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Volume 22, Number 6

State shutdown impacts are still unknown

Honoring those who serve us Nominations are due June 30 for the Charlie Smith Award. The award, which is named for Access Press founding editor Charlie Smith, is given annually to a Minnesotan or group that provides outstanding service to the disability community. The award is presented at the Access Press annual banquet on Nov. 4. Details are on page 11 or at

by Jane McClure

If the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton cannot reach agreement on a state budget by July 1, parts of state government would shut down. That’s because the state’s fiscal year ends June 30. What a shutdown could mean is still being sorted out. But the impacts for Minnesotans with disabilities could be very serious. Not only would many state services be shut down, there is also the ripple effect of cuts to funding for counties, cities and school districts that also provide services. The prospect of disagreement over the state budget and a shutdown loomed over the capitol this session. In January the Senate Health and Human Services Finance Committee held an overview of what a state shutdown could mean and discussed what happened during the 2005 shutdown. But the need for a special session and the potential of a shutdown became reality when Dayton vetoed nine budget bills after Shutdown- p. 14


June 10, 2011

Legislative uncertainty continues by Jane McClure

All eyes are on the state capitol as Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers decide how to handle Minnesota’s plus-$5 billion budget deficit. As Access Press went to press, state leaders were still divided on the state’s budget woes. Unless a special legislative session is held in June, state government will largely shut down July 1. That has the potential for enormous impacts on people with disabilities throughout the state. (See related story.) The 2011 legislative session adjourned at midnight May 23 with several bills passed, including a sweeping health and human services bill. That bill and others were passed with massive service cuts but no increase to property taxes. Dayton quickly vetoed the budget bills because he objected to such deep spending cuts. Since then Dayton and leaders of the Republican-controlled House and Senate have worked to get their messages out, with the governor continuing to call for some tax increase and Republicans standing firm against such measures. They have also discussed ways to meet in the middle. In early June Dayton proposed bringing in a professional mediator, but Republican lawmakers nixed that idea. One possibility on the table in early June is a three-day special session at month’s end, to deal with the budget and possibly a few other issues. But until there is a budget to

It’s never too early to start planning your Minnesota State Fair visit. The accommodations guide for the 2011 fair is now available.

Photo courtesy Minnesota State Fair

Address Service Requested

“The purpose of the ADA was to provide clear and comprehensive national standards to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities. As a result, individuals with disabilities are now able to live in their homes and have access to new careers.” — Jim Ramstad


act on, no special session date has been set. Disability advocacy groups have swung into action since the session ended, with the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN CCD) and other organizations urging everyone to contact state lawmakers. “These unresolved budget questions mean that the final 2011 legislative impact on disability services is not yet decided, and that our work as disability community advocates is not over yet,” Mn-CCD stated. “We must keep disability services in the forefront of decision makers’ minds—and you can help us do this. You can check out a more indepth update on the current situation at the capitol below, or visit the MN-CCD blog for more details.” The May 23 adjournment capped what had been a frustrating session. Some of that frustration boiled over during debate on the gay-marriage issue in May when members of the newly Uncertainty - p. 13

Take time to have some Accessible Fun this summer New feature replaces Accessible Performances

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

With this issue Access Press unveils a redesigned arts and events calendar. It appears on page 10 of this issue. Accessible Fun is a change from Accessible Performances, our longtime calendar feature produced by VSA Minnesota. While the newspaper and online editions will continue to use VSA Minnesota items, the redesigned calendar is meant to provide more variety in events, in a more compact format. We made the changes for several reasons. One is to highlight activities featured in the Access Press Accessible Arts blog. This month

we are spotlighting the Minnesota Historical Society and the accessibility of its museum and historic sites. Access Press is a statewide paper and we need to give more attention to Greater Minnesota events and venues. Read about the Sibley House on page three and how to find information on accessible venues on page 10. Another change is meant to give attention to events and venues that have not appeared in Accessible Performances in the past. In the future we will be moving what have been our special events in the events calendar to this Accessible Fun - p. 12

Young film student Tristan Radke draws on his experience with Asperger’s to make teaching videos for others, to share information about social skills. Page 9. Did you know that the Foley catheter was invented here in Minnesota? Page 2. Minnesota STAR winners use different types of technology in many ways. Page 7. Learn about Mixed Blood Theatre’s efforts to make the 2011-2012 performance season more accessible. Page 10. Access Press is still looking for nominees for the Charlie Smith Award. And don’t forget to save the date for the Friday, Nov. 4 banquet! Page 11

INSIDE Regional News, pg 6 People & Places, pp 8-9 Accessible Fun, pg 10 Events, pg. 11 Radio Talking Book, pg 13

Pg 2 June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

EDITOR’S DESK Tim Benjamin

Summer is finally here and I’m so excited and thankful for the warmth. Although I’m a native Minnesotan (born in St. Paul), I grew up in the Southwest desert where there was summer pretty much all-yearround, and I hated it. Only after one winter back in Minnesota (about 40 years ago) did I start to really appreciate the warmth that that part of our country offers. It took a few more years to begin appreciating the fun and joy that can come in a Minnesota winter—but that joy diminishes as I get older and older. Like you, I imagine, I feel very discouraged with what’s going on at our state capitol. Our governor must not concede to the drastic cuts that the Senate and House have offered up in their budget. The cuts are so extremely deep that it’s going to affect everyone. I commend Governor Dayton for his initial vetoes and encourage him to stay strong in standing up for the most vulnerable Minnesotans. Last month in my column I discussed the Health


Minnesotan invented life-saving catheter by Jane McClure

A medical device which has made life easier for countless people with disabilities and illness has ties to Minnesota. The Foley catheter was invented by St. Cloud native Frederic Foley.

A Foley catheter is a flexible tube that is passed through the urethra and into the bladder. The tube has two separated lumens. One lumen is open at both ends, and allows urine to drain out into a collection bag. The other lumen has a valve

Volume 22, Number 6 • Periodicals Imprint: Pending ISSN Co-Founder/Publisher (1990-1996) Wm. A. Smith, Jr.

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Assistant Editor Jane McClure Business Manager/Webmaster Dawn Frederick Production Ellen Houghton with Presentation Images Distribution S. C. Distribution

Editorial submissions and news releases on topics of interest to persons with disabilities, or persons serving those with disabilities, are welcomed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Editorial material does not necessarily reflect the view of the editor/publisher of Access Press. Paid advertising is available at rates ranging from $12 to $28 per column inch, depending on size and frequency of run. Classified ads are $14, plus 65 cents per word over 12 words. Advertising and editorial deadlines are the last day of the month preceding publication, except for employment ads, which are due by the 25th. Access Press is a monthly tabloid newspaper published for persons with disabilities by Access Press, Ltd. Circulation is 11,000, distributed the 10th of each month through more than 200 locations statewide. Approximately 450 copies are mailed directly to individuals, including political, business, institutional and civic leaders. Subscriptions are available for $30/yr. Low-income, student and bulk subscriptions are available at discounted rates. Inquiries and address changes should be directed to: Access Press 1821 University Ave. W. Suite 104S St. Paul, MN 55104 651-644-2133 Fax: 651-644-2136 email:

and Human Services bill that will cut into programs that I depend on. I know that the cuts will affect many of the paper’s readers, and potentially force many who are working as personal care assistants for a family member to go look for decent-paying jobs. The idea that a 20% cut to wages for PCAs who are family members will save money just seems ridiculous. Medicaid clients who have family members as PCAs will just have to find new PCAs who are non-family members, so the 20% ”savings” to the state will be lost. And how many people with disabilities in Minnesota will be forced to enter nursing homes– because they can’t find PCAs who can travel the distance to clients with rising gas costs and no cost-of-living increases? Will that save money? Nope. Those studies have been done in every state: home-based care is better and cheaper than institutional care. I’m not sure the legislators have thought about the implications of most of these decisions, but somebody should tip them off that forcing someone into a restrictive living environment is breaking the law. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision backed up the ADA and said that the “integration mandate’ of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires public

on the outside end and connects to a balloon at the tip. The balloon is inflated with sterile saline when it lies inside the bladder, in order to stop it from slipping out. Born in St. Cloud in 1891, Foley earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale University, and then attended Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. After graduating from medical school in 1918, Foley worked on the East Coast. He was on the junior surgical staff at Boston’s Peter Brigham Hospital. He was certified by the American Board of Urology in 1937, although several histories note that there are no records of Foley having formal training in urology. He worked as an urologist in Boston until becoming chief of urology at Ancker Hospital in St. Paul. Ancker later became St. Paul-Ramsey

Medical Center and is now Regions Hospital. Ancker Hospital was located on the Mississippi River bluff in St. Paul’s West End neighborhood. The site is now occupied by St. Paul Public Schools administration. Foley spent most of his career in St. Paul, which is where he worked on his invention. Foley first described the use of a self-retaining balloon catheter in 1929. During the 1930s he worked on development of this design for use as an indwelling urinary catheter, to provide continuous drainage of the bladder, in the 1930s. His design incorporated an inflatable balloon towards the tip of the tube which could be inflated inside the bladder to retain the catheter without external taping or strapping. Foley presented his

agencies to provide services ‘in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.’” The most integrated setting is not usually a nursing home. I’m not a lawyer so I really don’t know, but I also wonder about possible discrimination violations when it’s just “family members” having a wage cut mandated. One thing I do know: I would surely contact the Disability Law Center if I was affected by this 20% decrease or forced to live where I don’t want to live. As if it the budget and harsh laws weren’t enough, the next big concern is how a state government shutdown will affect us. What are the essential services that will be available? We know that police and fire departments are essential, but what about some of the medical assistance programs? The courts will ultimately decide what essential services are, but if you need any kind of state services you might want to get them before July 1 if you can. I’ve been thinking about two good pieces of advice that came my way this weekend. One comes from Leo Buscaglia: “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” The other was written by Elie Wiesel: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there never must be a time when we fail to protest injustice.” I get it: I know I need to worry less, plan more, and always stand up for my rights. I will. I hope you will, too! ■

St. Cloud native Frederic Foley invented the catheter. Photo courtesy of William Didusch Center forUrologic History

invention to the American Urologists Society in 1935. But he had competition for his idea. While he was still developing his catheter, a patent was issued in 1936 to Paul Raiche of the Davol Rubber Company of Providence, R.I. In October 1936 Foley applied for and obtained his patent. Raiche appealed a decision by the patent office Board of Appeals to a higher court, and the patent was returned to Raiche. A

further request for a hearing made by Foley was refused, and so the patent stayed with Raiche. Still, many histories recognize Foley for his pioneering work. The New Jersey-based C. R. Bard Company began distributing the Foley catheters in 1935. The name has remained with Foley despite the patent fight. Foley has other inventions and surgical techniques to his credit, including a hydraulic operating table and a rotatable resectoscope. He died of lung cancer in 1966. ■ Would you like to make history? Access Press is interested in reader submissions for the monthly History Note column, to complement the articles written by Luther Granquist and other contributors. Submissions must center on events, people and places in the history of Minnesota’s disability community. We are in interested in history that focuses on all types of History - p. 3

June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

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Helper Monkeys For People With Disabilities

BEST OF THE BLOGS Access Press has launched Access Press Unbound’s first three blogs. Here are samples of the last month’s blog posts, from A Better Life, which focuses on employment and education, and Animals at Your Service. Blog sponsorships are available for businesses and nonprofits. These include the potential for blog content by a sponsor. Contact us at 651-644-2133 or

A Rendezvous with Fur Traders and the Mdewakanton Dakotas by Roxanne Furlong

We took a trip back in history, to the Fur Rendezvous in Mendota, where the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers meet. This year the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community joined the annual event. This event commemorates Minnesota’s early fur trading day, when animal pelts were purchased and shipped East in the name of fashion. “We are thrilled to have the Mendota Dakota join us, it rounds out the history,” said Ted Bores, site supervisor for Historic Fort Snelling and Sibley House Historic Site. The site marks one of the oldest settlements in Minnesota, from the days before Minnesota was a state. It is where the American Fur Company operated a regional trade with the Dakota Indians, and was home and office of Minnesota’s first state governor, Henry Hastings Sibley. Three of the four original buildings have no thresholds. The first floors are easily maneuverable with a wheelchair; portable ramps are provided for the steps up to the entrance to Jean Baptiste Faribault’s house. “We are working hard to get funding for a wider, solid ramp on the Faribault house,” noted Bores. The ticket counter and gift shop are located in the Hypolite Dupuis house on the corner of Highway 13 and D Street. Inside, volunteers taught native beading art of the Dakota. The Dakota had two teepees set up on street level, in the yard of the Dupuis House. The site of them brought you back to the 1800s; inside they talked about their ancestor’s lives. All other festivities were down the hill. A person can head down a grassy hill or a steep road around back—too steep for my chair we drove down and parked. On the grounds there is about 10 feet of grass to roll over to get to the sidewalk. This could be a challenge on rainy days. The Minnesota Historical Society, which oversees the Sibley House and its events, has a wealth of information available about site access for visitors with different disabilities, at Detailed information is available about all of the sites. All the volunteers are charming and happily share their knowledge. Re-enactors were hired for the Rendezvous and set up a birch canoe, tents, cooking and trading areas. I love re-enactors. They are so into their craft and their persona. We met “Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sibley” and a few fur and bead traders. Upcoming events at Sibley House include monthly, accessible River History Dog Walks and City of Mendota Walking Tours; the Fête de la St. Jean Baptiste celebration June 23; Children’s Day Archaeology, July 9-10; and Labor Day Harvest Weekend. The Mendota Dakota tribe will host the World Peace and Prayer day, at St. Peter’s Church, Mendota, June 18-21. For the Sibley House e-mail sibleyhouse@ or call 651/451-1596. For Mendota Dakota e-mail or call 651/452-4141. ■

make sure the pair is comfortable with each other. Staff follows up with daily phone support for a few months upon completion of the formal training process. The phone calls generally become less frequent when the recipient and monkey learn more about each other and have learned to function as a team. Helping Hands monkeys live in foster homes until they are mature enough to come to the Boston training facility. A Capuchin is maThis little helper monkey is learning to load a CD before he is assigned to his new human partner. ture around 10 or 12 years of Helping Hands trains the service monkeys. More Best of the Blogs appears on page 13. Photo by Kathleen Duncan age. They spend two to four years in training before beHelping Hands trains, matches and places free of ing placed in a recipient’s home. charge monkey helpers in the homes of people who There are three levels of training in the Monkey live with disabilities. Recipients are people who live College. Monkeys learn tasks at each stage, learning with mobility impairments like spinal cord injuries as to be in an actual home. Helping Hands currently has well as other types of disability. about 50 monkeys in training at The Monkey College Helping Hands has been training service monkeys Unlike other service animal programs, Helping for 30 years. The $38,000 it costs to train and place Hands does not pick and choose which monkeys are helper monkeys are covered by the support of indiappropriate for the program. Regardless of intellividual donors and foundations. Monkeys are placed in gence and motivation, all Helping Hands monkeys the homes of people across the United States. can learn to fetch an item from the floor to a person’s There are several criteria in the determination of lap. These monkeys are placed in homes as monkey who will receive helper monkeys. During a thorough helpers. That placement may be with somebody who assessment process, the recipient must demonstrate has a lower level injury like the kind of spinal cord willingness to do the work and be prepared to do what injury that allows for use of their hands and arms. it will take to have a helper monkey in their home. A. B. Lineberry referred to the Capuchins as The recipient must have a stable support system of “nature’s butlers.” Lineberry stated the monkeys can care givers and family members who will help care microwave foods, wash somebody’s face, open drink for the helper monkeys needs and the needs of the rebottles among other things. ■ cipient. For more information about Helping Hands, go to Trainees will get instruction for at least five days Contact Noelle at develop from the placement team. That team consists of one Or call 617-787-4419. to two placement trainers and an occupational therapist. They will go to the home of the recipient who will be taught about capuchins and the individual helper monkey. The teams

History - from p. 2 physical and cognitive disabilities, so long as the history has a tie to Minnesota. We are especially interested in stories from Greater Minnesota. Please submit ideas prior to submitting full stories, as we may have covered the topic before. Past History Note articles can be found on www. Contact us at access@access or 651-644-2133 if you have questions. The History Note is a monthly column sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, www. and www.part

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Pg 4 June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

Not everything was vetoed

New laws affect youth sports concussions, parking, crime by Access Press contributors and staff

through physical and estimated 3.8 million mental rest. However, if sports and recreation reOut of more than 1,700 lated concussions occur an athlete returns to play bills introduced this legis- each year in the United too soon—before they lative session, the House have a chance to heal— States and as many as and Senate sent 117 on to 40% of the young athletes there is an increased risk the governor. More than a that sustain concussions of suffering additional dozen of those faced a return to their athletic ac- concussions, which as veto pen by Gov. Mark tivities sooner than mod- mentioned, can lead to a Dayton before or right af- ern more seIf an athlete returns to rious ter the session ended. But guidestill, Minnesotans with lines play too soon—before brain indisabilities, their family jury and suggest. they have a chance to members and advocates even This heal—there is an did see some important death. puts additional risk of suffering bills passed by the 2011 youth Minnesota Legislature and athletes additional concussions. After a signed by Dayton. One of at siglot of the biggest gains is hailed nificant risk of sustaining hard work engaging with by the Brain Injury Asso- additional concussions state legislators about the ciation of Minnesota, Min- which can lead to more magnitude of this issue; nesota Athletic Trainers serious, prolonged or per- and more importantly, Association, Sanford manent traumatic brain in- having young constituents Health and other groups. share the impact of sports jury. That has led to a They in front of worked to push for better manageconcussion in their lives pass legislation on youth with their legislators, the ment of concussions and sports concussions and Youth Sports Concussion more limits on returning concussion management, to play. At least 12 states Bill passed with overknown as the “Youth whelming bi-partisan suphave implemented stateSport Concussion Bill.” port. The bill was wide policies to manage This bill was signed into youth sports concussions, amended during the seslaw May 27. reducing the likelihood of sion to address concerns The bill requires young secondary concussion in- about liability that were athletes, up to the age of raised by schools and juries. 18, participating in athThe rationale for imple- civic groups. letic activities in which a menting the Youth Sports Brain injury advocate fee is paid, to have access Concussion Bill is to pre- and their supporters saw to information about the passage of the bill as a vent potential and more nature, risk and effects of serious brain injury by huge win for Minnesota in concussion. Sports injuimproving the recognition light of an otherwise ries are second only to gloomy legislative sesand response of concusmotor vehicle accidents as sion injuries in young ath- sion. The new law creates the leading cause of trau- letes. If handled properly, a statewide policy will be matic brain injury among most concussions will implemented by the start youth aged 15 to 24. An heal without complication of fall athletic activities and will accomplish three main objectives: 1. Inform coaches and officials, youth athletes and their guardian(s) about the symptoms and treatment of concussion and the danger of pre-maturely returning to play or practice. This will be done

through free concussion low tags to be mounted in training from the Center the center of the dashfor Disease Control every board and flip the tag up three years. when parked. The bill re2. Reduce the risk of fur- moved the word “driver’s ther injury by requiring side” so that these new coaches or officials to im- technologies could be mediately remove a youth used in Minnesota. athlete from play or pracThe second part of the tice if they are suspected law relates to enforceof sustaining a concusment. It is an attempt to sion. curb misuse of disability 3. Require a youth athlete, parking tags. If a person who is suspected of susreceives a parking violataining a concussion, to tion for misuse of a disbe cleared by a qualified ability parking tag they health care professional must now dispute the before returning to play or ticket within 90 days, practice. prove the tag is theirs and Other new laws surrender the expired perDayton signed changes mit. It also amends an exto disability parking law emption from conviction May 20, approving a bill for a violation of disabilbrought forward by the ity parking restrictions. State Council on Disabil- Joan Willshire, executive ity and the director of Changes to disability MSCOD, City of Minneapo- parking tag law said “belis. Current of accommodate new cause law rethe limited technologies. quires a disability disability parking parking tag be displayed spaces available, it is imon a rearview mirror, un- portant that we ensure less a person’s disability proper use by those who prevents them from doing truly need them.” so. Then it can be placed An increased number on the driver’s side of the of assaults of vulnerable dashboard. The new law adults, sometimes at the eliminates a requirement hands of their caregivers, that the certificate be dis- led to stricter laws. This played on the dash board new law increases the of the driver’s side. The criminal penalty for aschange accommodates saulting a vulnerable adult new technologies that al- from a fifth degree assault

to fourth degree assault, which is a gross misdemeanor. Under current law, a caregiver who assaults a vulnerable adult can be charged with a gross misdemeanor; this law will ensure that anyone who assaults a vulnerable adult will be prosecuted in the same way. The new law will also require individuals convicted of criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult to register on the predatory offender registration list. Additionally, it makes several minor changes regarding the role of state agencies in investigating, reviewing, and prosecuting maltreatment of vulnerable adults. Other disability-related laws signed into passage by Dayton include: *SF 478/HF 1094, which provides for a disability plate for motorcycles. *SF 742/HF 1018, which will allow the PrairieCare psychiatric child and adolescent hospital project in Maple Grove to expand from 20 beds to 50 beds. The bill exempts the expansion from laws requiring an additional public interest review to be conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services. *HF 808/SF 892, adds an Legislation- p. 12

Education financing vetoed; policy bill also faced a veto by Kim Kang

ers cut school funding by the legislature reinstated Saying that “cuts to $44 million between cur- in the bill a 2% special special education would rent base-funding levels. education growth factor create significant funding It also contained none of and 3% excess cost gaps that would force the Dayton growth factor for fiscal school districts to shift administration’s proposals year 2012-2013; In fiscal funds from general educa- for education. year 2014-2015, the spetion programs, increase When the session cial education growth facclass sizes, or raise prop- started, both the House tor returns to 4.6% and erty taxes, just to maintain and Senate had eliminated excess cost 2%. their current levels of spe- the 4.6% special educaAs of Access Press cial education serdeadline, Dayton vices,” Gov. Mark Gov. Mark Dayton raised a did use his veto pen Dayton vetoed the number of red flags about the on the K-12 EducaK-12 Education Fition Policy Bill. bill, stating it would pit nance Omnibus This bill currently Bill, (HF 934) May student against student and includes special 24. Dayton raised a district against district education policy number of red flags changes such as: about the bill, stating that tion growth factor. In ad- • Child with a Disability it would pit student dition it had eliminated Definition—updates disagainst student and disthe 2% growth factor for ability category names; trict against district. special education excess including removing Dayton’s goal when the cost, which is way for “mental disability” to 2011 legislative session the current, more approschool districts to get began was to provide $36 some relief when they priate “developmental million in new funding for have “extraordinary” specognitive disability.” schools, including addicial education costs. Both • Prone Restraint in Emertional funds for special formulas help offset year gencies—Allows prone education. The bill put restraint in emergencies to year increasing costs of forward by state lawmak- special education. Later Special Ed - p. 12

June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

Readers’ voices He gave a voice to the voiceless

Progress made

by Gary Smolik

by Sheri Melander-Smith

My first thought upon opening the e-vite to Neil Johnson’s retirement party was: where did the time go? 2006 was a trying time for me. I had to have a wound surgically patched up. I had no idea about how to best approach the labyrinthine medical system that loomed overhead like a dark cloud. So I phoned Neil Johnson. I’d known Neil for decades. I have always been proud to call him a friend. In 2006 I also knew he knows the system I dread. Back then he recommended Axis Health Care. Ultimately, they carried me into surgery through rehab and home again culminating in a successful operation and recovery. I’ve not been back. I’m grateful everyday to Neil, AXIS and advocates of all stripes. Johnson gave a voice to the voiceless for 14 years. He worked for First Choice Home Caring from 1997 through 1999, serving two years

as executive director. Next it was Minnesota Homecare Association from 1999–2004 serving as member services and marketing director. Since 2004 he has been executive director at MHCA. Some advocates lead with a bullhorn, rallying the troops with zeal. Johnson is more reserved but no less committed. “I hope I have brought a stronger voice to home care and its clientele,” he said. “We are recognized as a force for change in home care for the aging and disabled populations. We now sit at the same table with all the stakeholders. We have increased our membership and participation in volunteer teams, creating a stronger voice for those working within the industry. Likewise, I have implemented a caregiver recognition program, which annually identifies top performing caregivers as nominated by their peers, putting a face to caregivers.” When asked to describe his managerial style he said,” Because

TO THE EDITOR Spend a day with me and learn about service needs, challenges I have cerebral palsy. I work and pay taxes. I own my own home. I am active in the community. Life should seem pretty good. Then why do I feel so upset right now. On one hand, you have the current situation at the legislature. While, by my own assessment, this won’t affect me personally, the cuts, the talk about eight-bed homes for the disabled do set a dangerous precedent. Right now, they are only talking about the most severely disabled. But, assuming the recession is deepening again, at what point do I fall into that category? Or, at what point do I not have enough needs to qualify for the supports I need? On one hand, these actions only continue to foster the idea that people with disabilities like cerebral palsy need constant supervision. You would be surprised how many times a week that I get asked “who is with you” or “what group home do

you lives in?” It gets old very quickly. On the other hand, actions like the May 11 ADAPT protest only hurt in another way. You would be surprised how many posts on bulletin boards have suggested either the protestors, or all “disabled” people, need to have benefits and checks cut even more is equally disheartening. Part of me understands why there was a

its easy to get bogged down in the details of a problem I have always sought out people who can give me a differing or fresh perspective. . . then I look at the bigger picture, searching for the greater good, if you will. This has tended to ground me” Johnson also shared his concerns about the future of health care. “This is a difficult and complicated question. . . I feel like the boy-crying wolf when I look at that situation. Part of it is political. Gridlock is entrenched at the capital. The word compromise is nonexistent. But we are now facing a baby boomer generation of 78 million people exploding onto the scene in the next few years. We know there is not enough money in to fund all of their needs. Raising taxes and cutting services is merely a temporary fix. We need a fundamental change in the way we do business. One way would be to provide health care to society’s lowest common denominator.”

“Right now we need volunteers to help deliver services,” said Johnson. “What better population than Baby Boomers to join a volunteer effort and help out? So my solution would be took closely at new care transition models, new service delivery models, and new financing models to see what might be the best way to approach our issues. Money alone won’t solve the problems. I prefer to take a collaborative effort, and I dare say compromise.” Johnson retires officially June 30. His retirement party was June 1 but he is staying to make the transition smother for his successor. Not too surprising, he has a record of going the extra mile. ■

protest. But if this is the reaction, what is the benefit? I could go through all the facts and numbers again. However, I feel that those facts have been well documented. I feel that cuts without looking at systemic improvement only lead to disaster. One would think that when I went to work, my medical needs would have transferred to my employer’s coverage. However, PCA services are not covered. I still must rely on other gov-

ernment programs to access these services. Why this is true and why aren’t our elected leaders not asking this question? Perhaps we still need to do basic education. I would challenge anyone, especially elected leaders, to go through my day with me and see what I accomplish during the day. Maybe one thing will be come clear. That true reform and innovation is the only way to fix these issues long term. Scott Dehn, MBA, CPA New Hope ■

Neil Johnson

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eas of a person’s life in The Brain Injury Asorder to bring healing to sociation of Minnesota the whole person. held the 26th Annual Over the course of two Conference for profesdays, several break-out sionals in brain injury in sessions were held. TopApril. After attending ics for discussion were the conference, I realized aimed to help professionthere has been progress als learn more about pamade in this area. Profes- tient care and healing the sionals are learning about whole person. Some of how to treat the whole the issues covered were, individual. Not just the “Exploring a Mind-Body body or the brain but the Approach for Brain Inentire person, disabled or jury”, “Brain Injury and not. Professionals are Domestic Violence”, and learning to care for indi“Using Social Networks vidual as a whole. to Improve Patient Care”. The conThe conference be- Professionals are ference gan with a learning to care for ended keynote with a the individual as a wondergiven by Tina Trudel, whole. ful plePh.D. Her nary sestopic was titled “Sexualsion given by Matthew ity and the Traumatic Sanford. He gives a truly Brain Injury.” What a inspirational story of topic to cover at 8 a.m! how he transformed from Trudel did a wonderful living in an injured body job presenting the to fully living in his changes that can occur in whole body, after survivsexual functioning and ing an accident that left satisfaction after a trauhim paralyzed from the matic brain injury. The chest down. After studyinformation is useful for ing yoga for nearly 20 anyone who has had to years, Sanford shares his deal with a disability. insights into how a mindHistorically, caregivers body approach maxihave seemed to overlook mizes long term outintegrating sexual health comes for patients. into the care plan of a disThe Brain Injury Assoabled person’s life. ciation of Minnesota ofTeaching this information fers several conferences to health care professionthroughout the year and als will have an impact on also offers in-house trainthe successful rehabilitaing sessions. For more tion of a disabled person information, please visit total well being. Treattheir website at: www. ment plans need to ■ sider all of the major ar-

Pg 6 June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

REGIONAL NEWS Procedure changes man’s life After Rob Summers was struck by a hit-and-run driver in 2006 and left paralyzed from the chest down, he faced the prospect of spending the rest of his life using a wheelchair. And despite three years of intensive therapy, he showed no signs of improving. But after becoming the first patient to undergo an experimental treatment, he can now do something no one else in his condition has ever been able to do: stand up; move his hips, knees and ankles; wiggle

his toes; and even take a few steps. “This procedure has completely changed my life,” Summers, 25, of Portland, Ore., said of the treatment, which involved stimulating his spinal cord with implanted electrodes. “For someone who for four years was unable to even move a toe, to have the freedom and ability to stand on my own is the most amazing feeling.” The device, called RestoreADVANCED, is sold by

Fridley-based Medtronic for a different purpose—to control pain. Medtronic wasn’t involved in the study, though it supports “exploration of new applications for spinal cord stimulation,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We are intrigued by the results of the study and pleased the patient is doing well,” Medtronic said. Summers, an Oregon State University championship pitcher before his accident, still must use his wheelchair much of the time. His doctors cautioned that much more research is needed before other paralyzed patients could try the treatment or they would know how much movement it might

New school serves students with autism The Twin Cities area will have a new private school this fall, to serve students with autism. The Minnesota Autism Center School is opening its doors in Eagan. The fourththrough 12th-grade school will offer small classes, a chance for children to learn at their own pace and a focus on social skills as well as academics. As more children have been diagnosed with autism in recent years, public schools have expanded and fine-tuned services for those students. As many as one in 110 children are diagnosed with autism,

which affects social interaction and communication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Twin Cities has a number of public school and a few charter school programs already dedicated to students with autism. “We don’t feel public schools are deficient,” said Kathryn Marshall, the new school’s executive director. “But kids with autism sometimes require highly specialized services, and public schools might not have enough time and enough resources to offer them.”

The Eagan school is opening on the former Tesseract campus. Enrollment will be capped at 80 students, with no more than 10 pupils per class. The school year will last 11 months. Marshall said tuition would vary greatly depending on a child’s therapy needs; the school will offer some needbased scholarships. Barbara Luskin, a consulting psychologist with the Autism Society of Minnesota, said specialized schools can more readily address the behavioral needs of children with autism. [Source: Pioneer Press]

restore. But the researchers and others said Summers’ improvement is unprecedented and could herald a new era for at least some paralysis victims. “This is a breakthrough,” said Susan Harkema of the University of Louisville (Ky.), who led the research, which was described in a paper to be published online by the journal Lancet. Researchers previously have been able to use electrical stimulation of muscles to produce some movement in patients with spinal cord injuries. But Summers marks the first time any paralyzed patient has regained the ability to consciously move parts of the body by directly stimulating the spinal cord, which appar-

ently reactivates the nerve circuits that remain intact. “It sounds like a pun, but this report is ‘an important step’ in a process of scientific discovery and translation,” said Naomi Kleitman of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which funded the research with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The treatment involves surgically implanting a small strip of electrodes along the lower spinal cord that sends electrical signals designed to mimic those that had been sent by the brain to stimulate movement. [Source: Washington Post] Find more Regional News on pages 14 and 15.

Miracle League continues to grow A parcel of land on the west side of the Bielenberg Sports Complex in Woodbury is hardly fit yet for baseball, but nine-year-old Bryce Madsen of Woodbury is still pleased. The young wheelchair user has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that causes his muscles to lose function. He currently must travel all the way to Blaine to play in the North Metro Miracle League, an organization providing opportunities for children with disabilities to play ball. Madsen and other east metro area children are looking for-

ward to the construction of a new Miracle League field in Woodbury, on the site by the Bielenberg Sports Complex. The Woodbury Rotary Club is raising money for the planned field, raising $130,000 for the rubber turf. Now it needs help from contractors and suppliers to raise the remaining $90,000 to cover costs for gravel, blacktop and amenities such as dugouts and fencing, said Rotary Club President Cork Wicker. Wicker said construction won’t begin until all the needed money is in hand, but Miracle League - p. 15

June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

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STAR winners

Honors given for technology innovations Innovations that make life easier for people with disabilities were honored this spring with the Minnesota STAR Awards. STAR stands for a System of Technology to Achieve Results. The program, which is through the state Department of Administration, is meant to help all Minnesotans with disabilities gain access to and acquire the assistive technology they need to live, learn, work and play. The Minnesota STAR Program is federally funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Tana Vogele. It may be hard to believe that Apple’s iPad has only been around since April 2010. But in this shorttime, it has become an invaluable tool for many people including nine-

year-old Tana Vogele. She was given the STAR Award for Excellence in Assistive Technology for her work in promoting the use of technology to assist people at home, school and in the community. Vogele was born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She attends Cottage Grove Elementary and she was an early adopter of the iPad. She took a lead role in showing her classmates and the community just how powerful this mobile device can be for people of all ages and needs. Vogele uses her iPad every day, especially at school where she uses it to work alongside her classmates doing research and helping them with their math and Spanish lessons.

Tana Vogele and a classmate watched the STAR awards. The Cottage Grove student is one of the winners.

Debbie Bock. Cell phones and smart phones are not only communication tools but also provide functional assistance such as GPS navigation, text to speech, and barcode reading. Debbie Bock is one of two educators given a STAR Award for Excellence in Assistive Technology. Bock is known for helping blind and visually impaired Minnesotans learn how to use their cell phones; she also helps them troubleshoot when they run into problems accessing their phones. Her patience, persistence and willingness to help others without compensation have earned her the gratitude of many. Bock goes above and beyond all expectations to use her technology skills and expertise to help people who are blind or have a visual impairment use assistive technology to access computers. She is adept at troubleshooting Internet and e-mail problems and is known for her participation on in a blind computer user group. Erika Kluge Frake. During the 2009-2010 school year, 122,333 Minnesota students in public K-12 schools received special education services under an Individual Education Program (IEP). For these students, assistive technology is considered as part of the IEP process in order to identify possible tools that may help students complete assignments, study, and take tests independently. While the number of assistive technology op-

tions available continues to grow at an extremely fast pace, it also means that educators and students need assistance in sorting through all their options. Frake was given a STAR Educator Award for Excellence in Assistive Technology because of her passion and dedication to helping students and educators successfully use assistive technology to improve educational outcomes. With her help, students gain the skills and confidence needed to use their assistive technology as a tool for success in school and beyond. Richard Brown. As an artist, person, and user of assistive technology, Richard Brown’s life today is limitless and his doorstep leads to a world of beauty. But it wasn’t always that way. Brown was born with cerebral palsy. Most of his childhood and teenage years were spent lying in a crib or crawling on the floor at Faribault State Hospital. Life, in his words, was hell up until the day in 1970 when he left the institution in Faribault and began living life on his own terms. Brown believes that through his disability he has “…learned so much and met so many amazing people.” He uses a hightech communication device and power wheelchair to help him accomplish his many goals. Assistive technology has mobilized him and given him a voice. Brown began taking art classes at Partnership Resources Inc. in 2003. He often gives speeches and ap-

Artist and activist Richard Brown is one of the STAR honorees.

Photos courtesy of STAR Program

peared in TPS documentary, “Institutions to Independence, “which can be seen on the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities website. His story was featured in a 2008 Access Press article. Auditory Sciences. The Northfield-based developer of communication software solutions won the Innovator category. Auditory Sciences (AS) makes affordable software—Interact AS—that helps to remove communication barriers for a wide range of users including those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or need assistance with typing or reading. Auditory Sciences’ original reason for developing Interact AS software was to give people who are deaf a portable way to communicate in real time with others who do not know

sign language. The product is not meant to replace Interpreters but rather to provide an alternative way to communicate when an Interpreter is not available. The software may be installed on a computer, notebook, or tablet running Windows operating systems. Interact AS software uses complex algorithms to provide contextually accurate real-time transcription of spoken words with little or no speech recognition training required. This means conversations can take place anytime, anywhere—at home, school, work, stores and other public places. Because this software can be installed on touch screen tablets and transcribes typed text, handwriting, and speech, it is a versatile tool for users with varying communication needs. ■

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

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Pg 8 June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

Touch a Truck event offers fun for all

PEOPLE & PLACES Changemakers honored The Arc Greater Twin Cities presented its Change-maker Awards to 12 individuals for making a difference for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The volunteers were honored at The Arc’s Annual Meeting and Volunteer Celebration on May 14 at the Minneapolis Ramada Plaza. The “Changing Attitudes” award category recognizes those who positively change public perceptions of people with disabilities. Receiving the award are: Jake Wild Crea, St. Paul, John Kelly, UnitedHealth Group, Eagan, Allie Henley, Abby Hirsch and Tim Strom from Plymouth. The “Changing Policies” category recognizes persons whose efforts have resulted in systems and policy changes that benefit individuals with disabilities and their families. The recipients are: Terry Burke, St. Louis Park, Tim Nelson, Hammer, Champlin, Erin Zolotukhin-Ridgway, Highland Park The “Changing Lives” category recognizes long-term or intensive efforts that positively affect the lives of people with disabilities. The honorees are: Susan Kane, Lake Elmo, Nancy Miller, Bloomington, and Joanne Carlson, Apple Valley, Skye Mak, Minneapolis The Arc Greater Twin Cities fosters respect and access for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, giving them the power to achieve a full and satisfying life. ■

Falls 4 All held a Touch a Truck fundraiser in May in St. Louis Park to raise money for accessible play equipment in Minnehaha Falls Park. These girls had fun dressing as SWAT team members.

Photo courtesy of Falls 4 All

Elders music program feted by city Minneapolis Arts Commission gave its second annual MAC Awards at the Minneapolis MOSAIC opening festivities on June 4 at the Pantages Theatre. The Minneapolis Arts Commission has selected three public art projects and organizations to be recognized with the third annual MAC Awards. The selected projects include interactive public dance performances on Nicollet Mall (Don’t you feel it too?, by Grace Minnesota), a WPAinspired mural on The Hub Bike Coop building (Cooperatives through the Ages by Luther Lyons Hill and Benjamin D. Bayne), and a program that brought a diverse group of elders together to make and play their own musical instruments (Mountain Dulcimer Project by Volunteers of America). The Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and the Community recognizes a person, group, or organization that has made a significant contribution to the integration of public art into the life of our community. The Mountain Dulcimer Project is this year’s winner. Under the direction of musician Karen Mueller, a group of elders ranging in age from 62 to 99 years old were brought together to in a 10week project to discover the mountain dulcimer. They learned to build their own instruments, to play them, and then presented public performances at Southwest Senior Center, Walker Methodist Nursing Home, and Clara Barton Open

The Mountain Dulcimer Project is one of the City of Minneapolis’ MOSAIC Award winners. Elders built and performed on the dulcimers.

Photo courtesy of Minneapolis Arts Commission

School. This project and its public performances challenge the common perceptions of aging and expose elders as viable, creative, contributing members of the community. The Minneapolis Arts Commission was chartered in 1974 with the mission to strengthen the arts and enrich cultural life in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Arts Commission works closely with the staff of the Department of Community Planning & Economic DevelopmentPlanning Division, Cultural Affairs and shares their goal of developing a strong and vital arts community throughout Minneapolis. ■

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June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6


Tristan Radtke

9th Planet designed for teens and young adults with Asperger’s When Tristan Radtke was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism, he was 13 years old. He is now 21. Asperger’s is a neurological disorder on the autism spectrum which is named after Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger. Individuals (sometimes shortened to “aspies”) have severely impaired communication and social skills. They also engage in repetitive behaviors and have a narrow band of interests. It took years for Radtke’s parents to get an accurate diagnosis for their son. Doctors, psychologists and school personnel were just starting to recognize the symptoms of Asperger’s. Plus, he is a smart young man with a keen sense of humor. It was easy to dismiss his symptoms as too subtle for diagnosis. In the last few years, health professionals have stepped up their research on autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s. This has resulted in more effective diagnostic tools and improved approaches to teaching social skills. For Radtke, whose diagnosis came on the cusp of this new research, it was too little too late. He had an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in school which laid out learning goals and objectives to improve his social skills, but the school did not provide the direct instruction needed to help him achieve those goals. He was told to learn classmates’ names, but without support from his classroom teachers—who thought all students knew how to learn each others’ names—he generally failed at this basic task. Since his diagnosis, there has been a surge of new resources and programs to teach social skills to aspies. However, most of those resources are targeted to young children—not to young adults who are graduating from high school and trying to go to college or find a job. This has been an endlessly frustrating experience for the Radtke family. They keep meeting many young adults on the spectrum, all facing the same problems and with just as few places to turn. Instead of throwing in the towel, Tristan Radtke –a

film student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College—and his parents started a new company to help fill some of those gaps and eventually put some aspies to work. The company is called 9th Planet. It produces short social skills videos to teach the subtle social cues which many with an Autism spectrum disorder are not attuned to see. 9th Planet videos create a theme which is familiar to those with Autism spectrum disorder who often say they feel like they were born on the wrong planet. Subtitled “The Adventures of Tad Shy Among the Typicals,” they follow the social learning adventures of interplanetary traveler Tad Shy as he learns the social habits of the native “neurotypicals.” The videos combine live action with 3D animation in the form of Tad’s robot Bob, who coaches Tad through social interaction. Many members of the cast and crew are young adults on the autism spectrum. The videos will be downloadable on portable players. The Radtkes plan to produce a first season package of 20 two-minute social skills training videos and a user’s guide with lesson ideas. 9th Planet uses a teaching strategy called video behavior modeling which is a documented best practice approach to teaching social skills. The Radtkes have also been working closely with mental health professionals with years of experience working with autistic individuals. So far, the family and their supporters have produced an introductory video and four two-minute social skills training videos. The videos were produced entirely with donated labor and borrowed equipment.

Kent’s Accounting Service, LLC Kent Fordyce Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor 2011 2005-2010

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Now they are launching an online equipment drive to raise funds for professional equipment to complete a first season of twenty videos and the user’s guide. The drive is posted on the crowd source funding site called Indie GoGo. They aim to raise $6,000 for the equipment on, which is an online platform for posting and publicizing fundraising campaigns. The site is used by teachers, artists, filmmakers and history buffs to solicit seed funds for new projects. The 9th Planet campaign is posted at: http:// The Radtkes report that special education teachers who have seen the videos already ask where they can get them. Individuals on the spectrum say they can relate to the central character in the videos. They also say they would watch the videos many times and they believe the videos would help them improve their social skills. Other viewers praise the production quality and attention to detail in the videos. The Radtkes believe their fundraising goal is achievable. They are in the early weeks of the sevenweek campaign and contributions are coming in. They report that effective online fundraising is no small task. They’re pulling out all the stops—writing e-mails, making phone calls, posting flyers and scouring for old contacts—to get the word out about their project. More importantly, they know from firsthand experience that this type of tool is sorely needed by the scores of young aspies with few places to turn after they graduate from high school. ■

Diamond Hill Townhomes Diamond Hill Townhomes is a great property located near the Minneapolis International Airport. Our waiting list is currently closed. Call for updated openings as this can change from time to time. We have two and three bedroom townhomes that are HUD subsidized and rent is 30% of the total household's adjusted gross income. We have a large number of mobility impaired accessible units.

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To check for future waiting list openings please call (612) 726-9341.

Pg 10 June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

Mixed Blood Theatre unveils accessible peformances season With the goal of revolutionizing access to theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre announced the launch of Radical Hospitality, which will offer no-cost admission to all main stage productions for all audience members beginning with the upcoming 2011–12 season. Radical Hospitality erases economic as well as physical barriers in pursuit of building a truly inclusive, global audience. Whether a long-time attendee, a new immigrant living in

the theatre’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, a person with low income or disabilities, or someone who has never been to a play, he or she will be admitted free of charge to Mixed Blood. “At Mixed Blood, who sits in the seats and stands in the lobby with you is as important as what is on stage. We have long juggled ‘who’ sees the shows with ‘how many’ see the show. Radical Hospitality allows us to balance this equation. In unprec-

ACCESSIBLE FUN Welcome to the new Access Press Accessible Fun listings. Get further information on things to do around Minnesota at and click on the calendar. For information on galleries and theater performances around the state, visit or call 612-332-3888 or 1-800-801-3883 (voice/tty). Or check c2 (caption coalition) inc., which does most of the captioned shows in Minnesota, also captions shows across the country:

Go back in history The Minnesota Historical Society operates many historic sites around Minnesota including preserved houses, forts, mills and commercial buildings. Summer is a great time to plan a trip and learn about state history. The MHS website includes detailed

information on many sites, including information on disability access. Many sites are accessible and offer accommodations. Go to and click on the site you would like to visit. For large sites, such as Fort Snelling, click on the tabs for visitors. For smaller

edented ways, we are walking our talk with this season that showcases our inclusive mission and predictably unpredictable style,” said Mixed Blood artistic director Jack Reuler. “By revolutionizing access, we are challenging the traditional notions of cost, quality and value. Offering shows of the highest professional standards for no cost optimizes value.” The theater is also making physical changes to accommodate patrons with disabilities, making

it easier to access the space and to enjoy performances. Mixed Blood’s season begins Sept. 16 with the shockingly subversive and wickedly hilarious neighbors by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The play explores race relations in America. It will be followed by Center of Margins, a festival exploring the complex world of disability through three disparate but complementary plays, on stage Nov. 11-27. The festival includes Cori Thomas’

My Secret Language Of Wishes, with Jevetta Steele and directed by Marion McClinton, which, sparked by an adoption debate over an African American teen with cerebral palsy, delves into the meaning of love without boundaries; Ken LaZebnik’s, On The Spectrum, a world premiere Mixed Blood commission questioning whether autism is a disability or a difference, directed by Reuler; and a third play (title to be announced), featuring

sites, click on “More information” to learn about the accommodations offered. Much useful information is provided through the website, www.access

There is also information on where to charge a wheelchair battery, where to obtain an ASL interpreter, and how to get an assistive listening device for grandstand events. There is also an “attraction access guide” if you want to visit the Midway and ride the rides. FFI: 651288-4400;; Web: http:// directions.wac#Directions

Plan for the fair Before we know it, it will be time for the Minnesota State Fair. The Accessibility 2011 Guide is now available. If you’re planning to attend the fair, which is Aug. 25 - Sept, 5, this guide will help you plan your trip. Learn how to get to the fairgrounds, with information on parking, wheelchair accessible parking, or where you can use a park and ride lot if you use a wheelchair.

Have a festive summer It seems like every Minnesota community has a festival, so why not plan a day trip or weekend trip this summer? There are festivals to celebrate strawberries, sweet corn, fish, famous folks and much more. Explore Minnesota, the state’s tourism website, has hundreds of links to community festivals. Click on festivals home pages to learn about costs, see about available motel rooms and to check on accommodations for people with disabilities or to direct a specific question to festival organizers. events/festivals-events/ index.aspx

Walker Gallery Tour Visit the Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Mpls. On the first Saturday of each month for a tour with accommodations. One-hour tour begins in Bazinet Garden Lobby at 2 p.m. ASL is provided; DeafBlind ASL can be arranged with two weeks’ notice. The event is free. FFI: 612-375-7564; Email: access@walker

Guthrie Theater hosts accessible shows Guthrie Theater, 818 2nd St. S., Mpls. has two upcoming shows with accommodations. God of Carnage is in June and July. AD is available 1 p.m. Sat., June 18; sensory tour 10:30 a.m.; Fri., June 24, 7:30 p.m. ASL is available Thurs.-Fri., June 30-July 1, 7:30 p.m. Captioning: Fri., July 29, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are reduced to $20 (reg. $2965). See HMS Pinafore on the Guthrie Theater’s Wurtele Thrust Stage. AD is 1 p.m. Sat., July 9; Sensory Tour 10:30 a.m.; 7:30 p.m. Fri., July 15. ASL is 7:30 p.m. Fri., July 22 and Thurs., July 28. Open Captioning is 1 and 7:30 p.m. Sat., July 30. Tickets are reduced to $20 (reg. $29-69). Performances are through August. FFI: 612-377-2224, TTY 612377-6626. Web: http://

Autistic License blank slate Theatre performs Autistic License, Stacey Dinner-Levin’s play about autism at Lowry Lab Theater, 350 St. Peter St., St. Paul. Performances are June 23-26. No AD or ASL is offered at this time. Tickets are $15, student/ senior $13, at the door. Phone: 612-481-2234. Web: www.blankslate

deaf actress Alexandria Wailes, showcasing “Shadow Signing.” All performances are in the Alan Page Auditorium of Mixed Blood’s historic firehouse theatre at 1501 S. 4th St., Minneapolis. The two ways to see a play are first come, first served admission, for free following set guidelines or a paid guaranteed admission. Season passes are available now with reservations starting in August. FFI: 612-3386131 or online at ■ Twin Cities GLBT Pride Festival The annual Gay Pride Festival is June 25-26 in Loring Park, 1382 Willow, Mpls. ASL: Sat., June 25, noon to 10 p.m. (Jeremy Neiderer presents ASL Music noon to 12:30 p.m. at Rainbow stage); and Sun., June 26, noon to 6 p.m. at Stonewall & Loring Stages. For ASL interpreter, text 651-403-9431 at the park. Most events are free but tickets for the Saturday Pride concert are $10 in advance, $15 at gate. Web:

The Wizard of Oz The Wizard of Oz is presented July 7-16 by Rosetown Playhouse at Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 Lexington Parkway N., St. Paul. ASL is 7 p.m. Fri., July 8. Tickets are $10; age 6-12 $8; age 5 & under $5. FFI: 651-7927414 ext. 2; E-mail: tickets (advance purchase recommended). Web: www.rose

The Music Man Trollwood Performing Arts School at Bluestem Center for the Arts presents The Music Man, July 1430 at IMAGINE Amphitheater, 801 50th Ave. S., Moorhead. AD and ASL performance is 8:30 p.m. Fri., July 22. Tickets are $9-13 general admission, $17-25 reserved; FFI: 218477-6502 (box office open June 15); E-mail: Web:

See a movie tonight Several theaters around the state offer accommodations for movie-goers, such as captioning or descriptive services. www. lists cinemas with access (AD/ CC) features. Find theaters in your area by typing in your zip code. MoPix-equipped Rear Window Captioned Films are listed at cam. showing.html#mn. ■

June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

UPCOMING EVENTS Special events

Workshops, conferences

Volunteer, Donate

Solar Plunge The popular Polar Bear Plunge, where wacky Minnesotans jump into icy cold lakes to support Special Olympics Minnesota, has a summertime sister event, the Solar Plunge Sun, July 17 at Lookout Bar & Grill, 8672 Pineview Lane N, Maple Grove. Check-in begins at 11 a.m. and the Plunge begins at 1 p.m. Live music, prizes, specials and more will follow. Participants pay $35 and may raise additional funds. Participants can register online at http:// solarplungemg. or on the day of the event at the site.

Leadership Training Partners in Policy Making is seeking recruit for its leadership training program, created in 1987 by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. Deadline to apply is July 22. This program is for adults with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities. It is a nine-month series with eight weekend sessions. There is no charge. FFI: 651-222-7409 ext. 205, 1-800-569-6878 ext. 205, email cschoeneck inpolicymaking

Give away that car Autos for Arc can take old vehicles off your hands, give you a tax deduction and say “Thank you!” for helping change the lives of people with disabilities. Autos for Arc accepts cars and trucks of any model and condition and other vehicles including boats (with trailers), RVs, ATVs, golf carts, personal watercraft, motorcycles and snowmobiles. Within the seven-county metro area, Autos for Arc can arrange to have a vehicle towed free of charge. Call the tollfree Autos for Arc hotline, 1-877-778-7709, to arrange a pickup. Or drop off vehicles at a Value Village location. FFI: 1-877-7787709,

Adaptive technology classes Free adaptive technology classes are offered by Wheel-a-thon Hennepin County Library, at Wings Outreach, a group the downtown Mpls library, that meets the needs of 300 Nicollet Mall. Classes adults with physical disabilities, hosts its 23rd an- are free but you must prenual Karl Kassulke Wheel- register for these classes for persons who are blind or a-thon 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. have low vision. In addition Sat, June 18 at Lake to classes there are often Harriet, Mpls. Enjoy free food and beverages. Kas- volunteers available to introsulke was a former profes- duce patrons to the equipment and software availsional football player, who died in 2008. He won many able. Volunteer hours vary, so it’s best to call ahead. honors before he was inFunding for Adaptive Techjured in 1973 in a motornology classes is provided cycle accident. The accident left him paralyzed and by a generous grant from he worked with Wings Out- the Hudson Family Foundation. FFI: 612-630-6469, reach. RSVP by June 15. FFI: Dale, 651-402-6277, Maynard, 507-252-8553

Volunteer with RSVP Volunteers age 55 and older are eligible to receive free supplemental insurance, mileage reimbursement and other benefits through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) sponsored by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. RSVP/Volunteers of America of Minnesota and AARP Foundation need volunteers with good budgeting and organizational skills to help manage finances of older or dis-

abled low-income individuals. Have a few hours a month to volunteer? Money Management Program staff will train and match you with someone in the community. FFI: Money Management Program Coordinator, 612-617-7821 Be a reading tutor Encouraging, enthusiastic volunteers needed to help adults learn to read! Spark a love of literature and partner with someone new by tutoring at one of the many convenient locations throughout the metro area. Ongoing training and support is provided by the Minnesota Literacy Council. FFI: Allison, 651-645-2277 x219 or email, or visit

access to important health and safety information about child care centers, group homes for people with disabilities, and a range of other services for children and vulnerable adults. Six types of public documents — including compliance reports and public summaries of maltreatment investigations — are now available through the DHS Licensing Information Lookup: FFI: http:// licensinglookup.dhs. PACER offers services PACER Center offers useful free and low-cost workshops for families of children with disabilities. Register in advance for workshops. All workshops are at PACER Center, 8161 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, unless specified. Some workshops are in Greater Minnesota. FFI: PACER at 952-838-9000 or 800-537-2237 (toll free), or visit the PACER website at

tive services to more than 185,000 members. UCare serves Medicare-eligible individuals throughout Minnesota and in western Wisconsin; individuals and families enrolled in incomebased Minnesota Health Care Programs, such as MinnesotaCare and Prepaid Medical Assistance Program; adults with disabilities and Medicare beneficiaries with chronic health conditions, and Minnesotans dually eligible for Medical Assistance and Medicare FFI: 1-877-5231518 (toll free),

Mental Illness support groups The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota (NAMI-MN) sponsors free support groups for families who have a relative with a mental illness. NAMI has 23 family support groups, over 20 support groups for people living with a mental Information available illness, anxiety support Parents searching for child groups, and Vet Conneccare for their baby, a son tion groups for returning concerned about his soldiers. Led by trained famother’s adult day care cilitators who also have a program, family members family member with mental evaluating services for their illness, the support groups sibling with developmental help families develop better disabilities—all of these UCare meetings coping skills and find consumers now have 24/7 UCare hosts informational strength through sharing access to important informeetings about its UCare their experiences. An Open mation about licensed pro- for Seniors Medicare AdDoor Anxiety and Panic grams with the expansion vantage plan. Meetings are support group meets in St. of information available on held all over the region. Paul at 6:30 p.m., on the the Minnesota Department UCare for Seniors has first and third Thursday of of Human Services (DHS) more than 75,000 members the month, at Gloria Dei website. Members of the across Minnesota and Church, 700 Snelling Ave. public can subscribe to western Wisconsin. UCare S. St. Paul. FFI: NAMI, email alerts when new is an independent, non651-645-2948 or documents are posted. profit health plan providing Consumers now have quick health care and administra- ■

Youth and families

Support groups, meetings

Save the date for the Nov. 4 Charlie Smith Award banquet

Do you know someone who has provided outstanding service to Minnesota’s disability community? Do you know an organization or group of volunteers that go above and beyond the call of duty? Do they deserve recognition? Access Press can help with that. Access Press reminds readers that we’re waiting for your Charlie Smith Award nominations. The deadline is June 30, so there’s no time to waste. Past nominees can be submitted again. The award application is online, at Otherwise, call the newspaper office at 651-6442133 to receive a form by mail or if you need accommodations in submitting a name. The online form can also be printed out and mailed or faxed to the office. The newspaper board will review the nominations in July and select a winner in August. Read

about the winner in the September issue of Access Press. Registration for the banquet will start in September and close Oct. 25. Past winners of the award are: 2010-Steve Kuntz, 2009—Anne Henry, of the Minnesota Disability Law Center, 2008—Pete Feigal, CoFounder of Tilting at Windmills, 2007—Jim and Claudia Carlisle, People Enhancing People, 2006—John Smith, University of MN, 2005— Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN-CCD), 2004 —Rick Cardenas, Co-Director of Advocating Change Together (ACT), 2003— Margot Imdieke Cross, Minnesota State Council on Disability. Also, remember to save the date of Friday, Nov. 4 for the annual Charlie Smith Award Banquet. Every year Minnesota’s disability community celebrates its accomplishments and honors a person, group or organization

for outstanding service. It is a fun and well-attended event. This year’s banquet will again be held at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington. The Access Press Board of Directors and staff are busy planning the event, which includes a silent auction and raffle, as well as a delicious meal, music and the awards ceremony itself. The award is named for the newspaper’s founding editor, the late Charlie Smith Jr. He was a longtime disability community activist and journalist. A variety of event sponsorship options for the banquet are available, including table sponsorships and sponsorships for those who could not otherwise afford to attend the event. Contact Dawn at 651-644-2133 or for sponsorship information. ■

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Pg 12 June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

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. Phone is 1800-722-0550 and hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The catalog is online and can be accessed by going to the main website, http://, and then clicking on the link. Persons living outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books 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 staff for your password to the site. See more information about events on the Facebook site for the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network. Register for Facebook at Access Press is one of the publications featured at 9 p.m. Sundays on the program It Makes a Difference.

Chautauqua • Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. How We Age, Nonfiction by Marc E. Agronin, M.D., 2010. Drawing on moving personal experiences, those of his patients and their families, and on in-depth interviews with pioneers in the field, Doctor Agronin looks at what aging means today. Read by Yelva Lynfield. 11 broadcasts. Begins June 28.

Bookworm • Monday – Friday 11 a.m. Leaving Rock Harbor, Fiction by Rebecca Chace, 2010. When Frankie Ross’s family moves to Rock Harbor, her dad finds work in a cotton mill, though strikes threaten the town’s economy. Frankie’s male friends come from different sides: one is the son of a politician, the other a union organizer. Read by Connie Jamison. Nine broadcasts. Begins June 22.

Choice Reading • Monday – Friday 4 p.m. What Is Left the Daughter, Fiction by Howard Norman, 2010. In the midst of wartime, teenaged Wyatt Hillyer is orphaned when his parents suicide. He moves in with his aunt, uncle, and ravishing cousin Tilda. Then a German student arrives. Twenty-one years later, Wyatt explains to his daughter the sequence of events. L - Read by Scott Ford. 10 broadcasts. Begins June 20.

PM Report • Monday – Friday 8 p.m. It’s Really All About God, Nonfiction by Samir Selmanovic, 2010. Our religions have become self-serving God management systems. Our ongoing, sometimes violent power struggles over who owns God and what God wants for the world are serving neither God, humanity, nor the planet. Read by Bob Rees. Nine broadcasts. Begins June 16.

Night Journey • Monday – Friday 9 p.m. Angel with Two Faces, Fiction by Nicola Upson, 2010. Disillusioned with theater in May 1935, Josephine Tey is spending the summer with the Motleys at their estate in Cornwall. The Motleys are involved in an amateur theatrical production that becomes the stage for a real-life tragedy. L,S - Read by Ann Hoedeman. 12 broadcasts. Begins June 30.

Off the Shelf • Monday – Friday 10 p.m.

Potpourri • Monday – Friday 11 p.m. Travels in Siberia, Nonfiction by Ian Frazier, 2010. Officially, there is no such place as Siberia. No political or territorial entity has Siberia as its name and no people are known to speak a language called Siberian. But Siberia still hovers across the northern third of Asia. Read by Dan Sadoff. 22 broadcasts. Begins June 16.

Good Night Owl, Monday – Friday midnight Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, Fiction by Maaza Mengiste,

2010. In 1974, Ethiopia is on the eve of revolution. I Curse the River of Time, Fiction by Per Petterson, Yonas’s father, Hailu, has been jailed after helping a 2010. Arvid Jansen is trying to bridge the gulf between state-sanctioned torture victim die. And Yonas’s brother, himself and his mother. He is in the throes of a divorce; Dawit, has joined the underground resistance movement she has just been diagnosed with cancer. Years before, Arvid chose the communists and the factory over the col- – a choice that will lead to more upheaval and bloodshed across a ravaged Ethiopia. V - Read by Laura lege education his mother desired for him. Read by JefRohlik. 12 broadcasts. Begins June 16. frey Weihe. Seven broadcasts. Begins June 23. Abbreviations: V - violence, L – offensive language, S - sexual situations.

Legislation - from p. 4 option for driver’s license applicants to donate $2 for public information and education about organ donation or anatomical gifts. *HF 1341/SF 1269 requires the Department of Human Services to account for services provided to people under the age of 22 in Minnesota’s public health care programs, including Medical Assistance and MNCare. Currently, this data is reported in aggregate and does not break down the expenditures for adults versus children. This change will provide valuable data the state can use to track and manage costs. *SF626/HF 937 which makes three general changes to state law re-

lated to nursing facilities. These changes are tied to the nursing home bed tax, and the moratorium on new nursing home beds. The bill authorizes the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner to put nursing home beds on layaway status in the wake of a natural disaster and take them off layaway status as appropriate. Second, this bill sets up criteria and a process for MDH to make exceptions to the nursing home bed moratorium in “hardship areas.” Third, the bill revises and clarifies MDH’s process for determining budget-neutral nursing facility rates for relocated beds. *SF 1285/HF 1500, is the Department of Hu-

man Services Chemical and Mental Health Services Agency policy bill. It is designed to align state statutes with legislative changes made in recent years. *SF 1159/HF 1362, is a Workers Compensation Advisory Council agency bill. The bill appropriates $600,000 from the Workers Compensation Special Fund to pay for a new case management system in the Office of Administrative Hearings. *HF 1179/SF 939, clarifies that districts may provide to pupils attending an area learning center between-building bus transportation along school bus routes, when space is available. It also requires the Department of Education to develop and main-

Accessible Fun -from p. 1

Special Ed - from p. 4

page, and using the event calendar for workshops, support groups and other information. Accessible Fun will also feature news stories on accessible arts and events from time to time, debuting this month with an article about changes at

by trained staff only. In addition, it requires reporting all uses of prone restraint to the Minnesota Department of Education and requires the Minnesota Department of Education to report back to the state legislature by February 1, 2012 on the use of prone restraints in schools. • Early Childhood Vision Screenings— Schools to provide information to parents that a vision screening is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. One policy matter that special education advocates watched closely didn’t happen. This legislation would have meant even more sweeping changes and cuts. The bill was proposed by Sen. John Pederson (R-St. Cloud) and Rep. King Banaian (R-St. Cloud). They introduced legislation which proposed the elimination of

Mixed Blood Theatre in the Twin Cities. We invite you to submit items and ideas to us at access@access And please let us know what you think. This is an evolving feature and we welcome your comments. ■

Link up with us Join in on discussions Donate to Minnesota’s disability community newspaper

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tain a list of school bus training instructional materials, rather than a school bus safety training program, and expands the definition of transportation services for pupils with disabilities to include transportation for a curricular field trip activity on a school bus equipped with a power lift, when required by a student’s disability. *SF 1286/HF 1508, makes technical changes to Minnesota’s case mix classification formula that controls how nursing facilities are reimbursed for certain residents based on their level of need. The changes are technical, and conform to changes in federal law related to Medicaid reimbursement. ■

54 sections of special education law and 28 sections of special education rules. If this bill had passed it would of created significant gaps in Minnesota’s special education system, disrupted services for children, and created a lack of uniformity of services from one school district to another. The purpose of the bill was to reduce Minnesota special education laws and rules to those of the federal minimum. Neither bill was heard in committee and neither moved forward in the legislative process. Both authors have stated that they will continue to work on this bill for possible introduction in the 2012 session. ■ Kim Kang works on children’s disability policy issues for The Arc of Minnesota.

June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

Best of the Blogs - from p. 3 What disability? Donny Nadeau sees no problem doing his job by Dave Wright

Consider the following scenario: You love your job as a sports information director at your alma mater. But you also have a degenerative eye disease that may leave you blind someday. Would you: A) Grouse over your fate and feel sorry for yourself? Or B) Simply shrug your shoulders and heave yourself headfirst into doing your job as best you can for as long as you can? To Donny Nadeau, the answer was simple. “I’ve had to make a few adjustments,” he said. “But I still can do the job as well as ever.” Nadeau is the Sports Information Director (SID) at St. Mary’s University in Winona. In that role, he is responsible for disseminating the information on all of the school’s athletic teams. The job has been complicated by the fact that Nadeau has choroideremia, a rare degenerative eye disorder. Choroideremia slowly takes away the eye’s peripheral vision. Females carry the choroideremia gene. However, males are usually the ones affected by the gene. It is the kind of disability that would seem to be killer in a business where you watch athletics and then translate the results to a computerized screen. Oddly, the latter part of the job is no issue at all for Nadeau. “I can type and see a computer screen perfectly,” he said. “I do everything on laptops just like the other SIDs in the league.” Ah, those other SIDs. St. Mary’s is a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), an 11-team loop of private colleges. Nadeau’s colleagues were so impressed with his work they named him the 2011 recipient of the Mike Augustin Award. Named for the late much-beloved former St. Paul Pioneer Press writer, the award is given annually to people for outstanding contributions to MIAC programs and their athletes. “It’s probably a bigger deal for me because you are recognized by your peers,” Nadeau said. “It’s a great honor. Working with Donny on a nearly daily basis, many his colleagues had no idea that he was facing this challenge,” said Stephanie Harris, Hamline University’s SID. “He is a mentor and example of excellence to the SIDs in the MIAC and demonstrates all that we strive to be as professionals in our field.” How Nadeau is dealing with choroideremia is a study in determination, ingenuity and guile. “At games, I rely on spotters more now than I used to,” he said. “I have a hard time picking up baseballs and golf balls. No big deal. You just make adjustments.” Although he has dealt with this disability for many years, Nadeau only let a few people in on his secret until a few years ago. “I didn’t want anybody’s pity,” Nadeau said. “I have to deal with it. My life changes daily. That’s the way it goes.” ■ (Dave Wright can be reached at

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Uncertainty- from p. 1 formed Minnesota ADAPT chapter were escorted out of the capitol for causing a disruption. ADAPT members are unhappy that state lawmakers spent time on gay marriage and other issues when they should have addressing the budget. So what’s next? Only Dayton can call a special session. But it would be up to state legislators as to when to adjourn. In early June the governor proposed an agenda that would include the nine budget bills, a Legacy funding bill, a bonding bill, a Vikings stadium bill and an education policy bill. But no session will be called until there is a budget agreement. Disability advocates throughout Minnesota have focused much attention on health and human service legislation. Major cuts totaling $1.8 billion were proposed for everything from personal care attendant services to health care programs. In his veto of the health and

human services bill, Dayton stated that the measure would “cause devastating harm to many thousands of Minnesotans.” he said the state couldn’t go backwards in providing care and that is was “unconscionable” to eliminate health care for more than 140,000 people. The governor expressed concern over major cuts to programs for people with disabilities and senior citizens. In his veto letter, he stated, “Minnesota has pursued a decades-long, bipartisan strategy that supports people in their homes and in the community so they do not need to live in institutions. Yet 98% of the reductions to longterm care are to home and community-based services with only 2% to institutions. The bill would force 1,500 people into nursing homes.” He called the cuts “bad public policy” and noted it would cost much more in the long term. Another objection is

cuts to services for the mentally ill, especially changes to reforms adopted in 2007. The bill would also undo much of the progress we have made to support people. “Reducing community grants that support people with mental illness and repealing the expansion of Medical Assistance, undermine the successes we have accomplished in keeping people out of institutions,” Dayton stated. “We must not return to a system where too many of our mentally ill citizens end up in jail, emergency rooms, and psychiatric hospitals.” Elimination of the General Assistance program, which provides $203 a month to 20,000 Minnesotans who cannot support themselves due to illness, age, or disability, was also cited in Dayton’s veto letter. Dayton also vowed to veto any legislation that repeals the expansion of Medical Assistance to adults without children

Pg 13

implemented. He noted that the expansion leverages $1.5 billion in federal funds over three years. Other concerns the governor outlined include reinstitution of the Coordinated Care Delivery Systems (CCDS), creation of a new voucher system for lowincome Minnesotans and restrictions on the Affordable Care Act, nursing home rate equalization. Dayton also vetoed the transportation bill. One concern there was $3.729 million in cuts to transportation in Greater Minnesota, as well as potential fare increase for Twin Cities transit services. The governor also said budget bills couldn’t be vehicle for divisive policy, citing the prohibition on stem cell research. He said the state couldn’t halt important research that could provide treatment for chronic diseases, traumatic injuries and genetic disorders. That prohibition was also vetoed.

ADAPT Minnesota, MN-CCD updates Organizations that advocate for Minnesotans with disabilities are preparing for a special legislative session, as well as a possible state shutdown. The ADAPT Minnesota Metro Chapter is meeting Wednesday evenings. The newly formed group is planning actions and events to focus on how state actions affect Minnesotans with disabilities. Meetings are held at scentfree and safe spaces to offer equal opportunities for equal participation for everyone. ADAPT will be meeting through the month of June. The group has a Facebook page and Twit-

ter feed, so check those for updates. The group is making the transition to Google Groups to make it easier to maintain the e-mail distribution lists plus offer additional features while maintaining a very high degree of security and privacy (i.e. only a small number of the communications team will have access to view the subscribers list). Switching to Google Groups will also allow ADAPT Minnesota to offer and control access to its calendar and documents that are only available to members. Those who have already expressed interest in ADAPT Minnesota

and already appear on the e-mail list will be automatically added as a new member of the Google Group. An email was to be sent out in early June from the ADAPT Minnesota Google Group (adapt-mn@google confirming that they are officially listed within the group. For more information, contact Lance Hegland by e-mailing lance_ or calling 612-378-7028. He can add others to the ADAPT’s private email and call lists. Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities is also tracking the special session and monitoring its impacts of a shutdown. See www.mnccd. org/ to track the 2011 Minnesota Legislature. ■

Pg 14 June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

Shutdown - from p. 1 ended 2011 session fothe May 23 adjournment cused on cuts to governdeadline. ment. In its legislative Dayton and Republiupdate, Courage Center can House and Senate answered the question of leadership met June 3, core government funcwith the Republicans proposing daily meetings tions by stating, “The current budget stalemate through June 27. That really centers on this would lead up to a spequestion. In general, the cial session. But with legislative majority says Dayton wanting some government is too big form of cuts and tax inand spends too much. crease, and Republicans Dayton says shrinking saying no to any new government by $5.1 biltaxes, it’s not clear what lion - the size of the curthe outcome could be. House and Senate leader- rent budget hole - would result in an abdication of ship want to limit spendgovernment’s responsiing at $34 billion; Dayton wants a budget that is bilities to Minnesotans. This is really a debate at least $1.5 billion about the role of governhigher. ment, how much differA shutdown could ent groups of taxpayers have costs for the state, in terms of shutting down should pay to fund it, and what taxand then More information on payers restarting a state shutdown should get government. Rev- and what it means in return enue for the public and for their revenue would be state workers can In 2005 lost from be found at the decimany fees and sion of what was mits. “It’s Check it for updates. and wasn’t a losing a core function was left proposition for the taxin the hands of the payers of the state of courts. That could possiMinnesota,” Political bly happen again. MinneAnalyst and Hamline sota Management & University Professor Budget Commissioner David Schultz told KARE 11 TV. “Overall, Jim Schowalter announced the activation of the cost associated with the state’s Be Ready the shutdown are far website. The web adgreater than any savings that occur as a result of a dress is shutdown,” he explained. website is a resource for That state has about citizens, state employees, 58,000 workers who pomembers of the media, tentially could be afand government service fected by a shutdown. stakeholders in relation It’s not clear how many to contingency plans for would be laid off and a potential break in govwhich services would be ernment service. The shut down. Layoff nowebsite offers a variety tices to state employees of information for public began going out the secparties including emond week of June. Conployee relations informatract service providers tion, frequently asked have also been notified. questions, and informaDuring the last shuttion for the media. down, in 2005 about “The administration’s 9,000 employees were highest priority remains laid off. But that year negotiating a compromore than half of the budget bills had been ap- mise budget agreement. However, in order to be proved, keeping some responsible stewards of state operations open. the state, we need to plan This time, only the Deaccordingly for all cirpartment of Agriculture cumstances. This website has budget passed and is another tool for our signed by Gov. Dayton. employees and stakeWhat were considered to be core functions of state holders to use to answer some of their questions. government were alIt is critical we provide lowed to remain open in clear and concise infor2005. But many services mation to everyone,” were cut for the 10-day Schowalter said. The shutdown. What’s not website will be continuclear now is what would ously updated as inforbe considered core sermation is released. ■ vices, especially since much of the recently

Regional News - from p. 6

Nursing home case winds down Two young women accused of abusing residents of an Albert Lea nursing home have complied with probation and appear to be on the right path, so they won’t have to serve more jail time. Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab waived the second 60-day jail stint for Brianna Broitzman and Ashton Larson May 17. The abuse occurred in 2008 and outraged advocates for the elderly Schwab reviewed the motions from the defendants and reports from probation before deciding to waive the jail time. Schwab said the purpose of a staggered sentence is for rehabilitation and to be an incentive for defendants “to turn their lives around.” According to the Albert Lea Tribune, he also asked each a single question during the hearing: “Do you now understand that what you did was

wrong?” Broitzman answered, “Yes I do, very much.” Larson answered, “Without a doubt.” In 2010, Schwab sentenced Broitzman and Larson, both 21, to a staggered 180-day jail sentence after each being convicted of three counts of disorderly conduct by a caregiver. Each count represented a different victim at the nursing home. Since then the two young women served jail time and have taken other steps to turn their lives around, including counseling and the writing of letters of apologies to the families of their victims Schwab said if the victims’ families want to have a face-to-face meeting with Broitzman and Larson, they can request to do so. About 10 family members of victims were in attendance to hear the outcome. [Source: Albert Lea Tribune]

Assault suspect linked to crimes A man sentenced in May for the sexual assault of a woman with Down syndrome on a city bus has been linked to another sexual assault of a vulnerable adult. Herbert Lee House III’s conviction required that he submit a DNA sample and it matched evidence from the previously unsolved sexual assault in St. Paul, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant filed last month. The unsolved assault occurred after House had contact with the woman on the bus. The case remains under investigation. Metro Transit and St. Paul Police have been investigating the crimes; House was sentenced May 15 to five years and two months in prison for third-

degree criminal sexual conduct. One of two teenage witnesses told police that a man, later identified as House, got on a Metro Transit bus in Lowertown on Feb. 22. The victim, who boarded the bus with a group of other disabled adults and their personal care attendant, sat down in a seat near House. House moved next to the victim. Witnesses said he forced her to perform a sex act and then tried to make her get off of the bus with him. The PCA intervened and the victim didn’t leave the bus. House was also charged Feb. 1 with disorderly conduct for alleged unwanted touching of a woman at a Sixth and Minnesota streets bus shelter downtown. {Source: Pioneer Press]

Vale Educational Center will close A highly-regarded Eagan educational center for students with disabilities will close due to a dip in enrollment. Vale Educational Center in Eagan, the Burnsville school district’s program for students with emotional and behavioral disabilities, will be missed by many students and their families. The closing mirrors a statewide trend as fewer students with disabilities, ranging from severe depression and anxiety to bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorder have attended full-time programs such as Vale. While some advocates see that as an encouraging sign about mainstream education, others say that the loss of small, highly personal schools will hurt some special needs students. In the early 2000s, the Vale Center served as many as 90 students, from kindergartners to seniors. Enrollment at the center, which shares a building with the district’s alternative high school, has dropped to about 50 students. Vale offers small classes, including social skills classes that help student maneuver through difficult real-life scenarios through games and lessons.

In the age of the federal No Child Left Behind law, Principal Jayne Tiedemann said, covering standards in English, math, science and social studies with a smaller staff is tough. And high school teachers licensed for those courses as well as special education have become tougher to find. More than 15,000 students ages 6 to 21—or about 12 percent of Minnesotans that age—were diagnosed with emotional behavioral disabilities, or EBDs, last year. Statewide 10 years ago, almost 20 percent of students with emotional disorders attended the special classes. This year, slightly more than 11 percent do, with the remainder spending at least some time in mainstream classrooms. Reasons for the decline vary, said Barbara Troolin, the Minnesota Department of Education special education director. Many students with previously diagnosed emotional behavioral disabilities are now diagnosed with autism and directed to different programs. And budgetstrapped districts are scaling back programs that require separate facilities. [Source: Pioneer Press]

He crafts beads to help others Rick Taft woke up the Taft originally had morning of March 15, planned to become a mu2009, and couldn’t move. sician. He attended A stroke had paralyzed McPhail College of Muhis right side. He spent a sic in Minneapolis for a month at Regions Hospiyear before he was tal in St. Paul, then andrafted to serve in Vietother two weeks at a renam. When he returned habilitation center. to Minnesota, he used the “I thought I could get GI Bill to become a cabiback to it, but, you know, netmaker. Because of if you knock over a tray his stroke, Taft now foof parts . . . that’s thoucuses on smaller items sands of dollars down the such as spoons, bookdrain,” the 64-year-old marks, key chains, barWoodbury resident said. rettes and small beads he “To pick up a cup of cofcalls “worry woods.” He fee takes some concentra- and his wife, Ginny, gave tion now. I was stuck one sumac “worry wood” with reinventing myself.” to each person who atIt took months of therapy tended the Courage St. sessions at Courage CenCroix breakfast. Taft said ter St. Croix in Stillwater, he is drawn to sumac bebut Taft learned to speak cause of his condition. again and has regained “Most people look down the use of his right side. on it,” he said. “It’s an “I need a reason to do annoyance. It’s a secondwhat I do,” he said. “I rate shrub. As a disabled need something to do to person, I no longer have be useful. Courage Centhe usefulness that I used ter helped give me a reato feel, so it’s important son for being.” Taft was to me to feel needed and honored last month at the useful.” center’s annual breakfast. [Source: Pioneer Press] More Regional News on p. 15

June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

Regional News - from p. 14

Lakeville to open new Miracle Field

The rubberized playing surface for Lakeville’s Miracle League ball field was poured in May, just days before Twins great Harmon Killebrew died of esophageal cancer. The field, which will be used by children with disabilities, was named for the Twins great. Killebrew, 74, loved baseball and kids and tried to direct his giving to bring them together. He had helped Miracle League athletes bat and run bases, and had raised money for their needs. Killebrew was involved with Miracle League since he helped open the league’s first Minnesota field in Blaine in May 2006, said Kevin Thoresen, founder of the Minnesota Miracle League. “He came up to me and said ‘I love this. I want to be more involved,’” Thoresen told the Star Tribune. “He saw and knew the significance of giving every child a chance to play baseball, and that’s what the Miracle League is about.”

In the past five years, the Harmon Killebrew Foundation has donated more than $250,000 for the smooth cushioned fields, including a significant gift toward Lakeville’s $400,000 field, said Brian Roseen, director of the South Metro Miracle League. Killebrew made the largest of dozens of gifts for the Lakeville field, he said. Roseen has received approval from the Harmon Killebrew Foundation for Lakeville’s scoreboard to bear their logo with Harmon Killebrew Field and No. 3 on it. He said he has invited foundation officials and Killebrew’s widow, Nita Killebrew, for the field’s dedication in late June. Lakeville’s will be Minnesota’s seventh Miracle League field for players with disabilities. Other fields are in Blaine, Minnetonka, Rochester, Mankato, Moorhead, and coming in June, St. Cloud, Thoresen said. [Source: Star Tribune]

Fired worker claims disability Former Carver city building inspector Raymond Williams, who fell asleep for more than an hour in an office lunchroom, is fighting back. Williams has filed a federal complaint alleging that the city discriminated against him on the basis of disability. Williams said that the medication he takes for rheumatoid arthritis made him unusually tired and that the city refused to accommodate his disability. Disability advocates say cases like his could become more common as the workforce ages and as workers need medication for disabilities or other health conditions. “This kind of case is not that unusual,” said Pamela Hoopes, legal director of the Minnesota Disability Law Center. Williams, 60, had worked for the southwest metro city since 2002. He said there had been no other sleeping incidents before the January incident which cost him his job. City officials have


Miracle League - from p. 6 he expects that the 110foot field will be completed by August, allowing children to field grounders, bat and circle the bases. “It opens their eyes to things they might have never imagined,” said Rotary member Alan Henaman. “It brings people together. The game is the connector.”

The Woodbury field is named in honor of Jeff Hanson, a former state representative from Woodbury who passed away a few years ago. Other fields are set to open this summer in Lakeville, St. Cloud and Duluth. Others are on the drawing board in Brainerd and St. Paul. [Source: Star Tribune]

countered that there were other reasons for his dismissal including insubordination, violation of city policies and use of city time and equipment for personal benefit. ADA Minnesota is an information and referral service for disability issues. Program Manager Cindy Held Tarshish said questions about medications and job performance can be tricky. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the disabled from discrimination in their jobs. Employers must provide “reasonable accommodations” for workers who request them. Trying to work out such changes is required, as long as they don’t impose “undue hardship” on the employer, she said. “But it’s not a free ride,” Tarshish said. “ADA is not an entitlement program.” Disabled workers still must do essential job functions with or without accommodations, she said. [Source: Star Tribune]

Employment ads are $22-$25 per col. inch. Mail to: Access Press, 1821 University Ave. #104S, St. Paul, MN 55104 FAX 651-644-2136 • Email:

MECHANICAL ENGINEER Hibbing, MN Essar Steel Project Management Company in Hibbing, MN, is seeking Mechanical Engineers. Applicant must be comfortable in a plant setting and working with large processing equipment. Must have the ability to coordinate and manage projects, some of which may require design work, and apply predictive/preventative maintenance techniques. Bachelor’s degree in engineering is required. Experience in a plant setting is strongly preferred. Mining experience is a plus. Apply to: Essar Project Management Company Ltd. Attention: HR 555 West 27th St. Hibbing, MN 55746 Fax: 218-262-1497 EOE/MFDV PROJECT ESTIMATOR PCL Construction Services, Inc. is seeking a Project Estimator to work in Minneapolis. Three years of commercial construction estimating experience and a related degree is required. Mechanical and electrical experience is a bonus. Candidate will be expected to scope and budget commercial construction projects. Additional requirements and details can be found online at Job ID #2221. Applications accepted online. Job ID #2221 No phone calls or walk-ins please. EOE, AAE, M/F/D/V

Pg 15

Man sentenced for robbery, beating A 25-year-old St. Paul man was sentenced to four years in prison for beating and robbing a 16year-old autistic boy in December. Anthony Ramos must also register as a predatory offender, as part of the sentence handed down by Ramsey County District Judge Salvador Rosas The 16-year-old victim was walking to a grocery store at SunRay Shopping Center Dec. 23 when he met Ramos and three other people. One of the suspects is 15 years old. They demanded and stole money from the victim, as well as his CD player, headphones, a cell phone and a camera. Charges filed in the case state that Ramos put handcuffs on

the boy and fired a BB gun at his head. Ramos, who pleaded guilty in April to felony kidnapping and first-degree aggravated robbery, is the first of three adults to be sentenced in connection with the case. Tiffany Ann Clock, 21, of Columbia Heights, and Trenton E. Johnson, 22, of St. Paul, were charged with aggravated first-degree robbery and kidnapping. They await prosecution. Information on the juvenile suspect wasn’t available. Ramos had asked Rosas to sentence him to probation because he suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was 13, according to court records. [Source: Star Tribune]

CLASSIFIEDS Access Press Classifieds are $14 for the first 12 & 65¢ per word thereafter. They must be prepaid. Mail with check to: Access Press, 1821 University Ave W, #104S, St. Paul, MN 55104 • 651-644-2133

FOR RENT Lewis Park Apartments: Barrier-free housing with wheelchair users in mind. Section 8 subsidized. One- and two-bedroom units. For more information on availability call 651-4889923. St. Paul, MN. Equal Opportunity Housing. Oak Park Village: We are accepting applications for the waiting list for onebedroom wheelchair accessible apartments. Section 8 subsidized. Convenient St. Louis Park location. Call 952-935-9125 for information. Equal Opportunity Housing. Seward Square Apartments: We are currently accepting applications for our waiting list for barrier-free housing, in Minneapolis, that is federally subsidized. For an application, please call 612338-2680. Equal Opportunity Housing. Calvary Center Apts: 7650 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN. A Section 8 building now accepting applications for our waiting list. Call 9 am to 4 pm, Mon – Fri 763-546-4988 for an application. Equal Opportunity Housing. Holmes-Greenway Housing: One- and twobedroom wheelchair-ac-

cessible apartments. Section 8 subsidized. Convenient SE Minneapolis location. Call 612-3780331 for availability information. Equal Opportunity Housing. Tralee Terrace Apts Offering 1, 2, & 3 bedroom apts. Coon Rapids, MN Please contact manager for showings 763-7671123. FOR SALE Wheelchair Van: 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan Sxt - $18,200 (Forest Lake, MN) This is a Braun Entervan Lowered floor conversion, with keyless remote control to open and close side doors and rear. The ramp is a folding ramp on rider side with kneeling rear suspension. Comes with a wheelchair securing system, with interior OEM control switches. The SXT model was top of the line in 2005 with the 3.8 L SMPI V6 engine rated at 25 mpg for highway. Has two front seats that can be removed easily, and an original list price of $46, 240 at time of purchase. This white van has been kept in a garage, and is in very good shape, with less than 71,000 miles. If you need a wheelchair van at a reasonable price, this is it. If interested, please contact by email at prlabrosse@mywdo. com or call 651-226-2054.

Pg 16 June 10, 2011 Volume 22, Number 6

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June 2011  

June 2011 Issue