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Adjourn May 22: Legislature, governor negotiate as talks go down to the wire

Adjourn May 22: Legislature, governor negotiate as talks go down to the wire Brick-and-mortar projects and a bevy of programs and service important to the disability community hang in the balance as the 2017 Minnesota Legislature nears its May 22 adjournment date. Gov. Mark Dayton and leaders in the House and Senate were meeting on budget issues as Access Press went to press. Dayton and Republican leaders of ...

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Deadline is approaching: Nominate someone for Charlie Smith Award

Deadline is approaching: Nominate someone for Charlie Smith Award Someone out there works every day to provide outstanding service to Minnesotans with disabilities. That someone works for change in the community, lobbies policymakers, works to promote equal rights and equal opportunity or quietly helps out as needed. That someone may be one person, two people or an entire organization. Think about those special “someones” as ...

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Survey shows key changes in attitudes

How do Minnesotans feel about their neighbors with developmental disabilities? Some attitudes have changed for the better over the past 50 years. Other beliefs are cause for alarm and show that there is much progress to be made. Those are key conclusion drawn from a survey released this spring by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on ...

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May 2017 Issue Sponsors: DHS, SEIU HEALTHCARE working together to address workforce challenge

May 2017 Issue Sponsors: DHS, SEIU HEALTHCARE working together to address workforce challenge DHS and SEIU are involved in a joint effort to help meet this challenge. The State of Minnesota and SEIU reached a collective bargaining agreement in 2015 that includes strategies to improve workers’ skills and match workers with people who need workers. One focus is to provide free classroom and online training to workers to ...

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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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History Note: Gillette marks 120 years’ groundbreaking service to children

What is now Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare is celebrating 120 years’ service to the community. Supporters gathered at the capitol April 25 to mark the occasion. On April 23, 1897, the Minnesota Legislature established Gillette as the nation’s first hospital specializing in care for children with complex medical conditions. The hospital was established at a time ...

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Sign up now for Partners in Policymaking 2017-18 training series

Sign up now for Partners in Policymaking 2017-18 training series Minnesota’s nationally recognized Partners in Policymaking program is open for applications for the 2017-2018 year. Deadline to apply for the free, in-depth leadership training program is July 10. Many people with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities have taken part in the program, and have learned to better advocate for their needs. Partners ...

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Scott Adams Cartoon – May 2017

Scott Adams Cartoon – May 2017

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Students with disabilities can try for new college program

In an effort to help reduce the education and prosperity gap in Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas is opening the Dougherty Family College for the 2017-18 school year. The college is now accepting applications for its first class of students. “A college degree is one of the best ways to beat poverty,” said Mike Dougherty, ...

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Advocates work for access improvements The St. Cloud area Advocates for Independence and the McDonalds McStop restaurant located on Clearwater Road in St. Cloud recently worked together to discuss changes to improve the dining experience for people with disabilities. McDonalds management then implemented the changes. Advocates for Independence committee is a group that speaks out on disability ...

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He defies laws of gravity to brew beer

He defies laws of gravity to brew beer Like most other daily activities for anyone who uses a wheelchair, gravity is only a helpful tool if items are within arm’s reach. For Dave Luskey, who damaged his T12 vertebrae in a fall seven years ago, using a wheelchair meant a huge life change. It also changed his award-winning home brewing hobby. The accident and ...

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People and Places – May 2017

People and Places – May 2017 Housing option is celebrated The $10.3 million project is a partnership between Jewish Housing and Programming (J-HAP) and Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC), a nonprofit affordable housing developer. Cornerstone Creek is affordable, independent housing that allows tenants to hold their own leased, control their finances, select their service provider and maintain their own private space. “I think all ...

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In Memoriam – May 2017

In Memoriam – May 2017 After years of isolation, Gray thrived with integration Newport resident Suzy Gray lived a life that was a model for community integration. Gray died in April at her home in Newport, just days before her 56th birthday. Born in Indianapolis, Suzy Gray spent much of her life in institutions. She lived with developmental and physical disabilities, including ...

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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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Radio Talking Book – May 2017

 Programming change Sunday night programming has a few programs that focus on blindness and disabilities. One of those that we receive from elsewhere has shifted their production so that we need to shift our programming. Beginning on Sunday, May 7, our first and third Sundays will still feature Main Menu, and our final Sunday of the ...

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Health, independence are conference topics

Healthy, independent living is the focus of a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD). Save the date of Tuesday, October 3 and make plans to attend the conference at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, Minneapolis. The church is accessible. Keynote speaker will be Henry Emmons. Emmons is a doctor and author ...

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Accessible Events and Opportunities – May 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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Uncertainty is the watchword as session is winding down

Uncertainty is the watchword as session is winding down These are troubling times for Minnesotans with disabilities and their allies. Mixed news on proposed health and human services budgets at the state capitol has many advocates wondering what more they can do to gain support. Although several programs are in line for funds, two efforts that haven’t yet gained budget traction are the Best ...

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Be aware of weather, stay safe this season

Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 17-21, but Minnesotans have already seen tornadoes and severe thunderstorms this year. That’s why it’s crucial for people with disabilities to be prepared well before thunderstorms roll in or a tornado siren sounds. Have a plan and be ready. Pay attention to weather and know what terms mean. A severe ...

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Challenges remain: Capitol accessibility improvements praised

Renovation of Minnesota’s capitol is nearly complete. The verdict on accessibility by members of the disability community is primarily positive, with a few things that could be improved. Curt Yoakum, assistant commissioner in the state’s Department of Administration, said a staff team recently toured the restored capitol with Minnesota State Council on Disability (MSCOD). The capitol ...

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History Note: Life in, after institutionalization is documentary focus

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month was in March. But it’s never too late to see videos prepared by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (MnCDD), to learn about historical efforts and accomplishments to advance the cause of integration and inclusion for people with disabilities. Faces of Inclusion and Integration tells powerful stories of lives changed. The ...

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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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Accessible Events & Services – April 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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