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Mark Braun, our 2017 Charlie Smith Award Winner

Mark Braun, our 2017 Charlie Smith Award Winner      

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Independent living skills offer community ties

Independent living skills offer community ties By Jan Willms A young woman with disabilities loves to play cards, but she has no one to play cards with. In steps her independent living skills (ILS) worker, who spends three hours playing card games with her. Sometimes an act of human contact and fulfilling an emotional need is a big part of the service provided ...

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MOHR honors many of Minnesota’s outstanding employers

MOHR honors many of Minnesota’s outstanding employers To recognize the important role that organizations play in employing people with disabilities, the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) honored several companies with its inaugural Outstanding Disability Employer Awards. The awards coincided with National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October and were presented at events held around the state. One award was given ...

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Editor’s Column – November 2017

It’s winter and they’re predicting a warmer season than previous years—except for those who predict a colder winter. Wouldn’t you know it, though, both NOAA, the federal weather organization, and the Farmer’s Almanac are saying that November and December will be colder than normal. That gives us no time to acclimate to the cold. So, ...

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JFK’s other civil rights work: for people with disabilities

President John F. Kennedy’s centennial is being celebrated in 2017. Born in Brookline, Mass. on May 29, 1917, he was the youngest president ever elected to office. Kennedy is recalled for many contributions he made in just over 1,000 days in office: the space program, the resolution of the Cuban Missile crisis and his efforts to ...

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People and Places – November 2017

People and Places – November 2017 UCare hires new leader Mark Traynor is now the president and CEO of UCare, after holding the interim spot for several months. Macaran Baird, chairman of the UCare Board of Directors, announced the hire. “I am very pleased about this new direction for UCare,” said Baird. “Mark is the right leader for the organization at this time. ...

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Accessible Events – November 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 a weekly listing ...

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2003-2017 Access Press Award Winners

2003-2017 Access Press Award Winners

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Opportunities lacking for people with disabilities

Opportunities lacking for people with disabilities In the seven-county Twin Cities region, people with disabilities have fewer opportunities for employment, housing, and economic well-being. Because the prevalence of disabilities increases as people age, the region’s population of people with disabilities is likely to risk as demographics change. A new Council MetroStats research report, Understanding Disparities by Ability Status in the Twin ...

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Your Letters – Thanks to unsung heroes

The upcoming holiday season reminds us to be grateful. I am an African American woman, living with multiple disabilities. I am grateful for an experience I had crossing an intersection to the downtown light rail train. I was wheeling in in my motorized wheelchair several years ago in August near the Blue Line light rail train moving ...

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Regional News in Review – November 2017

Regional News in Review – November 2017 Intermedia Arts to sell building Intermedia Arts now plans to move ahead with the sale of its landmark building in Uptown Minneapolis, after laying off all its staff in September. The sale marks the end of an era for the region’s arts community, including artists with disabilities. The graffiti art-covered building has hosted gallery shows, festivals, theater ...

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Radio Talking Book – November 2017

Facts about Radio Talking Book The State of Minnesota’s Radio Talking Book is the world’s first radio reading service for the blind, visually impaired, and those with disabilities that impede them from reading print. RTB’s on-air date was January 2, 1969. Within six years similar services emerged across the country, and in 1975 the Association ...

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November 2017 Edition

Here's the entire November 2017 edition of Access Press in .pdf format. Please note you may need to create a log in to view and/or download the file. Enjoy!      

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Changes to skyway hours seen as a barrier to many

Changes to skyway hours seen as a barrier to many For St. Paul Lowertown resident Chris Beckstrom, skyways provide safe passage at night and in inclement weather. He uses a power chair and struggles to get around on snow and ice-covered sidewalks. Nancie has lived and worked in downtown St. Paul for more than 40 years. Downtown living is convenient for someone with lifelong disabilities. She ...

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Care issues scrutinized by committee

February 20, 2018 may be months away. But state lawmakers, Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) staff and people with disabilities are already preparing for the 2018 legislative session’s start. The Senate Committee on Human Services Reform, Finance and Policy met September 20 to review home and community-based services. The issues are being reviewed now with ...

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History Note: Inclusive employment is celebrated every October

Inclusion Drives Innovation is the message in October, as the United States marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Around the nation, Americans celebrate the need for inclusion in employment and the contribution of workers with disabilities. The event has been marked for more than 70 years. It has undergone many changes during that time. In 1945, ...

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From Our Community: Share your experiences with the Quality of Life Survey

From Our Community: Share your experiences with the Quality of Life Survey It has been quite a journey to create the Minnesota Olmstead Plan—a dynamic, visionary roadmap for improving life for Minnesotans with disabilities. Over the course of my three years leading the Minnesota Olmstead Implementation Office, I have learned that, along with using this road map, we must also work alongside the people with disabilities—listening to ...

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From Our Community: Help Metro Mobility provide better service for riders, help the drivers

There are many reasons to like Metro Mobility. It gets us to jobs, medical appointments, places of fun and interest, shopping and to see our friends. Drivers will help with packages and wheelchairs and many other things. Most drivers are willing to drive 10-12 hours a day, in an overloaded system that causes them to ...

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In Memoriam – October 2017

Kosmoski was a true team player Hamline University and Concordia University-St. Paul athletes are honoring a staff member and long-time volunteer for both athletic departments. Jed “Kos” Kosmoski was remembered September 12 at a memorial service at Concordia. He was 44 and died of pancreatitis during a family vacation in August. Kosmoski had a medical condition that ...

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Accessible Events – October 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 a weekly listing ...

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Regional News in Review – October 2017

Regional News in Review – October 2017 Accessible playgrounds are open Three Twin Cities are communities have opened playgrounds that children with disabilities can enjoy. Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 opened its first accessible playground this fall. The new playground at the Gideon Pond Elementary in Burnsville features a rubber floor, which unlike wood chips, works well with walkers and wheelchairs. A mother whose daughter ...

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People and Places

Autism Society of Minnesota announces hiring of executive director The Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM), has announced the selection of Ellie Wilson as its new executive director. “Ellie brings diverse strengths and experiences to AuSM,” said Jean Bender, AuSM’s Board of Directors president. “Her passion for the Minnesota autism community is evidenced by the great work she ...

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October 2017 edition

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

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2017 Charlie Smith Award winner tirelessly makes a difference

2017 Charlie Smith Award winner tirelessly makes a difference Athlete and advocate Mark Braun works to make a difference, one person at a time. His own difficult start in life has resulted in a giving spirit and a desire to help others. As a teen, Braun set the pace for Minnesota high school wheelchair athletes. He is an advocate for people with disabilities, with a ...

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Retirement awaits: New chapter for Radio Talking Book’s Holland

Retirement awaits: New chapter for Radio Talking Book’s Holland When Stuart Holland stepped down as manager of Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network September 5, he didn’t call it a retirement. “I think more of it as a transition rather than a retirement,” Holland said. He was a state employee since 1975, and with Radio Talking Book since 1986. “That’s a long time,” he said, “and ...

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