July 1990 Edition - Access Press

Page 1


~ v e n t ~ q Calendar Pm 4


Access Press July 1990

sit Here by William A. Smith, Jr.

. It may Public Transportation in the have something for all of us. It cartainly is samething for all of to think about. Decisions are still beingIPaQe,dwm6mery aspect of the transit system in our arq, a d pubk reaction may still influence tlie ultimate plans. RTB, MTC, MMAC,LRT & TAAC are just so many let. ters for most of us. But these letters represent ideas and people in powerful positions who are deciding whether our community will have a ride to work, or a ride to mother's or out to the lake when house, or perhaps a ride downwe feel 1% it. The e n t public meetings sponsored by the Regional Transit Board (RTB) helped to enlighten those attending but



(Ynis now for some

rldes as word of RTB's accessi-



CESSPRESS is devbting a good part of &s issucto explain-

in the hope that next time we are to this planning process, we71 aIl ftem, the "public" is asked to rear by consulting firms after apresentation by a p r o p o ~ G ~ n t ~ .-b* ed. Very seldom are the alternatives or negative -a part of the though the committee or caninformation in their deliberasdtant has


lar, IS apt to use language which sagg

n elsewhere illustrates recognize the players in this game. before the checks are written? Ans in the state legislature, of course. Without their OK, nothing goes forward. They can decide how much State money will be allocated and over how long a period to any agency or any new project. Public transportation is expensive to operate and requires large capital expenditures as wall. Cities and counties bear some costs, but can't handle metrowide projects. The Weral government is a dominant player, funding certain types of expenditures in a manner which sets patterns for the strrte and local p h s

such meeting. conversation but it is still long. We have also s I m r h d the responses by panel members to eliminate r e d u n h i e s but we have made every effort to preserve the ideas as presented. We think it is worthwhile reading, however, and the RTB staff is to be commended for providing this background for the expected citizen input. PROPOSALS VS. FUNDED SYSTEMS It should be noed that there are some discrepancies In the

to be an attempt to mislead, but put it down to his own enthusiastic support of various pognms, Two examples are the "No-denial" plan for Metro Mobility riders, and the Light Rail Transit system which has yet to be totally defined, and is a long way from being funded. We don't fault his support for these projects, but readers should be aware that they still may make their own opinions known to legislators or thesp &sea-Lit Rail, in particular, has many solid opponents, who@& the capital required far exceeds its potential value and that this money could be spent much more wisely $-+< on improvements in maddine buses and door-to-door service. The editor of ACCESS PLkESS has an explanatory note next to the text of the public meeting on the subject of "No ~ Trip Denial" and I hope you will take time to read it. (Edited Forum Transcript - p. 6)


Law in the Trenches

other persons unan legal representsn MMLA are r corporations ociety ofMinM), St. C l o d ices Associ-

sources. Each, however, transfers all funds received to the MMLA, which also is f o r d employer of all staff members within the three corporations. Funding is from a variety AID continued on D. 5





Access Press



Here it is, issue number two of ACCESS PRESS! Number one brought a lot of responses, most urging me to "keep up the good workn, and "we've needed this for a long timew.And many ideas for future issues. Thanks. I'm going to try to get to all 'of them, eventually. This issue we're featuring accessible transportationRegional Transit Board (RTB) meetings in May where they asked for the public's input. I hope you %ill read through the text of -, a meeting since it will give you a lot to think about, before you respond. Second, the new trip assurance or no-denial plan for Metro Mobility will start July first. It's exciting, although not as exciting right

now, as RTB Chairman Mike Erlichmann describes it. There will not be a lot of publicity at first, because no one can tell just how many people may have been denied rides routinely in the past, and may now be counted. The number of new vehicles needed to service the plan will have to be worked out over time. I urge you to make the requests but to be as flexible as possible on your time schedules and not to be too disappointed if it doesn't work right away. RTB says they are committed to the plan, and will keep improving it until it does work. We should all support it. I have only one other comment on the RTB public forums. Mr. Erlichmann

. -

seems to jump ahead of his not the credibility of the staff people on various sub- County. jects. Mr. Erlichmann talks In the next issue we will about 10-12 year projects take a hard look at earned insuch as Light Rail and Main- come and spend-down reline accessibility as though quirements for people with they are firm plans, fully ap- disabilities. The system says proved, funded and about to it wants you to become selfbe implemented. They ar- sufficient, but it appears to en't. I found the RTB staff be putting your money very knowledgeable and where its mouth is. The dedicated, but not inclined rules change and now people to "oversell" these projects. are losing their houses and We all can contribute to their jobs. Again, the taxthese plans, pro and con, payer (you and I) are getting and I urge you to do so. stuck. Also, in this issue we will Welcome our editoral try to inform you about the cartoonist, Scott Adams, developing story of the ar- who makes his first appearbitrary elimination of chore ance with a comment on our hours from a signficant featured article. number of people in HenIf you have suggestions nepin County. With the help or comments, feel free to of the Legal Aid Society, the write me. This is your hours were restored-but newspaper.

Midway Trclning Services (r.:TS) Midway Training Ser-

vides employment to per-

derate to more severe levels

in a seniors group, which fo-

tinued. The agency now pro-

ing transport needs, an occasionally conflicting combination of private van, various dependent living, and sup- cab companies and Metro portiveemploymentservices Mobility is utilized. The exie a yariety of settings. Its isting van is showing signs of philosophy is one of zero re- wear, and both safety and jection, and the unyielding maintenance . concerns support of an individual's mounting%&i&apital fund right to achieve maximum drive is underway for the potential. Community in- purchase of a new van. Any-

- of mental retardation. cuses on social and recrea- vides quality vocational 29 individuals are served tional opportunities. training, and behavioral, in-

needs, but focuses inthe area of vocational training, com- munication, mobility, mon+ 'y management and self ;

of Rarnsey County. Previously served in the public schools and Regional Treatment Centers, the majority

in the Intensive Behavioral Training Unit. Persons with excessive aggressive or selfendangering behaviors are served here, where the emphasis is on increasing adaptive behavior while training independent living skills.

The remaining 63 individuals receive service in the Core Program, emphasizing independent living skills, vocational activity and supported employment. MTS is a private, not-forprofit agency that began life

{iredtransportation fur elderly and handicapped.








cess Prey




1 ! I








~ e c h n o l o ~ ecreation and ?A


by Erik Aasland

!J=dk w *9&A

(reprinted by permission from

ORMATION NETWORK" Summer 1990, a publication of The University of Iowa)

Eighty percent of adults with disabilities are underserved or unserved in recreation, according to "Special Recreation Digestu. With the help of technology, more and more people with disabilities are enjoying various sports and leisure activities. However, they need training in what services are available, what adaptive equipment they may need, and how to use that equipment. We will examine three organizations that offer recreational opportunities designed to enrich the lives of persons with disabilities, Courage Center, Vinland Center, and Wilderness Inquiry. Finally, we will consider three recreational activities and the technology used to make these sports accessible. Courage cent& and Vinland Center organize recreationa1 activities for individuals with disabilities who live in thier own residences or in the community. Their goal is to introduce people with disabilities to recreational opportunities available locally. Recreation options are ice skating, skiing, archery, basketball, billiards, swimming, bowling, fishing, and biking. Courses offered include beginning archery, aqua aerobics, open water scuba, Courage Rapid Rollers spring sports and fitness, and water skiing. In each activity technology which has been designed and'modified to suit the individual is used. Activities are integrated to varying degrees. The two centers differ primarily in servicearea and funding. Courage Center serves a five-state anxi (Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Daha), while Vinland Center mainly serves Minnesota rddeats. Both organizations are largely hded by donations and fundland has contracts w


J U ~ Y1390

Survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Central, Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest Minnesota communities can now find needed support through a new program of the Minnesota Head Injury Association. Every year approximately 10,000 Minnesotans sustain a head injury. Of those approximately 1,000 suffer severe and permanent disability. Nearly every survivor experiences deficits in short term memory and the ability to process the subtle signals necessary for daily activities. Other capacities often lost or compromised include fine physical movements, clarity of speech; planning and judgement skills. After a period of intense rehabilitation, most survivors return to their home communities and find themselves in a radically changed environment with few resources for help. Although some services do exist, communities often lind it difficult to work with the challenges faced by these survivors. The Community Support Network Program helps to ensure a positive transition

recreational activities. Yet, unlike the other services, Wilderness Inquiry acquaints clients with activities they cannot do in their community. Trips planned for this year include a 5-day Apostle Island kayak trip, a 9-day Yellowstone canoe trip, and an 8-day Rocky Mountain dog sled trip. Skills gained are not directly transferable, but individuals learn to more filly appreciate their own and each other's abilities, working within the trip's cooperative design. People with and without disabilities ("people of all abi1ities-n work together to make the trip a success. A typical group might include two people who use wheelchairs, one who uses crutches, two people with sensory impairments, four people without disabilities, and two tour guides. Trip participants learn to divide responsibilities as they become acquainted with the use of the dog sled, canoe, or kayak. People with disabilities taking part in the trip are an integral part of the team. They gain independent living skills, more confident attitudes toward risk, and increased self-perceptionof capability. What types of technology are being used? The technology varies as much as the individual activities. Since there are so many kinds of technology, we will consider three activities and the technology used for each activity. Courege Center's archery pmgrams are popular and use v d x w W a i v e devices. For i d v i d u d s with limited f i a g e r h d function, shooting releases are used to help them draw the bow string. Splints, braces and cuffs enable persons with quadriplegia who have physical function to hold and draw the bow to shoot. Bow stands hold the bow


-T length as a standard ski, but wider, and with a triune rot sup port. The skier's hips fit into the frame to stabilize the body. While skiing, the skier keeps the knees bent and holds the rope, which is held in place by a slit in the end of the board. For the individual with a visual impairment, there is the three-perm ski-bar. Two people without visual impairment and the individual with the visual impairment hold onto the bar. When the person with a visual impairment feels comfortable, the bar can be separated into three individual bars. trips with Wilderness Inquiry, kayaks and canoes are often used. People with disabilities, especially those who use wheelchairs, usually have enough upper body strength to paddle. Even if they do not, they can still participate by riding in the canoe or kayak. The only type of assistive device needed for canoeing is a sling seat. Holes are drilled in the canoe and the sling seat is installed to ensure sufficient back support for the mobilityimpaired individual. Kayaks, on the other hand, fit closely enough to offer plenty of back support; occasionally padding is needed. For more information on individual organizations and their recreational offerings, call or write:

Karyl Hoeger

Marty Cushing

esota and counties arm the chance to participate. ARCHERY TO WATERSKIING

for survivors and their farnilies. In the Community Support Network survivors work closely with a Cornmunity Coordinator and a family member or friend of their choice to identify goals and develop an action plan in just one or many areas including: employment/training, independent livinglhousing, leisurelrecreation, supportlcounseling, s p i r i a i ty , and transportation. The Community Supply Network strives to reduce the barriers faced by survivors as they return to their communities. The Program offers a creative and supportive option for sum;. 3rs who would like to WOIA toward

increasing their independence and chart a new course for the future. All services are free of charge and will continue until the survivor has successfully reached his or her goals, is able to independently achieve goals, or is no longer interested1eIigiblefor the Program. The Program was made possible through a grant from the Federal Department of Education and the MN Department of Jobs and Training-Division of Rehabilitation Services. Contact Jane Camara of the Minnesota Head Injury Association at (612) 379-39 11 for further information.


I ACCESSIBLE VANS I Conversions Driving Aids Accessories Darrell and let them make your

Wheelchairs Power Scooters Hospital Beds Rentak Sales Repairs Sales ~onsignments


much more


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982 Thomas Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104


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Minneapolis, MN 55414







.-Events CaCgndiar

Access Press





July 1990 5


aklll I%-. I







JULY 3 INTEGRATED RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES & STRATEGIES PRESENTATION 7:00 P.M. Westwood Elemenmy School , 4 Tues. Jodi Saaren, 874-6650 or cindy ~ l o m ~ r e88 n ,1-5811 ADULTS WITH CEREBRAL PALSY SUPRORT GROUP ll#rLW Lutheran S o d Services, 378-0027 rir .- 4 ADULTS WITH PCBT POLIO SYMPTOMS SUPPORT GROUP 12:OO-200 P.M. Independent Cmaooh, 378-0027 Wed. ADULTS WITH P H Y S I U DISABilATES HJPEQR%' GROUP 1:00-3:00 P.M. Lewis Park Apartments, 378-0027 YOUNG ADULTS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES SUPPORT 5 GROUP Thurs. 4:OQ.-5:a) P.M. Cowgge Center, 378-0027 ARC ANNUAL MEETING d ) FAMILY PICNIC 6:30 P.M. Edinborough Indoor h k , a, 874-6650 WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES SUPPORT GROUP 12:00-2:00 P.M. Independent Crossroads, 378-0027 ARC CELEBRATE SIBLINGS WORKSHOP Sat. -;"'* 9:00- Noon, Eisenhower Community Center, 933-9105 9 "e'hlSS SUPPORT GROUP 3:30-530 Trevilla of Robbinsdale, 378-0027 Mon. PARKINSON'S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP (also A q . Q) 7 P.M., Methodist Hospital, 932-5495 ADULTS WITH CEREBRAL PALSY SUPPORT GROUP Services, 378-0027 POST POLIO SYMPTOMS SUPPORT GROUP 2:00 P.M. Independent Crossroads, 378-0027 WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES SUPPORT GROUP P.M. Lewis Park Apartments, 378-0027 G ADULTS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES SUPPORT GROUP 4:00-500 P.M. Courage Center, 378-0027 UNITED HANDICAPPED FEDERATION BOARD MEETING 7:00 P.M. 1821 University Avenue, 645-8922 WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES SUPPORT GROUP 13 Fri. 12:OO -2:OO Independent Crossroads, 378-0027 ARC CANTERBURY DOWNS WEEKEND Eden Wood Camping & Retreat Center, 92$-27 14 CANOE & KAYAK DEMO 1:W-3:00 P.M. H y b d hb Park, 339-3433 Sat. 16 LOSS SUPPORT GROUP 3:30- 5:30 P.M. Trevilla of Robbinsdale, 378-0027 DULTS WITH CEREBRAL PALSY SUPPORT GRO

Members of the Cour- in 1982. Most members of age CamenClub exhibited the Camera Club are to their work at fiw S-d some degree. physically Annual State of: the Art disabled and they are at Show held at Nicollet Is- tirrmes - challenged in their land Park on June 9th and photqpphic art by every10th. They joined a p u p day,and physical of 150 artists from several 'kiiifdm.It is the goal of

members. The club has several fully automatic 35 mm SLR cameras to loan out. These cameras focus, advancethe film, cock the shutter, make all the shutter and aperture settings and re-

cluded handmade wooden clocks, original clothing and bonsai trees.

black and white darkroom

closed caption video -






"omputer Courses Offered


The world's first closed caption video computer training for the hearing impaired is now available from LEARN-PC, the world's

Center on Deafness. T h e Deaf (NTID)," said Straw. student has 3 areas of con- Both Galluadet and NTID, centration; the interpreter, the world's 2 leading postthe keyboard and the moni- secondary learning institutor, this makes training tions for the hearing imsaid Zimrnerman. paired are now using th "LEARN-PC's hands-on, -Be:courses. d video approach is In the past, many hear-solution", said Julie ing impaired people have Straw, Director of Product been denied equal access to Development for LEARN- employment opportunities PC. "The video concentrates that required computer on a single focus; the key- skills. We hope that by board, the monitor or graph- providing closed caption ics. Plus the self paced video trainkg programs to hands-on format of the businesses, government courses &ws the trainee to leanr at a comfortable pace while actually using their PC. LEARN-PCs WS-OR mg &# video approach assmw c o n m e , " effective training wb4& LEARNthe trainee is hearing im- used world paired or not," d Straw. 2000 firms, government T h a & k we are not agencies and educational ins q w k d Wt the courses stitutions. The company's haw d high marks corporate HQ is in Mi.@from hearing - impaired neiplis, MN with regional trainees at both Galluadet offices in Chicago, Los AnUniversity and the National geles, ~linneap&is,Toron~ e c h n Institute i ~ for the to, and washington, D.




include: Computer DOS, WordPert, Lotus 1-2-3 2.2, Lotus dBASE III PLUS, d-d B A S E N . eourses have trained over 300,000 hearing people, and we are excited to now offer this effectiveness to address the needs af the hearing Impahd oomrmmity. Especially since video is so i d d y suited for the challenge of computer training for the hearing impaired," said Gil Mann. "Conventional computer training for the hearing imaired is a challenge because the information must be gathered visually," said Eric ~immermanof the National

~MremmSudatS!rvi ADULTS W T H PO-=OMS








F O R YQURZOMPLETE WHEELCHAIR NEEDS: Everest & Jennings Motion Design / A-BEC lnvacare e ~- v -e Aid ...- ---..A.-.. ..-


SUPPORT GROUP 12:OO-2:OO P.M. Independent Crossroads, 378-0027 ADULTS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES SUPPORT GROUP 1:00-9:00 P.M. Lewis Park Apartments, 378-0027 PARKINSON'S SUPPORT GROUP (also Aug. 15) 1 P.M. Methodist Hospital, 932-5495 19 . 6T. PAUL CIVITAN CLUB Thurs . 6: 15 P.M. Midway Marter Lodge, 221-6144 -A YOUNG ADULTS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES SUPPOR GROUP 4:OO-500 P.M. Courage Center, 378-0027 PARKINSON'S UNDER 55 SUPPORT GROUP (also Aug. 16) 1 P.M. Methodist Hospital, 932-5495 TIES SUPPORT GROUP ndent Crossroads OUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS enter High School, 520-0520 ARC SPONSORED DANCE YWCA, 1130 Nicollet, 874-6650 ARC RESPITE WEEKEND Eden Wood Camping & Retreat Center, Pam Argus 934-27 23 LOSS SUPPORT GROUP Ma' 3:30- 5 3 0 P.M. Trevilla of Robbinsdale, 378-0027 CALENDAR continued on p. 5-





Warchol, Berndt & Attorneys providing complete leaal services

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M-A. - - - -- BILLING: We take care of M.A., Medicc .


re. Blue CrossIBlue Shield & oti

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I I -1

3433 Broadway Street Northeast Minnea~olis-St.Paul, Minnesota 55413

6 I

July 1990

Access Press

I T he A ccess

I hope to report on one or more reasonably priced accessible restaurants each month in the ACCESS PRESS. ~t is with some regret that I present the first of these experierlces, since I hopec-to start on a more positive note. ~ l a ihonesty , prevails, and here with our number one experience. Since I use an electric wheelchair, I call in advance to make sure of entry into the restaurant (yes, there are still lots of ina~cessibl~ places). So-the call, to RUDOLPH'S in Galtier Plaza, St. Paul. Response: Yes, we are accessible, eight - o'clock will be fine. Reality: After parking downtown a block or two away, we went by sidewalk to RUDOLPH'S. Whoops! A step, can't get in. After some discussion inside, my able-bodied companion learned that accessibility is via the second floor of Galtier. Traveled around the block, by elevator to the ond floor, across the building -q+&qq+"' e? y $3 -@ L" to RUDOLPH'S. Made our ta,L.-a- - -*d r x \ C + * ~ T ble a little late (wondering why the person taking the reser* a a -*:L vation failed to volunteer the instructions while taking my by The Frugal Diner . reservation).

I Guide to -- -



Accessible, Affordable Restaurants


petizer. The drinks arrived flat and watery as though they were not freshly made. The waitress took our dinner order and said the appetizer onion rings would be right out. Not so! Salad came first, immediately followed by dinner. Never did get those onion rings, or any further explanation. I had to ask for water, which I feel shouldn't be necessary. We tried the special a Texas beef rib with a quarter chicken, and the pork ribs. Jojo potatoes, coleslaw and a house salad. The coleslaw was outstanding and I recommend it. The house salad was almost tasteless, and everything else was cold and appeared to have been sitting around somewhere while it dried out. After awhile, our waitress dropped off a check and said "you guys have a good nightn. No mention of coffee, dessert, or an after dinner drink. RUDOLPH'S at Galtier meets our criteria of accessibility (given good instructions) and it is affordable by my standards. Our check was about $21.00 for two dinners and two drinks. I don't know how to assign numerical scores to these

, -


continued from p. 1 coverage of the activispecific legal issues.

roviding "free legal ser-

gation. First priority are the cases where the client has no

Calendar continued from p. 4

&re Medicare care is at issue and both administrative


Lutheran Social Services, 378-0027 ,'.4** &%YAK TOURING 11: ON WATER INIS0 7:68 P.M. Fish Lake Park, 42@-3423 -&%BaTS WITH POST POLIO SYMPTOMS SUPPORT GROUP 1290-2:00 P.M. Independent Crossroads, 3784@27 ADULTS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES SUPPORT GROUP 1:W-3:00 P.M. Lewis Park Apartments, 378-0027 YOUNG ADULTS WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES SUPPORT '




management of the Society's Medical Assistance (MA), Minneapolis office generat- Work Readiness, and

bilities. First priority far the limited staff in this area has


effort at self-examination Attorney Pat Si&& that was intended to focus specializes in the Income virtu- tenacious advocate on these

vantaged persons to exercise basic rights and to support their efforts to resolve individual and community problems through aggressive legal meansn. The first sentence of the statement's explanation emphasizes the program's desire to "recognize and respect the integrity of disadvantaged persons". It is a desire that staff attorneys have been uniformly successful at implementing. Of the ten priority areas identified in the Society's statement, four deal directly with the concerns of disabled persons. The ten areas are: Family Law, Juvenile Law, Shelter, Income MaintenancetGovernment Benefit Problems, Seniors, Developmentally Disabled Persons, Health Care, Consumer Law, Hearing Impaired, and Mental Health. The Society's efforts with respect to Income Main-

Protection and Advocacy System and refuses federal f;nding for this purpose. The funds are restricted to providing representation to people with developmental disabilities on issues that arise out of their disabilities. They permit state-wide representation with part time para legals employed in northwestern and northeastern Minnesota. DD PRIORITIES The first priority area on the DD project is to assist clients in obtaining quality services which will allow them to function as independently as possible in a community based setting. Close behind are efforts to ensure adequate habilitation training for class members still residing in state institutions and the full range of personal rights for DD individuals. The third concern of disabled persons addressed by the Socim is the general

The Society also serves the disability related legal

of 1986. Its Minnesota Mental Health hoiect addresses both system-wide concerns and those of individual clients. It utilizes legislative and administrative advocacy, group representation, education, committeeparticipation, and other involvements in actual policy formulation, as well as the more traditional legal strategies. Again, priorities center around community resources and the protection of individual rights. The Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis is not a legal dumping ground or a "free store"fil1ed with lawyers and clerks eager to solve all problems when your number is drawn, It is a group of personally involved and hard working individuals whose compensation comes largely in the form of opportunities to keep the "system" honest, and to legally augment the voices of those who might



U of M -Duluth, 520-0520 ARC SPONSORED DANCE YWCA, 1130 Nicollet Avenue, 874-6fB0 ARC RESPITE WEEKEND Eden Wood Camping & Retreat Center, Pam Argus, 934-2771 39 -.-. LOSS SUPPORT GROUP Moo. 3:30- 5:30 Trevilla of Robbinsdale, 378-0027 ADULTS WITH CEREBRAL PALSY SUPPORT GROUP Tues. Lutheran Social Services, 378-002

Complete Mobility Systems Twin Cities and Duluth-Superior

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Access Press

ia In May, the Regional Transit Board held a series of four public hearings to report on plans and seek information from the community. ACCESS PRESS attended the hearing at Seward Square on May 9, 1990. Mr. Michael Erhlichman, chairman of the Regional Transit Board (hereafter referred to as RTB) opened the meeting with an explanation of his role. He was appointed to his position

by Gov. Perpich in August of 1989. He and his new board have been attempting since then to tackle several issues of importance to the disabled community; regular route accessibility, improved paratransit (via the Metro Mobility system) and an exploration of the new Light Rail Transit proposals. Particular attention was directed toward the new lift equipped regular buses, some of which are in service

now, many more coming on line as replacements for the existing non-accessible buses. All new buses will be accessible. The rate of acquisition of new vehicles by the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) is governed by a replacement schedule which indicates that total change over will take ten to twelve years, when the main-line system will be totally served by wheelchair

accessible vehicles. Life spans of existing equipment are mandated by the federal government to be twelve years, which limits the speed of this conversion. In addition, the Metro Mobility system will be improved. A dramatic change takes place on July 1, 1990, according to Mr. Ehrlichmann, when the "no-denial" plan for users of this system will go into effect. Regular users of the Metro mobilty

system have found that on many occasions they were unable to arrange a ride under the present plan of calling for service a day in advance. Providers of the service are often totally booked for the succeeding day very early in the morning, thus denying later callers or those with a change of schedule any opportunity t ride. No-denial will arrange to serve everyone through a central call-in, if normal providers are

booked. Mr. Ehrlichmann said the "bottom line" of this system means that finally, every rider who calls will get a ride. This changealonewill provide a greatly enhanced service to present users. Metro Mobility has about 17,000 qualified users at this time. Most of these people would not be able to use mainline bus service in its present form. It is also the intention of the RTB to improve subur-

RTB Forum Highlights Col A 'hnscript of Consumer Questions and Admi&tn

Woman: I certainly sup-



the MTC. It also is funded through direct state appropriation that we receive from the legislatureand pass onto theMTC. And, in addition; capital purchases and same l h b d operational fwds me provided by the

plimentary and as Mary said, it provides an option to a great many people. Hundreds of thousands of rides are provided in many cities across the country through main line access. Like b v m , Seattlf, New

Tom Vida:I represent the big bus system. Sometime within the next year we are goingtoberdybe@Iwjt$ fixed route accessible serv i e . Rigknow, attheendof April, we received 20 of our new buses that have lifts and tie down features and we are

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tion from all of you as to wlraewecanbestbeginto ~C@OY ~ W C Sthroughout t b win &tie8 on our fixed route service. It'qping to be a step by step process before the whole systems hecomes lift equipped. I don't want to give anybody any false ideas that it's going to be coming up very soon. It's gokg to take acme time be cause the way that we're going to get lift equipped buses is when the buses that we currently have that are not lift equipped are old enough to retire. Then,when we get new buses to r e p b them, all the new b u m we buy will Tom Vida: It will take about six years before 50% of the fleet will be accessible. In about five years I thiak well have enough buses so that at times of the day like the midday,' in tbe evenings, and on Saturdays

100% lift equipped at the rate that we can replace buses. When we buy a bus using federal government Roseann: One suggesmoney we have to keep the tions would be a bus, and if it bus for 12 years. WeVe got- isn't the MTC bus at least


, a he, wow

ten some new buses recently that are amlift equipped and before those can be replaced it will be 11or 12years from now. That's when finally dl 100% of the fleet will be lift equipped.

temporarily to get a Metro Mobility bus that makes the rounds of these buildings with numerous tie downs. Maybe once, twice a week, where you don%have to call in ahead of b, just be at the door and#bey pick you up and I'I bet that bus would be ruMing every day eventually and it wmld eliminate or free up a whole lot of rides for the metro mobility system. I think we need to start Roseann: Could you ex- addressingm e of theseo p plain where the two bus t h d things, along with the mtesgo. You justnamed 16 accessible buses but in this whatever. What places does area it's essential that we get that go. a bus going to Minnehha Mall and probably out to R a d d e , some of the main skapphg areas. Maybe even to Sister Kenny, some of the Answer: The 16lineistke different places that people


r I

r .

ban services, and to work on expanding long delayed ideas such as Ride Share over time. Mr. Ehrlichrnann later commented that Light Rail is an exciting opportunity for us, and it will ultimately be the easiest system for those in wheelchairs to use. Ms. Mary O'Hara Anderson, the chairwoman of the Transit Accessibility Advisory Committee (hereafter known as TAAC) explained

- - ----- =: . . .

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that her committee is made up of thirteen people appointed by individual members of the RTB plus two members appointed by the Minnesota State Council on Disability. Ms. Anderson stated that the role of TAAC is that of advising the RTB on issues pertaining to accessibility. In prior years, the committee had been primarily concerned with Metro Mobility, but with the new board under Mr. Ehrlich-

mann, they are working on Light Rail, Mainline Accessibility, and other program plans such as Ride Share. Ms. Anderson reiterated the concern of Mr. Ehrlichmann, that users of the system are the people who will determine the final plans which best serve the community. She, too, asked for ideas from the audience. Judy Hollander, director of programs for the RTB, explained that the primary rea-

son for the May hearings was to take suggestions and comments on the deployment of the new lift equipped buses as they are brought into service. She made clear, however, that the RTB has a comprehensive accessibility strategy that addresses expansion of the number of transit services available to those with disabilities. This would include making the supplementary suburban routes accessible as well as

mainline buses. LRT ser- the needs of the disabled vice, still in the planning population. stages, would also be acMr. Bob Prowda of Illicessible. um Associates, a consultant Ms. Hollander estimated for the RTB consumer rethat there will be 98 lift search project said: "that alequipped buses in service by though legislation and reguthis time next year. Once lations were established by again, she asked for advice the federal government in from the community in iden- about 1973, there are still no tifying travel needs for disa- standard practices. Minneabled riders. In addition, the polis-St. Paul has one of the board would like sugges- best operated and most cost tions on features other than effective door-to-door serlifts which will better serve vices in the country.


nsud r Transit Concerns


In Answers from the May 9 Seward Square Forum

atcertaintimes. . . itmight will probably just have to be something that would be wait until the next bus comes cheaper forus, frankly, than along. If it's going to be a trying to do those rides in- long wait, like a half hour or dividually withcertainbuild- more then we will. . . we ings. If there were uniform haven't developed this yet,





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Michael Ehrlichmann: Once we see that those situations are arising the gentlemen leaning against the wall up here is going to have to look at our scheduling and decide whether or not we need to put some extra service on that route. Once we have information to that effect then we can make some adjustments in the scheduling, get an extra bus in there or do what needs to be done.


of the biggest problems I have is bus drivers who forget to call my stop, so I won't go into a unfamiliar area on the bus because I can be 30 minutes late for an appointment if I get lost. So I'm wondering if. . . what kinds of sensitivity training are you doing. Are you training your drivers to be more helpful to people who are disabled. Are you talking about blindness, are you talking about different disabling diseases or the different kinds of disabilitiw that people can have, w b dxy d l y need and what the myths are? - . .,


Man: My question is

similar to her question. Are they @ng to have an emblem on the front of that bus big enough for people to see it rather than a number. Say for instance a wheel chair emblem on that bus so that people can see ~t when it's coming.


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me~? a concentration of metro mobility rides we could actually do ubsidy cheaper andeas'hat's something for us to explore, and I think that's a real good idea for TAAC to rplore.



2 Charlie Smith: I have a ler of questions. How chairs does this main line bus take? (two) And is that true for the ones that are on the 19 and 16? (yes) What will you do if there are more than two riders waiting?

A Michael Ehrlichrnann: If the service is very frequent, if we have a lot of buses one right after the other and the two places are filled then the person waiting on the curb

but we're going to have to have some kind of backup system to come in and pick up that person and take them where they want to go. I'm not exactly sure how it will look but especially when the weather is inclement we're going to need to come up with something so people are not left waiting out on the curb for a long period of time.

Charlie: My question really is: say you pick up and drop four chairs and it's running five minutes a time and it's a 16A going downtown. That's 20 minutes of waiting. What are you going to do for the other passengers on that are expecting this ride is going to take a half hour. Just say too bad?

Tom Vida: We will have. Currently the buses as they came from the manufacture have a small emblem but we intend to put on a larger one in a better location so that it's more easily identifiableas an accessible bus. In front.

Training Woman: I was wondering if there will be help for people in wheel chairs to get on and get off of the bus and to tie them down?

Tom Vida: W w e d a n e some training in rhat regard for the 16 and 19driversw I think a lot more could be

some areas that aren't as well served as others. Counties like Dakota County, and when you only have one provider serving a very large service area how are you going to prevent trip denials when there's a limited number of vehicles.

Michael Ehrlichmann: I'll answer that. There will be a second list of separate providers. They will all be providing greater service. But a second list of providers who will rotate. When the person calls a provider, and they get denied a trip, they will then call MMAC. MMAC in turn will guaranMy question has to do tee the ride. There will be a with the system for eliminat- provider possibly coming in ing trip denials. There are FORUM continued on p. 8

No Trip

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Michael Ehrlichmann: Oh yes. They'll be trained. Each driver will go through training.

And with people who are blind also I take buses on real fixed routes myself and one

done. Calling stops is something that w;want drivers to do anyway. And now even more so, since we have people who need it more riding the buses. We're going to have to work hardon creating a better awareness and sensitivity among our drivers. I've talked about this as recently as today with the MTC and their people are thinking about sensitivity training for our drivers and I think we need to do that.





-. :

No-trip Denial or Trip Assurance Program


RTB FORUM continued from p. 7 ->

from outside of that area who nonnally may not serve that area,but will serve the entire - ' area. The idea is to get a sys. tem where, as I've done, sit there at 5 minutes to 6 and - , with ready call on all of my buttons for different vendors 2 .and r m whapping those ba- L:. ,bies down trying to get in and , get a ride. We want to elimi.inate that, so you can actually T = -'call between six and three and you don't have t call 8 -. times. ..


_. 8

7 '



your ride, I'm putting you on the trip assurance program. Ifll be up to you if you want to be called back and told who your provider is or that you'll just know then that you're going to have a ride. It just is that the MMAC will assign the ride at the end of the day if the provider you originally called doesn't take the trip. I really think it's going to help, I think it's going to do two things. It's going to 7 allow people to call for a ride up until 2:30 like you're s u p posed to and not have everybody doing it at 5:30 or 6 in Judy Hollander: The pro- ' the morning. It is your right vider when you call will ei- to call to 2:30 that day ther say your ride is conbefore.



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METROPOLITAN COUNCIL: Responsible for longterm planning. Appoints 11 of 13 RTB members. REGIONAL TRANSIT BOARD (RTB): Responsible for planning and administration of Metro Mobility, ridesharing, suburban transit development. Appoints 5 members to the MTC board. Has approval authority of Light Rail Transit (LRT) proposals by the seven counties. METROPOLITAN TRANSIT COMMISSION (MTC): Owns and operates the mainline bus system. METRO MOBILITY ADMINISTRATION CENTER (MMAC): A department of the MTC, administers operation of Metro Mobility within policies set by the RTB. Funding for these systems comes from: 1. Fares; 2. Property taxes; 3. Federal grants -usually for capital expenditures such as new buses; and, 4. State funds autorized by the state legislature each bienium to pick up short-fall in operations, funding new plans, etc.





A word to the wise about the new trip assurance or the no-trip denial plan for Metro Mobility riders. After attending the Regional Transit Board (RTB) Forum described in detail in this issue, we sought the specifics on the new &No-Denial"or "trip assurancew from the RTB which starts July 1, 1990. Yes, there is a new plan, worked out by the providers (taxi and van companies) and the RTB. No, it will not "assurewriders calling before 2:30 p.m. on a given day that a ride will be available the next day. This plan is in a trial stage. Providers unable to book a ride will offer this order by computer to all other providers. The secondary provider who accepts the requested ride notifies the pasenger that their ride has been picked-up by them, and will confirm your ride times. There is no assurance that this will happen. At this time the RTB has no idea how many potential daily rides may go into the "pool", or what percentage will be picked up. With this new program some of the providers have agreed to put a number of new vehicles on the road to help with the increased number of rides, which can only help. The RTB is hoping they aren't over-run with calls. For those of us who use the system we are urging that you keep cool and be as flexible as possible in your requests (15 minutes to 'A hour leeway on pickup times). This system might work over time, but it will probably develop slowly. It will depend on rider cooperation while it is evolving. It's not set up as presented at the RTB forum, but it might be someday. Let's give it a chance!

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Public servants and the public they serve came face to face last month, and experienced-in diplomatic parlance"a frank exchange of views". Neither blinked. The occasion was a no-holds-barred meeting between providers and consumers of Personal Care Attendant(PCA)/household chore services, and medical assistance funding in general. Sponsored by the Seward Square Tenants Council, Minnesota State Council on Disabilities, United HandicappedFederation, Metropolitan Center for Independent Living and Legal Aid, the f o r m was held at the Seward Square Apartments and attended by nearly 100 service consumers. Few came to praise the current delivery system. The first half of the panel presentation focused on homemaker services. varticularlv chore hours, which had bein arbitrarily withdkwn fromVnearly300 consumers by Hemepin County last month-until restored through the efforts of Legal Aid Society attorney Pat Siebert. Both the theme and the tone for the evening were established by opening moderator Rozame Severance, a service consumer and member of the Seward association. The tone was one of dignity and moderation, but fueled by puzzlement and personal concern. The theme related not so much to the facts of the case as to both the substance and style with which it evolved. Neither, in the minds of most of the listeners, was satisfactory. Though the level of satisfaction was left largely unchanged by the end of the meeting, most present appeared to agree that both the content and the intensity of their feelings had been successfully conveyed. The educational aspect of the forum was less successful. Few, it appeared, were able to fully absorb the litany of plans, regulations, notices of action,

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It was a potentially sensitive issue. Money was tight. tionships between county, state &d federal-governments that led to the potmt@loss of shore services. For some, Many constituencies were vying for reduced social services faith in a system which at lemt a-ed ti, abondon its wn- budgets; virtually all had legitimate claims. Homemaker and situents was also lost. As with most complex issues, revela- Chore services are not mandated under state or federal law, tion of the facts of the matter provided only knowledge of and are not required to be included in Hennepin County's. Community Social Services Plan. That plan, including [he the facts, and stopped .short of answers. . For the record, the summarized facts are that Hennepin phrase "persons receiving personal care attendant services County, faced with a 33% reduction in the amount which funded by Medid Assistance are not eligible for they could increase their 1989 property tax levies to pay for Homemaker and Chore servicesw,was approved by DHS county-funded social services, cast about for ways to cut late in December of '89. The appeal was undertaken, however, encouraged in part their 1990 budget. They landed on homemaker services for persone currently using E&'& @her , than negotiate with by an entry in DHS Instructional Bulletin R9-16K, issued the state to take over these expenses, they arbitrarily more than a month prior to approval of the County's Comdropped funding for che pfogram, leaving it to individuals munity Social Services Plan. The entry states, in part: In each appeal, the referee stated that the reduction affected by the action to locate alternative funding, or do ". without the service. Ib taking the action, however, they ig- of homemaker hours must be based on a case-by-case evalunored procedure requiring individual assessment, and were asion and not a patterned pre-detem~inationor arbitrary deoverturned in their e-by ad appeals referee from the cision in order to resolve county budget prdems in funding hummaker services." Minnesota Department of Ruman Services. In his Recommended Order dated April 19, 1990, ApThe complexities relate not only to procedures and the realities of available dollars, but to the uniqueness of each peals Referee Everett Hedman agreed with this and other case under the program, and the apparently continuing ina- provisions of the appeal, including: Recipients d netbea hamemaker nor chore services are bility of county staff to recognize either that uniqueness or defined under Minnesota law. the dignity of the individuals involvd. Persons receiving &ore d c e s form a class of persons I'he Seward fomm was held, among other reasons, to on such a basis, as do recipientsof homemaker services. communicate consumer frustration not only with the result Tb county has, by its pmpsed action, established yet but the method of treatment in this case. From events occuring s i ~ cthe e forum, it appears that it may have f@l@~PtlWt_ , ,mother class of persons based on their receipt of personal care attendant services, and "There is thus not a regard. reasonable basis of distinction and there is unequal The derails: -4 treatment of similarly situated individuals. Such a classification is prohibited by (cite)". By failing to individdly assess service-eonsumer . WAS,the Cow!@lfajled the in Minnesota " %wwhich states The amottbt, frequency and duration of ould now be limited to 12%-a purchased services wiU kprovided in accordance with the client's individual senrice p h . . . ".



constituent wishes. For those who have opinions on the matter, now is not the time to keep them to themselves. For now, the County has aeeepted the referee's decision, and has indicated that it will individually assess each circumstance, as required by state law. The County management official in charge of admkkterbg the program, Wayne Takklshita, .ex,pressedsensitivity to the needs of those affected, and a willingness to work with consumers to reach the most equitable possible solution, Following the forum, however, the question of substance versus style arose once more, as 100% of the half-dozen recipients of PCA and homemaker services surveyed by ACCESS-PRESS received their form letter d Wee of Community Services Department Action, reminding them that both they and their PCA Prowider had agreed to the enclosed reduction in chore hours-when in fact none of the contacted parties had been consulted concerning the reduction, nor allowed any input relative to the decision made. In at least three of the iastances, neither had the PCA Provider agreed to the imposed changes. So the questions remain. Questions relating to the d?location of budgets; the relative responsibility of county and state; the communication between county, state and consumer; the underlying equity of the decision as it concerns those very few consumers who necessarily reach their hourly cap on PCA services; the patronizing attitude that apparendy continues to be exhibited rn thepart of County officials relative to the needs, ethics and intelligence of service con-

sumers. Prwration grows as public hearings generate the comments typically issued for consumption at public h d g s and the circumstances that generated them continue unchanged. For many service consumers, a concern bordering on fear grows as well. Cuunty actions in the PCAIChore Services case illustrated'not only an intended result, but a prrrcem and, to many, an attitnde. While Cc~mtyofficialsdld, in effect, rescind their effort to arbitrarily resolve b u d ~ s h o r t -

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