four goals. The Robins overcame a 0-2 deficient to fly back in the second period.

Maple Grove topped Rochester, 9-8, for the consolation title. Rochester led 6-3 at one point, but a third period comeback was topped by the gamewinning goal from seventh-grader Lincoln Scearcy. Scearcy finished the game with six goals. Teammate Ben Pfeifer chipped in with the other three for Maple Grove.

The Minneapolis South Tigers were the other team in the tournament.

PI all-tournament team members are Joey Tonna and Sophia Reither, AnokaHennepin; Owen Olsen, Andrew Kargel and Cadence Atwater, Brainerd; Jae Bahma, Fiona Sitzmann and Cayden Needham, Dakota United; Bryan Lopez, Maple Grove; Darius Larson and Jose Leon Estrada, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/ Mound Westonka; and Joe Hansen, Rochester.

The PI Division is for student-athletes with physical disabilities.

The tournament was hosted by Bloomington Jefferson High School.

to individuals with disabilities, with the goal of helping them to live more independently and achieve their full potential.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support and excited for the opportunity to use technology to make a positive impact in our communities,” said John Stanton, Accord vice president of stakeholder success. “This grant will allow us to provide laptops and other resources to the people we serve. It will make a significant difference in the lives of people with disabilities. With these new tools and resources, we can help individuals to overcome barriers to independence, access critical services and opportunities, and lead more fulfilling lives.”

community or individual impacts the health of all. Advancing health equity is essential to ensuring that all Minnesotans have the opportunity to be as healthy as they can be. Halkeno’s expertise and leadership will help us move forward in our work.”

“I envision a public health system that promotes health equity and combats the root causes of health disparities,” Tura said. “I’ve worked to eliminate health disparities all my career, and I look forward to leading this missioncritical bureau to advance equity for all Minnesotans.”

Lee named to Opportunity Partners board

Jack Lee has joined the board of directors for Opportunity Partners, a Twin Cities disability services nonprofit.

Lee serves as the executive director of Voyageur Outward Bound School (VOBS). He brings many years of business and nonprofit leadership, including at Intel Corporation and Youth Frontiers. He has been involved in Rotary, served on the board of Upstream Arts and was a part of volunteer leadership at the Basilica of St. Mary. He and his wife Laura have three children and enjoy long road trips.

Established in 1953, Opportunity Partners is celebrating 70 years of advancing the quality of life for people with disabilities. Opportunity Partners is a Twin Cities nonprofit that offers employment, enrichment and residential services that help people with disabilities earn an income, live as independently as possible, and participate as active members of the community.

Accord awarded technology grant

Accord, a non-profit organization in the Twin Cities dedicated to empowering people with disabilities, announced that it has received a grant from the state of Minnesota to support its mission of helping people live their greatest lives by giving back to the community and making a difference through innovative technology. The tech grant, which was awarded through a highly competitive process, will enable Accord to expand its efforts to provide cutting-edge technology solutions that benefit individuals with disabilities that are in need.

Accord will be able to provide laptops, education, and support its ongoing programs that promote digital literacy and accessibility. The programs will provide critical support and resources

Accord has a long history of advocating for the rights and needs of people with disabilities. Accord provides a wide range of services and support to individuals with disabilities and their families, including advocacy, education, day support and employment programs.

April 2023 Volume 34, Number 4 Pg 9
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Missed a book broadcast?

Missed a book broadcast? Listeners can access a broadcast for one following the original broadcast in the Radio Talking Book only weekly program archive. For help accessing the archive, contact Ronnie Washington at 651-539-1424 or SSB.Equipment@state.mn.us.

If the book’s broadcast is no longer available in the archive, contact staff librarian Dan Gausman for assistance, at 651-539-1422 or dan.gausman@state. mn.us

All about Radio Talking Book

The sampling published monthly in Access Press doesn’t represent the full array of programming on Radio Talking Book (RTB).

RTB is not just for listeners with visual disabilities. Anyone with difficulty reading or turning pages can enjoy the service. Enjoy programming on a mobile device, for either iOS or Android. Visit the Apple App Store for iOS, or Google Play for Android, and download the Minnesota Radio Talking Book app.

Listen to RTB’s live or archived programs online at www.mnssb.org/rtb Books broadcast on the Minnesota RTB Network are available for loan through the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault. The catalog is at www.mnbtbl.org, click on the link Search the Library Catalog. Call the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library at 800722-0550, Mon-Fri, 9 am - 4 pm CST. For updates, go to the Facebook site Minnesota Radio Talking Book.

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The NFB-NEWSLINE service provides access to more than 500 magazines and newspapers. To learn more, visit www. nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-newsline

Donate to the State Services for the Blind at mn.gov/deed/ssbdonate.

If listeners have ideas or feedback about books or programs broadcast, contact the staff. For newspapers and programs, contact Tony Lopez at tony. lopez@state.mn.us or 651-642-0880. For books, contact Joseph Papke at joseph. papke@state.mn.us or 651-539-2316. Callers from Greater Minnesota can reach staff by calling 1-800-652-9000 and ask for Lopez or Papke.

Mingo led life of service

Robert Mingo lived for many years with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), working to educate others about the disease. Mingo died earlier this year of complications of FSHD. He was 61 and lived in Fridley. Mingo’s love of animals let to a career as a veterinary technician. He enjoyed writing poetry and doing volunteer work, guided by a strong faith.

He was diagnosed with FSHD in 2002, just months after getting married. He was a longtime volunteer with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), sharing his story during telethons. He was the Minnesota recipient of the national MDA Robert Ross Personal Achievement Award in 2009.

In 2001, after a tornado struck his childhood home area of North Minneapolis, Mingo was there handing out water. That led to a water ministry for the neighborhood. He won the Minnesota Council on Disability’s Emergency Preparedness Award in 2011. of Sanctuary Covenant Church and served as an usher and anywhere needed. He is survived by his wife Amy, and five siblings and their families. Private services have been held. A public celebration of life service is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, July 15 at River Park North, 101 83rd Ave. N., Brooklyn Park.


Monday – Friday 6 a.m.

Status and Culture, nonfiction by W. David Marx, 2022. A wide-ranging examination of why things become popular, why preferences change over time, and how identity plays out in contemporary society. Read by Diane Dahm. 14 broadcasts; begins Tue, April 4.

Life Time, nonfiction by Russell Foster, 2022. A guide to using the science of the body clock to promote better sleep, better health, and better thinking. Read by Lannois Neely. 15 broadcasts; begins Mon, April 24.

Past is Prologue

Monday – Friday 11 a.m.

The Escape Artist, nonfiction by Jonathan Freedland, 2022. The incredible story of Rudolf Vrba—one of the very first Jews to break out of Auschwitz and make his way to freedom. He was a man determined to warn the world and pass on a truth too few were willing to hear. Read by Yelva Lynfield. 16 broadcasts; begins Thu, April

6. -- G


Monday – Friday 12 p.m.

Little, fiction by David Treuer, 1995. A moving account of kinship and survival on a northern Minnesota reservation. Read by John Schmidt. 10 broadcasts; begins Tue, April 4.

The Moments Between Dreams, fiction by Judith F. Brenner, 2022. A story of a woman’s hope, courage, and perseverance in post-WWII Chicago. Read by Bonnie Swenby. 11 broadcasts; begins Tue, April 18. – V

The Writer’s Voice*

Monday – Friday 1 p.m.

Finding Turtle Farm, nonfiction by Angela Tedesco, 2022. The story of starting and running an organic farm—told by the woman who owned one of the first Community-Supported Agriculture operations in the Upper Midwest. Read by Yelva Lynfield. 10 broadcasts; begins Tue, April 4.

James Patterson, nonfiction by James Patterson, 2022. A conversational autobiography from the best-selling author. Read by Jim Ahrens. Seven broadcasts; begins Tue, April 18. – L

Speaking of Harpo, nonfiction by Susan Fleming Marx, with Robert S. Bader,


From page 1

“Scottie was really a pioneer in adaptive recreation,” said his friend Eric Larson. “He was a guy in a wheelchair who didn’t have limits.”

Sailing was his true love. He is believed to be one of the first paraplegics to sail solo.

In the mid-1980s he led the push for the Duluth Parks and Recreation Department to create the Twin Ports Youth Sailing Program. He recruited boat builders and new sailors, and volunteered at the Park Point sailing site. Recently he worked with the Duluth Superior Sailing Association (DSSA) through creation of the Sailing for All program. The program is not just for those with disabilities and accessibility issues, but also those who may not otherwise get involved in sailing.

In a 2019 interview with the Duluth News Tribune, Anderson recalled watching others being lifted from wheelchairs into sailboats and then setting off solo on the water.

“It's such a sense of freedom, moving along the water with just the wind,” he said. “It's really hard to describe what that feels like for someone in a chair.”

Anderson built his own wooden boat. When asked why he didn’t use fiberglass he said, “If God would have wanted fiberglass boats, he would have made fiberglass trees!”

He also loved to fish, and was

2022. A show-business memoir of rare grace and humor from the widow of Harpo Marx. Read by Dan Sadoff. Nine broadcasts; begins Thu, April 27.

Choice Reading*

Monday – Friday 2 p.m.

Under The Whispering Door, fiction by T. J. Klune, 2021. The heartfelt story of a man who discovers the joys of living after he’s dead, thanks to a teashop owner who ferries the dead to the other side of life. Read by Peter Danbury. 14 broadcasts; begins Tuesday, April 11. – L

When I Sing, Mountains Dance, fiction by Irene Solà, 2022. A spellbinding Catalan novel that places one family’s tragedies against the uncontainable life force of the land itself. Read by Brenda Powell. 6 broadcasts; begins Mon, April 24. – S

Afternoon Report*

Monday – Friday 4 p.m.

The Stolen Year, nonfiction by Anya Kamenetz, 2022. An NPR education reporter shows how the pandemic disrupted children’s lives—and how our country has nearly always failed to put our children first. Read by Phil Rosenbaum. 12 broadcasts; begins Mon, April 3. – L

Out On a Limb, nonfiction by Andrew Sullivan, 2021. A collection of iconic and powerful essays of social and political commentary from one of the most influential journalists of the last three decades. Read by John Potts. 24 broadcasts; begins Wed, April 19. – L

Night Journey*

Monday – Friday 7 p.m.

Rafferty’s Last Case, fiction by Larry Millett, 2022. The ninth and final Minnesota mystery, in which Shadwell Rafferty, with the inimitable Sherlock Holmes, may have solved his own murder. Read by Gary Rodgers. 15 broadcasts; begins Mon, April 10.

Off the Shelf*

Monday – Friday 8 p.m.

Booth, fiction by Karen Joy Fowler, 2022. An epic and intimate novel about the family behind one of the most infamous figures in American history: John Wilkes Booth. Read by Michele Potts. 15 broadcasts; begins Tue, April 11.


Monday – Friday 9 p.m.

Wonderlands, nonfiction by Charles Baxter, 2022. Searching and erudite new

All times listed are Central Standard Time.

Abbreviations V – violent content R –racial epithets L – strong language S –sexual situation G – gory descriptions

essays on writing and the life of literature. Read by Glenn Miller. 10 broadcasts; begins Wes, April 19.

Good Night Owl*

Monday – Friday 10 p.m.

Noor (rebroadcast), fiction by Nnedi Okorafor, 2021. A fast-paced, Afrofuturist, journey of tribe, destiny, body and the wonderland of technology. Read by Karen Ray. 8 broadcasts; begins Mon, April 3. – L, S

Hidden Pictures, fiction by Jason Rekulak, 2021. A supernatural thriller about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets. Read by Laura Young. 11 broadcasts; begins Thu, April 13. – L

RTB After Hours*

Monday – Friday 11 p.m.

Set On You, fiction by Amy Lea, 2022. A gym nemesis pushes a fitness influencer to the max in this steamy romantic comedy. Read by Jodi Lindskog. 12 broadcasts; begins Mon, April 3. – L, S Nora Goes Off Script, fiction by Annabel Monaghan, 2022. A romance screenwriter becomes the protagonist of her own love story when a hunky actor stays at her house. Read by Pat Muir. 8 broadcasts; begins Wed, April 19. – L, S

Weekend Program Books

Your Personal World, 1 p.m. Sat, presents This Is How Your Marriage Ends by Matthew Fray, read by Beverly Burchett. – L

For the Younger Set, 11 a.m. presents Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen, read by Pat Muir.

Poetic Reflections, noon Sun, presents Still Living in Town by Kevin FitzPatrick, read by Mary Knatterud; followed by Space Struck by Page Lewis, read by Mary Knatterud.

The Great North, 4 p.m. Sun, presents The Pride of Minnesota by Thom Henninger, read by Jim Gregorich; followed by A Private Wilderness by Sigurd F. Olson

instrumental in getting wheelchairaccessible fishing piers built in Duluth and on several lakes in Minnesota’s Arrowhead and Superior National Forest.

Anderson was not only a leader in adapted sports. He also was a strong advocate for anyone with a disability.

He began his career as a disability advocate in 1988, as director of the Duluth office of the Center for Independent Living of NE Minnesota (CILNM), now Access North. He was one of many Minnesotans who worked to get the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, receiving an invitation to the White House.

He later crossed Lake Superior to work as a work incentives benefits counselor at North Country Independent Living in northwestern Wisconsin. He helped clients manage benefits, and worked on accessibility programs including a rampbuilding program that continues today. He shared a vast knowledge of Social Security programs.

He is remembered for his calm and quiet confidence, and not making assumptions about people. He worked on many local, state and national groups.

Anderson helped found several programs including the Peer-to-Peer group through Access North, People with Disabilities For Change, the Brain Injury Support Group at Polinsky Rehabilitation Center and the Ports Area Brain Injury Roundtable.

Memorials preferred to the Scott R. Anderson Sailing for All Memorial Fund

at DSSA, P. O. Box 3094, Duluth, MN 55803. Checks should be noted for the Scott R. Anderson Fund. Donations can also be made through DSSA's PayPal account at sailingforall@gmail.org.

See Anderson in a video at https:// www.duluthnewstribune.com/make-ahero-adaptive-water-sports-scott-andersonduluth-mn

April 2023 Volume 34, Number 4 Pg 10
∏∏f In
Memoriam f∏∏
Got news to share? Get in touch with us! Drop us a line or call 651-644-2133 access@ accesspress.org

Gala is April 21

Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota hosts its Self-Advocates Spring Gala 7-9 p.m. Fri, April 21 at Mpls Northwest Marriott. The gala is for individuals with Down syndrome in high school to adult only. Enjoy desserts and dancing, and dress up in cocktail attire. Reserve a spot today. FFI: https://www.eventbrite. com/e/self-advocate-spring-galatickets-502297223517

Post your event online

Access Press would like to move more of its event listings online, and that is possible with our redesigned website. There is a word limit and we’d ask that those posting information include event costs as well as accommodations. Are ASL and AD offered? Is there companion seating? A quiet room? Fidgets?

Accommodations are much more than a ramp for many of us. That kind of information can help someone decide where or not to attend an event.

To post an event, go to www. accesspress.org, click the resources tab at top right, and go to the post an event line. Consider that a small web or print ad can also generate interest in an upcoming event. For questions about ads, email ads@accesspress.org

Access Press reserved the right to reject events if they do not meet our guidelines. Call the editor at 651-644-2133 ext. one or email jane@accesspress.org with events questions.

Open Flow Forum

The Artists with Disabilities Alliance meets via Zoom 7-9 p.m. the first Thu


of the month. Upcoming dates are April 6 and May 4. Virtually join artists with disabilities and supporters to share visual art, writing, music, theater and artistic efforts or disability concerns. Facilitators are Tara Innmon, Kip Shane and Springboard for the Arts. The gatherings are fully accessible. Anyone needing special accommodations should contact Andy Sturdevant at host organization Springboard for the Arts. Funding is available for access needs. FFI: 651-2940907, resources@springboardforthearts. org

Resources to Enjoy!

The Enjoy listings are for arts events as well as banquets, fundraisers and fun events by and for disability services organizations. Schedules may be subject to change. Some venues still may have mask and vaccine requirements. Please check with a venue or organization before making plans.

The Minnesota Access Alliance (MNAA) provides an Accessible Arts & Culture Calendar for arts patrons who use accessibility accommodations such as audio description, captioning, ASL interpreting and sensory-friendly accommodations. Link to more details at https://calendar.mnaccess.org. Be sure to check the listing or venue to find out its COVID-19 protocol and if an advance reservation is needed for the accessibility service.

Accessible events can be submitted to the MNAA Calendar (and MinnesotaPlaylist.com). A list of other venues follows the event listings.


Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota annual conference, retreat

The Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota (DSAMN) hosts its annual statewide learning conference and selfadvocate retreat Sat, April 22 at the Mpls Northwester Marriott in Brooklyn Park. Preregister for either the self-advocate retreat or the caregiver conference. Costs vary. FFI: https://interland3. donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink. aspx?name=E11535&id=135

Children and families

PACER workshops sampling

PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Some in-person workshops are offered at PACER Center and also offered online. Other workshops are wholly online and livestreamed at this time. Advance registration is required for all workshops. At least 48 hours’ notice is needed for interpretation. Check out PACER’s website and link to the newsletter of statewide workshops that allows participants to pick and choose sessions designed for their needs.

Grant assistance available

People who receive home and community-based waiver services (HCBS) can take advantage of a new grant program and free services from LiveLife Therapy Solutions, a Minnesota assistive technology company. The grant program, called AT for Wellness, is available through March 2024. It is designed to help people who currently receive HCBS waiver services to obtain equipment and connectivity to help them access telehealth and/or for social engagement. Some examples include access to online classes, educational programs, work related activities, community engagement and remote healthcare appointments.

LiveLife Therapy Solutions can help with purchasing Internet services and equipment that are typically denied by waiver or cannot be covered, like tablets and computers, to allow people to access telehealth services. The company has also been able to purchase computer desks, office chairs, mounts, adaptive mice, and keyboards. This grant is also able to assist if the person has remote technologies but does not know how to set them up or use them, to cover that time for set up and training needs. FFI: https://livelifetherapysolutions.com/services/

To receive a free monthly events calendar: email mactfactor@icloud.com and/or info@mnaccess.org. Ask for the entire events list or specific lists for ASL interpreting, captioning, audio description, sensory-friendly accommodations or

building different types of wind turbines. The workshop is a great opportunity to learn about the potential of wind power.

Housing – Starting the Journey : Step One – How Do We Start? is 6:30-9 p.m. Mon, April 10. Parents will gain information to help their young adults develop their vision for community living, housing and services. An overview of housing and service options will be provided.

Registration recommended for all three workshops in this series. Register for each session separately.

A Review of Apple Accessibility Features is noon-1 p.m. Wed, April 19. Participants will review of Apple accessibility features, both established and newly added iOS 16 and macOS Ventura features.

Keys to Job Success: Tools to Support Executive Function at Work is 1-2:15 p.m. Wed, April 5 at PACER Center or virtually. The workshop will explore technology to support executive function skills at work, including managing time, staying organized, completing tasks, and maintaining focus using devices and mobile apps.

Tech for Teens Club : Wind Energy Part 1 is 10-11 a.m. Sat, April 22 at PACER Center or virtually. Participants will learn about the science behind this renewable energy source, and then get hands-on with

Tech for Teens Club : Wind Energy Part 2 is 11 a.m.-noon Sat, April 22 at PACER Center or virtually. Participants in Part 2 will learn how to harness the wind to generate electricity. During the workshop, they will select a wind turbine design, and then build a model that will generate electricity.

FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-5372237, www.pacer.org

Info & Assistance

Many classes available NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) has set up a wide variety of free and in-person online mental health classes. Choices include Hope for Recovery, Transitions, Ending the Silence, Understanding Early Episode Psychosis for Families, In Our Own Voice, Family to Family, Positive Psychology, Creating Caring Communities, smoking cessation, a suicide prevention class called QPR –Question, Persuade and Refer, a special QPR class for Agricultural Communities and many more.

Be aware that on Feb. 1, NAMI Minnesota’s Online Support Groups moved to a new and improved platform,

disability-related topics. For other accessibility resources or upcoming webinars presented by MNAA, sign up for emails at https://mnaccess.org

HeyPeers. HeyPeers provides a safe, easy to access environment exclusively designed for online support group meetings.

The classes and online support groups are designed for family members and caregivers, persons living with a mental illness, service providers, and also the general public. Find a complete listing of these classes and how to join in by going to namimn.org and clicking on “Classes” or go straight to https://namimn.org/ education-public-awareness/classes/ scheduled/.


Be a speaker

The Spina Bifida Resource Network (SBRN) seeks speakers with lived disability experience for its Empowered Conversations virtual speaker series. The weekly, interactive event by and for adults with disabilities features disabled speakers, movement artists and other discussion leaders. The program has been offered free to participants nationwide since March 2020.

Speaking engagements are held Wednesday 7-8 p.m. ET via Zoom with auto captioning. This includes a 5-min intro, 45-min session and 5-10-min Q&A.

FFI: amandak76w@gmail.com

April 2023 Volume 34, Number 4 Pg 11
Be part of our Access Press Directory Next edition: JULY 2023 Call 651-644-2133 to be included!
Modular aluminum ramps -paid $1000, want $500 New Quantum power chair $2000 or best offer 651-772-2502. METES & BOUNDS MANAGEMENT Company manages the following Section 8 properties in Minnesota. Income and rent restrictions apply Metes & Bounds is an equal housing opportunity housing company Boardwalk Wayzata 952-473-0502 Dewey Place/The Pines Foley 320-968-7791 Highwood Homes Prior Lake 952-447-6961 Greenwood Wadena 218-631-2575 Mission Oaks Plymouth 763-559-5770 Rustic Creek Two Harbors 218-595-1018 Todd 27 Long Prairie 320-732-6154 Town Square East Grand Forks 218-773-3631 Victory Duluth 218-722-2629 Classified rates: $20 (first 12 words); $1/word beyond 12. Email classified to access@accesspress.org Deadline: 20th of each month. We will email total cost of classified ad. FIND YOUR NEW HOME WITH AT HOME APARTMENTS Call 651-224-1234 or visit AtHomeApartments.com for an apartment or town home Equal Opportunity Housing CLASSIFIEDS FOR RENT SERVICES
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• For adults with qualifying disabilities.

• Over 50 barrier-free apartment communities & homes throughout the Metropolitan Area, Greater Minnesota and the Midwest.

• Locations also available in many other states. Income limits apply.

• Immediate openings in Hibbing, Willmar and Hibbing, Minnesota

• For qualifying senior households age 62 or better.

• Metro & Greater MN locations available. Income limits apply.

• Accessible apartments, available for seniors in these locations.

• Immediate openings in Worthington and Albert Lea, Minnesota


Access Press is Minnesota’s disability news source, in print and online

Access Press helps you reach thousands of Minnesotans with disabilities, their family members and friends, their organizations and their allies Access Press is produced by and for people with disabilities

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