600 Attend 2005 MN Self-Advocacy Conference

Ordean Rosaasen Receives Irving Martin Advocacy Award The 2005 Minnesota Self-Advocacy Conerence held at the St. Paul Radisson Riverfront Hotel […]

Ordean Rosaasen Receives Irving Martin Advocacy Award

The 2005 Minnesota Self-Advocacy Conerence held at the St. Paul Radisson Riverfront Hotel on April 15th and 16th was attended by 600 advocates with disabilities, and their families, friends, and colleagues.

The conference included 55 workshops with topics including: civil rights, employment, community, relationships, leadership, safety, visual arts, and vacationing. During the morning of the first day, several workshops specifically for transition-aged youth were featured. A few of the more popular workshops included creating symbolic Healing Masks, playing self-advocacy “bingo,” making an authentic Anishinaabe Dreamcatcher, and singing songs of the Self-Advocacy movement. Exhibitors were also on hand to demonstrate their products and services. There were plenty of opportunities for meeting, greeting, and having fun with other conference participants during lunch, dinner, and the Friday evening dance.

The event was planned by Advocating Change Together, Arc Hennepin-Carver, People First Central, People First of Minnesota, Hammer Residences, Mains’l Services, Merrick, Minnesota Department of Education, and PACER Center. Fifty local disability organizations and local businesses sponsored the conference. “We could not have put on a conference like this without the support of all of our sponsors,” says conference planner Melvin Haagenson. Gold Sponsors included Mains’l Services, Donn Poll Communications, Community Connections Partnership and Advocating Change Together.

Ordean Rosaasen, a self-advocate from Willmar, was honored with the Irving Martin Advocacy Award. The award has been presented each of the last four years to an individual or group who has shown their commitment to promoting self-advocacy. It is given in memory of the late Irving Martin, “the Grandfather of self-advocacy,” who was known for his endless work on behalf of the self-advocacy movement.

Ordean’s list of activities with Arc Kandiyohi County and People First of Kandiyohi County is extensive: rose sale volunteer; dance committee member; past board member for Arc Kandiyohi County; supporter of the Remembering with Dignity campaign; past President of People First of Kandiyohi County; and, current board member of People First of Minnesota. Congratulations, Ordean!

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