May 1997 Edition - Access Press

Page 1

CIL Needs Your Help - p.3

"No country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources."

Ground Breaking - Page 2

-Franklin Delano Roosevelt I

Access Press POLITICAL ROLE MODELS Don't Hide FDR's Disability by Wendy S. Brower


$55 million memorial to our country's 31" president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was commemorated on a 7.5 acre site on the bank of the Potomac River in Washington, DC, on Friday, May 2, 1997. As of this writing, The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Commission has declded that no statute will depict FDR as a man who was unable to walk during his last twenty-four of the United States.


Other times he masked his disability to the public by learning how to make it "look like he was walking." To do this he wore heavy braces that were painted black to match his socks and was assisted (held up) by a person on each side. Once he was scheduled to speak in a building where the only door was at the top of many steps. The solution? *4w*~.t



T&angy, 66% of America's adults with disabilities are unemployed. To help alter this startling statistic, people with disabilities need more role models. Who ~ better ~ than . Three years ago, disability one ofthe world's most pow- groups learned that the FDR erful leaders of this century? Memorial Commission would not include adepiction ofFDR To millions ofdisabled people in his wheelchair. The Nalike Jim Dickson, organizer tional Organization on Disof FDRin a WheelchairCam- ability made several requests paign for the National Orga- to change the memorial. The nization on Disability, FDR is FDR Memorial Commission that role model. Dickson re- refused, so did the designer, calls being told by his doctor Lawrence Halprin. He said, at age seven that he had juve- "Idon't thinkit needsit; from nile maculardegeneration and my point of view the memowould soon be blind. As he rial is acomplete work of art, walked out of the doctor's of- esthetically and historically ." fice. his mother told him, "If Franklin Roosevelt could be President Clinton, the FDR President, then you can do Commission's Honorary Cowhat you want." Chair, announced on April 23, 1997, that he will introduce In the 1930's and 1940's, FDR legislation tocongress to add was well aware of society's another statue depicting FDR negative attitudes toward in a wheelchair. Why the last people with disabilities. He minute show of support'? 'was afraid that if American's Could it be that he's learned knew the truth about his dis- from his recent knee injury ability, he would never be that one can still he an cf'ccelected president. He had the tive president and usc full cooperation of the press crutches? Could i t he that he corps to neverphotograph him was afraid of 500 Americans seated in a wheelchair. Only with disabilities protesting at two of the more than 125,000 the memorial dedication cerphotographs in the FDR Li- emonies on May 2nd? brary at Hyde Park show him using a wheelchair. In Minnesota, Senator Linda Berglin authored a resolution Sometimes he arrived at calling for the addition of anevents early so no one would other statue. She told her see him enter in a wheelchair. colleagues in the Senate, -

One of two photos depicting FDR in his wheelchair out of the 125,000phot0s at the memorial.

lntervie w

Mm i 4 Rep. Torrev Westrom

Quietly Dissolving Stereotypes by Jane Wheeler hat is most notable W a b o u t one of Minnesota's newest legislators is not his ability to navigate the halls of government with his white cane and his mental map, but his rare comhination of youth and fiscally conservative politics. At 24 years old, Independent Rcpuhlican Torrey Westrom is thc second youngest state legislator and the f'irst meniher ofthc state House of Representatives who is blind or visually impaired. He is breaking two stereotypes; that blind people can not succeed in the mainstream and that young people just want to spend money. He did not pursue his seat in government specifically to

become a role model for the disabled community, but he does recognize his position for opening doors. "I bring more hands on experience to the issues or concerns; so I think it's a good fit," Representative Westrom said of his relation todisability policy and added, "but it's not the only issuc out thcrc." Since he represents the primarily rural district 13 A, Representative Westrom is greatly concerned about rcvitalizing the small communities of Minnesota. Although these are the issues he built his campaign around, since coming to Saint Paul he has had to deal with legislation that affects disabled individuals across the state.

Throughout this past session, Westrom's reaction to funding disability programs has been calculated. He has not deliberately opposed increases, but has been careful to secure that the legislature allocates and spends the money properly. Wcstrorn reluctantly voted to increase funding for Metro Mobility. This is not an issuc that was simply brought to him by consumers. Hc has personally used the service and believes it is necessary. The program's efficiency concerns him, and he cautions that we are possibly "throwing more good money after bad." "You can kill over half a day just to go to one

Westrom - cont. on p.3



the building was raised to eliminate the need for steps. Wow! Only the President bf the Unipd States would get that kind aF an accommodation!



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"showing Roosevelt in his wheelchair or with his braces or cane would be a victory for historical accuracy, a way of shattering st&eotypes about disabilities and a lesson for all." The resolution was coauthored by Senators Roger Moe, Allan Spear and Dean Johnson; it passed on a v@ke vote. Governor Arne Carlson recently wrote, "Even though -1r4kwohw

that FDR's disability was a reality. To not recognize this reality in even one of his memorial statues may be a disservice to not only his memory but also to the 49 million Americans who live with and strive to overcome their own disabilities." Other supporters who support depicting FDR's disability include: Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, Representatives Bruce Vento, Martin Sabo, and Jim Ramstad along with sixteen of Roosevelt's family, past Presidents Bush, Carter. and Ford. In a 1995 Harris poll, 73% of those asked said the memorial should include "visible recognition of FDR's disability." Historian and author of No Ordinuty Times,Doris Kearns Goodw in declared, "Roosevelt's polio made his special relationship with the American people possible. Not to allow that to be shown would be a l'undaniental distortion of history, u real loss." "They're trying to steal our hero from us," says Hugh Gallagher. who wrote FDR's Splendid Deceptiot~."It's bad enough that we spin the present. Let's not start spinning the past. It is not revisionist to show Roosevelt in a wheelchair because he was in

FDR - cont. on p.2


May 10,1997

~ c c e s Press s

Legislative Update Increase (COLA) for


Letters . . . . Cont.onpage6 responsibility toactasrespon- to his legacy. Through my sible stewards of public fund- many years of friendship with your ing, while concurrently assur- Ed he taught me one very im-

for growth. This is due to the

House and Senate and now is ate and House have pass difference between th'e committee. The Senate bills is the funding. The includes $34.6 million its funding target. The House, Mobility compared to which had a lower funding House bill of $36 million target, did not fund the COLA vices Omnibus Bill. It wasn't until the bill made it to th'e House floor, - where they amendedthebill toincludethe COLA and took money from the reserve, that they funded

months we will he.strengthen- know thattwo of the three ining and expanding federally dividuals that were laid off as mandated .Lcore services: a m u k of the restructuring .withthe

viously indicated that.$38-40 million was needed to fully fund Metro Mobility. hey' now state, if Metro Mobility weives$34.6 million in funding for the 1997-98 biennium,


And so, it is with mixed feelings chat I respond to the letter which appeared in your April 10, 1997 edition. In the future, should your let-

ON DISABILITY Wednesday, May 28,1997 Kelly Inn, St. Cloud 9:00 A.M - 4 : . 0 $ . ~ .

Available 24 hours per day gram (CHP) is a non- planned for Minneapolis and profit organization established greater Hennepin County. in 1991 for the purpose of plan-

Topics: Community Integration, Education, Employment, Health Care and Transportation Purpose is to examine Jaws and policies exchange ideas and review progress. To make

Patronize your Access Press Advertisers. Let them know where you heard about them. They bring you your paper.

for persons with disabilities needing significant personal care services. CHP finalized $6.5 million of Health Facilities Development Revenue Bonds with the City of Minneapolis on April 15, 1997. After several years of planning, CHP has su~cessfullyworked with five cities, eight neighborh'ood groups, Hennepin County,the State of-Minnesota, a private contractd;,'severa1 non-profit agencies,, a major bond finance organization, and at least seven attor-

the Community Home Program took place on April 28, 1997, at the Hiawatha site in Minneapolis. The five newly coostructed barrier free single homes will house four adults, and each home wilioffer 24hour personal care attendant servicesanddelium.idivid'raal care and ther@py programs which in turn are linked by an excIIdveaccessibletranspar: system. The first home will open in August 1997.


For info. call (6121644-2871.

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May 10,1997

Access Press cant. from p. 1





CIL Flooded Help Needed To1I-Free Accessibi1ity 1nf0

half-hour appointment,'' he said regarding using ~ e t r o ~ o b i ity which often involves an initial wait and many stops before The mighty flood is finally receding, but as it does, residents reaching a destination. and business owners are realizing the full effects of its devastation. Jay Johnson, Executive Director of Options Interstate Before voting for the bill, he successfully attached an amendResource Center for Independent Living, states they were hit ment that requiresathoroughstudy tocheck forMetroMobility's hard; there is substantial damage to the building along with efficiency, compliance with the ADA, reaction to consumer losses to office equipment and used medical equipmemt. The input, and the possible effect that competition would have on contents of the building is not covered by insurance.' In service. addition, four Out of ten staffs hbmes were damaged significantly. Westrom is always concerned about where allocated money is coming from. In his four-month tenure at the capitol he has They need your help now! Cash donations W O U I be ~ the most learned, "It all revolves around balancing here." beneficial. Cash and other donations can be sent to: Options Interstate Resource Center for Independent Living, I o I o CenHe cited his support of the cost of living increase for Personal Grand MN 56721. Care Attendants and Home Health Aides. After years without tral Ave. N.E., 3692. a raise, he believed that the 5% increase was a well-deserved expenditure, but wasconcerned about themeans the legislature used to fund the raise. "I think it warranted enough significance and consideration that we should have paid for it out of the Wilderness Inquiry offers opportunities for daily canoeing on budget rather than take it out of the budget reserves." He local lakes. For full summer schedule call 379-3858 or (800) initially worked with Republican representatives to pass an 728-07 19 (v/?TY). unsuccessful amendment that would proposed cutting 1/2% across the board from other areas that were funded by the Arc Minnesotahas apublic policy hotline, arecordedmessage Health and Human Services budget to fund the cost of living of current legislative developments affecting people with increase. developmental disabilities. Call 612-794-3864, Press 2.

Canoeing Opportunities Public Policy Hotline

He is aware andconcerned about the controversy overthe $400,000 in funding to the State Services for the Blind for sensitivity training to workers. He is very careful to support the work they do. He has used their computer resources, and he says that his concern "does not reflectpn thejobs they are doing or the quality of people working there." He questions whether there may be higherpriorities than sensitivity training for a secretary that does not have contact with visually im~aired individuals or a worker that has been blind since birth.


d J



He is also concerned about the intense length of


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New toll-free information service for people withdisabilities who plan to visit New York City. Call 1-888-424-4685 between 9-5pm E.T., Monday-Friday.

Commission Vacancies MN Commission

Serving Deaf' and Hard of Hearing, for information: (612)297-7305 Special Education Advisory Council, Call (612)297-5845 State Advisory Council on Mental Health, Call (6 12)297-4163

Int e r ne t Tr a in ing Fo r Visua1ly 1mpaired Vision Loss Resources is offering 6-10 free Internet Access and training classes to allvisually impaired persons. For further information: (6121871-2222.

1997 SOC 1 Security Basic Training Tasks Unlimited is offering a two-day training on June 3rd & 4th. On SSDI and SSI work incentives and other Social Security programs. Space is Pmited to 40. Deadline for registration is May 23. Formore information: Tasks Unlimited 871-3320.

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trainees will be likely to retain the information The incline of the ramp is mirrimal, allrnvirtg accessibility ' all power whwl* and mM that pertains to their daily work and that six weeks of training will likely provide excessive or irrel- Usem evant information. He would like to see training COhOk forthe mr door, and Imeel'mg arthat would focus on helping workers to be more located inside and out. Once inside, the wheelchair me^ aware of the resources available to the blind and able to lock down, grab the steering wheel, and go. visuallyimpaired. Westrom hopes to stay in the legislature for a while. but not forever. He recoenizes " . that term limits could diffuse the natural advantage of incumbents but that legislators q u i r e a certain amount of time to achieve their goals. "I do believe in term limits; however, they are quite ineffective until we can implement across-theboard term limits, because this whole place revolves around age-old power." He would support a 10 to 12 year limit to allow those people with a vision and philosophy to have the chance to implement some of their special projects. "It is obvious that the first few months or year of any job is grabbing and learning as much as you possibly can as fast as you can." Now that RepresentativeWestrom has mastered the layout of the capitol buildings and managed to attach his scanner to his voice synthesized c2mputer, he is "grabbing and learning" quickly bow to best represent his constituents and remain in office.

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Reliuion & Disabilitv

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In-clusionWithout Fanfare !by

A Time To Re-evaluate _ , , , r

by LeAnne Dahl

Bonnie Hammel

y husband Bill and I have attended many p churches. I am a singer and Bill has been a quadriplegic since 1959,two importantfactors when deciding on a place* ofworship. Atsomechurches, Bill would have to sit in the foyer - where he could barely hear me sing or miss out coipletely on the rest of the ser-


On Sunday morning, a young girl with Downs Syndrome regularly serves as an acolyte and sings in one of the children's choirs. Ramps blend into the beautiful architecture to provide access to the altar and choir loft. Someone hassuggestedthat Bill join the ehoir,the only thing ireventing him is the fact that he

erally patted on the head and



steps into all those beautiful churches and great cathedrals of Europe were expressly designedtokeeppeoplewithdisabilities out. Only the most able were allowed to worship God in those beautiful places.

cinated by the mass suicide of the group from "Heaven's Gate." My intereststems from thestandpointthatthedisabled community had just finished two separate forums on assisted suicide and then we heard this news. It appears that while someof us are fightWorshiping God in a place with beautiful music, wonder- You see, writing is like second ing so hard to stay alive and fulsermons,andcaringpeople nature to me now. I'm not live as normally as we can, t's becomingmoreandmore difficult to come up with new ideas for this column. I have given much thought to taking a break for a couple of monthstore-evaluatemygoals forwriting not only forAccess Press, but writing in general,




Brainwashed? Perhaps. How- ', ever, I'm more inclined to feel that the followers of "Doe," as '-. hecalledhimself,wereweak- p minded. They couldn't think ;for themselves and found it ':: . easier to be in a controlled .environment. Therefore, those cult members let their leader do the thinking forthem. What -a dull life it must have been. .P.. -


ri -.


richly blessed to be a member thiscomputeratleastfo~rdays their lives -so that they may I wish to submit to you that the ;<:disabledcommunityis agroup Y disabilities are accepted as a newsworthy items that interof strong people who have 4 = matter of courseand not treated est me which are not necessar- I wonder if those cult mem- faced and will face many tough ily related to disabilities. Yet, bess faund lifehere so unbar- problems individually and col- = as special. you'll find thatnomatterwhat able that they had to look for lectively. Some people may P' Bonnie Hammel is president happens around us, it eventu- what they thought would be a feel that we don't have choices, ;I;. ofAccessAbility, Inc. She has ally touches our lives. Per- betterlifeelsewhere. Isympa- but I choose to think that we .'. been a soloist and alto section haps, writing is an escape for thizewiththeirfamilies,Ican't are willing to meet our challeader at Wayulta Commu- m i from the real day to day even imagine the pain most of lenges head on. All in all our ,L nity Church for eight years. pressures that go withhavinga them are going through. I say lives are pretty interesting ; * . Bill Hanmel became a q d - disability. I sincerely believe most because I saw an interriplegic in a trampoline acci- that we all need to divert from view of the husband and This brings me back to the dent while at the University of our own problems and find daughter of one woman. The issue loriginally brought up in Minnesota in 1958. He and other interests, at least for a husband left Heaven's Gate my opening paragraph. Is this three years ago, but-expressed column being read enough to Bonnie were married in 1971. short while. Bill was a professor at his wish that he could have continue? What topics would , Mankato State University My husbandandIhave always stayed aRd joined his wife and you like to see brought up in when a brain hemorrhage h e n "&.wsiunkies,"b;utSince the others in the mass suicide. this space? I need your help! & causedfurtherdisabilities.He I werecentlyiubscribedmcabl& The daughter indicated that Send your suggestions to is now retired. m,our has grown. since this was her mother's LeAnneDahl, %AccessPress. . Forinstance,I'mcurrently fas- wish, it should be respected.


system with receivers to enhance the sound for people with hearing impairments. Signage includes Braille symbols. None of these methods of inclusion is done in a flamboyant manner. As members of the church, we enjoy this acceptance of people with disabilities as standard operating procedure.

to have him attend the service.

We have been attending Wayzata Community Church for the past 9 years. This church accepts people with & disabilities without fanfare. It has no special programs for people with disabilities. The congregationjustassumesthat a person with a disability 2 , should have the choice of ticipating in any or all pro- We know that this kind of acgrams and services that this ceptance can be rare in churches. m r e is a long hisII church provides. tory of keeping people with This is demonstrated in many disabilities from participating ways. The church was made in religious worship. Several accessible to people in wheel- years ago, a guest preacher chairs in 1968 when the noted that those magnificent Wakefield chapel was built.




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Ethical, Honest, Professional

a . + ~


NOW is a critical time, We must weigh in on this issue, and all members of Congress must understand the devastating cuts they are considering. This budget &a1 will not be considered by the Budget Committees,itisgoingdirectly to the floors of the House and Senate.

A per capita cap Would hurt

those who need Medicaid the most, such as low-incomechildren and adults with mental retardation and their famlilies. Do not cut Medicaid, Medicare or domestic programs to pay for tax cuts.

Information provided by The Arc's Governmental Affairs Ofice

24 hour Emergency Contact Person



College studenrs ' sru~ ' dying -



These cuts are necessary, in part, to pay . - for the $85 billion Do not cut Medicaid! Opin tax cuts that are also part of pose a per capita cap for this budget deal. Medicaid!

This is very bad news for people withdisabilities. Aper capitacap isespecially hurtful to people who are considered "high-end" users ofMedicaid; that is, people who rely on Medicaid for long-term services and supports. The deal will apparently cut Medicaid $23 billion and Medicare by Call your Senators and Repre$1 15 billion. It appears that sentatives this week. Youcan

bommmea ro = - y u a ~ ~ r y ~ service, not 'Quantity"


Medicaid. President Clinton put it there when he included Medicaid cuts and the use of per capita cap (a per-person limit on spending) in his M 1998 budget proposal.

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Outside Metro:

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The apartments are fully wheelchair accessible and each building has a central laundry room, large community room, secured entry and an on-site caretaker. AS1 also offers shared personal care services 24 hours a day, at most locations, for adults with a physical disability and/or traumatic brain injury who qualify for Medical Assistance. For more information call (6 12).645-727 1 or (800) 466-7722. For services or housing call Leigh, for employment as a personal care attendant call Sean or Courtney.


On Mental Health

"The Best Kept Secret",



by Laurie Janssen


ccording to Dave Moore, connecting disease and work- Everything tastes so good, so People, Incorporated's ing the soil, planting and cre- nourishing, so healthy. I want

I 4

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on the "Moore On Sunday" and lose who and where they yeardue toseveralconstraints,

vides services for persons with disabilities in .Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka counties. GROW is a part of the LINK program, located at 1908University Avenue, St. Paul. The gardens are on the grounds of People, Inc., at 3 17 York Av-

With assisted suicide, death

reversal. The worker is placed in the caregiving role which generates confidence and a renewed sense of purpose. Their work is physically and mentally challenging, it, encourages emotional growth, improves communication

does, have your case manager or DRS counselor make a referral to the names and number listed at the end of the article. You may be eligible for funding through a Ramsey County mental health grant. The main prerequisite is hav-

smallest and one of many plants are tended so is one's mental illness. If you are in-

information call GROW'S

yaut own care, living in your

have an opportunity to see say to the GROW workers at 644-8319. We welcome your where their food is grown and the end of the season: "As I interest in the GROW project.

d distressing to family and and the will to fight for the what you can me&

illness. GROW, uses

levels of housing/care/service needs." "Striving to be the employer of

Dear Just a Elmd,

your letteris muchmoreeomplex than I can address inthis short column. I am n d an especi~llystrong of,Q@Wgeous person and ST Wm forced to live in a ^nnmi'i home I'm sure I would also becontemplating suicide.

At Hwy. 280 & UniversityAvenue


However, I don't beli-the

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lieve ytnv red problem is your disability -your problem is the nursing homerfudity of life: lack of fr&, care, resources, independence and personhood. People with severe disabilities are continually forced into these "homes" we think their suffe


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May 10,1997


Access Press

Letters . . . . Dear Editor:

Won't play this game!

So what's the deal with the Metro Center for Independent Living? First Mr. Hancox says thcre's financial problems, so he has to cut programs and lay off disabled workers. Then I see in thc newspaper they're hiring full-time workers.

Mike Peterson Minneapolis

Is somebody playing a game with us?? If they end up hiring morc ablc-bodicd workcrs won't they be out of federal compliance? I hope some of the laid off people sue.



pletely out of touch with the ELIPI~OYSIBNT ADS ARE $11 m~ COI.. INCH; MAY31 IS I.HE I)EAUI.INB disability community. In fact, FOR THE JUNE 10 ISSLIE. Mail to: ACCESS most of the board members PRESS, 1821 University Ave W, #185N, St. don't even associate with the Paul, MN 55104. FAX 644-2136 disability community. ToThe City of Minnetonka has a full-time employment





Dear Editor:

I think the Metropolitan Cen- and best yet, trying to run the ter for Independent Living is an absolute embarrassment. I am well aware of how CIL's should operate and what they stand for and this one is lost. Here.we have an actorplaying the part of interim exccutivc ing? director, hooked up with a board of directors that's com- Well, cutting back to the core services is nothing more than retreating from the issues. The mentality that we don't have to provide any more than re-






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