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Access Press - Minnesota's Disability Community Newspaper

Commentary

Legislative session’s end was good news, bad news

Legislative session’s end was good news, bad news When the work of the 2017 Minnesota Legislature is reviewed, results for Minnesotans with disabilities are decidedly mixed. Several gains were noted but many requests must wait until 2018. Gov. Mark Dayton and House and Senate leaders spent the last weeks of the regular session, and a four-day special session, clashing over spending. the first batch ...

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Editor’s Column – June 2017

The 2017 legislative session ended on time on May 23, only to be followed immediately by a special session. Over the next three days, the Legislature finished the budget bills and sent them to Governor Dayton, who made a line-item veto on the budgets for the House and Senate. The governor wants legislative leaders to ...

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Henry’s courage has been an asset to the disability community

Henry’s courage has been an asset to the disability community Martin Luther King said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” In reality, I think the arc of the moral universe is more like a roller coaster but hopefully, in the end, it will bend towards justice. When it does bend here Minnesota, we have Anne Henry to thank. When ...

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Larson’s leadership made a difference for many people

Larson’s leadership made a difference for many people Steve Larson work with people with disabilities goes back to the 1970s and 1980s where he started his career in Rochester and with Olmsted County. Steve and his wife Joan began their careers working in group homes for persons with intellectual and developmental challenges. He knows what it’s like to be a direct service worker. ...

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June 2017 edition

Here's the entire issue for June 2017 in .pdf format. Please note you may need to create a log in to download and/or view this e-issue. Enjoy!        

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Editor’s Column – May 2017

Ok, too much to talk about on the political front, but I can’t resist one weather-related question: When will warm summer days come and stay for more than three days? The Minnesota Legislature is doing their best to heat things up. On April 28, our legislators came up with new funding targets -- in general, a ...

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May 2017 edition

Here's the entire May 2017 edition.  Please note you may need to create a log in to download and/or read the pdf. Enjoy!    

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Editor’s Column – April 2017

Minnesota’s House of Representatives and Senate released their target budgets on March 27. The proposed numbers are devastating to both the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) and Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), and to other state agencies. In the fourth year of budget surpluses that are larger than expected, it was very discouraging to ...

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Rotunda rings with calls for change, but is it enough?

Rotunda rings with calls for change, but is it enough? People with disabilities, their caregivers and allies packed the state capitol rotunda repeatedly in March to make their needs know. Having a presence has been a theme this session. On April 7 members of the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities stood outside the House chambers, as that body began work on the health and ...

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From our community – April 2017

Spend-down limits must be fixed so people can live in dignity My name is Rik Seiler and I live in St. Paul. I sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2014 when a car slid into me on an icy patch of Highway 169 in Shakopee. I had just rescued a 19-year-old driver whose car had flipped ...

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Radio Talking Book – April 2017

Podcasts A podcast is a digital audio or video recording that can be downloaded from a website to a media player or computer. For some time now, SSB has been working with a podcast site called Blind Abilities that specializes in making podcasts that are about blindness and limited vision. You can access Blind Abilities on ...

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April 2017 issue

Here's the pdf of the April 2017 issue.  Please note you may need to create a log in to read and/or download the file. Enjoy!    

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Editor’s Column – March 2017

The Minnesota legislative session is in full swing and moving at a very rapid pace, with deadlines for legislation to be heard in both chamber committees by March 10. "The first committee deadlines were adopted in 1971 as part of the Permanent Joint Rules. There were two deadlines, one for bills in the house of ...

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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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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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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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Editor’s Column – February 2017

Since the Minnesota legislative session started, there have been hundreds of new bills introduced, including two that are of interest concerning caregivers, home care and home care agencies. Both were introduced on February 6, and both were authored by Sen. Jerry Relph (R -St. Cloud). Together the bills are aimed at easing the workforce shortage ...

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Excessive regulations compound the state’s care crisis

Excessive regulations compound the state’s care crisis Minnesota’s providers of home and community based services for people with disabilities face a serious workforce crisis. The Star Tribune reported last year that there are 9,000 open positions in this field. This dilemma has been years in the making and can be attributed in part to a shrinking labor pool, greater service demands and ...

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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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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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Editor’s Column – January 2017

We have celebrated the beginning of the New Year. I am glad we have 2016 behind us, but I'm also apprehensive of the upcoming political changes. The year was not a choice one for me personally; I lost several very close childhood friends, and most importantly, my father, whom I have tried and will continue ...

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Staying healthy in these stressful times

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. But the goal of this article is to get us all to play! And be happy. And be healthy. For the sake of sounding very dramatic, it’s imperative that we, in particular, take care of our health and our lives, facing some of the stresses going on ...

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Gains in services must be protected

When I was injured more than 55 years ago, I knew of no state services for people with disabilities. I stayed at home with mother, dad and brother. Dad, mom and brother acted as personal care attendants (PCA) for me in the early years. Then my brother was drafted into Army and was killed in ...

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