March 2017 Edition - Access Press

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Volume 28, Number 3

March 10, 2017



Mixed news with surplus, federal cuts



by Jane McClure



A 2016 rally outside of the State Office Building drew attention to the need for more funding for home and community-based services.

More oversight seen as needed for home, community services by Access Press staff More oversight is needed for programs that provide care and services for people with disabilities and the elderly, according to a report from the state’s legislative auditor. The 84-page report, which focused on $2.4 billion in home and community-based services spending and providers, was hailed by disability coalitions ARRM and Best Life Alliance for shedding light on key issues. The legislative auditor’s investigation found that the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) doesn’t

Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain... To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices - today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.

Kevyn Aucoin NEWS DIGEST She helps Fido look his best Page 13 They symbolized fight for rights Page 2

adequately regulate workers who go into clients’ homes. Nor does it provide adequate financial oversight of organizations that provide services. A major finding of the report is that home and community-based service as they are now don’t always equate to more independence for persons with disabilities, and that Minnesota is behind in the areas of employment and integration of housing. Nationally, 67 percent of persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities live with their families or in their own homes. In OVERSIGHT page 3

Supports, services make a difference Page 3 Without care, he cannot succeed Page 4 Save the Date: Made in the Shade Page 11

Clock is ticking

Disability issues highlighted at large rally by Jane McClure “We deserve to have our voices heard and our issues addressed.” Those words, spoken by Apple Valley parent Kelly Kausel, summed up the sentiments of this year’s Disability Matters Day at the Capitol. A large crowd packed the February 28 event, filling the rotunda and lining up two deep along the second and third floor railings. Attendees cheered and chanted, to convey a message that a variety of supports are needed for people to lead independent lives in the community. The rally drew self-advocates from around the state, family members and allies. They called for the 2017 Minnesota Legislature to support policies that promote inclusion, choice and independence for people with disabilities and their families. The Arc Minnesota, Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis Foundation and Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities organized the rally and lobbying day. State legislators also spoke, telling the crowd that they would stand with them on tough issues. Rep Laurie Halverson, DFL – Eagan, said she and other lawmakers are willing to fight for people with disabilities and their families. Citing the state’s budget surplus, she said, “We have the resources to help those in need.” Sen. Jim Abeler, R – Anoka, told the crowd that they are important and that they all make a difference in the state of


Following the money at the state and federal levels has a renewed urgency for Minnesotans with disabilities and their allies. The February 28 announcement of a $1.65 billion state surplus for fiscal year 20182019 and a $743 million ending balance for the current biennium, has generated calls for more spending on caregiver programs and an array of other services and supports. While additional state funding is a potential bright spot, many advocates are wary of what is on the horizon at the federal level. Drastic cuts are proposed by Congress to Medicaid, as part of the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid, which is known in Minnesota as Medical Assistance or MA, ensures health care cover for Minnesotans with disabilities, the elderly, children and low-income adults. Currently the amount of MA funding Minnesota gets is based on what it actually costs the state to provide coverage. One change being considered would move MA to a block grant system. Each state would get a lump sum of funding for MA. In the event of an economic downtown, an epidemic, rise in aging population or a disaster states would either have to pick up more costs or leave people without care. Another change eyed would to be use per capita caps, with a set amount of money for each MA enrollee. Caps could be index to rise with inflation but if the Consumer Price Index is used, a concern is that it usually grows much more slowly than health care costs. Funding would likely shrink over time, and not keep up with new technology, medications or treatments. It’s not certain what Minnesota could lose under a change to the system, but estimate are at $5 billion. The changes are promoted by their advocates as providing flexibility. Disability advocates disagree and contend that changes would only shift more costs to states, and result in cuts to service. Since long-term care services make up the bulk of Medicaid expenses, changes would mean cuts to services to people with disabilities and the elderly. Groups including the Minnesota State Council on Disability and Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) are among the groups tracking the federal funding issue. MNCCD Board Chairman Randall Bachman said that the changes proposed for Medicaid need to be watched closely. “While we’re cautiously optimistic about how the legislative session has gone, and the news of a state surplus, what is happening in Congress could undo everything we’ve done here,” Bachman said. “Every state’s health and human services structure is built on Medicaid. Changes to that could

Today I choose life.

Rob Wudlick spoke on behalf of Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis at the rally. Minnesota. He and other state lawmakers and advocates urged everyone to continue telling their stories to state lawmakers, and speaking for what they need. Issues including high parental fees, the caregiver crisis and needed Medical Assistance spend-down changes were addressed at the rally. Kausel was among the speakers, talking about how current state policies make life untenable for her family. Her son Noah has autism and the family pays high parental fees to get Noah the help he needs. They live paycheck to paycheck.

“Families like mine have gone through terrible hardships,” Kausel said. “I know families who have faced bankruptcy, divorce, home foreclosure and stress-related medical problems.” One repeated theme was the need to for people with disabilities to support each other on issues. “I am here to help you help yourselves,” said Jeff Bangsberg. “Let people know what the issues and needs are.” Bangsberg is working with the Complex Care Coalition, which is seeking higher wages for caregivers whose clients need a increased level of care. Citing the low wages and high number of caregiver vacancies, Bangsberg said, “We have a critical crisis out there that is affecting many people, every day.” Rob Wudlick, who has quadriplegia, is involved with Get Up Stand Up. He spoke about the need for people to get involved in legislative issues and strength in numbers. “The very act of being here shows we are motived ... Although we may be here on different causes and issues, we are working together and empowering each other.” Another large rally will be Tuesday, March 14 at the capitol. ARRM, MOHR and Rise will be bringing in a large group to show support for legislation including the Best Life Alliance campaign for caregiver wage increases. The rally is 10-11 a.m. at the rotunda. A resource room RALLY page 7

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March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3


Tim Benjamin The Minnesota legislative session is in full swing and moving at a very rapid pace, with deadlines for legislation to be heard in both chamber committees by March 10. "The first committee deadlines were adopted in 1971 as part of the Permanent Joint Rules. There were two deadlines, one for bills in the house of origin and one for bills in the other house." These early deadlines keep things moving, and help to ensure that talk gets going toward action. There are several legislative bills that are being heard to raise the reimbursement rate for direct support providers, or personal care assistants (PCAs). The Best Life Alliance is asking, in its bill, SF 669/HF 873, for a reimbursement increase that would result in a 4 percent wage hike beginning July 1, 2017 with a second 4 percent increase starting on July 1, 2018, plus an all-inclusive permanent solution to provide healthcare insurance for hands-on support providers. This increase would be a very good start to slowing the devastating impacts of the home care crisis. The Complex Care Coalition (CCC) is asking for a higher reimbursement rate for individuals with higher needs;

the bills it is sponsoring are SF 393/ HF 481. The CCC is requesting a twotier reimbursement rate for PCAs, providing one rate for individuals with 10 hours or less of daily home care, and a higher rate for individuals who require more than 10 hours, based on the finding that individuals with more than 10 hours of daily care have more complex needs. The number of hours a person needing home care is assessed at directly parallels the level of complex health needs and requirements for sophisticated support in activities of daily living. PCAs providing “high needs, complex services” would be trained at a much higher practical level of health knowledge and be required to have an amount of training, competency and experience possibly the equivalent to a nursing assistant. The CCC is urging legislators to authorize at least a 20 percent reimbursement rate increase for these higher-skill level PCAs. Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget has a similar plan, proposing a 10 percent increase for PCAs working for individuals with 12 hours or more of assessed home and community-based services. Personal care assistants provide aid that permits people with disabilities to

The PCA program is the most cost-effective approach to enable children, adults and seniors with disabilities to remain in their homes and avoid high-priced alternatives. live at home by assisting with dressing, eating, toileting, bathing, grooming and transferring out of bed into a wheelchair, and for many, to prepare for the work day. Some individuals require more complex assistance with respiratory issues, feeding tubes and other medical needs. These individuals with complex needs, many supported by a new era of health technology, are the ones the CCC legislation, and the governor's budget, are providing for. Minnesota's PCA program was created 40 years ago so that people with severe physical disabilities could direct their own care and move out of institutions, so that they could live in the community and potentially find employment. Over the years, the program has been expanded to include individuals with many types of disabilities. The PCA program is the most cost-effective approach to enable children, adults and seniors with disabilities to remain in their homes and avoid high-priced alternatives. Because of these indispensable public services, thousands of Minnesota citizens are able to contribute to their families and communities. A significant number of people who receive PCA services do work and pay taxes. As our economy has progressed

following the recession, fewer people have been willing to work as PCAs because the pay and benefits are lower than in almost every other job. Although this work can be a rewarding profession, it is not stress-free. Jobs such as fast-food work and other entry level positions often pay a more supportable wage and benefits and offer opportunities for advancements. Now, with the new federal administration, there is a general sense of alarm about abolishment of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), among both its advocates and critics. In some off the related discussion about Medicaid, one alternative plan is to replace it with state block grants. The state block grants would be a set amount of funding that each state would receive to cover all of their Medicaid expenses. Today, Medicaid is a federal matching-funds program which allow the states to have an appropriate, reliable source of support for their overall costs. News about healthcare policy and funding is going to be high-profile for all Americans in coming months. Stay tuned to Access Press for all the ways it will be affecting the disability community.


Protests, podium appearances created lasting ADA images During March, Women’s History Month, Access Press honors women who played a role in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They are sometimes described as the “mothers” of the ADA. This month is a look at some of the women whose actions created lasting images linked to the ADA’s passage. Information is from the ADA Legacy Project. Thousands of women worked toward the passage of the ADA and other civil rights legislation tied to the disability rights movement. Many women came out of the independent living movement, the earliest disability groups, and the legal and medical communities to be advocates. Some women sought the limelight and were on the front lines of protests and hearings at the state and federal levels. Others worked quietly behind the scenes and all worked with tenacity and seeming tirelessly.

Some of the “mothers” of the ADA are remembered for acts that drew widespread media attention. Jennifer Keelan, who became the central media image for the disability movement, might be considered a “daughter” of the ADA. A photo of eight-year-old Keelan, struggling forward on her hands and knees up the steps of the nation’s capitol as part of an ADAPT protest, is an unforgettable image. Many people questioned ADAPT's tactic of crawling up the steps and particularly the inclusion of a child. As one of the 60 people who participated in "The Capitol Crawl," Keelan was already experienced activist. She was first arrested at age seven with her mother, Cynthia, at a demonstration in Montreal. The mother and daughter remain activists to this day. Another lasting image is that of Lisa Carl, the Tacoma, Washington advocate

Volume 28, Number 3 Periodicals Imprint: Pending ISSN

Co-Founder/Publisher............................................................................................................Wm. A. Smith, Jr. (1990-96) Co-Founder/Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief.............................................................................. Charles F. Smith (1990-2001) Board of Directors................................................. Mohamed Alfash, Stephen Anderson, John Clark, Kristin Jorenby, .................................................................Jane Larson, Richard Dick VanWagner, Julius Williams, Kay Willshire, Mark Zangara Advertising Sales......... Michelle Hegarty, 612-807-1078 Cartoonist......................................................Scott Adams Executive Director.....................................Tim Benjamin Production........................................................ In-Fin Tuan Managing Editor........................................ Jane McClure Distribution............................................ S. C. Distribution Business Manager/Webmaster......... Dawn Frederick EDITORIAL: Editorial submissions and news releases on topics of interest to persons with disabilities, or persons serving those with disabilities, are welcomed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Editorial material and advertising do not necessarily reflect the view of the editor/publisher of Access Press.

whose eloquent testimony about being denied entry to her local movie theater impressed Congress and then-President George H.W. Bush. Carl used a wheelchair, which the theater couldn’t accommodate. She attended the ADA signing ceremony where she met Bush, who shook her hand and said, "Lisa now will always be admitted to her hometown theater." Another ADA activist whose face became well known is Sandra Swift Parrino, a past chairperson of the National Council on Disability, The council’s efforts on a comprehensive civil rights bill date back to 1983. Parrino, the mother of two sons with disabilities, led the council through the long fight toward ADA passage. She worked with legendary activist Justin Dart and many others. In a 1986 report, "Toward Independence," the council included a recommendation

that "Congress should enact a comprehensive law requiring equal opportunity for people with disabilities … such a statute should be packaged as a single comprehensive bill, perhaps under such a title as 'The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1986.'” In the days when the administration had few influential proponents, Parrino provided tenacious leadership to create the ADA as a real civil rights law and for its introduction into Congress. In the iconic photo and video of President George H.W. Bush signing the act into law, Parrino is the only female and "mother of the ADA" sharing the podium with the "fathers of the ADA" Justin Dart and Evan Kemp. ■ The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, or www.mncdd. org and



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March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3

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Consumer-Directed Community Supports eyed for change The push for more self-direction through the Consumer-Directed Community Supports (CDCS) program has met a positive response from legislative committees in recent weeks. Whether a good reception means funding to expand and change the program remains to be seen. The Arc Minnesota is one of the groups leading the charge for more people with disabilities to benefit CDCS. The legislation, if passed, would expand budgets for people with disabilities who want individualized employment and housing. It would increase community options for people who are currently living in institutions. It would also update the methods used to determine service budgets. As many people with disabilities reach the age of 21, they are forced to drop off of CDCS in order to receive support funding that helps them find jobs and independent housing in their home communities. Losing CDCS means losing the ability to have an individualized annual budget and less flexibility in creating a new support system. Loss of fiscal oversight by counties and fiscal support entities are another consequence. About 5,000 Minnesotans on waiver programs are currently in CDCS, and more could benefit if the program could expand. CDCS is praised as a program through which people with disabilities can be provided with more flexibility when it comes to supports. It is held up as a program which helps people with disabilities achieve the goals outlined in the state’s Olmstead Plan.


Minnesota that number is 44 percent. The red flags on employment center less on the number of people with disabilities who work, but instead on where they are employed. The report cities the state’s high number of sheltered workshops, many of which pay less than minimum wage. That means many workers with disabilities are segregated from the rest of the population. Another red flag is lack of accountability. DHS doesn’t regularly investigate home and community-based service providers, or require that routine financial documentation be submitted. The legislative auditor found that DHS investigations only occur when it learns of a problem, through complaints or processing of payment claims. A concern raised in the report is the potential for fraud, as financial information on Medicaid-supported services isn’t always available. Similar issues were raised in a 2009 legislative auditor’s report on the personal care attendant program, which revealed fraud. The findings led to more controls over that program. The legislative auditor recommends extending similar checks and balances to other care staff who work in clients’ homes. Home and community-based workers would enroll with DHS, document their services and have limits on hours billable to the state. Another recommendation is for development of a standardized menu of home and community-based services for people with disabilities and the elderly. Currently those services are obtained through separate waiver programs. “The Best Life Alliance thanks the


by Jane McClure

The Arc Minnesota Senior Policy Advisory Steve Larson frequently addresses legislators and rallies. He has presenedt testimony on issues including Consumer-Directed Community Supports. Sen John Hoffman, DFL-Champlain, told the Senate Human Services Reform and Police Committee last month that while CDCS has been around for about 15 years, the program needs retooling. Its budget cap is overly restrictive because of the percentage cut in budget that program participants are forced to take. Hoffman said that by reforming CDCS, the state could help people move out of more expensive programs and into the community. Changes to CDCS could also address the care staffing crisis so prevalent in the state. Chaska resident Deborah Bailey testified for changes in CDCS. “I would like

to have more control and more choices with regard to my care and services,” she said. Bailey feels so strongly about the need to change CDCS, she made detailed plans to attend the legislative hearing and testify to work around her Metro Mobility schedule. Bailey’s life changed after a 2012 motor vehicle accident. She sustained a traumatic brain injury and spent a year learning how to walk, talk, use tableware and do other basic tasks. Bailey told the committee that she still lives with “significant” effects of her injury. Bailey said she had eight different nurses in a seven-month period, which caused

legislative auditor for its report and especially appreciates the attention paid to staff shortages, low wages and demanding work that complicates HCBS providers’ ability to hire enough staff,” said Best Life Alliance Chairperson Pam Gonnella. “This underscores even more the need for action now to stabilize these critical services that help people like my daughter and thousands of other individuals across the state.” Best Life Alliance is working to increase caregiver wages, from an average of $12.32 per hour, and to improve insurance coverage for caregivers. The failure for wages to keep up with other job sectors has created a major workforce shortage and instability in these services. The situation is especially dire in rural Minnesota. ARRM, an association representing more than 200 direct care providers and supporting service providers for people with disabilities in Minnesota, also expressed thanks for the report and reaffirmed a commitment to address the report’s findings. “We are pleased the legislative auditor chose to address the workforce shortage, as this is the most pressing issue for home and community-based services,” said Cheryl Pray, ARRM CEO. “The recommendations for more regular study of workforce needs and direct care wages will serve us well down the road, although ARRM has the data now that shows we need to take action.” ARRM has already introduced a set of policy reforms to help address some of the workforce shortage issues, such as excessive background check wait times and over regulation of how friends and family interact with people with dis-

abilities (SF 359 / HF 696). Minnesota spent $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2015, to help roughly 64,000 Minnesotans live in their home communities and not in institutions. That’s a higher share of Medicaid spending than most states allot for such services. The funds cover a wide variety of community-based services, which range from occupational therapies to transportation to jobs. The report was presented February 21 to the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee. Representatives agreed with the report’s findings that people aren’t being served in the most integrated setting possible. Assistant DHS Commissioner Claire Wilson told the committee that DHS also supports the report’s finding and recommendations. She said the current system has taken years to get to this point, and that it is still evolving. Disability coalitions said they look forward to working with DHS and state lawmakers to implement the report’s finding. “We look forward to partnering with DHS and the legislature to address the issues raised in the report,” said Pray. “ARRM prides itself in representing the best in the business when it comes to providing services to people with disabilities and putting their interests


issues with continuity and consistency in care. Changes to CDCS would give her more control over her life, and likely more control in caregiving. The Arc Minnesota Senior Policy Advisory Steve Larson said that more than 38,000 Minnesotans now use waiver services. People do use CDCS but have to take a 30 percent cut in their budgets. More children than adults stay on the program. He urged passage of legislation that would fix longstanding problems with CDCS, as well as establishment of a work group to study issues. Larson said exemptions should be in place for people waiting to transition out of state institutions and for those who want more individualized housing and employment situations. Expanding CDCS is just one of several efforts to improve supports for people with disabilities. More supports for housing in the community is one focus. Another issue is employment. SF 1055 and HF 1239 would allow Minnesota to develop supports to increase competitive employment for people with disabilities. The bills would improve the state’s day service system, by supporting new employment services. One new service would be employment exploration services to introduce a person with disabilities to competitive employment in his or her home community. Another proposed service is employment development services, which would provide individualized help to actively help with the pursuit of paid employment. A third program proposal is for employment supports services, to help people with disabilities maintain competitive, integrated employment. ■

first. Our goal is to support the network of services that help people achieve their goals, and ensure regulations provide adequate safeguards and oversight.” “Consistent, quality direct-care staff are the foundation of community-based services for people with disabilities,” Gonnella said. “If we don’t address the workforce shortage, the entire system will crumble. Just like maintenance of roads and bridges, we must invest today in order to have a sustainable system. People’s lives are really on the line.” Read the report here: www.auditor. ■

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by Jeffrey P. Straub My wife and I are the parents of a 26-year-old with cerebral palsy. Joshua was born 10 weeks premature and had an inter-cranial bleed that resulted in spastic quadriplegia. Despite his disability, he has graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a double major in history and creative writing (with honors). He is currently in a PhD program at the University of Minnesota in ergonomics and human factors. His physical disabilities have limited Joshua in his personal living needs. He cannot dress himself, transfer into or out of bed, etc. and requires a significant amount of assistance for his daily living. His has recently been approved for 24 hours / seven days a week PCA support. Joshua’s goal is to be a working, tax-paying citizen. He hopes to get the education necessary to get a job suitable to meet his needs without any state assistance. Despite having the funding in place for 24/7 care, Joshua currently has no caregivers beyond his parents (60 and 58 years old). Joshua’s most recent two PCAs left in early January, one to take a better paying job in another state, and one to go back to school. The second employee had been with us for more than one year. We knew that both would be leaving by early December 2016. We began to seek new staff members to take over Joshua’s care. It has been more than two months of looking for new PCAs but to no avail.

Ads are placed in various places (Craigslist has heretofore yielded the best results) but these have proven fruitless so far. People will apply, set up an initial interview only to fail to show up at the appointed time. This happens repeatedly. It happened twice on January 31. There is a critical shortage in Minnesota of people willing to work in the home care industry. This is a crisis that has been in the making for at least five years. There aren’t enough workers for one simple reason—the money the state of Minnesota is willing to pay caregivers is simply insufficient for someone to succeed day-to-day on. In this competitive job market, people are unwilling to work for these low wages. PCAs in Minnesota can expect to earn $11 or so per hour with Traditional PCA agencies and $12.50 with PCA Choice agencies. No overtime can be paid and thanks to recent Department of Labor ruling, PCAs can work no more than 40 hours without being paid overtime. When travel costs are added into the equation, the problem is even more severe as no travel costs are built into the wage structure. How can a person be expected to travel even 10-15 minutes each way for a job that may net them $11-$12.50 per hour. One proposed solution was to unionize. This happened but caregivers are reluctant to give to the union a portion of the merger earnings. Families are reluctant to support the union for a variety of reasons. The union so far has been re-


Low caregiver pay prevents people from succeeding

Phd. candidate Joshua Straub ceived with mixed results. Even young children of disabled family members are providing unpaid caregivers services do to the caregiver shortage. This may be a help to families with younger children but many families do not even have this option. This problem has been long time coming and it will not be fixed easily. Governments tend to move slowly with legislative and financial fixes. The bottom line however, is that the only real solution is an immediate raising of state funding with which to pay people who are willing to work in this industry. PCAs are a part of the essential services required in our world today. PCAs, while not “state” workers, are de facto state workers because the money

to pay for them, in the main, comes from taxpayer funding. The urgent question is what is the state of Minnesota through its legislators prepared to do to address this growing problem? It cannot be ignored and it will not go way. In our home, if I become disabled or injured, my wife will be unable to care for our adult son without my help. As we age, no matter what else happens, our capacity to care for our son diminishes. What will happen to him in this situation? The Straub family lives in Plymouth. This letter is excerpted from documents sent to the family’s state legislators. ■

Choices, integration are working for many, but are threatened At age 25, our son was presented options about where he could live and work. He chose to live in a residential group home with three other gentlemen with disabilities, and 24-hour live-in staff. At about the same time, he chose a nonprofit day training and habilitation program that helped with employment opportunities. Soon our son will be 40 years of age; he has built a life for 15 years that includes a successful job at a grocery store and safe place to live. This success didn’t just happen, nor will it continue to be successful, if existing providers aren’t involved in his daily activities. Providers of residential group home programs and day training and habilitation programs are now being called into question, which puts us and tens of thousands of other Minnesota families, at a serious crossroad. The federal government wants more evidence that people with disabilities have a continuum of options that encourage individual choices and

community inclusion. Minnesota must comply and is in a quagmire about how to make improvements. The heavy-handed push toward “integrated” home and work settings feels like a force fit for many. It’s even harder for some people with disabilities who are not capable of coping in a competitive work environment or living on their own without minute-to-minute supports. As much as some would like it to be so, there is no “one size fits all approach.” That was iterated by U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank in approving the Minnesota Olmstead Plan. In comparison, our son makes many of his own decisions. He is integrated in the community with work and home choices. For 15 years, he has called his housemates “my family” and where he lives, “my home.” At the same time, he needs assistance with planning, prompts and direction. Similar in his work, there’s help with skill development, and the day training and habilitation plays a key role as the liaison to the employer. Our son has autism and physical limitations. He is a vulnerable

adult; academically age 12, who cannot perform money management, many living skills, appointments, or transportation. He is not capable of living alone and working alone. I suspect my son’s story sounds like many others. If these providers change, go away, or get replaced, how will this impact our children? For my son, it will be negative with many setbacks. I suspect others may feel the same way on how this will impact their adult children using these services. So, what can parents do to protect today’s providers and supports? We must learn, and act. First, know that the federal government – the Olmstead Plan is good and valid in that it protects people with disabilities to be able to make their own choices about where they live and work. Secondly, realize that our state’s approach to this federal mandate is the crux of the matter; to change or replace provider models will require substantial funding. Start by understanding how your son or daughter’s daily funding rate may be changing. Your case manager or provider can tell you. These funds pay the providers to support each

person’s life and work choices. For many providers, rate cuts are imminent and long term sustainability is questionable. Third, contact your legislators. They set budgets to fund current programs and services, and any new efforts. Thank them for what is working and help them to understand that rate cuts and adjustments could force providers to close their doors. Share examples of how your son or daughter is included in their community and makes his or her own choices. And, attend the Best Life Alliance rally at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 14th at the capitol in St. Paul. Support improved direct support staff member hiring and competitive wages. Let’s make our voices heard, and help our state decision makers to do the right thing. Why are the providers changing, being replaced and facing funding cuts instead of having the opportunity to evolve programs that work to be compliant with the federal law? For my son, choice and integration did work and are working. S. Kenny – Parent White Bear Community

March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3

AROUND THE DIAL Disabled and Proud Disabled and Proud is aired on KFAI Radio, 6:30-7 p.m. Thursday. Host Sam Jasmine and her guests explore a wide range of topics that are important to people with disabilities. KFAI is at 90.3 FM in Minneapolis and 106.7 in St. Paul. Listeners outside of the Twin Cities, or those looking for a past show, will find the show’s archives online at disabledandproud To be added to the show’s email list, contact No email addresses are shared.

Disability Viewpoints Disability Viewpoints is a public access television show by and for people with disabilities. Mark Hughes and his team of co-

hosts feature current news, interesting people and groups, and events in Minnesota’s disability community. The show is produced by volunteers at CTV North Suburbs in the Twin Cities. The North Suburban Access Corporation, CTV, is a nonprofit organization that provides community media for nine cities. Some shows are archived on YouTube, so search for Disability Viewpoints. The program has also been shown on Twin Cities Public Television. The show has a Facebook page, and a web page at http://www. Access Press would be interested in listing other regularly scheduled broadcast, cablecast or podcast programs by and for people with disabilities. Anyone with questions can contact jane@

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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 case the editors have 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 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. Because Access Press is 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. Before making a submission writers are always encouraged to contact the newspaper to discuss ideas or to ask questions about From Our Community submissions, at 651-644-2133 or Let the newspaper staff know if accommodations are needed to submit a letter or commentary. 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 25th of each month, with publication the following month.

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March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3

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REGIONAL NEWS Metro Mobility Ridership Jumps 6% In One Year

Demand for Metro Mobility transit service in the Twin Cities metro area increased nearly 6% to 2.23 million rides in 2016. That continues a trend of annual growth of 5% to 8% that is expected to continue well into the future. In a year when ridership on many services declined at least slightly, Metro Mobility and Transit Link both gained riders. “The number of adults over 65 will double by the year 2030, and as our population ages the demand for Metro Mobility services will continue to grow with it,” said Council Chair Adam Duininck. “The challenge for the region is to find the resources to continue offering quality service that meets this growing need.” Metro Mobility is on-demand service for people with disabilities, and is mandated under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act as well as state law. Riders must be certified for eligibility. Transit Link is dial-a-ride service for the general public outside the area where fixed-route service is provided. Transit Link ridership is small when compared with most other regional transit services (436,500 rides in 2016) but demand grew 4.4% from the previous year.. ■ (Source: Metropolitan Council)

Safety concerns highlighted

Some lawmakers are demanding answers after a Fox 9 investigation highlighted safety concerns involving Metro Mobility, a taxpayer-funded ride service for the elderly and people with disabilities. Sandra Kline was seriously hurt after one of her rides. She was trying to exit a lift when it malfunctioned and her wheel chair tipped. She broke her leg and suffered complications. "I was told I'll never walk again," Kline said. Fox 9 made public data requests to find incidents where riders were injured. Videos showed wheelchairs and scooters not properly fastened. One video showed a passenger falling out of an exit onto the group, after an error with a lift. Metro Mobility said the number of these incidents is very small given the millions of trips taken. Rep. Tony Albright, R - Prior Lake, chairs the legislative commission that oversees the Metropolitan Council. "My goodness, that's basic and essential to the service that's provided by this organization and if they're not doing that, I want to know why," Albright said. He said state lawmakers would find answers. Metro Mobility contracts with private companies to provide the bus drivers. Last year one company had a 51 percent turnover rate, another had 42 percent. There have been 244 unsafe driving complaints about the service since 2015. A statement from the organization said "We work daily with our contractors to ensure customer safety is front of mind and that we are taking every precaution to prevent injury." (Source: KMSP – TV)

Treatment center is sanctioned

The St. Cloud Children’s Home, a mental health treatment center for children and teens, was sanctioned by the state for chronic health and safety violations. One serious and repeated violation is failure to prevent young patients from "head-banging" so persistently that it caused concussions. Noncompliant punishment and unsafe situations were also cited. The center will now only offer day treatment. The 60-bed residential treatment center operated by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud was sanctioned for violating 33 state rules governing health and safety of vulnerable young patients. Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) placed the home's license on conditional status for

three years, citing the "nature, chronicity and severity" of the violations. Head-banging was so persistent and severe that at least three children suffered multiple concussions and head trauma. Children also were subjected to an unusual form of punishment known as "freeze" that was not therapeutic or approved by a mental health professional. During freeze, children who were noncompliant or aggressive were forced to sit in an assigned area for at least 24 hours, even after calming down. They would only return to their rooms at night. One child spent 35 days in freeze in a four-month period. Stephen Pareja, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud, said an appeal was planned, saying the state failed to take into account improvements made in the past year. The center stopped using the freeze technique nearly a year ago because it was "ineffective," and has since hired specially trained counselors. This marks the second time in four years that the center's license has been placed on conditional status for failing to protect children from serious harm. In early 2012, the site was hit with 46 licensing violations, after state inspectors found that unsupervised children were having sex with each other on the facility grounds. "How many citations does it take to close a program?" said Roberta Opheim, state ombudsman for mental health and developmental disabilities. "There are enough major violations here that concern the dignity and respect of the children being served that I wonder how long DHS licensing will allow this to go on." (Source: Star Tribune)

Pilot project helps those with autism

The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) is partnering with Aware Services, LLC and the St. Paul Police Department to offer a free pilot project that uses mobile technology to help individuals with autism and other "invisible disabilities" live more independently and securely in the community. A new technology-based project called Vulnerable Individuals Technology Assisted Location Service - or VITALS – will be used. VITALS uses a transmitter, or beacon, and a mobile app that allow individuals with an invisible disability to voluntarily disclose their diagnosis to emergency responders within a 30-50 foot radius. Many conditions like autism, traumatic

brain injury, mental health challenges, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, epilepsy and others are referred to as invisible disabilities, because there are no physical indicators that emergency responders can see that might inform them of the disability. Such disabilities can put the individuals at risk, because people often exhibit behaviors and traits that emergency responders can misinterpret as being intoxicated, uncooperative or evasive. AuSM, VITALS and the St. Paul Police Department are launching a limited-time pilot study and are working with individuals with disabilities ages 15 and older. Those involved in the pilot project live in, work in, or go to school in Ramsey County and spend time in the community, independent of a caregiver. Those selected to participate in this pilot program received one beacon and free service during the pilot test and for up to three months after the test. Details about the program are available on the AuSM website. Learn more and track the program at (Source: AuSM)

Score card for assisted living eyed

For decades, Minnesota families seeking senior living arrangements for their elderly loved ones have found themselves casting about in an informational void. But a proposal by the Minnesota Department of Human Services would create the state's first standardized system for measuring the quality of assisted-living homes — a fast-growing but lightly regulated industry that now serves more than 50,000 Minnesotans in nearly 1,200 facilities. The proposal would create an online "report card" that would allow people to compare assisted-living facilities based on quality of life, safety and other measures. It would be modeled after an existing report card developed more than a decade ago for nursing homes. More Minnesotans now live in assisted-living homes than in nursing facilities, but assisted living has largely avoided the same level of regulatory scrutiny. “You can find more information on a household appliance like a washing machine than on assisted-living homes, and assisted living is a helluva lot more important than washing machines," said Robert Kane, chair of long-term care and aging at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, who helped craft Minnesota's nursing home report card. Kane called the new plan "long overdue." The proposal comes amid rising concerns about the safety of older Minnesotans in senior homes across the state. The state Department of Health disclosed that it has fallen dangerously behind in its investigations of abuse and neglect at state-licensed health facilities, including assisted-living homes, since the state launched a centralized abuse reporting hot line. Allegations go unanswered because of a staff shortage, and the queries that do take place take months to complete. Also, information on the safety of assisted-living facilities is notoriously difficult to locate. As of 2015, there were 30,700 nursing home beds in Minnesota, compared with 54,000 assisted-living beds. "The marketplace has really shifted toward assisted living," said assistant DHS Commissioner Loren Colman. "It's been growing and we need to pay more attention." Under the DHS proposal, the assisted-living report card would include measures from existing data sources, such as state health inspections, as well as information gathered through biennial consumer surveys. The online report card tool would not be ready until 2020. ■ (Source: Star Tribune)


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March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3

Disability issues take on urgency RALLY from page 1

MIXED NEWS from page 1

action on a bill after deadline Deadlines don’t apply to House committees on Capital Investment, Ways and Means, Finance, Taxes, or Rules and Legislative Administration, nor to Senate committees on Capital Investment, Finance, Taxes, or Rules and Administration.) Bills acted upon favorably after deadlines must go through a referral process before they can move on and have ruled waived. Go to to


will be offered 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 500S, State Office Building. Feel free to stop by this room to eat lunch, drop off your coat, or relax between meetings. Contact the groups for resource information prior to the rally day. Information is available to help those who wish to meet with their legislators and there is still time to register.

The rallies take on more impotance as many disability-related bills face key deadlines in March. The first deadline, March 10, is for committees to act favorably on bills in the house of origin. March 17 is the second deadline, for committees to act favorably on bills, or companion bills that met the first deadline in the other house. The third deadline, March 31, is for committees to act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills. Committee

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unravel the whole system.” The online website Disability Scoop, which covers a wide range of developmental disabilities, has extensively followed the Medicaid issue. One recent article focused on concerns school officials are raising, about the impacts to special education. Read Disability Scoop’s coverage at In contrast to the federal worries, Minnesota disability community members are cautiously optimistic about what is happening at the state level. Many bills have been heard and aimed toward the first committee deadline of March 10. Bachman and others note that bills on a wide ranging set of disability issues have gotten a favorable reception so far. But how funding shakes out is worrisome. Gov. Mark Dayton earlier this year unveiled an almost $46 billion budget, with $300 million in tax relief and funding for a number of programs. He is expected to announce further changes. Some Republicans have called for more tax relief, and have major tax cuts in the works. How legislative goals will shake out should be known soon. Spending targets were to start coming out in early March. Best Life Alliance, a statewide coalition advocating for community-based services that support Minnesotans with disabilities, responded to the budget surplus announcement by calling for funding to address the serious staff shortages and low wages affecting home and community-based services for people with disabilities. Best Life Alliance Chair and parent Pam Gonnella said it is critical that lawmakers invest in home and community-based services that affect thousands of people with disabilities across the state, including her own daughter. “If we don’t address the workforce shortage, the entire system will fall apart,” Gonnella said. ■

Rally attendees looked on from the balconies overlooking the rotunda.

REGIONAL NEWS from page 6 Partial win on docks issue

Minnesota veterans groups, disability advocates and concerned citizens have won a partial victory in a debate with Orono city officials over dock access. The Orono City Council, after announcing it could remove the accessible docks, announced it would keep the docks in place. But covering the costs will be the responsibility of private donors and not the city. The accessible docks, which were installed in 2005, provide access for veterans to Big Island on Lake Minnetonka. The docks provide access for wheelchair and walker users to board and leave boats at the park. The docks provide access to an area that was a veteran’s camp. The City Council initially decided to remove the docks to save $8,000 per year. “This decision was done without due diligence and is a complete slap in the

face to our state’s veteran community,” said Dean Ascheman, Chairman, MN Veterans 4 Veterans Trust Fund. “Big Island has been a refuge for our veterans for nearly a century. This decision was made for political reasons, pure and simple.” The relationship between Minnesota’s veterans and Big Island dates back more than 90 years when the island was home to the Big Island Veterans Camp. The camp closed in 2003 and proceeds from the 2006 sale to the City of Orono are used to fund veterans programs. Many advocates said that a condition of the sale was that veterans would have access to the island in perpetuity. “The council can’t legally remove the docks. By doing so they are in breach of the commitment made by the city at the time of the sale,” said Ascheman. “It is so disheartening that the very same men and women who fought for our freedoms are the ones who end up being pawns in a game of politics.” (Source: Sun-Sailor newspaper)

Resort will stay open

Residents of the small Minnesota community of Madison Lake have succeeded in saving a Canadian resort that's equipped to handle vacationers with disabilities. The Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure and four Thunder Bay organizations have agreed to keep the Wilderness Discovery Resort for the Disabled open for at least 20 years, the Free Press of Mankato reported. Madison Lake resident Kirk Williams, a disabled veteran, and his care providers, Kevin and Lorie Johnson, started their campaign after they were told their request for 2015 reservations at the facility probably couldn't be honored. The nonprofit in charge of operating the facility had allowed its lease with the Ontario government to expire, and the provincial government began considering selling the property to a private entity. The campaign included an online petition, the hashtag "Save Wilderness Discovery" and messages at concerts

and sporting events. At each of the event the organizers attended, they asked entertainers and athletes to pose for a photograph with a "Save Wilderness Discovery" sign. "All kinds of people responded," Kevin Johnson said. Williams once worked as an advocate for people with disabilities. Health issues have made his voice faint, and he relies on others to help maneuver his wheelchair. "Saving the camp put some juice back in him," Johnson said of Williams' enthusiasm for the campaign. Williams considers the resort to be exceptionally beautiful. The four civic organizations involved in the agreement took notice when the group garnered thousands of Facebook followers by posting photos of athletes and musicians holding the signs. "What's important is that anyone with a disability who wants to enjoy the outdoors will have a place to go," Johnson said. (Source: Free Press of Mankato)

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March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3

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Disability issues highlighted at large rally

Parents prepared signs for the rally, to address attention to the issue of high parental fees.

Rik Seiler spoke on behalf of those wanting changes in the Medical Assistance spend-down.

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March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3 Pg 10

PEOPLE & PLACES Arthritis Foundation honors three condition for a longer period of time. His hands were sore and he had trouble with basic tasks. He is a three-sport athlete playing football, basketball and his favorite sport, baseball. Friedges is an optimist and has taken charge of his health, learning about his medication side effects and what triggers swelling or pain. Blaine resident Jennie Dietz is the 2017 Walk to Cure Juvenile Arthritis Adult Honoree. Dietz has lived with juvenile arthritis for 42 years. Dietz was diagnosed when only a year old. Dietz remembers being stiff and sore throughout her childhood. She didn’t like taking her medication and remembers her mom would give her warm baths to soothe her joints. Her parents had to fight to send her to school and for her to be able to participate in activities. Dietz has had many other health issues and started having surgeries as a teenager. In 2012, she began four straight years of joint replacements for her knees, shoulders and hips. It is Dietz’s nature to face things as they come, even though she wishes she didn’t have to. That is why she hopes for a cure and hopes other children don’t face the same trials she had

Appointments are announced

Paul; Sam Jasmine, Plymouth, northwest metro representative; Christopher Bates, Excelsior, southwest and west metro representative; Elizabeth (Lisa) Childs, Edina, suburban Minneapolis representative and Ken Rodgers, Minneapolis, Minneapolis representative.

State and Twin Cities regional groups that work with people with disabilities have had several new appointments and reappointments. Gov. Mark Dayton recently appointed members to the Statewide Independent Living Council. The independent living council appointees are Jessica Andrist, Coon Rapids, public member; Melissa Doherty, Marshall, independent living center director representative; Kimberly Hick, Rochester, center for independent living representative; Zainab Jama, Minneapolis, advocate member; Mary Koep, Brainerd, advocate member; Meredith Kujala, Cloquet, advocate member; Gloria Lafriniere, Bagley, advocate member, James Lovold, St. Paul, public member and Linda Lingen, St. Paul, advocate member. The new members replace Wallace Nygaard, Randy Sorenson, Mitzi Mellott, Mark Mertens, Maridy Nordlum and Larry Lura. Metropolitan Council has announced appointments to the Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC). The TAAC advises the council on policies related to transportation services in the region for people with disabilities. Members appointed or reappointed are TAAC Chairperson Kjensmo Walker, St.

Older Women's League shuts down The national Board of Directors of the Older Women’s League (OWL) has announced that after 37 years, the organization is shutting down. The national shutdown follows the recent decision to cease operations of an OWL chapter in the Twin Cities area. Tish Summers and Lorie Shields founded OWL in 1980 as the Older Women's League to address issues of special concern for midlife and older women, through education, advocacy, and through the chapter’s mutual support. OWL has had many notable accomplishments, most recently a successful challenge to the insurance companies’ practice of charging five times as much or more for older worker health insurance. The age penalty was reduced in the Affordable Care Act. OWL has also worked to oppose Social Security privatization and on issues including elder abuse, long-term care and end of life choices. In a statement, the national office

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Jennie Dietz

Kenley Huss growing up. In the U.S., more than 50 million adults and 300,000 children live with arthritis. Costing the U.S. economy $156 billion dollars a year, arthritis affects one in five Americans and causes more activity limitation than heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

said, “Unfortunately, while our work remains needed and our voice important, our national organization cannot sustain itself in its current form. We are currently working with our dedicated staff and volunteers to finalize termination …we hope that all OWL members and friends will continue to advocate for OWL issues, and present the "OWL's eye view" on proposed and actual policy and practices that impact the lives of midlife and older women.” A few local units around the nation will function independently.

We welcome your news Access Press welcomes articles for its People and Places pages. Articles may cover a wide range of topics. Disability organizations and businesses are welcomed to send submissions. Deadline is the 25th of the month for publication the following month. Here is a sampling of the type of news our editors wish to see. Has someone won an award or a grant? Did the board of directors get new members? Has an organization hired a new leader to replace the current leader? Is the current leader retiring after many years? Is a group moving or expanding its locations? Look at the newspaper


More than 2,500 walkers supported the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to cure arthritis and help people with arthritis live a full life by participating in the 2017 Walk to Cure Juvenile Arthritis on March 4 at Mall of America in Bloomington. Walk to Cure Juvenile Arthritis brings together communities nationwide to fight arthritis – the nation’s leading cause of disability. Local leaders helped raise funds and draw attention to the event, and were honored by the Arthritis Foundation. Kenley Huss of Rosemount is the youth honoree. As a very young child she was diagnosed with oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). She was treated for several months before going into remission. Her condition returned in 2015. Huss is now six years old. Family members call her a trouper for handling her condition so well. She and her family raise funds and awareness for juvenile arthritis. The Kenley’s Krew Walk to Cure JA team has grown from 13 people to 75 people and raised more than $11,000 in 2015 alone. Jordan High School senior Jack Friedges is the young adult honoree. The 17-year-old was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis in 2014, although his parents believe he had the

Jack Friedges or its website for an idea of the types of articles that appear in People and Places. The editors will consider articles that have already appeared in an organization’s newsletter or articles that have appeared in other newspapers. Photos are also welcomed. People and Places is also a place in the newspaper where photos of events can be sent, if the photos are sent for publication in the month after the event was held. These photos are appreciated because the newspaper staff cannot always get to community events. Photos need to be of a large enough size to reproduce for print media. Taking photos off of Facebook or a website doesn’t always work because those photos can be too small to reproduce properly. If photos are take of vulnerable adults or children, please make sure permission has been obtained to release photos. The editors will ask to see release forms. With photos, please send caption information: who, what, when, where, why and how. Questions? Email access@accesspress. org and the newspaper editors will respond. Or call 651-644-2133. ■

March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3 Pg 11



FREE TAX PREPARATION Income tax season is in full swing, and there are now more than 220 sites across the state offering free tax assistance for those filing income tax and property tax refund returns, the Minnesota Department of Revenue announced. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Tax-Aide programs are two free tax preparation options where volunteers help taxpayers prepare their federal and state income and property tax returns. People with disabilities are among those who qualify for services. All volunteers from both programs are certified by the IRS to prepare basic tax returns in communities throughout Minnesota. Most sites are open now through April 18. FFI: 651297-3724, 1-800-657-3989

Save the date for the 25th annual Made in the Shade Walk, Run and Roll Celebration, Sat, Sept. 16 at Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun, Mpls. The event’s is to bring people with disabilities in our community together for a day of celebration, camaraderie, exercise and most of all, fun. It’s also to raise awareness and funds for eight agencies which provide essential life services for people with disabilities such as housing, employment support and educational programming. In 2016, 65 sponsors supported the 1,400 people served by the eight partner agencies. The 2017 partner agencies are Ally People Solutions, CHOICE, Inc., Homeward Bound, Partnership Resources, Inc., The Phoenix Residence, Inc., TSE, Inc., Wingspan Life Resources and Zenith. The agencies use funds raised for many essential life functions such as remodeling to create safe and handicap-accessible homes, purchasing accessible vehicles, purchasing iPads to use for speech and communication, funding educational and skill-building classes, job training, health and wellness programming, and more. There’s plenty of time to get involved. FFI:

ADVOCACY JOIN PUBLIC POLICY NETWORK The Arc Minnesota’s Public Policy Network provides legislative updates and helps Minnesotans get involved with issues at the state and federal levels. It provides information about upcoming hearings, action alerts, what proposed laws and policies mean, and when gatherings are help. The 2017 Minnesota Legislature convened in January and preparations are well underway. Sign up at www. FFI: Mike Gude, 651-6048066, ATTEND AUTISM CONFERENCE The 22nd annual Minnesota Autism Conference is April 26-29 at DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Minneapolis – Park Place. Experts, educators, therapists, direct support professionals, parents, caregivers, and people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will connect, collaborate, advocate, and educate at the event, which is organized by the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM). Daily keynote speakers, 32 expert-led topical breakout sessions, exhibitors offering a variety of autism services and products, and resources provided through the AuSM Bookstore. 2017 keynote speakers will include autism icon Temple Grandin; Steve Silberman, best-selling author of NeuroTribes; Kerry Magro, autism advocate; and Chris Ulmer, special education teacher and motivational speaker. AuSM also will hold its gala 6-10 p.m. Fri, April 28. A schedule of rates and dates is online. FFI: MENTAL HEALTH AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE Sunrise Rotary Club’s 12th annual Community Forum is 7:15-9:15 a.m. Thu, April 20 at Town and Country Club, Marshall and Otis avenues, St. Paul. $25 admission covers hot breakfast buffet and helps defray facility fees. Pre-registration and payment by April 13 is required. Sue Abderholden, executive director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Dr. Eduardo Colón-Navarro, director of psychiatry, Hennepin County Medical Center and Tom Roy, commissioner, Minnesota Department of Corrections will talk about challenges they face in trying to keep Minnesotans with mental illnesses out of prison. The panel will also explore whether current practices might be reformed to better aid individuals and their families dealing with mental illness crisis situations. The program will open with a brief video produced by students from Gordon Parks High School. FFI:

Special Education and Challenging Behaviors is 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Thu, March 16 at the Holiday Inn, 9200 Quaday Ave. N.E., Elk River. Children and youth with challenging behaviors may struggle to be successful in school. Without specialized help to manage their behaviors or emotions, they may be unable to benefit from their educational program. The workshop is for parents and others who are interested in learning more about the special education process, specifically for children and youth with challenging behaviors who qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Making the Move from Early Childhood Special Education to Kindergarten is 8-11 a.m. Sat, March 18 at PACER Center. The workshop is also available online via Livestream. Kindergarten is a big step in any child’s life. For a child with disabilities, being ready for that step often requires some intentional preparation. By working with a child’s IEP) team, parents can plan for their child’s success and make that first elementary school experience a good one. The workshop will provide parents with strategies and prepare them to take more of a leadership role on their child’s IEP team. The event is sponsored by PACER’s Family Information and Resources Project. 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. FFI: PACER, 952-838-9000, 800-537-2237,

INFORMATION & ASSISTANCE QUESTION, PERSUADE AND REFER CLASS SET QPR is a free, one-hour presentation sponsored by NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) that covers the three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide - Question, Persuade and Refer. The class is 7-8 p.m. Tue, March 28 at Church of St. Stanislaus, 398 Superior St., St. Paul. Preregistration required, Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. It is the most widely taught gatekeeper training program in the United States, and more than one million adults have been trained in classroom settings in more than 48 states. FFI: 651-645-2948, MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT OFFERED NAMI Minnesota offers more than 300 free educational classes statewide each year, along with help in navigating the mental health system. NAMI also has more than 60 free support groups living with a mental illness and their families. In the Twin Cities NAMI has about two dozen family support groups, more than 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, anxiety support groups, groups for veterans and other groups. Led by trained facilitators, groups


to page 15

JOIN PUBLIC POLICY NETWORK The Arc Minnesota’s Public Policy Network provides legislative updates and helps Minnesotans get involved with issues at the state and federal levels. It provides information about upcoming hearings, action alerts, what proposed laws and policies mean, and when gatherings are help. The 2017 Minnesota Legislature convened in January and preparations are underway. Sign up at stayinformed. FFI: Mike Gude, 651-604-8066,

CHILDREN & FAMILIES Children and electronics is topic Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) offers an AuSM Skillshop to give parents and caregivers strategies for helping their children find a more balanced relationship with electronics. Electronic Addiction: How to Break Free From Battles Over Screens is 7-9 p.m. Thu, March 23 at St. David’s Center, 3395 Plymouth Rd., Minnetonka. Preregistration required. Parent coach Barb Andrus will outline solutions. FFI:


PACER WORKSHOPS SAMPLING PACER Center offers many useful free or low-cost workshops and other resources for families of children with any disabilities. Workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Workshops are offered throughout the state. Advance registration is required for all workshops. Ask if workshops are livestreamed. Bullying Prevention‒Everyone’s Responsibility is 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mon, March 13 at Crystal Community Center, 4800 Douglas Dr. N., Crystal. Bullying can be an isolating experience, not just for the kids involved, but for their parents, too. Fortunately, there is help. Get a comprehensive overview for parents to learn what they can do to address and prevent bullying.


March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3 Pg 12

ENJOY! THE VELVETEEN RABBIT Stages Theatre Company presents the story of a toy rabbit who yearns to be real, at Hopkins Center for the Arts, Mainstage, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins. Sensory-friendly offered 10 a.m. Thu, March 16. School groups call 952-979-1119 to reserve tickets. Price is $5 per student. Sensory-friendly offered 10 a.m. Sat, March 18. Tickets to this performance are $10 (not available online); call to reserve: 952-979-1111, opt. 4. AD and ASL offered 7 p.m. Fri, March 24. Tickets reduced to $11. FFI: 952-979-1111, opt. 4; FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Ten Thousand Things Theater presents the story of a father trying to hang onto his faith and cultural traditions, at 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, March 17. Tickets at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls, $30, $18 for patron with vision loss at AD show and companion. Other discounts available. FFI: 612-203-9502,

the audience to understand and acknowledge the distinctive and important roles women have played on the battlefield. Every Dowling Studio performance includes a discussion component. At Guthrie Theater, Dowling Studio, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. AD/ ASL/Open Captioning offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, March 31. Tickets $9 general admission. FFI: 612-377-2224, SUMPTUOUS AND SUBLIME: ARTS OF JAPAN Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls. offers ASL interpreted tours at 1 p.m. the first Sun of each month. Go to the information bar in the upper lobby. Other interpreted tours and memory loss tours can be scheduled through the museum’s tour office. Free. FFI: 612-870-3000, dhegstro@ SUBMITTED PHOTO

TOUR FOR PEOPLE WITH MEMORY LOSS At 10 a.m. on the first Tue of every month the historic James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul, offers a sensory-based tour designed for people with memory loss and their caregivers. Each themed WELL-VERSED tour, usually an hour or less, highlights three rooms One Voice Mixed Chorus with the Well-Strung quartet The Minnesota Rollergirls' final bout of the season is Saturday, April 1 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium and is followed by an optional social time until 11:30 and youth spoken word artists from RECLAIM present an in St. Paul. The fast-paced event is the first D/deaf Derby Day, with interpretation offered. Go to a.m. with pastries and coffee. Private group tours evening of choral music, strings and poetry, at Ordway for details are available for care facilities. Tours are made posConcert Hall, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. ASL offered sible through funding by the Bader Foundation. Free. 7:30 p.m. Sat, March 18. Tickets $15-$40; $5 more at public until the Mon after the ASL reservation deadline. Other discounts Reservations required. FFI: 651-259-3015, the door on concert day. FFI: 651-224-4222, available. FFI: 651-429-5674, seating-accessibility/ OPEN FLOW FORUM PLAZA SUITE The Artists with Disabilities Alliance (AWDA) meets 7-9 p.m. the first Thu Tin Roof Theatre presents a comedy about three couples successively MATILDA: THE MUSICAL most months at Walker Community Church, 3104 16th Ave. S., Mpls. Next occupying a suite at the Plaza, at the Stage at Island Park, 333 Fourth A touring company presents the Tony Award-winning story of a remarkgatherings are April 6 and May 5. Artists with disabilities can share visual St. S., Fargo. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, March 18, pre-show descripable girl, at Orpheum Theatre, 910 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls. Open Capart, writing, music, theatre and other artistic efforts or disability concerns tion at 7:10 p.m. Tickets reduced to $10 for AD patron and companion tioning offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, March 30. ASL offered 1 p.m. Sun, April in an informal and fragrance-free setting. Bring art as well as refresh(regular $14-$20). Other discounts available. FFI: 701-235-6778, www. 2. AD offered 6:30 p.m. Sun, April 2. Tickets: $39 to $135. Limited seats ments to share. Facilitators are Tara Innmon and Dan Reiva. The church is are available at the lowest price level to patrons using ASL interpreting fully accessible, but special accommodations can be requested. FFI: Jon or captioning on a first-come, first-served basis. Prices apply for up to THE RED SHOES at VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888, two tickets for each patron requiring ASL interpretation or captioning. Open Eye Figure Theatre in partnership with Joel Sass’ Oddfellows Additional seats may be sold separately and at regular price. Audio ALMOST, MAINE Collective presents its take on the Hans Christian Anderson tale, at description receivers may be used in any price level in the theatre. To Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre presents stories of love and loss Open Eye Figure Theatre, 506 E. 24th St., Mpls. ASL offered 4 p.m. Sun, order, email FFI: 612-339in a small Maine town, at the Stage at Island Park, 333 Fourth St. S., March 19. Patrons must request service by Fri, March 10, or it will be 7007, Fargo. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, April 7, with pre-show description at canceled. FFI: 612-874-6338, or 6127:10 p.m. Tickets reduced to $10 for AD patron and companion (regular 874-6338. Tickets $12-$18. Pay-as-able available for all performances. HAND TO GOD $18). Other discounts available. FFI: 701-235-6778, FFI: 612-874-6338, Theatre B presents the story of a church puppet theater gone horribly wrong, at Broadway Theatre Garage, 409 Broadway N., Fargo. AS WINTER'S TALE SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, April 1. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Sat, April 8 or by U of M/Guthrie Theater BFA Sophomore Class 2019 presents ShakeTheater Latte Da presents social commentary based on a real-life request by April 1. Tickets $20. FFI: 701-729-8880; speare’s tale of love and forgiveness, at U of M Rarig Center, Stoll con artist’s tale, at Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Mpls. AD and ASL Thrust Theater, 330 21st Ave. S., Mpls. AD and ALS offered 2 p.m. Sat, offered 7:30 p.m. Thu, March 23. Tickets reduced to $17.50 for ASL/AD THE PAPER DREAMS OF HARRY CHIN April 8. To request disability accommodations; please contact Dennis patrons and one guest. FFI: 612-339-3003; History Theatre presents the story of a Chinese national who landed in Behl at Tickets $6 general admission (includes all the United States in 1939, at History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul. JOHN MCCUTCHEON fees). FFI: 612-624-2345, ASL and AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, March 31. Open Captioning offered Folk music’s Renaissance man performs at Chautauqua Fine Arts Cen7:30 p.m. Sat, April 1 and 2 p.m. Sun, April 2. Tickets reduced to $20 for CHITTY BANG ter, Mahtomedi High School, 8000 75th St. N., Mahtomedi. ASL offered ASL/AD/OC patrons (regular $26-50). Other discounts available. The GREAT Theater presents the story of a flying car, at Paramount Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Fri, March 24. Tickets $25. Other discounts available. FFI: 651accessible entrance is on the east side of the building off Cedar Street. 913 St. Germain St. W., St. Cloud. ASL offered 7 p.m. Sat, April 8. Zone269-9888, The theatre has six spaces for wheelchairs, plus companion seats; based seating: adult $14-25. Other discounts available. FFI: 320-259MACBETH hearing enhancement devices and Braille or large print playbills are 5463. A world premiere commission of Shakespeare’s tragedy is performed by available. FFI: 651-292-4323, HAND IN HAND and at Park Square Theatre, Andy Boss Thrust Stage, 20 W. 7th Place, SHE WENT TO WAR Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus with Kansas City's Heartland Men's Chorus St. Paul. AD offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, March 24. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, The Telling Project presents an autobiographical performance by four perform at Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 4th St. S., Mpls. ASL offered 8 p.m. April 2. Open Captioning offered 7:30 p.m. Thu-Fri-Sat, April 6-8, and female veterans, all of whom experienced significant combat exposure 2 p.m. Sun, April 9. Assistive listening devices available. ASL/AD/OC during their terms in the military. Their stories speak to and for many, single ticket discount is half-price for patron and one guest with code to page 15 many more women whose roles put them in the line of fire, enabling ACC (regular $40, $60; previews $27). Other discounts available. FFI: 651-291-7005,


GOODNIGHT DESDEMONA, GOOD MORNING JULIET Lakeshore Players Theatre presents an English professor and her belief that Shakespeare’s tragedies should be comedies, at Lakeshore Players Theatre, 4820 Stewart Ave., White Bear Lake. ASL offered 7:30 p.m. Fri, March 24. (If no ASL seats are reserved within two weeks of the performance, the ASL-interpretation will be cancelled). Assisted listening devices available. Tickets $25, reduced to $10 for ASL patrons, who can purchase tickets online with a direct link that is active until two weeks before the performance. The $10 ASL seats highlighted in purple have the best view of the interpreter, are only visible via this link, and will not be released to the general public until the Mon after the ASL reservation deadline. Other discounts available. FFI: 651-429-5674, THE ART OF ME PERFORMANCE AND PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT Artists from Highland Friendship Club with Upstream Arts present what they have learned as performers, singing, dancing and playing music Visual art is also included, in this show called “the art of me.” Show is 3 and 6 p.m. Sat, March 25 at Park Square Theatre, Proscenium Stage, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. Assistive listening devices available. Tickets: $10. FFI: 651-698-4096,

Our award-winning access services can help make your visit a memorable one. Connect with us to learn more.

EQUILIBRIUM: SHAM-E-ALI NAYEEM WITH GILES LI The Loft's Spoken Word series Equilibrium (EQ) features Spoken Word Immersion fellow, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem with Giles Li, and is co-sponsored with Metropolitan State University's Global Poetry Festival. Show is 8 p.m. Sat, March 25 at the Loft Literary Center at Open Book, Performance Hall, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls. Open captioning offered. Free. FFI: 612-215-2575, 714-340-6356, THE TEMPEST Lakeshore Players Theatre presents Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage, at Lakeshore Players Theatre, 4820 Stewart Ave., White Bear Lake. ASL offered 2 p.m. Sun, March 26. If no ASL seats are reserved within two weeks of the performance, the ASL-interpretation will be cancelled. Assisted listening devices available. Tickets $25, reduced to $10 for ASL patrons, who can purchase tickets online with a direct link that is active until two weeks before the performance. The $10 ASL seats highlighted in purple have the best view of the interpreter, are only visible via this link, and will not be released to the general

612.377.2224 • Access programs at the Guthrie are sponsored by Travelers, Medtronic and Xcel Foundation

March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3 Pg 13

For many people with disabilities, finding and retaining a job is a priority. In Minnesota, surveys indicate that 50 percent of people with intellectual disabilities and 40 percent of people with physical disabilities who are unemployed want to work. In his latest budget, Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed new employment services to ensure more Minnesotans with disabilities can seek, retain and maintain paying jobs of their choice in the community. Jessica Knoepfler is a Minnesotan who sought meaningful work through disability employment services provider Kaposia. In February Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Emily Piper visited Knoepfler’s workplace, Just Paws Pet Salon in Lilydale. The visit highlighted the fact that many Minnesotans with disabilities already are working in competitively paying jobs they have found or created. Disability employment service providers like Kaposia often play a key role in the process. Kaposia is located in Little Canada. “Competitive employment is not only personally rewarding but can be a way out of poverty for people with disabilities, which is good for people and good for Minnesota,” said Piper. “Reforming employment services will mean more people with disabilities will find work in the community. Not everyone will choose to work for pay but everyone will have opportunities to explore what they would like to do.” Knoepfler had a lifelong dream of working with dogs. But after completing grooming school, she had difficulty keeping up with the pace at big-box grooming salons. Kaposia worked with Knoepfler, who struggles with shortterm memory, to locate an employer that would accommodate her needs. When the owner decided to close the business, Knoepfler’s parents bought Just Paws. Knoepfler now has another employee



Emily Johnson Piper, Minnesota Dept. of Human services commissioner, got to meet Jessica Knoepfler and a furry friend as they promoted work for people with disabilities. At right, Knoepfler grooms a dog.

and continues to receive support from her Kaposia job coach. Kaposia’s service offerings include a customized employment service to help individuals find jobs, supported employment to provide training and support once a job is found and retirement services to help older adults with disabilities remain active in their communities in their interest areas. “Our niche is helping people find jobs that fit their skills, interests and passions, which also helps an employer to increase the value of their company,” said Jon Alexander, chief executive officer of Kaposia. “All of this is accomplished with individualized planning, discovering the right job in the community and providing the right training and support for both the person and the employer.” Dayton’s budget calls for three new government-financed employment ser-


In Memoriam

Herndon led on and off the court

John Herndon is remembered as a student leader on and off of the Southwest Minnesota State University basketball court. The straight-A student and Mustangs wheelchair basketball team captain died February 14 after going into cardiac arrest during practice. The team is more like a family, with players recruited from around the country. Coach Derek Klinkner was impressed by Herndon’s work ethic. “Everyone can agree with this, he would give 100 percent every single time,” Klinkner told WCCO-TV. “It if was just a 30-minute push, if it was the five-by-five scrimmage, he was always giving 100 percent.” Jesus Villa was Herndon’s teammate, roommate and best friend from high school in Michigan where they grew up. “Although he came to me for basketball advice and basketball help, I feel like I learned more from him, you know, just to be a better man, be a better person,” Villa said. “He is the most selfless, or unselfish player that I ever coached,” Klinkner said. “He didn’t really care about personal stats. He didn’t care, you know, if he was playing. He wanted to win the game.” Herndon was a first-year member of the SMSU wheelchair basketball team. He was a 2012 graduate of L’Anse Creuse North High School in Macomb, Mich. He was a junior majoring in exercise science. “We are heartbroken and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of John Herndon,” said SMSU Director of Athletics, Chris Hmielewski. “Our love and thoughts are with his family, teammates and friends. The Mustang wheelchair basketball team is a family and an extremely close knit team. The SMSU athletics department and University are focused on supporting those who cared about John.” Herndon, who was from St. Clair Shores, Michigan, was born with part of his spine missing. He found strength and passion in wheelchair basketball. A GoFundMe page has been set up for his family. Donations can also be made to the National Wheelchair Basketball Association in his honor.

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Access Press welcomes obituaries from Minnesota’s disability community. Information needs to be sent in within one month of a person’s death. Deadline is always the 25th of each month, for publication the following month. Sending a link to a newspaper article or funeral home notice is acceptable, as long as there is information provided about the deceased’s role in Minnesota’s disability community. Pictures are also welcome. Please send a photo if one is available, as well as contact information in case the editors have any questions. Persons whose obituaries appear in Access Press will also be remembered at the newspaper’s annual banquet in November. Questions can be sent to the editors at Or call 651-6442133 if there are questions. ∏∏f∏∏

vices to transform current employment services for people with disabilities. Those are: • Employment exploration services to introduce a person to competitive employment opportunities through individualized education, work experiences and support services. This will allow the person to make an informed decision about working in competitively paying jobs in the community. • Employment development services, which are individualized services that will help a person to achieve paid employment in their community, including becoming self-employed or establishing a small businesses. • Employment support services, which are individualized services and supports

that will help people maintain paid employment in community businesses. Services will be provided in settings where a person can interact with co-workers and others without disabilities. DHS is working with stakeholders to redefine services the state and federal government pay for to ensure that people have experiences and options to make informed choices about employment. Employment service providers like Kaposia are critical, Piper said, to moving services toward greater choice for people with disabilities and to raising expectations that working-age Minnesotans with disabilities can achieve competitive, integrated employment. The employment proposals for people with disabilities are part of an overall strategy proposed by Dayton to increase independent living for people with disabilities and older adults. More information about this and other budget proposals are available on the 2017 session fact sheets page on the DHS website. ■

March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3 Pg 14

RADIO TALKING BOOK 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 1-800-7220550, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The catalog is online at, click on the link Search the Library Catalog. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books via an inter-library loan by contacting their home state’s Network Library for the National Library Service. Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived programs from the last week, on the Internet at 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 PAST IS PROLOGUE* Monday-Friday 9 a.m. Cake: A Slice of History, Nonfiction by Alysa Levene, 2016. 10 broadcasts. Begins March 23. One of the earliest mentions of cake was in the year 878 A.D. when Alfred, King of the Anglo-Saxons, was asked by a woman to watch his cake while she hid him from the marauding Danes. (It burned.) Since then, cakes have often been a primary food for celebration. Read by Michele Potts. BOOKWORM* Monday – Friday 11 a.m. Good Morning, Midnight, Fiction by Lily Brooks-Dalton, 2016. Eight broadcasts. Begins March 15. On the return from a

long voyage, an astronaut finds Mission Control communications have gone dark. At the same time, a scientist defies an evacuation order and hunkers down at his remote Arctic research outpost. Read by Toni McNaron. Citizens of Campbell, Fiction by Ann Reed, 2016. Five broadcasts. Begins March 27. Earl and Nearly have been friends since they were boys in the small town of Campbell, Iowa. Now Nearly is in the Veterans Home. As his health fails, he has only one regret. Read by Ann Reed. THE WRITER’S VOICE* Monday – Friday 2 p.m. Moscow Nights, Nonfiction by Nigel Cliff, 2016. 15 broadcasts. Begins March 14. In 1958, Van Cliburn entered and won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition. The Soviet judges had chosen their winner before the competition began but the public insisted that Cliburn won, thus beginning the end of the Cold War. Read by Don Lee. CHOICE READING* Monday – Friday 4 p.m. The Tea Planter’s Wife, Fiction by Dinah Jeffries, 2016. 16 Br. Begins March 20. When Gwen marries the owner of a vast tea empire, she has great hope for their life together in Ceylon. But life in Ceylon is not what she expected. Most troubling are the unanswered questions around Laurence’s first marriage. Read by Lynda Kayser. PM REPORT* Monday – Friday 8 p.m. Lost Champions, Nonfiction by Gretchen Atwood, 2016. 11 broadcasts. Begins March 20. In the aftermath of World War

II, black Americans fought discrimination and faced violence in all quarters. In 1946, four men dared to break pro football’s color line, with the Los Angeles Rams and the Cleveland Browns. Read by Robb Empson. NIGHT JOURNEY* Monday – Friday 9 p.m. Manitou Canyon, Fiction by William Kent Krueger, 2016. 13 broadcasts. Begins March 13. Cork O’Connor is searching for a missing man in the Boundary Waters but he doesn’t return when expected. Searchers find Cork’s campsite and they find lots of blood, but no Cork. L - Read by Neil Bright. Another One Goes Tonight, Fiction by Peter Lovesey, 2016. 13 broadcasts. Begins March 30. A police car accident kills an officer but a civilian on a motorized tricycle was saved. A private inquiry leads to deaths that may have been caused by the civilian. L - Read by Bonita Sindelir. OFF THE SHELF* Monday – Friday 10 p.m. Breaking Light, Fiction by Karin Altenberg, 2016. 12 broadcasts. Begins March 21. Gabriel returns to the village where he grew up and attempts to come to terms with what he lost as a boy so long ago. The mysteries hidden in the community begin to slowly unravel. V, L, S - Read by Ilze Mueller. POTPOURRI* Monday – Friday 11 p.m. Trouble Boys, Nonfiction by Bob Mehr, 2016. 21 broadcasts. Begins March 14. The Replacements was one of the last great rock ‘n’ roll bands of the 20th centu-

ry. It was also one of the most brilliant and notoriously self-destructive groups of all time. L - Read by Peter Danbury. GOOD NIGHT OWL* Monday – Friday midnight The Dig, Fiction by John Preston, 2016. Eight broadcasts. Begins March 29. In the long, hot summer of 1939, Britain is preparing for war, but on a farm in Suffolk, there is excitement of another kind. Mrs. Pretty, widowed owner of the farm, has had her hunch confirmed that the mounds on her land hold buried treasure. Read by Jack Rossmann. AFTER MIDNIGHT* Tuesday – Saturday 1 a.m. Playboy Pilot, Fiction by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland, 2016. Nine broadcasts. Begins March 29. Kendall meets the man of her dreams in an airport lounge. It turns out that he’s an airline pilot and a very sexy one, too. A plane trip to Rio turns into a major romance. S - Read by Pat Muir. WEEKEND PROGRAM BOOKS YOUR PERSONAL WORLD (Saturday at 1 p.m.) is airing The Way of Rest by Jeff Foster and Power Your Happy by Lisa Sugar. For the Younger Set (Sunday at 11 a.m.) is airing The Keepers by Ted Sanders. Poetic Reflections (Sunday at noon) is airing Standoff by David Rivard and My Feelings by Nick Flynn. THE GREAT NORTH (Sunday at 4 p.m.) is airing Pothole Confidential by R.T. Rybak. ABBREVIATIONS: V – violence, L – offensive language, S – sexual situations, RE – racial epithets.

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March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3 Pg 15

ENJOY from page 12 Sat, April 8. Tickets reduced to half-price for ASL patrons (regular $33-53); the interpreter will be located on the right side of the stage; an area near that location has been designated as ASL seating, with locations on the orchestra and mezzanine levels. Listening devices, largeprint and Braille programs available on request. FFI: 612624-2345, THE THREE MUSKETEERS Theatre in the Round Players presents a new adaptation of the story of three comrades, at Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave., Mpls. AD offered 2 p.m. Sun, April 9. Ask about a pre-show tactile tour. Large-print programs and assisted-listening devices available at every performance. Tickets: $22. Discounts available. FFI: 612-3333010, CYMBELINE U of M/Guthrie Theater BFA Sophomore Class 2019 presents Shakespeare’s tale of love and forgiveness, at U of M Rarig Center, Stoll Thrust Theater, 330 21st Ave. S., Mpls. AD and ALS offered 2 p.m. Sun, April 9. To request disability accommodations; please contact Dennis Behl at Tickets $6 general admission (includes all fees). FFI: 612-624-2345,



Winter camping adventures make us who we are

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Another web events listing is (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:// Connect with ASL interpreted and captioned performances across Minnesota on Facebook FBcaption. Another resource is Minnesota Playlist, with a recently updated website calendar with all the ASL-interpreted, audio-described, captioned, pay-what-you-can shows and other features. Go to http://minnesotaplaylist. com/calendar Arts festivals are held throughout the state. Check:,,

“Winter camping adventures with Living Well Disability Services make us who we are. These trips are textbook examples of why Wilderness Inquiry exists, bringing people of all ability levels together to build community and accomplish common goals.” said Wilderness Inquiry outdoor leader Larry Raineri. Snowshoeing, sledding, dogsledding, a dip in the frozen lake – these shared adventures create profound connections, with each other and the natural world. Wilderness Inquiry and Living Well Disability Services, formerly known as Dakota Communities, have traveled together since 2004. Living Well supports adults and children with cognitive disabilities in their communities, encouraging residents to take part in all community resources, including travel. The two organizations push the boundaries of outdoor adventure for all people, including those with disabilities. Each year, Wilderness Inquiry and Living Well make a few trips together to the Boundary Waters in the depths of winter. Living Well folks look forward to these wild adventures. Many participants return every year, excited to engage in the range of activities that cultivate confidence and mastery. ■

provide help and support. Parent resource groups are facilitated by a parent who has a child with a mental illness and who has been trained to lead support groups. A group meets 6:30-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday at Eagle Brook Church, 2401 East Buffalo St., White Bear Lake. FFI: Jody Lyons 651-645-2948 x109. FAMILY SUPPORT GROUPS help families who have a relative with a mental illness. A group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wed at Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 West, Roseville. FFI: Anne Mae. 651-4840599. OPEN DOOR ANXIETY AND PANIC SUPPORT GROUPS help people cope with anxiety disorders. One group meets 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. the second and fourth Thu in Room 104, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. The group used to meet at Goodwill/ Easter Seals. Another group meets 6:30-8 p.m. the first and third Thu at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke St., St. Paul. YOUNG ADULT NAMI CONNECTION is a free support group for persons ages 16-20. A group meets 7-8:30 the first and third Thu at Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul. The group is facilitated by young adults who live with mental illnesses and are doing well in recovery. A full calendar of all events is offered online. FFI: 651-645-2948, VISION LOSS GROUP OFFERS ACTIVITIES Vision Loss Resources provides free and low-cost activities in the Twin Cities for people who are blind or visually impaired. Life skills classes for those with low vision; card games,

craft classes, book clubs, walking groups, dinners out, special outings and technology classes are among the offerings. Participants need to RVSP to participate. FFI: RSVP hotline 612843-3439; activity phone 612-253-5155, www.

for adult family members, women with autism spectrum disorders and independent adults with autism. Check the website for upcoming groups. Groups meet at the AuSM offices at 2380 Wycliff St. FFI: 651-647-1083 ext. 10,

MCIL OFFERS CLASSES AND ACTIVITIES The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living provides many life skills classes as well as fun outings and events for people with disabilities. MCIL is at 530 N. Robert Street, St Paul and most activities are there or start there. Classes and events are listed on the website, www.mcil-mn. org. Click on “Classes Groups and Sessions” for updated information or to print their calendar. Please give two weeks’ notice if the alternative format or other accommodations are needed. Events are free, accessible and mostly scent-free. FFI: 651-603-2030


VISION REHABILITATION OFFERED Vision Loss Resources is offering a full menu of vision rehabilitation services, available in clients’ home or onsite at VLR. An affordable individualized service plan will be offered to each participant. The rehabilitation services are geared to provide participants the practical skills they need to remain independent and at safe at home. Services are offered as part of an affordable service plan. Sliding fee scale options are available and a grant from United Way will help continue to serve those who cannot afford to pay for services. The support groups, peer counseling, and volunteer services will continue to be offered without charge. FFI: 612-843-3411 ADULT SUPPORT GROUPS OFFERED AuSM offers free support groups for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Groups include those

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


OPPORTUNITIES from page 11

VSA MINNESOTA VSA Minnesota is a statewide nonprofit organization that works to create a community where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and access the arts, at The website has a comprehensive calendar at 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 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. Access Press only publishes performance dates when accommodations are offered. Contact the venue to find out the entire run of a particular production and if discounts for seniors, students or groups are offered.

with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110,, BE A FREQUENT FILER Ramsey County – Volunteer Services is looking for people who want to help in an office. Volunteer office assistants are needed in several areas. Multiple shifts are available, Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Midway area and downtown St. Paul locations have limited reimbursement for parking expense or bus fare is provided. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age. Ask about accommodations. FFI: 651-266-4090,

FOR SALE Outdoor wheelchair platform lift. Purchase in October 2016. Call David at 651-484-7836. FOR RENT Calvary Center Apts: 7650 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN. A Section 8 building now accepting applications for our waiting list. Call 9 am to 4 pm, Mon – Fri 763-546-4988 for an application. Equal Opportunity Housing. Find your new home with At Home Apartments. Call 651-224-1234 or visit for an apartment or town home. Equal Opportunity Housing. Classified rates: $15 for the first 18 words and 65¢ per word thereafter. Classified ads prepaid. Mail to: Access Press, Capitol Ridge Inn Offices; 161 St. Anthony Ave; #910; St. Paul, MN 55103; Phone: 651-644-2133; Fax 651-644-2136; Email:

March 10, 2017 Volume 28, Number 3 Pg 16

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