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Access Press - Minnesota's Disability Community Newspaper

Columns

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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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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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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Editor’s Column – December 2016

As the year wraps up, I’ve got a few things I’d like to look back on and people I’d like to recognize. First off, there’s Cliff Poetz, the 2016 Charlie Smith Award winner. We had a great celebration last month recapping his advocacy work. Charlie Larkin, retired director of the Institute on Community Integration, introduced ...

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Editor’s Column – October 2016

Dear Governor Dayton, I hope your hip surgeries were successful. I haven’t heard much more about it or your rehabilitation in the news, so I am assuming it all went well without any resulting restrictions on your movement. I also hope you aren’t living with a lot of residual pain. On top of all that, you live daily with the stress ...

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By the numbers – Is there really a shortage of PCAs? Here’s an analysis

Most of us who read Access Press have seen reports about a growing lack of personal care attendants (PCAs). Our Executive Director/Editor, Tim Benjamin, quite eloquently has written several compelling editorials about this apparent shortage of workers in PCA jobs in Minnesota labor market. He is not alone. Many others are voicing similar opinions. But are these reports and opinions accurate, reliable ...

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Editor’s Column – August 2016

After focusing pretty hard for the last few months on home-based care and PCA reimbursement rates, it’s probably no surprise that I have a couple related events to talk about this month. One of them is the Direct Care/Workforce Summit held by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) on July 26, the same day ...

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Submissions are sought for the History Note

Want to be part of history? Organizational histories, stories about remarkable people from the past, moments in Minnesota history and other topics will be considered for the Access Press monthly History Note column. The History Note is a monthly newspaper column generously sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. The column was written for many years by Luther Granquist, who still ...

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Guest Editorial – Carrie Salberg

Guest Editorial – Carrie Salberg It’s February, we’re digging out of our first major winter storm of the season, and love is in the air—or at least in the candy and greeting card aisles in retail stores. As a 30-something single disabled woman, I know first-hand the ups and downs involved in the search for love: the trials of meeting people online, awkward first dates, butterflies, ...

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From Our Community: Assisted suicide guidelines protect patients

My name is Dr. Seth Morgan. I am a board-certified clinical neurologist and fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. I am also disabled by multiple sclerosis and serve as district activist leader for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and am chairman of my county’s Commission on People with Disabilities. I provide these credentials not to speak officially for ...

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Editor’s Column – December 2015

We finally got some snow on the ground with just a few days left in 2015—and then it melted in our 40-degree week. We can only hope that the rest of the winter is as mild as it’s been. Good news from Commissioner Myron Frans of the Minnesota Management and Budget Department on the state’s financial forecast. The available balance ...

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Editor’s Column – November 2015

Over the last couple years we’ve had some very influential locals leave Minnesota to contribute to the disability community in a bigger way. The most recent is Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano, vice president of programs for the  Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, who has been selected to be Gallaudet University’s eleventh president. Gallaudet University was established in 1856 as a grammar school ...

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Editor’s Column – August 2014

No need to talk about the weather this month: it’s been pretty perfect. Besides, there’s just too much else going on. There were several landmark anniversaries in the last few weeks. First was the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I spent Sunday, July 26, with many friends, colleagues and allies at the Minnesota History Center at a celebration ...

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Final push for the ADA took time, political process

At the beginning of the George H. W. Bush presidential administration, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became the charge of disability lobbyists, including Patrisha Wright of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and Democratic lawmakers. Democratic Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, working with Wright, rewrote a more conservative version of the ADA of 1988 than the ...

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Editor’s Column – May 2015

I’m wearing a short sleeve shirt today for the first time this season. I’m sitting in my office with the window open, too, and am very comfortable. Summer warmth has officially begun. I hope it sticks around. The end of the 2015 legislative session is around the corner. The gavel will fall to end the session ...

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Editor’s column – March 2015

Here’s something exciting to offer in this last month of winter. We have a new option for reading Access Press. Now, in our new E-Edition, you can view the paper just as it looks on the news stand at your local drop site. With the support of IMED Mobility, we are offering this as a ...

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Editor’s Column – January 2015

Editor’s Column – January 2015 At the New Year, it’s good to look backwards and forwards. Access Press had a successful 2014, publishing 12 issues that were jam-packed with good information on upcoming events, people and places around the country, as well as progress reports on local public policy developments and a few success stories. We are fortunate to have a talented and loyal staff and a ...

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Editor’s Column – December 2014

At Access Press, as the year closes, we’re looking ahead to the January opening of the new legislative session. But December is also “awards month” at the Access Press news desk, and we’re pleased to give you highlights of recent awards events in the community. Several disability support organizations close the year by bestowing honors on ...

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Editor’s Column – October 2014

All the signs of the upcoming winter are here: chilly nights, trees turning colors, leaves falling, school kids wearing long pants and hooded jackets. In our house, we brought up our winter clothes, took down the short-sleeved shirts and unpacked the winter blankets. The dog is enjoying being outside more, and the cat is starting ...

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Editor’s Column – September 2014

I hope everybody who attended the state fair had a great time. The record-breaking attendance is probably related to the good weather for this year’s great Minnesota get-together. If you have an interesting story to tell about your experience, please send it to us; we want to share some fair memories online. Our annual banquet is ...

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History Note: Stories bring the message of discrimination

History Note: Stories bring the message of discrimination The path to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was paved by storytellers, not just a few, but thousands of storytellers across the nation. More than 5,000 stories were collected by disability rights activist Justin Dart, to show the range of issues faced by people with disabilities and the barriers that limit ability to actively ...

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Editor’s Column – July 2014

I’m enjoying the summer, in between rainstorms. This past month has been the wettest in years throughout the state, and the Mississippi River was past flood stage in downtown St. Paul. There are discussions about calling a special session for flood relief for many rural Minnesota communities. Let’s all hope that crops aren’t choked out ...

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Editor’s Column – May 2014

Access Press will be celebrating its 25th anniversary, starting with this issue. This milestone anniversary is truly a tribute to the Minnesota disability community. It is the strong sense of community that has kept the paper flourishing over the years. There have been many ups and downs, steps forward and a couple steps backward, but ...

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Spring into planting a sensory garden

Spring into planting a sensory garden May is the start of outdoor gardening season in Minnesota. Adaptive gardening is a great way to get outdoors, get exercise and grow delicious produce or beautiful flowers. Gardening also provides vital sensory experiences. Many people underestimate how soothing an outdoor space can be to someone who is disabled or elderly. A garden can be an ...

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