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Access Press - Minnesota's Disability Community Newspaper

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Families call for state intervention, parental fees ‘out of control’

Families call for state intervention, parental fees ‘out of control’ High fees are keeping too many Minnesota families out of the Medical Assistance/ Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) program. Families in the program make many sacrifices to pay fees meant to keep children with disabilities healthy and living in the community. More than 50 parents and children gathered January 28 in Roseville to share their ...

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Longtime community leader Bjerkesett gave many a place to call home

Longtime community leader Bjerkesett gave many a place to call home Countless people with disabilities have enjoyed accessible housing, thanks to Michael Bjerkesett. Bjerkesett’s death January 18 sent shock waves through his large circle of friends and triggered an outpouring of sadness from around the world. Family and friends recall his twinkling eyes, ready smile and zest for life. A celebration of his life was held ...

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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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Providing digital access – Accessible360 helps make websites, apps accessible

Providing digital access – Accessible360 helps make websites, apps accessible Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has ensured equal opportunity for Americans who live with physical and mental conditions that limit their means. While wheelchair ramps, closed captioning and wider doorways have become commonplace, the digital realm still lags behind. Accessible360, founded by entrepreneur Mark Lacek, seeks to fix that oversight. The company’s purpose ...

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History Note – Many women played key roles in the passage of the ADA

In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month. A special presidential proclamation is issued every year to honor the extraordinary achievements of women in the United States. Countless women with disabilities have played key roles in the disability rights movement, the movement from institutionalization to community living, education reforms and the passage of the ...

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In Memoriam – February 2017

Moran was a skilled interpreter Deaf and hard-of-hearing Minnesotans remember Kathy Moran for her work as an advocate as well as a skilled interpreter. Moran was honored in January at a Minneapolis memorial service. She died weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. “She wanted to make sure that deaf folks could participate in life as fully ...

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People and Places – February 2017

People and Places – February 2017 Six Twin Cities arts groups receive arts access grants Six Twin Cities arts organizations have been awarded ADA Access Im­provement Grants by VSA Minnesota. The nonprofits will use grants, totaling $67,320, to make arts programs more accessible to people with disabilities. Funded projects include Artabil­ity, part of People Incorporated, St. Paul, which encourages mental health through visual ...

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People shouldn’t have to live in poverty to get help they need

On February 1 I testified on behalf of Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MNCCD) before the Senate Committee on Human Services Reform and Policy. We support the governor’s budget increase for Minnesota Supplemental Aid—Housing Assistance (MSA-HA), but we also request consideration for MNCCD’s other top priorities: Enhancements and upgrades to Consumer Directed Community Supports ...

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Regional News in Review – February 2017

Human rights offices are proposed Gov. Mark Dayton's two-year budget plan seeks an additional $2.3 million to add human rights offices in Rochester, Duluth, and Worthington. Each office would have two employees. Currently, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has offices in St. Paul and St. Cloud. The budget would also add a second employee at the ...

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Accessible Events and Opportunities – February 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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Feb. 2017 issue

Here's the Feb. 2017 issue, please note you may need to create a log in to read and/or download the .pdf. Enjoy!    

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Minnesota Legislature starts complex, contentious session

Minnesota Legislature starts complex, contentious session The 2017 Minnesota Legislaturegaveled into session January 3, launching one of the most potentially complex and contentious sessions in recent years. State lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton must reach agreement on a two-year budget for the state, or face a crippling government shutdown like the one in 2011. All side must also reach agreement on what ...

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Winter requires preparation

Winter has Minnesota in its grasp, so be prepared for ice, snow and cold. People with disabilities should always take extra precautions to stay safe. Being prepared before heading out into potential bad weather strikes is essential. Almost all television stations and the National Weather Service also offer weather updates via smart technology. Find your community’s resource ...

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History Note: Parallels in Time offers fascinating history of disability

In commemoration of the 45th Anniversary of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities in 2016, the council has released a revised Parallels in Time. It combines the original Parallels in Time, documenting the history of disabilities from 1500 B.C to 1950 published on the 25th anniversary of the Council, and Parallels in Time 2, ...

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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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People and Places – January 2017

People and Places – January 2017 Seven programs honored for excellence in human services Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Emily Piper recently honored seven programs from across the state for outstanding contributions to human services clients. Recipients of the 2016 Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Awards were recognized at a ceremony at the Elmer L. Andersen Human Services Building in St. ...

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In Memoriam – January 2017

Woehrlin remembered for efforts at capitol The Arc Minnesota has lost one of its heroes. Mary “Molly” Woehrlin died December 23. She was 84 and lived in Northfield. Woehrlin grew up on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, and attended Northrop School in Minneapolis and Smith College. She married William Woehrlin in 1953. She came from a loving ...

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Accessible Events & Opportunities – January 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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Regional News in Review – January 2017

University program focuses on mental health A few dozen University of Minnesota faculty members in late 2016 started receiving training through a pilot program that organizers hope can help promote good mental health and support students in need of help. The Minnesota Daily reported that the new "mental health advocates" program teaches faculty and staff how to ...

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Thanks to all! Help us bring you your news

Thanks to all! Help us bring you your news Access Press, Minnesota’s disability news source, is marking 26 years of providing news and information for Minnesotans with disabilities, their family members, caregivers, friends, and allies. We recently celebrated 14 years of honoring the legacy of our founding editor, Charlie Smith, with our annual banquet. For 2016 the Access Press Charlie Smith Award was presented to ...

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Lupus Foundation of Minnesota marks 40 years’ service

Lupus Foundation of Minnesota marks 40 years’ service The year was 1976. Jimmy Carter was elected president, the United States was celebrating its Bicentennial, Rocky was in movie theaters, Viking I landed on Mars, Apple Computer Company was just getting its start, a postage stamp cost 13 cents, and a handful of dedicated individuals saw a need to support people with lupus in ...

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Updating on major issues

Milestones have been reached on issues affecting Minnesotans with disabilities. These issues, all of which Access Press has been following over the past several months, center on mental health, waiver services and employment. One huge step is that Minnesotans who have faced long waits for waiver services may finally be seeing some relief. In November state ...

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Holiday lights recycling offered in Twin Cities area

Did the holiday lights fizzle and not dazzle when the strings were plugged in? Do extra electrical, phone and appliance cords clutter a closet or drawer? Recycle those materials and provide jobs for people with disabilities. ProAct, Inc. has announced the start of its annual Holiday Lights Recycling program, with 27 drop-off locations. New drop ...

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NAMI Minnesota honors outstanding people and programs

NAMI Minnesota honors outstanding people and programs Awards were presented at the organization’s annual conference November 5 in St. Paul. NAMI Minnesota is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of children and adults with mental illnesses and their families through its programs of education, support and advocacy. The awards were presented by Sue Abderholden, NAMI’s executive director. Roseville resident Anna Mae ...

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Live Well at Home grants support programs for elders

Live Well at Home grants support programs for elders [caption id="attachment_21303" align="aligncenter" width="364"] The Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul assists the homeless. Photo courtesy of Catholic Charities[/caption] Services to provide and improve housing for older adults who are homeless or at risk of being so are among the many programs funded with Live Well at Home grants administered by the Minnesota Department of Human ...

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