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Access Press - Minnesota's Disability Community Newspaper

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More oversight seen as needed for home, community services

More oversight seen as needed for home, community services More oversight is needed for programs that provide care and services for people with disabilities and the elderly, according to a report from the state’s legislative auditor. The 84-page report, which focused on $2.4 billion in home and community-based services spending and providers, was hailed by disability coalitions ARRM and Best Life Alliance for shedding ...

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History Note: Protests, podium appearances created lasting ADA images

During March, Women’s History Month, Access Press honors women who played a role in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They are sometimes described as the “mothers” of the ADA. This month is a look at some of the women whose actions created lasting images linked to the ADA’s passage. Information is ...

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Low caregiver pay prevents people from succeeding

Low caregiver pay prevents people from succeeding By Jeffrey P. Straub My wife and I are the parents of a 26-year-old with cerebral palsy. Joshua was born 10 weeks premature and had an inter-cranial bleed that resulted in spastic quadriplegia. Despite his disability, he has graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a double major in history and creative writing (with honors). He is ...

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Choices, integration are working for many, but are threatened

At age 25, our son was presented options about where he could live and work. He chose to live in a residential group home with three other gentlemen with disabilities, and 24-hour live-in staff. At about the same time, he chose a nonprofit day training and habilitation program that helped with employment opportunities. Soon our son ...

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Radio Talking Book – March 2017

Connect 700 The State of Minnesota aspires to be a leader in employing people with disabilities. For some, interviewing, assessment, selection, and testing methods may not accurately measure their skills and abilities to perform the job. Connect 700 provides another path to a state job for people with certain disabilities. It allows eligible individuals with disabilities ...

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People & Places – March 2017

People & Places – March 2017 For many people with disabilities, finding and retaining a job is a priority. In Minnesota, surveys indicate that 50 percent of people with intellectual disabilities and 40 percent of people with physical disabilities who are unemployed want to work. In his latest budget, Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed new employment services to ensure more Minnesotans with ...

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In Memoriam – March 2017

Herndon led on and off the court John Herndon is remembered as a student leader on and off of the Southwest Minnesota State University basketball court. The straight-A student and Mustangs wheelchair basketball team captain died February 14 after going into cardiac arrest during practice. The team is more like a family, with players recruited from around ...

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Regional News in Review – March 2017

Safety concerns highlighted Some lawmakers are demanding answers after a Fox 9 investigation highlighted safety concerns involving Metro Mobility, a taxpayer-funded ride service for the elderly and people with disabilities. Sandra Kline was seriously hurt after one of her rides. She was trying to exit a lift when it malfunctioned and her wheel chair tipped. She ...

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Accessible Events & Services – March 2017

More events information: VSA Minnesota is here. The website has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of its home page. For information on galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at access@vsamn.org or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear ...

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March 2016 issue

Here's our entire March 2017 issue in pdf format. Please note you may need to create a log in to print or download this copy. Enjoy!    

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Longtime community leader Bjerkesett gave many a place to call home

Longtime community leader Bjerkesett gave many a place to call home Countless people with disabilities have enjoyed accessible housing, thanks to Michael Bjerkesett. Bjerkesett’s death January 18 sent shock waves through his large circle of friends and triggered an outpouring of sadness from around the world. Family and friends recall his twinkling eyes, ready smile and zest for life. A celebration of his life was held ...

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Care crisis plays out at capitol

Minnesota’s home care crisis continues to play out at the capitol. More pay and benefits for home care workers are at the forefront for several groups. Advocates got mixed news after Gov. Mark Dayton released his budget last month. Supporters for increased pay are working against a backdrop of thousands of job vacancies in the home ...

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Radio Talking Book – February 2017

Aging Eyes Initiative Seniors faced with vision loss are often riddled with anxiety and stress. A few years ago, SSB started The Aging Eyes Initiative to meet the growing need to provide services to seniors losing vision.  This program trains people currently working with seniors to provide a first level of support to seniors in the ...

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History Note – Many women played key roles in the passage of the ADA

In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month. A special presidential proclamation is issued every year to honor the extraordinary achievements of women in the United States. Countless women with disabilities have played key roles in the disability rights movement, the movement from institutionalization to community living, education reforms and the passage of the ...

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In Memoriam – February 2017

Moran was a skilled interpreter Deaf and hard-of-hearing Minnesotans remember Kathy Moran for her work as an advocate as well as a skilled interpreter. Moran was honored in January at a Minneapolis memorial service. She died weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. “She wanted to make sure that deaf folks could participate in life as fully ...

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People shouldn’t have to live in poverty to get help they need

On February 1 I testified on behalf of Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) before the Senate Committee on Human Services Reform and Policy. We support the governor’s budget increase for Minnesota Supplemental Aid—Housing Assistance (MSA-HA), but we also request consideration for MNCCD’s other top priorities: Enhancements and upgrades to Consumer Directed Community Supports ...

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This oldster urges others to stay involved in legislative issues

“We are the oldsters," my friend said the other night. It's no wonder I don't always read Access Press the minute it arrives. (Excuse me Tim) Let me explain. As I start reading the news coming out of the capitol, I'm keenly aware that names are different, but some of the issues may be the same. ...

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Medicaid a worry – Disability groups rallying for spend-down, among other issues

Medicaid a worry – Disability groups rallying for spend-down, among other issues As the 2017 Minnesota Legislature chugs toward the first bill deadline March 10, Minnesotans with disabilities are working to make sure their voices are heard. More than 600 bills had been introduced as February began. That crush of legislation makes it crucial to make the case for policy and funding changes. Disability Matters Day at the ...

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Regional News in Review – February 2017

Human rights offices are proposed Gov. Mark Dayton's two-year budget plan seeks an additional $2.3 million to add human rights offices in Rochester, Duluth, and Worthington. Each office would have two employees. Currently, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has offices in St. Paul and St. Cloud. The budget would also add a second employee at the ...

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Polar Plungers start time of chills, thrills

Polar Plungers start time of chills, thrills Polar Plungers teamed up with the St. Paul Winter Carnival Vulcan Crewe, law enforcement and Special Olympics Minnesota during the 2017 carnival. The Vulcan Snow Park at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds included a Polar Plunge event January 29. Teams donned their finery and jumped into a poll of icy cold water to raise money for ...

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Scott Adams Cartoon – February 2017

Scott Adams Cartoon – February 2017    

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Accessible Events and Opportunities – February 2017

More events information: VSA Minnesota is here. The website has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of its home page. For information on galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at access@vsamn.org or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear ...

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Feb. 2017 issue

Here's the Feb. 2017 issue, please note you may need to create a log in to read and/or download the .pdf. Enjoy!    

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Goodbye to 2016: One year of victories, losses for our community

Goodbye to 2016: One year of victories, losses for our community Farewell to 2016, a year with many changes for Minnesota’s disability community. Here is our look back: JANUARY • A Twin Cities woman with a visual disability received an $185,000 payment from Medical Transportation Management, to resolve a claim of discrimination. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights made a finding of probable cause that discrimination occurred related ...

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Winter requires preparation

Winter has Minnesota in its grasp, so be prepared for ice, snow and cold. People with disabilities should always take extra precautions to stay safe. Being prepared before heading out into potential bad weather strikes is essential. Almost all television stations and the National Weather Service also offer weather updates via smart technology. Find your community’s resource ...

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