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Access Press - Minnesota's Disability Community Newspaper

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Community groups rally to halt devastating cuts

Community groups rally to halt devastating cuts Self-advocates and disability-related organizations are rallying to fight a pending seven percent cut to disability services in Minnesota. The cut will start taking effect July 1, unless the Minnesota Legislature takes action. What worries many service providers is that the funds for some services have already been spent. The July 1 cut is expected to affect ...

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Josiah’s Fire shares family’s autism journey

Josiah’s Fire shares family’s autism journey By Jan Willms A diagnosis of severe autism disorder for son Josiah rocked the lives of parents Tahni and Joe Cullen. At 22 months Josiah became nonverbal. Family life became an emotional, financial and spiritual roller-coaster ride. Life changed abruptly when Josiah began writing on his iPad. Words of great wisdom, spirituality and understanding were written daily ...

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Donors vital to our success

Donors vital to our success Donors play an important role in helping bring Access Press to readers every month. As the newspaper staff and board cope with a fiscal crisis, some of our longtime readers and contributors are weighing in.Go here find donation information. Won’t you join our supporters? Here are a few of their stories: A lasting effect Charlie Smith was right ...

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Editor’s Column – April 2018

This legislative session is a high priority for people with disabilities. I say this a lot, but that’s because politics and law require repeating messages over and over, and making efforts over and over. It’s the legislature that can resolve the critical shortage of the PCA program; it’s the legislature that can get positive results ...

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HISTORY NOTE: ‘Changes’ gives a look back at long-ago behavior modification

Fifty years ago Travis Thompson’s documentary CHANGES focused on behavior modification at Faribault State School and Hospital. Food, possibly M & M candies, was used in teaching. Thompson is a licensed psychologist and professor in educational psychology at the University of Minnesota. The black and white 1968 film opens with organ music, played by one of ...

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In Memoriam – April 2018

‘Doctor Tell Me’ was Woyke’s career highlight Carl H. Woyke is remembered as a voice for medical care in Minnesota. Woyke died in February at the age of 95.5 years. Woyke was born in 1922 in Waseca and grew up there. Born with cerebral palsy, he developed a strong sense of humor to cope with his ...

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Accessible Events – April 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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Disability issues still in play as session finish is eyed

As the 2018 Minnesota Legislature enters its final weeks, many disability advocates are increasingly frustrated. A lack of action on several fronts, especially where critical services hang in the balance, adds to urgency and uncertainty. More than 4,000 bills were introduced this session, and many are still up in the air. The second bill deadline was ...

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Work requirements proposal sparks widespread concerns

Work requirements proposal sparks widespread concerns A proposal to force people on Medicaid to verify that they work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week could cost Minnesota counties and the state tens of millions of dollars in extra staff time and systems to track compliance, creating a costly and complex bureaucratic nightmare. It would create significant barriers for Minnesotans ...

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Scott Adams Cartoon

Scott Adams Cartoon

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Regional News in Review – April 2018

Greater Minnesota needs transit help Funding for the public transportation system in Greater Minnesota is falling off pace for what it would cost to pay for growing ridership estimates, according to a state report. By 2025, the tax-supported transit system that serves Minnesotans outside the Twin Cities metro area is scheduled to accommodate 17 million outstate ...

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Legislators wish to collar handlers of fake service animals

Falsely claiming that a pet is a service animal could become a crime in Minnesota. The House March 26 unanimously passed a bill that makes such false claims a misdemeanor. Senate action must wait until after April 9, when state lawmakers return from break. The legislation was brought forward by Rep. Steve Green (R-Fosston). He has ...

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Choice of incontinence products still faces uncertainty

It’s the problem no one talks about. It involves a product many people with disabilities cannot live without. The incontinence supplies available to Minnesotans with disabilities could dramatically change, unless state lawmakers take action before the 2018 legislative session ends May 21. The fight to repeal a 2017 law requiring Minnesota to bid out incontinence products ...

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April is Autism Awareness Month, a time to understand

The first National Autism Awareness Month was declared by the Autism Society in April 1970. The goal is educate the public about autism, and raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This month is backed by the Autism Society of America which undertake a number of activities to raise awareness about autism. The Autism Society has ...

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Radio Talking Book – April 2018

Volunteer Readers Sought Volunteers at Radio Talking Book broadcast local news and information to blind and print-impaired listeners from sites in Duluth, Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud, and St. Paul. We provide timely information to listeners throughout Minnesota and across the nation. If you know someone who may be interested in becoming a ...

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People and Places – April 2018

Teams win adapted hockey titles The Brainerd/Pillar Warriors and the St. Cloud Area Slapshots, took home championship hardware during March’s state adapted hockey tournament. The tournament was held at Bloomington Jefferson High School. The Warriors won their second straight state crown in the PI Division, for student- athletes with physical disabilities. The Warriors defeated the Robins of ...

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April 2018 Edition

Here's the full edition for April 2018, please note you may need to create a login to read and/or download this file. Enjoy!    

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ACCESS PRESS needs your help

ACCESS PRESS needs your  help   Dear Faithful Readers, Access Press needs your help. We’ve been with you for more than 28 years, educating, advocating, illuminating, investigating, revealing, solving, entertaining, raging, urging, grieving, celebrating and honoring you and your friends, family, and supporters in our disability community. We’ve been there for you! Now we need your help to carry on what founder Charlie ...

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Disability Day highlights several key needs

Disability Day highlights several key needs With the 2018 Minnesota Legislature in full swing, disability groups are making the case for a wide range of policy and spending bills. The calls for more spending for needed supports and services is bolstered by the budget forecast released at the end of February. A surplus of $329 million is projected. A deficit had ...

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Paratransit idea meets resistance

Making improvements to Twin Cities area paratransit services calls for Metropolitan Council and Minnesota Legislature action in the months ahead. Recommendations proposed by a task force are touted as providing flexibility and expanding service, while remaining in compliance with state and federal regulations. But the notion of using companies like Uber and Lyft as part ...

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Editor’s Column – March 2018

This month's column is difficult for me to write because it’s an early job ad. Access Press has been a dominant part of my life for many years. I'll be turning 65 in a few months (I know; how did that happen?), and I think it's time for Access Press to hit the “refresh button.” ...

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HISTORY NOTE: MinnesotaCare resulted from work by capitol’s ‘Gang of Seven’

China had its “Gang of Four.” Members who were Communist Party leaders rose to prominence in that country’s Cultural Revolution of the 1970s, but were later charged with treasonous crimes. Minnesota had its “Gang of Seven.” Members who were Independent Republicans (IR) and Democrat-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party members in the Minnesota Legislature rose to prominence for their work ...

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Spotlight is on fetal alcohol syndrome support this session

Spotlight is on fetal alcohol syndrome support this session Awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is growing, as are advocacy efforts in Minnesota. The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) had a record turnout for the February 27 FASD Day at the Capitol. More than 130 people from across the state signed up for this year’s event, which organization leaders said is ...

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY: Now is the time to address and challenge old views on aging

FROM OUR COMMUNITY: Now is the time to address and challenge old views on aging By Emily Piper and Kari Benson Older Minnesotans today serve as workers and volunteers in government, our schools, faith communities, civic organizations, the arts and other places that make our communities vibrant, enjoyable places to live. Older adults already are helping to alleviate a caregiver shortage likely to become more severe in the years to come. ...

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY: All caregivers must also take care of themselves

By Deb Taylor Are you a caregiver? Many people are in this role, but have never identified with the title, “Caregiver.” Often, we think of caregivers as professionals such as doctors, nurses, social workers or home health care workers who provide direct care to the young, sick, disabled or elderly. Although this is one type of caregiver, ...

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