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Access Press - Minnesota's Disability Community Newspaper

Editorials

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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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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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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LETTERS: Self-advocacy group needs help with bills

To the editor: Self Advocates Leading Together (SALT) is about people with disabilities learning about their rights, how to ask for them in an assertive way, and making sure our voices get heard, as well as getting together and having a great time. The group meets the first and third Thursday of each month, at locations in ...

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Looking for legislative agendas

With the Minnesota Legislature starting its 2019 session on January 8, it’s time for disability advocacy organizations and groups to bring forward ideas for state spending and policy changes. Access Press is interested in receiving legislative agendas for publication in our December and January issues. Deadline for December is Monday, November 26 and deadline for January ...

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Editor’s Desk – October 2018

We have a lot to talk about this month. People all over are working on getting the workforce shortage under control. It's becoming more and more evident that in almost every field, the low unemployment rate is creating a huge shortage of available workers, and pushing wages up. Last year, I wrote about seeing a ...

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY: Work requirements for Medicaid would do more harm than good

By Alicia Munson The Arc Minnesota Public Policy Director The health care that people with disabilities receive through Medicaid has been a lifeline for over half a century. Medicaid means lifesaving prescriptions, therapies and treatments, increasing life expectancies and survival from once fatal injuries and situations. Creating burdensome barriers to Medicaid (Medical Assistance, or MA, in Minnesota) won’t ...

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Editor’s Column – September 2018

Summer is moving out fast. Hope you’re enjoying the last few days of warm, sunny weather. They all seem more treasured in September than they did in July. I guess that’s like so many things in life: when they become rare, and we can see their end coming, we treasure them all the more. Good news ...

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Editor’s Column – August 2018

July 26 was a big day in the disability community. We had the 28th ADA celebration at the Science Museum of Minnesota, with a theme focused on mental health. Once again the celebration was well attended and there was a plethora of entertainment. The Sam Miltich and Friends band played amazing jazz music, and Sam ...

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY: Voting in person a challenge for people with disabilities

Earlier this year, independent nonprofit and public policy organization Pew Charitable Trust exposed Kathy Hoell's long-term struggle of voting with disabilities. Poll workers in Nebraska took Hoell to stairs. She uses a wheelchair. Hoell was also told that she was not smart enough to vote, leading to the conclusion that she is a second-class citizen. Like ...

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FROM OUR COMMUNITY: Time to raise the volume on inclusion and opportunity for all

by Julie Johnson, MOHR and Sue Schettie, AARM The community of those working for continual progress towards a more inclusive and supportive Minnesota for people with disabilities entered 2018 with cautious optimism that this would be a year for making real advances in public policy. A host of advocacy priorities from a combination of groups sought greater ...

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Editor’s Column – July 2018

I’m writing this on a perfect summer morning, but there haven’t been too many of them so far this year. It’s been a long, hot summer and it’s only July. Maybe the weather seems worse because the news in healthcare legislation has also been so rough this summer. We’ve had some difficult cuts in services and ...

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From Our Community: Take the number of lives lost seriously, fund suicide prevention

It’s been a little over two weeks since the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain and the Centers for Disease Control report on the dramatic increase in suicides in our country. Calls to suicide helplines went up, some people made calls to loved ones and friends to check up on them, a few people ...

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Your Letters are Welcome

Your Letters are Welcome Access Press welcomes letters to the editor and commentary pieces from readers, on topics of interest to Minnesota’s disability community. Letters should be no more than 500 words, with 750 words per commentary. Ask the editors if more space is needed. Letters and guest commentaries must be signed by the authors. With letters, a writer’s hometown ...

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Too much important work left undone on mental health issues

Too much important work left undone on mental health issues After months of work, the House, Senate and the governor seem unable to reconcile their differences on the omnibus financial bill. That bill contained funding that would have addressed key issues facing Minnesota’s mental health system. While it was a positive step to pass a bonding bill in the final hour of the session, too ...

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Access Press’s future looks brighter thanks to generous supporters

Access Press’s future looks brighter thanks to generous supporters Heartfelt thanks to all who have contributed to Access Press in recent weeks and months. Donations large and small have come in after the newspaper board, and staff outlined the financial pressures we were facing. We are thankful for all of you and have enjoyed the notes from people who rely on Minnesota’s disability news resource. ...

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Your Letters are Welcome

Your Letters are Welcome Access Press welcomes letters to the editor and commentary pieces from readers, on topics of interest to Minnesota’s disability community. Letters should be no more than 500 words, with 750 words per commentary. Ask the editors if more space is needed. Letters and guest commentaries must be signed by the authors or authors. With letters, a ...

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June 2018 issue

Here's the entire June 2018 edition, please note you may need to create a login to read and/or download the .pdf file. Enjoy!    

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Editor’s Column – May 2018

With spring’s new growth comes the end of the legislative session, and as usual very little has been done at the Minnesota capitol. In recent years, it is always a waiting game; each side is waiting to see who will fold first. Who’s going to cut taxes and who will get blamed for no tax ...

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People of color with disabilities meet to address issues; join them

We are people working to increase the awareness of civil rights to persons of color with disabilities and the general public. We have convened a group for people of color with disabilities to address the many complicated issues our culture faces as a marginalized community. Our purpose is to bridge communication and build power among ...

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Seven percent formula cut has potential to greatly disrupt lives

Seven percent formula cut has potential to greatly disrupt lives [caption id="attachment_22716" align="aligncenter" width="575"] Lisa and Chris Poppe could lose needed supports if a threatened cut becomes reality.[/caption]   This legislative session has become unexpectedly crucial in determining the future of disability services. Currently, Minnesota uses a formula called the Disability Waiver Rate System (DWRS) to calculate the financial support that individuals receive for home and community-based ...

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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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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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