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Access Press - Minnesota's Disability Community Newspaper

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‘Tis the season to make lists and head to the state capitol

‘Tis the season to make lists and head to the state capitol   With the 2019 Minnesota Legislature starting its session January 8, Minnesotans with disabilities and their advocacy groups are getting ready. It’ll be a new ball game, with incoming Gov. Tim Walz. a DFL majority in the House taking their seats and new commissioners leading state departments. Very little got done at the capitol in 2018, with ...

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VSA Minnesota closing a loss to arts community

VSA Minnesota closing a loss to arts community VSA Minnesota, which has served Minnesota artists and audience with disabilities for more than three decades, is shutting down at the end of September 2019. The closing was announced in early December. Over the next several months, the  nonprofit will be handing off its programs to other arts agencies. Executive Director Craig Dunn and Accessibility and ...

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HISTORY NOTE: Universal Declaration of Human Rights anniversary is celebrated

December 10 marked an important day around the world, as the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was celebrated. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities (MNCDD) joined the international celebration with a series of website features released on a monthly basis beginning in September as a countdown to the December 2018 ...

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY: An open letter to Gov. Tim Walz and his new administration

Dear Governor-Elect Walz, Congratulations on your election. With a new governor we also welcome new leadership at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). For many of us providing services to people with intellectual and  developmental disabilities we welcome the opportunity to have a more positive and productive relationship with the Disability Services Division arm of ...

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Accessible Events & Happenings – December 2018

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 a weekly listing ...

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY: Disability Waiver Rate System eyed for reform at capitol in 2019

The new year is almost upon us, and with it, a new state legislature and governor. New legislative landscapes always offer both opportunities and challenges, we will have much work to do to grow alliances, continue to educate lawmakers on the great progress that has been made and also the needs that still exist within ...

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Support Access Press with a taxdeductible donation

Support for Access Press not only provides resources for Minnesota’s statewide disability newspaper, it also can provide last-minute tax deductions for 2018. Donations great and small help the staff and contributors publish the newspaper. Consider a donation today! Access Press provides the in-depth news and information Minnesotans with disabilities and the elderly rely on. We cover ...

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Grinch-like holiday lights, cords and more can be recycled

Grinch-like holiday lights, cords and more can be recycled Have the holiday lights lost their twinkle? Is there a drawer full of stray cords gathering dust? Don’t put them in the trash. ProAct, a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities, offers 32 seasonal drop-off spots for those unwanted light strings, electrical, appliance and phone cords. Help the environment while providing work for people with ...

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In Memoriam – December 2018

Parkhurst found a new life Gordy C. Parkhurst was institutionalized for years but found a new life in a Minneapolis group home after advocates worked to get him back into the community. Parkhurst, 73, died of pneumonia in November. Born in Minneapolis, Parkhurst spent about 40 years in state institutions after commitment at age 2 ½ in ...

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People and Places – December 2018

People and Places – December 2018 Champions for the mentally ill are honored with NAMI awards A student leader, police department, therapist/author and dedicated volunteer are among those honored in November by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Minnesota. Eleven individuals and organizations were honored at NAMI’s state convention, which was held in St. Paul. Awards were presented to those ...

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December 2018 edition

Here's the full edition of Access Press for December 2018 in .pdf format. Please note that you may need to create a log-in to download and/or read this copy. Enjoy!    

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY: PCA Reform Coalition seeks changes to address public health crisis

FROM OUR COMMUNITY: PCA Reform Coalition seeks changes to address public health crisis Members of the PCA Reform Coalition are passionate about changing laws affecting Minnesota’s Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program. The group consists of disability advocates, PCA agencies, and other human services providers in Minnesota. They propose several changes to Minnesota law that would increase reimbursement rates for personal care workers to reflect the difficulty of the ...

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December Radio Talking Book

  New this fall: Tanner’s Tech Den Keeping with our emphasis on disability advocacy programming on Sunday evenings, RTB is proud to present “Tanner’s Tech Den” with David Tanner. Dave invites you to an hour of news, reviews, and explorations of the latest in accessible technology. We hope you’ll join us on the first Sunday of each ...

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Regional News in Review – December 2018

Former Bethel student sues university A former Bethel University student is suing the Arden Hills university for discrimination, basing his claims on a widely touted inclusion program. The student’s parents allege the university did not live up to its promise, and state law, in ensuring that their son was treated inclusively in a special program for ...

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HISTORY NOTE: A century ago, Braille won status as the language standard

How people with blindness and other visual disabilities enjoy printed materials has changed over the years. An array of apps, text-to-speech software and assistive technology “read” content for many people. Others faithfully listen to Radio Talking Book, which marks 50 years’ service in January 2019. Prerecorded books are also popular. Many people still read using Braille. ...

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Could state be next for minimum wage?

As St. Paul city officials continue to look at a $15 per hour minimum wage, the implications for working people with disabilities and support staff and caregivers also continue to be scrutinized. The wage policy was the topic of a public hearing November 7 and could be adopted later this month, taking effect by year’s ...

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Winter brings safety challenges for Minnesotans with disabilities

Winter brings safety challenges for Minnesotans with disabilities Winter weather is inevitable in Minnesota. People with disabilities need to take extra steps to be prepared. Be ready and keep safe and warm when the snow flies. Follow weather forecasts and have those winter weather information resources at hand in advance. It’s easier to do than ever, with numerous apps and alerts that can be ...

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Clock is ticking on Medicare Open Enrollment, but help is available

Time is running out for Medicare Open Enrollment, but Disability Hub MN can help with the daunting task of looking at providers. Medicare Open Enrollment runs October 15th through December 7th. During this time, you can switch from one plan provider to another or enroll for the first time. Open Enrollment is often the only ...

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In Memoriam – November 2018

Kyrklund was autism educator A leader in the field of autism education has died. Sarah Jane Kyrklund was 76 and lived in Edina. She was a native of Maryland, and held degrees from American University in Washington, DC, University of Minnesota and the University of Kansas. She held a PhD. and dedicated her career to teaching students ...

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November 2018 edition

Here's the November 2018 edition in its entirety, in pdf form.  Please note you may need to create a log in to read and/or download the file. Enjoy!    

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Regional News in Review – November 2018

Regional News in Review – November 2018 Websites become access target Parking lots and building need to be accessible, so websites should be, too. Minnesota has its first lawsuit centered on inaccessible government websites. This fall Noah J. McCourt, a disability advocate with autism from Waconia, sued Carver County and the cities of Norwood Young America and Chanhassen in U.S. District Court. McCourt contends ...

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LETTERS: Self-advocacy group needs help with bills

To the editor: Self Advocates Leading Together (SALT) is about people with disabilities learning about their rights, how to ask for them in an assertive way, and making sure our voices get heard, as well as getting together and having a great time. The group meets the first and third Thursday of each month, at locations in ...

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Looking for legislative agendas

With the Minnesota Legislature starting its 2019 session on January 8, it’s time for disability advocacy organizations and groups to bring forward ideas for state spending and policy changes. Access Press is interested in receiving legislative agendas for publication in our December and January issues. Deadline for December is Monday, November 26 and deadline for January ...

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First of many deadlines approaches for Medicare programs

With the start of Medicare open enrollment on October 15, the Minnesota Board on Aging’s Senior LinkAge Line is prepared to help Minnesotans navigate significant changes to Medicare plans. But act soon as the first deadline is December 7. Due to a change in federal law, Cost Plans, a type of Medicare plan popular in Minnesota, ...

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Accessible Events and Happenings

Accessible Events and Happenings 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 a weekly listing ...

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