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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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Workforce recommendations moving ahead

Key recommendations from a report on Minnesota’s direct care worker crisis are moving ahead, with support from the Minnesota Olmstead Subcabinet. While much work remains to make the recommendations become reality, advocates are pleased to see progress. The subcabinet, which oversees work to make Minnesota and its government agencies more inclusive to people with disabilities, approved ...

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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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Editor’s Column – December 2018

Winter has arrived, snow is on the ground, and the holidays are just around the corner with lots of celebrating after the anxiety-filled shopping. If you're an online shopper and shop on Amazon, make sure you use Amazon Smile. You can easily get Amazon to donate to Access Press by shopping at Smile.Amazon.com. Just register ...

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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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Triathlon was St. Paul teen’s latest adventure

Triathlon was St. Paul teen’s latest adventure Before he was old enough to vote, St. Paul Highland Park neighborhood resident Louie McGee had competed in a triathlon, started a nonprofit organization, won a presidential award and appeared on the cover of a national publication. That’s just a small sample of what the Cretin-Derham Hall senior has accomplished— and he has done it all ...

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Dismay as key workforce report proposals fail to move ahead

Dismay as key workforce report proposals fail to move ahead A delay in acting on recommendations to address Minnesota’s direct care worker crisis has people with disabilities and their advocates wondering what more they can do to get action. Thousands struggle to find needed support staff. The report, Recommendations to Expand, Diversify, and Improve Minnesota’s Direct Care and Support Workforce Workplan, was reviewed by the Olmstead ...

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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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Editor’s Column – November 2018

This November is the first one in 15 years when we haven’t held the Charlie Smith Awards banquet. I missed the ceremony, and I even missed the work that it took to put it together (although the heaviest load was always carried by my coworkers, Dawn, Michelle, Jane, and Board members who started months before ...

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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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People and Places – November 2018

People and Places – November 2018 Treehouse Foods, DARTS honored for employment efforts in disability community ProAct has announced its awards for 2018, honoring a food supplier and a services provider. Providing excellent work opportunities for people with disabilities based at ProAct in Eagan, Treehouse Foods and DARTS received annual awards. Treehouse Foods, a large food supplier, is the 2018 Business Partner of the ...

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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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