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Access Press - Minnesota's Disability Community Newspaper

Regional News in Review

‘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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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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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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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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November 2018 edition

Here's the November 2018 edition in its entirety, in pdf form.  Please note you may need to create a log in to read and/or download the file. Enjoy!    

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Regional News in Review – November 2018

Regional News in Review – November 2018 Websites become access target Parking lots and building need to be accessible, so websites should be, too. Minnesota has its first lawsuit centered on inaccessible government websites. This fall Noah J. McCourt, a disability advocate with autism from Waconia, sued Carver County and the cities of Norwood Young America and Chanhassen in U.S. District Court. McCourt contends ...

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VOTE ON OR BEFORE NOVEMBER 6: Take advantage of accommodations to cast election ballots

VOTE ON OR BEFORE NOVEMBER 6: Take advantage of accommodations to cast election ballots Minnesotans will be voting for U.S. House and Senate, governor, Minnesota House members and state office holders on Tuesday, November 6. In some communities, voters will be choosing local elected officials and weighing in on ballot questions or referendums. Many disability advocacy groups have or will host election events this fall. Newspapers and online news sources ...

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Regional News in Review – October 2018

Regional News in Review – October 2018 Thompson Hall is fundraising focus Thompson Hall is fundraising focus Deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing Minnesotans are rallying to raise funds for the Charles Thompson Memorial Hall in St Paul. The social hall, which is more than a century old, is the focus of a campaign to make the building handicapped-accessible. The hall is more than ...

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October 2018 edition

Here's the October 2018 edition in .pdf format.  Please note you may need to create a log-in to download and/or read the document. Enjoy!        

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Handi Medical is going strong

Handi Medical is going strong Thirty years ago Mary Miller was studying nursing and working as a personal care assistant to Darcy Pohland, a Twin Cities reporter who had broken her neck in a diving accident. When Miller called for medical supplies, she would often have to wait two weeks for delivery. When a wheelchair needed repair, she was told ...

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September Issue Sponsor – MRCI

September Issue Sponsor – MRCI Direct support professionals can change lives By Lisa Cownie, MRCI Strategic Writer As Laura Elkins watches her two daughters, ages 9 and 7, play in her backyard she doesn’t take it for granted. A few years ago, just letting them outside to play wasn’t really an option. Her oldest daughter, Brynn, is what Laura describes as ...

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Regional New in Review – September 2018

Massive complaint backlog resolved State health regulators have eliminated a massive backlog of unresolved complaints alleging abuse and neglect at Minnesota senior care facilities. They are also committing to speed up investigations into new complaints. That’s a huge turnaround from taking months if not years to get complaints handled. Those delays infuriated family members of abuse ...

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Minneapolis bike paths’ barriers limit access, generate frustration

Minneapolis bike paths’ barriers limit access, generate frustration By the Minnesota Council on Disability The City of Minneapolis’ Public Works Department recently started installing concrete bike lane barriers that limit access for many residents and visitors with disabilities. The concrete barriers measure about six inches high and are between 18 and 24 inches wide. The concrete barrier separate the bike lane, which is next ...

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Accessible Events & Activities – August 2018

Accessible Events & Activities – August 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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Fight against incontinence products program continues with more allies

Minnesotans who rely on incontinence products, medical products suppliers and legislators are continuing to try to block enforcement of the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Preferred Incontinence Product Program (PIPP). The program, which was approved in the waning hours of the 2017 special session of the Minnesota Legislature, is seen as taking away choice ...

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Sanctions for scam artists, fake service animals took effect August 1

The vetoes of major policy and spending bills meant gains were sparse at the capitol in 2018. However, some key bills were signed into law this spring. Two very different laws went into effect August 1, affecting people with disabilities and elders. Scam artists who target senior citizens and vulnerable adults will face more sanctions, as ...

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Regional News in Review – July 2018

Regional News in Review – July 2018 Agreements reached with schools The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has reached agreements with nine more school districts and charter schools to reduce disparities in suspensions for students with disabilities, American Indian students and students of color. This brings the total to 20 districts and charter schools. The latest agreements were reached with Bemidji Public Schools, Columbia ...

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Accessible Events & Activities – July 2018

Accessible Events & Activities – July 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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July 2018 edition

Here's the entire July 2018 edition, in .pdf format.  Please note you may need to create a login to download and/or read this file. Enjoy!      

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Supports, special education funds fall to governor’s veto pen

Supports, special education funds fall to governor’s veto pen Months of work disappeared with a few pen strokes as Gov. Mark Dayton May 23 vetoed the 2018 Minnesota Legislature’s major bills. Dayton nixed the tax and supplemental budget bills, sparking a war of words with the Republican-led House and Senate. The vetoes include money to rectify a looming seven percent cut in waiver services and ...

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Services face uncertainties after veto

Services face uncertainties after veto One of the biggest disappointments of the 2018 legislative session is the failure to address a seven percent cut to the funding many Minnesotans with disabilities rely on to live, work and participate in their communities. The first round of the cut takes effect July 1. With no special legislative session to address the cut ...

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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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Regional News in Review – June 2018

Regional News in Review – June 2018 Autism Friendly Austin a success A southern Minnesota community’s initiative around autism is a success. Autism Friendly Austin provide activities for families with children on the autism spectrum, including respite nights at the local YMCA. Parents get a break and children have time to meet and play with other children. Children can play basketball, swim in ...

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